Past & Future of PMS

Interview with Yoav from Guesty and ASTRA

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 561.

In this episode of the Boostly Podcast, Yoav Tourel, an executive at Guesty Property Management Software, discusses his background and role within Australia's short-term rental accommodation industry.

Yoav begins by explaining that he is originally from Israel but has been living in Sydney, Australia for the past 18 years. He has a background in advertising and media, having worked in EdTech before joining Guesty in September 2019.

Guesty is a Property Management Software company that serves the Asia-Pacific region, and Yoav is part of the team that established the local presence in Australia.

He is responsible for the customer-facing functions of the business, from marketing to customer success and support, and works with clients of different sizes and segments in the short-term rental accommodation industry, such as urban rentals, vacation rentals, apart-hotels, resorts, and motels.

In addition to his role at Guesty, Yoav is also on the board of the Australian Short-Term Rental Accommodation Association (ASTRA), where he is currently the acting chair.

The board consists of nine volunteer directors from different areas of the industry, such as property managers, tourism and travel experts, hospitality experts, and technology, legal, and finance, who work to represent, unite, and advocate for the short-term rental accommodation industry in Australia.

Here's the video for this episode:

Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Intro
00:36 – Yoav Intro
05:41 – The day to day
12:30 – Is there more need for technology?
16:09 – Regulations it's nothing but a good thing
22:00 – The bounceback is only just beginning
27:40 – Outro

Whilst you’re here

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Visual – YouTube

Audio – Boostly Podcast





Transcript from the Episode

[00:00:00] Mark: Okay. So thank you very much for doing this, uh, taking time out your day to speak with us. It's, it's, uh, fantastic, um, to get people from all over the world and all over the industry to, to come together. And what I love as well is we've got people from, uh, property management software platforms that everybody's using, uh, to come in and sort of talk a little bit more about that, but also as well, Astra.

[00:00:19] So if you could just do as a massive favor please and just, uh, give a little bit of background on, on yourself, uh, where you're from in the world where. Yeah, exactly. Who are you, uh, how you came to Australia? Where am importantly, who, what am I doing here? Yeah, what are you doing here? That's brilliant. So the floor is

[00:00:34] Yoav: your, fantastic.

[00:00:36] Excellent. So first of all, thank you very much for, for inviting me. Uh, it's an honor to be in your podcast, you know, as a, as a viewer and as a listener. So I'm really happy, uh, to be here. Eh, my name is Yoav Yoav Turrell. So let's, let's first of all, start with the, So, as I mentioned to you before, uh, nobody can actually pronounce my name here.

[00:00:58] Uh, even not my mom. [00:01:00] So I go by Yoi. Usually Joe is my coffee name, but Yoi, that's how everyone in Australia calls me. So I'm basically Sydney. Australia. I've been living here for 18 years now, originally from Israel and the accent and, uh, the name, uh, my, my background is actually advertising and media. I was born and bred in advertising agencies later on, worked in EdTech, uh, company and, uh, three, three and a half years ago, a bit more.

[00:01:33] Uh, I got a call from, Uh, they were looking to open, uh, an office in, uh, in Australia, an office that will serve the entire Asia-Pacific region. And, uh, we started kind of to chat, uh, few rounds on interviews and, uh, an year am uh, so joined Guesty back in September, 2019. Pre Covid, even pre or [00:02:00] the audience who remember before Covid, we actually had the bush fires here in Australia.

[00:02:06] Actually, just before that, eh, we opened the office here, Guesty Property Management Software. Uh, already had clients in this part of the role, but the, the idea was to establish a local presence to be able to cater to service a client's partner at the local time. Uh, obviously with the different kind of, uh, different languages in our.

[00:02:32] So, uh, we opened the office here. Uh, we are now fast forward, we are now 33 people here in Australia. Uh, that's also thanks to a recent acquisition that Guesty did. So we are now, we got into one big family here in Australia with, uh, an amazing company called Hi Room, hi Room. That's also a property management software that's been around.

