The product manager plays a critical role in the success of any company and is especially important for a company like Doinn, which is a new and innovative product in a rapidly growing market as he is responsible for identifying the needs of its users (Cleaning companies and Property managers) developing a product that meets those needs, and launch and iterate on the product successfully.
Interviewer: Hi Nuno, thanks for taking the time to chat with me today. Can you tell us a bit about Doinn and how it got started?
Nuno Rodrigues: Sure. Doinn is a housekeeping platform that helps hospitality operators and cleaning providers streamline their operations. We provide a single platform for managing everything from booking cleanings to tracking performance.
The idea for Doinn came about when my wife and I were traveling around the world with our two young children. We stayed in a lot of short-term rentals, and we were often disappointed with the cleanliness of the properties. We realized that there was a need for a better way to manage housekeeping for both property owners and cleaning companies.
Interviewer: What are some of the features that Doinn offers that are most appreciated by cleaning companies?
Nuno Rodrigues: Our cleaning companies love our PMS’s hub as it saves them from login into the different software of their clients to make the extraction of the jobs and then plan the tasks, while with Doinn they just easily manage all the cleaning, laundry, linen rentals and delivery services in one single dashboard. We also provide them with performance data, so they can track the productivity of their teams. And our dispatching and automation tools help them to streamline their operations.
Interviewer: What are some of the features that Doinn offers that are most appreciated by short-term rental property managers?
Nuno Rodrigues: Our marketplace with tested cleaning companies is a big hit with property managers. They can easily book cleanings with vetted companies in their area. We also provide them with a dashboard where they can manage all of their cleanings in one place, most of the time is a mix of in-house teams and Doinn teams because many are growing nationally and do not waste time creating new cleaning teams. And our translation tools help them to communicate with cleaning providers who don’t speak their language.
Interviewer: How has the tech embracement been from the cleaning companies side?
Nuno Rodrigues: It’s been a beautiful journey to see the tech embracement from the cleaning company side. In the past, cleaning companies were often hesitant to adopt new technology. But we’ve seen a big shift in recent years, as more and more companies realize the benefits of using a platform like Doinn.
Interviewer: What is next for Doinn?
Nuno Rodrigues: We’re constantly looking for ways to improve Doinn and make it even more useful for our users. We’re working on adding new features, such as a chat function for cleaning providers and property managers. We’re also expanding into new markets, so we can help more hospitality operators and cleaning providers around the world.
Interviewer: Thanks for your time, Nuno. It was great learning more about Doinn.
Nuno Rodrigues: You’re welcome. I’m glad I could share our story.
We are very excited to share with you all the space we share thanks to Elaine Watts she organized this amazing event called: Short stay virtual summit.
Elaine is the host of an amazing podcast in which you can learn how to start and succeed with your rental vacation properties. See more about HLS podcast here.
This is the 2nd year in a row, Elaine gathers more than 25 speakers to discuss the short-term rental industry giving notes and tactics on how to grow your business!
The summit will have a duration from May 25th to May 27th. You can check the event here.
And in Doinn our CEO Noelia Novella was part of those invited speakers.
Now we leave you now with the amazing conversation they’ve had on the summit.
Elaine: Firstly tell us a bit about you and your background and a brief overview of what Doinn does
Noelia: I fell in love with our industry in 2013 during a round-the-world trip with my family, including 2 babies. It was an amazing experience to be able to stay in those “peer to peer” properties, BUT we did not always felt safe.
I always say that cleaning is a very personal thing and what means clean for me, may not mean the same for you. But we all grow up with the cleaning standards of the hotels and if people feel safe there, I thought it´d be handy to be able to get the same cleaning and linen rental providers they have.
Back from our trip I reached those companies and asked them what they needed to be able to work in our industry and we have basically been 6 years making tech for this to happen, helping local providers to become more efficient, grow their business, and making sure they follow the right standards operating procedures and protocols.
Nowadays we also work with cleaning companies that were born in and for our industry as long as they have a top-quality proof of record
Since then we feel we have done many guests feel safe, and definitely many property managers and property owners happy in almost 600 cities across USA, Mexico, Dominican Republic, UK, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal.
