RentalWise Observations about the VRMA International Conference 2023
The VRMA International Conference 2023, held at Disney Coronado Springs in Orlando, Florida, was nothing short of spectacular. RentalWise is thrilled to be a part of such a vibrant industry, as shown by this amazing event! With over 2,500 attendees and more than 100 vendors showcasing their offerings and properties it was one of the largest events the STR world has seen.
There was a palpable sense of uncertainty in the air, evident by the high number of attendees participating in sessions on revenue management and data interpretation. The hospitality industry has encountered its fair share of ups and downs, with summer proving to be a smoother ride compared to fall. However, this pattern doesn't apply uniformly.
In the luxury market segment, things appear to be flourishing, with those with substantial financial resources continuing to thrive. On the flip side, in more budget-friendly markets, average daily rates (ADR) are on a downward trend, and demand appears to be less predictable. To maintain occupancy, many providers have had to lower their ADR.
Looking ahead to the winter season, early indicators seem promising, but there's a caveat. While early bookings for winter look positive, there's speculation that these might primarily be from early birds. If last-minute bookings don't follow suit, final occupancy could be lower than expected. The booking window appears to have contracted once again, underscoring the importance of last-minute reservations.
This situation presents an opportune moment for dynamic pricing companies, particularly for using PriceLabs with RentalWise. With these two services in sync, users have the ability to seamlessly offer dynamic pricing as necessary, across multiple channels, with mark-ups as required, making collections far more attractive to bookings.
Regulatory changes are looming, threatening to disrupt supply in key markets. From major cities like New York to vacation hotspots such as Steamboat, new regulations are cropping up, impacting both urban markets dealing with housing shortages and areas traditionally favorable to vacation rentals. It's clear that these changes are on the minds of many, emphasizing the importance of advocacy in this area.
One prominent trend that emerged from various sessions at the conference is the growing integration of mid-term rental management into vacation rental operations. This strategic pivot is not just about diversification; it's also a protective measure against potential regulatory clampdowns on short-term rentals. By expanding into the mid-term rental space, managers can mitigate the risks associated with stringent regulations, ensuring a continuous and stable revenue flow even in restrictive regulatory environments. This approach showcases foresight, preparing businesses to adapt and thrive amidst changing legal landscapes.
AI took center stage at VRMA 2023, with several dedicated sessions. Vacation rental managers are cautiously exploring AI, making substantial use of tools like ChatGPT to refine listings and optimize OTA strategies. AI-powered tools are also designed to transcribe interactions with homeowners and store these dialogues in CRM systems, all while automatically dispatching summaries and action emails to property owners. RentalWise is already utilizing AI for our "one-click translation" service, allowing users to translate their entire collection into multiple languages at once.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors have become a focal point in assessing the sustainability and ethical impact of investments in the vacation rental industry. This surge in ESG discussions might be attributed to increasing indirect pressure on vacation rental managers. Investors and potential buyers are recognizing the importance of ESG, often inquiring about these factors before making acquisitions. Established platforms like Booking.com, Vrbo, and Airbnb are also joining the movement, actively promoting sustainability initiatives.
The VRMA International Conference 2023 was a whirlwind of insights and innovations, and RentalWise is excited to be at the forefront of these exciting developments in the vacation rental industry. We look forward to implementing these new strategies and technologies to better serve our partners and clients. Stay tuned for more updates from RentalWise as we continue to lead the way in vacation rental property management!
If you'd like to get started with dynamic pricing, centralized distribution, revenue management, consider RentalWise for your property rental business.