"I want to be independent from any one particular listing site because this is my business and I don't want them running it. MyVR is a key business partner. I couldn't do it without them."
- Jenny Oest, Premium Beach Condos
Jenny Oest started Premium Beach Condos with one unit — a vacation rental in Panama City Beach, FL that her Ohio-based family bought for the occasional getaway. “We quickly realized what a profitable investment vacation rentals could be and I learned that I enjoy property management."
Jenny currently manages ten properties. “Whether I own the condo or not, I have to look at each one and ask: is it making money?”
Getting her own beautiful, transactable website is what initially brought Jenny to MyVR. This introduced her to the power of the MyVR platform. “I couldn’t run my business without MyVR — not just the functionality that the platform provides and all the integrations that are possible, but the community around it,” Jenny said.
“There’s a difference between being a vendor and a partner, and MyVR is a key business partner,” she added. “The customer support is phenomenal. If there’s an issue or problem, they’re there to fix it, and they fix it quickly. This is a dynamic industry and I appreciate their openness: if I ask about new features, they’re always happy to discuss. This is a very personal business, relationships are important. And MyVR gets that."
Claim independence from any particular channel
As she expanded her marketing efforts, Jenny realized it was a challenge to be locked into one listing site’s system.
“Since I started with HomeAway, I used their booking and billing system initially. But once I added other channels, that wasn’t ideal,” she said. “It’s not that I want to function without the listing sites — I want to work together with them. But I don’t want to be dependent on them.”
Jenny gets 25 percent of her bookings directly through her website, plus repeat bookings, thanks to her diversified approach. Her experience is that, once you get to two or three different channels, centralized channel management becomes necessary.
“Testing can mean a lot of extra manual work, but MyVR makes it easier. This has allowed me to easily test additional paid and free sites, and I'm going to add TripAdvisor soon.”
Integrations are seamless and expand capability
Jenny’s primary metric is revenue, both overall and by property: “If I book all my nights, but they’re all underpriced, that won’t maximize my income,” she said. That means staying on top of pricing trends, which can take up a lot of time.
“I found myself manually doing a dynamic pricing model,” Jenny explained. “I manually looked at the competition. I manually created worksheets. I manually looked at special events. I manually looked at my history. I spent a lot of time putting my pricing together.” So she was happy to discover there are a number of software providers that automate dynamic pricing and integrate with MyVR. Jenny’s now using one called Beyond Pricing. “I’m hoping by the time I learn the ins and outs, it will be a huge time saver. And revenue driver!”
Other services can become even more powerful when used with MyVR. “I couldn’t live without Evernote, HelloSign, and Touch Stay, an online welcome book I’ve recently added. These tools integrate very well — MyVR just prompts me when it’s time to do things. I don’t need to make notes, write things down, or track down contracts.”
A cloud-based business with the capacity to grow
Managed by Jenny with help from on-the-ground partners, Premium Beach Condos is already a half-million-dollar-a-year business and poised to expand. That makes time a major consideration — both Jenny’s availability and how long it takes her to do things.
“I have to look at how I’m maximizing my income, as well as what I do for other owners. Are they making money? Am I? If I decrease the time it takes me to do things I can increase the number of properties I manage and increase my overall return. I’ve already saved, at a minimum, 4 hours a day with automated communications and integrated software. Time is money and investments are money. I will continue to maximize both.”
“If I’m awake, I’m working. And I don’t even have to take my laptop! I’m probably 98 percent paperless; MyVR helped me collect all the information I need into one centralized place. I always have my iPhone or my iPad in my purse, and that’s all I really need.” MyVR’s integrations and automation features help her do more in less time. And our mobile platform means that wherever she is — Florida, Ohio, or on the other side of the world — the information Jenny needs is always just a click or swipe away.