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We know that to succeed in this fast-paced short-term rental industry, businesses must keep their finger on the pulse: what’s new? What are people talking about? What’s trending? This is why we think it’s so vital to attend industry events such as in-person conferences.

The VRMA (Vacation Rental Management Association) International Conference 2022 was recently held in Las Vegas. Our sales team, Nate Wysk, and James Netska were among the 2,600 people that attended the most anticipated short-term rental conference of the year.

For the first time in show history, tickets for the conference were completely sold out – reaching record levels. Our team agreed it was great to see so many industry friends, partners, and contacts face to face – it was energizing!

5 key takeaways from VRMA International 2022

1. Consolidation continues in the industry

A hot topic at the conference was consolidation within the short-term rental industry. As institutional investments into the space increase, we’ll continue to see professionalization throughout the sector. Some long-time smaller operators may decide to exit the industry now as operations and the economic climate becomes more challenging. Whereas larger-scale professional operators know that technology is what allows them to scale.

Because of this, we expect to see increased adoption of tech in the sector, including smart home tech and property automation technology. Tech is going to move further to the forefront of day-to-day operations.

2. Smart tech stack building is key to growth

Smart home tech has boomed in recent years. The number of solutions on the market are increasing, with a recent study showing the average number of devices per home is up 10% year over year. But as with anything, quality holds more importance than quantity. As we enter a challenging 12-24 months with uncertain economic headwinds, property managers are looking to refine their tech stacks and are rightly taking their time to thoroughly assess the tools they invest in.

This trend feeds into the first, consolidation, as we may see smaller, less experienced, tech companies lose traction as businesses choose to invest in reliable, long-term tech players.

3. Guest communication is a top priority

The industry continues to focus on the experience of the guest. This is especially true now as guest expectations from properties and property managers are ever increasing. Because of this, we should expect to see more guest communication tools, such as messaging apps, guides, and welcome books, on the horizon in the coming months. These technologies will primarily focus on delivering the best guest experience.

4. Tech steps up to face regulatory issues

In terms of tech devices, there’s going to be a new drive toward tech that addresses regulatory pressures. For example, issues surrounding occupancy or noise can affect a property’s rentability in a certain area or community. These technologies will help prevent major business inconveniences like being fined or having a permit taken away.

First, we need to raise awareness of these issues within the industry. Next, we’ll start to see increased management of enhanced control and protection of short-term rentals using smart home technology, such as noise monitoring devices.

Speaking of which… the PointCentral team gave VRMA attendees a sneak peak at our upcoming Smart Noise Monitor™ which received huge interest from existing and new clients and is available for pre-order now.

5. Operational efficiency is more important than ever

Despite the strong demand for short-term rentals, with September recording a 24% increase year over year, economic uncertainty persists. As property managers step up to this challenge, we’ll see wider adoption of technology designed to streamline operational efficiency. For example, smart access devices enable managers and teams to stay up-to-date and connected during short-term rental turnover processes, helping businesses reduce inefficiencies and overheads.

As the short-term rental sector continues to show promise, property managers will lean even more on smart home technology to remain competitive in the coming year. Facing consolidation in the industry and economic headwinds, managers must make all-important decisions about the technology tools they invest in, how to operate within regulations, and how to reduce operational overheads in a time of increasing energy costs.

If you’re trying to build a short-term rental tech stack or are interested in our upcoming product release, please get in touch here.