The OwnerRez Story
We're really good software engineers, but we're also vacation rental homeowners and property managers. For more than a decade, we devoted ourselves to providing really good vacation rental experiences for guests. Now, we devote our time to providing really good software for vacation rental owners and PMs.
About those Chris & Paul guys...
For years, you've seen our names all over blog posts, forum topics and support tickets, but here's what we actually look like! That's Chris on the left and Paul on the right.
We've been building software together for two decades in one form or another. We've worked for tiny non-profits, massive media corporations, soulless government agencies and everything in between.
We've designed giant distributed web systems, built translation tools for Afghan recovery services, worked on desktop and mobile, and automated financial reports for election agencies.
We failed our way through countless startups and bounced around from Virginia and Florida to Texas, California and Arizona.
2007 - The Cabin on the River
About 13 years ago, we caught the vacation rental bug and decided to buy a cabin on the river.
Like most eager newbies, we paid too much and spent a ton of time renovating it, but what really stood out was the lack of management options in the industry - professional property managers charged too much and did too little, and there was a significant lack of simple, fast, clean tools for homeowners.
In the years that followed, we added more properties, and the problem worsened. Our professional PM continued charging too much and continued doing too little. Homeowner tools continued to be non-existent.
We decided to take over managing our properties, but the lack of good software was a problem.
This was before Airbnb existed, and Vrbo was a glorified classified ad site. FlipKey, VacationHomeRentals and other listing sites produced quality leads. Booking.com would not enter the vacation rental world for another decade.
The big issue at the time was handling inquiry emails and syncing calendars. The idea of syncing listing content (photos, amenities, description), rates and rules was a far-off fantasy that never entered our mind.
During the early years, we kept reviewing new products but kept coming up empty.
Some tools helped us manage the physical properties (eg. cleaning), but didn't offer ways to book. Others only concentrated on booking features but didn't let us sell add-ons like Travel Insurance or search and report well. Almost none of the tools integrated with our website and the ones that did were clumsy and inefficient. We wanted to be able to generate custom quotes that didn't reserve time until the guests finalized it themselves. In fact, we wanted guests to do just about everything themselves - including enter their own credit card information - and we wanted all this in a beautiful, modern application that was light, fast and powerful.
The pretty software was one dimensional and rigid. The ugly software was... well ugly and slow. Escapia cost a fortune and was more of an accounting product than a booking product or PMS.
We knew what features should have been available because we knew how we would have built them. But we couldn't find what we wanted.
So we got to work.