Making up over half of Airbnb’s total business, Europe has some pretty fertile soil for vacation rental management companies to grow. And that’s exactly what happened for BNBbuddy. Rooted in Edinburgh and Cannes, BNBbuddy offers professional management for both Airbnb and VRBO hosts, cleaning services, check-in personnel, price optimization, and 24/7 guest support. In short, they work to save you time. The “they” in this case is Andrew Paterson (Founder) and Michael Allen (Partner), two of the core brains behind this body of operations.
Here, we had the chance to speak with Andrew to explore BNBbuddy: what inspired him to start the business, how it’s grown, where it’s expanding to next, and how it can help make hosts lives a whole lot easier (and a whole lot more rewarding)…
Guesty:“Why Edinburgh and Cannes?” Andrew Paterson: “Edinburgh is my hometown and I chose Cannes because of the seasonal period and because it’s a great place for holiday homes. When we were looking to grow, we wanted to expand to an area where we felt that property management was needed. Plus, in Cannes, there is no other competition like there is in London or in Paris. We knew that without much market saturation, we could become leaders in the short-term rental sphere – specifically, for the audience of homeowners hoping to host through VRBO and Airbnb.”
Guesty: “So, would you say that the Airbnb business in both Edinburgh and Cannes is mostly seasonal?” AP: “In Edinburgh we are a year-round business! With the festival in the summer and Hogmanay in the winter, we are very busy all the time. And though the Cannes vacation destination period is seasonal, it is the European hub for conferences throughout the year. Actually, one of the reasons we chose Cannes was that it is uniquely busy off-season, as well.”
Guesty: “And how does BNBbuddy help hosts?” AP: “We take the stress away from the host, we organize cleanings and linens, we manage bookings, and we offer price optimization tools. In short, we allow the short-term host to generate two times as much as they would make if their property was up for long-term rental, and without having to do any of the work.”
We allow the short-term host to generate two times as much as they would make if their property was up for long-term rental.
Guesty: “Why and how did you start BNBbuddy?” AP: “I started BNBbuddy after seeing that there was a niche in the market. It happened after I spoke with a friend who was finding it stressful to run his own Airbnb and had mentioned that he wished there was a company that did it for him. Hence, BNBbuddy was born! I first started running 6 properties and did everything myself: from cleaning, to meet & greets, to managing clients’ accounts. Once I started to take on more properties and the company expanded, Mike joined the team. Since then, we have gone from 18 properties to 60.”
Guesty: “How have you guys (and how has BNBbuddy) evolved since Mike joining?” AP: “We have now taken on a digital and marketing side, an operation team which consists of 8 people that do all the cleaning and maintenance, and a guest communication manager who is on hand 24/7 to deal with any problems that our clients’ guests might have.”
Guesty: “Wow! And what’s next?” AP: “North America is the plan for next year. We are currently in talks with Austin and Charleston.”