From our first above-garage Airbnb unit to the 70th property in our portfolio, Rabbu has always focused on improving guest experiences within the short-term rental industry. Apart from learning what it takes to succeed as short-term rental property managers, we’ve spent the past two years developing a back-end technology that has proved essential to the growth and optimization of our property management business. With this innovative SaaS platform installed in our units, we’ve watched our property management business scale quicker, perform more efficiently, reduce overhead, and decrease operating time significantly.
In 2015, Rabbu founder, CEO, and entrepreneur-at-heart Emir Dukic was considering leaving his full-time job to pursue starting a new venture. Before taking the leap, Emir needed to find an additional source of income to start building some financial runway. As an avid traveler, Airbnb had always been his preferred type of accommodation. When he and his wife Sarah purchased a home with a spare room above a detached garage, turning that unused space into an Airbnb made the most sense. Soon after launching the one unit, they were making enough extra money to pay their mortgage. What started as a side hustle for discretionary income quickly evolved into a large scale short-term rental property management business.
More Properties, More Problems
While the initial return on investment was affirming, the Airbnb business wasn’t really as self-sustaining as our founder and his wife had hoped. With 5 short-term rental properties in their portfolio, Emir and Sarah found their hands tied between managing guest communications, assembling Ikea furniture, and scrubbing toilets. By the time they expanded to 10 properties, the couple had implemented property management systems for booking-related processes, but these solutions still weren’t eliminating some of the most frustrating hosting headaches.
“What we found is that [property management systems] did not solve the core problem of the in-home experience. They helped streamline channel management, but didn't necessarily improve the guest experience or operational needs of our managers.”
Rather than automating channel management and booking, they needed a turnkey solution to address the inconsistencies of the in-home experience—specifically access, security, and energy usage. Guest entry and stay satisfaction was dependent upon the performance of smart devices like smart locks, smart thermostats, and wi-fi routers. If one of these devices malfunctioned, there was bound to be a guest complaint or negative review. With no optimal device automation solution on the market, our founder decided to build one.
“We did a lot of research ourselves on the property management side.”
What resulted was Rabbu—an all-inclusive, scalable solution for automating smart technology within short-term rental properties. Rabbu automatically pulls listing and reservation data directly from listing channels or property management systems, generates unique codes for each guest, and distributes the codes. It can also adjust thermostats on the manager’s behalf so they always operate at the optimal level for savings when guests are not in units. By building this internal automation software for our short-term rental business, we were able to get back to perfecting the guest experience and growing our portfolio.
Opening new doors
After installing Rabbu in several of our units, it felt like the property management team could nearly forget about them. We were achieving what we set out for—short-term rental properties that were monitoring and maintaining themselves. The automation software was quickly eliminating human error that had previously been detrimental to our business.
Rabbu began solving a lot of problems for us. With the automatic code distribution in place, we don’t need a team of two or three associates running around town changing lock codes for every guest. On top of that, our managers are rarely hearing about guest access issues in the smart-enabled properties. Rabbu is also automatically handling our thermostat levels, meaning no more messy management of multiple smart thermostats across various applications. The integrated software platform now lets us oversee property performance and operations in one singular place.
“[Rabbu] allows us to proactively troubleshoot and understand any kind of problems that occur in a unit.”
Today, our property management team consists of 3 full-time employees handling day-to-day management. Considering our portfolio size of over 70 properties, we are successfully operating with significantly less staff than the industry standard, all while maintaining a 5-star average with over 2200 reviews.
Changing the Way Short-Term Rentals are Managed
From smart locks to water leak detectors to entertainment systems, Rabbu is pushing the boundaries of what it means to standardize the hospitality experience of short-term rental stays. It’s Rabbu’s unique ability to solve in-home specific challenges that makes the platform so valuable. It doesn’t hurt that it will also work in favor of scaling your property portfolio, making you more money, and saving your time.
In the end, it’s the guest experience that matters the most and determines the performance of your business. Our goal at Rabbu is to help other short-term rental property managers ensure their guests feel safe and comfortable, which can be achieved through the reliable and consistent experiences that our automation platform is making possible.