Elaine: Cleanliness has always been a top priority in our industry but now even more so – what changes have you seen in cleaning protocols in this new era?
Noelia: Since Covid hit, it seems our value proposition makes more sense than ever, cleaning and disinfection mean safety, it always meant it. Following a protocol or a checklist is definitely better than nothing, but cleaning is a profession, professionals bring safety in every aspect of hosting (electricity, engineers, architects, and definitely, cleaning)
For a professional cleaning company, there is not such a thing as new protocols, there were other viruses before covid19 and for professional cleaners, disinfecting or killing the germs was and is the whole point for them, like a uber drive to know how to drive a car
What has changed, like for any business, is the use of the masks and the social distance, they were already aware of the risks of shaking the dirty linen or not washing their hands.
Elaine: As someone wanting to build trust with future guests, how would advise someone new to the industry to get started with their own cleaning protocols.
Noelia: They can take the cleaning protocols from our webpage if they want, we are happy to share it and we have in fact share it with a couple of the OTAs. What is hard about cleaners is not the protocols, there are millions of videos on youtube. The hardest part is the recruitment process, to keep them motivated and to avoid the high HR rotation.
When clients tell me how much they per service to their cleaners, most of the time they don´t take into consideration how much time they spend recruiting, training, supervising, and motivating them and how much money that cost to the company
We´ve selected and onboarded cleaning companies that are in business, working for hotels for more than 25 years, I´m sure they much better than most of us recruiting, training, supervising, and motivating their employees to retain the talent and to reach the expectations.
Elaine: Something I hear a lot is that there’s a communication struggle with owners getting their cleaning team to clean to their standards needed – many feel as though they are constantly having to check up and chase after their cleaning teams – do you have any advice on how to communicate the standards required to ensure the property and guests are cared for to the top standards we need to present in our industry?
Noelia: Our technology helps to optimize processes, reports, and tasks to Property managers and Cleaning companies so they can be more competitive, reduce management costs and manage more clients.
But Doinn is not just technology, we have a dedicated team supervising that cleaning companies are beyond expectations, motivating them to keep their good work and making the industry give them the attention and respect they deserve.
That human touch on top of the technology (not just software or bots) in what allows us to raise the hospitality standards.
Property managers don´t need to have an in-house operations manager anymore because our team and our tech, cover that part. We want them to take every single opportunity to manage a property in any location without the need of having a local team there and with the guarantee of having professional and certified cleaning and linen services with us. Our mission is to get their boots on the ground.
Elaine: How important is technology in assisting with ensuring cleans is up to standard and sharing and keeping top standards with cleaning teams?
Noelia: Like in any other business, there has to be a balance between tech and talent. I´m not a CEO because I use Slack but because of my skills and experience. Slack helps me to be more efficient, to work remotely, and asynchronous what is also very important, but tech tools are not the most important thing for someone that is most of the time with their hands busy and wet.
Elaine: How is it best to communicate the protocols you have in place when building trust with your potential guests moving forwards – website, social media, OTA listing sites?
Noelia: For the pre-sales stage: everywhere! And if the cleaning is done by a well-known cleaning company, talk about that to show how concerned you are about a professional cleaning
Once the guests get to the property, what we do is to seal the door in the inside part as proof that no one got into that space after the cleaners disinfected it.
In the sticker we use to seal the door, there is a QR code where guests can read about the protocols that were followed in several languages, and that makes them feel safe.
What I don´t recommend is to have a big picture with the virus in the entrance hall of the vacation home, Covid19 is definitely the last thing we want to get remember every time we get into the property we chose for our holidays.
Elaine: What are you seeing in terms of bookings for Short Term Accommodations at the moment, what trends have you seen?
Noelia: What we notice is that many of our urban property managers, started managing properties remotely in leisure areas, it probably saved many of their businesses and open them to many new opportunities. At the end of the day, many property investors live in those urban areas so they can meet them and create trust.
The second trend would be the preference for multiunits versus apartments spread out the city, and some office building will be transformed into these kinds of apart-hotels, due to the working remotely trend
Third but not least, the consolidation of a few brands, which would be a challenge for the OTAs.
Elaine: Final words of advice for anyone wanting to maintain top cleaning standards in their accommodation business?
Noelia: I´d give them the same advice that a property manager would give to a property owner: get as professional as you can in every part of the business, paying less most of the time doesn’t help to save money.
Elaine: Where do you see the future of our industry heading?
Noelia: I´ve always seen the OTA´s as Prop-tech companies and not as tourism companies. If you take it from that, there are so many things they could take advantage of what they already have: pictures, videos, annual revenue…they started with mid
That’s a wrap folks! This interview was recorded on audio & video on zoom recording if you want to hear it, go here.
Do not lose more about the short stay virtual summit enroll for the following day’s talks here!
Keep in touch and check out our other interviews!
Our story: Rentals united and Doinn more than an integration
I´m really having fun making these interviews to the people that have been important to me and to Doinn in the different stages of this startup journey
Vanessa de Souza Lage is the kind of person that is generous by nature and generosity always get back to you, especially in our industry where is more than clear that working together make us stronger and all the vendors should work as a team to bring value to the property managers and to our beloved industry.
From day one, Vanessa made me feel part of her life, her/our industry, and even her stage, as she is the pioneer of the #tieonstage movement, promoting women as speakers in the vacation rental industry events
Vanessa is also a serial entrepreneur, well known in our industry for founding the channel manager Rentals United and Vrtech
Rentals United was one of the first integrations at Doinn, and I have presented in several Vrtech events and several cities
I´ve been chasing this busy-bee for months to make this interview. I really hope you enjoy this post as much I am having fun while making it!
Noelia: First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Vanessa: We’re doing perfectly fine, thanks for asking! It’s amazing how people can adapt! Also we’re lucky to be in Barcelona, the lockdown period wasn’t as tough or as long as others… Restaurants have been opened and the 10pm curfew is actually great when you work as much as I do 🙂
Noelia: You help to promote startups for vacation rentals in Vrtech and you have founded several startups. Entrepreneurs are born or made?
Vanessa: Entrepreneurs are born but successful ones are made!
I’ve wanted to be an entrepreneur since childhood, always coming up with new business ideas! The first one: importing Dulce de Leche from Argentina to France as I loved it and it wasn’t available in French supermarkets then. I actually got my sister who lived in Argentina to send tubs over but instead of selling them I gave them away to my friends : ) So yeah, I think that the entrepreneurial drive is something you’re born with but turning your ideas into a successful business is something you learn.
As an entrepreneur I have struggled a lot, many times going down to my last 5 euros. I wish I had looked for mentors: so many mistakes could have been avoided! Rentals United is my 5th business and I’m still learning everyday. This is the great thing about being an entrepreneur… you always need to grow with the times, the circumstances, the market shifts!
Noelia: How the idea of founding Rentals United came up and what problem is currently solving?
Vanessa: Quite honestly Rentals United was born because my previous business was failing. And not just mine, the ones of our competitors too. We were medium-sized OTAs focused on vacation rentals and with the rise of Airbnb, VRBO and booking.com we couldn’t make the marketing dollar work anymore. Plus we had a supply/demand problem: we were all european OTAs but with different markets strengths. So we thought to exchange inventory and for that we needed a distribution software.
Rentals United was created for ourselves and as bookings grew we opened it to other channels: the beauty was that we could still make our commission but let VRBO, Airbnb, Bookings pay for the B2C traffic. Our first investor in 2014 saw the potential and by 2015 we left our agencies and became full time Rentals United.
Our company solves the supply and demand aspect of the vacation rental industry. We source professional property managers and offer them to advertise their properties on a large number of OTAs, both global and niche. Managers get more bookings, OTAs get more rentals to sell. Everyone wins.
Noelia: Tourism has been highly affected by the pandemic, but is the vacation rental industry becoming stronger or weaker of this?
Vanessa: The growth of the industry has just been put on hold for a year, just like every other hospitality vertical. Our growth has been exponential in the last ten years and every year we’re getting more professional, better organised, attracting more demographics… there’s no reason why we wouldn’t continue to grow at a rapid pace.
Noelia: In terms of product, is there any feature that your users are requesting more than before since Covid hit?
