How The First Tourism Startup in Georgia Grew Their Listings 1300% in a Single Year Using Guesty
Sitting in the heartland of Georgia, nestled within its magnificent mountain landscape, lies a not-so-small family business that has set out to change a mentality deeply ingrained into their country, and they’re doing it one stunning, unique apartment at a time.
And being our first users in Georgia, Guesty has been with them since day 1.
“Our mission is very close to our country and our heart, because we are not such a popular country. People don’t trust other people to manage their property because they think it’s dangerous, and we are changing this fundamental idea” said Niko Anjaparidze, Founder and CEO of Wehost.
From listing 6 apartments belonging to various friends and family in 2017, the first tourism startup in Georgia has undergone a growth explosion and now weighs in at over 300 listings and 50 employees. They “boast the most unique apartments in Georgia, in prime locations, with stunning views.”
But the road hasn’t always been straightforward for Wehost. Their proximity to the Russian-Ukrainian war has plunged their region into a state of uncertainty, and they also suffered the tragic loss of Niko’s Co-Founder and business partner, Devid Kharebava, in 2018. Niko strives to carry out David’s vision for Wehost, and their team works hard to make him proud every step of the way.
Wehost has a clear and ambitious vision; to manage 1000 apartments by 2025. So straight out the blocks, they sought to implement a business model that could scale seamlessly and efficiently. Seeking out task management capabilities and advanced automation, they were searching for a one-stop-shop for all their property management needs.
Further, they also had the huge challenge of garnering trust from property owners and building a reputation on it, in a place where trust flows like a river in a desert. A clear and transparent platform for communication and performance was paramount.
When looking for a software to match their highly ambitious goal, Niko remarked “We did research and read reviews about various platforms, and we found that – in terms of what we were searching for – Guesty was the best”.
“We are thinking about and getting ready for the future. The way we are working now, and the features we are using with Guesty, we are ready to scale to 1000 apartments”.
With a great number of listings comes a great number of calendars to manage, making the Multi-Calendar their sharpest tool in the shed. Rumors have it that Niko opened this tool once in 2017, and hasn’t closed the page since. Ever-present on his computer, he utilizes the different filters to view listings by location, type of rooms, cleaning status, and more. And with a visually digestible representation of listing occupancy, he is able to tweak listing prices to react immediately to fluctuating demand.
When it came to building trust, Guesty’s Owners Portal proved the perfect solution. The detailed dashboard provided transparency to Wehost’s huge (and growing!) number of owners, giving them the insight and information necessary to stay in the loop with their investments. “It’s easy, and more importantly, it’s scalable.”
After making the pre-pandemic switch from a 3rd party in order to centralize activities and save funds, Niko now uses Guesty’s Task Manager to its fullest extent. With no stone left unturned, and by maximizing automation to communicate effectively with his employees, Wehost employees complete over 700 tasks on a monthly basis.
Each task is clear; a designated assignee and supervisor, clear documentation of instruction, and a detailed checklist. And with this friction-free communication all received through the Guesty mobile app, each employee can access the information where it is most convenient, making everyone’s lives easier.
It’s no overstatement to claim that Wehost have significantly contributed to shaping the short-term rental ecosystem in Georgia, changing hearts, minds, and the way international travelers view their country.
With a whopping 1300% growth in listings in 2019, and now single-handedly contributing to 2% of Airbnb listings on the Georgian market, these short-term rental trailblazers continue to lead the way in a country where international travel is becoming popular, and growing year on year.
And with 96% of guests leaving them with positive reviews, it’s clear that their “high quality, beautifully designed and decorated apartments” have left plenty of guests with Georgia on their mind.
Their revenue now exceeds $200K each month, a number set to skyrocket as they collaborate with their Customer Success Manager to begin using Guesty’s Revenue Management tools, and devise robust, revenue bolstering rate strategies and pricing plans.
Together since the beginning, Niko struggles to fathom his business without Guesty. “I can’t imagine how we would even be able to run the same business without Guesty. We would need to double the staff, and even then, I doubt we would have the capacity to scale like we plan to.”
As far as their future is concerned, all roads lead to 1000 listings in 2025, and Niko is confident that they will be able to achieve this figure. They are looking to begin using Advanced Analytics, and continue with their winning formula that has worked so well for them thus far…