650% Growth & Half A Million Dollars Saved: How Guesty Helped Upstay Grow Into A Professional Aparthotel & Vacation Rental Hospitality Brand
From Tech Entrepreneur To Managing Over 150 Properties
Andrew Lenjosek was a successful tech entrepreneur before deciding to take a chance in the real estate development market.
He launched Upstay in June 2019, and quickly grew the company into a professional hospitality brand managing over 150 units across the United States and Canada. Today, Upstay provides end-to-end property management coupled with professional design and five-star guest concierge services.
Despite navigating a global pandemic, Andrew expects to add two more developments to his portfolio in the coming months: a 90-unit aparthotel in Ottawa, Canada, as well as a 100-unit vacation rental resort in Orlando, Florida.
As Upstay grew to 40+ listings, Andrew was still handling all of the operations himself.
“I was on vacation one day, and on the phone with clients and partners until about four o’clock in the morning. I knew then that I needed a better way to help manage my customer service,” he said.
Hoping to automate his communication needs, Andrew began working with two property management software (PMS) companies, but he found the systems outdated and unable to provide the functionality or support he needed; that is, until he found Guesty.
“Bottom line — Guesty is incredibly easy to work with, and the support is the best in the industry, period. They are available 24/7 for any crazy, urgent demand I might have…and I have a lot of them!” added Andrew, “Guesty’s core functionality is fantastic and the roadmap is unparalleled. Whatever else I might need, Guesty is already working on.”
Andrew noted that automation tools have helped him streamline day-to-day tasks, specifically when it comes to auto-messaging guests or automatically updating listing descriptions across multiple booking channels. Without Guesty, he notes that he’d have to triple his customer service team, saving him the cost of an additional 5-10 employees, equal to nearly half a million dollars a year.
“Operationally my team is so much more efficient now than they were before Guesty, and the customer experience we are delivering is better because of it. Every question that could be asked by a guest is already organized and codified by the support team,” said Andrew.
Andrew also uses Revenue Management Tools to automatically generate performance reports so that he can make informed decisions about his business.
And Upstay has integrated with PriceLabs, a dynamic pricing tool, via Guesty’s Marketplace to ensure properties are earning the highest possible profit.
Prior to Guesty, 90% of Upstay’s bookings came from Airbnb, however, since integrating with additional OTAs, there’s been a significant increase in occupancy and demand. Cross listings on several booking channels have helped with demand during the pandemic, nearly making up for the negative impact of COVID-19.
“I wouldn’t be able to operate without Guesty,” added Andrew, “From the Unified Inbox to the Multi-Calendar and our own Direct Booking Website, you need all these tools if you’re going to run a business efficiently.”
Since starting with Guesty nearly a year ago, Upstay has grown 650% and expanded its presence from three cities to five. In the next 18 months, Upstay will add an additional 200 units to its portfolio with the aforementioned aparthotel and resort, and begin to penetrate Canada.
Amid the pandemic, Upstay has been able to provide top-notch guest experiences, securing better ratings, more listing clicks and views and overall a higher average nightly rate (ANR).
“Guesty is building itself as a product to scale, so whether you manage 20, 200, 2,000 or even 20,000 units, it will have that functionality. Switching property management software is a pain – so for any property manager with aspirations to grow, you need to pick Guesty.”