velera How Credit Union Innovation Can Drive Gen Z Engagement May 2024 Banner

AI Plays ‘Mr. Fix It’ for Rental Property Management

A trip is never just a trip. The end-to-end travel journey spans nearly ever touchpoint across hospitality. 

And in the landscape of rental property management, the role of technology is becoming paramount. From streamlining operations to optimizing revenue, leveraging centralized platforms to do things like manage guest communication at scale and automate task management is providing short-term rental (STR) property managers with a crucial lifeline — particularly as both business and personal travel continues to rebound to pre-pandemic levels.

“Guest communication is pretty big in short-term rentals. There’s a lot of back-and-forth communication with guests asking not only how to use the property, but also how to check the distance to specific landmarks and things like that,” Amiad SotoGuesty’s CEO and co-founder, told PYMNTS. 

Soto explained that responsiveness to customer needs is driving innovation across intelligent property management, and stressed the impact artificial intelligence (AI), fueled by vast data repositories, can have empowering property managers at scale. 

“AI helps facilitate fast responses and lower the amount of workload necessary from the host, and that’s true whether you have one property or 10,000,” he said. 

AI tools also help enable property managers to make data-driven decisions, including supporting solutions like dynamic pricing adjustments in real time

“AI tools that enable smart price recommendations can learn not just from your own calendar but also from everything happening in the industry or local markets to help managers monetize more.

“For example, if you weren’t aware that a specific band was coming to town, the system will recognize it and adjust prices automatically based on the market intelligence,” Soto said. “Since we are one of the biggest in our industry, we see a lot of data, and that gives us a huge head start in building AI tools.” 

Read moreGuesty Raises $130 Million to Expand Short-Term Rental, Hospitality Platform

Leveraging Innovation, Acquisitions

Having just snapped up a nine-fugure Series F round last month (April 10), Soto explained that he is excited to put that capital to work and expand both the capabilities and global footprint of Guesty’s property management software platform for the STR and hospitality industry.

“I believe in consolidation of this industry. It’s too fragmented, and we’ll continue to lead the way on that front — we keep meeting amazing companies, and whenever we see strategic synergy, we move forward,” he said. 

“Every time we expand into additional geographies, we lean into the expertise of local teams and that helps us to tailor our product and technology to those unique market needs. Although we may already have active customers in those territories, we plan to double down on efforts on localizing our software to meet not only the languages and cultural nuances, but also the regulatory requirements,” Soto added. 

With profitability on the horizon and both leadership and investors embracing a strategic approach to leveraging the recent funding that is primarily geared towards mergers and acquisitions, Guesty’s mission also encompasses accommodating diverse property types and stays, spanning short-term rentals to long-term leases.

Read alsoNew US Passport App Removes Friction Amid Business-Leisure Travel Shifts

As PYMNTS Intelligence shows, Gen X and millennial consumers play significant roles in driving the surge in travel expenses, accounting for about 31% and 28% of expenditure, respectively. This underscores the importance of tailoring services to meet their preferences and travel needs.

And while high earners are more likely to engage in travel, even paycheck-to-paycheck consumers are determined to spend on leisure travel, according to separate PYMNTS Intelligence research conducted in collaboration with LendingClub. That study revealed that 30% of paycheck-to-paycheck consumers plan to allocate funds for travel.

Looking ahead, Soto explained that Guesty remains steadfast in its commitment to innovation and growth. With a robust R&D team spearheading the development of over 120 new features, the platform continues to push the boundaries of property management technology. Strategic partnerships with leading online travel agencies further bolster the STR and hospitality platform’s ecosystem, ensuring seamless integration and maximum reach for property managers.

For all PYMNTS digital transformation coverage, subscribe to the daily Digital Transformation Newsletter.