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Tourism rebound to see Airbnb/short-term rental market boom, real estate broker predicts

As the country’s tourism industry slowly rebounds from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, one local real estate professional is predicting that Airbnb/short-term rental owners stand to reap tremendous gains as travel trends shift towards that segment.

Matt Sweeting, 1 OAK Bahamas’ chief executive, told Eyewitness News that those operators could potentially triple their profits as anxious travelers seek out such offerings along with unique experiences.

“I think that is where the market is going. I think that once the floodgates open, those persons who have so desperately wanted to travel are going to be looking for safe and more interesting travel experiences,” said Sweeting.

“I think that property owners who can make their property a great place to stay and pair that with a unique experience could reap tremendous returns. Those property owners would put themselves ahead of the game and in position to make three to four times as much as they would with a traditional long-term rental.”

He added: “When tourism rebounds, I believe there is going to be considerable focus on individual accommodations versus large hotel offerings. We are helping people redevelop their properties, stage them for short-term rentals and also provide full-service management, bi-weekly and monthly accounting, as well as checking in and out every guest.”

According to Sweeting, the 1OAK firm has brought in about $10 million in real estate listings in its first two months and aims to capture the crown for the local market.

“We’re off to a great start,” said Sweeting. “Fourteen years in the real estate business has given me an acute understanding of what the market requires. We aim to create a complete ‘shop’ experience, meaning that once you get in contact with us, we help you find the property you’re looking for, the financing, the appraiser and the attorney.

“While considerable focus is often placed on the high-end, our focus is on the local market and we want to wear the crown of market experts. A lot of the clients we serve are in the local market. Our inventory base is predominately under $500,000.”

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