Looking to introduce new tech in your short-term rentals but don’t know where to start? Here are some key prop tech stats, so that you have concrete numbers driving your decisions.
October 10, 2022
Over the past decade, more and more short-term rental businesses started looking to tech as the future of property management. Software such as channel managers and property management systems are already considered indispensable to running smooth operations by the majority in the industry. The Covid-19 pandemic further accelerated this tech transformation, with hosts and PMs turning to smart locks and noise sensors to guarantee safety and security.
We now find ourselves in a vibrant STR tech ecosystem with the number of service providers growing daily. That makes it difficult to know where to begin, and how to keep up with new technologies. In this article, we arm you with some key property tech stats, so that you have concrete numbers driving your decisions - whether you’re just starting to build your tech stack or looking to expand it.
74% of property management companies use a channel manager
Let’s start with software. According to Rentals United, 74% of property management companies use a channel manager and 98% of all large property managers (with 100+ properties) use a PMS.
Property management software has become a must-have in the vacation rental industry, as it helps property managers sync their booking channels, automate guest communication, and optimize operations.
There is a great variety of PMS providers out there, and all of them cater to their niche: serviced apartments, Airbnb hosts, large PMs… Picking one can be overwhelming. We recommend you begin by asking other hosts in your community: what do they use and are they happy with it? You can also read case studies to figure out which tool is right for you.
Also consider how easy it is to connect the software with the rest of your stack. The last thing you want is to have five or six systems that don’t integrate with each other.
83% of travelers prefer contactless and digitized experiences
We estimate that automating the check-in experience can save hosts and property managers up to 100 hours per year. What about the guests? According to Guesty, 83% of travelers prefer contactless and digitized experiences.
Most guests are used to contactless check-ins and the flexibility they afford, so not offering this option is a real disadvantage. If you don’t already have smart locks in place, start looking into them (or smart key boxes as a minimum.)
Smart locks are also a safer alternative to keys, as the access codes can be unique to each guest, timed, and, unlike keys, they cannot be copied for later use.
If you’re worried about the things that can go wrong when sending the check-in instructions and lock codes to each guest individually (for example, sending the wrong code and leaving the guest without access), you can always automate this process by integrating your lock with another system. For example, Minut can send the codes automatically to your guests if you have a Nuki or Igloohome lock.
$1,620 is the average cost of damage caused by guests
While we’re on the topic of security, noise and unauthorized parties can be a real threat to your business. Both in material terms, with the average cost of damage and lost revenue estimated at $1,620, and immaterial with the strain they put on your relationships with neighbors and homeowners, and on your reputation.
In our pilot program in Prague, Czechia, we found that 44% of hosts and property managers had received at least one noise complaint in the past. Our research also shows that on average, there’s a noise issue in 2 out of every 5 rentals each month.
Noise and unauthorized parties pose a real threat to your business. In addition to being costly, they also put a strain on your relationships with neighbors and homeowners. Property tech, such as noise or occupancy sensors, can help you mitigate the risk and keep your home safe remotely.
Don’t lose sight of guest privacy. For indoor areas, you should always choose a cameraless device. The Minut sensor, for example, monitors noise, occupancy, and other factors such as motion, without recording any personal information.
Consider how versatile the sensor is before committing. Does it just monitor noise or offer you a broader insight into your rental, with additional features such as occupancy, motion and temperature tracking? If you’re operating in multiple markets, is it available globally? And does it integrate with the tools you already use?
78% of global travelers intend to stay in a sustainable property
Sustainability is a topic that is beginning to touch all areas of our lives, including travel. According to booking.com, 78% of global travelers intend to stay in a sustainable property at least once in the coming year.
Start with small steps. We suggest saving energy, as it brings down your carbon footprint and your bills at the same time.
If you don’t have one already, get a smart thermostat. We estimate that just by automating your AC to turn off when guests leave, you can save around $150 per year (or more if your rental is located in an area with high energy costs). It will also save up to 645 kg of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions yearly. Looking for a ready-made solution? Minut integrates with tado°’s AC control.
Remember to opt for environmentally-conscious suppliers. Do they have an ESG policy? Are the devices energy-efficient? Is the packaging eco-friendly? These small things can add up to keep your footprint low.
51% of property management companies have an in-house IT team
Finally, you might be worrying about how labor-intensive installing and maintaining your tech stack will be. According to Guesty, 51% of property management companies have an in-house IT team.
The data shows that adopting the right tech stack is crucial to running a profitable VR business. However, it doesn’t necessarily require a lot of time or specialist knowledge. Most tools nowadays only take a few minutes to install, have user-friendly web and mobile apps, and are easily customizable. So you don’t need to hire a big IT team unless you want to build custom solutions from scratch.
If you do want to make the tech work as efficient as possible, take advantage of integrations. Assemble a stack that either natively integrates with each other or offers other ways of making the connections, for example via Zapier or API Access.
Building the right tech stalk doesn’t have to be a long, burdensome process. You just need to choose the right tools for your business. We hope that our data helps you make an informed decision.