We’d like to introduce you to the premier property management company for the Kiwis of the Airbnb hosting community: Manage My Place. Manage My Place is a unique service that not only handles your listings for you but also maximizes your profit by implementing marketing strategies, optimizing pricing, and improving guest experience. This company works for hosts all the way through the booking life cycle: from creating an enticing Airbnb accoun to welcoming guests and handing off keys, to providing a customized guest book, to offering a full-service cleaning and linen turnover after check-out.
The founder, Hannah McQuilkan, has a story as unique as the company itself and was kind enough to sit down with us to share some insight into how and why Manage My Place grew into what it is today…
Guesty:“Why Auckland?” Hannah McQuilkan: “It’s hard for me to be objective about Auckland because I have lived here all my life. I love its size, with 1.5 million people its not too big and not too small. It is surrounded by the water and has lots of great beaches to enjoy. It also has a lot of volcanos (extinct!) – 48 to be precise, which means lots of great walks with spectacular views.
Auckland Harbour is beautiful, with many islands you can visit. The central city has also become much more vibrant in recent years, with a nice city culture, good restaurants, cafes, and shopping.
Auckland is very multi-cultural – in fact 39% of Aucklanders were born overseas, so we have lots of different festivals throughout the year to represent these different cultures as well as restaurants with excellent cuisine from all over the world.
Lastly I love Auckland’s climate – not too hot and not too cold – it’s a great place to live all year round.”
Guesty: “What’s Airbnb like in this area of New Zealand? Is there a vacation rental market year round, too?” HM: “Airbnb in Auckland is relatively new compared to other parts of the world, with approximately 1,200 listings and growing quickly. Bookings are mainly from overseas tourists, with the number of locals booking increasing. And yes, it is not too seasonal – peak season with record occupancy rates of 95% -100% over the summer months of January and February. The quietest times are during July and August over the winter months, when occupancy drops down to 70% on average.”
Guesty: “And how does Manage My Place help hosts?” HM: “My company Manage My Place was set up to help people who wanted to use Airbnb for their properties but who didn’t have the time to do it themselves. We provide a full management service from creating the online profile, to communicating with guests, to providing cleaning and linen.
There is not much other support for Auckland hosts at the moment but we do have a good Facebook group* where hosts can chat and ask for advice.”
Guesty: “Why and how did you start Manage My Place?” HM: “I started my Airbnb Management company because it looked like a great business opportunity and there is no one else doing it! I put my own apartment on Airbnb for 6 weeks when I went overseas and had a friend manage it for me. I was fully booked during that time and I reasoned that there must be people who want to do the same thing but don’t have a friend to help them – it turns out I was right :).”
Guesty: “How have you (and how has Manage My Place) evolved since inception?” HM:“After six months in business we are now managing 20 properties. I have cleaning staff of four people and a lovely assistant to help me. We are using a linen hire service which is working out really well and are working on streamlining our systems so we can grow to the next level.”
Guesty: “Pretty impressive. Any plans for what’s next to come?” HM: “We are working on improving guest satisfaction over the coming months and are creating an awesome guidebook to Auckland for all our properties, with tips and tricks for what to do. We have just stepped into the world of listing our properties on multiple channels and its exciting to see the new bookings coming through from there as well.”