Short-Term Rental Business Valuation Multiples

Valuation metrics are crucial in evaluating the worth of a short-term rental (STR) business within its niche.

Understanding a short-term rental business’s worth is essential whether we’re talking about potential investors, buyers, or sellers. Valuation metrics provide valuable insights into the business’s financial well-being, growth potential, and competitive standing in the market.

This article will dissect the key valuation metrics specific to short-term rental businesses, shedding light on their significance, categorization, and the customary process for appraising such enterprises. We will also closely scrutinize the factors that influence these metrics and discuss how the distinctive characteristics of the short-term rental industry can introduce some variability within these metrics.

We will explore how the STR market’s ever-evolving landscape can impact these businesses’ valuation metrics, delivering invaluable perspectives and guidance for investors and short-term rental property owners navigating the ever-changing industry.

How Valuation Multiples Work for Short-Term Rental Companies

Valuation multiples play a pivotal role in gauging the worth of a short-term rental business. They provide valuable insights into your company’s financial standing and operational efficiency by benchmarking it against similar enterprises in the short-term rental market. A comprehensive grasp of the mechanics behind valuation multiples and their relevance to the short-term rental industry empowers you to make well-informed choices when it comes to divesting your business or enticing potential investors.

Stay ahead in the short-term rental game by leveraging the power of valuation multiples tailored to your industry’s nuances.

What is Adjusted EBITDA and How Does it Affect Business Valuation?

Adjusted EBITDA stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization, with adjustments made to reflect the company’s true financial performance. This metric is commonly used in the valuation of short-term rental businesses because it provides a clearer picture of the company’s profitability. Adjustments can include non-recurring expenses or one-time costs that may distort the financial results.

It’s worth noting that the term “Seller’s discretionary earnings” is frequently used interchangeably with Adjusted EBITDA in the context of a consulting firm valuation.

Finding the Appropriate Multiple for a Short-Term Rental Business

Pinpointing the ideal valuation multiple for your short-term rental business is essential. Elements like prevailing market dynamics, financial prowess, and industry standards are pivotal in zeroing in on the precise multiple.

This section is your roadmap to discovering the perfect multiple for your short-term rental business, ensuring you secure a favorable stance in the marketplace

The More Desirable Your Business is to an Investor, the Higher Multiple They Will Pay

When it comes to selling your construction business, it’s crucial to understand what your company’s appeal is to potential investors. This can directly influence the valuation multiple they are willing to offer. Elements such as a robust clientele, a varied range of services, a skilled workforce, and a proven history can enhance the attractiveness of your business, potentially leading to a higher valuation multiple.

Related Content

Learn more about the construction industry and check out a similar article on selling a short-term rental business. 

The Valuation Factors That Make a Short-Term Rental Business More/Less Valuable:

Several factors can impact the value of your company. Understanding these factors will allow you to strategically focus on enhancing the value of your business.

  1. Clean and accurate financials 
  2. Homeowner Churn Rate and Unit Count over time
  3. Management Team 
  4. Employee vs Independent Contractor staffing
  5. Distribution Strategy
  6. Technology Stack
  7. Brand
  8. Advanced Pacing
  9. Regulatory Environment
  10. Structure of Management Contracts

Hear What Some of Our Clients Have to Say About Selling Their Business With Us

Who Buys Short-Term Rental Companies?

There are two main types of buyers in the short-term rental industry.

First, Private equity groups consist of seasoned investment professionals who manage funds for external investors, often including individuals with substantial net worth or institutional investors like pension funds. These groups actively seek opportunities to acquire short-term rental companies either partially or entirely, acting as representatives for their investor base.

Second, you have strategic buyers. Distinct from financial buyers, they are driven by long-term business goals. They might be larger short-term rental firms or conglomerates looking to expand their scope, enter new geographic markets, consolidate market share, enhance their regional offerings, grow their digital platforms, or solidify their presence in a specific short-term rental segment. Strategic buyers aim to leverage their short-term rental company acquisition to merge resources, exchange expertise, streamline expenses, and gain a competitive edge by integrating the purchased business into their existing operations.

While potential sellers aim to maximize the value of their short-term rental company, partnering with a reputable M&A firm like Raincatcher can lead to multiple enticing offers from prospective buyers. The presence of multiple bids is crucial, providing both us and our clients with solid negotiation leverage against potential buyers. This approach ensures that the short-term rental company is sold at the highest possible value. In many instances, if your short-term rental company boasts profits exceeding $1 million, it’s reasonable to expect to receive five or more offers from various entities, including private equity groups and strategic buyers.

How to Increase the Valuation of Your Business

Are you looking to maximize the value of your STR business? Here are a few strategies to consider:

  1. Make sure you have clean financials: Prioritize your financials! It is absolutely critical you have clear and accurate financials.  Once you have accurate financials, know your numbers, and benchmark your margins against the industry and look for areas to improve profitability.
  2. Trust Accounting: Whether or not your state requires true trust accounting, deposits for future reservations should be held in trust and reconciled appropriately.
  3. Implement Dynamic Pricing Strategies: Utilize pricing algorithms and market analysis tools to adjust rental rates based on demand, seasonality, and local events, maximizing revenue.
  4. Invest in your team: Companies with a strong culture, employee base, and long tenure tend to be more valuable for a buyer.
  5. Marketing, Branding, and Direct Bookings: Build a robust online presence through targeted digital marketing and a compelling brand identity to attract a loyal customer base. A diverse distribution strategy between OTA and Direct increases value. Valuable businesses have strong Direct bookings.
  6. Build a management team: Reducing or eliminating owner dependence increases overall value and sellability of a business.
  7. Shore up management contracts: Ensure management contracts are up to date, consistent, and contain assignability language.
  8. Manage Operating Expenses: Monitor and optimize business expenses, negotiate contracts with service providers, and source cost-effective supplies.
  9. Gather and Leverage Guest Data: Collect and analyze guest feedback and data to make informed decisions about property improvements and personalized guest experiences. This ultimately drives higher valuation through customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  10. Streamline Check-in and Check-out: Implement self-check-in options and digital key systems to make the rental process more convenient, boosting guest satisfaction and return visits

Other Valuation Methodologies Occasionally Used When Selling a Short-Term Rental Company

While valuation multiples are a common method for assessing the value of short-term rental businesses, other valuation methodologies can be utilized:

  • Discounted Cash Flow Analysis: This method calculates the present value of the company’s expected cash flows, considering the time value of money and risk factors.


To get a comprehensive understanding of the value of your STR business, we recommended speaking with a member of our experienced brokerage and M&A team. Request a consultation below, and let us guide you through the valuation process to maximize the sale of your business.

Request a Consultation

If you want to sell your short-term rental business, connect with a M&A Advisor specializing in the STR industry. We’d be happy to discuss ways to increase value, compile a professional valuation and explain how we help short-term rental owners and other lower-middle market business owners achieve maximum value with our proprietary auction process.