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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.

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