VRWS Leadership Interview of the Day

In approaching the 10th edition of the Vacation Rental World Summit, we’re releasing a series of interviews to leaders, key players and highly motivated people in our industry whose companies make a deep impact in our space and will be present at VRWS.

The aim is to get you some insight into these leaders and the company they founded, manage or work for, as well as getting some behind the scenes on their thinking, their motivation and their drive.

ALEX PENADES

ALEX PENADES

CMO @ Avantio

Describe your career in the vacation rental industry and how you reached your current position in the company.

Just a year ago, I took on a new challenge that aligned perfectly with my passions and professional expectations. I was hired by Avantio, a reputable company in the vacation rental industry, to step into the role of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). It was an exciting opportunity, one that combined my understanding in business economics and consumer trends with my enthusiasm for sustainable innovation and digital transformation.

Coming into an established brand like Avantio is a unique challenge. The company already has a significant presence in the market, but I see the potential for so much more. My goal is not only to maintain the strong reputation Avantio already has but to expand it, to make our name known globally as a symbol of sustainable, meaningful SaaS for Vacation Rentals.

In my first year as CMO, I’ve worked hard to understand the intricacies of the vacation rental market from Avantio and its partners and customers’ perspectives. Together with all my extremely talented Avantio colleagues, we’ve started to shape our company’s strategies. It’s not about reinventing Avantio but guiding it towards an even more successful future on the global stage.

Looking back on this first year, I realise how much I’ve learned, and yet, I also see how much more there is to achieve. There are countless trends to explore, strategies to refine, and innovations to introduce. As Avantio’s CMO, I have an amazing opportunity to make a real impact in our industry and to contribute to a more connected and sustainable world through our work.

In this journey, I take nothing for granted. I appreciate each challenge as a chance to grow and each success as a testament to our team’s hard work. I’m excited for what the future holds for Avantio and for the vacation rental industry as a whole. This is just the beginning, and I can’t wait to see where our journey takes us next.

In your opinion, what are the main current challenges in the vacation rental industry, and how do you think your company can help overcome them?

We are facing constant changes not only in our industry. At Avantio, we know there are things we cannot act upon but there are many others that will depend directly on us and we’re determined to go for them and help the industry.

Some of them are:

Regulation and Compliance: We are in constant contact with local representatives and associations to be aware of conflicts and regulation updates ahead of time, to give support and to overcome all continuous changes and discussions on short-term rentals. It’s part of our responsibility to back up the industry not only technically but also as a part of the vacation rental community

Competition: The market is incredibly competitive with an ever-growing number of actors, new agencies, portals, etc. Developing our technology to make our customers more visible and efficient, together with new ways to make them save up costs and optimise their revenues is key for Avantio.

Operations Management: The logistical challenge of managing multiple properties is very complex. It encompasses managing bookings, maintenance, cleaning, guest communication, owners management, quality and consistency standards and more. Our customers can expect to lean into our technological solutions to streamline and guarantee these processes.

Cyber Security: Ensuring the digital safety and security of our customers is paramount. Avantio is very much concerned about our customer data protection and specifically their preventing payment frauds. In this sense, we are now very confident about our being backed up by our mother company Planet Payments.

Climate Change and Sustainability: As the realities of climate change become more apparent and governments around the world push towards achieving the goals set in the 2030 agenda, the vacation rental industry must adapt. Avantio will be supporting step by step sustainable activities, collectives and forums from education to wherever these sustainable practices will require technologies to accompany these changes.

What are your expectations for the 2023 edition of VRWS in Barcelona, and what makes you particularly interested in attending this specific edition?

Returning home to Barcelona for the Vacation Rental World Summit (VRWS) 2023, a decade after its first edition in the city, presents an exciting opportunity for us.

Celebrating Industry Resilience: The past decade has seen tremendous changes, critical challenges, and growth in the vacation rental industry. This ten-year mark in Barcelona will likely serve as a celebration of industry resilience.

Global Spotlight: The return of VRWS to Barcelona, a globally recognized city, will draw international attention. Avantio can leverage this spotlight to raise its global profile and strengthen its positioning in the international market.

New Partnerships & Alliances: The VRWS always hosts a diverse group of attendees from the vacation rental industry. We are excited to meet the old fellows, to explore new potential partnerships and alliances, and search for new business opportunities as well as new collaborations with industry leaders.

Direct Feedback: This is something we always experience at the VRWS, probably due to the friendly and almost homey environment created by Antonio and Cristina. Engaging with customers, prospects, and industry professionals at VRWS offers us a chance to get direct feedback on different products and services, helping us to think of future development and innovation.

Team Inspiration & Development: For us, being part of VRWS is a great learning and development experience. The insights gathered from the sessions can spark new ideas and keep us with the latest industry trends and practices.

Could you provide a brief preview of what attendees can expect from your participation during the Vacation Rental World Summit?

At the forthcoming VRWS, attendees can anticipate the following from Avantio:

Software Advancements: We’ll showcase the exciting 2023 new features of our software, offering insights into how they can be leveraged to enhance the PMs, CM and our  partner ecosystem performance.

Industry Perspective: As the short-term rental sector intensifies,we’ll discuss our outlook on the industry, emphasising the fact that while demand remains robust in 2023, the increasing number of listings means a greater need for differentiation. Focusing on delivering unique and compelling rental experiences will be vital.

Elevating Customer Service: Superior customer service will be a key differentiator. With our PMS, native CM, websites AND our Digital Marketing Services, property managers can achieve that edge to keep their listings attractive amidst rising competition.

Efficiency Through our PMS Technology: In such a competitive space, using Avantio technology features can drive efficiency and significant cost savings. We’ll explore how adopting the right technology can be the difference between thriving and merely surviving.

Sustainability is Key: With travellers evolving to be more eco-conscious, the short-term rental industry must adapt. We’ll delve into how property managers can integrate sustainable practices, from energy-efficient installations to recycling initiatives. Moreover, we’ll emphasise the importance of not just adopting these practices but also effectively communicating them to guests.

You’ll have the opportunity to meet Alex directly at VRWS in Barcelona

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