We talked to Mike Liverton, CEO at Jetstream Hospitality, about simplifying the rental property market and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Mike Liverton: Thank you for asking, I’m very appreciative that myself, my family, and all those close to me have stayed well through these challenging times.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Jetsream.
Mike Liverton: Born and raised in England, I’m a serial entrepreneur with a passion for delivering the very best customer experience using technology and e-commerce for sales and distribution. I founded my first e-commerce company in 1999 in the UK in the mobile communications market. We experienced tremendous growth and became one of the leading companies in theB2C online retailer space before being acquired in 2006 by a UK FTSE 500 company. In 2006, I moved to Canada for a lifestyle change and then became involved in the short-term rental property market. I quickly realized that the fragmented nature of the market and legacy software platforms provided a significant opportunity to deliver a much more guest-friendly experience, as well as incremental distribution opportunities for our accommodation partners.
How does Jetstream innovate?
Mike Liverton: In 2008, we launched our proprietary booking platform for multi-unit, resort, and apartment properties under the Leavetown brand, and shortly after we started to develop our B2Bproprietary technology, which has evolved into Jetstream Hospitality Solutions. In 2017 we became the first “Multi-Unit”distribution solution for apartments, condos, and resorts for Airbnb/ VRBO/ HomeAway/ TripAdvisor.Today, Jetstream partners with over 200+ large professional property owners/ resort operators and distributes over 50,000 properties globally onto the largest short-term rental marketplaces, including our proprietary site, Leavetown.com. We are a 100% employee-owned business with multi-lingual teams in North America, Europe, and Asia.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Mike Liverton: It’s been a very unique chapter for us. We had sold the business in August 2018 and were due to complete our 2-year handover management agreement in August 2020. During the first Covid wave (April 2020), which caused huge levels of cancellations &refunds, we had a window of opportunity to acquire the business back from our US parent company. We seized this opportunity and had completed the acquisition by the end of April 2020. This allowed us to re-hire the majority of our original team. Besides, we’ve been very grateful for all the government wage subsidies and grants that have allowed us to make significant progress within the business to prepare us for even greater growth once the pandemic passes.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Mike Liverton: Unfortunately yes. Business and unforeseen circumstances can require difficult decisions to be made. At the end of March, due to the collapse of travel, we had to terminate the employment of80% of our entire team, which was an incredibly low point. The good news is that after acquiring the business back a month later we were able to re-employ over half of the team again, which was satisfying and has resulted in us now being 100% employee-owned. What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis? We’ve always embraced an agile/ remote working philosophy within the company as we have teams across North America, Europe, and Asia and we’re operational 24/7.In addition to continuing to build out our Jetstream product we use the full Google suite of products and also love using SLACK. We’re also always keeping our eyes open for new remote working tools and applications.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Mike Liverton: We’ve positioned our technology and services in a very unique way so we have very little direct competition. Many technology platforms deliver similar functionality to us, but our unique positioning is that we offer a full-service solution for large multi-unit property owners and managers that are looking to enter the lucrative short-term rental space. Our experienced teams handle all content creation, listing optimization, rate management, and full 24/7 guest communication, from booking inquiries all the way through to guest departure. This is empowering our vision of “Enabling our partners to reach their maximum potential by harnessing technology and a world-class team to deliver exquisite hospitality.”
Your final thoughts?
Mike Liverton: The global pandemic has made us realize our intrinsic desire to travel and experience other places and cultures. We look forward to supporting our partners and guests as we all begin to appreciate the beauty and joy of traveling again. For more information visit jetstreamtech.io
About Mike Liverton.
Mike Liverton: Mike is the founder and CEO of Jetstream, a unique technology solution that empowers owners, managers, and aggregators of multi-unit, short-term rental assets to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively.