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Renting Your Short-Term Rental for SOMETHING IN THE WATER 2022

Wondering if you should rent out your home on platforms such as Airbnb or Vrbo for the 2022 SOMETHING IN THE WATER festival in Washington D.C.? Read on to learn why you should as well as how to prepare your property and guests for an enjoyable experience.

SOMETHING IN THE WATER 2020 - April 20th-26th, 2020 - general banner

The SOMETHING IN THE WATER (SITW) festival was postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the global pandemic. But now it's ready to make its triumphant return in 2022, taking place this time in Washington D.C.

Lodging for popular events like SOMETHING IN THE WATER in D.C. can become difficult to find for attendees when they bring over 60,000 people to the area. One Virginia Beach hotel sold out for the festival weekend within two hours of Pharrell Williams announcing SITW 2020, indicating what a lucrative event it is likely to be for accommodations throughout the District of Columbia. In 2019, Pharrell made a public request for locals to rent their properties out to support SOMETHING IN THE WATER in its inaugural year.

Should I rent my short-term rental for SOMETHING IN THE WATER 2022?

In our professional opinion, YES, renting your D.C. property is an opportunity that should not be overlooked. Events like SITW are what make your property a viable investment as a short-term or vacation rental. If it’s vacant and you have the proper license during the festival, we say rent it!

When Virginia Beach was anticipating SITW 2020, rates showed Airbnb units averaging over $500/night for the weekend. The city was preparing for well over 35,000 attendees per day before its postponement, so rental owners can be confident that the demand will be high this year as well. It’s also a great time to show off your property and get a new review as you gear up for peak summer season.

For those of you who already own an approved short-term rental home, SOMETHING IN THE WATER can bring a much-needed boost to the rental slow-down caused by the pandemic. If you are still unsure about renting your available Airbnb or Vrbo property for the festival, keep reading.

If you are new to or are considering entering the short-term rental property market, this is a great opportunity to start strong. After the last SITW festival, Airbnb reported an estimate of over $600,000 made by Airbnb hosts during the festival weekend. Check out Washington D.C.'s vacation rental and short-term rental regulations in preparation for breaking into the market.

Here's a guide to making your property a short-term rental paradise for your guests.

So how do I get my rental ready for SOMETHING IN THE WATER?

While the benefits of renting your home for a large event do outweigh the potential risks, it is best to prepare wisely. To protect your business and property, consider taking the following actions:

Prior to accepting a reservation

  • Take advantage of the high demand and set your rates competitively based on similar properties listed for rent that week.

  • Do some quick research on your potential tenants before accepting a reservation. Airbnb does a great job at providing a guest’s rental history, including reviews from hosts they have stayed with in the past.

  • Require guests to provide a list of all names of those who intend to occupy the property during the stay.

  • Require tenants to bring their own towels and linens.

Prior to guest move-in

  • Remove anything of value from the property. (If there is an item you are specifically concerned about, it should probably not be in your short-term rental anyway!)

  • Complete an in-depth video or photo move-in inspection.

  • Present your property the way you want it to be left. Provide all necessary tools to keep it clean which will encourage guests to treat it well and leave it in the same condition.

  • Leave a list of property-specific rules, how-to guides for appliances and major systems, and expectations of how to leave the property.

  • Provide your guests with CGP’s “Renter’s Guide for SOMETHING IN THE WATER” and a list of the City’s rules and regulations regarding short-term rentals.

  • If you are listing your property through Airbnb, familiarize yourself with their Host Protection Insurance, which is included with every booking.

  • If you are listing your property on Vrbo, consider requiring guests to purchase damage protection insurance or provide a security deposit.

After guest move-out

  • Though damages are rare, complete a walk-through inspection of your property shortly after the renters move out and clearly document all potential issues.

  • If damage does occur or if anything is missing from the property when guests leave, visit the Host Guarantee page to start the reporting process (if you are renting through Airbnb.)

  • For more information regarding protection against rental damages any time of the year, our team loves this helpful guide for more information on handling those situations productively.


The SOMETHING IN THE WATER festival presents a great opportunity for short-term rental income outside of the busy summer season to vacation rental properties in Washington D.C. and the surrounding area. For more ways to maximize the value and use of your short-term rental, contact CGP Real Estate Consulting today. We’d love to chat!

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