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Companies Shaping the Vacation Rental Industry, Part 2

In our last article about companies shaping the vacation rental industry, we looked at businesses that help hosts with property management, smart connectivity, and welcoming guests.  Today we’re going to examine companies leading the way in providing data, managing channels, and adding experiences to the mix.

Data Providers

As the vacation rental industry has grown, so has the importance and use cases of big data.  There are lots of companies taking on different niches in this space.  

Airdna has gotten a lot of attention for its Marketminder feature which allows its users to zero in on local markets, leveraging data from 10M properties across 80,00 cities worldwide.  Key metrics include:

  • Occupancy rate
  • Annual revenue
  • Average daily rate

Transparent ups the ante by using data from 35M properties, but specifically only from Airbnb, VRBO, and Booking.com properties.

A company called Mashvisor addresses the larger investment game: buying properties specifically for vacation rentals.  They do this using a dataset currently focused in the US that allows users to identity cities and neighborhoods that meet their criteria for investment in this space.

Channel Managers

Channel management allows your vacation rental to be listed across multiple platforms.  The big ones that come to mind are Airbnb, VRBO, and Booking.com.  But if you want to add channel management, you might also want access to many of the other platforms that are coming up in this still-fragmenting space, like Flipkey and Housetrip.

The biggest value-adds in channel managers are the ability to sync calendars so that you can’t be double-booked and the ability to monitor pricing across various platforms to allow you to adjust prices as needed for maximum profitability.  Some channel managers, like Lodgify, also make it easy for you to set up your own website for your vacation rental so that you can benefit from direct bookings.

Hospitable, lauded for its ease of use, is also a leading channel manager, as well as Guesty, which we already noted is a leader in the Property Management Software space.

Experiences

Back in 2016, Airbnb saw a natural add-on in vacation rentals and chose to add “Experiences” to their offerings.  As a host, you can create experiences that can be booked by guests at your properties but can also appeal to a wider audience (who can then also learn about your listings).  It’s a natural way to add revenue and a different facet to the vacation experience for guests.

But if you’re not interested in hosting an experience yourself, there are no shortage of companies that you can use to find fun activities to direct your guests to consider.  Three of them include: 

  • GuideAdvisor – focused on local guides
  • Viator – powered by TripAdvisor and with a staggering number of offerings
  • Xplorie – focused on fun, local, and free activities, Xplorie ties together the vacation rental experience with activity planning

There are so many exciting things happening in almost every part of the vacation rental industry that even a pandemic can’t suppress.  Take a look at all the categories we mentioned, do some research, and see if adding their services to what you’re doing might be just what you need to take your listings to the next level.

This content originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book newsletter

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Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
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Hours
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I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
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Airbnb Host in LA
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Blog

Companies Shaping the Vacation Rental Industry, Part 1

While many predicted a long-term setback for the vacation rental industry in 2020, the truth is that vacation rentals have not only come roaring back in many parts of the world, but have become a preferred accommodation type in a post-pandemic world.  This isn’t just due to the various companies provided listings of vacation rentals, it’s the number of companies orbiting and supporting those vacation rentals that make the experience for hosts and guests light years better than in years past.  In this two-part series, we’ll take a look at a few of the companies shaping the vacation rental industry right now.

Property Management Systems

Property Management Systems (PMS) facilitate the day-to-day management of your vacation rental listings.  Features depend on the platform you choose, but basics include:

  • Managing bookings
  • Scheduling cleanings
  • Assigning tasks to team members
  • Sending messages to your guests
  • Creating invoices and reports

There are many more functions and features available, depending on you needs and budget.  Leading players in this space include Guesty, Hostfully, and Rentals United.

Smart Connectivity

The Internet of Things has been driving the connectivity of devices and this has only expanded the possibilities of options to make things easier for host and guest.  Brivo puts some of those devices together in a single dashboard for you, including keyless entry for doors and garages (don’t have to worry about lost keys or replacing garage door openers that guests forgot to leave behind) as well as thermostat and appliance monitoring (be notified if freezing or flooding conditions are a threat).

Worried that guests might be too loud and don’t want to hear about it from an angry neighbor?  Noiseaware has you covered.  Want to be notified if a fire alarm goes off or if there are more guests than you allow on the property?  Minut has an app for that.

Welcome Apps

More and more vacation rental guests want an experience in which they feel catered to.  This doesn’t necessarily mean bottles of wine and footrubs (though, those are never bad!).  Instead, they love being welcomed and having a resource when they have questions.  Three companies address these needs in different ways.

Both HelloHere and Touch Stay provide beautiful digital guest books that guests can access from anywhere (HelloHere uses an app interface, Touch Stay provides a unique URL).  HelloHere also provides the opportunity to upsell additional services and link to affiliates, while providing an in-app chat platform for guests.

Virtual Concierge uses the growing smart speaker industry to the benefit of both hosts and guests.  Use cases include asking:

  • What’s the WiFi password?
  • Can you help me with the entertainment system?
  • What are good places to eat around here?
  • Play a voice-based game with us!

Your voice concierge can also greet your guest by name, ask them for voice testimonials, or even notify your cleaners (like us!) when guests check out early.

We couldn’t cover everything in this newsletter so next time we’ll talk about channel managers, data providers, and the growing category of experiences.

This content originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book newsletter.

Clean my
Vacation Rental


single-blog-sidebar-vacation-rental
  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
Book Now

Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved