The time has come to vote for the most innovative startup in the vacation rental industry.
For the fifth consecutive year, the VRTECH Startup Competition, sponsored by Rentals United and Howzat Partners, brings the most innovative young startups into the limelight.
Out of twenty contenders, three finalists will be selected, by:
1. Public vote
2. A panel of expert judges (we will announce who they are soon – stay tuned!)
3. A panel of experienced vacation rental managers
The three finalists (one chosen in each round) will present their business in front of industry professionals at the Vacation Rental World Summit 2021 in Annecy, France, on the 16th-17th of September.
Below, we reveal this year’s contenders, in no particular order, and explain how they are revolutionising the short-term rental industry.
Voting is open until July 15th, so now’s your time to vote for your favourite startup!
HQ: Atlanta, GA, USA
Rented is a revenue management platform with its own automated rate tool called Art.
With Art, property managers can create an optimised pricing strategy based on data and be sure they’re setting the right price for every property, every night.
The tool integrates with your PMS and helps your team save time with recommended nightly rates which you can adjust as needed.
If you need revenue management services, you can also access a dedicated revenue manager. They specialise in setting prices, monitoring performance, and making custom adjustments.
2. Ok Home
HQ: Florence, Italy
Managing the daily operations of short-term rentals takes a lot of time and energy, but Ok Home has created a solution to automate the process.
The tool offers a remote check-in service and management system. Guests can check themselves in, even without smartphones or internet access.
Self-check-in uses radio frequencies rather than Bluetooth, creating a more stable connection.
The tool offers a virtual reception desk, home automation, and remote access for property managers. You can control many aspects of the home remotely, allow entry to guests and service providers, and control utilities and consumption.
You can also process documentation through the tool and complete guest documentation, rental agreements, and more.
HQ: Málaga/Sevilla, Spain
With Turbosuite, you can optimise your pricing and distribution strategy to increase your bookings. The SaaS tool handles revenue management for the vacation rental industry.
The tool uses big data to analyse past and present booking trends in the market to make reliable forecasts and price predictions.
They also provide dynamic pricing, market studies and channel comparison, helping property managers get the best performance from their portfolio.
HQ: Atlanta, GA, USA
Mendbnb helps vacation rental property managers deal with repairs and maintenance quickly and efficiently. This helps save money and time on repairs and service calls and reduces guest inconvenience.
The service provides coverage, so any time you need to call out a professional you won’t have to spend hours searching for the best provider. Property managers can use Mendbnb’s trusted tradespeople and get someone out to your property quickly.
You have access to free, unlimited service calls that most handyman service providers would charge for.
If you haven’t yet, read our blog post on the top vacation rental maintenance tools.
HQ: Sacramento, CA, USA
Buoy is the first completely automated revenue management system for vacation rentals. They have moved beyond base rates and use a global index of vacation rentals and hotels to help you set the best price.
Beacon is their free automated report on vacation rental performance, which gives you access to the most important revenue information on your smartphone every morning.
The Pro package includes a dashboard, benchmarking data, and access to Buoy’s fully automated and dynamic rate-setting algorithm.
HQ: Toronto, Canada
Autohost is a guest-screening security solution that scans, ranks and analyses every reservation, pinpointing risks and giving you actionable recommendations.
From inquiry to check-in, they continually assess changes and give you suggestions on how to respond to specific situations. The tool can help you avoid parties, fraud, chargebacks, crime, and damage to your property.
Using machine learning and behavioral checks, Autohost has created a scalable process to review your guests and keep your properties safe.
It automates ID verifications, background and credit checks, security deposits, and more, helping you reduce insurance premiums, improve the guest experience and grow your portfolio.
HQ: Lecce, Italy
ICONN is a Saas tool for upselling that can help you increase the number of services sold during your guests’ stay.
It comes with the Qube device which is designed to attract your guests’ attention and add a touch of elegance to your property. It’s available in two versions: with a custom QR code or integrated NFC technology.
You can use ICONN to create your own nano sites for each different service that you offer. It’s available in multiple languages and you can also invite your staff to access the platform.
HQ: Baltimore, MD, USA
Vintory is the first and only CRM and Sales & Marketing Automation Platform that was designed exclusively to help vacation rental managers grow their inventory.
Instead of focusing on increased occupancy or charging more per night, Vintory believes that the best way for property managers to boost profit and grow their business faster is by acquiring more properties.
To find out more about this platform, check out our post about growing your vacation rental inventory with Vintory.
