Skift Take

There have been a ton of layoffs in various areas of the short-term rental industry over the last year. Facing headwinds, companies are trimming costs and trying to position themselves to new market conditions.

TravelNet Solutions laid off around 15 employees Thursday, roughly 7.5% of its 200-member workforce, a decision the CEO said was about shifting resources toward engineering and its core property management business.

TravelNet Solutions’ Track property management system for short-term rentals is considered the leading provider to larger U.S. companies in the sector. It provides services for roughly 90,000 units, a former employee told Skift. It competes with solutions such as Escapia, owned by Expedia Group, and LiveRez by Inhabit.

In an interview Friday, CEO Ryan Bailey confirmed the layoff totals, but said the company is investing in engineering hires so the net workforce reduction would ultimately be around 3%.

The layoffs came in the company’s revenue management and digital management services segments. The company isn’t eliminating the software, but some of the personnel who manage services for clients.

TravelNet Is Focusing on Its Core Business

The layoffs came in the company’s revenue management and digital management services segments, both the former employee and Bailey confirmed. So the company isn’t eliminating that software, but fired some of the personnel who managed those services for clients.

“It’s a shift in the way we are shaping TravelNet going forward,” Bailey said. “We are taking those dollars and adding those dollars into more engineers so there will be three times the number of engineers.”

The layoffs mostly affected former employees of two companies that TravelNet acquired in the last few years, namely Rented in 2022 for revenue management, and Gueststream in 2020 for digital services, according to a former employee. The firings included several members of middle management.

Slack Channel Announcement

TravelNet informed employees on its Slack channel Thursday that there would be an all-hands meeting later in the day for all employees who didn’t have a meeting scheduled that morning informing them that were being laid off, the former employee said.

The ex-employee said the company was saying it wanted to remove a director layer to get closer to its customers. “I think that was largely an excuse,” the former employee said.

The former employee said TravelNet traditionally paid employees bonuses and incentives on a quarterly basis, but didn’t for the third quarter. The company did pay one for the fourth quarter, however.

TravelNet Seeks to Invest in Artificial Intelligence

CEO Bailey said the layoffs were part of the process to bring in new product leadership to scale the business. Managed digital services and revenue management were each low-single digit portions of the company’s overall revenue, he said.

Bailey said TravelNet will invest in artificial intelligence to help clients get more efficient and to do more with less.

The company is looking to invest in “what’s going to take you into the future so customers are ahead of their competition, he added.

The former employee and an executive at a well-known property management company claimed that TravelNet clients who relied on the company to manage their revenue management programs were rudderless on Thursday when managers got the ax.

“Companies that relied upon the Rented professional services group under contract woke up with no revenue manager today,” the property management executive said.

Bailey of TravelNet disputed that notion, saying other employees were filling that gap.

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Tags: ai, artificial intelligence, dwell, expedia, layoffs, online travel, online travel newsletter, pms, the prompt, travel tech, vacation rentals, vrbo

Photo credit: A luxury vacation rental in Ashville, North Carolina. Source: TravelNet Solutions/YouTube

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