[00:02:59] [00:03:00] Many, many years. I always say what they forgot, we haven't learned. So we are now one, one team with a few offices across, uh, across Australia and basically serving, uh, servicing all of the, uh, all of the region. Uh, we mainly customer facing. Uh, so the entire function for marketing all the way to, uh, uh, customer success and, and support.

[00:03:27] We do have a few depths here on the ground, uh, uh, as well. And we, uh, we work with clients different sizes and segments, whether it's urban rentals, vocational rentals, apart, hotels, resorts, eh, eh, motels. So we have quite, kind of quite a nice mix of eh clients. Yeah, eh, when I'm not guesting, eh, I'm also on, or you know what?

[00:03:57] At the same time that I'm in Guesty , I'm [00:04:00] also on the Astra. As the Australian Short-Term Rental Accommodation Association. Uh, I've been on the board for just over two years now, and in the last couple of months I've been also the acting chair. We're now in a process of basically, uh, um, look, are. For a permanent chair.

[00:04:24] So I took, voted for the position of the Arctic chair, uh, uh, for the, for the time being, uh, a lovely, amazing group of people. We are, uh, nine volunteers, directors from different, from different angles of the, of the industry, from property managers to tourism and travel expert to hospitality experts, technology.

[00:04:49] We have, uh, uh, uh, uh, we have kind of, I think that we are two or three that coming from the technology side, from legal, from finance. So an amazing bunch of [00:05:00] people, uh, that, uh, try to represent, to unite, represent, advocate for the, for the industry. And in the spare time is a little kind of thing in a little anecdote.

[00:05:13] In the spare time, I'm doing standup comedy. So standup comedy as an amateur. Kind of not going nice. Kinda. I'm not the next, I'm not the next thing on Netflix. Yeah. But, uh, yeah, I started really to, I started it just to improve my presentation skills. Yeah. Cause the, the feedback is immediate, either laugh or not.

[00:05:35] Uh, and yeah, I'm just doing it in pubs. Open mic, evening. Brilliant.

[00:05:40] Mark: So, so, uh, loads to unpack, go loads to unpack. Thank you for that. Uh, okay, so what is within Guestie, what is like your normal day-to-day role? When, when, when, when you jump into the offices, uh, uh, in Sydney? Like what's your normal day-today look like with,

[00:05:54] Yoav: within Guesty Towers?

[00:05:56] So the, uh, the normal day, it's, it's kind [00:06:00] of split between, uh, client manage. And work with our partners in Australia, New Zealand, uh, Southeast Asia. Um, as I mentioned, we have a team that is dedicated to, to support them. Uh, so there is a lot of work with, um, any challenges or any optimization or any discussions on where to take the business.

[00:06:25] So quite a lot of the day goes to that. There is obviously also the element of new business and identifying new opportunities. Uh, uh, within, uh, uh, within the space, the fact that the sky is now pretty much open now in Southeast Asia, uh, we see kind of. We see more traveler comes in, uh, we see a lots of opportunities.

[00:06:51] So there is a lot of work, uh, uh, work around that. And, um, and most of the time it's, it's people management. [00:07:00] It's managing the team on the ground. Uh, that's also one of the reason why Guesty wanted to have an operation here on the ground, because at the end of the day, and we all know it from our teams, it's, it's working with our.

[00:07:15] How do we motivate them, energize them, grow them, eh, learning together what to do. So there is a lot of that in the work. . Mm. And

[00:07:25] Mark: you came into gei, uh, 2019, like you said, just before the forest fires, and then obviously Covid and, and everything else that, that's happened. And Australia's had one of the strictest lockdowns probably worldwide.

[00:07:38] How have you, I mean, you have seen this industry go from 2019 to now, where 2023. How have you noticed the industry adapt and grow in Australia, and what does the. Steam look like in terms of, uh, getting back to 2019 sort of levels.

[00:07:59] Yoav: [00:08:00] It's, um, I'll do 11. I'll try to answer and even try to do the connection between the lockdown or the pandemic and regulation.

