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Intelligent Vacation Rental Management

Whether they’re honeymooning couples, vacationing families or groups, today’s travelers are becoming increasingly demanding and tech savvy. They know what they want, when and how they want it — and where they can get it. More than ever, running a successful vacation rental property requires an assist from state-of-the art technology to keep up with guests’ ever-expanding expectations.

“Resistance to new technology can cost a vacation rental business dearly,” notes Francois Greffard, VP of Operations for Deerfield Beach-based IQware.

Consumers won’t wait around for vacation rental properties to catch up. If out-of-date processes slow guests down or keep them from having the optimized experiences they know they can get elsewhere, a technologically deficient property’s days are numbered.

Software purchased 10 years ago that hasn’t evolved to today’s technology needs is antiquated. Businesses stalled in their own ancient green-screen, DOS-based systems operate with a significant handicap. Vacation rental managers need a software partner that evolves with technology as well as their renters’ needs. That’s what IQware delivers: a high-tech, high-touch partnership proven to help vacation rental managers boost their business, efficiency and bottom lines.

“When you partner with IQware, you partner with someone who knows your business extremely well and stands by your side,” explains David Perkins, President of IQware. “IQware provides a comprehensive, flexible solution for managing the operations of vacation rental properties.”

Simply the Best
Rental managers who don’t bother to keep up with industry innovations get left in the dust by successful lodging operations that embrace new technology. IQware’s Global Property Management System (IQpms) represents the best of what new technology offers vacation rental managers.

IQware’s developmental team continually works with its vacation rental managers to ensure IQpms delivers sophisticated, expert-class features and functionality designed to make efficiently running a vacation rental property seem almost automatic.

“Our IQware Global PMS is uniquely functional and infinitely customizable,” says Perkins. “Specific functionality is critical to our customers, and IQware is extremely rich in capabilities developed to address virtually any need.

“We are constantly adding functionality and working with our customers to continually improve our IQware Global PMS based on their requests and recommendations,” Perkins adds. “It’s absolutely crucial on both sides to have the ability and commitment to really get into good, two-way discussions, which is why we spend a lot of time up front talking with customers so we can hand tailor our technology specifically for them.”

Protecting Your Investment
Developmental research reveals that one of the hardest aspects of vacation rental property ownership is tracking that which customers notice most: the quality of their accommodations. Things like faulty appliances, broken furniture and damaged plumbing are the things guests remember about their rental experiences.

Any quality issues can have a significant impact on guests’ perceptions of properties, while undermining referrals and eliminating precious repeat business. IQware’s Asset Protection Software (IQaps) is designed with all of these factors in mind. IQaps allows vacation rental property owners and managers to use new technology to audit the quality of their accommodations.

“Our software provides easy access to the asset information needed to quickly impact day-to-day expenses as well as guest service and satisfaction levels,” explains Greffard. “IQaps gathers, summarizes and reports in real time all of the information needed to evaluate actual costs of repairs and maintenance tasks performed within each property.”

By extending the power and functionality of the IQpms, IQaps can be used for scheduling, managing, analyzing and reporting on all aspects of maintenance, including preventative maintenance.

More Than Marketing
In addition to its other offerings, IQware knows how to put the Internet to work for vacation rental property owners and managers. IQware Online Booking Solutions help promote any rental property to the world, while allowing guests and travel agents to interactively book against actual inventories and save on fees and commissions.

IQware’s IQrez module creates a real-time link between IQware and a property’s website — providing additional tools to promote a property, its amenities and packages through the site while securing reservations.

Safe and Secure
As any rental property manager who handles credit card information knows, it is not just important to protect yourself against credit risks; it is a requirement. As many in the hospitality industry already are aware, credit card companies recently mandated that credit card acquirers — including hotels — become PCI (Payment Card Industry) and PA-DSS (Payment Application Data Security Standard) compliant.

PCI compliance means that merchants have taken appropriate steps to ensure credit card data is safe and secure in their systems. PA-DSS applies to the software used by merchants. Any application used that processes or stores credit card must be PA-DSS compliant.

