How This Family Business In The French Countryside Locked In 85% Summer Booking Occupancy Amid The Pandemic

April 28, 2021 |

Isabel Malsch moved to the French Basque Countryside, following her retirement, and decided to try renting out houses on Airbnb. Starting with one property, she steadily grew the business to 40 properties within 2 years thanks to the website created by her son Edouard, and Les Cles Biarrotes was born.

The company is a family success story. Isabel who founded and managed the company later brought on her son Alexandre to help reshape the company’s brand, and Fanny, her daughter-in-law, joined in 2019. Isabel’s hands-on approach and quality of service have earned them a glowing reputation in the region which has allowed additional homeowners to trust Les Cles Biarrotes with their properties.

The Challenge 

While scaling the business, it was clear the family team could not continue managing their operations and calendars with spreadsheets and paper. They needed a system to help strategize their revenue, apply different rates, and offer last minute deals, which led them to Guesty.

The Solution

Guesty allowed Les Cles Biarrotes to drastically improve their offering and understand how their business needed to operate. Using the revenue management tools, they are able to easily price stays and adjust minimum night rules based on available dates. “What used to manually take hours of work has now become a fun game of predictions and adjustments in bulk with a few clicks for a selected time frame,” said Fanny. 

They now use Guesty’s financial solutions which has given them a complete view of their income and revenue expenses, and helped them become even more efficient and profitable. “With the ‘send a quote tool, we professionally send personalized quotes to guests who are interested and automatically confirm these bookings.” 

In addition, using Guesty has enabled them to provide visibility for their entire team including cleaning companies and owners to work from one unified platform while still providing different levels of access to everyone. 

The Results

While 2020 was not an easy year for property management companies across the globe, for Les Cles Biarrotes, they were fortunate to be in one of the most desirable areas for French people to escape the urban cities and enjoy the holidays. Through the first half of the year, Les Cles Biarrotes saw all their reservations getting cancelled due to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. However, by June 2020, they noticed a sudden surge in last-minute bookings and thanks to the advice of Isabel’s daughter Charlotte who is a Revenue Manager in the hotel space and Guesty Revenue Management tools, they were able to quickly adjust their way of handling revenue management and adapt their offerings which resulted in 85% booked occupancy throughout the summer, with rates even higher than in 2019. “Based on the global trends that we have observed and the data in Guesty’s latest industry report, we think that 2021 will look similar, especially with last-minute bookings.” 

“The type of guests changed from international to local but the demand was very high for the season and with the help of Guesty, we were able to pivot quickly.” 

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