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Understanding AirDNA Data
How does AirDNA calculate occupancy rate?
How does AirDNA calculate occupancy rate?

Understanding vacation rental occupancy

Written by Tom Williams
Updated this week

Occupancy rate is calculated by dividing the number of reserved days by the total number of available days in the month for a property. Listings with no reservations are excluded.

Reserved Days / Total Available Days

When calculating occupancy for a short-term rental, it’s essential to consider the number of days the property was available, as not all listings will be available year-round. For example, a listing could have been available 150 days of the last 12 months and occupied 50% of the time, so it was occupied 75 days in total.

A high occupancy rate isn’t always a good thing; it may have a negative effect on revenue as the host may be charging a nightly rate that is too low, in turn receiving a high number of reservations but having an adverse impact on the revenue generated. Having the property occupied consistently can also pose challenges for cleaning, maintenance, and guest changeover.

Optimizing your occupancy rate is about working out a balance between a good rate for both the host and the guests.

What Does Days Available Mean?

Days Available refers to the number of days in the last 12 months a property was made available to be booked by the host.

This is an important figure to consider when analyzing short-term rentals (STR). Unlike hotels, STRs are not always available all year round, so to know a property's true occupancy rate, we need to factor in the number of days it was available to be booked.

In the above example, the property could be booked 357 days out of the possible 365. During those 357 days, it had an occupancy rate of 85%. Therefore, it was occupied 303.5 days in total over the last 12 months. Conversely, a property could have been available for only 50 days and had an occupancy rate of 85%, meaning it was occupied 42.5 days in total.

There are many reasons for differing days available when analyzing STRs. Some hosts may use the property as a second residence, the listing may have been undergoing renovations or repairs, or the host may block days to allow for cleaning.

Considering your Days Available may give you insight into your overall revenue generated (fewer days available may mean lower overall revenue). You can also see your competitors’ Days Available to understand what’s driving their overall revenue and how you stack up against the competition.

What is Considered an Available Listing?

An available listing that had at least one available or reserved day in the previous month.

The available listing count is refreshed monthly with the data from the previous month, for example, if you are looking at the tool in April, the most recent data you can see will be from March.

If a listing has entirely blocked its calendar during the reporting month but is still live on Airbnb or VRBO, we don't consider it truly active, as it has not been possible to make a reservation during that time.

How Does AirDNA Tell the Difference Between Booked and Blocked Calendar Days?

When analyzing short-term rental (STR) occupancy rates, it is crucial to understand listing availability. At AirDNA, we only look at the occupancy rate of a listing when it is available to be booked, as this gives the most accurate reflection of booking performance. Many hosts choose not to list their STR full-time and will block days off in the listing calendar. They may do this for several reasons, for example, if they want to use the property themselves or due to STR regulations in their market.

For example, if a listing was available to be booked 320 days of the possible 365 days over the last 12 months and occupied (or booked) 52% of those available 320 days, therefore blocked by the host for 45 days.

The days the host has blocked will show as unavailable in the listing calendar, just as a booking would. When we look at listing performance, we need to ensure that we count booked days and not blocked days as revenue generators. To do this, AirDNA has developed advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to identify blocks and unavailable days on Airbnb and VRBO. We look at 16 different booking signals, such as the length of stay, lead times, reviews, and more, to produce accurate booking performance for individual listings and whole markets.

How does AirDNA differentiate identical listings?

With our de-duplicating algorithm, we can successfully match properties listed on multiple booking platforms, ensuring that the performance figures we report are accurate.

Many hosts choose to list their property on multiple booking channels, such as Airbnb and VRBO. The benefits of this can be more exposure for your listing and potentially more bookings generated.

Rather than showing inflated figures and overstating market performance by reporting revenue for a property from both Airbnb and VRBO, we’ve created a unique de-duplicating algorithm to bring you the most accurate numbers. Our algorithm is designed to pick up identical properties listed on both Airbnb and VRBO, using 14 metrics to determine whether a property is listed on both, such as location, listing titles, listing descriptions, number of bedrooms, and calendar availability.

You can see where a property is listed based on the logos shown on the property tile in AirDNA. Properties that we have matched will show both the Airbnb and VRBO logos. The figures shown on these matched listings show the combined performance across both channels for the last 12 months.

Our Data Sources

Our data comes from a combination of scraping Airbnb and VRBO listings, partner data sources such as property & channel managers, as well as individual hosts. Learn more about our data methodology.

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