Categories
Features

Direct Introduces Next-Gen CRM For Booking Opportunities

Direct-pms-wes-smithe

Wes Smithe in Features on June 27th, 2019

Direct Introduces Next-Gen CRM For Booking Opportunities


Direct® vacation rentals software today introduced Convert™, a next-level guest CRM for managing booking opportunities. 

Vacation rental managers and reservationists can contact, follow up with, and convert leads & repeat customers in real-time as they move through the funnel with this proprietary CRM. The tool also includes a smart algorithm, all of which is fully wired up to the unified messaging system and booking engine within the platform. 

Logged in users can read more about the CRM in this article


Convert CRM from Direct
Categories
Industry

Direct Recipient of 2019 Keystone Award From VRMB.com

Direct-pms-wes-smithe

Wes Smithe in Industry on June 28th, 2019

Direct Recipient of 2019 Keystone Award From VRMB


VRMB.com announced today that it has awarded Direct® as one of the best vacation rental software platforms in 2019. 

Using data from 100+ hours of demos, 750+ completions of the "PMS Selector Tool" by professional managers, and qualitative feedback, Direct's next-gen platform was rated one of the best vacation software platforms for US-based VRMs managing 1-50 units. 

Direct is now expanding internationally, with clients based in the UK, Ireland, France, Chile, Mexico, Canada, and throughout the Caribbean. As well, the company services multiple managers with 200+ units in their portfolio. Built to work at scale with a complete trust accounting system, Direct can now support the largest enterprise managers with 700-1,000+ units under management.

"  Direct is THE impressive new vacation rental software that all smart property managers should keep an eye on.  "

Terry Whyte, founder of Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals Inc, member of the VRMB
"Inner Circle," and a key contributor to the Keystone Awards process noted, "Direct has a very strong future. Right now, they're in the 1-50 property count category. I see the future that they're going to be in the over 50. When I did the demo, I said, we should revisit this in six months because I can see that this is just going in the right direction in a hurry." Fellow Keystone Awards contributor and founder of VRMB, Matt Landau stated, "Direct is THE impressive new vacation rental software that all smart property managers should keep an eye on."


Direct receives VRMB Keystone Award for top software in 2019

Direct receives VRMB Keystone Award for top software in 2019

About Direct®
Direct is the essential enterprise software platform for vacation rental property management with a proprietary channel manager, CRM, free website builder, automated staff workflows, integrated payouts, and much more. Their next-gen software adds tremendous value bringing every feature necessary to run a business under one roof by consolidating or replacing the functionalities altogether, enabling companies to generate more revenue, with less effort, and ultimately at a lower cost than they can by bundling competing platforms.

About VRMB
VRMB (aka. Vacation Rental Marketing Blog) is a free resource designed to help vacation rental owners generate more bookings. The website is a free resource that documents the industry’s best practices in order to close the learning gap between newcomers and the biggest brands in vacation rentals. 

Matt Landau of VRMB

  Matt Landau

Matt Landau is the founder of VRMB.com, a blog that averages 20,000 motivated visitors per month, and the Inner Circle (a private community that financially supports the free blog) has grown to nearly 800 members.

Terry Whyte of Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals Inc

  Terry Whyte

Terry Whyte is the founder of Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals Inc, member of the VRMB Inner Circle, and a key contributor to the Keystone Awards in 2019.

Sign up to get Essential updates.

 

Categories
Integrations

PointCentral Integrates Home Automation Features with Direct

Direct-pms-wes-smithe

Wes Smithe in Integrations on May 7th, 2019

PointCentral Integrates Smart Home Automation Features with Direct®


Portland-based PointCentral, the recognized leader in enterprise-scale Property Automation solutions for short-term vacation rental and long-term residential property managers, today announced they have integrated their smart home property automation technology with Chicago-based Direct®, makers of a Property Management Software (PMS) for vacation rental managers. The integration provides a robust technical interface that links PointCentral Smart Home keyless solutions to the Direct vacation rental software, further automating how VRMs can leverage technology to improve their operations, delight guests and keep homeowners happy.

