It’s the $15B question.
When I talk to industry outsiders, I spend a lot of time explaining how Hostfully is different from Airbnb. Not knowing the difference between a booking platform, communications platform, and property management software might seem laughable to industry insiders. But it’s important to realize that we are all part of the same broader market – and that our solutions are inextricably tied to one another.
The “Airbnb effect” on the vacation rental industry has been broad-reaching and transformative. Not only has it made vacation rentals suddenly urban and hip, but it also has dramatically changed the way that consumers expect to book vacation rental properties and consider pricing.
Prior to instant bookings, reserving a house on Cape Cod was a week-long process. It was done via phone with a local agency and accepted as a high-touch, high-support transaction.
Now, consumers expect to be able to book vacation rental properties like they do on Hotels.com — or — Airbnb. This has pushed vacation rental managers to automate and respond more quickly. And it puts stress on the personalized, service-oriented model.
This extra hassle does come with its rewards. In 2014, Piper Jaffray estimated that the vacation rental industry will grow from $101B to $285B over 10 years. It also estimated that 50% of the world’s vacation rental revenue was collected offline.
It’s easy to agree that online bookings will continue to grow (with HomeAway and Airbnb leading the pack). But what about the internal tools that vacation rental companies use to maximize revenue and run their business? What will happen in the vacation rental software market? Will it too see the same explosive growth?
Here at Hostfully, we believe it will. That’s why we’re investing in creating software that makes it easier for vacation rental companies to do business.
Our property management software helps companies distribute their listings across multiple channels, and connect to pricing and payment tools, and our guest communications platform helps them create beautiful digital guidebooks that improve the guest experience.
We often get asked – what’s the size of your market? How many companies really need software? Aren’t the current tools enough? Why can’t vacation rental companies just use off-the-shelf products built for other industries?
We believe that the needs of vacation rental companies are unique and that they deserve better.
We’re excited to share with you this market study on the sizing of vacation rental software market. It’s a compilation of public and private data that shows just how large and robust the market is for vacation rental management software.
We’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this report. Do you think this is an overestimate or underestimate? Do you agree with our assumptions?
It’s an exciting time to be part of an industry that is maturing at such a rapid pace. And we’re thrilled to be part of this groundbreaking change within the vacation rental industry.
CEO & Co-Founder, Hostfully