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Revealed – the who’s who of the holiday rental world

Having weathered the various challenges of 2020, showing its resilience and adaptability with companies surviving despite the difficult travel climate, the holiday rental world is expected to have something of a bumper year in 2021 – at least on a domestic front – as people holiday more locally once restrictions start to lift again.

With this in mind, Barcelona-based short-let platform Rentals United has sought to celebrate all the companies that complement, support, and make up the holiday rental ecosystem with their biggest publication of the year, now in its sixth edition, known as the ‘Who’s Who of the Vacation Rental World 2021’.

The holiday rental world is diverse and varied, running from large property management systems (PMS) companies, to widespread global event organisations, to startups in cleaning and keyless entry, and everything in between. 


At a ‘whopping 115 pages’, the Who’s Who aims to be the comprehensive guide to the industry as well as celebrating ‘its expansiveness and innovation’. The very first edition had about fifty companies. Fast forward to today and it has more than 220 businesses listed. 

The guide now has 35 categories, two more than last year. One of these new categories is cleaning and safety certifications, clearly born from the effects of the pandemic. 

Taking into account the significant growth of the industry, Rentals United separated the PMS category and moved them to their own Who’s Who of PMS in 2020. On top of that, the company also released the Who’s Who of the Short-Term Rental Listing Sites last year, giving them their own platform for celebration.

This year’s Who’s Who of the Vacation Rental World includes the following categories:        

3D Tours


Central Reservation System

Channel Management


Check-in Software

Cleaning & Safety Certifications



Data Solutions

Dynamic Pricing

Education & Training


Floor Plans

Guest Communication

Guest Verification

Home Automation

Housekeeping & Maintenance 

Innovative Services


IT Solutions

Key Safes & Drop Boxes

Lead Management

Marketing Automation

Noise Control

Payment Solutions


Referral Networks

Revenue Management

Smart Locks & Keyless Entry

Supplies & Interior Design

Voice Solutions

Website Building 

Welcome Apps 

WiFi Solutions 

When looking at property managers and their technology adoption, Rentals United has found that payment providers, accounting tools and keyless entry are the most widely used.

Property management systems (PMS) are also an industry mainstay and the use of it varies by size of property manager. Rental United found that 68% of property managers with 1-99 properties use a third-party PMS, some 23% use no PMS and 9% have built their own. 

Property managers with 100-499 properties have a higher adoption rate, with 64% using a third-party PMS, 29% building their own and only 7% not using one at all. 

Another piece of essential tech for property managers is the Channel Manager, the research found, with 57% of property managers using an external Channel Manager in conjunction with their PMS. This is especially true for property managers with more than 100 units; of these, 74% use an external Channel Manager in conjunction with their PMS.

Rentals United says this data, coupled with the Who’s Who list, illustrates how intertwined the businesses in the holiday rental industry are, with all the different companies supporting and relying on each other to ultimately benefit the modern traveller.  

Vanessa de Souza Lage, CMO and co-founder of Rentals United, commented: “The growth and innovation of the vacation rental industry is clearly exemplified by the Who’s Who of the Vacation Rental World. We love seeing all the innovative startups that have spurned in the industry as it matures.”

Well-known names to feature in the Who’s Who include Box Brownie, Matterport, Breezeway, I-Prac, Adobe PR, Boostly, AirDNA, ShortTermRentalz, Schofields and Operto.

You can download the 2021 edition of the Who’s Who of the Vacation Rental World - after completing a short survey - here. It’s a comprehensive, well-designed and well-researched list, which should prove useful to those operating in the holiday rental sector both in the UK, Europe and elsewhere.


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