How are Orlando Vacation Home Owners Faring During COVID-19?

Dated: September 7 2020

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No one saw the pandemic coming. No one dreamed that theme parks would be closed for months and travel would come to almost a complete standstill. The tourism market dried up in Orlando, and the roads and skies were fairly empty. No theme parks and no travel meant the vacation home and short-term rental market dried up as well.

I've helped countless people invest where the world comes to play. Pre-COVID, bookings were endless and income was overflowing. But as the world shut down, so did the cash flow. So how have AirBnb owners and short-term rental investors survived and adapted during this time? Like my current buyers, you may even be wondering what the short-term rental market looks like now with the parks reopened. Let's take a quick look.

I've kept in close contact with all my past buyers, checking in from time to time to see how they're doing and how they've adapted their business while tourism is on pause. Some have switched to doing long-term leases. This is a way to get a consistent flow of cash each month. The good thing about this is that it adds stability and after the lease is up, the property can easily be switched back to a short-term rental. I've seen others offer their property on a month to month basis, and they've had consistent bookings throughout the pandemic.

Currently, the parks aren't allowing 100% capacity, so that limits the amount of visitors. Many people don't like the idea of wearing a mask all day in the Florida humidity. So what we're seeing now is people booking and planning to travel in the spring of next year. Bookings have started to pick back up now, but the vast majority of people are looking into next year.

As a potential Orlando investor, you may be looking at worst case scenarios and wondering, "What if this happens again?" We can't predict the future, but we can definitely learn from this experience. My short-term rental owners have adapted during an unprecedented time and are still making money in modified ways. This is only temporary, and all of us here in Orlando truly believe that when this is all over, tourism will come back in full swing. Most people can't stay away too long from the most magical place on earth!

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Chris Stump

Chris began his career in real estate as an apprentice to one of Orlando’s top producers, with over 17 years experience in Orlando real estate. With a desire for excellence and exceptional customer ....

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