Ekeynow is a cloud-based, contactless check-in solution for the hospitality industry. It’s designed to make keyless entry fast and simple, saving time for property managers and creating a smoother guest experience.
With a simple three-step process, property managers can deposit a key or entry card in a lockbox. You then send an authorisation code to your guest via email, and they can unlock the box and access their keys.
10. Saba Host
HQ: Macao, S.A.R of the People’s Republic of China
SABA Host is an automated guest communication tool. It functions like a virtual property manager, who is there to answer all guest questions, give recommendations, and provide instructions whenever needed.
Your guests don’t need to download an app. They can type questions into their phone, and receive answers quickly from the chatbot.
SABA Host can take care of all your guests’ needs without you having to step in every time. The tool can also direct guests towards recommended attractions on the map and upsell extras like late check-out or concierge services.
Learn more about enhancing your guest communication with SABA Host.
HQ: Tel Aviv, Israel
If you’re looking for ways to increase your vacation rental income from every booking, Spinmor can help. This vacation rental upselling tool allows guests to purchase unique items and souvenirs during their stay at your property.
You can create a physical space in the rental to display products and allow guests to select items they like and pay remotely with the Spinmor app. The Spinmor Operator Platform also lets you track and monitor sales.
12. Booker Tools
HQ: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Booker Tools is a collection of tools including property management software, revenue management, and a direct booking engine for your website. It helps you centralise your bookings calendar and guest communication all in one place.
They also offer live support and consulting from a team of vacation rental professionals.
13. Enso Connect
HQ: Toronto, Canada
Enso Connect helps you manage your property on autopilot with smart home devices and AI communication.
The tool integrates with your existing technologies to improve the experience for both guests and property managers.
Enso Connect can welcome your guests, respond to questions throughout their stay, and even monitor noise and detect smoke in the property. It can also handle the check-out process and send your cleaning team straight out to your property once it’s empty.
HQ: London, UK
Airbtics gives you access to all the data you need to grow your property management business.
Their analytics solutions provide deep insight into your market and help with planning, strategising, and forecasting.
You can use their pricing tool to set ideal rates and make business decisions based on accurate and in-depth data.
HQ: Milwaukee, WI, USA
Washbnb is the only linen and laundry subscription service built exclusively for short-term rental managers. They aim to help property managers eliminate laundry from their list of tasks by outsourcing the whole service.
Guests will benefit from luxury, hotel-quality bed sheets and bath towels delivered weekly. Managers can save time and effort, and rest assured that laundry and linen will be taken care of.
HQ: Delaware, USA
Hostify is an all-in-one solution for property managers that provides a unified OTA inbox, booking engine, automation, multi-calendar, task management, WordPress integration, analytics, owner dashboard, invoicing and more.
The tool helps rental owners and property managers to automate their operations processes, connect data from multiple channels, and streamline their daily tasks to grow their business.
17. GuestView Guide
HQ: Sunnyvale, CA, USA
GuestView Guide is a wall-mounted digital guidebook that helps vacation rental managers earn more. It helps you earn more from each booking by upselling services like late check-out and other extras.
You can offer restaurant and activity recommendations and save time by providing important information about the local area and property.
Guests can interact with the guidebook on their own without needing to contact the host.
HQ: New York City, NY, USA
StayFi helps property managers capture guest data so they can grow their brand, deliver a more personalised experience and increase direct bookings.
The tool uses wifi splash pages that appear when guests sign in to the wifi network. Property managers can use StayFi to customise these pages, enabling them to capture guest data and redirect them to their website.
Read our blog post where we talk about StayFi’s innovative Wifi marketing solution.
HQ: London, United Kingdom
Klevio can turn any lock into a smart lock that can be controlled by a property manager from anywhere, at any time, with the click of a button.
The keyless entry tool means property managers can share access from anywhere in the world using their smartphones.
It’s a smart intercom device that lets you unlock multiple doors with your mobile phone. It works with both private and communal doors, offering a smart lock solution both for apartments and businesses.
20. Angel Host
HQ: Montreal, Canada
Angel Host is a rental maximisation service helping property managers around the world outperform the rest of the market.
Property managers can reduce their workload and let Angel Host handle the management of listings, pricing, and reservations. They also craft high-converting listings with professional writing and photos.
AngelHost’s team of revenue managers uses algorithms to create a customised pricing strategy that is monitored and adjusted daily. They can also manage guest inquiries and reservations.