VRWS Leadership Interview of the Day
In approaching the 9th 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.
How would you describe your career path and what brought you to Vrbo?
“My career path has been diverse. I have spent a lot of time in hospitality and retail, alongside my education and studies. It gave me a great understanding of how to address my customer’s and team’s needs in order to create great experiences for both sides – in a multicultural environment, working across different countries.
“Joining Vrbo, a part of Expedia Group, perfectly combined a lot of my interests including having a mission to create exceptional traveler experiences with a multilingual team and partners.”
“Native German, fluent in English, French and Dutch, intermediate in Spanish”, your LinkedIn summary says. How much your multilingual background positively affects your day-by-day professional life and when did you get passionate about learning new languages?
“I am definitely passionate about learning from different people and cultures and what better way than speaking their language? For me personally, exceptional partnerships and travel experiences mean understanding each other so well that not too much is lost in translation! When did it start? I did my first foreign exchange when I was seven years old with a host family in France – so I can say my passion started quite early.
I have lived in seven countries and it’s truly the best way to learn a new language – immersing yourself and getting inspired. I would not be where I am today, working with a team across seven different countries in five languages, without my passion for learning new languages. It helps me out every day as Expedia Group is a global company and the partners we work with are in many different countries speaking many different languages. And the best way for me to coach and support my team, and our partners, is speaking their language.
My team’s mission is to power the most trusted marketplace for travelers and partners and language and cultural sensitivity are key foundations to build trusted partnerships. I strongly believe in the value of tailoring our approach to individual partner needs and opportunities and I do hope our partners reading this feel like we live and deliver on this mission. “
Let’s say for the purpose of the interview that Vrbo is exhibiting at an in-person event. A property manager approaches you to find out more. How would you describe the benefits Vrbo provides?
“For over 25 years, Vrbo has helped families travel together by helping them find the perfect vacation home to spend quality time away together. Our platform makes it easy for families to book more than 2 million cabins, condos, beach houses and every kind of space in between on the website and app. Vrbo is part of Expedia Group, one of several leading travel brands powering travel around the world.
When traveling with family and groups, we believe that the experience of traveling and staying together, all under one roof, is important. Vrbo does not allow shared spaces, and the idea of no shared spaces means families and groups get the entire place themselves and have plenty of space and privacy to spread out and create memories together. With enough space for everyone, Vrbo vacation homes are ideal for celebrating the most special, important occasions together, like weddings, graduations, or milestone birthdays and anniversaries.”
VRWS 22 is about to land in Porto. What do you expect from the overall experience?
“First and foremost, it’s so wonderful to be meeting again in person talking about the thing we’re all so passionate about – travel – and having the opportunity to grow, innovate, and shape the future of the industry together. Second, I’m grateful to be part of this year’s programming and, based on last year’s experience, I am really looking forward to inspirational conversations, relevant insights, deepening relationships and sharing best practices, all the while celebrating the strength and unity of the sector – and above all: our wonderful partners!”
You’ll have the opportunity to listen to Laura live on stage on Sept. 15th at 4:30 PM for a session on Forging the Path to Sustainability in the Short-Term Rental Industry
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