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Outer Banks Vacation Rental Activity Amidst COVID-19

16 Jun 2020
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Impacts of COVID-19 on Beach Realty's Outer Banks Vacation Rentals

Sidlow Baxter once said; “What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.” With things starting to get back “normal” the Beach Realty Team keeps a positive attitude and outlook for our current and upcoming rental season.

We invite you to discover Outer Banks vacation rental data during the Covid-19 pandemic. Learn about the dramatic change in reservation activity for OBX vacation during the first half of 2020. In this article, we will look at real-time data about Outer Banks vacation rentals.

Our Story During the Pandemic

On March 17th, 2020 Dare County Control Group prohibited visitors from entering the Outer Banks. From mid-March through mid-May, Beach Realty transferred, cancelled and refunded over 1,000 reservations while new reservation activity was minimal. Of the nearly 50 full-time employees, 75% were furloughed temporarily while the State was directed to Stay Home, Stay Safe. Beach Realty quickly put it’s employees back to work after receiving a PPP loan and began adjusting operations and distributing information to their guests illustrating enhanced housekeeping procedures and outlining what to expect when vacationing with them this season. “We know a new set of challenges are headed our way, but given the grace my team operated with over the last two months, I'm not worried. We are ready!”, Ward says about welcoming guests back the Outer Banks after two months of restrictions. 

“Although no one can say they were prepared for this pandemic, our long history and ability to adapt quickly allowed us to navigate uncharted waters and come out on top” said Jason Ward. Since the bridge re-opened to visitors, Beach Realty’s new reservations skyrocketed and they are now over 95% occupied for the entire Summer. The graph below illustrates the dramatic change in reservation activity from Mid-March to Mid-June:


Here is a recent letter from our General Manager to our homeowners:

Since news broke that The Outer Banks was opening, Beach Realty has been operating in overdrive. We were concerned that the demand from being closed during the tail-end of our primary booking season might be lost or at least lessened. On the contrary, our capacity is tested daily and we continue to adjust as phone, email and online booking activity go through the roof. See below for a few graphs illustrating recent activity.

This graph illustrates reservations created in the month of May 2020 versus May 2019. You can clearly see that when the announcement of the bridge-reopening aligns with a serious uptick in new reservations.


The second and third graph compare our paid occupancy for the Summer season (2019 vs. 2020) as of June 16th compared to one month prior May 16th. As you can see, Summer weeks have filled up significantly in recent weeks.

Paid Occupancy as of 6/16/2020:

Paid Occupancy as of 5/16/2020

We're delighted to welcome our guests back to the beach!