By Smartbnb team
What. A. Year.
The short-term rental industry continued to prosper around the world. Niche markets got increasingly more popular, as evidenced by the new animal/foodie/unique experiences launched by Airbnb. The market also witnessed increased consolidation, with investments, mergers, and new players being announced in 2019.
And in our corner of this big, bustling industry, we’ve been working hard to inspire and support our community of hosts and property managers.
Here are our proudest achievements of the year:
10. We reached 100,000 listings!
Around autumn time, several property management companies jumped on board with Smartbnb, skyrocketing the number of listings we support to over 100,000! This huge milestone made us one of the largest property management software companies by volume of listings supported. Our CEO & Founder, Pierre-Camille led a lively ‘Ask me anything’ session to celebrate. Watch the recording here.
9. We set up our Ideas and Feedback platform
Our Product team launched https://feedback.smartbnb.io/, where users can add in their improvement ideas and vote for their favorite; and this feed actually informs our engineering pipeline.
8. We did lots of demo webinars!
Hundreds of attendees benefitted from attending webinars with Matthew and Chris, where they showed off all of the best Smartbnb features. ICYMI, you can catch the webinar on-demand.
7. Our remote team grew and bonded
This year we added five new smarties to the team, taking the total to 13!
Sam and Kieran joined the Engineering team, Hanna and Anthony joined Customer Success, and Chris joined in Sales.
Our team remains remote, but we found opportunities to meet and bond, like during our retreats in the Canary Islands and Belgium.
6. We attended VRMA International and VRWS
2019 was the first year that Smartbnb sponsored international short-term rental conferences! In October, we went to the Vacation Rental World Summit in Lake Como, and then to VRMA International in New Orleans. We met so many wonderful customers and made new friends too! Now we’re looking forward to attending plenty more events next year, starting with the VRMA European Conference in Lisbon.
5. We sent 5+ million messages on behalf of our users
It’s no secret Smartbnb is best known for our guest messaging automation functionality. And this year, our users sent over 5 million messages through Smartbnb! That’s combining all event-triggered messages (like inquiries and booking confirmations), automated answers to questions, as well as scheduled messages. We like to think each message triggered a special magical moment of personal guest care, so that’s a lot of magic!
4. We had 40,000+ conversations with our customers!
We take customer support very seriously at Smartbnb, and our 4.8 Trustpilot score is proof of that! A badge we’re proud to have earned this year is having had over 40,000 conversations with our users.
3. We started a new blog
In the Summer, we launched the new Smartbnb blog, featuring articles by our very own users! Here are the three most popular posts of the year:
2. We developed Smartbnb mobile apps for iOS and Android
It was one of the most requested items of the year, and we delivered. Read about our great new apps and find the download links right here.
1. We launched a new interface
We listened to customer feedback and decided to rebuild our interface from the ground up. The redesign addressed the limitations of hosts trying to scale operations on our previous interface. All in all, this added:
- Multiple-listing optimizations: We made Smartbnb better for our users who have multiple listings (some having thousands). It is now much easier to create and manage rules for multiple listings and channels.
- New lightning-fast infrastructure: A great user experience isn’t so great if it’s slow! So we spent a lot of time making sure everything runs super smoothly.
- Expanded personalization variables: To add to our repertoire of pre-set personalization variables (aka shortcodes), we introduced more flexible options! Now users can create even more personalized message segments.
- A brand new Operations section: Featuring task rules, delegation options, and team reminders.
- A unified calendar: With availability and pricing syncing.
We are incredibly grateful for the trust and positivity that you showed us in 2019.
Your feedback (good and bad), support, and insights into how Smartbnb makes your life that little bit easier are what drive us forward.
We’ve got so much more planned for 2020 and beyond. We can’t wait for you to experience it all!
It’s been a tough couple of months with the STR idustry heavily impacted by the pandemic.
Here’s our take on the situation: product development, team management, and next steps.
When I joined Smartbnb, I was quite thrilled. It’s not often one gets to work with a platform that’s so loved by its users.
From a technical point of view, the ultimate goal was to design a modular, consistent platform that can grow in time.
In the world of software, businesses can only make one fundamental mistake: you never, ever, ever rebuild the product and the code from scratch.