5 Short-Term Rental Technology Trends to Watch

The short-term rental (STR) market is booming, becoming one of the fastest-growing segments of the real estate industry. There are a number of factors driving this short-term rental growth across rural and urban markets, including increasing demand for vacation rental product, changes in tax laws and regulations, and remote work enabling travelers to blend business and leisure trips, among others. 

As the short-term rental market continues to grow and evolve, here are our top five technology trends to watch.

Operations Software

Technology trends are often born out of a need for a missing product, and for a long time, that void was operations software for short-term rental property managers. Eliminating the need for spreadsheets and redundant data entry, operations software helps property managers integrate their tech stack to keep track of property statuses, oversee occupancy levels, collect payments, place vendor work orders, and more from one easy-to-use dashboard. Short-term rental operations software can be helpful for property managers and individual owners alike who own and/or manage multiple properties, whether across markets or in the same building. 

‘Streamlining processes’ is always on-trend, and short-term rental operations software enables property managers and rental owners alike to have complete visibility and control over their properties. With the right software in place, like BeHome247, you’d be surprised how quickly property management operations can go from on-demand to automated, saving time and money, and ultimately improving the customer experience. 

Smart Home Technology

One of our all-time favorite trends? Smart home technology going enterprise. That’s right, products like smart thermostats and keyless locks are no longer novel; they’re essential for creating a home-like experience on the go. 

Vacation rental properties with smart technology are a huge selling feature for guests looking for amenities that make them feel at home. What’s more, smart home technology that integrates with enterprise management software allows property managers to create incredible efficiencies and enjoy cost savings in the process. Here are just a few reasons why. 

  • Security – Smart locks and security systems paired with enterprise software allow property managers to monitor property activity on the go with real-time alerts and trigger automated actions, like resetting key codes at check out or push notifications when activity is detected in an unoccupied unit. 
  • Automation – Enterprise-compatible smart devices—like thermostats, lights, and more— allow property managers to control everything from property-wide temperature settings in multi-unit buildings to turning on the lights and playing music in a unit upon the guest’s arrival.
  • Appliances – Many appliances have been redesigned to integrate with enterprise management software, including refrigerators, ovens, air conditioners, and even TVs, giving property managers the ability to control these appliances remotely.

Read: Smart Devices Every Property Manager Should Have

Virtual Tours

The latest trend in property photography? 3D.

A great 2D property photo can pique the interest of a potential traveler, but a virtual tour enables them to walk through the property remotely—creating an almost tangible experience from the comfort of home.  

Virtual tours and 3D photography are becoming increasingly sought-after website features in the hospitality space, for short-term rentals in particular, as property managers compete to capture the business of savvy travelers. Matterport, a virtual tour or ‘3D walk through’ technology provider, sites a 14% increase in bookings and 300% greater engagement in 3D tours versus 2D imagery. 

Smart(er) Data

Big data—that is, data that’s large, fast-moving, or complex, making it impossible to process—is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it muddy your company’s decision-making processes. By determining what KPIs are most important to the growth and success of your business, you can cut through the clutter and focus on what’s most impactful.

According to Key Data Dashboard, “Understanding the top seven KPIs in the vacation rental industry is the key to maximizing your company’s performance.” Key Data defines the seven most important KPIs for short-term rental property managers as Occupancy, Average Daily Rate, RevPAR, Unit Revenue, Supply, Average Booking Window, and Average Length of Stay.

By marrying your internal data—from your website and property management system—with industry and market-level data from partners like Key Data Dashboard, your marketing, revenue management, and reservations teams become armed with powerful data to drive bookings and maximize rates and occupancy in the process.  

Contactless Check-In

Once upon a time, contactless check-in, or mobile/remote check-in, was only offered by STR property managers for guests checking into off-site properties or properties with limited front desk hours. However, in a recent study, 90% of guests said they prefer to stay in accommodations with a mobile app to manage check-in and their stay and 46% said mobile check-in is a crucial amenity for any vacation rental.

By eliminating the wait, providing property info on the go, and offering two-way communication, property managers and guests alike have seen incredible efficiencies created through contactless check-in technology.

With contactless check-in, Glen Kaiser, owner of Kaiser Vacation Rentals in Gulf Shores, Alabama, says “Guests don’t have to deal with a wait or traffic. Remote check-in takes the anxiety away from check-in. They can focus on arriving at the property and not have to deal with anything else.”


Is your company on track to implement these technology trends? As the STR market continues to evolve, short-term rental property managers will need to keep up with new trends and technologies in order to stay ahead of the competition, and we can help you do just that. Contact us to schedule a demo to see how software like BeHome247 can work with your existing tech stack to optimize operational processes, drive revenue, and improve the customer experience.

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