[00:08:09] Okay. Eh, what we've seen, first of all, like everywhere else in, in the world, it was, uh, it was. You know, I might use a positive word when I'll say amazing, but it was such a, an unbelievable experience to go through that. And I think that we all shared it, you know, just kind of working in such an unknown situation and not knowing what's kind of, what's going to be and just adapting a day by day.

[00:08:38] That was quite. Know, we can't believe that it's only what, 18 months ago that we were in that situation here in Australia. Eh, from the industry perspective, eh, we've seen the industry, eh, going through evolution process and getting more [00:09:00] mature because we could see that companies that add. Good operation, good management, good leadership.

[00:09:09] They usually survived. Most of them survived throughout that time and actually got out of it stronger. . Okay. It gets back to the basics. How do you take care of the people? How do you manage your business? How do you find opportunities? Australia, you mentioned, yes, we had, we had kind of, uh, the street, one of the most stricted kind of lockdowns.

[00:09:33] I'm in Sydney and you know, we have our sisters and brothers in Melbourne that they were even kind of in the worst situation in terms of the length of the lockdown, but eh, With the lockdowns, uh, the short term rental, uh, it was a pivotal, it was a tipping point, I should say, uh, here, here in Australia because it actually, within the lockdown, within each [00:10:00] states, it grew.

[00:10:02] We've seen new, uh, uh, new guests are discovering short-term rental, are discovering Australia. We had a lot of conversation that we heard from, uh, uh, property managers in the market that they heard from their guests, that they found the equivalent to Bali, the equivalent to Thailand, the kind of those same places.

[00:10:25] But here, here in a. Australia is fortunate to have such a variety of places. So we've seen kind of debt coming, uh, uh, uh, coming up. Uh, so there was kind of a good evolution. And as I said, those who. Had a good management and a good operation survived and became stronger for that. Now I mentioned that I'll also link it to regulation, eh, across Australia.

[00:10:58] We start to see in, especially in [00:11:00] New South Wales, eh, moving to more regulation or there are more discussions about regulation of short-term rental. That's another. In the evolution of short term rental and the maturity here in Australia, because what we see now, we see now the realization of, uh, this is this serious profession.

[00:11:22] It needs to be accountable. Uh, host needs to be responsible with the surge of guests, can also increase of the guest expect. So now you're not only competing with the hotels on the actual beds, you are also competing on the guest experience, and that's another, an important step. So if you, if you put everything kind of together, the bottom line is that we feel that it's a stronger industry, more resilient, and that it's ready to the next.

[00:11:59] Step. Yeah. [00:12:00] In, in the evolution of the industry,

[00:12:02] Mark: it's like Australia is having to grow to the next level of. This industry, because I feel like exactly for everybody who's been a part of it and everybody who's been a around it for a while, um, you know, you could easily say that for, for many years Australia was behind in terms of tech technology from like UK and the usa.

[00:12:23] Um, obviously Guesty having a big presence in there. You, you're more on the ground, you're chatting to people and obviously being part of Astra as. Do you see that now coming out of like 2022, going into 2023, there is more of a need for technology in Australia in this industry, and we're not just talking property management software, but we're talking about other tools as well.

[00:12:46] Is this something that you are seeing from, from, from Astra and from guesting? Yeah,

[00:12:50] Yoav: so look, it's, uh, Australia, master Australia is, uh, is quite an advanced market when it comes to, to technology [00:13:00] within our, our industry. Unlike, and I can say from the APAC perspective, unlike other markets that we, uh, it's very common to see.

[00:13:11] They're not using technology and they're moving to technology. I think that the usage of technology for the industry is, uh, is quite, is quite common. Uh, the need for technology is, uh, is not only that, it's still here, but as you kind of, uh, pointed, it's actually kind of, we see that it's even kind of, uh, uh, In that sense because, eh, you have now whether it's the eh to master the operational efficiency we're dealing with, will there be a recession?

[00:13:51] So I need to make sure that I'm working properly, eh, staff shortage. I need to make sure that I automated the right thing. So you see [00:14:00] that now? Now the need is, is, is growing. There is the basis. And now kind of you need to improve in what you're doing. Compliance, that's kind of related to the regulation, and that's more the now the astro.

