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  • Wed, May 29, 2024 7:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    U.S. Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) surpassed $100 billion in revenue for the first time. This financial achievement is not just a number—it signals a maturing market. As the industry evolves, understanding the implications of this maturity becomes crucial for stakeholders.

    What are the Characteristics of Maturing Industries?

    An industry is said to mature when its growth rate starts to align with the overall economy's growth, following a period of rapid expansion. Characteristics of such a phase include increased market consolidation, heightened competition leading to price stabilization, and significant shifts towards improving operational efficiency and customer service. Innovation remains a key factor but shifts from market disruption to incremental improvements and diversification of existing products and services.

    Recent Acquisitions of Software and Service Providers in the Short-term Rental Market

    The short-term rental industry has entered a maturing phase. This supposition is supported by recent strategic acquisitions:

    Touchstay Digital Guidebooks Acquired by itrinity

    Touchstay logoThis acquisition by the Czech SAAS company highlights a trend towards consolidating guest experience enhancements under larger, established tech umbrellas. Touchstay, known for enhancing guest experiences through digital guidebooks, represents a move by larger firms to integrate comprehensive solutions that streamline operations and enhance guest interactions.

    Guesty Acquires Rentals United

    Guesty, a significant player in short-term rental software, recently expanded its capabilities by acquiring Rentals United, a platform that specializes in marketing and distribution automation. This merger indicates the industry's push towards creating more robust, all-encompassing tools that cater to the complex needs of rental hosts and management companies.

    Urban Rest Acquires The Urban Butler

    In a move emphasizing the importance of localized services, Urban Rest's acquisition of The Urban Butler in New Zealand reflects the industry’s trend towards enhancing regional service offerings and refining the guest experience.

    These acquisitions signify a shift from aggressive expansion to strategic enhancement, focusing on quality service delivery and operational efficiency—a hallmark of industry maturation.

    Fully Matured and Declining Industries

    As industries reach full maturity, they often experience a plateau in growth, which can lead to decline if innovation stalls. In fully matured stages, consolidation continues as companies seek to maintain profitability by merging with or acquiring competitors to reduce costs and expand market share. Customer loyalty, as does the ability to adapt to changing consumer preferences, becomes paramount.

    What Can Hosts Do?

    Woman saying "I love you for coming and I love you for leaving."Hosts can help stem this tide and stand apart from the others by continually innovating in guest services, sustainable practices, and integrating technology that responds to evolving consumer expectations.
    For instance, hosts can focus on offering unique, personalized experiences that differentiate them from the growing competition. Additionally, adopting green practices can appeal to environmentally conscious travelers, tapping into new customer segments.

    By recognizing the signs of industry maturity—such as market consolidation—hosts can strategically position themselves to thrive in a maturing market. To stay competitive, leverage technology, prioritize sustainable practices, and focus on delivering exceptional, localized guest experiences.

    Stay informed with the help of your friends at Host2Host.

  • Wed, May 29, 2024 7:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    An essay from Alan Colley, one of Host2Host's founding members, former H2H President, and co-host of Summit Prairie in Tiller, OR

    I have been reminded again and again of what it means to be a neighbor. So often when we begin to host we come to realize that we have neighbors who quite naturally will be impacted by our decision. How do we navigate being a good neighbor as we begin this journey?

    That’s What Neighbors Do

    Lookout TowerWhen the new lookout tower on our land in Southern Oregon had just been finished, Dabney and I invited anyone who had helped build it to come up for a celebratory potluck picnic. Several folks came up we hadn’t met, but who we learned were neighbors from down the road.

    Sometime during our visit our neighbor, Vern Edgeley, told us this: “I don’t care what your beliefs, your politics, or your orientation. If you need us for anything, just call and I will come. That’s what neighbors do.” What a gesture from someone we did not know!

    Returning the Favor

    Neighbors. Neighbors with whom we may not always see eye-to-eye, but who come running to help when we need them. How can we return that favor?

    Why is it important to remember this just now? I think that with the social upheavals constantly pressing on us, our normal routines of seeing each other, sharing meals and gossip, seems to create more than social distance. It’s easy to see only the extremes and to find ourselves tainting our aloneness with a hint of disdain. I’m guilty, too.

    But we are all neighbors. Neighbors help each other. Some of our neighbors are struggling. Some are trying to help. New neighbors may need our care even more.

    Collaborators Not Competitors
    Person with hand extendedWe, as hosts, have already learned that we are a community of collaborators, not competitors. We have demonstrated time and again how sharing our experiences lifts us all. We also live in communities filled with neighbors. 

