Skift Take

More consumers than ever are using vacation rentals. But as the line with hotels blurs and the industry enter a new growth phase, it faces unique challenges in delivering the hospitality guests expect. Technology will be key to providing an elevated guest experience and will help determine who sees the most success.

Skift Research is publishing a new Analyst Session, available to subscribers only, as an accompaniment to our recent research report, Decoding the Modern Vacation Rental Technology Landscape. Today, technology is essential to running a vacation rental business, it permeates every part of the operation, from distribution and pricing to behind-the-scenes processes.

Participating in the analyst call were report author and Skift Research Senior Analyst Seth Borko, and Senior Research Analyst Rebecca Stone.

Preview Session

On the front end, a new era of software is driving vacation rental top-lines. On the back end, applications are attempting to bring economies of scale to operations and maintenance, traditionally a difficult task as properties are so widely distributed. Meanwhile, the first wave of smart home and voice assistant technologies are hitting the market.

When thinking about the ideal tech stack, it would be a mistake to assume that all vacation rental management companies are alike. To better understand each client’s need, we segment the market into three broad categories, each with its own goals and tech requirements.

During the call, we discuss how we expect to see a professionalization of the vacation rental market and its technology in the coming years. Part of this may include a convergence between hotel and vacation rental technology, though some differences will always remain. We also see the opportunity for modest consolidation and believe that best-in-breed solutions will need to develop a tighter set of industry standards to allow products to speak with each other.

The name of the game, when all these considerations are taken into account, is hospitality. Those vacation rental businesses that can provide an elevated guest experience will see the most success. Key to this vision will developing seamless and scalable technology solutions, so pay close attention to this space.

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Tags: airbnb, alternative accommodations, channel manager, hotel tech, skift research, travel startups, travel tech, vacation rental tech, vacation rentals

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