Up-and-Coming Vacation Rental Platforms Surge as Summer Heats Up


It’s not just about the screening, it’s about providing service early on in the booking experience. Many property managers feel that the experience they offer to guests begins with the first phone call.

Summer is in full swing and the vacation rental industry is busy with its seasonal travel rush. However, beneath the surface remains turmoil as the industry writhes with the changes forced upon it by the largest listing platforms.

In the past twelve months property owners and managers have watched “Direct Bookings” evolve from an option, to a suggestion, to a mandatory requirement. Phone numbers have disappeared, emails and links have been redacted from in-platform messaging, and whispers percentage based listing fees are now in the air.

Although many property owners and managers are taking to the web to voice their dissatisfaction, concern, and frustrations with such changes; the changing landscape is providing opportunities for up-and-coming vacation rental platforms.

Take vacayrx.com for example. The small, Jackson Hole, WY based start-up has recently rocketed past 1,000 live property listings and boasts properties in more than 30 US States. The majority of such listings belong to small-to-mid sized property managers throughout the country, and are largely a result of growing fears that property management services will be hindered by the lack of direct communication between managers and prospective guests pre-booking.

For high-touch property managers, such fears are justified, as the preclusion of phone calls and direct emails pre-booking can result in higher risks of damage, theft, and neighborhood disruption. While some users remain optimistic that these risks are minimal, the reality remains that the elimination of such communication makes guest screening nearly impossible.

Property managers are most likely to bear the brunt of these changes as guest screening is one of the services promised to the homeowners who entrust them with access to their homes. Problem guests that are not sniffed out in advance have proven to be extremely damaging to the reputation of management companies and horror stories of raucous parties and neighborhood degradation can lead to reduced property counts, bad…

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