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    Short-Term Rentals Can't Rely on Tech to Solve Its Labor Shortages — Yet

    Technology cannot address the short-term rental industry's labor shortages at present. “I don't see human workers getting out of the picture for at least another 10 years,” explained Guy Westlake, founder of property management software vendor Lavanda. “Robots cannot clean and maintain apartments yet.” Westlake added that the workforce is increasingly unwilling to perform manual labor at a particular price point that is practicable to the short-term rental market. Cleaning fees have climbed 28 percent since 2019 due to pandemic-induced sanitation policy, while many workers have ditched labor-intensive manual jobs for higher-paying remote positions. “With remote work being prevalent now, people living in leisure destinations get an online job, which is making the already-existing problem more acute and difficult now,” said Better Talent CEO Steve Trover. Rental guests are facing higher average daily rates, while companies including Sonder and Airbnb have dispensed with cleaning fees is some markets. Software solutions for boosting efficiency are gaining in the short-term rental market. “Anything that a guest is not going to feel or experience should be automated,” recommended Breezeway CEO Jeremiah Gall. “The time and resources saved can be then spent on amenities and services guests do experience.”

    Skift (03/15/23) Srividya Kalyanaraman

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