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Webinar: how to determine your short-term rental business tech stack

Tyann Marcink Hammond, Touch Stay’s very own Queen of Guest Experience, 2 x property management company owner, and all-round STR legend, hosted a panel discussion with a range vacation rental industry professionals, focusing on the technologies, or ‘tech stacks’, that they employ to manage their properties and enhance the guest experiences.

Tyann’s guests included:

  • Heather Meuer, owner of Roaming Home Properties - a portfolio of six short-term rentals, and The Embers - a resort for 17 glamping units, with hook-ups for up to 50 RVs
  • Taylor Jones of Techvester, an institutional short-term rental investment fund that has acquired over 140 properties in the last two years
  • Kenny Bahl, COO of Portoro, a short-term rental management company with a portfolio of 250 properties

The discussion revolved around the importance of tech stacks in scaling business operations, how they've helped property managers expand, specific tech choices, avoiding pitfalls, and horror stories from failed tech implementations. The panellists also shared their most recent tech additions and the current technologies constituting their tech stacks.

Watch the full webinar here or read on to glean key insights from the session:

What is a tech stack and why do you need one?

  • A tech stack refers to all the tools and technology used to own, acquire, and operate short-term rental properties, from acquisition to reporting.
  • A tech stack is important for businesses as it helps keep them organised, efficient, and cost-effective by utilising various software for accounting, task management, and other operational needs.
  • Automation is a crucial aspect of tech stacks, especially for short-term rentals, as it reduces the time spent on messaging and working with guests.

Heather Meuer:

Automation in what we do with short term rentals is a huge part of it, and that's something I love about Touch Stay. We use the Memo feature to communicate with our guests so we were able to scale a little bit faster. Because of the automation, it cuts down on the time that you're actively messaging guests.

Essential tech stack criteria 

  • Property managers should evaluate new technologies based on whether they solve pain points, save time, money, or create convenience.
  • When choosing between similar tools, property managers should consider their specific business needs and ensure that the software integrates seamlessly with their existing tech stack.
  • Avoid single points of failure by using different software providers for different tasks, as this can help mitigate the impact of price changes or other issues with one provider.
  • Focus on specialised software rather than all-in-one solutions, as specialised software tends to be more reliable and effective.

Taylor Jones:

Whether you have five, ten or a thousand properties, write down where your time is allocated for a week straight, every day, and then figure out where you spend the most hours of your day. Then go and look at what software you can implement to reduce or eliminate this. Maybe you're drowning in accounting or you're drowning in guest communication… there’s an opportunity and a piece of tech for everything - you just need to see what your biggest time-sucks are. 

How to choose the right software for you

  • When choosing tools for a tech stack, it is important to identify pain points and select software that addresses them effectively. This helps save time, money, and frees up resources for other tasks.
  • A tech stack can be beneficial for small operators with just a few properties, as it can save time and allow them to focus on growing their business.
  • Essential categories for a small operator's tech stack include property management software, pricing software, a digital guidebook, accounting software, and communication tools.
  • Additional essential tools mentioned include task management software and lock automation.

Kenny Bahl:

We define software needs first, then do an in-depth demo for compatibility with our existing tech stack. I prioritise functionality and seamless integration, especially with property management software, focusing heavily on communication and smooth operation.

Our panellists’ tech stack choices

Property management software:

  • Taylor: Hospitable
  • Heather: OwnerRez 
  • Kenny: Guesty
  • Tyann: OwnerRez

Digital guidebook:

  • Taylor: Touch Stay
  • Heather: Touch Stay
  • Kenny: Touch Stay
  • Tyann: Touch Stay

(No surprises there! 😉)

Guest communication:

  • Taylor: Hospitable and OpenPhone
  • Heather: OwnerRez, Touch Stay and OpenPhone
  • Kenny: Autohost, Guesty and Aircall
  • Tyann: OpenPhone, OwnerRez and Touch Stay

Accounting and expenses:

  • Taylor: Custom-built software 
  • Heather: QuickBooks Online and OwnerRez
  • Kenny: Sage Intacct and
  • Tyann: QuickBooks Online, OwnerRez and Topkey

Lock automation:

  • Taylor: Schlage Encode
  • Heather: Schlage Encode and RemoteLock
  • Kenny: Lynx 
  • Tyann: Schlage Encode and Yale Access

Task management and/or cleaning scheduling:

  • Taylor: Turno
  • Heather: Turno and
  • Kenny: Breezeway
  • Tyann: Google Calendar and

Noise monitoring:

  • Taylor: NoiseAware
  • Kenny: NoiseAware
  • Tyann: Minut


  • Taylor: PriceLabs
  • Heather: PriceLabs
  • Kenny: Wheelhouse
  • Tyann: PriceLabs

Choosing the right tech stack is crucial for success in the short-term rental industry. By understanding your specific needs, identifying your pain points, and following the valuable insights shared by our esteemed panellists, you can build a tech stack that streamlines operations, saves time and money, and ultimately enhances the guest experience, allowing you to focus on growing your business and achieving your vacation rental goals.

Remember, the perfect tech stack is an evolving entity, so don't be afraid to adapt and add new tools as your business grows and your needs change.

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