[00:14:13] I'm, I'm switching ads, the Astro side because, eh, there are lots of good tools that, uh, that allow you to be a more responsible host. Whether it's noise awareness or guest, uh, uh, uh, screening or anything, or remote access, et cetera. So there come the needs, uh, to that, uh, the grow of the brand. The brands kind of within the, uh, the operators.

[00:14:42] You have your, you ever kind of, you start to see in Australia, brands that are establishing themselves, whether it's, uh, b b made easy in orange, whether it's made comy, whether it's aio, whether it's on time, uh, whether it's a, um, I dunno, a [00:15:00] perfect stay by the way. These are not, I'm not mentioning only kind of guest declines, but you see.

[00:15:05] Lab brands within the market that are getting kind of to, uh, become well known. And with that also come the needs to more direct booking. So how does the website look like and the upsells? So you, you definitely see that that's, it's, it's a new level of, of technology. .

[00:15:24] Mark: Mm. Well, the good thing for me, as you are listing off both clients and those team members, that there's companies that you mentioned, I was thinking that's the Boostly member.

[00:15:32] That's the Boostly member. That's the Boostly member. So it's lovely. Lovely to see. Lovely to hear. And yeah, I mean, we can see it from our end. We can see when the bookings are coming in, we can see the amount of dire bookings coming in and. This is, this is one of the reasons why we wanted Boostly personally wanted to do a big push in Australia because we can see so much growth from the members that we have.

[00:15:50] Um, so it's like, how can we help more? Uh, cause it is, like you say, we've with more. Technology with, with more awareness comes more responsibility. [00:16:00] And I feel like regulations is not just an Australia thing. It's definitely hot right now in the uk it's definitely hot in certain areas of, of America and, and Canada.

[00:16:09] And I feel like with regulations it's, it's nothing but a good thing because what it's gonna do, it's gonna shake out the bad characters, the ones that are just coming in this for like a, a quick win, passive income, et cetera. And it'll just make this industry stronger.

[00:16:22] Yoav: Hundred percent. Astras Astra tagline is here to stay.

[00:16:27] Uh, and, and short term rentals is, is, is, is, is here to stay. Um, and, uh, because that it's getting. That it getting stronger. You mentioned it before. I think that it's also kind of, I think that it's Spider-Man with power comes the responsibility. Yeah, it's, it's growing. You see the, you, the nightly rate are now in some cases higher than the motels for the same kind of, you know, even, even room size.[00:17:00]

[00:17:00] Uh, um, So, and as I, as, as I mentioned, more kind of new, new audiences, uh, discovered the short term rentals. So they come with their own expectation. So you see that the is now. There is the regulation to make sure that, okay, uh, if you, you know, if you play in that field, make sure that you're responsible.

[00:17:24] But there is also the, call it the guest regulation. If you want the expectation of growing, they want, they want to fill it in the way that your market to them, in the way that you communicate with them, in the way that you're doing your crm. , definitely when you come and see, uh, I always mention, uh, b b uh, uh, made easy in terms of kind of what the brilliant guest experience, uh, uh, they have.

[00:17:51] Uh, I, I stayed in few of the properties and, and you feel that, you know, this is, this is a real competition to hotels [00:18:00] because this is it. Mm-hmm. , eh, so that's, that's what pushes kind of the. Yeah.

[00:18:06] Mark: So in terms of the next steps and like the Australia, let's just put our hats on our next hat on, which is gonna be looking to sort of 2024.

[00:18:17] Um, What is Astra doing to make sure that the members are up to date with everything that's going on? What's the next sort of plans and the phases and, and, and what are you looking to implement even, you know, in an acting share role being on the director? Like what's sort of the next sort of things that you are looking to implement for, for, for Astra and the members?

[00:18:39] Yoav: Yeah, so Astra from, from the get-go, Astra have been around, by the way, for, uh, seven years now in the current format. It used to be a different association before, but the last seven years it's been Astra as, uh, uh, as we know it. Uh, we, um, one of our main tasks is basically is [00:19:00] the educat. Is to keep educating the market, uh, to keep standardized and raising the standards for, for the market.