Vanessa: We had quite a lot of requests for mid-term (30+ days) channels last year which we duly implemented. Currently we see a big surge in leisure bookings so we’re hunting for outdoor-type inventory and already signed contracts with major glamping and camping channels.
Managers have always requested that we add a book direct channel feature to our software and we’re happy to now be launching a wordpress template which can be used with our Google vacation rental connection.
Noelia: You understood Doinn´s added value to the market from day one, when we could just provide services in Lisbon and Barcelona. From your perspective, the fact than Doinn is now available in more than 600 cities is really important to help property managers to grow or most of them have a city strategy?
Vanessa: 600 cities! Wow! Your astronomical growth is the testimony that I had the right hunch about your company when we first met! Housekeeping is very hard to scale. All the large property managers I meet always tells me that this is one of the major challenges to overcome when you grow. Your solution is for forwarding-thinking managers, it’s that one entry that’s going to make the balance sheet strong! Go DoInn!
Noelia: Thank you so much for this, Vanessa! I definitely recommend all those startups of the vacation rental industry to apply to win to the 2021 Vrtech award here and ….
On Doinn, we are boosting our expansion in the US and Mexican markets, and we are loving the way both markets are welcoming us.
So I couldn´t be happier and more grateful of interviewing Robertín Nuñez, who is in the rental business since 1991 (30 years!) and is the CEO of Co Host Expert Company Inc https://cohostexpert.com/.
Co Host Expert Company founded in 2013 to assists property owners in the conversion process of their standard market rental units into viable Short Term Rental properties.
Noelia: First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Robertin: Very well and alive Noelia. Which nowadays is the top priority Everyone is doing well and actually it has been a very good year considering the climate we are in.
Noelia: What motivated you to get into the vacation rental industry and what has been your journey on it? It is a combination of fate and focus I would say. I am a real estate developer so I have been buying and developing properties in different cities most of my adult life. Formerly I owned a travel agency for 10 years that specialized in entertainment travel. Combining Real Estate and Travel has lead me into the Vacation Rental Industry.
Noelia: Is the industry becoming more or less professional since the Covid hit?
Covid has prompted smaller operators to step up their game regarding their cleaning procedures and daily operations. Since one is not always available or in some countries allowed to venture around because of the lockdowns operators and hosts had to figure out how to run their businesses more efficiently and effectively. Operators and hosts had to really take inventory of their business models since there was such a huge slowdown for a short time and in some places even longer, it really made you look at your business model and ask “Does this work”?
Also the slowdown cleared the landscape from the huge influx of speculators and gave a beating to the more professional hosts and operators. Some made it through the storm others folded, luckily we made it through.
Noelia: Tourism has been highly affected by the pandemic, but is the Vacation rental industry becoming stronger or weaker of this?
Robertin: 1 year ago I would not know how to answer this, but today March 2021 I would say stronger. As I mentioned before many fly by night businesses are no longer and Covid reset the thinking of the Vacation Rental Industry professionals. Everything is not simply based on location and tourism. Vacation rentals are being used by the “New Traveler” which come from all walks of life for many various reasons, some that didn’t really exist or weren’t as strong pre covid. Such as First Responders, Essential Workers and Remote Workers.
Noelia: In terms of product, is there any feature that your users are requesting more than before since Covid hit?
Reliable WIFI has always been a huge important selling point, but now more than ever. We receive many requests where the guest booking for 30-90 to 120 nights wanted to make sure the modem is not shared or they have access to it because their work depends on it. As well as work stations with a view or somewhere they can sit and hammer away at their work.
Also is the location a place where all deliveries can be received, which before wasn’t even much of a request.
Noelia: Doinn has been very successful in the European markets, helping to many property managers to focus on their growth by leaving the operational part to us. From your perspective, what is Doinn bringing to our industry in the USA? What make us different from other solutions for housekeeping?
BOOTS ON THE GROUND. My vision and plan of expansion into Mexico and Latin America has a lot to do with the fact that DOINN can provide a system of operations for the cleaning and turnover part of the business. Which essentially are the front line of one’s operations. Knowing that DOINN is established in a market or region allows us to know that we can enter this market and have a solid business partner relationship to provide this important feature. If not we would have to set up a system in every market which makes it very difficult and challenging to expand.
