Hostfully’s integration with 3rd party channel managers facilitated growth, ended reliance on only one site, and enabled direct bookings. By listing properties on multiple short-term rental sites—including Tripadvisor, Expedia and Booking.com—this large operator added resilience to his business with just a few clicks.
Steve Patterson is the President of Ur Home In Philly (Urhip), a Philadelphia-based short-term and vacation rental management company. With a guest-centric business model, Urhip delivers exceptional value for money.
Urhip brings value to its owner-clients by using technology and software solutions that cut down repetitive tasks, boost efficiency, and keep overhead costs low. If there’s a piece of software that’ll optimize a process, Steve and his team will research and implement it.
Like many vacation rental managers scaling their portfolio, Steve eventually got to a point where manually managing daily operations got too tenuous. At that time, most property management software (PMS) custom-built for vacation rental management had reliability issues. So Steve chose software designed for hotel management. As Steve puts it, “the software worked well enough, and we could list properties on Expedia and Booking.com. But being designed for hotels, it didn’t connect with Airbnb.” To get around this tech limitation, Steve posted his properties on Airbnb and imported Airbnb reservations by hand into his hotel PMS:
Like many other vacation rental managers who make up for tech limitations with manual processes, input mistakes happened. As Steve describes the situation, “Listing on multiple platforms caused occasional double bookings, but it was worth it since Airbnb brought in so many reservations and kept our vacancy rate low.”
As time went on, new vacation rental software solutions came on the market. Urhip was also growing beyond what manual processes could handle. Steve needed to switch to a PMS that could handle both daily operations and multi-channel distribution properly.
And so, Steve took advantage of Hostfully’s integration with the Channel Manager (CM) Rentals United, which expanded distribution options to even more platforms. With the PMP and CM now working in tandem, Urhip had properties listed on:
As expected, pushing distribution via PMP and CM led to a lower vacancy rate. Although most reservations still come from Airbnb, Vrbo and Urhip’s direct booking site, Steve describes the boost in bookings as complementary to the leading platforms. As Steve says, “the extra visibility makes it easier to fill those mid-week vacancies or gaps between longer reservations.”
When asked if using the Rentals United CM in tandem with the Hostfully PMP was worth it, Steve had the following to say: “multi-channel distribution is at the core of what we do. More reservations means more money. So why not take advantage of the tools that help us do that effortlessly?”
Urhip is an example of a company that uses two distribution tools to drive more bookings and decrease vacancies. However, pushing multi-channel distribution to its limit also has other advantages for vacation rental managers such as: