Inhabit on the Block: Exploring the $2 Billion Sale of a Vacation Rental Tech Powerhouse

Thibault Masson

Updated on:

inhabit vacation rental tech software roll-up for sale

For US vacation rental managers, Inhabit is a familiar name, predominantly known for its impressive vacation rental technology and services portfolio (with brands such as Streamline, LiveRez, RentalGuardian, BlueTent, etc.). Inhabit also boasts a significant presence in the broader PropTech sector. Recent reports suggest that the company is on the market with a valuation that could exceed $2 billion. Let’s look at the companies it owns and the financial logic of consolidating software and services under one roof (for selling the whole later).

Context of the Inhabit Sale

As of December 2023, Inhabit, backed by Goldman Sachs, is reportedly seeking a buyer and may be valued at more than $2 billion. The sale process, advised by Jefferies, is expected to begin in early 2024, with an anticipated auction launch in January. Inhabit, founded in 2016, serves over 7,000 property management companies and employs more than 1,100 people. The company, previously known as GSV and then Inhabit IQ, rebranded to Inhabit in January of the same year. Goldman Sachs invested in the company in December 2020, holding a minority stake. The decision to sell reflects the company’s growth and the increased interest in property management technologies.

Inhabit’s Portfolio of Vacation Rental Tech and Services

Inhabit’s acquisition strategy led to a diverse and robust portfolio in the vacation rental domain. Here’s a breakdown of their offerings by category:

  • Vacation Rental Management Solutions:
    • Streamline: A comprehensive PMS with a focus on operational efficiency and revenue management.
    • LiveRez: Scalable technology for vacation property management, enhancing operations and performance.
    • Virtual Resort Manager (VRM): An integrated vacation rental management software with automated accounting features.
    • LMPM: A next-gen property management system with a focus on real-time trust accounting.
    • SuperControl: Tailored for the UK and Ireland markets, an all-in-one PMS and channel manager.
  • Websites & Digital Marketing:
    • Bluetent: Specializes in digital marketing and web design services for the vacation rental industry.
    • Bizcor: Specializes in digital marketing for the vacation rental industry. Their primary focus is on leveraging digital strategies to enhance the marketing efforts of vacation rental businesses
  • Insurance Software:
    • RentalGuardian: Offers insurance solutions for property managers and travelers in the vacation rental space.
  • Revenue Management:
    • RevMax: Automated revenue management software to maximize property earnings.
  • Payment Software:
    • Lynnbrook Group: Provides secure and comprehensive payment processing solutions.
  • Data Analytics:
    • LSI Tools: Offers tools and software to enhance operational efficiency and management.
  • Franchise Solution:
    • iTrip: A franchise model providing comprehensive management solutions in the vacation rental sector.

Understanding the Roll-Up Strategy in Vacation Rental Industry Context

Inhabit’s roll-up strategy in the vacation rental industry, involving the acquisition of various tech and service companies, brings several distinct benefits:

  • Diverse Service Offering: By acquiring different types of companies, Inhabit can offer a broad range of services – from property management software to marketing and revenue management tools. This diversity is key in an industry where customer needs are varied and complex.
  • Increased Efficiency: Combining companies with complementary services leads to increased operational efficiency. Shared technology and expertise reduce redundancies and streamline processes.
  • Market Adaptability: The vacation rental industry is rapidly evolving. Owning a portfolio of diverse companies allows Inhabit to adapt more quickly to market changes and emerging trends.
  • Enhanced Customer Appeal: A comprehensive suite of services makes Inhabit a one-stop shop for vacation rental managers, enhancing its appeal in the market.
  • Preparation for Sale: Inhabit’s strategy positions it as an attractive acquisition target by showcasing its ability to manage a diverse set of successful services and solutions effectively.

Inhabit’s presence at industry events, like the 2023 VRMA International conference with its series of sleek booths, demonstrates its commitment to and understanding of the vacation rental market’s needs, further solidifying the image the company wants to project as a leader in the industry.

Despite Inhabit’s growth, the vacation rental PMS market remains highly fragmented, with numerous competitors like Hostaway, Guesty (another industry consolidator), and others offering varied solutions. This fragmentation underscores the competitive and dynamic nature of the market.

inhabit proptech sale

Residential Property Management and Accounting Software Solutions

Inhabit’s foray into residential property management and accounting software has expanded its reach in the proptech sector. Key offerings include:

  • ResMan: A multifaceted property management software for multifamily and affordable housing communities.
  • PropertyBoss: An all-in-one software solution for various property types, including multifamily, single-family, and student housing.
  • Shiftsuite: Tailored for the Canadian market, focusing on condo accounting and property management.

Inhabit’s diverse portfolio positions it as a formidable player in both the vacation rental and broader property management industries, reflecting its strategic vision and market adaptability.

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