Canguro: The Evolution of the Species
Canguro Properties—the name sounds like kangaroo, and the hopping marsupial is the company’s logo. But the HQ is not located in Australia, as you might expect. So, what’s the idea?
“It’s fun,” says Guglielmo Scarpa, Canguro’s CEO and founder. “And our guests remember it. Many short-term and longer-term rental property companies don’t have memorable names.”
The concept of branding is just beginning to evolve in the vacation rental industry. The same goes for advanced marketing, which makes Canguro a whole other kind of animal.
Image via Canguro
Delivering an outstanding quality of service
“I want to specialize in marketing,” Scarpa notes. “You can’t be number one in marketing and in managing services. It’s a serious challenge to manage both processes. So, I only work with properties that guarantee the finest services—their specialty is treating guests correctly.”
This doesn’t mean that Canguro does marketing and nothing else. They provide everything for guests from start to finish in what he calls “master cities.” There, he can establish a 24/7 team he can trust to make guests happy in every way. One such city is London, which is Canguro HQ. Because Scarpa lives there, he has been able to build the connections necessary to establish the finest teams. Another four master cities—Rome, Milan, Bologna and Venice—offer him the opportunity to travel and work in his native Italy. His deep connections with the country make it possible to put the right teams together and operate properties of exceptional quality.
The “non-master” cities are international locations spread out across the world, for which Canguro provides vacation rental marketing only. Here, he has set high standards for the properties he chooses to work with, where only the finest can make the grade. His limited ability to be present in these locations makes assembling a team much more challenging, so he has to select properties whose owners can be relied upon to manage services without a hitch. As Scarpa puts it, “It’s like I am hiring my right hand.”
Image via Canguro
Scarpa has another reason for selecting only the finest properties for Canguro. The quality of services delivered directly affects his greatest passion: marketing.
“My ability to market properties is dependent on guests’ reviews,” he explains. “We live for reviews. One bad review can make all our marketing plans and activities for a property ineffective.”
Scarpa explains that when guests have problems, they are directed to Canguro, not to the properties themselves. This allows his team to act fast and make things right. Canguro has gone as far as offering full refunds to angry guests, even if the property is not responsible for the situation. As a result, they have become very good at earning 5-star reviews.
Managing with precision
According to Scarpa, optimizing marketing effectiveness requires versatile property management software to handle all the things that have to go right. For that, he relies on Kigo.
Describing his Kigo experience, Scarpa says, “I’ve been using it since 2010, when I took the leap into managing short-term and longer-term properties on my own. I saw how smart it was. I haven’t tried other software products since then because I like the way Kigo works. I always have the entire picture in front of my eyes. Is a contract not signed? Is there a payment missing? I know right away, so I can keep everything under control.”
Staying at the top of the vacation rental industry ecosystem
As an example, he points out the need to manage vacation property listings with precision.
“It’s so important how you build a listing. It’s easy to create, but challenging to make it work for you. You need to be on top of basic things, like the timetable. But then there’s the significantly more difficult issue of managing a customer’s expectations. And you need to be able to do all that within the framework and limitations of your booking platform.”
Scarpa gives the example of Booking.com, which is his company’s number one booking provider. He and his team needed a way to seamlessly integrate with the site, sending property availability to the site and expanding his reach. By connecting with the Booking.com, he can take his passion of vacation rental marketing to the next level, reaching new customers for only a small percentage of the value of the booking.
With Kigo Channel Manager, Canguro has also been able to improve communication. “As soon as a booking is confirmed, Kigo automatically sends out an email with all the numbers clearly stated—the prices, the fees, everything. A guest might get upset when seeing unexpected fees, but always has a number of hours after the confirmation to cancel. Often if they are alerted to unexpected charges, guests are still willing to book.”
Using Kigo is one key way that Guglielmo Scarpa ensures his marketing efforts are working hard for him. When a communication glitch occurs, Kigo brings clarity to the situation to help avert a potential disaster. It’s how the Canguro kangaroo can leap into action when a guest is hopping mad. Which fits nicely into Scarpa’s cherished goal: to keep Canguro at the top of our industry’s ecosystem.