By Philip Haldiman, Editor-in-Chief | The Dealmaker
About three months ago Keith Hurt and his girlfriend enlisted a realtor to rent their Surprise home for the Super Bowl hoping the premium that comes with being 15 minutes from the biggest event of the year would pay off.
It hasn’t yet, but many in the vacation rental industry, say now that the game is less than a week away, last minute bookings are picking up.
Hurt said the asking price of $12,500 a week for his girlfriend’s 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 1,750-square-foot home could be a boon for their pocketbooks.
“I’m not going to lie, money has a lot to do it,” Hurt said. “It would be great to get ahead on bills.”
Adam Annen, a spokesman for HomeAway, Inc., which has listed more than 1 million vacation rentals in more than 190 countries, said Valley homeowners are expected to cash in on Super Bowl XLIX, pitting the New England Patriots against the Seattle Seahawks.
Their website lists more than 3,600 vacation rentals in the greater Phoenix area. He said HomeAway bookings for the big game average $8,000 a week, leading to an estimated $18 million in rental revenue for Valley homeowners.
Glendale homeowners stand receive about $1.2 million, based on HomeAway’s estimates.
Annen said vacation rentals are popular for events such as Coachella in Indio, Calif., and South by Southwest, in Austin, Texas. The Super Bowl is huge for them, he said — Glendale demand increased 155 percent compared to this time last time last year, and in Phoenix demand is up 41 percent.
With the game quickly approaching, last minute football fans are looking at the possibility of renting. About 10 percent of HomeAway’s Super Bowl listings are left available. The company started seeing a renewed interest, January 19, the day after the NFC and AFC championships.
And now, with the game only days away, there could be an opportunity to bring the asking price down.
“We definitely do see an uptick in interest as we start approaching the Super Bowl,” Annen said. “You have a lot of fans who don’t know if their team is going play until a couple weeks before the game.”
HomeAway offers two ways for homeowners to utilize their website — by subscription or commission. The site also offers an insu Realtor Jeni Agha rance product and payment provider, but all other aspects are handled by the homeowner or agent of a homeowner, including marketing, listing, handling inquiries, maintenance, cleaning and anything else the renter might request.
Realtor Jeni Agha has two rental properties that she features on HomeAway.com and another site, but for the Super Bowl she was able to find renters through other realtors who specialize in the high-end market.
She focuses on the luxury market in Paradise Valley, and said she networked with the pool of more than 800 other Arizona Russ Lyon Sotheby’s realtors, to find her Super Bowl clients. The 5,500- and 7,000-square-foot properties were rented by an actor and professional athlete.
“I got great response by networking,” Agha said. “That’s how a lot of high-end homes get rented.”
Super Bowl rentals in the Valley
There are more than 3,600 vacation rentals in the greater Phoenix area currently listed on HomeAway.com. The service lists everything from city apartments to castles, and even a few private islands, but their typical listings are 2-3 bedroom dwellings. Last minute Super Bowl renters still have some options. Here is the current availability in the Valley, as of January 23:
Current Listings: 128
Available Listings: 16 (13 percent availability)
Average Standard Rate: $1,609
Average Super Bowl Rate: $8,861 (450 percent increase in price)
Current Listings: 866
Available Listings: 106 (12 percent availability)
Average Standard Rate: $1,373
Average Super Bowl Rate: $8,037
Current Listings: 322
Available Listings: 10 (3 percent availability)
Average Standard Rate: $1,122
Average Super Bowl Rate: $1,633
Current Listings: 120
Available Listings: 14 (12 percent availability)
Average Standard Rate: $1,074
Average Super Bowl Rate: $2,639
Current Listings: 1,736
Available Listings: 180 (10 percet availability)
Average Standard Rate: $1,659
Average Super Bowl Rate: $7,005
Sun City area
Current Listings: 335
Available Listings: 25 (7 percent availability)
Average Standard Rate: $903
Average Super Bowl Rate: $3,218
Current Listings: 170
Available Listings: 17 (10 percent availability)
Average Standard Rate: $1,106
Average Super Bowl Rate: $5,495
Source: HomeAway, Inc.
Tips to homeowners from the Arizona Attorney General:
- Persons or businesses that offer to lease your home out generally must be licensed by the Arizona Department of Real Estate. You can check out the Department’s website at www.azre.gov to determine whether someone is licensed by that agency.
- Beware that some businesses charge significant upfront advertising fees but may do little more than advertise your home on Craigslist or other free sites. Ask the business exactly how, where, and for how long they will advertise your property;
- Ask the business where it is physically located and whether it is authorized to conduct business in Arizona;
- Research the business’ reputation by checking with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) or similar sources.