Having been in the vacation rental property management industry for 12 years, I have seen what can only be described as a tidal wave of change, mostly for the better.
Gone are the days of receiving a fax from a booking agent with a name, age and arrival and departure date. Nothing more than that, until the guest arrived. No clue of what they like, what they expect beyond the basics and the rather odd feeling of knowing an, as yet, faceless family were arriving.
On the flipside, those families, filled with excitement, had nobody to express the real passion and knowledge of the home and surrounding areas to them, that only someone with intimate knowledge of them could describe. Yet everything ticked over, people came and went. But how did we really know what could have made their stay better? What could we have done to wow them? What were their expectations?
Then one of the two most significant things to happen so far, happened to the vacation rental industry. We got to speak to our guests before they arrive. Thanks to sites like vacation rental by owners and homeaway. We got to project our passion to potential guests by means of phone and e-mail. Suddenly, e-mails would come flooding in (if we were lucky) and we were able to answer the questions that a travel agent couldn’t ask. We could help with those expectations, no matter how insane we thought on occasion and the vacation rental experience we now see really began. For home owner and travel.
If homeaway and vacation rentals started the new era, air bnb picked up, swung it around and turned it on its head. They have taken the vacation rental to a whole new level. No doubt the growth had already started, but I feel, the site, with such amazing functionality, helped travellers decide to move away from hotels in their 100,000’s and no doubt millions across the world.
The key to its popularity? instant information and instant, easy communication with the hosts. Whether home owner or vacation rental management company. You are able to message and converse in away not seen before. Everything is available on your mobile or tablet and host and guest can communicate freely during the whole process.
These two significant changes have been the driving force behind many companies operations and truly set the bench mark for improving the content of information and speed of communication and long may it continue.
Where do we go from here? The sky is the limit and I have no doubt that their will be the next big superstar game changer in the future and that sure does excite me.