When I began programming thirty-something years ago, at age 7, there were no smartphones, there was no internet and definitely no on-demand economy where essentially anything could be obtained in real-time. I was a just a starry-eyed kid, determined to craft my wildest imagination into reality, one line of code at a time.
Since then, technology has transformed our lives in ways so deceptively powerful that they would have passed for magic thirty years ago.
This magic of frictionless technology makes it trivially easy for us to communicate with friends, work from anywhere and order transportation, meals or accommodations on-demand.
There’s absolutely no doubt that it’s far easier to find, book and pay for vacation rentals today than it was just a few years ago. In our “on-demand” economy, traveler demand for vacation rentals grows stronger and easier for owners and managers to harness with each new listing site, trust building tool, and online booking.
But those doing the “demanding” don’t often see the long hours, risk and friction behind the scenes, especially in our vacation rental industry.
Loose ends and moving parts abound, listing properties on multiple sites, each with different rules. Keeping guests happy, trusting and informed via phone, text, email and through every site. Ensuring your property is tidy and welcoming. Understanding your pricing, margins, and competition so you can do more than just break even.
If you can manage all of that, your next challenge is building a growing, sustainable business independent enough to not be reliant on any single listing site.
It seems that with every new piece of frictionless magic for consumers, the lives of those who supply the growing “demand” become decidedly more complex.
With a projected $170 billion dollars in annual vacation rental bookings by 2021, the stakes have officially and inexorably been raised. What used to take a phone call, a check and a handshake now require instant online booking, a five-star rating and your own branded e-commerce site for validation.
Competition used to be the house down the street; now it’s the global hotel chain positioned above you on the listing site. “Similar properties” are endlessly suggested by email to each traveler after they stay with you, giving once-loyal guests an unlimited supply of options.
On second thought: it’s not just complex, it’s becoming impossible to navigate the labyrinth of listing sites, website creation, guest management and marketing required to grow a rental business on your own.
Thankfully, you’re not alone.
In 2012, we launched Futurestay with a single guiding principle: we believe that anything technology can do, you shouldn’t have to do yourself. Rental entrepreneurs shouldn’t have to suffer through complex or expensive technology to grow their business.
Our mission is to bring independence to every vacation rental entrepreneur worldwide through simple technology that automates the process of renting out a home.
Automated rental management. The Self-Renting home. Full stop. From being connected everywhere, to bookings and payments, from guest emails to coordinating cleanings and in-destination services; all seamlessly handled with Smart Connections™ and you in control.
If you’ve ever rented out a home, you know this is no simple task. This is a huge vision and a world-changing challenge.
And you, reading this, working to make the most of your rental business, are the reason we know we can do it. How?
In our four-year journey, Futurestay has grown from a startup in my spare bedroom to a global team of entrepreneurs with a passion for travel, a background in hospitality and a love for making complex technology feel simple. Over 100,000 properties worldwide in over 180 countries have made the decision to connect everywhere that matters with Futurestay.
We have traveled the world from the Mexican Baja to Berlin, New York City to Panama City, getting to know hundreds of rental entrepreneurs; some our supporters, and others who’ve never heard of Futurestay. We made friends, we made memories and we made promises.
Most importantly, we learned that no matter which city and country you’re from, how many properties you run, or if you own or manage; we all share the same goals.
Whether you’ve been a programmer for 30 years or a rental business owner for one, we are all entrepreneurs.
All entrepreneurs want the opportunity to grow thriving, independent businesses. All entrepreneurs are willing to take measured risks to succeed. All entrepreneurs fall in love with a place, an idea or a lifestyle and will speak passionately about it to anyone who will listen; building an army of guests, supporters or customers, otherwise known as your team.
Automating the process of renting a home is too big of a job for us to do alone.
Thankfully, we have room for you on our team.
Every rental entrepreneur using Futurestay joins a team of over 100,000 properties worldwide. Every click, booking or reservation helps iterate and shape our technology towards our shared goal. Every email, tweet, share or community posting, bearing kudos or critique, strengthens our team and allows us to create a little more frictionless magic.
When you join Futurestay and share your rental entrepreneurship journey with us and the community, you bring the entire world closer to automating the process of renting a home.
Let’s untangle the technology behind the on-demand vacation rental industry. It’s time to stand together and put some magic to work on our side.
S. Philip Kennard