Days ahead of the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) International Conference—and with data and revenue management at the forefront of discussions—the industry’s trade association announced it has cancelled its VRMA Insights data offering for members.
The VRMA Insights data platform was provided free to members through a commercial partnership with LSI Tools, and the tool allowed VRMA members to compare their businesses’ KPIs against the market in destinations where LSI had enough aggregated data to ensure anonymity.
In its announcement, VRMA cited Inhabit IQ’s recent investment in LSI as the primary reason for cutting ties.
According to the VRMA website, “Based on recent developments—specifically the announcement of LSI Tools becoming part of Vacation Brands/Inhabit IQ, an entity comprised of multiple technology organizations in this space including a property management company—VRMA feels it is in the best interest of all parties to end the partnership that is VRMA Insights powered by LSI Tools. We want to thank LSI Tools for helping to launch this innovative product, as well as the many property management software companies who supported VRMA by working with LSI Tools to make this program possible.”
The post continued, “When the VRMA Board of Directors started talking about what became VRMA Insights back in March 2016, there weren’t any products on the market that could do what VRMA Insights currently does. VRMA—along with our partners at LSI—is pleased that we could be at the forefront of providing actionable data that was previously unavailable to professional property managers.”
In 2016, the VRMA launched a task force led by board member Scott Leggat to research the data options for the association. According to VRMA executive chairman, Mike Copps, “The task force was launched around looking at—and expanding the functionality of—the Geoanalytics tool, which had been in existence for years and was driven by VRMA in partnership with NAVIS.” By 2017, the company now known as Key Data Dashboard (then VRM Dashboard) had developed technology and integrations that launched on the same schedule as the LSI/VRMA Insights platform. That product was presented to the board of directors in April 2017.
Edited to correct dates. The VRM Dashboard presentation to VRMA was in 2017, not 2016, and the RFP and subsequent selection also occurred in 2017.
After that meeting, the VRMA’s task force sent out a request for proposals (RFP) to industry technology companies. The board selected LSI’s proposal in late 2017; and as part of the agreement, VRMA paid $75,000 to LSI, and LSI provided the tool to VRMA members for free.
Over the last three years, comparative data products have been widely adopted in the industry, with companies like Key Data, LSI, Transparent, AirDNA, Destimetrics and STR Global gaining market share and developing new products and deeper integrations throughout the industry. Key Data alone is now providing market data to over 600 vacation rental managers and DMOs in the US and is expanding into Europe.
“VRMA is still committed to the original intentions of the program,” the website post continued. “We were—and are—committed to thought leadership in this space, and having access to industry data that will further our efforts around education and advocacy, the pillars of our great organization. We are also committed building and driving value for our members. We will continue to explore the best avenues to accomplish these goals.”
The Insights project will continue to grow and add property managers under the LSI Tools banner and will continue to be offered at no charge to VRMA members. According to LSI Tools president Lynell Eaddy, “LSI will continue to stay on the cutting edge of new functionality and grow Insights. We stand behind our commitment to bring the Insight analytics and tools to VRMA membership. We’re excited to introduce new features for Insights during the next year and are grateful for the enthusiastic adoption of Insights by the vacation rental community.”
Leaders from LSI, Key Data, AirDNA, Transparent and Destimetrics will be speaking at the upcoming VRMA International Conference next week in New Orleans.