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Short-Term Rental Industry Experts Sound Off at RealWorld 2017

The Kigo team was very excited to take its place at RealWorld 2017. We held two full days of sessions and hosted short-term rental industry professionals from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

The response from attendees was wonderful and discussion was rigorous and collaborative, with experts sharing their successes and challenges both in front of the podium and from the audience.


Sessions included:

The State of the Vacation Rental Industry

What does 2017 hold for the world of travel? The panel included:

Matthew Hoffman, Division Vice President Kigo, RealPage

Alex Ward, Lead Special Projects, Global Host Operations, Airbnb

Robert Jackson, Senior Operations Manager, HomeAway

Micah Berg, CEO RealJoy Vacations

Hannah Lau, Senior Director Product Management Kigo, RealPage
They discussed the industry as a whole, including different emerging trends in the US and EU markets, specifically traveler demand, service, and disruption of business practices largely driven by technology innovation.

Establishing trust is still a challenge in the market, as well as digital marketing, but the industry is learning and growing. While new regulations pose some possible growth issues, things are still looking good for the short-term rental industry as a whole.

“Over the last five years, we have seen a huge shift in the way property management companies are serving guests. They are relinquishing old, antiquated practices, adopting new solutions to grow their businesses.”- Matthew Hoffman, Division Vice President, Kigo.

Curating an Exceptional Customer Experience

Speaker: Matthew Hoffman, Division Vice President Kigo, RealPage

Customer service is all about communication, and that’s how this session began.  Speaker talked about the right methods and frequency of communication, as well as what points in the booking process you should establish those connections. They also discussed the necessary amenities and information to create a customer experience that translates into positive reviews and repeat bookings.

Risks and Rewards of Short-Term Rentals: A Start Guide for Long-Term Property Managers

Speaker: Matthew Hoffman, Division Vice President Kigo, RealPage

One of the most innovative sessions of the conference, this session drew intense interest from Kigo clients, as well as other rental housing professionals in the multifamily and single-family spaces. Participants discussed the reasons to add short-term rentals to a single-family or multifamily portfolio, including a payout that can be up to 10x more profitable than traditional long-term leasing. The session also covered ways to turn vacant or underperforming long-term units into short-term rental winners. The ideas truly flowed at this session!

Demystifying Short-Term Rental Channel Management

Speaker: Matt Willis, Vice President Product Development Kigo, RealPage

This session covered the ins and outs of channel management, which channels to focus on, and how to leverage each channel to its fullest.  Attendees learned how to compare the “quality” channels to their company websites, and how to leverage the strengths of each. The power of this session was once again about participants sharing their successes and challenges.

The Ins and Outs of Scaling your Service Accommodations Quickly

Speaker: Paul Smith, Entrepreneur and Director, Touchstone Education, The Paragon Group

The key to growing your business is in building your portfolio. In this session, best-selling author, speaker and short-term business owner Paul Smith discussed the benefits of short-term rentals and some trends he has noticed in this rapidly growing industry. Some of his quotes included:

  • "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it."
  • “If your website isn't mobile friendly, you're missing out on 2/3 of potential bookings.”
  • “The average time a prospective guest spends on a listing is 2 seconds. You only have a moment to make a great impression.”

RealWorld 2017 Keynote Presentation


Terry Jones, founder of and founding chairman of

Steve Winn, RealPage Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Ashley Glover, RealPage Chief Revenue Officer

Well-known as the founder of and founding chairman of, entrepreneur Terry Jones took the stage to share his perspectives and stories on the top technological disruptors happening in the world today. Two of the most impactful disruptors are Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, in addition to connectivity, algorithms, and more.

Once again, next year promises to be a boon of information for all who attend. See you at RealWorld Conference 2018!

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