To address this need, IQware developed the IQvault. Launched in the fall of 2010, IQvault is IQware’s PA-DSS-compliant solution developed in response to the credit card industry’s PCI requirements. Used to store and process credit card information, IQvault uses 256-bit encryption.

Reliable Support 
IQware delivers myriad Vacation Rental features, such as handling of Internal and External Vacation Rentals, Advanced Owner Accounting, Online Owner Access, Online Owner Booking (including the ability to allow owners to market their own units), Simple End-of-Month Processing, Multi-Tier Yield Management, Package Management and much, much more.

IQware functions with each vacation rental property owner’s instincts in mind. The learning curve for implementing the software within a well-established property is minimal. Employees and management alike receive ongoing customized training and support to keep them up to speed with all that IQware has to offer. Equally important, functionality can be turned off and on to meet each user’s changing knowledge, experience and responsibilities.

IQware’s customer service team is second-to-none in the hospitality industry. IQware customer support is available 24/7 from a team of hospitality experts, as well as a web-based helpdesk, online tutorials and regular R&D updates.

Lifetime software upgrades provide added benefit to IQware’s ever-expanding family of satisfied clients.

Single Source Technology Partner
IQware is one of the few remaining privately owned major hospitality technology players in the market. As such, the company is uniquely positioned and proven to be more adaptable, mobile and responsive to each client’s every need. By integrating software packages together seamlessly, IQware eliminates the hassle of dealing with multiple vendors or incorporating incompatible software and systems that are drags on properties’ efficiency, revenues and profits.

IQware’s solutions are developed — and continually upgraded — with the input of vacation rental property owners and managers who know the importance of having everything they need at their fingertips, along with almost anything else they can dream up.

“IQware provides a comprehensive, flexible solution to managing the operations of a vacation rental property, based on the experiences of hundreds of customers,” Perkins explains proudly.

About IQware
Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based IQware has been “Helping Hospitality Partner With IntelligenceSM” for more than  25 years. Today, more than 5,000 end users utilize IQware software to help best market and manage more than 120,000 units generating more than $3.5 billion in gross room revenue annually. IQware brings with it more than 300 years of combined experience managing hospitality properties and developing and supporting related software. “Built By Hoteliers For Hoteliers,” IQware’s Global Property Management System and more than two dozen add-on modules optimize operations at properties of all types ― limited- and full-service hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, condo-hotels and timeshares — and all sizes — from regional hotel chains to multi-property management companies to small independent. IQware is Your Single-Source Technology Partner through ongoing customized training, user-driven technology development, 24x7 support and lifetime software upgrades. Looking for a competitive edge? Look no further. IQware “Helps Hospitality Better Find, Book, Host, Know & Keep Clients.” IQware solutions offer numerous ROI-generating tools including e-marketing, five-tier yield management, IQrez (Web-Reservations), packages, loyalty point, social media tools, etc. Because IQware’s Global Property Management System has served as the heart of so many hospitality operations for over a quarter century, today IQware also can provide the lifeblood for Point Of Sale, Sales & Catering, Online Reservations, Asset Protection, Spa Management, Marina Management, Central Reservations System and e-CRM (electronic Customer Relationship Management). IQware takes technology partnering to a new level.  Just ask our ever-expanding family of clients conducting business in two dozen countries. For more information, visit or call (877) 698-5151. 


US Hotel Occupancy Up 5.5% to 51.7% Week Ending February 4th - 2012

The U.S. hotel industry experienced increases in all three key performance metrics during the week of 29 January-4 February 2012, according to data from STR.

In year-over-year comparisons for the week, occupancy was up 5.5 percent to 51.7 percent, average daily rate increased 3.1 percent to US$100.45 and revenue per available room was up 8.7 percent to US$51.98.

“This week Dallas, which hosted the Super Bowl in the same weekend last year, saw steep declines in all metrics due to the tough comparisons from 2011,” said Chad Church, senior director of operations and client services at STR. “Meanwhile, Indianapolis, Indiana, experienced major increases this week from hosting Super Bowl 2012 . The market’s occupancy was up 78.5 percent to 74.1 percent, ADR rose 201.1 percent to US$207.82, and RevPAR jumped 437.2 percent to US$148.37 for the week.” 

