A little more than 10 years ago I started in this sector, I still remember my first visit and the first contact I had with a vacation rental agency, it was in Cambrils (Tarragona) a property manager leader in the sector https://www.litoralcostadorada.com.
From that meeting I was quite surprised, especially because I had just discovered a very powerful sector and at the same time the complexity of it.
The director of that agency asked our company for customized developments to facilitate its management. Developments that (had all the logic) because in his argument, that was the logical way to work.
As I came into contact with other Property Managers, and with more directors or managers of vacation rental agencies, I began to realize that logic was a common argument among the many and varied ways of managing an agency, also its protocols and procedures, however, I soon began to realize that in our industry there are no rules, there are always exceptions.
During more than 10 years I have come to know many different types of tourist rental agencies and in turn in many different countries, they all have one thing in common, they all work according to their experience and according to their criteria (not always the most optimal possible).
In my first years of experience in this sector, we began to educate and train many professionals, we wanted to teach them how to properly handle our tool and how to get the most out of a technology that at that time was innovative and pioneering.
For a long period of time, I started to look around our sector and found a wealth of references and valuable content, but there was only one problem, it was the rival sector, the Hotel sector, and just for that reason, many professionals refused to observe and learn from some practices and protocols that nevertheless, gave very good results at the business level and commercial success.
It did not take me long to realize that our sector, what it needs to grow and advance, develop and compete is precisely this, standards that allow the industry to create compatible tools for a large majority on the one hand, and on the other that allow professionals to work in a linear and stable way.
A third party, which has played a very relevant role in the development and popularization of our sector, has been the OTAS, they have understood the importance of industry standards and therefore, although in 2014 they began their “colonization” of the sector allowing and assuming the chaos and the “commercial” noise that existed in the sector, they quickly realized that either they standardized for example the cancellation rules (at that time everyone had their own) or they would not be able to present a reliable product with which to scale to the market, which at that time did not know very well what the rules were, since each experience with a supplier was totally different.
The OTAS helped to establish certain standards in the Industry, regarding marketing and cancellation and reservation rules, although in this aspect, those standards only helped the OTAS themselves to market the products of third parties and did not contribute much value to the real needs of the sector.
Today we face many challenges as a sector, the first is a huge (global) wave of legislation specifically developed to prevent or harm Vacation Rental, it is not legislation to regulate and improve the sector, it is legislation to prohibit, partly as a scapegoat for a problem that is also global, access to housing and the exponential rise in property prices, in many cases unaffordable for families, especially young people.
The second challenge is to unify as an industry standards that allow us to give a well-defined image regarding : Cleanliness and hygiene, safety, convenience and comfort, customer service, Amenities, accessibility, maintenance and sanitation of infrastructures, information and communication, pricing and sales channels, economic and environmental sustainability, quality processes and control of services provided to customers, legislation and respect for current regulations.
Cleanliness and Hygiene
Safety convenience and comfort
Maintenance and sanitation of infrastructures
Information and communication
Pricing and Profit (not revenue Management)
Economic and environmental sustainability
Quality processes and control of services provided to customers
Legislation and respect for current regulations
Last but not least, starting to work on each and every one of these standards at the sector level is going to be a complex and certainly long task.
That is precisely the mission of Master VR, to deepen the study and development of these standards, adapted to each country and in turn to the own of the different segments that make up the sector, I mean : Sun and Beach, Urban, Mountain and Nature and Ski.
For this task, we will work with the industry, the promoters and developers of the technology, in agreement with the Property Managers who, together, will try to put supply and demand in agreement so that the result will be compatible and optimal tools and protocols.
Answering the question that gives the title, why are they so important and essential? Because only with optimal and well-structured standards can the sector continue to grow in a sustainable way, adding credibility and attracting new clients.
Without standards and their implementation, all property managers today will remain small islands in a sea of supply where we as a sector will be neither identifiable nor recognizable.
This is the only reason why we will work with the main actors and players in the sector to develop the best practices and the optimal standards that our sector needs.
By José Vázquez. CEO and Founder of Master VR LLC.