How Guesty Helped Harcourts South Coast’s Short-Term Rentals Division Boost Bookings By 40% & Occupancy by 20% – All In Less Than A Year

August 24, 2020 |

Building An Established Hospitality Brand 

Founded in the mid-1990s, Harcourts South Coast has grown to become one of Australia’s most prestigious real estate enterprises, offering a full suite of services for residential, rural, and commercial property sales, management, and leasing. 

With all of their properties located along Australia’s southern coast, the Harcourts team soon realized the potential of including short-term lets into their portfolio. In 2004, as the next step in the company’s growth, the holiday rental and professional property management division of Harcourts South Coast was born. 

What started off as a portfolio with a few dozen properties has grown into a powerhouse managing 260+ vacation rentals across Australia’s South Coast. 

The Challenge

With the demand for holiday rentals rising and the onboarding of more and more homeowners, Harcourts soon realized they needed help automating time-consuming tasks as well as managing guest and owner communication.

Harcourts had experimented with property management software in the past, however, they could not find one that suited their needs. Inge Dellaert, the company’s Holiday Rental Administrator, knew that in order to take the business to the next level, she would need to partner with a reliable PMS that would grow and adapt with their business needs. After doing a bit of research, she ultimately turned to Guesty in 2019. 

The Solution 

Right from the start, Inge loved the look and feel of Guesty’s platform, and the instant connection to different software programs and tools in Guesty’s Marketplace of tech partners helped elevate Harcourts’ vacation rental management services. 

“We had a great experience with everyone we spoke with at Guesty, from the first demo to eventual onboarding. We found that Guesty was much more alive, much more modern, and definitely a lot more forward-thinking than other competitors in the market,” she adds.  

Harcourts relies most on Guesty’s Automation Tools, Unified Inbox, and Payment Module. Unlike in the past, Inge says that she doesn’t “feel like I’m chasing guests for funds anymore and there’s been a significant reduction in the financial risk associated with hosting short-term guests.”

The Unified Inbox and Automation Tools have also helped Harcourts successfully convert new leads. “Whereas before, we were potentially losing business because we didn’t have time to respond to guest inquiries, with Guesty we are able to capture all leads that come our way,” says Inge, “All guest communication is controlled from one Unified Inbox, allowing us to convert more guest inquiries into actual bookings.”

The Results

Since working with Guesty, Harcourts saw a 40% increase in the number of bookings they received, and property owners have seen a 20% increase in occupancy rates. July 2020 was their biggest month yet, with a 70% increase in bookings compared to last year – even during a global pandemic. 

Inge has automated as much as possible with Guesty, giving her more time to focus on other parts of the business, such as owner relationships, analytics, and of course, growth. “We can grow smarter and allocate our resources better,” she says. 

“I feel that Guesty is always a step ahead of what’s happening in the industry,” she adds, “When you work with a software provider, you have to try to use it to its fullest potential, and as a product, Guesty makes that very easy to do. There’s a lot of support and flexibility from the entire Guesty team, and I really feel like our relationship is a partnership.”

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