VRWS Leadership Interview of the Day

In approaching the 11th 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.

PEDRO LEAL

PEDRO LEAL

Vice President of Business Development at Hostfully

1. What do you do for a living and which part of your job do you enjoy the most?

As the Executive Vice President of Business Development, Sales, and Strategic Partnerships at Hostfully, I lead a dynamic team in a rapidly evolving industry. The part of my job I enjoy the most is collaborating with an incredibly talented group of individuals who are eager to learn and drive new deals forward. The emerging nature of our industry provides ample opportunities for creativity and innovation, which is both challenging and exciting. Additionally, it’s immensely fulfilling to tackle and solve the diverse problems our clients face, helping them achieve their goals. Lastly, I take great pride in fostering a workplace environment where people can thrive, feel happy, and be motivated to excel. As a fully-remote company in the the travel and hospitality industry, we encourage teammates to travel, work from wherever, and even extend their vacation trip so they can work remotely for some beautiful part of the world.

2. How does your company innovate or adapt to the evolving needs of the vacation rental space? 

At Hostfully, we drive innovation by focusing on the evolving needs of our clients in the vacation rental space. Our approach is multi-faceted, combining direct client feedback, industry knowledge, and advanced technology to stay ahead of trends and challenges.

Client-Centric Innovation

We actively listen to our clients through surveys and focus groups to understand their challenges and identify opportunities for improvement. This helps us tailor solutions that truly meet their needs.

Hands-On Experience

Many of our team members, including two co-founders, are vacation rental managers. This firsthand experience gives us unique insights into the daily challenges of property management, allowing us to create practical and effective solutions.

Advanced Technology

We leverage automation and technology to streamline operations, such as automating guest communications and integrating with major rental platforms. We are also pioneering the use of AI to enhance our services, offering features like automated guest responses and intelligent customer support.

Continuous Improvement

The vacation rental industry is constantly changing. We stay agile by regularly updating our platform, adding new features based on user feedback, and ensuring compliance with industry standards.

Sustainability and Partnerships

We focus on sustainable practices and work with partners to offer comprehensive solutions. This includes tools for eco-friendly management and collaborations with industry leaders to enhance our offerings.


3. How do you view the various predictions about AI’s impact on society, ranging from dystopian scenarios to transformative advancements, and how does your company approach or integrate AI technology?

I acknowledge both the dystopian fears of AI surpassing human control and the transformative potential it holds for revolutionizing various industries, including ours. AI can drive significant positive changes by enhancing efficiency, fostering innovation, and creating growth opportunities across sectors. Technologies like predictive analytics and intelligent automation can streamline operations and improve guest experiences. I also think it is equally important to address concerns such as privacy, job displacement, and ethical issues. A focus on transparency, fairness, and accountability is crucial to ensure that AI development and implementation are responsible and beneficial for society.

At Hostfully, we view AI as an essential tool that, when used thoughtfully, can greatly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the vacation rental industry. We are particularly enthusiastic about AI’s capacity to revolutionize our sector by streamlining operations and personalizing the guest experience. Our approach to AI integration is designed to maximize these benefits while maintaining stringent ethical standards. We’ve implemented AI-driven tools that not only automate routine guest communications but also allow for the creation of customizable guest itineraries through our platform. This automation frees up property managers from many of the time-consuming, operational tasks. As a result, they can devote more energy to what truly differentiates their service: exceptional hospitality. This includes focusing on the finer details of a guest’s stay, which ensures an outstanding and memorable experience.

Looking forward, we plan to further enhance our platform with AI capabilities like multilingual translations and comprehensive performance analytics. We are committed to using AI to augment human efforts, not replace them, aiming to provide our clients with tools that empower them to excel in personalized guest services while improving the overall efficiency of managing vacation rentals. This balanced approach helps our clients leverage the best of technology to elevate every aspect of the guest experience.


4. What would you like to achieve by attending the Vacation Rental World Summit 2024 in Porto with your company?

I aim to engage in meaningful discussions about industry challenges, network with passionate professionals, and showcase Hostfully’s capabilities in transforming vacation rental management. This event provides a unique opportunity to reconnect with colleagues, form new partnerships, and gain fresh insights into diverse operational practices. I also look forward to exploring current market trends and innovations, enhancing our strategies and ensuring Hostfully remains at the forefront of industry advancements.

On the fun side, I’m looking forward to enjoying some Portuguese wine, introducing Flash, our mascot, to new friends, and soaking in the beautiful views of Porto.

5. What are your passions, including any hobbies or sports, that you enjoy discussing and sharing with others outside the professional setting?

I’m passionate about solving problems that society hasn’t fully addressed yet, especially through technologies that are still on the horizon. I love thinking about innovative ways to tackle global issues and imagining solutions that don’t exist yet.

Outside the work environment, you’ll often find me embracing the great outdoors. There’s something incredibly rewarding about reaching the top of a mountain and taking in the breathtaking views. The mountains also offer opportunities for snowboarding, while the water calls me for wakeboarding and wake surfing, all of which give me a thrill and a sense of adventure. I live in the forest of Lake Tahoe, in California, and during the current season, we’re able to snowboard at the slopes and wakeboard on the warm lake waters in the same day! Life is made to be lived, and I definitely enjoy every single minute of it.

You’ll have the opportunity to meet Pedro directly at VRWS in Porto

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