When a career and a passion come together, it's a beautiful thing. Here are Kigo, a passion for travel is what sets our employees apart and inspires them to go above and beyond for our clients. All share this common bond, stemming from the range of diverse backgrounds they come from. We created the Faces of Kigo series to share these unique stories that collectively make up our brand.
Meet Kathryn Ryan, a Kigo Account Executive for the South East Asia region. Kathryn works in our Barcelona office, and is always seeking out new opportunities for adventure. She is truly a citizen of the world, having lived in six countries over the past decade. This makes her an invaluable resource for all things travel, which directly translates into her role at Kigo. Read on to learn Kathryn's advice on everything from creating great vacation rental listings to providing a personal experience for each guest.
Kathryn at Park Guell in Barcelona
Learn more about Kathryn:
Tell us about yourself!
I'm Kathryn, and I was born and raised in North Wales. For those wondering if the Welsh language is anything like English, my answer would be “Nag Ydw”… (no.) I moved to Spain ten years ago, and over the past decade have also lived in the UK, Czech Republic, Turkey and Australia. I always wanted to come back to Spain, and when I had the opportunity to try Cataluña, a place I´d never been, I decided to “just give it a try for 6 months.” Probably anyone who has ever said those words can relate to the fact I have now been here for four years.
Why do you do your job? What do you like about it?
I work on the South East Asia team at Kigo and have the privilege of working with a whole spectrum of countries, cultures, markets and people. I believe I help Kigo customers succeed by presenting our product based on the value we offer to them and giving them the information they need in order to make an informed decision about moving forward. In many cases, I am also their first point of contact and their first impression of the company and the people they will be dealing with throughout their journey with Kigo.
Kathryn in Sri Lanka
How do you approach finding places to stay when you travel?
I'll admit it, I'm an easy target for channels. Often I have booked mini-breaks just because I have received an email showing me “Kathryn, Book Now!” so I say “ok”, go immediately to the website, look around and book now. For a planned holiday, though, I always use the main channels (all Kigo partners), look at location and then immediately to the photos of bedrooms and bathrooms –I'm quite confident I can base the rest of the stay by the bedrooms and bathrooms. Once I'm happy with a place, I like that I can “Book Now” and then relax knowing I don't have to wait or worry about people getting back to me and confirming, etc.
What do you look for in a vacation rental? What do you avoid?
If I'm on holiday I like a treat, so I look for somewhere that offers a little bit of luxury, somewhere comfortable and reasonably priced. I often choose places that have a bath, and basic everyday comforts like this can be important for a guest. I also look for a personalised feel to the website or any communication that might have happened as this all adds to the overall guest experience, and I'm more likely to return if I am happy with the overall experience.
I automatically avoid anywhere that doesn’t have enough high-quality pictures of rooms. In my opinion, if you're not proud of them and showing them off then for some reason you are choosing to hide them.
How does your hobby/passion translate into your role at Kigo or how does it help you understand our Kigo customers?
I am passionate about travel, so this hobby translates very well to my role because I can see things from the guest’s point of view and translate that to the vacation rental manager—in terms of what I look for in a rental, expect when I go to a channel, and communications from the vacation rental management company after paying, checking in, and checking out. Having travelled in Asia and the Indian Ocean Territory, I know firsthand how useful a benefit like Guest App would be for someone unfamiliar with the language and location. Receiving important communications from the property can help guests feel safe and secure.
Kathryn on the red carpet in Cannes
What makes Kigo stand out from the competition?
Our Value Added Services help us stand out from the competitors, but what really sets us apart is the team behind Kigo and the willingness to go the extra mile to get and to keep our clients. I think Kigo is making vacation rental management easier and more streamlined for the client, and changing the industry by setting new expectations for vacation rental management companies. They can save considerable time day to without sacrificing the personal touch with their guests with the help of Kigo features, which allow for better communication with the guest and help improve their overall experience.
What is your favorite feature of Kigo? How does it help VRs do their jobs better?
My favourite feature is Kigo Contact Center. I see it as an invaluable way for vacation rental management companies to convert leads to bookings after hours, increase business when working across time zones they might normally miss business from, and set working hours so they don’t have to work 24/7.
I also love the “Booking Dashboard” feature in Analytics. It's a clear, quick snapshot of the business and agent performance, and allows vacation rental management companies to review their business on the go and get a daily, weekly or monthly understanding of their performance.
As we continue to explore the Faces of Kigo, you will meet more members of our global team working every day to create the best products in travel. Stay tuned!