[00:19:10] So whether it through, uh, publications and meet ups, we just said, I mentioned you before when we chatted. We just had a good meet up in New Zealand, uh, with, uh, uh, with the local community there. Uh, webinars, conferences, so the, the. The need to, to share knowledge in the industry, uh, uh, is very, is very strong.

[00:19:36] And that's one of the main things that we're focusing on. And, uh, you spoke about kind of what we have later on this year in 2024. That's definitely a pillar that we're going to, we're the industry will see more investment. . That's, that's kind of, that's one main thing. The second thing is, uh, everything around regulation and advocacy, [00:20:00] uh, because we will, we will see in 2023 a lot of discussion around it, and some of it will be implemented and executed in 2020.

[00:20:12] So this year, this year it, we are unlikely to see actually changes this year because it usually take 12 months to take effect. But 20, 24, we expect kind of to see more regulation actually in place. Uh, and this is something that, that we need to be ready for. So, uh, we spend a lot of time in discussion with the different governments.

[00:20:37] Uh, Astra is support. Of regulation. We think that it's important for the future of the industry. From the professionalization standardization as well as from the security to the operators that they know that they have a valid business, which is here to stay. Mm-hmm. . So there's a lot of discussions around that, and with that, it's, it's also [00:21:00] related to education because you want to ensure that you have responsible.

[00:21:05] Members, uh, uh, that, uh, that are doing it. So that will be kind of, that will be another thing. And then we have all other kind of initiatives we want to see, uh, if, if we can work, uh, and partner with different training programs. , how do we actually, I think that that's, um, or, or nothing. That's, that's something that is missing in our industry.

[00:21:30] How do you create a new generation? It's like kind of in the hotels that you have the apprentice and you have all the programs. Why not in our industry? Uh, so this is also something that, uh, uh, that we're looking at. Amazing.

[00:21:44] Mark: There's a lot happening. In Astra and in Guesty and just in Australia as a, a Australasia, as a, as, as a region.

[00:21:51] There's so much going on down there. It definitely feels like that. It's often been the forgotten part of the world because it is just on [00:22:00] literally the other side of the world. But it is, it is so much going on. Like I said, the skies are opening, people can travel a lot more freer, and I feel like the bounceback is only just beginning, uh, for Australia, New Zealand and Australia, Asia, as, as, as, as a whole.

[00:22:14] So it's exciting to.

[00:22:16] Yoav: We are, we are far away from everyone, but it is every time that one of us, uh, go to a conference overseas, whether it's in the UK or in the us , it's al uh, every time that we hear from Aussies or Kiwis, uh, that are going there, they're always kind of, uh, they love the fact that, wow, it's the same challenges and actually.

[00:22:44] maybe we are even, you know, have better solutions kind of around it. So I think that kind of, I think that definitely we're definitely, we're in power in terms of the challenges and the thinking with other parts of, uh, of the world. We never know we, [00:23:00] if we're ahead of everyone or behind of everyone, uh, but it's, yeah, always the, the big conferences kind of allow you a sense check to see where

[00:23:09] Mark: you.

[00:23:10] And, uh, talking about conferences, obviously, uh, Guesty, Guesty, Val, are you going to be going, um, to, to that event? Yes.

[00:23:19] Yoav: Yes, yes, yes. And it, uh, so I I, I,

[00:23:23] Mark: I was gonna say, give us a little bit more information. Where is it? When is it? Um, just give us a cause it's always, it, it is one of those that's always on the calendar of the must to go to.

[00:23:32] Yoav: Yeah, look, it's kind of, you know, I'm obviously speaking kind of, you know, as a Guesty , so I'll always say we say that that's kind of the best thing ever, but, but it is, it is. It's, uh, kind of knowing, knowing our people who work on that. They really kind of, there is a team that works on that and they're doing a really great job in terms of the agenda and the event production and everything.

