Last month the iGMS team was thrilled to visit the biggest and most renowned event in the short-term rental industry – the VRMA International Conference. Each year the event is hosted by VRMA (Vacation Rental Management Association). This non-profit organization strives to elevate the industry and ensure superior guest and homeowner experiences through education.
Held in New Orleans from October 13th to 16th, this year’s conference welcomed more than 2,000 attendees. The event brought together vacation rental property managers, short-term rental experts, thought leaders, and vendors from across the globe. It seemed like every company in the vacation rental industry made a point of attending the conference this year!
The iGMS team spent four exceedingly busy days at the conference. We gained plenty of insight, built our knowledge and met lots of interesting and like-minded people. We’re keen to share our overall impressions and key takeaways with you.
You couldn’t help but pick up on the friendly atmosphere at the VRMA Conference. All attendees were encouraged to communicate and connect. Surprisingly, it didn’t feel like a place where you had to go all out just to stand out. It felt more like a harbor for new collaborations and integrations. We made the most of every minute, taking the time to catch up with our partners and meet new friends from the short-term vacation rental industry.
We were pleased to meet our partner and friend Jasper Ribbers, and together we talked about our future plans and collaborations. We learned that Jasper (CEO and founder of Get Paid For Your Pad) and Eric Moeller (creator of the Cohost Mastery and host at Airbnb Mastery Summit) are launching a new course for vacation rental managers. The course will provide an amazing opportunity for hosts to learn how to grow their STR profit from real short-term rental industry experts.
No less exciting was our meeting with David Kelso, the founder and CTO of BeyondPricing. We had a productive talk about technology and future integrations. We also had the chance to connect with Michael Goldin from NoiseAware, David Mezuman from WishBox and plenty of other ambitious people involved in the short-term rental industry.
The VRMA International Conference has proven that vacation rental software companies are striving for new partnerships and integrations. With an increasing number of hosts looking for software tools, there’s a need to combine efforts in order to build better solutions. Here at iGMS we believe that the future of the vacation rental market lies in integrations and marketplaces. For this reason, increasing the number of integrations and partnerships is already on our roadmap.
It’s crystal clear that the short-term rental industry is evolving. The number of VRMA Conference visitors illustrated the popularity of this industry. Travel is an attractive prospect, especially among Millenials – who are willing to spend $5,000 plus on a vacation. Moreover, Generation Z is already snapping at the heels of Millenials, and they have a burning desire to travel the world. We all know that old adage – where there’s demand, there’s supply.
Tons of vacation rental properties emerge each day and thousands of property rental listings appear on short-term rental platforms. According to VRMA, at the beginning of 2019, there were 115,000 vacation rental companies worldwide. No doubt, this number has already grown over the past few months, and will continue to grow further!
Though it’s getting harder to find your niche in the competitive market, vacation rental companies continue to materialize. Vacation rental managers need to find their winning strategy and the right software tool to set themselves up for success.
It took some time for rental property managers to realize that scaling their business is easier and faster with automation. Now companies in the short-term rental industry are obsessed with choosing the best solution on the market.
Vacation rental owners prefer to make their selection carefully. They don’t want to rush in and are ready to dig deep to see exactly what each tool does. One of the major factors is the ability of a software solution to deliver high ROI and simplify numerous routine operations. Vacation rental managers are searching for all-in-one solutions that eliminate the need to employ multiple vendors to manage different aspects of their business.
Companies are trying to figure out how to thrive and grow in the overcrowded short-term rental market and have already acknowledged the importance of using innovative tools. Consequently, vacation rental managers are open to innovation and are ready to move away from “old school” software tools. Here at iGMS innovation is at the forefront of what we do. Our software helps hosts to handle multiple tasks and operations while enhancing the guest experience. We were pleased that so many conference attendees showed interest in iGMS and were curious to learn more about our software.
Many of the VRMA Conference attendees would agree that apart from networking opportunities, the event enabled us to gain useful knowledge and skills. The conference grows in popularity year on year, with more and more industry leaders and influencers joining in the event. This time conference visitors had the chance to chat with world-class vacation rental industry professional Simon Lehmann. The iGMS team was lucky enough to meet Simon in person.
VRMA strives to help vacation rental professionals to strengthen their business, therefore, educational sessions have become an essential part of the event. This year’s conference offered over 60 educational sessions, featuring the latest vacation rental trends and insights.
As a leader in our industry and knowing all the headaches faced by hosts, iGMS had to get involved in the action!
At one of the educational hub sessions, our co-founder and CTO, Igor Kostin shared his strategies on how to survive the STR market. If you missed the presentation – watch the video from the conference and explore the strategies for yourself.
The VRMA International Conference 2019 was a fantastic event for everyone in the short-term rental industry. There’s no better place to meet your partners, friends, and customers in person. Events like this enable visitors to stay on top of the market trends and discover where the industry is headed. The enthusiasm and energy at the conference were contagious and we all left with a renewed sense of purpose and drive.
We are looking forward to the next VRMA International Conference and hope to meet you there in 2020!