Industry Update
Opinion Article17 April 2018

What to look for in a Vacation Rental Property Management System

A complimentary copy of “the Definitive Study of Vacation Rentals" will be provided to all HospitalityNet.Org readers for TODAY! Go to Amazon to upload your copy!

By Richard B. Evans, President of Revenue Report Card LLC & Author of “the Definitive Study of Vacation Rentals”

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Much of what is sought when purchasing a Vacation Rental Property Management System rivals features offered by hotel Property Management Systems…. but there are some vast differences that are unique to the Vacation Rental industry.


In doing in-depth research of over 25 systems I provide an illustration below of 4 highly trafficked and respected companies in the industry and the questions you may consider asking when seeking a new System for your operation. Vacation Rental Property Management Systems, unlike traditional hotel Property Management Systems, manage rental agreements, send and collect electronically executed contracts, manage roving staff, manage scheduling, manage staff hours, communicate with guests, communicate with roving staff, integrate with smart phone applications and offer a whole array of other unique functions to the industry.

While no recommendations or evaluations are made in this article, I provide a chart showing respected and sought companies on the internet (used to identify several of the highly trafficked sites and word of mouth for another). In my book, "the Definitive Study of Vacation Rentals", I provide a list of 25 different Property Management Systems that are presented as the four are below.

- website traffic is not always a good indicator of quality and so the companies and the order of those companies presented may be said to have the best website marketing campaigns. Still, numbers do tell a good part of the tale and cannot be discounted.

Companies shown below can be said to be amongst the "cream of the crop" with many whistles and bells that are good for some and not needed by others. It's important to know what they are as you expand and grow.

There are many other extraordinary systems.


Like most sophisticated programs, one thing that is extremely important is its ability to grow and expand with your operation. An opened API system that enables Property Management System connections to independent 3rd party modules, provides the ability to "add-on" applications that include, but are not limited to, smart phone, revenue management, channel management, staff management and staff tracking applications and others.


Here is a list of 4 busily trafficked Vacation Rental Property Management System websites and what they offer. I have no affiliation with any of them.

For a more expansive description of each of the features/functions shown above, please see the detailed description list I've placed at "Consider asking these PMS Questions" (on LinkedIn Pulse).


This is an Important Investment; Don't Shop by Price Alone


The Property Management System is the backbone of any Vacation Rental operation. The investment is an important one and I can't emphasize enough that no system should be purchased based on price alone. This is a system you will have to live with for many years to come; so find the right features and expansion capability and consider spending a little bit more here if you're able. It will be well worth the cost in the long run. As your company grows, an inadequate or insufficient system will require you to replace it down the road. Conversions from one system to another can be a substantial, costly and time consuming undertaking.


Exercise appropriate due diligence before acquiring a Property Management System. There are many great ones that can grow with you into the future! You may not need all the whistles and bells offered, but be aware of them before choosing the system that's the right fit for you.


I have reviewed websites, interviewed staff and did email follow ups on the 4 companies presented in the illustrations above. There is always a possibility that I incorrectly understood whether a feature is offered or not. It's always best to double check directly with the company.

The book will be available as a COMPLIMENTARY GIFT to all HospitalityNet.Org readers ON April 17, 2018! The Definitive Study of Vacation Rentals on Amazon…

More about the book at

Richard B. Evans

Mr. Evans has been an executive hotelier for over 25 years. He obtained the following certifications: Hotel Administration, Hotel Accounting Executive, Revenue Management Executive and has completed the Advanced Cornell Revenue Management Certification. He has served hotels, condo-hotels and vacation rental companies as Asset Manager, CFO, General Manager and Revenue Director.

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    Richard B Evans
    President of Revenue Report Card LLC
    Phone: (954) 290 - 3567
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