Director at The London Residents Club
Childhood friends Tom Archer and Will Parry got their first taste of running a business together in the countryside outside London, where they set up a business to make juice from apples that would otherwise go to waste. After successfully selling the company to a competitor, the pair was hungry for a new venture.
Living in Chelsea, Will and Tom wanted to ensure that the many beautiful, vacant properties around them would be put to good use. And so, in 2014, they founded The London Residents Club, a prestigious property management company that began with only a handful of clients and today boasts a portfolio of more than 200 properties across London as well as a selection of holiday homes throughout the world!
Driven exclusively by word of mouth and enthusiastic client referrals, the company continues to grow and thrive. In fact, its one and only source of inorganic growth was its 2017 acquisition of a competitor, which was a huge opportunity that resulted in a tremendous increase in clients overnight.
The mantra of the London Residents Club has always been to provide the best service in London. Tom and Will firmly believe that if they can continue to do this, business growth will naturally follow!
Though the property management company’s acquisition of a major competitor was a massive triumph for The London Residents Club, it came with a unique set of challenges, mostly centered around the ability to accommodate twice the number of clients they’d been servicing until then. In general, running a hospitality business with so many moving parts is logistically and operationally challenging. The company’s commitment to providing the very highest level of service requires that they readily meet all of the demanding expectations of both their guests and property managers.
Additionally, Tom and Will were met with an unexpected challenge when it came to working with suppliers. Though tempted by the option to outsource housekeeping duties to external companies, they knew that giving up control over a key area of their business could invite a heap of unwelcome problems. They therefore decided to keep cleaning responsibilities in-house, personally training their cleaners and assigning them to the same specific properties so that they become extremely familiar with them and could carry out their housekeeping duties quickly and effectively.
Similarly, they felt strongly about providing “in-person” check-in. Whereas lock boxes and keyless entry technologies can remove a lot of stressful coordinating between managers, guests and staff, Tom and Will believe that top quality service means keeping things personal. They train “greeters” to thoroughly check each property before check-ins and after check-outs, and to give all guests a warm and informative welcome to London.
On the flip side, keeping things “in-house” meant just another slew of time-consuming tasks to add to their ever growing list of management responsibilities, which all had to be handled smoothly and efficiently in order to fulfill the company’s promise of top-of-the-line experiences for all of their clients.
Tom and Will needed quality software to help them manage the many aspects of their property management company. Though Airbnb has fantastic resources, they cater more to the needs of part-time hosts with one or two properties.
Guesty provided the perfect answer, allowing The London Residents Club to avoid outsourcing and maintain control over every facet of the business without needing to sacrifice too much in precious time and resources. Guesty’s automation tools and task-simplifying features stepped in to bear a lot of the burden and ensure all tasks are carried out in a timely and satisfactory fashion.
Due to the property management company’s impressive expansion,both managing content and replying to guest enquiries became very challenging, and Guesty really helped The London Residents Club overcome these hurdles. One of the things the London Residents Club team loves most about Guesty is the quick and helpful responses they get from the support team.
Guesty has played an invaluable role in making The London Residents Club’s use of Airbnb as effective as possible.
Now armed with Guesty’s stress-reducing and time-saving features, Tom and Will have their sights set on becoming the best short-term rental outfit in London and believe they are well on their way to achieving that. Once they’ve dominated the London scene, they’ll be more than happy to extend their services to other cities, both in the UK and abroad.
When asked if they had any words of wisdom to offer aspiring entrepreneurs, the successful duo cautioned against trying to run two businesses at once, the difficulties of which they experienced firsthand when they were setting up The London Residents Club while still running their apple juice company.
Next, they emphasized that people are an entrepreneur’s greatest asset. “Hire good talent, invest in them, and retain them.” Tom and Will pride themselves on the strong, committed team they have built in an industry that tends to see a high turnover rate.
Last, they advised aiming to scale at a sustainable pace, placing focus on getting operations, processes, and customer service right rather than taking a superficial look at the numbers, which don’t always tell the full story. With the help of Guesty’s services, The London Residents Club was able to successfully scale without sacrificing quality or customer experience.
If you’re interested in learning more about property management and discovering the many ways Guesty's platform can help your business, we invite you to a free one-on-one session with one of our experts.