Who profits from the lucrative market of short-term property rentals via Airbnb?

Over 50% of Greek properties are managed by VRM companies

Vacation Rental Management companies are enjoying a lucrative share of the short-term lease real estate market via Airbnb and other similar platforms in Greece, according to data.

As Greek news site iefimrida reports, over half of the 88,000 properties registered on the Airbnb platform – as well as Booking and HomeAway – more than 40,000 – are being managed by VRM companies. These companies retain a cut between 10% to 30% of short-term lease payments, depending on the services they offer.

VRM companies undertake the management of ads appearing on Airbnb, Booking, HomeAway, Expedia, Agoda and on many other platforms, prepare the property, offer cleaning services, and receive visitors.

An indication of the extent VRM companies are involved is in the historic centre of Athens, where a VRM company manages over 60 properties in Athens and Kea.

According to data, there are 44,780 property owners’ accounts active in Greece.

Advocates of this style of short-term leases in the market, claim VRM companies have created a large number of jobs (reception, visitor support, cleanliness, travel, etc.) in Greece. However, there have been allegations of undeclared work, overwork and underpaid work in the industry.

According to market players, the “landscape” of short-term leases will undergo significant changes from next autumn. As President of the Hellenic Association of Real Estate Owners (POMIDA) Stratos Paradias told iefimerida, it is estimated that up to 30,000 properties, currently offered through Airbnb and Booking, will return to “traditional” long-term style leasing in the fall.

The reason for this shift is the plethora of real estate listings listed on Airbnb, which has, at the same time, led to a significant reduction in long-term leasehold homes as well as exorbitant rentals, even in the country’s popular neighbourhoods.

The government is also expected to take a three-pronged approach to address the issue, which includes:
(a) Strict tax compliance – Thousands of undeclared properties will be kicked off the platforms, (b) The adoption safety standards for the properties leased via Airbnb, and (c) The introduction of a new legal framework for property and owners’ insurance.