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Celebrating 10 Years of OwnerRez!

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At the end of 2023, OwnerRez finished its 10th full year in business.  To celebrate that 10th anniversary, and to realize a longstanding dream by the founders, our entire team went on a company retreat in the Dominican Republic in early December.

What an incredible journey!  With more than 7,000 customers, 40+ employees, hundreds of partners, and over a billion dollars in processed bookings, we're taking a moment to look back.

OwnerRez Team Photo

(OwnerRez Team during our company retreat in the Dominican Republic)

The Origin Story (Short Version)

The current "OwnerRez, Inc" was founded 10 years ago in of January 2013 by Paul and Chris.

But years before that, back in 2007, Paul Waldschmidt and his wife, Katy, needed a solution to manage their property management business, Shenandoah Rentals, so Paul got to work! Balancing work, family, and building OwnerRez all at once became quite the feat. There were ups and downs - mostly downs! - and the product treaded water for about 6 years until the end of 2012 when Paul got on the phone with his friend Chris and proposed a new joint venture.  The new OwnerRez was incorporated on January 1, 2013.

Before OwnerRez, Paul and Chris were friends who had worked together for many years. Since both were property managers and software engineers, they knew what a property management system needed to succeed.

They spent years working shoulder to shoulder until 2017, when the company started outgrowing its startup phase. Now, we have eight teams of employees, covering 7 time zones and 3 countries, and continue to hire new talent every year. If you'd like to read the longer version of how OwnerRez started, take a look at our story page (a work in progress).

Paul, Katy, Chris, and Devin, the owners of OwnerRez

(Paul, Katy, Chris, and Devin, the owners of OwnerRez, in Punta Cana)

Our 2023 Company Retreat

As a virtual company, we have no physical office, so most of us have only seen each other through a tiny rectangle on our computer screens or at industry conferences. While we have the ability to engage virtually, there's something special about meeting in person.

At the end of our tenth year, and after months of planning, the entire OwnerRez team assembled at the Iberostar Grand Bávaro resort in Punta Cana in early December. There, in the resort lobby, we finally got to shake hands, hug each other, talk, drink together, and connect in person for the first time in ten years.

We were joined in Punta Cana by industry trailblazer, Matt Landau, who facilitated our daily team bonding sessions. During these sessions and the trip as a whole, our team was able to connect and express their personal and professional goals. This time was invaluable and opened up conversations that would have never happened via our typical virtual team meetings. 

What a week!  There was a wonderful Welcome Cocktail Party, group dinners, excursions around the island, nightlife, and more.

We created a dedicated 2023 Company Retreat page, so take a look to see the details and photos of the trip.

Our Principles

Looking back, it would be difficult to talk about OwnerRez's journey without talking about our principles.

A company's principles are like a compass guiding its decision-making and actions. Principles reflect the values and beliefs of the organization and serve as a foundation for how employees interact with customers, partners, and each other.

Over the years, we have worked hard to define clear and well-defined principles, so that we can maintain consistency in our behavior, build trust with our users, and stay focused on our goals.  This has shaped the culture of OwnerRez, creating a sense of purpose and identity that unites our team members.

Below are some of the principles we live by and consistently take into account when making decisions:

People First

We call ourselves a “People First” company (a term coined by Michel Falcon based on ideas from Harvard Business Review), which means, among other things, that we have honest, transparent conversations with our team and customers. We believe in happiness more than a "growth at all costs" environment. As part of this culture, we are committed to being financially responsible. It’s hard to care about your team when you’re spending money frivolously or taking on large amounts of debt, so we don’t do that.

Create Happiness

The root cause of OwnerRez’s success is our commitment to “create happiness.” Creating happiness takes humility and being willing to adapt and evolve constantly. It requires understanding how your team really operates and how your customers really interact with your system, which means you have to measure and understand the details. You have to be skeptical of yourself and your biases. Paul Waldschmidt wrote an article for VRMA called "OwnerRez and the Power of Happiness," which is a short but excellent summary of this principle.

Continuous Improvement

As you may know, we take pride in providing frequent updates to our platform. In fact, OwnerRez releases more updates in a single month than some of our competitors release during a whole year!  Even if they're small, we attempt to release updates every week of the year.  Continuous improvement leads to happiness.

Speed Is A Feature

We pride ourselves on our engineering strength and commitment to improving good features.  Users can "sense speed" in software.  Back in the day, Google beat Yahoo because it was fast and it "just worked".  That sense of power and speed is a feature of OwnerRez, and we take steps every day to measure and watch how fast our features perform and fix where they slow down.  Measuring speed forces you to improve constantly.

The Customer Owns The Data

We believe your data is your data. This is why we have designed OwnerRez to allow you to export your data easily in case you need it outside of OwnerRez. Many other property management platforms block your data or only allow you to access small parts of it.  While we may not have an export button or API for accessing every last piece of data in your account, our philosophy is that you should have access to it (or at least the important parts) so that you can take it with you when you go.  And as we grow and build, we are committed to continuing that tradition.  By the way, this also means we don't sell or share your data with partners!

One Touch Solves

It can take a day or two (or 4 or 5 😞) to respond to every ticket and phone call that comes in.  While we work on improving our response times - and believe me, we are working on that night and day - we make sure that every response is as warm, relevant, and complete as possible.  The only thing worse than not getting a response is getting one that is incomplete or robotic.  While we can't control how much support traffic we get, as a team, we can always make sure to treat each sender with respect and solve as much as we can in the first touch.  "One Touch Solve" reminds us that we only want to see each support case once.  The more times the support case returns, the more we miss that goal.

