Round-Up: New RentalReady, Hostaway Welcomes New CFO, HomeToGo Appoints Investment Chief, and Bob W Expands to Knightsbridge

Uvika Wahi

Round-Up New RentalReady, Hostaway Welcomes New CFO, HomeToGo Appoints Investment Chief, and Bob W Expands to Knightsbridge

RentalReady Unveils Fresh Brand Identity and Advanced Features

Key Takeaways for Vacation Rental Managers:

  • RentalReady, a leading property management software company, unveils a new brand identity and advanced features, positioning itself as an all-in-one solution for property management.
  • The rebranding is aimed at reflecting RentalReady’s status among top-tier vacation rental management solutions.
  • RentalReady has earned membership in Airbnb’s Preferred Partner program, providing users with access to official APIs for calendars, messaging, and quality. This means real-time synchronization and swift issue resolution for short-term rental property managers.
  • The platform has added two new Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) to its channel manager, including the exclusive reservation site. This gives hosts access to distribution through Google Travel.
  • RentalReady has introduced several AI-driven updates, including bespoke guest itineraries, mood detection in guest communications, and smart replies to guest reviews.
  • The new website, now on the .com domain, provides comprehensive guides and resources for property managers to improve their hospitality businesses.
  • The company will be attending a series of events in London, Barcelona, Nice, and Paris to showcase its innovations.

About RentalReady:

  • RentalReady, a property management software, is a product of the GuestReady Group. As a Short Term Rental company with a strong presence in Europe and the Middle East, the GuestReady Group manages a portfolio of over 6000 properties.
  • Some of the services offered in its suite are a Channel manager, Revenue management, Payments & invoicing, Task management, Guest communication, and Upsells

Uvika’s View:

  • GuestReady Group, the parent company of RentalReady, exemplifies a property management company that has developed its own tech suite to manage its vast business scale. Notably, it is now offering this technology to other property management companies, having transitioned from a purely property management role to a key tech player.
  • RentalReady, coming from a property management company, arguably provides a deeper understanding of daily operations in this sector, making the software more relevant and efficient for users.
  • The integration of AI tools in RentalReady is noteworthy. It combines intuitive AI itineraries, as seen in HomeToGo’s AI Modes, and AI-powered guest communication offered by vacation rental companies like Lodgify and AngelHost.

Hostaway Appoints New CFO to Spearhead Next Chapter of Growth

Key Takeaways for Vacation Rental Managers:

  • Hostaway, a leading vacation rental property management software (PMS), appoints Ashley Milton as its new CFO to guide the company’s next growth phase.
  • Ashley Milton brings over 20 years of experience in senior management and finance roles across diverse global markets and sectors, including SaaS, data, and media.
  • Milton’s appointment is expected to enhance Hostaway’s transition into its next growth phase.
  • Earlier in May 2023, Hostaway received the largest investment in global vacation rental technology worth $175 million, setting it on track to achieve annual recurring revenues of $100 million.
  • Under Milton’s stewardship, Hostaway aims to further capitalize on its position as the fastest-growing software company in the short-term rental and hospitality software space, focusing on accelerated growth drivers for sustainable scale and profitability.

About Hostaway:

  • Hostaway offers comprehensive vacation rental management software for short-term rental property managers, featuring deep channel integrations with premium partners.
  • Earlier this year, Hostaway secured the triple recognition of becoming an Airbnb Preferred, Vrbo Preferred, and Booking Premier partner.

Uvika’s View: 

  • In May 2023, Hostaway secured a massive $175 million investment to quite a lot of fanfare. This milestone has propelled the company to deliver on its promise of enhanced features. Most notably, it has recently developed its own smart lock integration.
  • Hostaway has consistently communicated its ambition to evolve into an all-in-one solution for property management. Keeping this intent in mind, and the appointment of Ashley Milton as CFO – who brings substantial M&A experience –  suggests a possible strategic direction toward growth through acquisitions. This could potentially usher Hostaway into a new phase of expansion.

HomeToGo Appoints New Chief Investment Director, Signals Imminent M&A Activity

Key Takeaways for Vacation Rental Managers:

  • HomeToGo, a vacation rental marketplace, has appointed Dr. Bodo Thielmann as Chief Investment Director.
  • Thielmann is a seasoned industry leader with experience at Destination Solutions GmbH (HRS Group), OYO Vacation Homes, and Axel Springer Group. He has expertise in both M&A and operational aspects of the vacation rental industry.
  • In this new role, Thielmann will lead HomeToGo’s efforts to acquire, integrate, and scale profitable businesses, leveraging the company’s substantial cash position to fuel growth.

About HomeToGo:

  • Founded in 2014, HomeToGo connects travelers with property suppliers worldwide, offering extensive inventory coverage in the alternative accommodation space. HomeToGo SE is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the ticker “HTG”.

Uvika’s View: 

  • This strategic move aligns perfectly with HomeToGo’s positive trajectory, underscored by their first-ever quarter with positive adjusted EBITDA, posting a profit of €1.4 million.
  • Thielmann’s appointment opens up opportunities for partnerships, acquisitions, or integrations with HomeToGo, potentially expanding their reach and enhancing their operational efficiency.
  • This appointment underscores HomeToGo’s commitment to strategic expansion and profitability. Thielmann’s experience and knowledge of the vacation rental business model will provide valuable insights for the company’s M&A activities.

Tech-Savvy Short-Stay Operator Bob W Expands to London’s Knightsbridge

Key Takeaways for Vacation Rental Managers:

  • Bob W, a tech-driven short-stay apartment operator, has expanded into prime London with a new property in Knightsbridge.
  • The move is aimed at providing better value and premium stays compared to traditional providers.
  • Gulaid House Knightsbridge, acquired by Gulaid Group Holding and leased to Bob W, marks their first partnership, with hopes to expand to other high-value locations.
  • Bob W offers fully refurbished apartments, ranging from deluxe studios to four-bedroom units, boasting modern designs and digital guest experiences.
  • Their tech platform ensures a seamless digital front desk experience, including early check-ins, late check-outs, and a chat-based host named ‘Bob W.’
  • The partnership between Bob W and Gulaid Group Holding aims to elevate the quality of short-term rentals in Knightsbridge.

About Bob W:

  • Bob W operates as a vacation rental management company, utilizing technology to facilitate contactless experiences for customers.
  • It has a business footprint in nine European countries, overseeing the management of 35 aparthotel and coliving properties.
  • The company’s services extend to short and mid-term rentals, with a dedicated emphasis on maintaining clean and environmentally friendly properties.
  • Earlier this year, Bob W grew its inventory by acquiring Charly Hospitality, thereby adding seven new properties located in the German cities of Bonn, Munich, Berlin, Lübeck, and Cologne, as well as Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Uvika’s View:

  • Bob W’s expansion strategy has largely revolved around acquisitions, a route that has proven successful in their growth. 
  • What’s interesting is the reason behind Gulaid Group Holding’s choice to partner with Bob W. Reportedly, it was Bob W’s ability to achieve higher revenues per available rental (revPAR) than traditional operators that tipped the scales in their favor. This underlines the importance of clear data evidence in acquiring high-performing inventory in prime locations.
  • Bob W’s tech-heavy operations enable them to offer unique amenities as part of their service. These include local gym access, breakfast partnerships, and the flexibility of super-early check-in or late check-outs. These are all examples of upsells that not only enhance the guest experience but also contribute to an increase in revenue. The ability to implement and manage these on a large scale is largely dependent on having the right technology in place.

Related read: Safeguard Your Short-Term Rental Margins Through Upselling: A Practical Guide

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