• August 26, 2016

"Tailor your pitch to suit the customer"

If you’ve ever rented a vacation home online, chances are that you probably did it using Lodgify. A phenomenal service and one of the brands we’re very glad to be working with. We met with them and had a chat with Dennis (the guy in red), one of their co-founders, curious to find out what’s behind the Lodgify vision.

You’re one of the co-founders of Lodgify. What gave you the idea of starting the company?

My parents were renting out vacation rental apartments in the German Alps, so I was already very familiar with the industry and the challenges that owners face. After realizing most of their bookings were coming from return guests, my parents asked me whether I could set up a website for their vacation rental to avoid the commissions or traveler fees imposed by major listings sites. Instead of building the website from scratch and completely reinventing the wheel, I was looking for a software solution like Shopify or Squarespace, but which was fully optimized to the needs of vacation rental businesses. As it turns out, the solutions that I found were either not powerful enough or not easy enough to use. Coincidentally, my co-founder had the same experience with his uncle’s agritourism business in Italy. So that’s when we came up with the idea came to build Lodgify, a tool that allows anyone – regardless of design or coding skills – to easily create a vacation rental website with a booking system and reservation manager.

The Lodgify HQ is located in Barcelona. How would you say the Spanish (and/or Catalan) business climate differs from other European countries?

Right now, one of the main differences between Barcelona and other European countries is that there are a lot fewer start ups here than say, London or Berlin, but it’s definitely growing. Barcelona is a great place to base a start up for a number of reasons. Primarily, the cost of living is relatively low, and the quality of life is high. Additionally, not only are there a lot of talented people in Barcelona already, but it’s also fairly easy to attract great talent from abroad because of the city, the climate and of course, the beach! In general, find people to be a lot more easygoing in Barcelona – I think that’s down to the Spanish lifestyle.

How would you pitch Lodgify if you were a Brand Ambassador?

Lodgify is a Software-as-a-Service solution that allows vacation rental businesses to easily build a website with a “Book now” button and effortlessly manage reservations. This software solution’s three core features will help vacation rental owners get started and grow their business. The website builder allows users to create a customized vacation rental website and take direct bookings; the reservation system and payment service saves owners’ time by automating the booking process; while the channel manager synchronizes any external listings with your site. A tool like Lodgify helps vacation rental owners to become less dependent on the Booking.coms and Airbnbs of the world and their high commissions. Instead, Lodgify is a technology partner that empowers vacation rental owners to compete with the large players and help build their own brand.

Generally speaking, what's the best way to close a deal?

For me, the best way to close a deal is by really asking for the needs of the person you’re selling to, and tailoring your pitch to suit them. Most of the time, customers don’t know what they want or rather, what they need. So it’s the salesperson’s job to work that out, and offer the solution that will solve the problem for the customer. In general, helping that person find out exactly what they’re missing often results in closing the business transaction.

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