    I hope you and I will choose to set aside our differences and reach across our boundaries to support each other even more these days. 

    We are a small community of neighbors after all.


    Join Alan, on June 12th for an insightful conversation that hopes to go beyond the surface to explore the Soul of Hosting. Register now!

  • Wed, May 29, 2024 7:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Madison RomeliIn May, Host2Host was offered an insightful event on technology trends in the short-term rental industry, sponsored by Breezeway. Madison Romeli with Breezeway, which is known for its robust vacation rental operations solutions, shared valuable insights into how technology can streamline operations and enhance the guest experience. Here’s a detailed recap of the key takeaways from the event.

    Overview of Breezeway's Platform

    Breezeway’s platform offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to optimize and automate vacation rental operations. These tools include operations management, guest communication features, and 24/7 guest support, which collectively help rental hosts manage their properties more efficiently. 

    Key Features:
    • Operations Management: Breezeway’s operations management tool allows hosts to schedule cleanings, inspections, and maintenance tasks. This ensures that all operational aspects of property management are handled efficiently and timely.
    • Guest Communication Tools: The platform provides automated messaging capabilities and a centralized two-way inbox, making it easy for hosts to communicate with guests and staff. Additionally, Breezeway offers a digital guidebook for guests, containing reservation details and other essential information.
    • 24/7 Guest Support: With Breezeway Assist, hosts can offer around-the-clock support to their guests, ensuring a smooth and responsive guest experience.

    Automating the Guest Experience

    One of the standout topics of the event was the automation of the guest experience, a critical component in enhancing guest satisfaction and operational efficiency. Breezeway’s automation features include:
    • Automated Cleanings: Once a guest checks out, the system automatically schedules a cleaning and notifies guests if an early check-in becomes available. This helps turn over properties quickly and efficiently.
    • Automated Checkout Reminders: The platform sends checkout reminders to guests and notifies cleaning staff for early access, ensuring a smooth transition between bookings.
    • Gap Night Messages: Breezeway sends automated messages to guests offering them the option to book vacant nights, potentially filling gaps between reservations and increasing occupancy rates and revenue.

    Integrations

    Breezeway boasts impressive integration capabilities, connecting with approximately 50 different PMS systems. For hosts who manage their properties through Airbnb, Breezeway provides direct integration, making it accessible and easy to use without additional software.

    Enhanced Communication and Customization

    Effective communication is critical in the vacation rental industry. Breezeway addresses this need by offering a centralized two-way inbox for all guest and staff communications. This feature simplifies communication, ensuring no messages are missed and that responses are timely. The platform also allows for customizable message templates and guidebook content, enabling hosts to tailor communications to their specific needs and branding.

    Special Offers

    Check out the video on our Youtube channel when you have a chance. Host2Host members can also take advantage of a very special discount only accessible on our Resources page.

  • Wed, May 29, 2024 6:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In mid-May, a generous group of Host2Host members gathered to give back to our community. Led by Board Member, Kristy Olsen, they met at the Transition Projects Sellwood shelter to create a delicious taco meal for residents. Together, they financially contributed towards the ingredients and more than that, offered their helping hands to create a delicious and generous meal.

    Transition Projects logoAs they learned during the event, Host2Host was only the second group to cook a warm meal for shelter residents so far this year. So, if your family, friends, or community group (5-10 people) would like to contribute to the overall goodness in our community by cooking a home-cooked meal for people who are in need, Transition Projects would be very happy to have the help. It's a fun and easy way to make our local community just a little bit brighter!

    Thanks to all the volunteers who contributed time, money for ingredients, and your skillful helping hands and most especially, for all the love and positive intentions that went into creating the meal. We hope to be able to offer another volunteer opportunity like this in the future and hope you'll join us then!

  • Wed, April 24, 2024 12:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In today’s increasingly competitive short-term rental market, hosts are looking for innovative ways to distinguish their properties and improve guest experiences. With more listings than ever before, the challenge to stand out is real, but technology offers powerful solutions. Here’s how embracing tech tools can not only enhance your hosting capabilities but also drive higher guest ratings and increase occupancy rates.

    1. brightly colored interlocking cogsAutomated Guest Communication One of the hallmarks of a great host is excellent communication. Technology tools like automated messaging apps can ensure guests receive timely, informative, and personalized communications. From booking confirmations to check-in instructions and local tips, automated systems can help maintain high levels of guest satisfaction without requiring hosts to be glued to their devices. This constant communication stream not only elevates the guest experience but also encourages positive reviews.

