A Short Term Rental Channel can be seen as any "communication channel" you use to get in contact with a person (guest) who is looking for a place to stay and sleep at for a shorter period of time.
For centuries, people have been using short-term rental channels to find a place to sleep. In the middle ages, travelers were referred to the local bar to find a place to sleep. Not much later, announcements were shared by local priests and mayors. From the '60s to the '90s, most spots were found by local newspapers and the first "internet" chat groups.
Around early 2000, as a result of the exploding internet, new search terms have emerged and the use of sharing messages showed up like "Couchsurfing, House Sitting, etc" were found using a large variety of tools like online chat boxes, forums, and websites.
As traditional hotels were using the internet to improve the whole package as "all-in packages" at key locations, there was another group, called the "Couchsurfing" part of the world who were looking for a basic place to stay at in the more rural areas.
Nowadays you see many companies that have successfully built or entered this market for short-term rental demand based on their own visions. Channels like Airbnb are well known for their success; Facebook and other platform groups have also found their way and lately, you can see the bigger OTA's like Booking.com and Expedia that are joining this market as well.
The short-term rental channel management issue
By announcing that the apartment, room or other place is available for some time on different channels, it also brought in some cases a large volume of phone calls and emails for date and time confirmation.
Maintaining this guest communication and closing the advertisement at the same time on all other channels has become time-consuming. Individual property owners were looking for a way to have someone else taking care of their property, manage the different channels manually and find new guests as they didn't have time or experience to do so.
The Online Travel Agency (OTA)
Back in the days, Travel Agencies could be found in the streets where you can book your plane ticket, Hotel room and all kinds of great events. Large names like Booking.com, Expedia or Agoda took most of these functions over and we're focusing on delivering that same great booking experience to new Hotel guests.
Back in the days when the Couchsurfing movement was seen as a temporary thing, it is now changing on many levels to become a full OTA. This also means that traditional OTA's needed to switch their visions and software to serve this new market.
And for this, they need to undergo new processes, such as a process that is ongoing with the dedicated help of channel management software partners like Hostaway.
The Property Management Company (PMC)
Sharing knowledge, taking over tasks from other property managers or taking over the management for the complete property was a logical next step. Some of the core Hostaway team members were managing properties this way and called them self-property management companies in the short-term rental industry. Still, a lot needed to be done by hand and so the idea was born to build a software that could manage a large part of the day to day tasks.
The Property (Channel) Management Software as SaaS (PMS)
Around 2014, some of the core team members at Hostaway.com were looking for a software solution to maintain channels by the internet in one place - a software that could communicate with different OTA's and in this way automatically take over as much day to day tasks as possible and on top of it accessible by the Internet globally.
Reviewing all options, obstacles and future options, we started to build Hostaway.com : A SaaS-based property & channel management software solution for PMC's to work with and OTA's to connect to.
Hostaway as SaaS Property Management Software solution
SaaS stands for Software as a Service, a software program that can be used based on a subscription model and typically uses digital communication options (internet) in order to provide access to the software and/or the individual online accounts.
There are many examples of SaaS products like Google Gmail, Microsoft Office365, Apple iCloud.
Hostaway channel and property management solutions are offered on a SaaS-based subscription plan allowing you to maintain or adjust your channels and business needs as it fits your goals.