Over the last two years, the short-term rental (STR) industry has exploded with increased consumer demand and a large amount of media attention resulting from Airbnb’s IPO, Expedia and Booking.com’s focus on vacation rentals, and industry-wide consolidation. Further, high growth and lucrative exits are attracting significant outside investment. The vacation rental industry is undisputedly the hottest sector of travel, with many vacation rental companies seeing 50%+ increases in gross revenue in 2021.
As a result, professional STR management companies are swiftly becoming more advanced, technology-enabled, and efficient as they compete for both homeowner contracts and guests. In the traditional leisure-based vacation rental industry, older independent operators are weighing selling their companies as investment buyers flood into the sector seeking to capture market share via acquisitions. And the emergence of SPACS have allowed companies that haven’t achieved profitability (e.g., Sonder and Vacasa) to move toward public offerings with less scrutiny.
Looking to the hotel industry as an example, short-term rental management companies have discovered revenue management strategies to help them take advantage of the influx of demand. No longer holding to static seasonal nightly and weekly rates, companies in the sector are quickly transitioning to dynamic revenue management strategies that mirror other travel verticals. However, the percentage of STR companies using tech solutions for revenue management is still small, and technology companies are racing to meet this emerging industry need.
In Charleston, SC, next week, nine of these technology companies are entering an arena to introduce new functionality for STR companies at the Vacation Rental Data and Revenue Management (DARM) Conference Battleground sponsored by RevPARTY. Expedia Group is keeping an eye on the new industry dynamics and reached out to sponsor award recognitions at the conference, which will include a 2021 Innovation Award and a People’s Choice DARM Battleground Award. The DARM Battleground will be held on Aug 17 and 18, at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston. In addition to the battleground, Expedia Group is sponsoring the 2021 DARM Pioneer Award and the 2021 Vacation Rental Revenue Manager of the Year.
DARM Battleground Presentations
Below is a preview of what attendees and judges will be viewing during the upcoming DARM Battleground sponsored by RevPARTY.
Art, Rented’s Automated Rate Tool with Andrew McConnell
Rented provides technology, tools, and services to help vacation rental pros optimize their portfolio of properties. Art, Rented’s Automated Rate Tool, is the only dynamic pricing software built for and by professional short-term rental revenue managers. With Art, your in-house specialists are empowered to set the right price for every property with intelligent rate recommendations and easy custom adjustments. For companies that need hands-on support, our Revenue Management Service provides a dedicated revenue manager who specializes in handling every detail: setting prices, monitoring performance, and making custom adjustments.
DemandIQ by Key Data with Melanie Brown
DemandIQ by Key Data is the lodging industry’s first product for capturing true, real-time, forward-looking traveler demand data. To date, we have all relied upon booking data to reflect traveler demand. While this tells the picture of the demand you captured, it doesn’t tell the full story about the demand you failed to capture or the market-level demand that never made it your way. With this new product, we will be able to offer clear insights into the full demand picture.
MarketMinder by AirDNA with Scott Shatford
AirDNA is presenting MarketMinder, its flagship platform for short-term rental data and analytics. In addition to its market intelligence tools, this battleground session will focus on two aspects of MarketMinder: My Properties, a tool where vacation rental hosts and managers can onboard properties, create custom comp sets, and benchmark themselves against the competition; and Smart Rates, a new tool to push automated pricing to their listings.
Portfolio Analytics by PriceLabs with Oliver Marczynski
Portfolio Analytics by PriceLabs provides a convenient way to visualize internal booking data and helps identify opportunities to increase revenue. Intuitive charts make it easy to see portfolio and group performance at a glance without losing track of individual listings which might require additional attention. Pair Portfolio Analytics with our Market Dashboards to compare your booking trends against similar listings in the market and automate pricing adjustments to respond to patterns in bookings with our Dynamic Pricing tool for a full revenue management solution. Connect via our 50+ PMS partners or internal API and unlock actionable booking trends in minutes, free of charge.
RevMax with Desiree Garcia and Maureen Shilling
RevMax partners with data experts to offer market and business intelligence to help with pricing strategies. RevMax offers distribution channel management, nightly minimum management, as well as automated incremental revenue generation. Along with all of the tools to build an effective pricing strategy, the experienced RevMax team also offers consulting services for those companies that need some help to capitalize on the tools. RevMax is now open to non-Streamline clients, so it’s the perfect time to talk to the team to find out how they can help increase the bottom line.
Shopping Cart Abandonment by NAVIS with Amir Rashid
The NAVIS Shopping Cart Abandonment (SCA) tool works behind the scenes capturing stay and contact details entered by guests as they search and explore options on your booking engine. Once a guest enters their email, all previously entered stay and contact data are sent to the lead form, even if the reservation isn’t made. With up to 80% of guests abandoning their shopping carts, SCA brings the lead data back to the vacation rental company and allows them to convert up to 30% of their abandoned web traffic leveraging highly personalized outbound emails and calling from captured data.
Track Property Management Software with Michelle Marquis
Effective revenue management is about more than just unit pricing. In addition to giving PMs the ability to flexibly set and configure unit pricing and integrate with third-party dynamic-pricing providers, TRACK provides tools to optimize fees―the second largest revenue driver for most PMs. TRACK’s fee configurability gives PMs the power to overcome competitor commission-rate threats in retaining homeowners, package fees optimally to work within each channel’s limitations, and insulate against one our industry’s biggest negatives―being “fee’d to death” after choosing a home on rent alone. Once fees are built in Track, PMs establish business rules for automatically mass-applying them by unit type, location, reservation types, channels, etc., eliminating much of the manual work typically required to optimize this important revenue source.
Trip Manager by LMPM with Sean Raftree
LMPM is next-generation property management software for vacation rentals. LMPM’s powerful Trip Manager can boost your revenue management strategy so you’re measuring RevPOR, not just RevPAR. Supplement your rate strategy by including additional services and experiences to generate ancillary revenue before and during the stay, monetize owner stays, and provide merchandizing benefit on channels.
Wheelhouse Pro with Andrew Kitchell
Wheelhouse will be introducing a few features from their newest platform, Wheelhouse Pro. Wheelhouse’s goal is to bring transparency and auditability to pricing engines in the accommodations space. Their newest toolset will demonstrate that ambition and illustrate the power and control that revenue managers can have with more transparency around how a pricing engine is working.