    2. woman using cell phoneSmart Home Devices Smart home technology can significantly enhance guest convenience and safety—key factors that guests consider when rating their stay. Smart locks eliminate the hassle of key exchanges and provide secure, controlled access. Smart thermostats can ensure that your property is always at a comfortable temperature, while smart lighting can be programmed to welcome guests with warm, inviting light. These features not only impress guests but also streamline property management. Including one or some of these tools is just, well, smart! 

    3. Dynamic Pricing Tools Pricing competitively is crucial in a crowded market. Dynamic pricing tools analyze data such as market demand, local events, and seasonal trends to recommend optimal pricing strategies. Hosts can maximize their earnings by adjusting prices based on real-time market conditions and ensure their listings remain competitive. This responsiveness to the market can lead to higher occupancy rates and more consistent income.

    4. Person working with computer and phoneOnline Booking and Management Platforms Utilizing platforms that streamline the booking, payment, and management processes can significantly reduce the administrative burden on hosts. Features like online booking calendars, payment processing, and guest vetting help manage operations efficiently. These platforms also often provide analytics that can help hosts understand guest behavior and preferences, leading to better-tailored services and improved guest experiences.

    5. Review Management Software Actively managing your online reputation is crucial. Review management software can help hosts track guest feedback, respond to reviews, and maintain positive engagement with past guests. This ongoing interaction not only helps in improving service quality based on feedback but also enhances online visibility and attractiveness to potential guests.

    Win a $100 Amazon gift cardTechnology provides a significant advantage in a market crowded with lots of options. By adopting these tools, hosts can improve operational efficiency, enhance guest satisfaction, and ultimately increase occupancy and profitability.


    JoinMadison Romeli Host2Host business affiliate, Madison Romeli with Breezeway, on May 16th at 10am to learn all about how their technology tools can help you be a better host, save time, increase revenue, and improve the guest experience. Not only will registrants receive a very special offer, even better than the one they extend to members ... but there will be a giveaway at the meetup of one $100 Amazon Gift Card! Easy money!!



  • Wed, April 24, 2024 12:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Speaking of easy money, jump into the Host2Host 50/50 raffle and you could win 50% of what is raised. The lucky winner will be drawn on Memorial Day, so there’s lots of time to participate. The remaining 50% of funds raised will go towards Host2Host’s awesome monthly events and host support activities. Join in the fun - you could be a winner!


  • Wed, April 24, 2024 12:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kristy OlsenBoard Member, Kristy Olsen is the ringleader for May’s volunteer opportunity. Taking place the evening of May 15th, this is sure to be a fun way to connect with your friends at Host2Host while doing something meaningful for our community. Volunteers will be cooking dinner onsite at a shelter in Sellwood beginning at 5pm.

    Attendees will contribute towards the cost of the meal, divided amongst 5-10 other people, by buying ingredients in advance, bringing them with you, and preparing food onsite in the shelter's well-stocked kitchen. Register Now!

  • Wed, April 24, 2024 12:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The City of Portland's Bureau of Development Services has been hard at work on a technical solution to make registering as a short-term rental host easier. Their new online portal is up and running here. Check it out!

    And hey, i
    Host2Hostf you enjoy staying on-top of regulatory changes, like helping your fellow hosts navigate them successfully, and have about 1-2 hours to volunteer a month, consider joining the Host2Host Advocacy Committee.

  • Wed, April 24, 2024 12:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We were absolutely thrilled to be invited to the Travel Portland Visitor Center located near Powell’s for a Host2Host open house. Speakers from Travel Portland presented information about all the ways they are equipped and eager to make life easier for hosts and help improve the guest experience when visiting the city. 

    We were also excited to hear from Heather Rose from Peak Tours & Transit about different ways for guests and even hosts to experience the great Pacific Northwest.

    Travel Portland Printed Guide

    Lucky hosts were able to pick up fresh-off-the-press magazine-sized guides for guests to up-level their in-listing experience and entice them to return for even more adventures. They also grabbed an assortment of pamphlets and guest-friendly brochures to restock their onsite house manuals. 

    It was great to connect with everyone. Thanks, Travel Portland and Peak Tours & Transit!

  • Wed, April 24, 2024 12:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On April 20th, Host2Host held a donation drive for two of Portland’s finest non-profit organizations, Blanchet House that serves the homeless population as well as the Oregon Humane Society who serves our furry friends.

    Blanchet House OHS Logo

    We really appreciate ALL of the donations we received. If you missed it but still want to participate, we are still accepting donations so just email us for donation details.

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