"We're extremely excited to announce our relationship with PointCentral," said Wes Smithe, co-founder & CEO at Direct. "Both of our systems are innovative and powerful, and this seamless integration will support managers using PointCentral who are looking for a next-gen PMS, and allow managers using Direct to take home automation to the next level."

" By integrating PointCentral technology with PMS platforms, like Direct, vacation rental managers can manage access and other smart home property automation technology directly within their software.  "

By incorporating keyless smart locks and thermostats in their properties, vacation rental managers using the Direct PMS can automatically assign temporary lock codes for each guest, as well as both automate and control the HVAC units within their properties The codes are activated on the date and time of check-in and expire on the date and time of check-out, providing guests with the peace of mind knowing the lock codes are unique to their stay, and eliminating the need to stop to pick up or drop off a key. If early arrival is requested, the system can automatically notify the guest when their rental is clean and available for occupancy, at the same time making the lock code available earlier.

"Vacation rental managers are rapidly adopting smart home technology for their properties," said Sean Miller, president of PointCentral. "Keyless smart locks not only provide significant operational efficiencies by eliminating the risks and frustrations associated with keys, they also result in happier guests who appreciate the added safety and homeowners who want their assets protected. By integrating PointCentral technology with PMS platforms, like Direct, vacation rental managers can manage access and other smart home property automation technology directly within their software."


PointCentral Integrates with Direct

PointCentral is now fully integrated with Direct PMS

About Direct®
Direct is the essential enterprise software platform for vacation rental property management with a proprietary channel manager, CRM, free website builder, automated staff workflows, integrated payouts, and much more. Their next-gen software adds tremendous value bringing every feature necessary to run a business under one roof by consolidating or replacing the functionalities altogether, enabling companies to generate more revenue, with less effort, and ultimately at a lower cost than they can by bundling competing platforms.

About PointCentral
PointCentral, a subsidiary of Alarm.com (ALRM), provides short and long-term property managers of single-family and multi-family assets with an enterprise-class solution that monitors and controls Smart Home technology across all properties in their inventory over a best-in-class secure and reliable cellular network – increasing property awareness, reducing operational costs and improving resident satisfaction. PointCentral's solutions allow property managers to realize operational efficiencies, enhancing the asset for guests and residents.

  Sean Miller

Sean Miller is CEO and Co-Founder at PointCentral, based in Portland.

Sign up to get Essential updates.

 

Categories
Integrations

PriceLabs Integrates Revenue Management Solution Direct

Direct-pms-wes-smithe

Wes Smithe in Integrations on July 11th, 2019

PriceLabs Integrates Revenue Management Solution With Direct®


Chicago-based PriceLabs, a global leader in revenue and yield management technology for professional vacation rental managers, today announced they have completed an integration with fellow Chicago-based Direct®, a next-generation enterprise Property Management System (PMS) for vacation rental managers.

"We’re very excited to announce our integration with PriceLabs," said Wes Smithe, co-founder & CEO at Direct. “Their system is amazingly powerful, their onboarding process is very organized, and their team is great to work with and constantly innovating. This two-way integration allows vacation rental managers to make data-driven, dynamic changes to pricing and availability as efficiently as possible, a huge leg up for our side of the hotel and lodging industry.”

" As we worked on this partnership and got to learn more, we’ve been extremely pleased by the breadth of capabilities Direct provides as an enterprise-grade property management system.  "

By incorporating the revenue management technology from PriceLabs, vacation rental management companies running on Direct can seamlessly manage pricing and stay restrictions to increase revenues, and save countless hours in the process. In a few clicks managers can connect to PriceLabs within Direct, and within minutes can get an overview of their portfolio’s performance, see which listings need to be updated, and setup account-level customization for full automation. All data is then pushed to calendars within Direct, which then feed to the top marketplaces with their proprietary channel manager, or to the managers websites powered by Direct for increased conversions.

"We’re super excited to be partnering with Direct. Even before we started working together, Wes and his team came highly recommended by people we look up to in the vacation rental industry" said Anurag Verma, Co-founder of PriceLabs. "As we worked on this partnership and got to learn more, we’ve been extremely pleased by the breadth of capabilities Direct provides as an enterprise-grade property management system. The automation tools and workflows they’ve built are great by themselves, but the direct channel connections really differentiates them. It removes that one more layer of complexity that most property management systems have to deal with in the form of a channel manager sitting between them and the OTAs."

