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Highlights from KigoWorld 2018

In the words of Kigo Senior Vice President Matthew Hoffman, “A true professional is constantly striving to be the best at their craft.” With dynamic sessions from industry leaders, powerful networking opportunities and in-depth training on new technology tools, the 2018 KigoWorld conference was the ideal destination for vacation rental professionals looking to take their businesses to the next level.


Additionally, the conference was sponsored by some of the biggest names in the industry—YapStone, Airbnb, HomeAway,, Holidu, Transparent and!

Missed us in Barcelona, or simply want to relive the excitement? Here are top KigoWorld highlights:

Educational sessions

KigoWorld ’18 Keynote: Money is Best Made When Predicting Change

When an idea becomes a reality, it’s called innovation. The passion behind achieving innovation stems from inspiration. The opening KigoWorld keynote presentation from Kigo’s Senior Vice President Matthew Hoffman included all three components and set the tone for a standout conference.

In his presentation, Hoffman shared his personal journey overcoming challenges as a business owner and founding the company that ultimately became Kigo. He challenged attendees to discover their “why” and compete against their own businesses, measuring success against growth and not just the competition.

“Kigo is evolving into a community where people from every discipline can come together, collaborate against common challenges and elevate our industry through process simplification and hospitality innovation,” said Hoffman.

Vacation Rental Payments: A 360 Degree View

As cyber threats continue to grow, it's more critical than ever to stay protected. Industry leader YapStone is committed to alleviating risk and safeguarding industry professionals through state-of-the-art payments processing technology.

In "Vacation Rental Payments: A 360 Degree View" YapStone President David Weiss explored the payments process from start to finish for KigoWorld attendees. Weiss shared best practices for overcoming common payment pitfalls and protecting both businesses and guests from risk. Attendees were also educated on the implications of new payments regulations in Europe and the United States.

Supply Acquisition Strategies

By expanding the number of units in their vacation rental portfolios, industry professionals can quickly scale their businesses. In his KigoWorld 2018 presentation, CEO Andrew McConnell shared how to navigate this process and increase business revenue.

The presentation addressed the importance of a carefully developed strategic plan, which starts with asking the right questions—“Who, Where, How, When and What?” By doing so, vacation rental professionals can evaluate opportunities with greater precision, then measure success and make adjustments accordingly.

McConnell shared examples and creative ideas, and told attendees to “be deliberate when delivering value.”

Insights from Simon Lehmann

On KigoWorld day two, industry icon Simon Lehmann shared valuable insights into the evolution of vacation rental management. Lehmann focused on the importance of standardization, personalization and commercialization for vacation rentals and emphasized the need for industry leaders to step up their game.

In his presentation, Lehmann cited eye-opening industry stats and spoke to emerging trends and opportunities—including a rise in tourism from Chinese guests, Facebook and Google as disruptors in the industry and changes in occupancy and supply.

Lehmann shared that the future is more professional with higher standards, and the future starts today. As more players try to take their piece of the vacation rental pie and industry changes take place, management companies need to establish with end-to-end technology standards and solutions.

Kigo, the Vacation Rental Industry and RealPage

RealPage Chief Operating Officer Ashley Glover kicked off day two of KigoWorld with an unforgettable keynote presentation. Ashley shared her first-hand experiences in property management and global business, including a first job on a construction site, international work in Europe and Asia, and starting her own real estate business.

She shared insights into the regulatory environment for vacation rentals in Europe and the United States, along with emerging trends and challenges related to OTAs, economic factors, and other influences.

“What we [at RealPage] have learned is the importance of the industry having a seat at the table, building regulatory solutions that create positive outcomes,” said Glover.

Glover spoke to the ways RealPage is advocating for industry professionals and helping to build a young, rapidly developing industry into the powerhouse it is destined to be.

The Eight Factors of a Limited-Edition Vacation Rental Business

We are at a pivotal moment in the vacation rental industry. Matt Landau, founder of the Vacation Rental Marketing Blog and one of the most highly respected leaders in the space, believes that the key to achieving independence and business success is by creating a “Limited Edition” vacation rental business.

This involves having distinguishable properties that stand out from the competition. It also requires leveraging the unique, personal qualities at the heart of your company that large companies cannot replicate. In his dynamic KigoWorld session, Landau unveiled the eight components of this "Theory of Limited Edition” and shared cutting-edge insights.

Vacation Rental Industry and RealPage Leadership Panel

In this session, a panel of industry and RealPage leaders explored the state of the vacation rental industry. The panel included:

  • Matt Landau, Founder, Vacation Rental Marketing Blog
  • Andrew McConnell, CEO,
  • Pierre Becerril, CEO, Transparent
  • Matthew Hoffman, Senior Division Vice President, Kigo
  • Ashley Glover, Chief Operations Officer, RealPage
  • Scott Davies, Chief Marketing Officer, RealPage

Each with a unique perspective and background, the talented group shared how to thrive in a rapidly changing industry. They also spoke to disruptive influences in the vacation rental space, new trends and regulations and ways to overcome barriers.

KigoWorld 2018 attendee feedback

"At KigoWorld, I met many people who are already using Kigo. We are now looking for ways to connect and start selling our properties not just in Europe, but also in the US, which is a great thing.” - Donald Said, Baron Group

“I'm really happy I came to KigoWorld because I met some fantastic people… it was great to make contacts, discuss with other property managers and see how they've been able to conquer some of the challenges in the business. The idea of putting faces to names [with Kigo staff] was also good, and I'm sure we can take this relationship forward even more now. We were also interested to find out about the new technology that is in the pipeline for Kigo, and we're excited to see these features being implemented now.” Ishmael Portelli, Gozo Village Holidays

KigoWorld certainly renewed my inspiration for service accommodation management. I think for me, the greatest value is in learning about the plans for improvement going forward with Kigo, to take that back and start to work out how I can implement that into my business. And then, to cement some of the relationships with support staff, so when I speak to them on the phone we've got that personal connection.” –Steven Stanley, Yolo Lets

After three days filled with ideas, innovation and inspiration, KigoWorld attendees left Barcelona empowered to master their craft and propel their businesses to the next level. We look forward to seeing you at KigoWorld 2019!

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