Miami Condo Owners Wager on $40,000-a-Night Super Bowl Rentals
Jennifer Restrepo circled Super Bowl weekend on her calendar and decided to make a bet.
Restrepo, who manages short-term rentals for Miami condo owners, kept her listings quiet as she gauged demand and watched competitors set prices. Now, she’s blasting out Facebook and Instagram ads that position her beachfront units as the perfect base to mingle with celebrities and athletes in one of the world’s top party cities.
Condo at the 1 South Beach
The rentals won’t come cheap: $5,500 a night for a one-bedroom condo at the 1 Hotel South Beach or $40,000 for a four-bedroom penthouse at the luxury hotel. With four-night minimums and more than 20 units, the Super Bowl could be a rare windfall for Restrepo’s company, which gets a 20% cut of the rental fee in return for managing listings, handling maintenance and pampering guests.
“It’s exciting, but it’s also super nerve-wracking to hold your units until the end,” Restrepo said.
With the game now less than two weeks away at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, visitors will flood the area as the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to play the San Francisco 49ers. February is always peak season in South Florida, making rooms for football fans hard to come by and sending rates soaring.
The W South Beach is asking $3,798 a night, about triple the asking rate for the weekend after the game. Lesser brands are also making guests pay up. The Ramada in downtown Hollywood, Florida, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the stadium, was asking $692 a night, while the Days Inn at the Fort Lauderdale airport was listing rooms for $399.
Partygoers with bigger budgets can look to short-term rentals. Josh Dotoli, who runs a team of Compass agents in Fort Lauderdale, is marketing a seven-bedroom waterfront estate for $8,000 a night. The owner will provide a van and driver for an additional fee.
Dotoli was rooting for the 49ers to beat the Green Bay Packers, betting that wealthy venture capitalists or technology executives would make last-minute inquiries.
“It’s going to be a week of events and parties -- just upscale debauchery,” Dotoli said.
When setting prices, hotels use software to forecast demand, scan rates at nearby properties and adjust to maximize revenue. In most cases, they’ll also rely on humans to weigh factors that algorithms miss, like the willingness of 49ers fans to travel across the country, or the relative wealth of football fans from Kansas City.
Restrepo practices a low-tech spin on those tactics, scanning competing listings and adjusting prices accordingly. She specializes in managing apartments at luxury hotels, where owners -- and short-term renters -- can access fitness areas, spas and other amenities.
Social Media Marketing
Restrepo leans on social media to market her units, relying on paid ads and a network of online influencers, who like the condos because they’re more spacious than the biggest hotel rooms and provide better amenities than the listings on home-sharing sites like Airbnb.
“Influencers are traveling nonstop and want to look like they have these special accommodations,” said Dan Fleyshman, founder of social media agency Elevator Studio and an investor in Restrepo’s company, Five Star Luxury Travel.
Goldman’s DJ D-Sol -- the CEO -- to Spin at Super Bowl Party
In Miami Beach, the epicenter for Super Bowl parties, landlords need a license to rent out homes for less than six months. That limits the number of places to stay in close proximity to performances by Lizzo, Lil Wayne, and DJ Khaled, not to mention a day-drinking music festival that retired New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has dubbed “Gronk Beach.”
Gabriele Braha, whose company Red Group manages dozens of licensed units in the area, is poised to benefit from the surge of visitors for Super Bowl weekend.
“The returns are amazing for us,” Braha said, “I wish there would be a Super Bowl every week.”