PriceLabs integrates with Direct

PriceLabs is now fully integrated with Direct PMS

About Direct®
Rated one of the top vacation rental software platforms in 2019 by VRMB.com, Direct is the essential enterprise software platform for vacation rental property management with a proprietary channel manager, CRM, free website builder, automated staff workflows, integrated payouts, and much more. Their next-gen software adds tremendous value bringing every feature necessary to run a business under one roof by consolidating or replacing the functionalities altogether, enabling companies to generate more revenue, with less effort, and ultimately at a lower cost than they can by bundling competing platforms.

About PriceLabs
PriceLabs is an innovative and easy to use revenue management tool for the vacation and short term rental industry. A data-driven approach, automation rules, and customizations to manage pricing and stay restrictions help vacation rental managers increase revenues, and save hours in the process. With integrations to a growing list of channels and property management systems, automated revenue management is a few clicks away.

  Anurag Verma

Anurag Verma is CEO and Co-Founder at PriceLabs, based in Chicago.

Sign up to get Essential updates.

 

Categories
Integrations

VirtualKEY Integrates Home Automation Platform with Direct

Direct-pms-wes-smithe

Wes Smithe in Integrations on June 24th, 2019

VirtualKEY Integrates Home Automation Platform With Direct®


Chicago-based VirtualKEY, a global leader in smart home automation technology for property managers and owner-operators, today announced they have completed integrating their platform with fellow Chicago-based Direct®, a next-generation enterprise Property Management System (PMS) for vacation rental managers.

“We are beyond thrilled to announce our integration with VirtualKEY,” said Wes Smithe, co-founder & CEO at Direct. “The platform is amazing end-to-end, their approach to the market is frictionless, and their dynamic team is making a huge impact in the industry. This seamless integration allows managers to automate operations in the most personalized way possible.”

" Direct is an all-in-one property management software with next-gen technology disrupting our industry. Direct will make it easier for property managers to manage their properties, staff, vendors, guests, and bookings in one single platform.  "

By incorporating VirtualKEY’s technology, vacation rental management companies running on Direct can easily generate temporary access codes for short term renters, allowing them to unlock the door with a 4-digit PIN or their mobile devices for the duration of the stay. As soon as the reservation expires, the temporary code is automatically deactivated, and an audit trail for security purposes is created along the way. The integration also allows property managers to automate HVAC temperature changes based on occupancy saving 15% in utilities, adjust lights, voice-assisted concierge service, better monitor staff, and protect property assets using noise, smoke, and leak sensors.

“It gives me immense pleasure to announce the Integration with Direct,” said Resha Shroff, CEO of VirtualKEY. “Direct is an all-in-one property management software with next-gen technology disrupting our industry. Direct will make it easier for property managers to manage their properties, staff, vendors, guests, and bookings in one single platform.”


VirtualKEY integrates with Direct

VirtualKEY is now fully integrated with Direct PMS

About Direct®
Direct is the essential enterprise software platform for vacation rental property management with a proprietary channel manager, CRM, free website builder, automated staff workflows, integrated payouts, and much more. Their next-gen software adds tremendous value bringing every feature necessary to run a business under one roof by consolidating or replacing the functionalities altogether, enabling companies to generate more revenue, with less effort, and ultimately at a lower cost than they can by bundling competing platforms.

About VirtualKEY
VirtualKEY is an enterprise software powering properties in 200 cities and 5 countries. Their manufacturer-agnostic automation software integrates with a variety of Smartlocks from Yale, Schlage, Dorma Kaba, Remotelock etc. and over 300 home automation devices (lighting control, thermostats, pool sensors, Alexa, etc.). The platform automatically syncs reservation information from Property Management Systems (PMS), and online booking platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway to deliver time-sensitive PIN codes for guests and staff, monetize services like an early check-in / late check-out, and collect emails of all the guests in the group to increase remarketing conversions.

  Resha Shroff

Resha Shroff is CEO and Co-Founder at VirtualKEY, based in Chicago.

Sign up to get Essential updates.

