David Jacoby and Margot Schmorak, co-founders of Hostfully [Credit: Hostfully]

Takeaways from Hostfully’s 2019 Annual Hospitality Report

US: End-to-end property management platform Hostfully has released its Annual Hospitality Report for 2019, which aims to address the growing challenges and competition in vacation rental hospitality in a series of key takeaways.

By gathering data from 220 vacation rental professionals about the trends and growing complexity facing the industry, the company has compiled a number of essential takeaways in its report.

The data gathered shows that managers need to become more sophisticated in how they solve different problems in their business. This is a result of the degree of competition increasing, the number and types of software solutions increasing, and guest expectations continually rising.

According to the report, it is becoming harder than ever for vacation rental managers to navigate the technology landscape with competition on the rise. For that reason, it is seeking to analyse what the top managers are doing to succeed in the face of such challenges and how technology is helping them to achieve their growth goals.

The five key takeaways from the annual report are as follows:

  1. Four out of five managers say competition is increasing.
  2. 84 per cent want to offer more hospitality services to their guests than they can today.
  3. Vacation rental managers are changing their growth plans from 2019 to 2020.
  4. What are vacation rental managers doing to grow their business? When asked what is the most important piece of software managers use in their businesses, the most frequent answer was nothing. This highlights the frustration of managers with their current technology solutions.
  5. The most frequently mentioned software tools were Hostfully and Microsoft Suite [Word, Excel and Outlook] with eight per cent of respondents, which was followed by Airbnb [seven per cent], Google / G-Suite and Smartbnb [with five per cent each].

Hostfully president and co-founder, David Jacoby, said: “This is our third year doing the survey and the sample size gets bigger every year and the data more meaningful.  One consistent trend is that property management software still consistently fails on the hospitality side of things.

“PMSs are mostly focused on helping property managers get the reservation but once that reservation is made, property managers want to provide additional services to the guests, and they are unable to through their PMS.  This has been a consistent finding throughout all three years of the survey.

“Another interesting discovery is, well, if you’ve seen the operations of one property manager, you’ve seen the operations of one property manager.  Every property manager has different workflows, different areas of importance, and a wide selection of preferred software.

“In some regards, this shows how new and immature the vacation rental software industry is, but in other regards it celebrates the burgeoning ecosystem and innovation taking place.  One finding is that there are many different pain points, ranging from getting more bookings, to managing cleanings, to guest communications.

“However, those are also areas that have been reported to have gotten easier in the past year.  So, in other words, if a property manager has a pain point and sets their mind on finding the solution, they will likely be successful,” he added.

For more information on takeaways and to access the full report, visit the Hostfully website here.

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