RentalsTechnology

Pillow takes all the work out of owning a vacation rental

New platform brings concierge service into vacation rental space

As the sharing economy booms, so does the influx of companies piggybacking on the trend.

Similar to the concierge service hotel guests receive, Pillow aims to make the stay at short-term apartment rentals even more enjoyable for both hosts and guests.

Pillow is a hospitality company that helps to manage short-term rentals, like Airbnb and HomeAway listings, from start to finish. Pillow is live in Los Angeles, Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area, and takes care of everything from handing off keys to guests to picking up the place between guest stays. On June 23, the service will also be available in San Diego.

The San Francisco-based startup works as a full-service property management platform that utilizes technology to make listing an apartment simple and maintaining the property even more stress-free. Homeowners who are looking to list their home can work with Pillow, which will handle listing the property through its technology that can shift nightly rates based on area demand.

Although Pillow users have to put in a little effort upfront, the effort is then wholly taken on by Pillow. It starts with an in-person meeting between the property owner and a Pillow property expert, who takes the opportunity to become familiar with the property, snaps photos, and documents any noteworthy features or amenities in order to shed the best light on the property when listing.

The meet-and-greet also helps property experts down the road if visitors have questions, completely taking the work out of the hands of the property owner.

6 ways empowered agents embrace disruption to drive success
Using technology to generate leads and win listings READ MORE

Once the property goes live on Airbnb or HomeAway, Pillow’s booking team handles leads and requests around the clock. The company also manages screening guests so that property owners can feel comfortable and confident about the people staying in their home.

Pillow also has an application for guests, which was introduced in May, that allows guests to plan ahead and view their itinerary. After the guests have come and gone, Pillow’s cleaning service goes in to tidy the place up and get it back into renting shape.

And on top of the traditional vacuuming and dusting, Pillow stocks up on any supplies and takes care of anything that guests need during their stay. Pillow even has its own team of handymen and women who take care of anything that needs fixing around the home. Guests can use the Pillow app to report any issues

Pillow isn’t necessarily for the occasional Airbnb host, but more so for the individual who hopes to make a significant amount of money renting out their home or apartment. The company does, however, offer options for both types of owners.

A pay-per-booking option comes with a 15 percent surcharge for each booking, as well as a cleaning fee. This package comes with the 24/7 booking team, cleaning service, automated pricing, customizable booking preferences and home preparation.

The other option guarantees property owners a fixed income each month regardless of the time of year. For the more frequent vacation rental host, this option offers everything that the pay-per-booking does in addition to a turnkey service and without the 15 percent surcharge.

For these bookings, Pillow gives the property owner the same amount of money regardless of the pay scale, which can be 5 to 10 percent less or more than what the customer is promised. Pillow either gets to keep the profit or takes a hit.

And while the future of the sharing economy and short-term rental market in general is still up in the air, companies like Pillow are jumping on for the ride.

Email Kimberly Manning.