George was interviewed by Alexandra Popescu at theSuper.host about Tokeet's industry leading vacation rental management offering.
Alexandra: Hi George, welcome to theSuperhost! Can you start by telling us how Tokeet came about?
George: Hi Alexandra, thanks for the chat! I’m George Tarnopolsky, and I lead Tokeet’s global services operations. Our CEO, Kwesi Steele, and I worked together at Google—where he led sales and technical organizations around the globe. Prior to founding Tokeet, Kwesi was the CTO of a Canada tech firm. As a vacation property owner himself, Kwesi saw the need for a platform like Tokeet, and launched the company in 2016. From my end, I had finished up a stint at a mobile advertising company that was sold to Time Inc in 2017—and was extremely excited to join Kwesi and team Tokeet. It’s been a great ride!
What services do you provide?
Tokeet is a management tool for owners and managers of vacation rental properties. Our platform includes a Reservation Manager to centralize bookings, invoices and calendars, a Channel Manager across all the leading listing sites including Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and others, a Website Builder, and an advanced system of Automations that help streamline internal and guest communication.
Equally important, we believe that services are our “killer feature”. We provide daily webinars via the “Tokeet Academy” and 24-hour, live support to our customers.
What would you say are the main things that give Tokeet a competitive edge?
At the core, we are always thinking about the user experience—and ultimately, guest experience too. Our system is designed to be user-friendly, with beautiful design and technical architecture. In particular, I would call out that our system of Automations (automated guest messages) is the best in the business—and we have big things planned in this area and in others this year.
What made you choose this type of business?
As a property owner himself, our CEO saw that there was no perfect solution on the market—and decided to create his own. From my end, after 20 years in ad tech I was excited to jump into the space that’s growing quickly and has so much enthusiasm around it. This space is full of passionate people—owners, managers, technology providers—and we’re definitely inspired and driven by that.
What is unique about Tokeet?
We are a relative newcomer, but are growing fast and our value resonates in the market. It starts with our CEO, who architected a well-thought out, elegant and user-friendly system that uses the latest technologies. We’ve assembled the best team in the space, and are doing it the right way—building products and processes with an eye to the future. From a features perspective, I would have to point our automated emails, aka Triggers, as being the best in the industry. Watch us this year for a series of product releases that will lead the space.
Have you ever turned down a client and why?
We occasionally speak with clients who have a specific requirement or a specific configuration (example: hotel), for whom we aren’t the best solution at this time. Instead of onboarding these customers and doing a disservice on both sides, we add them to our mailing list and keep them posted on our latest updates.
Where did your organization’s funding come from and how did you go about getting it?
Tokeet is privately funded.
What is the potential total market size for your product?
There are millions of property owners, agents, and managers who could benefit from our current, channel management-focused solution. But our goal is to add value to hosts and guests in ways above what we currently offer. We’re all fortunate to be part of a $100B market—and the pie is growing!
How many hosts do you currently work with?
We work with thousands of users around the globe each day.
What is Tokeet’s growth rate?
We grew 10x in 2017.
In what countries or regions is Tokeet most popular?
The global reception of Tokeet has been great. We are popular in the US, UK, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, and Thailand, among other countries.
What company or business, in this area, do you admire the most and why?
Obviously, Airbnb is on any “best of” list as the innovator, disruptor, and company that brought the sharing economy to the hospitality industry. I also think that the original wave of online travel companies have done well in this space via acquisition—for example, Priceline had great foresight in acquiring Booking.com over a decade ago.
To pivot slightly, since I am responsible for our customer success organization, I admire Intercom, which provides us with our customer messaging tools, including the Help Center and the chat widget throughout Tokeet. Their system allows us to automatically engage with customers on certain pages, pull usage metrics, and centralizes all our customer communication on their platform. Comparing that with the older method of client communication centralized in email, Intercom’s product is pretty revolutionary. We aspire to build the same reputation at Tokeet.
To view this article in its entirety, visit theSuper.host.