Ever wonder how your Airbnb host is getting back to you so quickly?
Chances are that she’s using Guesty, a platform that helps short-term rental owners manage their listings. It turns out that Guesty — more than just software — helps bigger property management outfits, too, and works with other rental listing platforms like Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and Agoda.
Grit Daily caught up with Guesty co-founder and CEO, Amiad Soto, for a deeper look into the company and what might be next.
Grit Daily: For the uninitiated, what exactly does Guesty do?
The Guesty platform provides property managers and management companies with an end-to-end solution to simplify the complex operational needs that accompany short-term rentals.
With Guesty, users can manage reservations from multiple online travel agencies including Airbnb, Booking.com, Agoda and TripAdvisor, and utilize our guest-centric tools including: Unified Inbox, Automated Tasks, 24/7 Guest Communication Services, and Multi-Calendar.
We pride ourselves on being a one-stop-shop where customers can manage every aspect of their short-term rentals to save them time so they can focus on what matters most: growing their businesses.
GD: Perhaps just as important: What does it not do?
We are not simply a property management software (PMS). The short-term rental market is dynamic, colorful, growing and notably fragmented. Our platform not only offers tools to help our customers succeed as property managers – it also encompasses an entire ecosystem to ensure everything they need is in one place.
This includes our Integrations Marketplace where users can connect to third party solutions via their Guesty dashboard – from dynamic pricing tools to noise monitoring technology to smart entry systems that solve those pesky key hand offs with guests.
Our one-stop-shop approach differentiates us from other players in this market. And by listening to our customers’ pain points, mainly that they waste time jumping from platform to platform, we’ve been able to grow with them in making our platform more holistic to fit their needs.
GD: The founding team had its own interesting entrepreneurial backgrounds from before Guesty. Share those.
My identical twin brother and I originally launched Guesty as an apartment cleaning service for those listing their apartments on Airbnb. After listing our own apartments on Airbnb before a trip, we realized just how complex it was to manage the process – from guest communication to cleaning.
This was the catalyst to our light bulb moment of understanding that the market has a clear need for a platform to help short-term property managers better manage their properties in order to scale and grow.
We utilized our real-life experience to help these entrepreneurs benefiting from the sharing economy that didn’t exist ten years ago, ultimately launching Guesty in 2013, graduating from Y Combinator in 2014 and growing the company from 11 employees to 200+ with offices in five countries, all in under five years.
GD: Let’s talk numbers. What share of Airbnb’s listings do you have?
Airbnb is just one of the many platforms property managers distribute their listings on to earn revenue and boost occupancy. Those who rely on the Guesty platform to save them time and streamline their operational tasks can choose to distribute their listings across several online travel platforms. We are not privy to Airbnb’s data.
That said, in addition to Airbnb, we are directly integrated with Booking.com, TripAdvisor Rentals, Agoda, and other platforms. That means that property managers who utilize Guesty can sync and manage all of their properties on these travel platforms in one environment, via our dashboard.
With a unified inbox that centralizes all communications, and a multi-calendar that showcases all listings across all travel platforms, our customers can track reservations, performance, and tasks without hopping from site to site.
GD: What does the revenue picture look like?
While we don’t publicly comment on revenue, we have continued to see incredible growth over the last few years. It’s no surprise – the short-term rental market is a lucrative one, with an addressable market size of $169 billion in 2018 alone according to Skift Research.
In fact, short-term lets command 30% higher profits than long-term leases, thus it’s no shock we are seeing investors opt for short-term rental properties over year-long leases.
For those looking to get a piece of the pie, we compiled a list on the top cities to purchase a short-term rental in for 2019. The list below represents the cities with the highest total average revenue per property per city in 2018 based on aggregate data from multiple sources.
|2||United States||Las Vegas|
|5||United States||Los Angeles|
|6||United States||San Diego|
|9||United States||New York|
|18||United States||San Francisco|
GD: Where do you see the most growth?
Growth for us falls into four main categories:
- Our product: We plan on taking Guesty even further, introducing AI and machine learning into the platform while increasing its capabilities and maintaining its adaptable nature. Overall, we will continue to offer more solutions that solve our customers’ key pain points.
- Our customers: We’ve seen customers double, triple and even quadruple with us. In fact, our data shows that the average Guesty customer doubles their listings in one year. As they have grown, we’ve made sure our platform stays adaptable to fit their needs.
- Our employees: In the last year, Guesty grew 47% in manpower and we plan to hire more great talent this year across the globe.
- Our global footprint: Guesty has experienced incredible, organic growth over the last 4 years, generating revenue from property managers in 70+ countries. In 2019 we are ramping up our strategic and proactive expansion into various markets. Earlier this year we announced our new office in LA and this month we opened our first European office in Barcelona. Spain was the obvious choice as our first office in Europe due to the country’s enormous size and potential as it relates to the short-term rental industry, as well as the tremendous growth we’ve already seen in this market to date.
For coverage of another Y-Combinator startup, Sheertex, check out Grit Daily’s piece here.
Jordan French is the Executive Editor of Grit Daily. An award-winning journalist, he is on the editorial staff at TheStreet.com and a Fast 50 and Inc. 500-ranked entrepreneur.
He is the founder of Notability Partners and the co-founder of BNB Shield, Lisbon Hill Farms, Status Labs, BeeHex, BlockTelegraph, and Grit Daily. A biomedical engineer and intellectual-property attorney, French is the author of upcoming book, The Gritty Entrepreneur.