An operator or host with plans to expand could use the DOINN model and build around the way DOINN is expanding. It is as if they are doing the hard part of setting up and one can come in and build a business around their new established location.
I love this interview model with our partners to understand more the why and less the what and how they are bringing the value to our industry, following the Golden Circle Concept developed by Simon Sinek
Guesty was founded in 2013 to automate and simplify the operations of short-term rental property management. Graduating in 2014 from Y Combinator, the same accelerator Airbnb graduated from, was a game changer for the company, skyrocketing their growth and product development. Today Guesty boasts $60M in funding, 250+ employees spread out across 8 offices worldwide, and customers in over 80 countries.
Side note: 2014 was also the year that Doinn participated in the Lisbon Challenge startup acceleration program and we still remember a night out with Michael Siebel, one of the founders of Y Combinator, talking about how those guys from Guesty could have a huge impact in the fast-growing Airbnb market.
And now, here we are today.
The Guesty <> Doinn partnership took a few years to take shape as our go-to-market strategies were different but somehow, it was written in our paths.
Noelia: First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Amiad: My family is great, thank you for asking. My wife and I adopted an amazing pup named Effie and we are really enjoying being dog parents for the first time.
Noelia: What motivated you to become an entrepreneur and to start this kind of business in times where the Airbnb brand penetration was still not that high?
Amiad: I launched Guesty with my identical twin brother Koby. After renting out our apartments while travelling, we realized just how much of a headache it was to oversee guest communication, cleanings and repairs. As a result, originally we launched a property management company to take care of those needs for clients and then realized that we could do so much more.
At the time, when Airbnb was becoming incredibly popular, there was a clear product gap in the home sharing space for those who wanted to distribute their listings across multiple OTAs without wasting hours hopping from platform to platform. It became clear that professional hosts and property management companies needed one centralized location to manage all of the complex operational tasks that go into managing their inventory.
Enter Guesty. With our software – you can do it all – from guest communication to real-time dynamic pricing to accounting – all in one place.
Noelia: I´ve been doing a few webinars talking about the OKRs, the framework used by Google to define the company goals. What is your magical formula for Guesty growth?
Amiad: Our platform is built to be agile and has grown alongside our users, adapting to the swiftly changing alternative accommodation ecosystem. To put it simply, Guesty was built for all business models of all shapes and sizes, no matter the location.
Similar to how there is no one size fits all when it comes to travel, there is also no one size fits all when it comes to property management. We built our product with that in mind. Our users’ businesses grow, change and evolve, and we’re there to support them every step of the way. In fact, the growing needs of our users resulted in us enhancing our platform in more ways than one in the last year. Here are two examples:
We opened our platform to support extended stays of 28+ days after noticing travelers were booking rentals for longer periods. Doing so helped users incorporate flexible inventory into their portfolio to achieve a reliable, assured stream of revenue for longer periods of time.
We now enable aparthotel and boutique hotel management with the goal of supporting all forms of short-term rentals. Guesty’s new suite of features coupled with our existing core tools, enables independent hotel teams to work efficiently while actively increasing their bottom line.
Noelia: Tourism has been highly affected by the pandemic, but is the Vacation rental industry becoming stronger or weaker?
Amiad: Without hesitation, stronger.
Thanks to the accessibility and privacy provided by the short-term rental industry, travel has lived on throughout COVID-19, proving the resilience of the alternative accommodation ecosystem as a whole.
Private rentals enable travelers to avoid crowded common areas associated with hotels, such as lobbies, elevators and dining halls. By nature, they also have less guest turnover, which significantly reduces the risk of exposure between guests as does their lower count of “high-touch” surface areas. These selling points, along with Airbnb’s recent IPO, acted as the catalyst to short-term rentals going mainstream with many traditional hotel-goers evolving into short-term rental converts, opting for private rentals over hotels.
Short-term rental converts represent a previously untapped audience within the market and have lended to a considerably bolstered user base. And that gain is permanent.
According to our industry report on the state of confidence in the short-term rental industry, 83.2% of the 500+ respondents we surveyed in hospitality believe the travellers who have booked short-term rentals since the start of the pandemic will continue to choose rentals over hotels as their choice for accommodations, even post-COVID-19.
