Four apps that could change your holiday rental business forever

When attended the VRMA (Vacation Rental Manager Association) European Conference in Bruges back in December, the buzzword on everyone’s lips was ‘mobile’. What does mobile marketing and app usage mean for the holiday rental industry? Is it the answer to streamlining your holiday rental business, improving the guest experience and increasing bookings? 

Guest management apps 

The conference brought together supplier companies from all over the world who offer mobile apps and software for holiday rental managers in multiple regions and languages. All were looking to impress and show off their product to industry managers.  

‘More bookings, less work’ is one mobile app’s slogan, so we took a look at some of the best apps available in today’s market and what uses and benefits they can have for your business. 

Are we already using mobile apps in our holiday rental business?

Mobile responsive websitesIt looks like mobile apps already play an important part in the role of a holiday rental manager in today’s market. A recent survey by VRM Intel suggested that 63% of holiday rental managers surveyed, already used a mobile app to improve their business model. 

Similarly, a survey carried out by mobile listings company, Dwellable, reported that 75% of travellers surveyed about their holiday rental habits, said that they researched holiday rentals via their smartphones and tablets and 35% made an enquiry or booking via their mobile.  

These findings follow our predictions reported in the article, 2014: The Year of the Holiday Rental.

So what are the benefits and uses of mobile app integration?

Stay in touch 24/7:  Forget uncoordinated emails, hastily written down notes, voice messages and faxed back contracts that you can’t read. There are some highly effective mobile apps that allow holiday rental managers and owners to communicate with their guests in real-time or with scheduled push notifications. Automated actions such as contract sign-off, check in/check out and rebooking, are just some of the features that could benefit your business. 

Guest engagement and experience: No longer is your holiday rental just about the number of bedrooms and distance to beach. Now your guests can live the experience before they even arrive. Engaging guests with live information on your local area, streamed to their own mobile devices, is a great way of getting clients interested in your home and local area, and ultimately increasing booking opportunities. 






And that’s not the only guest engagement benefit. Once they arrive on holiday, rather than leave them a paper list of essentials, such as wifi codes, security and key management, and reminders about leaving the air conditioning on etc., there are home automation apps that allow you to share this information with your guests for the duration of their stay and some will even automate procedures for them! 

Reduced guest contact: After investing in a little time in set-up and training, these applications can free up your agenda, streamlining the booking process and reducing guest contact during their stay. It also allows your guests time to enjoy their holiday, rather than spending time on the phone to you.

Upselling and new revenue streams: As yet the concept of upselling and creating diverse revenue channels has not been the main motivation behind the adoption of apps by rental managers and owners. However, there is a great opportunity through offering concierge-style services: golf and restaurant reservations, car rental and taxi services; that will at the least pay for the app itself and at most, become a decent stream of revenue for your business.  


Holiday rental app 

Four apps that could change your holiday rental business for the better

Coponis takes the traditional holiday rental ‘Welcome Pack’ and utilises technology to put it straight into the hands of your guests before they have arrived.  

This is a UK-developed application, which is available to use worldwide and according to Coponis’ creator Dan Whiting, should soon be available in multi languages by mid-March.  

Some of the features of Coponis include:  


  • Check-in, keys and alarm code 
  • Guest scheduling - Property ‘how-to’ guide - heating, TV, oven, security, lighting, etc.  
  • Inventory feature 
  • Area guide - things to do, shops, restaurants, museums, cashpoints 
  • Book restaurants, tours and car hire 
  • First-aid app -
  • There's even a torch for power cuts!

Agree’nSign isn't an app, but we love it anyway! This nifty little web-based system that allows you to send booking forms and contracts to your guests, which they then sign online. They don’t have to scan their signature, as the system provides an electronic-style pen to do the work. No more cut and paste, scanning or faxing. Simple, but very effective. The system also allows you to track pending, unsigned contracts.  

GladToHaveYou  is another formidable operator in the guest management sector, which aims to transform your holiday rental home into a five-star guest experience. The US based operator has been in the market for a while and offers a complete property management and guest engagement package, which can also be integrated with, to give you an integrated program of management, engagement, automation and security facilities. 

GladToHaveYou provides similar functionalities to those of Coponis, but also includes a neat little customer tracking, reservation and profiling system, as well as giving the guest the opportunity to send a guestbook review with photos from their smartphone. At present, the system only accepts property addresses in the United States, but the GladToHaveYouTeam confirmed to us that the system should be ready to roll out into Europe by quarter two this year and recommend to register now, so that you can familiarise yourself with the system and have a play within the admin portal and mobile app to see what they offer. is an application that allows you to automate your home security, domotics and utilities even though you’ve left the building.  It allows owners to control energy and water usage and you can give controlled access to your guests for facilities such as digital key access. There is a package for property managers, who manage multiple homes and a separate offering for owners, managing just one property.  

You may or may not be mobile app savvy, but we believe more and more guests will start to demand these features, as part of their holiday experience. So it’s a good idea to investigate the different systems available and what best fit with your rental business model. Happy Apping!