Paul Waldschmidt, CEO
Vacation rentals are nothing new, but the convenience and efficiency offered by these short-term rentals have captured the attention of travelers. To be on par with their hospitality chain counterparts, the vacation rentals industry is finding innovative ways to provide hotel-style luxury experiences but with the flexibility that they offer. With COVID-19 hitting hard, there has been a heightened preference for vacation rentals as travelers can continue to enjoy their getaways in isolation without worrying about social distancing or risking infection. These rental properties managed by property managers or homeowners are made available for booking through platforms like HomeAway, Vrbo, and Airbnb, with travelers interacting and conducting transactions using the same. However, a drawback of these platforms is that they enforce price consistency and control sales. Therefore, homeowners and property managers need to ensure that parameters like price, rules, and content are competitive constantly while advertising them in real-time in a way that channels can guarantee. To help homeowners and property managers overcome the stress of quality control and keeping different parameters up to the mark while managing their numerous vacation rental properties, OwnerRez has developed a unique platform that faces the parameterization challenge head-on.
As an engineer-led company, OwnerRez has created its platform aimed at the vacation rental and short-term rental (VR and STR) market comprising property managers and many small users like homeowners who have a variety of requirements. With a simple and intuitive design, that keeps in mind the evolving functionalities, OwnerRez offers a dashboard that functions in the fastest possible manner and handles accounts for different properties under the same roof efficiently. To ensure parameterization at every step, OwnerRez’s software does not follow any particular vendor specification or parameters.
It is designed to be vendor-agnostic so that changes can be made as required. “As OwnerRez is built in-house, we can offer the best prices and features to our users without compromising on the speed or quality,” says Paul Waldschmidt, CEO of OwnerRez. Due to its focus on speed, OwnerRez measures and grades every aspect of its app from page load speed to background services, to monitor its response. If the app slows down, the engineering team is notified of the same via emails.
The company’s proprietary platform offers managers and homeowners complete flexibility in designing the cost structure of their rental offering without worrying about paying for third-party or white-labeled features. They can supervise the bookings across their properties and the related transactions at a glance with details available as popups. The platform also gives owners the option to process payments through checks or credit cards, so that any property or unit has the flexibility to collect money in different ways. It allows them to map different credit card processes to various banks and integrates with more than 20 credit card vendors.
OwnerRez also supports a variety of dynamic pricing engines like PriceLabs, PerfectPrice, and Beyond Pricing and can vary virtual rules such as blocking dates, forced gaps, and the minimum nights. Users can push changes in real-time to the major VR and STR channels and view live traveler feedback as well. “All of this is possible because of our unwavering focus and obsession with parameterization,” adds Waldschmidt.
A distinctive feature about OwnerRez is that instead of spending huge amounts in marketing and chasing for the top spot in the market, a majority of the company’s business comes from its customer’s recommendations and by word of mouth. With its guerilla marketing army, OwnerRez reaches out to customers through social media networks and user groups. Waldschmidt credits OwnerRez’s enormous growth in terms of value and customer base, to its powerful interactions over different platforms. “We offer the best channel distribution power and speed along with competitive prices in the industry,” he says. OwnerRez supports a myriad of dynamic pricing engines and can vary virtual rules in multiple dimensions. The company views support as an essential part of its platform and offers assistance through its video library and articles, which are updated several times per week.
OwnerRez believes that support is an ongoing process that is constantly refined and streamlined as a part of engineering and ensures that both engineering and support work hand in hand to uplift their capabilities. The company has doubled its efforts on the support and forum side and is working toward expanding its video and articles suite. Another area that OwnerRez is focusing on for the upcoming year is messaging. In its endeavor to become seamless and fast, OwnerRez is en route to strengthening unified messaging between the platform, SMS, and emails and merging some of them with the platform. With a streamlined inbox, owners and managers have multiple ways to contact travelers regarding bookings and from the same contact point. “Being an engineer-led platform, the channel distribution power, speed and uncompromised quality that we offer is the best in the market and the messaging experience will be top-notch for property managers and homeowners,” concludes Waldschmidt.