MOUNT PLEASANT, SC—There’s something to be said about solving your own problem, especially when you’re not the only one facing the same challenge. For VroomRes’ founder, the platform not only needed to solve the problem he was encountering with vacation rental property management software, it needed to be shared with all for free.
“The global vacation rental market is expected to show an annual revenue growth rate of approximately 8%, and is expected to reach $193.89 billion by 2021,” said Kevin High, CEO of VroomRes, a vacation rental property management software company. “While this is good news for owners and property managers, it also means more time, resources and expenses managing guests and properties.”
And that’s not good for anyone—certainly not guests. “To counteract the stress felt by all rental property managers to keep up with this growth, they will need more advanced solutions to allow them to do their jobs more efficiently, with less stress—and, ultimately, make both owners and renters happy,” the CEO continued.
High acquired this knowledge from firsthand experience; he owns Walk Away Stays, a vacation rental property management company. “Like most things, necessity is the mother of invention,” High said. “I got tired of the day-to-day grind. I love the work—don’t get me wrong—but all the tech solutions out there designed to help me manage my day-to-day job didn’t make things better.” There was a void in the market, and he knew others felt the same way.
He then sought a better outcome. “I put together a group of innovators who are also committed to giving the power back to the managers, owners and rental entrepreneurs of the world,” he said.
His team believes there are several top issues with other PMSs—one that VroomRes has tackled from the beginning is PMS pricing options. “Property management systems are expensive, and managers and owners need a low-cost (or no-cost) system that manages the chaos of so many moving pieces and helps them get their jobs done faster,” he said.
VroomRes offers its product for free. “It makes no sense to offer a product for free,” he said. “We know this. Since we are thinking about the industry differently, we also think about our business model differently.”
VroomRes has no plans to charge customers for its software, but instead generates revenue through its services and supplies. It offers users an exclusive 5% discount on many of the supplies in its online store. Users also have the option to execute group buys for deeper discounts. Supplies available for purchase include smart-home controls, remote locking and cloud-managed networks.
Key platform features include smart-home technology, iCal syncing, payment processing, a website widget reservation calendar, room linking, seasonal subgroupings, email autoresponders, and location-based tax rates.
“Future features of the VroomRes platform are planned for release throughout 2018 and will include remote document signing, marketing assistance, automated email correspondence, housekeeping management and more,” High said.
VroomRes doesn’t target a particular property size. “Every property is unique,” he said. “Commonalities are that every property is a short-term rental, which can vary from condos to homes to multi-unit complexes.”
While the majority of VroomRes’ customers are located near its headquarters, there has been increased interest in the company’s software from markets internationally.
“VroomRes is growing internationally at a rapid pace,” he said. “We believe this is because our product gets to the heart of what managers actually need—more freedom,” High said. “Regardless of where your business is based, what culture you come from, or what your business goals are, it seems that everyone is craving more flexibility and opportunity in their lives. Whether it’s financial freedom from unnecessary business costs or the freedom to set your own office hours, our software allows our users to make those choices for themselves.”
VroomRes has partnered with companies such as Rental Guardian, Booking.com and Airbnb. “While most of our customer base is unbranded or small brands, we plan to continue to work with any brand that we can help or that we think will help our customers,” he said.
Ultimately, VroomRes’ goal is to help property managers manage the chaos. “With the unprecedented growth of the short-term rental industry, managers’ day-to-day jobs are becoming overwhelming,” High said. “We decided to create a single, seamless solution that can change rental managers’ lives, but our mission in creating VroomRes isn’t just about developing an amazing software platform. We believe entrepreneurs should focus on growing their business instead of worrying about being nickeled and dimed for everything.”
As for what the company has in store for the future, VroomRes follows the needs of its customers. “We love getting feedback from them on what they want and need, so our customers will tell us what the future holds—but we anticipate that the industry will keep finding ways to use technology to give managers, owners and guests better experiences and easier ways to engage,” he said. “We plan to add software features that property managers need and want, and continue to build our relationships with industry leaders that can offer our users additional services, but our core software offering will be free—we’re committed to that for the good of the industry.” HB