Posted on 12/20/2023 by Jessie Jacob

2023 In Review

Back in 1977, Don Stone took ownership of Island Realty and made it the family-owned and operated business that it is today!

We were the first property management company on the island, and we've seen so many things evolve and grow over the last 46 years. Even when you've had as much experience as we have, there is still plenty to learn and we are striving to always know more! 2023 brought on its own set of challenges and celebrations, and on this week's blog, we're doing a recap! Keep reading to learn more about trends in the vacation rental market, changes in our demographic, and what we're looking forward to in the new year!


This year brought us another benchmark year! Although we were expecting numbers to fall after the post-pandemic travel surge, we have been pleasantly surprised with just how many people are continuing to travel and what our new 'normal' looks like. We navigated updated fire codes and proposed rental caps, all with the help of our amazing guests and owners. 

Guests were also staying longer. Bookings for over a week were more common throughout the entire year. As more and more people were able to work and take classes from home, people were taking "working remotely" to a whole new level and doing their work from the island!


2023 brought people from all over the country to Isle of Palms! Here are the top 10 States people traveled from:

  1. New York
  2. Georgia
  3. North Carolina
  4. South Carolina
  5. Virginia
  6. Illinois
  7. Tennessee
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Ohio
  10. California

For comparison, here's where our guests came from most in 2021:

  1. Georgia
  2. South Carolina
  3. North Carolina
  4. Virginia
  5. Ohio
  6. New York
  7. Florida
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Michigan
  10. Indiana

We even had some international visitors! Travelers from Canada, the UK, and Germany were choosing Isle of Palms as their vacation destination.

Cozy condos

  • Condos are continuing to be our most popular rental type as opposed to larger private homes. One-bedroom condos like the Sea Cabins and Port O' Call saw the most bookings among all of our condo rentals - a trend that began in 2021.

Book Online

  • We've been fine-tuning every aspect of the guest booking experience. While there is still a healthy number of reservations coming from both booking online and by phone, online booking continues to increase in popularity.

Travel Insurance

  • People are adding travel insurance to their stays more than ever. Between a worldwide pandemic, hurricane evacuations, and everything else we've had thrown at us the past few years, people are learning more about the benefits of having insurance added to their stays. It can end up saving you a lot of money if something happens during your trip!

Advance Booking

  • In the rental industry, we call the number of days between time-of-booking and arrival date the "lead time." Over the past few years, our guest's average lead time has been:
          • 2020: 82 days
          • 2021: 99 days
          • 2022: 88 days
          • 2023: 91 days


If you're looking to stay in a peak season like the summer, you'll need to book your stay at least 3 months in advance to have the best chance of securing your dream rental!

WHAT'S in store FOR 2024?

Looking at what people are already booking for 2024, we see continued growth and properties starting to fill up for this summer! The months of April and June in particular are already seeing a lot of interest, so we're excited to see what the trends are for vacationers this year!

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