It’s a fact that travel will recover. There are many question marks dotting the path to get there, but this pandemic has proven that travel is a necessity.
Noelia: In terms of product, is there any feature that your users are requesting more than before Covid hit?
Amiad: We have found that the most popular features during the pandemic have been those that support lean teams, automate tasks, and help our users achieve organizational efficiency and peak productivity. In fact, use of Guesty’s automated messaging tools jumped 25% in 2020 compared to 2019. This is no surprise as these tools enable users to automatically communicate check-in/out instructions, request for reviews, staff checklists and more.
We also saw a growing demand for our 24/7 Guest Communication Services (GCS) throughout the past year, considering the higher than usual volume of guest queries hosts were receiving regarding cleaning protocols, local restrictions and more. Our GCS team of specialists answers queries on our users’ behalf – all day long, or in their off-ours or while they’re on holiday. I’m happy to note that users report GCS saves them 40% of time each week on communication, allowing them to focus their energy elsewhere.
Noelia: Doinn has been very successful in the European markets, helping to many property managers to focus on their growth by leaving the operational part to us. From your perspective, what is Doinn bringing to our industry in the USA?
Amiad: Standardization is important, especially when it comes to cleaning practices amid COVID-19. Stringent cleaning protocols are at the top of guests’ mind and crucial when it comes to their safety. Having a company like Doinn certifying cleaning companies and services in cities worldwide not only pushes standardization in cleaning practices forward, it also provides property management companies and professional hosts with a sense of relief as they look to experts in the space to navigate new protocols put in place by competent authorities, from the WHO to Airbnb.
What a luxury is to have access to this information obtained from our clients and to be able to share it with the community.
Our next interview is with BnBird, property managers since 2016, with a portfolio of no less than 150 properties located in Lisbon, Oeiras, Cascais, Sintra, Ericeira, Porto, Gaia, Espinho, Ovar, Albufeira, Vilamoura, Vale do Lobo, Monsanto and Gondarém, all in Portugal.
Their average occupancy rate per annum, across all the locations, was 76% before 2020 and the coronavirus has decreased the average in only 12%! (you guys, rock! 🙌)
Doinn: What are the consequences of the pandemics that you feel most?
Bnbird: The Covid-19 pandemics had an obvious impact especially between March and June when a drop in occupancy rate and in the volume of business was noted.
In the last months we shifted the focus of our business to medium-term stays, achieving occupancy rates over 70% in the last months, including 76% registered in October and 68% – in November on average for all the properties we manage. The retention rate of the properties was above 90%, the acquisition of new properties being pretty high as well, altogether resulting in an increase in our portfolio of properties from 100 in March to 150 in December 2020.
Doinn: Apart from the medium-term rentals approach, what other measures have you taken in order to adapt to this new “normality”?
Bnbird: The company’s strategies have been adapted – both internally and externally, with a reduction in the number of people employed and the company’s bet on process automation and communication tools. In the essence the goal is to make the company leaner, faster and more agile. Regarding the relationship with our clients, we sought to keep the landlords up to date in respect of our strategies and to present competitive, for the market the way it is now, solutions. Regarding the relationship with guests, we sought to strengthen the communication, building a stronger and more present emotional connection, especially by keeping them up to date in respect of the restrictions being put in place due to the pandemics. Additionally, the cleaning standards have been reinforced as well as the check-in/out dynamics.
Doinn: What prospects do you have for the future?
Bnbird: We know that the next months won’t be easy, especially because it is low season now, but the perspectives for a return to the levels in the volume of business preceding the pandemics, after the Spring/Summer 2021 are reasonably optimistic. With the increase in our portfolio of properties and with the automation of processes being implemented, we believe that – in a long-term perspective – we will have a more competitive and sustainable company.Our goal is always to strengthen our position in the metropolitan areas of Porto and Lisbon as well as to speed up our expansion to Algarve and explore other kinds of locations, intrinsically linked to rural tourism.
Doinn: We are sure that anything you do, will be a success!
And the last question, about our services: what services do you schedule with Doinn and what are the advantages of using the platform?
Bnbird: Cleaning and linen services, mostly linen rental. The great advantage is the convenience in scheduling the services online and the diversity of locations included that provides a strengthened safety regarding our expansion processes.
