General Sessions

    Vacation Rentals in the Age of Assistance with Google

    Sunday, October 28 at 8:30 am

    Today technology is assisting us throughout our day and we now expect that type of experience in all of our digital interactions. Hear from Google on how this shift in consumer expectations applies to the vacation rental industry and how your own business can win in the “Age of Assistance.”

    Presented by:

    IC Speaker - Google.png

    Shaun Aukland
    Global Business Manager, Travel, Google

    The Vacation Rental Manager of the Future

    Sunday, October 28 at 4:15 pm

    This session will cover strategic and technology trends in VR, focused around delivering a new suite of services at the local level – local restaurant delivery; grocery delivery; concierge services, trips and experiences; and smart home integration. The session will cover these topics from a strategic perspective by discussing vision of what is possible today, what will be possible tomorrow and a focus on strategic considerations for a VRM in the emergence of new service models.

    Who will pay for or finance deployment? What new revenue opportunities will these services open? How can this reshape the relationship with the listing platforms? Who owns the guest relationship and how does that benefit the VRM?

    Presented by:

    IC Speaker - Alex Nigg.png Alex Nigg
    Founder and CEO, Properly
    IC Speaker - Steve Milo.png Steve Milo
    Founder and CEO, VTrips

    VRMA Battleground, in Partnership with Phocuswright

    Monday, October 29 at 8:30 am

    Watch a group of start-ups as they compete for the title of VRMA Innovator of the Year! You’ll be the judge as they present fresh ideas and the products and services that will shape the future for vacation rental managers. Each pitch will be followed by questions from a panel of industry experts and a final audience vote to select the winner.

    The companies participating in the Battleground are: 


    Keesy is the first totally automatic check-in and check-out service, available all day, 365 days a year. A time-saving approach, allowing both host and guest to experience the hospitality process worry-free.

    Keesy Box: A key box is available at the local Keesy Point to deposit or pick up the keys 24 hours from booking or as long as needed; Keesy Digital: Designed for hosts who want to personally deliver and pick up the keys and for the management of smart apartments.


    Futurestay is the smartest way to connect vacation rentals to everything that matters: guests, channels, payments, and their own website and brand.

    The Futurestay Dashboard connects private accommodations to the proprietary industry spanning grid created with partners at Airbnb, Booking.com, HomeAway, and more. Managers import their properties and rules into the Dashboard, and Futurestay automates the rest.

    Futurestay Smart Connections understand how the travel ecosystem interacts  for example, how a cancellation on Airbnb affects a property’s check-in time on Homeaway, whether that commission invoice from Booking.com is accurate, and what percentage of a refund the VRBO guest is actually owed.

    Since launching globally in 2015, Futurestay has connected over 110k properties worldwide, growing by thousands each month. Our mission is to streamline the enormous friction between vacation rental supply and OTA/channel/traveler demand for instant bookings.

    GuestForce-Social Media Logo.png

    GuestForce develops white-label Experiential Commerce Technology that offers an unmatched amount of local content that includes purchasable Travel, Entertainment and Leisure experiences in the form of a digital concierge. We empower our clients’ guests to discover events and book local attractions, tours, and activities… even dining, before and during their stay, while all along generating revenue for the hosts.

    Our cloud-based Experiential Intelligence® engine was developed in order to easily automate aggregation and curation of tens-of-millions of chronological and location-based data elements as a turn-key bolt-on technology… not another mobile app. Automatically populated and updated daily, our Ei algorithm provides the most relevant localized attraction information available today.

    Memories of a lifetime... Courtesy of your brand!

    Virtual Concierge Service logo v6 (1).jpg


    Virtual Concierge Service delivers AI-powered voice technology to the vacation rental industry. Our mission is to transform the guest and host experience through voice, making technology disappear.

    We understand that as a property manager, you don’t need more widgets to manage. Our service provides management for all of your voice assistant devices. We are proud to be working with Amazon to bring Alexa for Hospitality to the VR community. We can activate, manage and continuously monitor Amazon Echo devices across all of your properties. For example, before each guest arrival we reset devices to ensure a consistent experience.

    Our guest-facing platform provides you the ability to define a virtual concierge that can be customized to each property. This platform is portable, making it easy to embed in other software solutions. Your existing VR software vendors can bring this voice technology to you, using their familiar dashboards. We provide APIs that allow VR software companies to deliver our service transparently. We support this ecosystem by enabling them to expand their value to you.

    Virtual Concierge Service likewise provides a host-facing platform. Currently in limited release, it allows you to leverage voice technology in the office or on the road. With a simple question, you can get immediate information about your properties or guest schedules. For example, temperature of a property or check-in date for a group. You can also be alerted to conditions like a front door being unlocked, or water usage exceeding a threshold.

    The vacation rental industry is experiencing explosive growth. The same is true of voice technology. In Q1 2017 only 7% of US households had a smart speaker. By 2020, that number will be 75%. Virtual Concierge Service can help property managers capitalize on the opportunity this new technology provides  through host efficiency and enhanced guest experience.


    What do travelers do with their luggage if they arrive before check-in or have several free hours after check-out? Instead of dragging their bags to Big Ben or rolling them to the Empire State Building, LuggageHero can lighten their loads.

    LuggageHero is a network of more than 250 safe, convenient, and affordable storage sites. The sites are located within local businesses, including shops, cafés, and hotels. The service is particularly popular among travelers using vacation rentals, which often don’t have luggage storage options. LuggageHero now operates in New York City, London, and Copenhagen, with 36 new cities expected to launch in 2019.

    LuggageHero’s self-service concept allows customers to book and drop off luggage using their smartphones. The transaction is quick and easy, and customers are charged only for the amount of hours luggage is stored. The stored luggage comes with a tamper-free seal, and each piece of luggage, along with its contents, is insured for up to $3,000.

    LuggageHero will soon offer third-party integration, where vacation rental companies can integrate LuggageHero storage reservation options into their own platforms.

    The Battleground judges are:


    Jodi Refosco
    Owner/Partner, Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales 
    mike h.png Mike Harrington
    President, Topsail Reality Vacations
    Chris Hemmeter.png Chris Hemmeter
    Managing Director, Thayer Ventures

    Industry Insights from Property Management Executives

    Monday, October 29 at 4:15 pm

    Back by popular demand – property managers come together for a discussion about the industry’s most pressing topics.

    Attendees will learn about how leading vacation rental managers approach the market, the rise of unbundling property management services, and how to market a property management company in the face of a shifting environment. Identify opportunities and challenges presented by new technologies and develop actionable steps for creating a strategy with a focus on growth.

    Presented by:

    IC Speaker - Eric Breon.png Eric Breon
    Co-Founder and CEO, Vacasa
    IC Speaker - John Banczak.png John Banczak
    Executive Chairman, Turnkey Vacation Rentals
    IC Speaker - Leslie Preston.png Leslie Preston
    Founder and Managing Director, Bachcare Holiday Homes
    IC Speaker - Simon Lehmann.png Moderated by Simon Lehmann
    CEO/Co-Founder at AJL Consulting