VRS357 – 2020 VR Tech Award Finalists

The pandemic has brought many challenges, not least of which is getting new ideas, products and services out to the short-term rental audience.  In a normal year, conference halls would be bustling with attendees discovering what’s new in the market and getting into deep discussion on what would work best in their businesses.

In previous years the VR Tech Awards have delivered the best in start-ups with their annual competition and for the third year, the Vacation Rental Success podcast has announced the entrants, interviewing the founder of the Tech Awards, Vanessa de Souza Lage, and then talking individually to each of the finalists.

Sadly, there won’t be a physical venue for the Awards this year however if you have a ticket to the Virtual Vacation Rental World Summit, you’ll be able to vote for your favorite to win the title.

Regardless of who wins, the three finalists have created innovative and sustainable products and services to benefit our market.

Ben Smith –
Check-In Scan

A finalist in 2019, Ben is hoping this year will be the one where he takes away the top prize.  Since I interviewed him last year, his business has moved to a more global position with new clients in both North and South America.  You’ll hear how the pandemic has created some new opportunities for a product that primarily filled a gap in the European market for verifying guest passport information and conveying it to the appropriate police/local government departments.  Now the requirement for contact tracing in many areas has opened up more avenues for the platform.


Christophe Salmon –

Ever since Flipkey revolutionized rentals in 2007 by showing us that live reviews were a good thing for the industry, they have become the norm.  Guests expect to see reviews before they book a property and many will move past listings that don’t have them.  With more owners/managers building out a book direct strategy, the need to have those reviews posted on a property website has become more urgent, and until now there’s been little to help beyond more generic solutions that were not industry-specific.  Revyoos, described as an ‘All in One Review Aggregator’ has filled the gap.  Christophe explains why he founded the platform and how it will benefit owners, managers, and guests.


Kheireddine Kamal –

Good hotels have always offered a concierge service.  You want a taxi or hire a limo + guide for the day – the concierge would help you out.  If you had a question on where to find a vegan or gluten-free restaurant – you’d call the concierge desk.  Domo brings the concierge into a short-term rental property via a TV or tablet allowing access to a range of services in the area, so guests can easily connect with whatever they need to make their stay a special one.  Add in keyless check-in and the ability to control compatible smart devices to adapt the environment to traveler preferences and you have some very satisfied guests.  For owners and managers, this brings the opportunity of adding more revenue streams by partnering with local providers.  Kheireddine (or KK) shares his philosophy behind the start-up and why he’s passionate about it.


Please take the time to check out these finalists and let me know which would be your favorite!  While you are at it, I’ve love to know what else would make life easier for you.  What platforms would you like to see featured in next year’s Award?

Visit the VR Tech Awards website to find out more about the entrants for this years awards and help support all the incredible start-up's  >> VR Tech Awards