Uplisting has helped Ryan to automate his property management business, protect his properties from unwanted guests and drive more bookings.
Ryan Luke is the founder and CEO of short-term rental property management agency Luke Capital Group. The business started in Newcastle upon Tyne, in the UK, and quickly expanded internationally, now featuring over 300 properties in Ireland, Portugal, Dubai and more.
When Ryan Luke first started his property management business in 2018, he quickly found himself facing an issue that most short-term rental property companies come up against: finding a reliable property management system for a rapidly-growing portfolio.
In his search to find the right platform, Ryan tried various property management systems. However, he quickly found that they weren’t quite right. Whether it was hefty bills or poor functionality, Ryan struggled to find a platform that met all of his needs.
“I started my journey with Kigo who I know is quite a big software in the US, but I just felt like it wasn't financially right. We had a lot of tools that we never used and at the time they charged on a percentage revenue basis. So as I was getting bigger, I ended up paying bigger bills, which I didn't really think was fair.”
Ryan found himself trialing and testing other systems, but with no success.
“I went to a very simple software, Beds24, but then I realized that that was mainly for hotels as opposed to serviced apartments, and it didn't really fit the bill. The functionality was very clunky and the sort of visuals for the websites, the widgets and stuff, were poor. So it didn't really represent the brand that I was trying to develop.”
He also found that these property management systems simply weren’t helping his business convert.
“On our old system, there was the widget that connected to our booking website; it just wasn't very visually appealing. I think that was having a knock-on effect with the lack of booking revenue that was coming through the site, or the lack of converting the visitors from the website into bookings.”
Ryan also found that he was spending far too much time carrying out manual tasks, preventing him from focusing on driving value for his business.
In a nutshell, Ryan required a property management platform that provided fair fixed fees and automated the management of his listings, while appearing visually attractive to customers—a platform he wasn’t sure he’d find.
When networking in the short-term rental space, Ryan connected with Vincent, CEO of Uplisting. Uplisting stood out to Ryan for a number of reasons—most notably the fixed pricing solutions and the ability to manage channels from one centralized hub.
After using Uplisting for a short period, Ryan quickly realized that the platform was key to streamlining his business. Uplisting offered features that helped Ryan automate different aspects of his company—from pricing to welcome messages—resulting in a smoother experience for both the business and guests.
“We now use Uplisting as our main front end tool. Customers can book from any channel. Thanks to the connections it has to dynamic pricing tools, we can alter pricing and customizations there, and it filters - through Uplisting - onto the channels. We then use the platform to manage the guest flow, from protecting ourselves with ID verification to taking deposits seamlessly, without us having to do anything really.”
Without having to carry out as many manual tasks, Ryan had more time to focus on driving value for his business. Thanks to Uplisting’s channel management connection, guests are able to book their stay and receive all the information they need, without Ryan having to send it manually.
“Uplisting delivers various messages we need to deliver to get guests codes, send welcome instructions and get them into the properties. It also automates the inquiry levels, especially from Airbnb. The auto inquiries and reviews and various other manual tasks we used to have to do are all automated now.
Without that automation, I'd have to hire a lot of staff and there'd be a lot of balls dropped and that's just not viable for me.”
It wasn’t just the automation tools that stood out for Ryan; he was impressed with the simplicity of the platform and the seamless integration with various channels, including Airbnb and Booking.com.
“We just plugged our Airbnb account in and it ripped all the data back towards Uplisting, and then we were good to go.
The simplicity of the booking site widget and the integration it has with our booking site is great.”
The best result for Luke Capital Group? They now have more time to focus on other areas of the business, helping to push forward revenue and continue expanding their portfolio.
“For me, it's been a game-changer because it really has allowed us to just focus on other areas of the business, knowing that our guest front-end PMS System was taken care of, as well as the mundane manual tasks that you would normally have to do if you didn't have a good PMS System in play. So that for me is key, because then we can focus on driving more sales and income-generating tasks, rather than worrying too much about the operational tasks.”
Ryan has also experienced other wins since working with Uplisting, including protection from unwanted guests—an issue he previously faced when manually managing his short-term rental property business.
“Uplisting helps to protect us from the guests that we don’t want, through our verification process. It makes sure that the door codes aren’t getting released until we’ve got everything, and makes sure that customers are getting chased if they have not uploaded ID or signed our contract.
I’ve had the bad experience of skipping those processes and having the wrong people in our properties. It’s something that I don’t want to happen again, so that element of it is really powerful for us.”
Finally, thanks to Uplisting’s easy-to-use platform, customers and guests feel more confident booking with Luke Capital Group.
“Something we can do now, that we weren’t able to before, is drive more bookings through our booking website and improve the ease of the booking transaction for the customer. Even when they get presented with having to sign contracts and terms and conditions and pay links, the way that it’s designed makes it feel very safe for them to do that, rather than a website that’s not very well built.”
Uplisting also worked directly with Ryan and the team on developing custom features that would benefit the business, including a contract e-sign functionality within the system at Ryan’s request.
Spent too much time carrying out manual tasks and managing bookings
Property management software charged on a percentage revenue basis
Unwanted guests in properties from manual verification process
Automated and centralized hub for property management
More bookings driven directly through website
Protection from unwanted guests with an automated verification system