• Scott Westfall

Renting Your Short-Term Rental for SOMETHING IN THE WATER 2020

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

Wondering if you should rent out your home on platforms such as Airbnb or Vrbo for SOMETHING IN THE WATER 2020 in Virginia Beach? 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 is coming back to Virginia Beach after

April 20-26, with the main events rolling in on April 24th. This community-rich music festival will welcome the best of the best in not just music but also culinary creation, technology, media, and more.

Lodging for popular events like SOMETHING IN THE WATER 2020 at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront can become difficult to find for attendees as it is anticipated to bring over 60,000 people in 2020. One Oceanfront hotel sold out for the weekend within two hours of Pharrell Williams announcing SITW 2020, indicating what a lucrative week it will be for accommodations in Virginia Beach. Last year, Pharrell made a public request for locals to rent their properties out to support SOMETHING IN THE WATER 2019 in its inaugural year.

Should I rent my short-term rental for SOMETHING IN THE WATER 2020?

In our professional opinion, YES. For those with approved vacation rentals or short-term rental (STR) properties in Virginia Beach, particularly near the Oceanfront where the festival will take place, the opportunity is one that should not be overlooked for STR owners. Events like SITW are what make your property a viable investment as a short-term rental. If it’s vacant and properly registered during the festival, we say rent it!

With the demand so high in the local area, rates for the weekend of April 24-26 have already risen, with nearby Airbnb units averaging over $500/night for the weekend. The city of Virginia Beach is preparing for over 60,000 people to attend the event (35,000 attendees per day per other sources), so rental owners can be confident that the demand will be high. 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, SITW 2020 can bring a much needed early end to the slower winter season in Virginia Beach. 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. Last year, Airbnb reported an estimate of over $600,000 made by Airbnb hosts during the festival weekend. With the added community experience days this year, that estimate should increase significantly. Check out this popular guide to make sure your property is compliant with Virginia Beach regulations in preparation for a great SITW 2020.

So how do I get my rental ready for SOMETHING IN THE WATER 2020?

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 2020” and a list of the 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 anytime of the year, our team loves this helpful guide for more information on handling those situations productively.


The SOMETHING IN THE WATER 2020 festival presents a great opportunity for short-term rental income outside of the busy summer season to approved short-term rental properties in Virginia Beach 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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