Update: You can now find the Top Suggestions post in which we reveal 12 softwares featured in our results as well as some stand-out softwares here.
On April 9th, we privately released (email list only) a new tool from VRMB Labs™ called The Property Management Software (PMS) Selector Tool.
In short, we believe software is crucial to a successful vacation rental business.
And in order to help people better navigate the (confusing) software ecosystem, we identified the 25 most important features of a PMS and then proceeded to do 100+ hours of anonymous demos and rate the top 30 softwares on the market in each feature. We then compiled all of these ratings into a matrix and utilized a platform called Qualtrics to match the right PMS with your priorities. The resulting tool is an industry game-changer: the first free resource to assess and suggest software without any bias or hidden agenda.
Here is the full announcement verbatim from April 9th (the link is not published anywhere online).
I am pleased to announce the private release of our Property Management Software Selector Tool designed to simplify and expedite the process of choosing the right property management software. Please do not share this link on social media.
Summary: Inner Circle pioneer Terry Whyte loves vacation rental software. He loves doing demos, comparing and contrasting features, and watching our tech landscape grow up. For years, Terry has been fielding private consulting requests in order to match people with the right PMS solution. Over this time, he started to notice patterns and trends. So we decided to compile his findings into a tool that can be shared with the masses. We also decided to do it for free so that any manager, no matter the size or strength, has the chance to find the right solution for them.
The Problem: Every owner and manager has different needs. And every property management software offers varying features (in differing strengths and weaknesses). So finding the right match can be a complicated and overwhelming process. Choose the wrong company and you may feel the pain for years. Neglect to learn about a new company and you may be missing out big time. If you are not using some form of property management software to accept payments and streamline your business, know that it is an integral component of Stage 3 of Listing Site Independence. Said another way, if you don't have one now, you will need one soon.
Our Answer: Since new software arrives to the market regularly and existing software companies are improving their features on a monthly basis we created a dynamic matrix ranking the 25 most important features of the top 30 worldwide software solutions. When paired with a simple survey asking you to prioritize a list of needs, we then match (with transparent percentages of certitude) you with the right solution.
Disclaimers: Before you take the assessment or email us with specific questions or comments (which, by the way, we love) please read the following disclaimer items:
Almost immediately, people started using the tool.
I remember being in an airport in Spain the day the email went out and literally, from the moment I hit send to the moment my plane took off, the tool had something like 150 completions. Over the course of the following month the tool racked up nearly 700 completions and the testimonials from users was precisely what we wanted to hear.
Terry and I were over the moon about the feedback.
All of this validation was great because the primary goal of the project was to help people find the right software for them. We believe every one of the independent owners or managers that used the tool were in a more optimal decision-making position (after using the tool) than they were before.
Nearly 700 completions presented us with some interesting observations about how independent owners and managers were prioritizing each of these features. As a way to further assist everyone who participated, we wanted to share some of our high-level takeaways.
Terry also noticed some big gaps (this is great intel for any PMS providers out there) that showed a serious divide between what was important versus what was available. Here are two of them:
As the completions continue to roll in, we will share how these trends accentuate or change. And we will also continue to update our matrix and our algorithm to reflect updates in softwares (and new softwares to the market).
After all of these completions, we think it would be helpful to share the softwares with the highest frequency of matches. These are the softwares -- based on a confluence of our ratings and the ranked priorities of our participants -- that got suggested the most amount of times!
To Terry and me, these softwares represent an important piece of the vacation rental management puzzle. They are the connector -- the keystone -- of any great vacation rental business. And with the GSV Rollup as reported by Amy Hinote, the time is right!
We'll be revealing these next week to the VRMB email list. And we will even be giving the top-performing softwares some special recognition...
Matt Landau is the Founder of the VRMB and the Inner Circle, two online resources dedicated to helping vacation rental owners and managers generate more bookings.
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