Among the Top 25 Markets, Nashville, Tennessee, rose 19.0 percent in occupancy to 55.5 percent, posting the largest increase in that metric, followed by Seattle, Washington (+13.2 percent to 57.9 percent), and Houston, Texas (+12.0 percent to 61.6 percent).

Dallas, Texas, which hosted Super Bowl XLV on 6 February 2011, reported the largest decreases in all three performance metrics. The market fell 12.8 percent in occupancy to 53.5 percent, 40.2 percent in ADR to US$89.27 and 47.8 percent in RevPAR to US$47.74.

Miami-Hialeah, Florida (+11.5 percent to US$192.65), and Anaheim-Santa Ana, California (+11.2 percent to US$113.16) reported the largest ADR increases for the week.

Three markets experienced RevPAR increases of more than 20 percent: Seattle (+25.0 percent to US$66.87); Anaheim-Santa Ana (+22.0 percent to US$67.96); and Nashville (+21.8 percent to US$50.41).

View weekly U.S. hotel performance review


U.S. Hotel Stocks Up 13.0% in January

The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index ended January with a 13.0-percent increase to 2,288. The index ended 2011 at 2,025.

Robert W. Baird & Company and STR partnered to create the Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index—the first widely available U.S. hotel stock index in the hotel industry. The index combines Baird’s financial markets expertise, the data processing of STR and the up-to-the-minute distribution capabilities of, the industry’s leading news website.

The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index outperformed the S&P 500 and the MSCI REIT (RMZ) in January, which increased 4.4 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively.

“The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index started the year off strong, showing investors are confident in the hotel industry,” said Randy Smith, chairman and co-founder of STR. “The industry is up against tough comparisons in 2012, and we hope to see performance growth that will further illustrate the strength of the industry.”

“Hotel stocks continued their strong upward trend in January as favorable supply-and-demand characteristics dispelled investors’ concerns that the lodging upcycle was slowing,” said David Loeb, senior hotel research analyst and managing director at Baird. “Earnings season is fast approaching and expectations, which are fairly high, are for management teams to give upbeat commentary regarding the 2012 outlook. Recent economic indicators continue to bolster investor confidence in the lodging cycle’s strength and duration.”

As of 1 January 2012, the composition of the Index changed, with the addition of RLJ Lodging Trust (RLJ) and the removal of Orient-Express Hotels (OEH).


The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index was set to equal 1000 on 1 January 2000, as its starting point. The Index reached its peak of 3178 on 5 July 2007. The Index’s lowest point occurred on 6 March 2009, when it dropped to 573.

The Index is available exclusively on and The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index is a co-branded index created by Robert W. Baird & Co. (Baird) and Smith Travel Research, Inc. (STR). The market-cap weighted Index is comprised of 15 of the largest market capitalization hotel companies publicly traded on a U.S. exchange and attempts to characterize the performance of hotel stocks. The Index is maintained by Baird and is hosted on The Index is not actively managed and a direct investment cannot be made in it.

The current companies that comprise the Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index: Ashford Hospitality Trust, Choice Hotels International, DiamondRock Hospitality, FelCor Lodging Trust, Hersha Hospitality Trust, Hospitality Properties Trust, Host Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, LaSalle Hotel Properties, Marriott International, Orient-Express Hotels, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Sunstone Hotel Investors and Wyndham Worldwide.

About Baird

Baird is an employee-owned, international wealth management, capital markets, private equity and asset management firm with offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Established in 1919, Baird has more than 2,500 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients. Baird oversees and manages client assets of nearly $75 billion. Committed to being a great place to work, Baird ranked number 11 on FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2010 – its seventh consecutive year on the list. Baird’s principal operating subsidiaries are Robert W. Baird & Co. in the United States and Robert W. Baird Group Ltd. in Europe. Baird also has an operating subsidiary in Asia supporting Baird’s private equity operations. For more information, please visit Baird’s Web site at

About STR

STR provides clients—including hotel operators, developers, financiers, analysts and suppliers to the hotel industry—access to hotel research with regular and custom reports covering North America, Mexico and Caribbean. STR provides a single source of global hotel data covering daily and monthly performance data, forecasts, annual profitability, pipeline and census information. STR founded the STR family of companies and is proudly associated with STR Global, RRC Associates, STR Analytics, and For more information, please visit


Knowland Expands Service to Australia

The Knowland Group, a leading provider of business development solutions for the hospitality industry, announced today the beginning of a new international market in Australia. Sydney is one of many new cities across the globe in which hoteliers now have the opportunity to use Readers, the world’s most respected hotel reader board service.

