VRMB’s Keystone Awards – VRMB
VRMB
Share The Love

A keystone is the architectural term for a wedge-shaped piece at the crown of an arch or bridge that locks the other pieces in place. We believe this is the perfect metaphor for the right property management software in a vacation rental business.

Using data from 100+ hours of demos, 750+ completions of our PMS Selector Tool, and qualitative feedback that has come in by the droves, we wanted to share the top performers of our first VRMB Labs™ Keystone Awards Series.

Top Suggested Keystone Softwares

It's important to note that we are not presenting these as "the best softwares on the market" (even though we believe they are). Rather, they are statistically the most frequently suggested softwares as defined by our matching algorithm. This is a subtle but important difference. We also reveal some striking in-class differences in audio snippets we have pulled from the full podcast episode here.

We do not have affiliate relationships with any of the softwares, so if you know anyone who works there, ​feel free to let them know they have been featured and we can provide them with a VRMB Keystone Recipient badge ​and/or quotes to use on their website.

​Top ​Suggestions [1-50 Properties, Europe]

​​Top Suggestions [​50+ Properties, Europe]

​Top ​Suggestions [1-50 Properties​, North America]

​Top ​Suggestions [50+ Properties, North America]

Special ​Awards

In our reporting process, there were two up-and-coming softwares that we kept talking about over and over again. We could not (yet) turn this into a full-fledged awards ceremony because no small team could ever hope to speak for the masses. But we did think it would be cool to give these two standout companies some additional recognition because they truly deserve it.

"​Vacation Rental Software of The Future"

This award goes to Track, what Terry ​believes is a new breed of vacation rental software. Track is built on three pillars: a booking engine, a PMS (property management software) and a CRM. This last part (the CRM) is the game-changer because it allows managers to better "own the guest" and build virtual relationships with direct and repeat business. This is a fundamental difference that puts Track in a class of its own.

"Best All-Around ​Vacation Rental Software"

This award goes t​o Hostfully (formerly Orbirental). Terry calls it "one of the best sofwares. period. I have ever seen." Hostfully is the one and only PMS that we believe competes in both the 1-50 property count and the 50+ property count, which is a powerful value proposition to a small PM that is growing fast. No other software came close in this regard. And as if that wasn't enough, Hostfully also happens to be inexpensive -- we don't want people to view it as "a cheap" software, but this value lends Hostfully an almost unfair advantage.

Methodology

To ​produce all of the suggestions you see above, we defined the 25 most important features of a PMS and then proceeded to do demos (with a small team) 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 a user's priorities. We personally oversaw each 'Suggestions' email (to ensure accuracy) and then pulled reports on the most frequent matches across 7​50+ completions.

For those wondering why we only featured Europe and North America:​ location is important because of phone support. Since North America and Europe were the two overwhelming geographical regions our users who completed the tool, we ​didn't have enough data to share from other regions.

​One or Several Softwares?

​One of the other questions that we have heard often is whether it's best to choose one standalone software or to choose multiple softwares that can work together. ​Since there is no single right or wrong answer for this, we ​want to share ​this video from ​our Round-table in Las Vegas in which Mark Driskell asks that very question​...

"​One or Several Softwares" Round-table Discussion

​Special Thanks

We'd like to give special thanks to all the Inner Circle members who helped test the tool and provide feedback before we shared it with the VRMB list. All the technological credit goes to the Dutch magician Sjoerd van Dooren from WX Digital Agency who we challenged with a very complicated project and he somehow figured it out. And lastly thanks to Tom Kaczmarek of TomK Consulting who does this kind of enterprise software consulting for a living and has provided valuable input to us along the way.

What's Next?

In addition to improving the tool into a version 3.0, Terry and I will continue to share our findings as the software landscape evolves. Since we have so much data, we will be working with other Inner Circle members to analyze that data and share more findings: both for owners/managers looking for the right software solution and for software providers looking for a road map for development.

If you ​have any questions or comments, or if you are a software company included above and would like some marketing materials, you can email Matt at VRMB.com or Terry​ at Theislandinthesun.com

About the Author Matt Landau

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.

1 comment

Comments are closed

>