Vacation Rental status on Smith Lake (Jun, 24). Let the AIRBNBust begin!

This is an update to the 2022 post I made. The buyers have slowed down now but there are still a lot of folks that are putting their property on the rental market. We have gone from 125 vacation rentals in 2000 to 250 vacation rentals in 2022 and as of today (Jun 11, 2024) AIRBNB shows 427 properties available…..that is almost double again since 2022.

Although the demand has increased, the supply of rental houses is so high that it is having a devastating impact on occupancy levels. There are a number of strategies you can use to increase your income on the rental properties: 1) create a unique experience at the property that is attractive or the go to for most 2) lower the price. The price game is making hard on everyone renting their property. Creating a unique experience is a gamble as this cost money and take effort and creativity that many don’t have or want to invest. At we are lucky that we have 20 years of repeat guests that are comfortable doing business with us and know what to expect. This has helped our numbers but even this has not insulated us from the downturn.

My crystal ball says that we are about to have a major change in our market. Those that purchased their house and need the rents to help pay the mortgage are going to be moving on. It may take 1 year, 2 years or 5 years but we are going to see the AIRBNB youtubers moving on. A side note…there should be some deals coming up on these properties. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN…if you enjoy having your lake home then simply hold on. It is going to get better. I do recommend that you do everything you can to make your property as desirable as possible.

So…in conclusion, accept that things are going to be tough for a number of years. Enjoy the lake, enjoy spending time with family and friends and know that things will get better.

If I can answer any questions, help you renting your home or with help you purchase a good rental…please contact me at 205.492.3211 or

Jeff Thomas, Smith Lake Rentals and Sales