Readers brings in-depth, customized field research directly to hotel sales teams. Every week Knowland sends out more than 400 field researchers into over 2,000 hotels worldwide to take digital photos of their reader boards. This information on group meeting activity is recorded into the database nightly and made available online to clients the very next day. Knowland is constantly adding new groups and verifying information on the over 400,000 existing groups.

“We are very excited to begin offering Knowland’s business development solutions to hotel sales teams in Sydney,” said Knowland CEO Michael K. McKean. “With Readers, Australian hoteliers will be able to find and pursue valuable group business easier and more quickly than ever before.”

The Readers online application uses a tab-centric design to give clients quick and easy access to all the tools and information they need from one central page. Crucial contact information for meeting planners is included in every group’s profile. A search feature makes finding and assigning key accounts a simple process.

Knowland currently serves clients in over 20 international markets including London, Berlin, Beijing, Moscow, and Dublin. Service in Sydney began on February 1, 2012.

About The Knowland Group 

The Knowland Group is a proven innovator, developing intuitive marketing products and services that streamline and support event and group sales in the hospitality industry. The company, headquartered in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, serves more than 3,000 hotel clients and 25,000 users globally. Knowland was ranked as the 76th fastest growing software company (public or private) in North America by Deloitte in 2011 and the second fastest growing private company in the travel industry for both 2009 and 2010 by Inc. Magazine. For more information, visit, call 410-860-2270, or follow us on Twitter @knowlandgroup.


Innovative Hotel Technologies Sought for Newest Version of GUESTROOM 20X

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) and the GUESTROOM 20X Task Force, a group of hospitality technology leaders and experts, are searching for the latest and near-future technologies for the newest version of GUESTROOM 20X. The 2012 version of GUESTROOM 20X, a special exhibit showcasing the most innovative technologies for the guestroom, debuts at the 2012 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) June 26-28 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md. USA.

"One of the greatest successes of GUESTROOM 20X is that it has opened dialogue amongst industry professionals on technologies in guestrooms," said Frank Wolfe, CAE, CEO of HFTP. "Technologies in the consumer world are updated at a rapid rate, so GUESTROOM 20X gives the industry a glimpse into how hotels might integrate these cutting-edge products in a seamless way that also elevates the guest experience. And that is an advantage that hospitality professionals do not want to miss."

HFTP is conducting a comprehensive global search for the industry's most innovative technologies. Potential technologies include, but are not limited to, traditional technologies like next-generation televisions, non-traditional technologies like bathroom fixtures, user-friendly technologies like mobile applications and green technologies like energy-saving devices.

Hospitality technology suppliers, consumer technology companies, inventors and others who have a technology product that should be considered for display must apply by Thursday, March 1. You do not have to be a member of HFTP or a current HITEC 2012 exhibitor to participate. Submissions are considered and carefully chosen by the GUESTROOM 20X Task Force.

To submit a technology or for more information, visit the GUESTROOM 20X site or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at, (800) 646-4387 or +1 (512) 249-5333 x22.

GUESTROOM 20X is a futuristic guestroom featuring the latest and near-future technologies for the modern hotel room. HFTP produces a new version of the special exhibit every other year. It debuted at HITEC 2006 and has been on display at various trade shows since. Technologies in the exhibit include non-traditional types such as lighting, eco-friendly products, fabrics and furniture, as well as traditional technology such as next-generation televisions, mobile devices, telephones and robots. HFTP has also created a spin-off called Golf 20X, which showcases the latest in golf course technologies. Golf 20X will debut at HFTP's 2012 Annual Convention & Tradeshow on October 17-20 in Orlando, Fla.

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