(Public domain photo)
As the author of the fourth-ever VRBO listing in Charleston, S.C., Kevin High was an early adopter of short-term rental services. As a technologist, he also looks for ways to make things more efficient.
Now, those two impulses are meeting in a new venture.
Bookfull, which launched recently in Baltimore, is a platform designed to help property managers overseeing vacation or short-term rental properties. In an interview, High listed some issues they encounter. Many want to list vacation homes on multiple sites, but that brings a lot of repetitive work. There’s advertising the property, and making sure it doesn’t get double booked.
Bookfull looks to bring all of the functions around renting out a property and overseeing a stay into one platform. According to High, it provides tools that automatically add listings to multiple channels, and update them.
“It takes, manually, approximately 45 minutes to make just regular changes on one property on one channel,” he said. “…We do it all within minutes.”
The platform also centralizes calendars and communication with guests about specifics of the stay, and manages payments, High said. If guests have questions, the startup also works with a call center to answer specific inquiries. The base service is offered for free, and the startup makes money through add-on tools.
Along with people listing on homesharing services like Airbnb and VRBO. High said the platform can also provide management across more hotel-oriented sites like Expedia, or help bed-and-breakfast owners. It’s got access via APIs through about 35 channels. “The reason that these companies offer property management systems access is because they know that this problem exists,” he said. High doesn’t see Bookfull as being in competition with the services that list the homes, but rather offering a way for property managers who have a higher volume of properties with a way to make things more efficient.
The company is based in Charleston, S.C. Baltimore is the only other city where it’s initially launching. High is a former resident of the area, and said he sees big potential with the growth of the short-term rental market in the city as well as across Maryland in areas like Annapolis and Frederick.
“We really have a mindset of targeting one metro area at a time and building a good base of users in each area,” he said.-30-
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