Vacation Rental Industry Dictionary

What is an API? What do you call a software that uses AI to suggest pricing? What are LOS Rates? These are some of the most common questions that we receive everyday from property managers and owners everyday. Having them in mind, we decided to create the Vacation Rental Industry Dictionary that you can easily download HERE and use to look up terms you´re unfamiliar with. It can also came handy to train new staff members!

These are few of the terms you’ll find in the dictionary

API → An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing a Web-based software application or Web tool. A software company releases its API to the public so that other software developers can design products that are powered by its service.

Book Direct → This feature allows your guests to book directly with the property manager or owner avoiding going through listing sites and OTAs.

Changeover Days → Implementing this setting allows selecting days of the week on which guests can never check-in or check-out.

Channel Manager → A software that allows distributing automatically hotel rooms, vacation rental properties, B&B’s and other type of accommodation onto booking platforms where travellers can book. You can find a more detailed explanation here too.

Down Payment → amount paid at booking to secure a reservation, normally a percentage of the total booking amount

Dynamic Pricing → is pricing that changes based on the season, number of guests, minimum stay. There are a number of softwares that provide dynamic pricing.

GDS → A global distribution system (GDS) is a network system owned or operated by a company that enables transactions between travel industry service providers, (airlines, hotels, car rental etc) and travel agencies.

LOS Pricing → Length of Stay Pricing; pricing that takes into account the amount of days booked and then provides a certain price for those days. This can be used to create discount in cases where the longer the guest stays, the cheaper it is per night.

Metasearch → A metasearch is a large platform that uses other search engines to produce its own results. e.g Kayak.

Net Rates → The Net Rate is the price without the commission of the travel agent. The distributor can mark-up this price with the margin he wishes to make, or an amount which is contractually agreed. Hotel distribution partners which typically work with net room rates are: Merchant Model OTA. Wholesalers.

Occupancy Based Pricing → pricing strategy where rates differ depending on the number of guests

OTA → Online Travel Agents list accommodation and sell them through their own website and network. An OTA has the possibility to offer customers special combinations when booking holiday homes, such as car rentals and airfares.

Overbooking → more bookings then the available rooms, properties, tickets etc.

Payment Processor / Payment Getaway → A payment processor is a company appointed by a merchant to handle payment transactions, often done with credit or debit cards.

PCI compliance → Payment card industry compliance; is adherent to a set of specific security standards that were developed to protect card information during and after a financial transaction. PCI compliance is required by all card brands.

PMS → Property Management System: a computerised system/software that facilitates the management of properties, equipment, legalities, personnel and calendars. This includes bookings, client, communications, accounting calendars prices, statistics property information and more. You can see of all of our PMS Partners here

Rack Rates → Terms used in the hotel industry to describe the cost to a customers that request accommodations for the same day without prior booking arrangements. The rack rate price tends to be more expensive than the rate that the customer could have received if he/she used a travel agency or third-party service. Rack rates can vary based on the day that the room is requested.

Rate Parity → Maintaining consistent rates for the same product in all online distribution sites – Expedia, Booking.com, Orbitz, Hotwire, etc. – regardless of what commission the OTA charges.

Smart Locks → a way for guests to check-in without a key. It refers to remote, keyless access to your guest even when you are away from home.

Welcome App → an website or mobile app that is designed to enrich the guest experience. It will show the guest the information they need, lets your guest book an local activity or in some cases chat with the rental owner.

XML →  XML is a format for structuring data in communication between systems.


Have you come across other terms that we can add in the Vacation Rental Industry Dictionary? Let us know in the comments below.

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