Software applications for Vacation Rental Managers (VRMs) are in the very early days. If we compared it to the auto industry, I'd put it in the days before Henry Ford. If we compared it to the personal computer industry, I'd put it in the days before Steve Jobs. In other words, there may be good individual parts, but there's hardly a product (yet).
Most software companies are competing with one another on the same features, which is understandable since most of them still don't do them well. Over 50 companies are claiming to be "Property Management Software" (PMS) for vacation rentals starting to provide "Channel Manager"(CM) features, and over 20 CMs which are starting to provide PMS features. We have many "Airbnb Automation" companies, which don't really automate much within Airbnb and they're obviously out of touch with reality since most managers live in a multi-channel world.
We at newhaus.io have tested over 30 PMS/ CM combinations and continue to test newcomers continuously. To test the software, you have to go all in - upload your property data, connect it to channels, provide check-in details, payments, and much more. You can't just set up an account and browse through it, and decide if it is a good software or not. We thoroughly check companies on their features, promises, and support. Most companies have the features they say they do, a few of them are reliable, and almost all fail on customer support.
Software companies assume that their users and tech-savvy and love technology, have unlimited time, and love to read knowledge-base articles instead of talking to people. In other words, there is a steep learning curve for every software application and setting it up requires both time and technical knowledge. We've found that many managers get excited to try an app, and soon after realize it is causing them more headache than help. It is creating more complexity in their daily workflow.
We at newhaus.io believe that software apps will continue to improve in reliability, but they will not grow in overall simplicity to use. Most software apps are started and run by tech people who get excited a lot more about solving a technological problem than solving a hospitality workflow problem or real estate management problem. For the problem to be addressed and resolved, the focus needs to be on system design (and not features).
To design a system is a very different process than making a software application. A system covers many more operations than any single application and requires integrating many applications, which makes the user experience design even more difficult. It will lead to bad, good, and great system designs. It will be no different than the auto or computer industry with clear differentiation among them.
newhaus.io is 100% focused on creating the best system for the industry, and we're committed to using the best software applications. Our goal is to require no upfront effort from our users, and no learning. We provide 24/7/365 customer service with full support from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This focus and goal is a moving target, and we improve it every day. We're nowhere near being "perfect," but we do believe we have something unique that brings an enormous amount of value to our users.
We hope that more companies will do the same so that more managers can focus on validating the vacation rental industry and bring more travelers to it. The more we do this, the more we "grow the pie" and it will be better for everyone. The more we spend time learning how to process a booking.com payment and reservation, and how to list on Expedia.com the longer it will take for the industry to develop. We can no longer afford to spend our days typing repetitive messages, emails, and creating schedules for cleaners.
Let us know how we can be of help to you by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone.