Competition grows among short-term-rental brands, Will it impact our market here in Nashville?

Nashville 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Short-term-rentals have become a popular alternative to hotels, with Airbnb being the most popular– but there are alternatives, such as VRBO and HomeAway.

Recently, a major hotel chain, Marriott International, is checking into the short-term-rental market with their Homes and Villas program.

News 2 wondered… could this impact the Airbnbs already operating in Nashville?

The answer– is likely no, that’s according to Chris Muscatello who is well-versed in how Airbnb operates. In fact, he owns a property on 11th Avenue South that he lists on Airbnb.

“The great thing about this [short-term-rentals] opposed to hotels is the income being generated from out of town guests it’s going into local homeowners pockets which, is in turn, going into the local economy,” Muscatello said.

Marriott works with professional management companies for their inventory, hand curating a list of rentals offering more than 5,000 homes in 190 locations, including Nashville, some, near Muscatello’s property.

“I think it’s going to have a minimal impact,” Muscatello said.

One of the biggest differences between Airbnb and Homes and Villas is that 90% of renters on Homes and Villas are members of the hotel’s travel program, Marriot Bonvoy, meaning they can earn points when renting through Homes and Villas.

​​ “It sounds like we’ve got another major hotel group that seems to be getting in this alternative approach to hospitality,” said Councilman Freddie O’Connell after News 2 asked his thoughts about the new-ish program.​​

Though Councilman O’Connell continues to push to control short-term-rentals in Nashville, where they go and how they operate, he thinks, if anything, the competition may keep short-term-rental prices from escalating.

“As long as it’s in an area where it’s allowed and as long as the property owner has a permit it’s not really different from what Airbnb and HomeAway are doing,’ he said. “I think more platforms in the space do equalize it [the price] somewhat.”

Muscatello disagrees.

“​The majority of the bookings that occur in the Nashville market will come from Airbnb or VRBO, leaving only a small percentage of Marriott to occupy and since they’re not owning the properties I think they’ll have a small impact on the local economy,” Muscatello said.

As for where the short-term-rental fight stands in Nashville, O’Connell says a couple of bills are moving around locally, that if passed, would change the short-term-rental market– mostly due to changes in zoning. Last week, a couple went to the planning commission and were deferred.

News 2 is reporting on Nashville’s historic growth and the growing pains that come with it. Click here for more Nashville 2020 reports.

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