Skift Take

Expedia's acquisition of HomeAway shows that desire is strong with online booking players for bringing more vacation rentals online. When offline properties get online they'll need help finding their way around their new universe.

seedlingsVacation rentals are portrayed as the alternative to hotel stays, but some travelers view them as their first choice — all while increasingly expecting more and more amenities that hotels offer.

Millions of property owners have rented their homes, cottages, and condos for decades through offline methods and are skeptical of the online push or afraid to abandon older online methods that have always worked. Many offline properties continue to show strong bookings even as the online world surrounds them, and it’s the job of online travel agencies to persuade owners of the benefits to listing properties through several channels.

Booking sites understand that working with property owners is different than dealing with hoteliers but also see how guests of both accommodation types have grown to expect similar services, a trend these five startups are banking on.

>>inReception is a vacation rental management platform helping property owners promote their listings and update their rates, in addition to getting them bookable through online travel agencies.

SkiftTake: Vacation rental owners who aren’t familiar with bringing their properties online need as much help as they can get and as much reach as they can get.

>>RentalGuardian is a solution for managing traveler and property protection and insurance. The company also offers white label solutions to personalize the tool for property owners.

SkiftTake: There are so many unpredictable factors that can go wrong with properties, their owners and renters and all parties need to be covered in case the worst happens.

>>Luxasa lets travelers search for luxury vacation rentals and offers concierge services to property owners. It also offers properties and booking services for meetings and events.

SkiftTake: Smaller business meetings and events that don’t require large hotel blocks need more solutions to help them find a lodging space that best suits their needs.

>>DelegateIt is a vacation rental concierge service for travelers through a mobile app using SMS.

SkiftTake: Hotels now tout their concierge services and vacation rental guests, particularly those renting luxury properties, appreciate having help available as well to make their stays relaxing.

>>OnGuard is a customer reputation community of vacation rental owners that allows them to keep track of risky customers. The company provides an internationally accessible, centralized method of prescreening potential guests based on their past dealings with other property owners.

SkiftTake: Vacation rental owners need to pay attention to positive and negative reviews perhaps even more than hoteliers, but the prescreening process is difficult for one person to do especially if their property is rented.

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Tags: skiftseedlings, startups

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