The recent news that demand for vacation rentals in the U.S. has overtaken that of 2019 levels has been a breath of fresh air for an industry wracked by travel uncertainty over the last year and a half.
But for many vacation rental businesses—both property managers and suppliers—this announcement was no surprise. At Hostaway, we’ve seen record growth each month since December 2020 in the number of customers using our property management system. People are also booking much farther ahead: occupancy rates in the U.S. from now until November are 401% higher than they were for the same period in 2020, and 26% higher than the same period in 2019. This is a sure sign that the market is as confident as the travelers it caters to.
As the vacation rental industry has matured over the last few years, its growth has been enabled by a host of new specialized, sophisticated tech solutions that drive efficiencies across operations, marketing, and finance. No doubt 2021 will see even more niche start-ups emerge to add to this increasingly crowded marketplace. It’s no wonder that cutting through all the noise and choosing the most effective tools for your business can feel like a daunting task.
That’s why brand partnerships between suppliers can be incredibly helpful for property managers. By offering integrated functionality between a used and trusted tool with a new piece of software, property managers can reduce some of that noise in order to focus on elevating their business. Nowhere is this more important, or more visible, than with a PMS.
A good PMS will offer dozens of integrations with other technologies through their marketplace. This isn’t just limited to operations—partnerships can offer distribution channels, dynamic pricing, home automation, marketing, and more. It should be comprehensive enough to offer everything a property manager needs, including solutions to problems they didn’t even know existed until they found them. That’s the beauty of working with a forward-thinking PMS that understands the changing needs of its customers.
Brand partnerships then enable property managers to essentially create their own tech ecosystem of tools, perfectly tailored to the specific needs of their business. This is so important because half of property managers now have a stack of at least four (or more) software solutions that they use daily, according to a recent survey by Breezeway.
But before agreeing to work with any other brand in the first place, a PMS team will be thinking hard about the pros and cons. Will they offer something actually useful to our customers? Does their company share our values and vision? How easy is it to integrate our software together?
For instance, our mission at Hostaway is to partner with property managers in the growth of their business by providing solutions to achieve their goals. We are always attracted to working with other brands who share our passion for enabling our customers to scale up, rather than just drive new sales. Understanding that there is a careful process behind each partnership should offer peace of mind to any property manager that the tools their PMS are integrated with are tried and trusted. This is just one way a brand partnership can simplify an increasingly complex vacation rental landscape.
Once the right tools are chosen, the benefits speak for themselves. Each integration partner will connect to and interact with the PMS through their unique API, automatically pulling data through two ways, such as reservation and guest details. This automation not only cuts down on a huge amount of time, but reduces the chance of human error. It’s a complex process to write an API and takes a mature or expert tech company to get right—knowledge that, again, should boost the confidence of any user that their software solutions are up to par.
While benefiting property managers and their guest experiences is the ultimate goal, brand partnerships are also critical to help the partners themselves grow. Partners can build a personalized end-to-end sales funnel that can drive referrals to their businesses. It’s something we’ve been incredibly grateful for as we have grown Hostaway from a start-up to an established supplier over the past few years.
Fundamentally, brand partnerships matter because they help both property managers and software solutions scale up their respective businesses.
Marcus Rader is the Co-Founder and CEO of Hostaway, the all-in-one vacation rental software for bright and ambitious property managers. A tech-first solution to vacation rental management, it offers deep channel integrations with premium partners such as Vrbo, Booking.com and Airbnb and a marketplace of over 100 software partners. To learn more visit hostaway.com.