With 2017 behind us, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on this past year and talk about what lies ahead for MyVR, our customers, and our partners in 2018. Before we do – and on behalf of the entire MyVR team – I wanted to thank YOU for trusting us with your businesses. We take this trust very seriously, and it motivates us to strive for excellence.
2017 was a big growth year for MyVR – we tripled the number of active properties using MyVR, tripled our customer reservation volume, and we made numerous improvements to our property management software. We know we still have a lot of work to do in many areas, so we feel fortunate to have been able to secure some significant funding this past quarter (more on this below), as this will allow us to grow our team and move a lot faster in the pursuit of our goal to make property management as easy as possible for all of you. We know we can’t get their overnight, but we made some great progress this year and have a lot more in the works.
2017 Highlights: New Apps, Channel Improvements, and New Features
Let’s start with progress on our third party integrations!
Within the pricing and yield management category alone, we supported 3 new companies as they integrated with our APIs and started working behind the scenes with several of our customers in beta: Beyond Pricing, Wheelhouse, and PriceLabs. This was one of our most requested features, so we’re excited to be making headway here and to provide customers with a choice in providers, as we launch 3 of the industry leaders in this category.
To help with on-the-ground operations, we’ve similarly supported integration efforts by Properly and Breezeway and look forward to adding these to our app marketplace (contact support if you’d like to request being a beta tester!). We’ve also had 3rd party website builders create custom websites for clients who seek a higher level of customization than our internal customizable website templates offers. In total we have almost a dozen apps being built and/or tested in beta with customers behind the scenes, and we plan to roll them out more broadly in our app marketplace during 2018.
This is just the beginning… we are working behind the scenes to formalize and streamline our integration processes for third party apps and services, so that we can better scale this area of the business and solve more problems for our customers by connecting to other best-of-breed apps and services. This will be a big focus for us going forward, and we’ve had many learnings from partner and customer feedback thus far.
We also made numerous advances to our channel management offering in 2017. After launching Airbnb and Booking.com a year ago, we made monthly improvements to these and our other major channels to keep up with changes at the channels, improve the stability of our connections, and add new functionality.
We announced several new features this past year (customers can see a full recap here). From rates management to website conversion tracking, and from reply-by-email to better deposit management, we’ve chipped away at a few dozen feature requests of various sizes.
You’ll soon see a few other features that we worked on this past year but haven’t yet launched. For example, we’ve integrated with the property API that Booking.com recently added, so property data will no longer need to be managed separately. We’re also nearing the release of promo code support, another top request in our new feature voting tool. We’ve added support for https on our MyVR websites, we’re expanding custom fields to any object (e.g. reservations) and adding custom fields support within our APIs. You’ll see these, and a few others from our 2017 development efforts, make their way to the product over the next 1-2 months.
MyVR’s Major Funding Announcement
The biggest news at MyVR from 2017 was the announcement of new funding led by True Ventures. While funding is not typically something we choose to celebrate (we view it as a means to an ends and not an accomplishment in itself), we’re excited for the additional resourcing that will follow and what this will mean for our customers. It’s not an easy problem that MyVR is trying to solve – delivering industry leading, feature-rich software with responsive support at a reasonable price point. The new funds allow us to grow our team significantly, which will enable us to get a lot more done and improve the quality of our product, services, and support.
2018 Preview: Taking MyVR to the Next Level
We accomplished a lot in 2017, but we’re also honest with ourselves (and our customers) and we know not everything went flawlessly. There was a lot we wanted to accomplish that we didn’t get to!
After launching Airbnb and Bcom, we found that maintaining and advancing these channels, along with our HomeAway and TripAdvisor integrations, required a lot more technical support than we hoped, which takes away bandwidth for other things (like new features). The channels make regular changes and enhancements that we must support, and many of you have also requested additional functionality around the channels. Since our new funding closed, we have already doubled the size of our channel management team, which has helped address resourcing needs there and is bringing added stability and improved functionality to these channels. We’ve also started work on the underlying customer onboarding process, working towards faster and smoother customer integrations with the channels.
Another area we’re hoping to improve upon in 2018 is our customer support and related services. Our community forum has been a hit with many users, but a significant percentage of MyVR users still haven’t taken advantage of this venue for getting questions answered, picking up tips and advice, or learning more about MyVR’s features. We’re looking for ways to engage more of our users in the community – both asking and answering questions – and we’re staffing up our internal Customer Success team in parallel in order to improve the speed at which questions get answered, while also building out more support articles, videos, and manuals. We’re aiming for 2018 to also be the year we roll out phone support in some capacity, as well as starting to test webinars and other more scalable, and low/no-cost options for clients to obtain support, training, and education.
How You Can Help
Thanks for your continued support of MyVR. We’re working hard to make your lives easier, and appreciate your partnership. Please continue to spread the word with other owners and property managers who are struggling with their current software – or lack thereof. The more we can continue to grow our business, the more we can invest in our team, which allows us to further improve our features, services, and support in order to make your lives easier.
Please keep the feedback coming. In 2017, we launched a voting tool for new features that about 1/3rd of our customers have utilized (customers can access it here). We review this data regularly (along with the notes you submit on requested features) and leverage it in our decision-making, so please keep ranking which features you want most, and use the notes to tell us what you want out of those features as you vote on them. With our growing team, you’re going to start to see a more rapid pace of development against this list of requested features, particularly some of the larger ones.
Lastly, please also spread the word about our open roles. We’re looking for A-players – the very cream of the crop – to help us take our offering to the next level.
Thanks again to everyone for a great 2017, and for your continued support and feedback in 2018! We couldn’t do it without you.