The vacation rental industry has been progressing at a feverish pace within the past two years, and it appears that this trend will not be slowing down in 2018. In this short presentation by Vanessa de Souza Lage, CMO at Rentals United and founder of VrTech, you will learn about the state of Vacation Rental Technology Trends in 2018.


Read the full video transcription below:

Hi, I’m Vanessa from Rentals United, co-founder and Marketing Director and I’m going to talk to you about Vacation Rental Technology Trends in 2018! This is based on a presentation I have made at the VRMA this year in Paris and, it was my 3 time at the VRMA, I usually tend to talk about technology because that’s my world, thats’s where I come from and I also have technology events, make technology events called VrTech. I do VrTech Competition for startups, so I know few things about it…

This year I talked about the trends, as I do pretty much every year. So in 2016 at the VRMA Barcelona I had to explain what a channel manager is because at the time very few people knew what a channel manager is. Fast forward 2 years later, and now 1 in 2 property manager actually use a channel manager – this is incredible! What does it mean? As an industry, it means we’re really fast at adopting new technology and that’s very good. Also, it means there’s lots of eduction that has been done from (the part of) ourselves and other tech companies out there. We have educated property managers that it’s time to adopt technology. So time management is working.

Last year I was explaining that in order to be a professional property manager you needed a PMS, a Channel Manager and a Yield Manager, ideally connected to each other, not one all-in-one software that promises to give you everything which they tend to do but not great… so you want a PMS that’s really good at being a PMS, you want a Channel Manager that’s really good at being a Channel Manager, and a Yield that really good and all these 3 technologies need to connect to each other in order for you to heave seamless work to do.
This year in Paris I revealed the trend for this year, but I’m gonna leave you with that one… and I’m going to say it at the end of the presentation, so you need to actually watch this 😀 Evel Knievel! 😀

So… let me start off by a very important quote by the head of the World Economic Forum: “We are at the beginning of a revolution. We’re in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0, at the moment”. Everything is about to change. This, this industry 4.0 started around about the 80s and we’re faced with these new terms like cyber physical systems, the internet of things, cloud computing, cognitive computing – all these terms that we may (you know) not have much to do with. One term however that we do need to learn and appreciate is Digital Transformation.

Digital Transformation means that every business today has to be digitally inclined and that is true for property management companies. So, why do we need to do it? In this new world where guest expectations are changing; everything is a NOW; we certainly see this, as a software company we don’t only have to be great at what we do (our software) but we also have to answer our clients in real-time and… oh my God, if Support (team) is late, we really get (you know) it’s terrible.
So this is the same for guests, they want your support in real-time, you need to be there for them. This is very much characteristic of the time that we live in; this was never like this before.

In terms of property management, in terms of business in general, what is changing in this new world? Well, we constantly need to learn real-time; we need to leverage business partnerships, we’re always going to be in BETA. We’re not finished companies, none of us are finished companies. We need to analyze the data that we get in and we need to use it, and we need to make our businesses better. This is in constant basis, it never ends…

And obviously, Automation! Yes, Automation is huge in the times that we live. We need to automate as much as possible and software is helping us with that. Software is eating the world but thats’ a positive! You see there’s new, new low cost, low cost of tech, new from of financing, global talent, global knowledge, software is exploding and it can help us.

So how about this idea that the future of property managers is… actually a property manager will be a Robot! Imagine this!
And imagine that the robot Pre-stay will be able to automatically distribute on new niche websites, will recognize niche websites and they will say “this is perfect for my product and I will automatically put all my adverts on that. It will read and answer inquiries automatically, it will set the best price per night; during this day will book the Welcome basket, turn the air-con on and off, set the Welcome app, greet the guest in their own language and then Post-stay will send at the real time of checkout etc without you having to do anything. Imagine that! This could be the future of property management. And the only thing that you will have to do is basically analyze the data that you get and feed this robot with the data that it needs in order to do all of these things.

Now, you think is all sci-fi but most of these technologies exist already and you can easily find them in The Who’s Who of the Vacation Rental World – that’s the third edition we’ve created at Rentals United and I’m very proud of this. 32 categories, 236 companies listed and they’re all trying to help us automate our lives in a better way. Automate our business that is!

I have asked around 300 property managers what do they automate today. Do they use external services? And about 15% use 5 or more external services in order to automate their business. I think if I do the same survey next year, we’ll see a sharp increase in that number. I asked what do they automate? Well they automate listing sites, taking payments, pricing – as I said these are your core, core technologies today. Let’s just repeat what you know: Channel Management, Yield Management, PMS software – these three technologies are your core today to do your distribution well. And these must be connected to each other. Don’t fall in the trap of the all-in-one software, it doesn’t work 😀

So what is the trend of this year? Well the trend for this year is Vacation Rental Marketplaces! What happens in Vacation Rental Marketplaces? Well, not just PMS, Yield Management, Channel Management are connected but more… other technologies are getting connected: operational technologies to help us do stuff on-site, to help us deal with the guest on-site: so from check-in, check-out, home automation, guest transportation, cleaning, insurances, you name it! All of these technologies that you can find in The Who’s Who, will be eventually connected to to a Marketplace or various Marketplaces, it’s already a trend, it’s already happening on a small scale but it’s happening. We certainly at Rental United are doing to help our customers, (you know) manage the data they get in a more efficient way, it makes a lot of sense, right?

So that’s the trend for this year but in order for this trend to continue, for it to be successful we need you property managers to give us the time of the day, we need you to be curious, proactive, transparent and collaborate with us – we need you to try all of these softwares out, to try all of these technology out and make sure these startups survive and so that our industry, our tech industry is constant full of innovation and collaboration.
That’s it from me; you know where to find me. Thank you very much!

What do you think of the Vacation Rental Technology Trends in 2018? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!