[00:23:52] Uh, the date, what an Australian date, it's May 8th. All right, so May 8th till May [00:24:00] 10th, uh, in, uh, uh, in, in Tel Aviv. Uh, for the listener, for the viewers who haven't visited Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, it's, it's quite a fascinating, uh, uh, city. It has kind of, it has a bit from New York, from Europe, from, you know, from different places at work.

[00:24:18] It has the beach. Yeah, the tech, he has the food. So it's going to be a really great experience. Uh, I, I haven't seen the agenda. Yet. But, uh, again, just kind of based on the past guest Deval, the last one in Austin, and I've been in the guest Deval in 2019, which was in Tel Aviv. Uh, it's, uh, yeah, it's usually kind of very insightful, very kind of innovative, uh, thought, thought provoking.

[00:24:45] So, uh, if you have a chance, please go. I'm

[00:24:49] Mark: waiting. I'm waiting for my invite from the Guesty people. Alexandra . I'm waiting for

[00:24:54] Yoav: my invite. You go Alex. Yeah. One. Yeah. Let's let

[00:24:57] Mark: take over of Mark. Yeah. So before we [00:25:00] finish, I can't skip by this. Yeah. Uh, standup comedy, um, what is, yeah. What would you say has been the biggest lesson that you have learned?

[00:25:07] Obviously you're not looking for a Netflix special, like you said it's tomorrow to help with your presentation skills. But what is that one thing that you've learned from doing standup comedy verse that as enhanced? Um, your, your thinking or just how you, how you do other things.

[00:25:23] Yoav: So, so there, there are a couple of things.

[00:25:25] First of all, and you know, it might sound very trivial, but, uh, the preparation, no. They just kind of rehearse and prepare, not there's no substance, uh, to that. . So that's, that's one thing. First of all, the preparation. Second thing, that was one of the reasons why I wanted to do that is I, I find that always when I present at work and, you know, different discussion, I tend to, you know, to, to be maybe a bit apologetic, maybe kind of [00:26:00] not sure how the other side react or, you know, kind of consider that as a standup committee told me, you know, you have something to.

[00:26:09] Don't be afraid. Say it. The other laugh or want laugh, but, but, but. Be kind of be confidence kind of to say that. Uh, so that's, that's that. Uh, listening to the, or paying attention or reading the audience. Again, trivial, we see it in the day to day, but the reaction, what vibe they are, kind of even before you go on stage, just seeing, you know, I'm in pub, so usually you either have five drunk people or you suddenly have a bunch of 50.

[00:26:41] So, but just kind of reading the audience a bit and trying kind of to, uh, acknowledge it in your, uh, in your delivery. And the last one is that, and that's actually, I took from the great rick base that, and it's true, you always said, look, if you do the same joke 50 times and people [00:27:00] laugh, you know that you have a good joke.

[00:27:02] It's like kind of it's mathematics. Yeah. And it's actually. Good. Yeah.

[00:27:07] Mark: Yeah. It's, uh, it's fascinating that, and it's, uh, I love the world of standup and, uh, regularly just being, watching them on Netflix, and it's so interesting how you can put that into presentations and the b just, just the wider world. So thank you for sharing.

[00:27:21] For,

[00:27:21] Yoav: for me. Yeah. No, and I'll just say that for me, and you can hear it from my accent, from the way that they speak, it's English is obviously not my native language, and using humor as a universal tool to cut. Uh, that's quite amazing. Fantastic.

[00:27:39] Mark: Uh, thank you so much for coming on today. Really do appreciate it.

[00:27:42] Thank you. Um, and thank you for spreading and sharing more knowledge on what Astra is doing, but also Guesty as well. And, uh, yeah, I'll include all the links to everything that we talk about. Guesty , val, Guesty Astra. I'll put it all in the show notes, but thank you for coming on the podcast.

[00:27:58] Yoav: Thank you very much for having me.

[00:27:59] I, I [00:28:00] really enjoyed it, so thank you very much. Having a blast.

[00:28:02] Mark: Gonna get it on the Bruce

[00:28:03] Yoav: Lee podcast, Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the tee, is loose leaf picking up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.

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