We created the Faces of Kigo series to showcase our talented employees, tell their stories, and share why they love being a part of the Kigo team.
Meet Ivan Meduri, Kigo Key Account Manager based in Barcelona. A native of Italy, Ivan has a love for visiting beautiful sights, eating delicious food, and taking on new experiences. Ivan has an entrepreneurial spirit that allows him to tap into the business needs of Kigo clients and create innovative solutions. He's passionate about setting clients up for success and making a difference in their lives.
Learn more about Ivan:
Tell us about yourself!
I was born in Southern Italy in a town called Reggio Calabria. When I was 10 years old, I moved to beautiful Tuscany which is where my family lives now. I spent a few years in the U.K., where I studied Business Management at Durham University and worked as activity leader in Cambridge. After my graduation in 2012, I moved to Barcelona to work for a vacation rental agency and I've worked in the home rental industry since.
In terms of my hobbies, I love food. This is something that relates so much to my Italian family, as great food is a very important part of our daily lives.
I'm also passionate about contemporary art, and I always try to visit different exhibitions both in Barcelona and when I travel abroad.
Image via www.bolgheridoc.com
What is your role at Kigo?
Currently, I am a Key Account Manager for some EMEA markets (among others: Italy, U.K., Netherlands, Malta, and Croatia) and for few companies with properties in multiple destinations. I take care of our company's relationship with key customers in terms of revenue generated, booked nights and unit count.
My portfolio today includes around 45 clients managing a total of around 4,000 units. My day-to-day tasks include making sure they make the best use of all Kigo products and that their technical and commercial requests are escalated and resolved quickly. I also work closely with product teams and transfer our clients' requests to them so we can build better products that reflect what our clients need. Another side of my job is to see if there are potential opportunities for my clients to use more Kigo products and identify opportunities to help them grow their booking volume.
What do you love about your job?
I believe in helping small and medium-sized businesses succeed. The best part of my job is talking to entrepreneurs all the time. I have a great opportunity every day to learn from them about business and the hospitality industry. We have seen and helped companies grow from one property to managing a portfolio of over 100, and I think that since Kigo technology plays a big role in this growth, then we're doing great thing for many businesses around the world.
What makes Kigo stand out from the competition?
I believe that Kigo is the only real, effective technology provider in the vacation rental industry today.
First of all, Kigo has a Channel Manager with better quality integrations than our competitors. Most of them advertise that they connect to "100 channels" or "100+ websites" but that's not what matters to property managers - they want quality, not quantity. The high quality of our integrations with Airbnb, Homeaway, Booking.com, Despegar - that's what makes us stand out from our competitors.
Our Mobile Guest App and Operations Manager products have also proved to be necessary tools to improve efficiency and manage rentals more professionally. From my experience, the Guest App saves significant time for property managers. It creates contracts and sends them automatically with all the booking details. Then, it also sends automated welcome messages that redirect to the Guest App, which results in automating the whole guest communication process. From working closely with property managers, this is one of the most time-consuming day-to-day activities.
That's what makes us different, the fact that all these different functionalities are bundled together in one product.
How is Kigo changing the vacation rental industry?
Kigo has been advancing the vacation rental technology industry for quite some time now. I believe we're the only company in the space with the power to build new technology and successfully integrate different products into one platform. We've made many small businesses very successful, and given them the ability to scale and add more properties to increase revenue.
This is the result of both the continuous technological advancements of our products and the support of our customer-facing teams. I challenge any property manager today to call one of our competitors and ask them about their onboarding process and the length of implementation. They will not find a better and more organized process than what we have in Kigo. We have created the most professional and caring customer-facing teams in the industry. This helps our customers getting onboarded quickly and be successful with our products.
How does your hobby or passion translate into your role at Kigo?
My role of helping vacation rental businesses at Kigo relates a lot to my passion for new business ideas. I always loved entrepreneurship when I was growing up, and I've started and failed more entrepreneurial projects than I can remember. So my experience helped me to understand the struggles of operating a business and trying to work in the most efficient way.
How do you approach finding places to stay when you travel?
Generally for me, location is one of the main factors in deciding where to book an accommodation. Normally I do quite a bit of research about where a hotel or vacation home is located. It's important to me that it is in a neighborhood with good access to the areas where I need to be, along with great restaurants (I'm Italian and I need to have good food around me) and interesting attractions, like contemporary art museums or cinemas.
I also think it's important that the location has a local feeling to it. For example, I visit Amsterdam quite often (my girlfriend is from there) and I recommend finding accommodations in the Oud-Zuid area, which is a good mix of locals, parks and great art museums.
What do you look for in a vacation rental? What do you avoid?
I would never book a vacation rental without reviews or with low-quality pictures. I've been in the industry long enough to see some very bad pictures that were published on a company's listing site. Pictures have to be great so I can look forward to actually visiting that property. I would never make a booking for a property if I don't actually feel excited to physically be there soon.
How can property owners make their vacation rentals more appealing to travelers like yourself?
I think that the content on a listing page is very important and often very undervalued by property managers. I prefer "curated" content that presents a property in a creative way and shows the main advantages of being in that specific neighborhood, rather than “standardized” property descriptions and text. Property managers are finding more and more inventory online and most of it may be non-exclusive. This means that the same content may be replicated on hundreds of websites. I think there is an opportunity to create truly original content that makes your inventory stand out from other properties in the same area.
Property managers should also start focusing on offering experiences to their guests. There are experiences that require little costs and preparation, but have a relevant return on investment. For example, companies can organize pasta-making sessions, walking tours with locals, and food tours for guests. These experiences not only provide an alternative revenue stream, they also positively impact the guest experience. Happier guests talk to their friends, post good reviews and may even return to the same property in the future.
As we continue to explore the Faces of Kigo, you will meet more members of our global team working every day to create the best products in travel. Stay tuned!