Welcome to the first instalment of our new series A day in the life of a successful property manager. Over the coming weeks, we will be interviewing top CEOs from The World’s Top Vacation Rental Property Management Companies

Running a successful business takes skill, commitment, attention to detail, and process management. While we all realise these leaders are really busy managing an insane number of properties, we know surprisingly little about their day-to-day schedules

This series aims to bring you closer to the titans of the short-term rental industry as they share with us how they spend their time on an average workday. 

Get the following insights from a day in the life of a top vacation rental management CEO:

  • How they start their day
  • How they organise their day-to-day schedule
  • Where they work (office/home)
  • How they communicate with their teams
  • Who reports to them and how their company is structured
  • How they stay efficient throughout the day 
  • How they balance work life vs personal time  
  • Which books they would recommend

This is a great opportunity to find out how successful CEOs structure their schedules, create healthy routines, and maximise the time they are awake every day.

A day in the life of a successful property manager

We begin our series with the CEO and Co-founder of Direct Booker, Nino Dubretić. 

Direct Booker is one of the largest property managers in the Balkan region, with 7600 units in total, they manage properties in Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia. They provide rental owners with both marketing-only and full-service management including, setting up and maintaining ads on sales channels, guest communication, payment processing, and sales policy.  Find out more about Direct Booker.

Nino has compiled a rundown of what he considers to be his typical day as a CEO of one of the world’s biggest players in the vacation rental property management industry. 

Over to you Nino!

7:30 am: I wake up and ready for a new day! We have our daily ritual where I (with the help of my wife) prepare our son for kindergarten. Typically I will drop him off at school, and take our lovely dog to my parents before heading into the office. 

8:00 am: every morning I practise my minor meditation, this is a minute of controlled breathing. I also have a daily reminder set at this time with some motivational quotes to provide a quick and timely burst of wisdom, offering inspiration for the day. 

9:00 am to lunchtime: Get to the office. First things first grab a black coffee! I then get all my pending work that needs to be completed in the morning. I don’t have a specific routine, as each day is specific and is dependent on the seasons and projects we have going on. To stay organised I make sure all my personal and professional duties are added into my Google Calendar. That way I cannot skip anything. I would say it is daily multitasking but very well organised.

My partner Nikola Grubelić and I are both CEO & Co-Founders. We are 100% different but 100% compatible. While he takes care of finance, company optimisation and organisation my daily duties as a CEO are what I call ABC duties:

A: acquisition of new properties for management and franchise partners

B: brand of Direct Booker on local, national, and global scale 

C: creativity in terms of writing projects to move the business model to the next level

Each team leader is sending a weekly report in which we as a board (4 members) are controlling and upgrading each team with their needs. 

So we have CEOs, team leaders (7 teams), and team members. 

A day in the life of a successful property manager

3:00 pm: Time for my shake! I practise intermittent fasting, so I do not eat from 10 pm until 3 pm the following afternoon (17 hours, only black coffee and water). I make the shake for both Nikola and myself, from anything healthy typically it includes 20 ingredients. We find that this keeps us fed and highly productive until 7-8 pm when we can sit down and have a proper meal. 

4:00 pm: The afternoon is where I get to do the most creative aspects of my job, for me it is the quietest part of the day and a great time for me to concentrate. Myself and the team also in daily contact with our rental owners regarding revenue management.  

6:00 pm: End of the working day. I am currently practising football twice a week and that also includes the equally important beer at the end of it! The other days I like to spend with my family, I find this is the best way to relax and unwind after a day. 

End of the day: Usually I am satisfied with the professional level and my productivity so I’m not “feeling books” right now (I heard that phrase and it helped). I prefer to be with my family 100% while I’m not working. That said I do have business ideas coming 24/7 sometimes in my dreams! But I add them to my Google Calendar to give them the proper time and attention. 

About Direct Booker:

Since its launch in 2010, Direct Booker has grown into one of the largest property managers in the Balkan region, managing properties in Makarska, Split, Zadar, Šibenik, Zagreb, Varaždin, Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia, and Slovenia. As a growing franchise, they provide rental owners with both marketing-only and full-service management (in specific locations). 

Over the last few years, Direct Booker has transformed into a technology-driven company, thanks to a product they are constantly developing called Booker Tools. This tech platform has been specifically developed to provide an increased level of automation for property managers and owners. As the owners of the tech, they have since developed their own successful PMS, which they are continuing to invest in and improving with new solutions in development. 

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