BnBird: a partner we can learn from!
At LUGGit we work every day with our partners. They are important to our activity and we are important to them. With LUGGit, our partners' customers have access to a service that gives them much more free time to see the city without worry. We care about maintaining a strong and healthy relationship with our partners. We like to understand them better, to know them and to know how we can help them more and better. We decided to go talk to Guilherme Afonso and Miguel Correia, founders and CEOs of BnBird:
LUGGit: How did you meet and why was BnBird born?
BnBird: We worked in a production company since 2012, Miguel was a director and I was an audio editor and in late 2015 we had a lot of work. I still miss it when I talk about this, but the area of production is not very stimulating in Portugal and the salaries are not attractive as well as outside. We were doing some institutional films and television advertising, but the deadlines, pressure and stress made us leave. Later we found out that this also gave a lot of stress (laughs). In 2016 Miguel talked to me after a trip and told me about this project a little crazy. There was no money and no one could come in with big capital. Miguel designed the whole financial part and after some meetings, we decided to start the project in 2016. Officially, the company was created in 2017. We started with an interesting apartment, T1, which we manage to this day.
LUGGit: Going back a bit, so why this area?
BnBird: I've had an apartment where I've been doing local accommodation since 2014. I took advantage of the boom and when I started exploring the apartment it was still a time when it was worth buying real estate. Miguel already told me about tourism and about the golden egg henthat is Turismo when we met. Tourism was always part of our conversations. I never imagined opening a tour company, but here I am. And it is a very attractive project, despite the stress and hard work it gives. In the beginning, we did all the cleaning, check-ins, billing, we did the whole process. We now have 12 people with us in Full Time. Our first office was a hall along with several rooms. The landlord put up a dividing curtain and that was our space for a year. It was a very fun part of our journey. Then we moved to another office, something more serious. However, that office started to get small because our team started to grow.
LUGGit: You have 120 lodgings right now. What are the biggest challenges you face?
BnBird: Two things are very important here. We have two different clients: it's the guest and the owner. On the one hand, we want to provide the best for the guest, but we also want to provide the highest possible return to the owner. We have to be hard on one side to favour the other and vice versa. The most challenging part from now on will be dealing with the owners. Because many have realized that the golden age of LA is already beginning to disappear, but it is still very important to manage expectations. Not for tourism breakdown, but for massification. Nowadays there is a lot of competition and I think the yields will start to go down too,so there will also be a lot of people who will want to leave this business. This year was more challenging than the previous ones.
LUGGit: What is the BnBird brand for apartment owners and travellers? That is, what are you as a brand? What do you want the people who contact you to feel? Why should anyone choose BnBird?
BnBird: One of the things we have from the start is trust and closeness. Allthe owners we deal with, from all countries to them BnBird is still Miguel and Guilherme. There is still this relationship of trust with the owners because most of them are foreign. They give us the keys and they are in their countries. They come to visit us from time to time because many have seen Gold and have to come here for a season. There is a lot of this care and attention with the owner. This is what distinguishes us from companies like hostmaker, feelikehome, where such contact no longer exists.When there are meetings where we will see the apartment, we sometimes come across the competition and is often a commercial that represents the company. This has made a lot of difference. One of our goals is to expand. We are already in Porto, and if you ask who is BnBird in Porto is this same person, it is not us. The people whowork with us must have the same philosophy. At the experience level, it turns out to be very transparent because owners also have access to profitability reports. The keyword is always: trust.