Doinn: It is a pleasure to accompany you in your expansion!
Thank you for letting us know you a little bit better.
P.S. If you want to join us in this initiative, we will be more than happy to give your business more visibility, nation- and internationally. All you need to do is to fill this questionnaire.
The pandemic has brought us many negative things, many! But there are also many positive points, namely a closer relationship with our clients because this crisis has given us something that we didn’t have for a long time: TIME.
We always say that Doinners are here to help and in these difficult times, sometimes the support has been not only with operations but above all with our friendship and empathy.
And from here came the initiative to interview some of our clients, to share with our community the different points of view and management during this crisis.
What better day than Thanksgiving to start the first interview and dedicate them these words: Thank you all for letting us know you a little bit more.
P.S. If you want to join this initiative, we will be happy to help by giving you visibility at the national and international levels. You just need to fill this form. https://forms.gle/eMctnxtc2bH6qVY8A
I had a miserable fear until this interview! And it wasn’t because it was Halloween time, but because I had the pleasure of talking to Manuel Giner, who has been in this short-term rental property industry for a good 17 years as CEO of Avantio – one of the most complete PMS on the market and also our latest integration.
Hope you like it.
Noelia: I always tell the story of how my grandma was renting her apartment in Benidorm in the 70’s, but I think it’s pretty cool that the sector was already ready and able to use purpose built software, before Airbnb came along and changed the sector. What did Avantio do when it started in 2001?
Manuel: We started in 2001 as a software for short-term rental operators. The biggest difficulty was convincing the companies to invest in technology, since most of them did things manually and offline.
Very few of them had websites, and those that did have one just had a static page. For that reason, our second product was a reservation system for them to put online. The channel manager started significantly later, and became a top seller, since it was one of the first to be dedicated just to short term rentals in the industry.
Noelia: What changes did Airbnb and the growth of the sector bring?
Manuel: Airbnb let customers who before would only have ever booked hotels choose a short term rental instead. It popularised a new way of going on holiday. By increasing its customer base, they increased our customers’ sales too and brought lots of new companies to the sector, who also wanted to use our services.
Noelia: Avantio differentiates itself from its competitors with its Business Intelligence tools. What are the mostly used tools by your customers?
Manuel: We’re different because we’re an all-in-one solution that covers all the major processes of the business on the same platform, so our customers don’t need to hire other companies or pay for extra services. Avantio provides a powerful software, a fully complete channel manager and an integrated reservation system. As well as its flexibility, it’s ideal for companies that manage more than 50 properties and plan to grow in the future. I’d also point out our customer service, rated as the best in the sector. All of our customers can get in touch with us by phone (or email and chat too, of course).
Noelia: In 2018, you opened your first office in the United States, do you notice a big difference in terms of HR? What about with the property managers?
Manuel: From our experience in the US, we find it harder to retain good talent, as there is a culture of changing jobs frequently. In terms of the property managers, at the end of the day, they all want the same thing, a great software that makes their work easier.
Noelia: I know first hand that cleaning is one of the major headaches of the sector. Do you think that this part will become professional as well?
Manuel: I think so, and just as is happening in the hotel industry, the customer will become more and more demanding.
Noelia: Short term rental management companies are consolidating. Do you think the software companies will do the same thing?
Manuel: This already happens with software companies, it’s yet to be seen if this is a good thing for property managers.
Thank you Manuel, see you at “The Avantio Partnership events”
How to integrate Avantio with Doinn?
Login to Doinn (first time)
After registering with Doinn, click on the option “Integrate PMS”:
In the upper right corner, choose the Integrations option.
1. Choose the option “activate” Avantio:
2. Request the credentials from your Avantio account manager to enable the integration.
Avantio will send you a username and password that will allow Doinn to automatically receive all your apartments and reservations when you click “confirm”.
3. Set up integration between Doinn and Avantio
Automate the services that you want to order with each booking and let us know your property’s check-in and check-out times:
4. The integration is ready!
Your properties and reservations will be synced automatically. Starting today, you will have the properties ready for your guests with a simple click! If you would like the automation to be completed without having to be manually verified, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.