How Rent4Rest uses latest tech to build a sustainable business
Rent4Rest is a family-run property management company based in Lisbon. Founder Filipa Aguiar personally picks unique properties and manages every aspect of the business.
|N of properties connected||15|
|Headquarter Location||Lisbon, Portugal|
|Tech Used||Rentals United + Vreasy PMS|
Hours spent updating sites and spreadsheets
Advertising and relying on few sites
Bookings limited to high season
I worked with excel sheets. I used to set prices at the start of the season and didn’t touch them again.
Managing and growing a vacation rental business single-handedily is no easy task and for Rent4Rest it was crucial to choose suitable software to automate repetitive and routine tasks. Rent4Rest's Filipa uses Rentals United Channel Manager integrated with Vreasy Property Management System. As a result, not only she saves a lot of time, but her properties are advertised on multiple listing sites with competitive pricing all year round.
7listing sites connected
14%more bookings in the last year
53%revenue increase in the last year
Variedpricing all year round
Rent4Rest founder Filipa Aguiar recalls how it all started in 2009 with her family beach house in Sesimbra. Built by her parents in 1984, it was the place where she spent most of the weekends and childhood holidays. To help rehabilitate the house and because having visits from families and friends from different countries was gratifying, Filipa challenged her family to rent the beach house to international guests.
"Having guests from all over the world became such a rewarding experience that I decided to create RENT4REST," says Filipa. " After a couple of months, we decided to rent another house we had in Lisbon, that had been for sale for quite some time. We began with these two properties and it started to grow with other properties owned by family and friends. At the time we were only listed on Homelidays and renting only short-term, especially during the summer season."
It was early stages and Filipa had her hands full managing every aspect of the business: listing sites, guests, check-ins, owners, cleaning and more. Before adding more properties to her portfolio, she needed a solution to manage daily tasks efficiently.
"I used to work with excel sheets but it became so difficult to with everything. It took a lot of time each day, week, month... I knew l needed help, so early on I tried a very simple property management system but it wasn’t convenient after getting more properties. Nowadays I save lots of time as I don’t have to do manual work. Most importantly, I have price control on every site. I only choose the listing sites connected with Rentals United; I don’t want to update anything manually ever again.
"I noticed I receive bookings from several sites, I don’t depend on one like I used to. Of course, I’d love to have more direct bookings. Most of my guests are international and the number is increasing every year. I feel it's in line with tourism growth in Portugal."
"Before I used to set prices at the start of the season and didn’t change them again. Now I can update them constantly, change the minimum stay and have it updated on all sites. A year ago, I needed to go to 5 sites and make changes - probably leaving some changes undone. Now I have more chances to receive bookings. Guests see price parity in Listing sites and updated availability and that gives them the confidence to book and with dynamic pricing the price changes everyday do my listings rank higher.
I have 15 properties now. There will be 20 by the end of the year and I plan to only concentrate on Lisbon for the moment. My staff is a Cleaning Lady and a part-time assistant. I work with cleaning companies to fill the gaps, laundry companies and I have a partnership with another vacation rental company for check-ins."
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Are the listings site's commissions included in your pricing?
No, they're not. Some listing sites add their commission on top of the prices you save. These channels want your net rates. Other channels will charge their commission from the prices you save. For the later, you have the possibility to mark your rates up to cover for their commission. We inform you in details how the channels work after you sign-up.
Are other connections included in your pricing?
Rentals United integrates with tech providers that help manage short-term rentals automatically. These providers include Property Management Systems, Payment Providers, Yield Managers and Operational Tools. In order to use them, you have to sign up and contract their services, and pay them separately.
What does your pricing include?
The Rentals United fee includes storing your property info, using the Channel Manager and all of our other tools: Guest Planner, Booking Engine, Guest Communication, Quality Checker, iCal sync and Multi-Calendar. There's no set-up fee: you will get training during the first month of signing up and larger accounts will get a Key Account Manager to help them grow.