Musings On The Rental Market, Pandemic Edition
The pandemic greatly affected us in the short-term industry, slamming us with uncertainty in one of the most successful rental months last year — March. As rentals were temporarily halted, we wondered what would happen next. Historically low rates for mortgages set in, and we soon discovered what was in store: a boom in monthly and short-term contracts as the lack of inventory in the South Florida housing market worsened.
It wasn’t an early-pandemic phenomenon, either. The South Florida Business Journal reported in February 2021 that South Florida home sales increased by double digits, with prices rising as the single-family home shortage continued. Throughout Florida, condo sales jumped 24.6% when compared to the same month a year ago; single-family home sales in the tri-county area alone jumped 10.8%. And, active listings dropped 46%.
A New Horizon
As we’ve shifted our model, we have discovered new opportunities: chances to rent to a large portion of the population waiting for a property to close, unable to find a home that’s the right fit, or to couples staying temporarily to test the waters in South Florida.
These opportunities are growing as we attract additional families to South Florida, and as they bring their businesses to the tri-county area as well. Like attracts like, and five months after the Miami Herald discussed an influx of new families, we’re going strong. Those of us in the hospitality industry have gotten an opportunity to provide concierge services, supplementing our businesses with ancillary income, as rentals were in flux.
But what concierge services are the best fit for a state still grappling with the pandemic? In a nutshell, responsible ones. We support services that provide ancillary income and still support public health initiatives. Those can be anything from offering outdoor activities with ancillary rentals, to ionic disinfection. Supporting your clients’ needs while contributing to the health of Miami-Dade is the calling card of a responsible manager, host, and business owner.
Where Are We Heading?
What also remains in flux is where the top destination for transplants will be in Miami. While rentals on Miami Beach are bouncing back, will this be the location of choice for families, based on current media coverage? Or will it be locations such as Miami Shores and Coral Gables — if any properties are available, that is? As in any business, we recommend diversification and market testing, both in the type of properties one represents, and the location.
What are your predictions for the next 12 months, and what have you done to adapt?