By Amiad Soto is the co-founder and chief executive of Guesty
Last week, at the Vacation Rental Management Association national conference in Orlando, Airbnb co-founder and chief strategy officer Nathan Blecharczyk, announced the debut of Airbnb Host Tools, a suite of tools created for professional property managers to easily integrate multiple listings within the platform. This announcement is seen as Airbnb’s ambitious move to openly court and embrace traditional vacation rental businesses worldwide, a global market estimated to be worth $194 billion in 2021.
Today, (also announced by Nate at the VRMA conference), Airbnb has over 4 million listings on the platform and has facilitated more than 200 million guest check ins. That is more than the 5 largest hotel chains put together. In the US alone, 1 in 3 travellers stayed in private accommodation for work and business travel during 2016, an increase from 1 in 10 during 2011.
The desire for travellers to seek the independence and comforts of an entire property during their travels is showing no signs of slowing down, and in fact, with the rise of millennials as heads of households, and with the expected growth in the Asian market, this is anticipated to continue.
Working with professional property managers rather than individual hosts and owners in the urban short-term rental businesses that have grown up around Airbnb, requires Airbnb to modify their offering and adapt to suit the unique challenges that VR professionals with large listings have.
With Airbnb’s new tools, vacation rental (or holiday letting) management companies can integrate their property management systems, such as Guesty, directly with Airbnb to ensure seamless management and efficiencies.
Up until now, Airbnb has been primarily focused on the short-term rental industry. However, with the release of Airbnb Host Tools, they are finally making moves in the vacation rental industry as well. These tools were created to ease the management of hundreds or even thousands of vacation rental listings. These tools will allow VR managers to create their own community inside of Airbnb, using tools to improve pricing rules, create a listings page, having more accurate and up to date calendars, and communicate with easy unified messaging. These are all areas that professional vacation rental managers have struggled to unify, without a well-developed all-in-one solution.
But something that is still missing with Airbnb’s Host Tools, is a centralised platform for businesses to integrate with other channels, advanced automation flows and saved messaging for guest correspondence. This is something that every professional property manager needs from their property management system. Even though the new host tools are offered by almost every PMS, it is still a significant move for Airbnb, indicating their shift into the VR market. It is a good beginning, but again, just the beginning…
Our cloud based all-in-one software solution, originally built for the urban short-term rental market and now fully embraced by professional vacation rental property managers, is perfectly positioned for providing the software solution for professional vacation rental companies ready to take the Airbnb leap.