How Guesty Helped Easylife Grow Its Portfolio 75% While Maintaining High Occupancy and Smooth Operations
Easylife (https://www.easylife.house), a property management company based in Milan, was founded by Donato Cella, a merchant banker who after ten years in the finance industry decided he wanted to do something a bit “more fun” with his career, while still supporting local businesses and fostering growth in Italy’s economy.
Believing that the short-term rental industry as a whole has not yet tapped into its full potential, Donato prides himself on exploring new services hosts can offer and implementing technology to both streamline operations and perfect guest experience. Currently, Easylife has 70 listings in Milan and other strategic cities across Italy, including Rome, Genova and Puglia.
How It Started
Donato was first introduced to the short-term rental industry in 2015, when he began renting out the only property he owned during the Universal Exhibition in Milan. It wasn’t long before he recognized the huge potential and profitability of short-term rentals, so he quit his full-time job and dove headfirst into the industry.
In September 2016, Donato bought two more properties, and with that Easylife was born. Easylife was established as an all-in-one property management company for both short and mid-term rental hosts, as well as real-estate professionals. Easylife offers listing services across major booking channels, customer support, social amplification, an owners’ portal and more.
With enough staff to manage the three properties he personally owned at the time, Donato began reaching out to hosts and other property owners offering his services. Within a few months, he had established a strong portfolio of clients, and Easylife grew to twenty listings in Milan. Ever since the company has been growing at a pace of about 10-15 new listings each year.
Easylife properties are listed across all major booking platforms, in particular Airbnb, Booking.com, VRBO (Homeaway), and more, and puts a focus on maximizing occupancy and yield for owners.
With over 40 listings in his portfolio, Donato soon realized he needed a property management software to help him and his team automate time-consuming tasks, manage guest communication, and scale efficiently, especially as Easylife began expanding into new cities.
Donato and his team simply did not have the time to focus on more value-adding products Easylife could provide hosts, such as providing strategies for better guest experience or offering services to upsell, such as grocery delivery in collaboration with local businesses.
After experimenting with a few different property management software companies, Donato eventually turned to Guesty. From the first training session, it was “love at first sight” he said.
Every issue that he could think of — whether it was keeping track of bookings across multiple booking platforms, sending messages to guests with check-in instructions, updating owners about their properties’ performances and more — Donato could address with Guesty.
“Easylife is becoming a major, all-around player in the real estate industry. We are adding more services to our clients, such as providing infrastructure for mid to long-term rentals, offering investment advice to owners we work with, and conducting real estate intermediation.”
Since becoming a Guesty user one year ago in September 2019, Easylife has grown its portfolio by 75%, and the company plans to continue expanding into new cities in the coming years. By simplifying and automating many of the day-to-day operations tasked to property management companies, Guesty gave Donato the time to focus on growing his business.
The number one Guesty feature the Easylife team cannot live without? Automated messages. Donato estimates that Guesty saves him an average of 3-4 hours a day – time that used to be spent replying to customer inquiries, providing check-in/out instructions, or asking guests to leave reviews after their stay. Donato has also been able to dedicate more time to looking for new owners to work with as well as developing Easylife’s marketing and social media plans further.
The biggest impact Guesty had almost immediately on business was an increase in occupancy. With Guesty, Donato was able to directly integrate with OTAs he had underused in the past – specifically Booking.com – as well as refocus direct bookings efforts on Easylife’s website. By listing across new booking channels, Guesty was able to help Easylife maintain occupancy levels even during slower booking periods.
“All the issues we wanted to address, we could do it with Guesty,” said Donato, “I can say that the price of the product is absolutely worth it, and it will allow you to save even more money and help you grow faster…I think if you want to have a lean, profitable company, you have to save time and money…Guesty does this for you.”