How many professional vacation rental managers are in the U.S.? This question arises often at VRM Intel. Due to varying definitions of second homes, inconsistent rental revenue reporting, and a relatively fragmented marketplace, the number of professional vacation rental managers is not easily obtained. However, there is key data available which assists in estimating the actual size of the professionally managed vacation rental industry.
Total Housing Units: 131,704,730
Total Seasonal, Recreational or Occasional Use Homes: 4,649,298 (3.5%)
Total annual income generated by U.S. vacation rentals: $24 billion
Percentage of vacation rentals which are professionally managed: 44%
Average income per vacation rental property: $27,360
According to Wyndham’s 2013 Annual Report, “The global supply of vacation rental inventory is less organized than the lodging industry and is highly fragmented with much of it being made available by individual property owners. We believe that as of December 31, 2013, there were approximately 1.3 million and 4.2 million vacation properties available for rental in the U.S. and Europe, respectively.
In addition, it is widely estimated that the average vacation rental management company has between 50 and 75 properties under contract. The average size of a VRMA member vacation rental management company in 2013 was 137 properties.
Also, according to AHS, the percentage of second homes which are vacation rentals is 25 to 35 percent.
Using the data compiled above, the size of the professionally managed vacation rental industry falls in the following range:
PhoCusWright and HomeAway
Taking the PhoCusWright and HomeAway data at face value:
$24B divided by $27,360 per property = 877,192 U.S. Vacation Rentals
x 44% Pro Managed = 385,965 Professionally Managed Vacation Rentals
This would mean there are between 5,146 and 7,719 Professional Vacation Rental Managers in the U.S.
PhocusWright and Wyndham
44% of 1.3 million vacation rentals in the U.S. =572,000 Professionally Managed Vacation Rentals
This would indicate there are between 7,626 -11,440 Professional Vacation Rental Managers in the U.S.
Using U.S. Census Data
If we add in the U.S. Census data and AHS estimates, the picture looks more like this:
Number of Professionally Managed Vacation Rentals: 511,423 -715,992
Number of Professional Vacation Rental Managers: 6,819 -14,319
Industry analysts estimate the number of vacation rental managers in the U.S. to be 8,000. The data above supports their theory, but as the industry matures and industry data becomes more readily available, we look forward to the day we don’t have to guess.
By Amy Hinote