Tell us about your business
All of our properties are located in the Mount Washington Valley specifically in Center Conway, North Conway, Bartlett, and Intervale.
Presently we manage 18 properties. We pride ourselves on keeping things small, personable and thoughtful. Our goal is to keep it that way.
We focus on quality not quantity. We do not want to have a ton of properties that get lost amongst the masses of each other. We want to have an open line of communication with each one of our owners. We like to focus on properties that have a low occupancy of 10 or less. We like the personal touch.
What were your challenges before Hostaway?
When I was first looking for vacation rental management software, my business was growing extremely rapidly. And although I did a lot of research, at that time I also didn't have a lot of resources financially.
Have you used other solutions before Hostaway?
I ultimately decided to try Guesty. Little did I know how much I would regret that decision.
The onboarding with Guesty was intensive. I felt like I was hit by a freight train. I felt like there was no prior warning at the time for the dedication it would take for the on-boarding process that Guesty demanded from the start. But, the more I used it, the more I realized that, although they have an impressive set of features, they lack in so many different areas. The number one area is the complete lack of timely support, especially off the back of a very complicated piece of software and a very intense onboarding process.
How was your Guesty experience?
There was a time in my Guesty experience, about four months after onboarding when I started to realize that payments from my rentals were not hitting my bank account from my Stripe accounts. This was because my Stripe account had gone into what they referred to (when they found out the problem) as "Test Mode".
This was not covered in the onboarding process and when I started to try and figure out what was happening, Guesty took absolutely no responsibility for that matter. It took hours, days, and possibly even weeks of stress trying to figure out how I was going to get payments from renters that had already stayed a couple of months previously.
Then, I started to have to do my Owner Statements at the end of every month which I did manually on an excel spreadsheet. It would be a day or two every single month to do Owner Statements.
When the email popped up from Hostaway that you were offering Owner Statements, I contacted Hostaway and said, "I made a mistake going with Guesty, but if you’ll have me, I would love to consider coming back. Can we jump on a call and talk about it?"
And not only did Hostaway welcome me back with open arms, I think the real wow factor for me as a business owner is when Robert got on a call with me and the call started, there was Marcus, the owner of the company on the call as well. I just don't know what other company of that size would care that much to have the owner on the call when someone's already left him once before and that really made an impression.
He's well known in the industry and it was amazing just to see his face pop up on the screen when I had that scheduled call. And then they were like, "What can we do to make you come back?" and it was just so seamless and great.
I have absolutely no intention of ever-changing again. Lesson learned and I will always be a huge advocate of Hostaway.
What Hostaway features are the most important within your business?
Being a manager across multiple properties, I manage across multiple online platforms. It is amazing to have a centralized location in terms of the calendar and the inbox.
The owner statements and the financial reporting.
I love the direct booking platform. I love how that looks. I love how it integrates with the Stripe account seamlessly.
Has Hostaway helped grow your business?
It has definitely helped me grow my business in ways that I don't even comprehend on a day-to-day basis. It helps me organize my life and my business in a way that gives me peace of mind that I know things are running smoothly.
How has your experience been with our support team?
I feel supported by Hostaway, especially if I'm going to compare my experience with Guesty, it's really like chalk and cheese when you compare the two because the support from Hostaway has been amazing. And again, how they run their business model is like when I have a problem, it's not, “oh you've done something wrong”, it's more like "Well, let's work together to get to the bottom of this". It's the way they go about solving an issue with you instead of just saying, "Hey, you should know this", or "Hey, how about you just submit tickets, or email support, or something like that." You feel like you're an actual valued member of the team instead of just another number.
What advice would you provide to new hosts and property managers?
First of all, definitely don't use Guesty, that would be my first thing. Outside of channel managers, my best advice would be to build yourself a good team. Find people who will build it with you. You're not going to do it by yourself. Find the people who will build it with you not just in terms of people on the ground but people behind software just like Hostaway.
Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life