Failing to maintain the pace of business can hinder the growth of a vacation rental portfolio. Just ask Tom Powers, CEO & Founder of Abodeca.
After acquiring a little more than a half of a dozen properties and starting the online vacation rental marketplace in October 2017, Abodeca (pronounced ‘Abode-eck-uh’) hit a wall. The property management system that the company employed couldn’t efficiently manage the business and stalled any thought of future acquisitions.
“I wouldn’t have taken on another property if somebody had begged me because we couldn’t simply manage the different channels independently and the other aspects of the business were far too chaotic and stressful,” Powers said.
Image via Abodeca
Part of the problem was managing payments among the eight or nine properties within the portfolio. The company needed a solution that would streamline the process. What he found was that Kigo could tie everything together.
Abodeca went from a small startup to a bustling enterprise with a greater web presence backed by a strong back office and real-time reporting. The payments process became more aerodynamic to better manage the pace of bookings.
Soon, Powers and the company’s investors could turn their attention to growing the portfolio.
“Getting a solution like Kigo opened up some of our bandwidth to be able to bring on more properties,” Powers said. “Because it eliminated variables, we had more energy to put toward (expansion).” Abodeca uses Kigo Marketplace, an all-in-one vacation rental management solution, to streamline activities across the business.
Connecting vacation rental guests and hosts
Abodeca was founded by property managers who envision connecting vacation rental guests and hosts without a middle man getting in the way.
As a former property manager, Powers saw first-hand the gaps in online marketing in the vacation rental business. Through third-party bookings, guests didn't always get an accurate feel for the property and property managers didn't always have control of their brand. And booking fees just drove up the cost.
The company launched and touted creating a comfortable, low-cost solution for both parties without the need for booking fees.
A key to getting started was cultivating off-season revenue by targeting business travelers who needed lodging longer than just a few days. By working with local hospitals and companies, Abodeca found a niche that satisfied both the company's needs and those of home owners willing to share their residences and other properties.
“We made relationships with local human resource managers for travel nurses,” he said in a live video interview at the RealWorld Conference in July. “So it shifted from, you have a $1,500 a month housing allotment, do you want to stay in an extended stay suite or would you rather stay on the beach in the winter time? If you are going to stay two weeks wouldn’t you rather stay in a neighborhood that feels like home.”
Watch the full video below.
Managing growth with the right tools
Powers is convinced short-term rental demand is destined to elevate a rapidly growing industry that is converging with the long-term rental world. Because consumers are generally itinerant and expect more from a vacation or short-term rental experience than staying in a hotel, the time is ripe.
Having the right tools in place to manage the growth is essential.
"It's not people looking for one week of vacation in the summer," he said. "It will be cool to see what happens over the next 36 months in this space as these two worlds come together," he said. "People are nomadic. There is a culture change happening. And if you look at the rest of this century you're going to see a lot of people living a transient lifestyle."
“Get first to market.”
Get in-depth insights into how Abodeca is expanding its vacation rental portfolio with Kigo Marketplace. Watch the full interview here.