VQuarter has had the pleasure of interviewing Vanessa de Souza Lage, The Chief Marketing Director of Rentals United and a sought-after speaker at vacation rental events.
1. You are a prominent figure in the Vacation Rental Management Industry. Tell us about your greatest work related accomplishment!
Thanks for the compliment! I’d like to think that by sharing my knowledge of the vacation rental industry, I’ve been able to influence professionals to do a better job. I use various platforms to educate and help – from online content to speaking at events and participating in social media discussions. I guess I’m most proud of the Rentals United Blog (http://rentalsunited.com/blog/) which is read by people worldwide – I always get compliments for it and truly enjoy running it.
2. What traits do you think makes for a successful property manager within the Vacation Rentals Market?
Passion of course, and a true desire to create great memories for people. I also found that successful managers are attending industry events – I think it’s vital to stay informed of what is happening in the industry if you want to remain competitive in this ever more crowded market. Going to conferences is also a great way to discover the newest technologies available to you. We have a list of the most important vacation rental industry events if that’s of interest to your readers: http://rentalsunited.com/en/vacation-rental-events.html
3. Which technological developments do you think will make the biggest impact on the Vacation Rentals Market in 2017?
I’m very excited to follow the development of operational softwares: from streamlining the job of cleaners, to maintenance (you guys!) and check-ins… There’s a lot happening in terms of vacation rental tech at the moment and soon using these techs will become the “normal” way to run a property management business. We’ve just done a VrTech (http://vrtech.events) case study on a Property Manager in Lisbon with 12 properties and 98% occupancy rate. She uses:
1. a noise control software
2. an app that opens building doors & house doors remotely
3. a software that sends automatic messages to cleaners
4. a yield manager
5. a channel manager
6. a PMS
7. a maintenance software
While this sounds like a lot today, I think in the future it will be common to use all of the above and more! (The interview will soon be available on (http://vrtech.events) leave your email to be notified)
4. There is so much technology available to Vacation Rentals Property Managers and their guests out there, is there a certain aspect of the business that you would recommend property managers invest their money and time?
I guess they firstly need to pinpoint what the main challenge is: is it operational (see above) or is it marketing? If vacation rental marketing is your biggest challenge consider that professionals in our industry today use 3 types of softwares:
- A Property Management Software
- A Channel Manager
- A Yield Manager
When choosing these softwares it’s important to make sure that all three are connected to each other. So when you choose a PMS ask who they connect to for Channel Management and who they connect to for Yield Management.
5. What are the biggest challenges you feel Vacation Rentals Property Managers face in the future?
I know that marketing is for most the biggest challenge today and I’m afraid this unlikely to change in the future. While global vacation rental websites and OTAs are gaining more and more market share, there are alternative ways (and cheaper ways!) to market vacation rentals such as Metasearches (Tripping, Kayak…), Wholesalers (Hotelbeds, Tourico Holidays…) and of course appearing on highly targeted niche websites.
Being listed on as many websites as possible is crucial for bookings and for branding. A channel manager facilitates this, I don’t think anyone in the Vacation Rental industry will be without in the future.
6. Where do you see the Vacation Rentals market in 5 years’ time?
It’s a tough question… Only keywords come to mind: Bigger, better, more professional, instant booking!
Thanks for these great questions I enjoyed answering them : )