 

Categories
Influencers

Simon Lehmann Has Officially Joined the Direct Advisory Board

Direct-pms-wes-smithe

Wes Smithe in Influencers on March 6th, 2018

Simon Lehmann Joins Direct® Advisory Board 


Direct, the forward-thinking, do-everything software platform for lodging management companies of all sizes worldwide, announced today that travel industry veteran Simon Lehmann has officially joined the company as an advisor. 

"It's 2018 - we're seeing self-driving cars, self-landing rockets, and self-governing currency, yet the B2B software that runs the $650B Hotel and Lodging industry still feels coin-operated...disconnected, antiquated, and lacking true innovation," said Lehmann, an expert in the industry and frequent keynote speaker. "A massive convergence is taking place, and the entire travel hospitality vertical is becoming one. The vision for Direct is very much aligned with this." 

"  We're seeing self-driving cars, self-landing rockets, and self-governing currency, yet the B2B software that runs the industry still feels coin-operated...  "

So what's the big problem Direct is solving? First, in order for lodging management companies to operate and generate revenue, 10+ disjointed, costly, and/or outdated software tools are required in conjunction with a very laborious process carried out thousands of times per year. Direct adds immediate value bringing every feature necessary to run a business under one roof by consolidating or replacing the functionalities altogether, allowing companies to save time and money, and ultimately increase margins and revenue.

The next-gen software platform from Direct is currently targeting vacation rental management companies, which control the majority of global vacation home rental supply--over 2.2 million units, and manage portfolios of 135 units on average.

That said, the hotel side of the industry, 10x the size of its rapidly-growing counterpart, faces many of the same problems, and more and more operators are offering consumers a variety of lodging options (e.g. vacation rental units, hostel rooms, and hotel rooms, all on a single property). Recognizing the lines are blurring, Direct will soon penetrate hotels, starting with a handful of independent operators in the Chicago area whose needs mirror those of traditional vacation rental management companies.

Simon Lehmann joins Direct advisory board

Lehmann is a frequent keynote speaker at alternative lodging conferences worldwide.

"The incumbents are reaching the end of their product life cycles, while the newer entrants, which actually have pretty outdated tech stacks, simply aren't bringing anything new to the table," said Wes Smithe, co-founder and CEO. "It takes customers 3-6 months to onboard with the incumbents, and after you've endured this you feel as though you're being held prisoner, while those brave enough to abandon ship are forced to choose the best out of all bad options. In either case, the outcome is overly complicated and expensive, and Direct is addressing the resulting inertia head on."

Based in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, the Direct team has built a proprietary platform that is agnostic in terms of distribution and property type, and scales to meet the needs of any size company, from one brand with a dozen units, to companies with dozens of brands and hundreds of thousands of units. Joining is risk-free, and the onboarding experience is free and nearly frictionless.

As far as features, the next-gen software platform currently includes a robust property management system (PMS), accounting and reporting tools, unified guest communication, fully-customizable e-commerce website and auto-email builders, and a two-way channel manager that fully automates and maximizes distribution to top marketplaces, a proprietary CRM, and much more. 

Looking ahead, the team has multiple above parity features currently in development that will completely transform how companies manage, monitor, maintain, and automate every facet of their businesses, including revenue and yield management, staff task and accounting workflows, guest communication, and smart home technology. Additionally, Lehmann, who is based in Zurich, Switzerland, brings a wealth of experience and connections in the active European vacation rental market, so the Direct team is ramping up internationalization support within the product to increase their overseas footprint later on in the year.

"In general, the B2B software side of the industry is highly fragmented, everyone is integrating with one another, and there are multiple players charging far too much for doing very little," said Chad O'Farrell, co-founder and Chief Development Officer. "With Direct suppliers can truly manage everything from one place, and at a fraction of the cost."

  Simon Lehmann

Simon Lehmann is currently CEO and Co-Founder at AJL Consulting, based in Zurich, Switzerland. Prior to founding AJL, Simon was President at Phocuswright, the industry's leading research firm. He was also a non-executive board member at HomeAway (until acquisition by Expedia), and is the former CEO of Interhome, one of the largest vacation / holiday rental providers in Europe with over 30,000 properties in 31 countries.

Sign up to Essential Updates.