Tell us about Hiphipstay and yourself:
In 2015, I was still in college and then went traveling while using Airbnb. When I came home, back to Dublin, I started renting out a property and eventually expanded to 60 properties including in London and even a boutique hotel.
I started using Hostaway in May 2018. All my properties were rental arbitrage. I had 60 properties as of 2020. In 2020, there weren't too many open European markets, but I found opportunity in Mexico as it was an open market so I decided to come! Mexico has a high ADR, high-end inventory, and the demand keeps growing.
How were you impacted in 2020?
I left Europe and came over to Mexico. It’s been promising, I’ve signed 300 properties in the last few weeks on track for our target of 2000 by the end of the year. I’m seeing lots of potential to professionalise hosts and increase their business 30-40% with different strategies.
Hiphipstay is in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Our target is to get to 2000 properties by the end of 2021!
How do you manage 60 units by yourself?
I had dynamic pricing, around 15 cleaners, an office manager doing the onboarding, then 3 people on the ground to meet & greet the guests, and a maintenance guy. Without Hostaway I would’ve had to hire more cleaners and manage them.
Where and how do you Advertise your properties?
I’m on Expedia, Booking, Vrbo, and Airbnb. Plus my website, which is connected through the Hostaway API, and generates 60% of my reservations.
In the past, I had a number of channel managers. I started with Tokeet but wanted to add HomeAway, so I then moved to Kigo. It did the job but it was difficult to maneuver around and wasn’t too user-friendly.
I left Kigo because of the automated messaging, the way they did it was very tricky. They didn’t have a connection with Vrbo or Expedia either. The whole user experience wasn’t too user-friendly. Hostaway was so much more simple, understandable, and user-friendly.
I eventually started getting properties in London and networking there. I was recommended to use Beyond Pricing which was a Hostaway partner. I joined Hostaway and have been growing from there!
How has your experience been with Hostaway’s onboarding and support?
The onboarding experience is really simple, everything is automated. Hostaway imports properties fast and can export to other channels.
The Hostaway support is really important. That’s the reason I’ve stayed. Guesty was too expensive but you have the same features and much better support.
Which features are you using on Hostaway?
We have automated 70-80% of the messages and used a lot of the tools within Hostaway to make our lives easier and our clients. The mobile app is highly useful as this is a mobile business and you need access to the information immediately. It’s the little things that matter. The content can be updated all from one place, which saves a lot of time.
What advice would you give a starting property manager today?
Get on a channel manager. Talk to people who are experienced in the industry. Do your research, be data-driven, look up the overall market and certain areas that are in demand. Go for bigger units. It’s the same amount of work but higher revenues with bigger units.