What is it like to launch a travel tech start-up during a global pandemic? We focused on Revyoos to find out why it’s a timely opportunity to bring a completely new offering to the short-term rental sector.
Much has been written about the ever-widening and interlocking nature of the short-term rental ecosystem. No company, be it enterprise property management, tech solution or OTA for example, operates in a vacuum without being influenced by, partnered with or reliant on another business in the same space. The ecosystem is rich, varied, innovative and has been expanding further as new start-ups joined the party.
Now we have experienced, and are still experiencing, the challenges brought by Covid-19, we might start to predict a shrinking ecosystem. Will innovation really recede as economies are squeezed, societies locked down and investment ring fenced? Generally, creativity thrives in these challenging situations – it’s in our nature – so which corners of the industry are still thriving and where is the innovation happening?
Technology has been hailed as one of the pillars of recovery for both short-term rentals and hotels. One example is the launch of new travel tech start-up Revyoos, an all-in-one review aggregator for short-term rentals.
Christophe Salmon, CEO and co-founder, says Revyoos was born “to help property managers and owners gather in one unique digital platform all their reviews spread across various channels. They can use them as social proof on their own website through a simple widget”.
Christophe was in digital marketing before leaving his career to become a property manager, with more than 40 properties, on the Costa Blanca in Spain. His lightbulb moment came when he tried to make his property reviews work harder. When he set up his management company, he switched to a professional account and lost all his past reviews from an OTA because it couldn’t migrate them to his new account. At this point he realised that your reviews published on some OTAs are never really ‘your’ reviews.
Christophe looked for solutions in the short-term rental industry and found the gap in the market: review aggregation. He partnered up with Angel Arcos, his veteran entrepreneur friend, and they have developed a platform to help property managers and owners to collate all their reviews, from multiple channels, and display them on their own websites.
First to market
It’s always good to be able to legitimately label your start-up as the first to market in your sector. Even though review aggregation has been commonplace for some time in the hotel industry (eg. with ReviewPro and TrustYou), there has been no such solution for short-term rentals. Having recognised this, Christophe and the team have been able to develop a tech platform which truly services a market demand.
Property managers are always aiming for 5 star reviews – reviews are without doubt one of the most powerful marketing tools you can have to increase future bookings (95% of customers say they read reviews before making a decision, Spiegel Research Center). Revyoos enables managers to enhance their credibility and trust, by featuring authentic reviews from trusted sources, to improve SEO and boost conversion rates.
To address Christophe’s original experience of losing his reviews, Revyoos keeps a back-up copy of everything so that they will always remain on the dashboard. Further features have also been added to enhance the platform such as Revyoos Rich Snippet, which allows property managers to show the star ratings on Google and increase the CTR (click through rate) and SEO.
It feels like this is very much a tech solution for property managers, built by a property manager.
Christophe is confident that the platform will not only bring all the benefits of review aggregation to short-term rentals but also improve business operations as the dashboard allows you to track and analyse bad reviews. Property managers can use the general review rating as a new KPI in their business, tracking how it is performing at a global level including all the reviews.
Giving back control
“We see Covid as a great opportunity at a time when most property managers and hosts want to have more control over their business,” says Christophe. Rather than viewing the continuing pandemic as a restriction to launching Revyoos, the team has approached the launch creatively.
Revyoos was going to charge from 1 July, but in support of the recovery of the short-term rental industry, it launched in beta testing for free for the first three months.
The team hopes that their aggregation solution will give property managers and owners more control over their reviews so that they can leverage this asset to boost trust and bookings.
Thinking back to the spirit of collaboration engendered by the innovative short-term rental ecosystem, how will Revyoos feed into this? Christophe is clear that progress in this sector comes through partnerships and he hopes to pair up with PMS and other tech companies to strengthen their offering and bring more value to the ecosystem. That can only be a positive thing for property managers, their businesses and the sector as a whole in the future.
Revyoos launches as a platform offering something new to short-term rentals, to give property managers more control over their businesses, to promote trust and credibility at a time when the industry most needs it. It will be fascinating to track their progress.
*Revyoos is a client of Abode PR