We created the Faces of Kigo series to showcase our talented employees, tell their stories, and share why they love being a part of the Kigo team.
Meet Mario DelRio, a Kigo Product Manager based in our corporate headquarters in Richardson, Texas. During Mario's tenure with Kigo, he's held several key roles and gained a wealth of knowledge into both vacation rental management and the technology that supports it. Combined with his personal experience of living in four countries and traveling the world, there's no question that Mario is an expert in the industry.
Learn more about Mario:
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Mario and I currently live in Dallas, Texas. I’m originally from Chicago and my parents are of Latin American descent. My biggest passion in life is without a doubt dancing, which I clearly inherited from my parents. I also enjoy lifting weights, reading, and am learning to play the bass guitar. I love to travel and have lived in Miami, Chicago, Manila, Barcelona, Shanghai, and Beijing. I look forward to seeing where else my life takes me.
What is your role at Kigo, and how do you help clients succeed?
I am currently a Product Manager for the core Kigo platform, as well as the Project Manager for the same platform. My duties range from helping to improve Kigo by creating specifications for new features, to managing the project in JIRA and ensuring that our resources are being used efficiently. At the moment, I work with the various different teams in Kigo to create transparency throughout the organization and to ensure that the different products mesh well together to create a high functioning ecosystem. Before joining the Product team, my background was in Product Support and Account Management. I bring that knowledge with me whenever I am working with the client-facing, engineering, and business teams to help create a positive experience for our clients.
Why do you do your job? What do you like about it?
I do my job so that I can help conceive and create high-functioning software. I’ve been with Bookt/Instamanager/Kigo since 2012, and am invested in seeing it succeed. I joined the Product team so that I could bring my experience to the table. What I like most about it is easily the people I have the pleasure of calling coworkers. Not only do I learn from them, but they are great to work with and have a positive influence on my everyday attitude. I love collaborating with the other Product managers and teams in Kigo to work toward our common goal.
What makes Kigo stand out from the competition?
In my mind, there are two areas that make Kigo stand out from the competition. Aside from the obvious things such as specific features in the software, these differences are rooted in the personnel present at Kigo. On the one hand, you have people such as myself that have been with the organization long enough to see the evolution of our software. Our software is better than it’s ever been in the past, and that is partially due to the changes we've faced as we've grown as a company.
A big part of our success can be attributed to the merger between Instamanager and Kigo. We’ve taken two products and teams and combined them into one. While there were initially some growing pains, the distinct perspective that each group brings has helped us forge an identity rooted in innovation and cooperation, as well as establish an international footprint. Combine this with the new talent that is regularly being brought in with fresh ideas, and you have a recipe for sustained success in the vacation rental space.
What is your favorite feature of Kigo? How does it help VRs do their jobs better?
It’s hard to pick a “favorite” feature, especially with how much improvement has happened this year. There are several new initiatives underway that will significantly help property managers, each in different ways.
I will say that one of the main features we have is our Channel Manager. The bread and butter of a vacation rental company’s business is simply to ensure that they are receiving and processing reservations/bookings. The Channel Manager allows the VRs to distribute their inventory to industry giants such as Airbnb, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com. All of the additional exposure means success for the VR, and by extension Kigo.
How is Kigo changing the vacation rental industry?
The short term vacation rental industry is relatively nascent when compared to something like the hotel industry. Kigo is changing the VR industry by always staying at the forefront of innovation and working with our partners to help the industry itself standardize and mature.
How does your favorite hobby/passion translate to your role at Kigo or how does it help you understand our Kigo clients
I don’t think dance has a direct correlation to Kigo, other than to say that like my favorite hobbies, improving Kigo is something that I purse with much fervor. I accept nothing less than the best from myself, and I will accept nothing less than the best for Kigo and all of our clients. I take every shortcoming as a direct challenge and work tirelessly to improve it.
How do you approach finding places to stay when you travel?
From a pragmatic standpoint, I look for something that is affordable. It’s all well and nice to stay in an expensive resort where you are treated like royalty, but at the end of the day when I search for a place to stay while travelling, I am just looking for a place to sleep in between new adventures.
I also look for something that is located near where I’ll find a lot of activities or places to explore. When I travel I want to be able to experience the locale, which is more difficult when you are sequestered in a remote area.
To make a long story slightly less long, I am looking for a place that will afford me the opportunity to be able to do the most within a limited time frame.
What do you look for in a vacation rental? What do you avoid?
Good location as mentioned in the question above. In addition to that, I pay close attention to the photos of the property as well as the reviews left by previous guests to have a good idea of what to expect. More than anything, I want a comfortable area where I can rest before going out again.
How can property owners make their vacation rentals more appealing to travelers like yourself?
My best advice is to provide as much accurate information as possible. It always helps when I have realistic expectations when securing a place to stay while traveling. It also helps to know the area and be able to provide recommendations on things to do and places to eat. If you fashion yourself as a local expert and provide:
a) Enough information to assuage any doubts a traveler may have about staying in your property
b) Enough advice about the things that they can do in the vicinity
...then you will secure a positive review and encourage even more travelers to make your property their temporary home.
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!