Nathan Monk is the co-founder of Grey Bruce Cottages, a full-service property management company on the Bruce Peninsula, in the heart of Ontario, Canada’s cottage country.
The area Nathan operates in is facing a tightening regulations landscape. This is forcing operators like him to find new and more effective ways to manage their portfolios. Let’s find out how Nathan and his team leveraged technology to overcome growth challenges.
• All processes managed manually
• No time for growth
• Limited channel distribution
• Pricing adjusted by hand
• Automated guest messaging
• Centralized workflows
• Integrations handle niche operational tasks
• 27 new properties
• Higher revenue and occupancy rates
• More 5-star ratings
Nathan and his team managed a total of seven properties. However, they were facing potential limitations in growing revenue since new regulations in the area aimed to limit new vacation rental licenses in the area. Nathan was looking for a quick way to expand his portfolio in order to grandfather properties before the new regulations came into effect. “Essentially, we had a limited window to grow the company,” Nathan explains.
Unfortunately, Nathan couldn’t grow his portfolio like he wanted. As Nathan says “managing every aspect of the vacation rental business manually meant we were already running at maximum capacity. We just didn’t have time for anything extra.” At the time, Nathan’s team spent most of their weeks performing tasks such as:
Nathan came to the realization that automation through software would be necessary to achieve growth. After researching many options, he decided to go with Hostfully, as it provides integration with the best ancillary software services and is a scalable platform for portfolios ranging from small to large.
After syncing his properties on Hostfully with Airbnb, Nathan expanded his distribution to include Vrbo, which resulted in an immediate increase in reservations and filling his calendar with more bookings. Nathan also built out automated messaging flows for upcoming guests, reducing the time spent on providing check-in instructions and driving directions. Providing a link to Hostfully digital guidebooks in the automated messaging flows further reduced the amount of communications with guests.
Coordinating cleaning tasks was a major time-consuming process for Nathan’s team, but with EZCare, he was able to import cleaning teams, assign cleaners for each property, and upload a quality control checklist. From the EZCare – Hostfully integration, the software automatically coordinates cleaning tasks with the right contractor or cleaner based on booking information sent by Hostfully.
Nathan also added PriceLabs to his tech stack, a software that optimizes nightly rates based on seasonality for maximum revenue and occupancy. PriceLabs sends data to Hostfully, which then updates pricing on all channels where Nathan listed his properties.
With these integrations and automations, Nathan and his team could now manage more properties than before. “We now had time to proactively approach second home owners and add their properties to our portfolio” Nathan adds. Grey Bruce Cottages quickly grew its portfolio to over 20 properties. Nathan’s company quickly earned a reputation for earning higher than average revenue and getting more five-star reviews. Word of mouth led property owners to approach Nathan to manage their properties, which fueled more portfolio growth.
While vacation rental management cannot be completely hands-off, the integration of technology has enabled Nathan and his team to manage more properties efficiently with better control over operations. This earned Nathan and his team a reputation the Bruce Peninsula’s best property managers
Nathan faced a limited time window to build his tech stack and expand his portfolio, as upcoming regulations would prevent any further growth. However, his challenge was that the time to act was right in the middle of his peak season, and he couldn’t afford to wait a few more weeks. He chose Hostfully, mainly for its features and integrations, but also the promise of a smooth and quick onboarding process and 24/7 customer support.
Nathan’s onboarding process from start to finish took less than two weeks. Once Nathan was up and running, he started exploring the platform to maximize every feature available. Whenever he encountered a roadblock, he reached out to customer support, which provided him with all the necessary resources and help articles to keep growing his tech stack.
Hostfully’s quick and efficient onboarding process and reliable customer support enabled Nathan to expand his portfolio and efficiently manage his properties during his peak season, despite the limited time window.
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