How Guesty helped this property manager scale to $500K in revenue
In 2010, Ryan Scott’s job required a lot of traveling; he was out of town for four days a week, if not more, and spending a lot of money on rent in the interim. At the time, the demand for apartments was growing, downtown San Diego real estate was booming, and Ryan’s entry into the short-term rental market was easy.
While traveling, Ryan took care of all the Airbnb profile-building and booking management, while he enlisted his neighbor to take care of check-ins with guests. Not too long after, Ryan decided to purchase a home with his girlfriend – something that would prove to be a good investment in the short-term rental market. They landed on a 3-unit beachfront property that Ryan felt certain after his successes so far would yield return-on-investment from the Airbnb market. He and his girlfriend settled in and rented their back unit out on Airbnb, while a professional property manager managed the other properties.
But when Ryan’s rental success of his own unit quickly surpassed that of his property manager, he took over online management for the entire property, leaving the hired manager with only on-the-ground tasks such as cleaning and guest management. At this point, both managers were splitting the 20% management fee down the middle, even though Ryan was on both the front-end and the back-end of management. The payoff didn’t seem worth it, so Ryan let the extra manager go and took matters completely into his own hands.
That’s when Surfcomber Rentals was born. Ryan’s own short-term rental company quickly grew from one building to many and eventually materialized into what included both Airbnb property ownership and Airbnb property management.
There are growing pains in building a short-term rental business. Ryan found that after having a handful of units already, each additional unit became significantly more difficult to handle as the management requirements grew exponentially beyond the time available in a day. And with a full-time job, he didn’t have the time to handhold each property and all of the tediously corresponding tasks. Property managers need a way to grow their Airbnb businesses without being held back by these unnecessary road bumps.
The only effective solution is a guest management system. Standard affordable and cloud-sourced outsourcing options cannot adjust their solutions to the client, and Ryan was in need of management that has the ability to adapt to his business personality and style. But this search requires both a financial investment, and time. The right short-term rental management would require quality management control and a software system that would allow the team to get smarter over time.
Ryan has found this guest management value in Guesty.
“With Guesty, I finally was able to have my life back: have dinner with my girlfriend without being on my phone.”
Time & Efficiency
Guesty covers everything from 24-hour availability, to delivering the right kind of guest responses, to maintaining friendliness.
Guesty is that in-house team needed to sustain a thriving short-term rental business, training commitment not included – learning who the hosts are and then being able to cut their required input dramatically. And with efficiency comes free time.
“Guesty understands me [and] how I work. With Guesty, I finally was able to have my life back, like having dinner with my girlfriend without being on my phone.”
It’s a solution that’s neither static nor stiff. For Ryan, that means sending lock codes to guests at the right time, allowing him to make his own templates that dictate how we should communicate to his guests, whatever his property management business requires from its guest management tool.
“Guesty has been really flexible in adapting to my needs. And so, that’s made it worth it.”
Integration With Airbnb
Guesty sets itself apart with its capacity to fully integrate with the Airbnb platform itself. Alternative approaches are either less involved or less direct, such as the use of external integration software or only minor and casual engagement with Airbnb. Guesty’s unique specialty to manage within Airbnb allows hosts to accomplish more in their short-term rental businesses.
“Specifically, with Guesty’s expertise within Airbnb’s platform, hosts have the ability to cross-sell with special offers across units, create and manage resolutions for price adjustments, and explain the pricing approach in detail.”
Flexibility has brought Ryan progress in various areas.
The expense of bringing a new property online has been much lower.
“I’m using Guesty because I get value from your specialized management within the Airbnb platform, such as interacting with the guests and more.”
The reviews are on Airbnb’s platform. Like many other successful property managers, Ryan lists across multiple platforms. But the narrow specialty with Airbnb allows the results to be vast.
“The reviews are better, I get complimented for being so quick in replies. Getting notified about and help from Guesty in dealing with a bad review, including a recommendation in how to respond that’s worked elsewhere, has been hugely valuable.”
On top of that, hosts only pay Guesty per transaction, so all the work done internally with Airbnb comes at no financial risk to the host. In other words, booking management is compensated for only when the host receives payment for that booking.
The work inside the Airbnb platform breeds success outside. Take Ryan’s reported business growth, for example.
“The expense of bringing a new property online has been much lower. Guesty does most of the work. Hitting the ground running with the new listings has been pretty simple. From 2012 to 2015, I’ve gone from 3 units 15, with revenues of over half a million dollars in 2014. With Guesty’s help, I was able to do this without bringing on a single full-time employee.”
The simplicity shows: Ryan grew his business five times over since partnering with Guesty.