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Single Platform Created for Vacation Rental Brands to Improve Efficiency and Reduce Costs

Our client is one of the leading vacation rental businesses with its large selection of rentals and numerous vacation rental website brands. Travelers, using these websites, can search for rental properties in vacation destinations around the globe. Property owners use our client’s products and services to manage rentals and maximize profits. The client makes money by selling property advertisement subscriptions and other products including property damage protection for owners, charging a percentage of payment transactions, etc.

Business Challenge

With its increased number of brands, it is important to the client that rental management owners across all brands have a similar experience. Also, maintaining and developing different platforms for each brand is costly and inefficient. Creating a single platform and porting all of the brands to it will resolve both issues.

With numerous competitors in the industry, one of the company’s main goals is to retain existing customers by offering a wide range of products and services. In order to offer the right products and services to the right customers the customers are divided into segments for targeted marketing a nd building the right products for the right customers. For instance, the property dashboard for a single property owner is different from that of a multi-property owner.

To decrease the total cost of ownership the client involved a number of outsourced teams for software development and quality assurance, which challenged cross-team communication and coordination.

Project Description

More than 20 SoftServe Scrum teams worked for the client on different product line developments to help the company resolve its challenges. The projects they worked on include:

  • Contribute to development of the owner dashboard as part of the platform that helps property owners
  • Contribute to development of the traveler part of platform
  • Contribute to platform Core API that allows applications and services to access and manipulate entities.
  • Support integration with other partners and developed solutions for property managers

The platform is an effective activity centric tool for property management allowing travelers to search properties and rent them for short periods, owners to keep track of current guests, schedule/cancel reservations, reply to inquiries, request property reviews, and much more.

  • Inquiries that allow a traveler to send a reservation request to the owner, ask for the rental rate, and clarify any additional information. When an agreement is reached the owner sends the quote to the traveler with the rate items and payment terms.
  • Online bookings allow a traveler to see the rate online and book the rental without contacting the owner. The owner has a limited time – typically 24 hours – to either accept or reject the request.
  • Payment systems allow payment transactions from the dashboard using secure gateways of the partners. To prevent fraudulent use of the payment systems an escrow payment mechanism was implemented where the owner gets the money after the traveler arrives at the vacation destination and proves the rental to be as described in the advertisement on the website.
  • Development of the integration platform that automatically copies properties from other websites into the client’s website and synchronizes property description and rate updates.
  • Mobile platform helps the owners manage their rentals outside of the home or office.

Value Delivered

During our collaboration with the client the SoftServe teams

  • Contributed to the client’s successful IPO
  • Made successful rollouts of a number of new client brands
  • Increased overall quality of the client’s products by implementing manual and automation testing
  • Participated in the design and development process of the key system components
  • Implemented new features on the platform
  • Helped integrate purchased websites into a single platform
  • Took full ownership of the products modules development life cycle
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