Others

If you're curious, our other principles are: Perseverance, Manager of One, Perfect Enemy, Be Levelheaded, and Own Your Mistakes.

We won't go through the meaning of all of them, here and now, but each one of these principles means something important to our team.

Principles matter and are integral in the story of how OwnerRez grew and prospered over the last 3,650 days.

The Future of OwnerRez

At OwnerRez, we're always looking to the future and thinking about how we can continue to improve our platform and services to best serve our customers. We're committed to being the best PMS on the market for years to come, and that means constantly improving our support and in-app features.

We're excited about the upcoming features we plan to release in 2024 and beyond, and we'll continue to listen to feedback from our customers to ensure we're meeting your needs. We're dedicated to providing the most user-friendly, efficient, and reliable vacation rental software available, and we're looking forward to continuing to grow and evolve alongside our customers. You may have seen our holiday newsletter, but in case you missed it, check your inbox! In that newsletter, we discussed the highlights from 2023 and some of the features we plan to release in 2024. 

Here’s to another ten years of success! 🥂

18 Comments (add yours)

Beachside Rentals Inc. T
Jan 23, 2024 4:22 PM
Joined Nov, 2019 11 posts

Thank you OwnerRez, we feel so lucky to have you welcome us everyday to operate our business! YOUR ARE A BIG PART TO OUR SUCCESS. 

Cheers to 10 years, cant wait to see what the next 10 years will bring!!

Beachside Rentals Inc.

Alece
Jan 23, 2024 4:29 PM
Joined Jan, 2020 155 posts

Happy decade-iversary!!!! 🎉🍾💃🏻 So thankful for y’all and all the ways you help me run my business well. Congrats on your well-deserved DR staff retreat and cheers to the next decade plus!!! 

AK Getaways
Jan 23, 2024 5:05 PM
Joined Jan, 2023 5 posts

I love OwnerRez! Congratulations on your continued success and happy anniversary!

NickV
Jan 23, 2024 5:33 PM
Joined Jan, 2021 2 posts

Wow! Thank you for sharing.  What an amazing company! I love that you were able to see each other in person rather than just through a computer.  Congrats on 10 years, OwnerRez! 

Ed T
Jan 23, 2024 6:23 PM
Joined Nov, 2023 12 posts

Congrats on completing the first 10 years of a long journey.  I'm new to OwnerRez, but am wondering how I worked without a good PMS for so many years.  The further I dig the more capability I am finding.  You commented on one-touch customer service in your guiding principles.   I have been impressed by the support.  Keep up the good work.

 

-Ed

Smoky Mountain Retreats

Glen R
Jan 23, 2024 7:23 PM
Joined Oct, 2023 1 post

Congratulations to ownerRez on their 10-year anniversary! 🎉 Wishing them continued success in the world of vacation rental management software.

Ventura County V
Jan 23, 2024 8:22 PM
Joined Mar, 2022 113 posts

Congratulations on your first 10 years and here's to the next!

Love having you as a key technical partner for my organization.

Ryan, Ventura County Vacation Rentals

Daniel M
Jan 24, 2024 12:36 AM
Joined Apr, 2016 5 posts

Congrats! Looks like I've been with you for 8 of those, and I still recall my onboarding which included a phone call with both of you (Paul and Chris) to hear my feedback and requests. Hope you don't get bought out ;-) and that you stay the course - here's to the next 10!

Scott J
Jan 24, 2024 1:51 AM
Joined Mar, 2019 153 posts

Thank you for your superior product and service - the exact type of company I like to patronize.

If in the (hopefully very distant) future, you do ever have to sell for any reason, please sell to your employees!

Jennifer S.
Jan 24, 2024 8:56 AM
Joined Sep, 2017 4 posts

Congratulations Team OwnerRez! What an amazing story! Keep up the great work and passion!  

- Jennifer Spencer

The Host Approach

Mar Bella
Jan 24, 2024 10:09 AM
Joined Apr, 2022 1 post

Congratulations to everyone at OwnerRez for 10 years in business! You are a great company to work with, and I hope you much success and prosperity for the next 10.

Stay Rise Rental
Jan 24, 2024 5:58 PM
Joined Dec, 2020 2 posts

Congratulations!!! Thank you for always being so responsive to all of our inquiries. 

Maged B
Jan 24, 2024 6:47 PM
Joined Mar, 2016 12 posts

Thank you for being such a great company as well as a great group of people. You do things with honesty, integrity and with your clients always at the top of your decision making processes. Your support is invaluable.

Milla M
Jan 24, 2024 8:42 PM
Joined Dec, 2021 1 post

We are happy to be part of part of the Story. LOL

Thanks OwnnerRez

CWV
Jan 25, 2024 8:02 PM
Joined Nov, 2019 56 posts

Congratulations to the entire OR team.  Special thanks to Paul and Chris. 

Reading the history or OR brought back many memories.  In 2007, I used Excel to keep records and manage the properties. In 2013 I came across OR I liked it.  At that time, it was a program that you purchased and it resided on your computer.  Wow, you guys have come so far and exceeded expectations.  Thank you and see you in Nashville!

Neerja, Coastal Waves Vacations

Bob and Rhonda T
Jan 26, 2024 3:06 AM
Joined Aug, 2018 6 posts

Congratulations OwnerRez Founders and to each team member on this special anniversary! And to us too for having the good fortune to find you all several years ago! You help us to be successful and it is a comfort to know that you are there and we can trust in you.  Thank you for responding every time I have a question that I need to work out, and for maintaining high standards while delivering with a sense of humor. It was fun to browse through the pics of your team retreat to see you all enjoying your time together.

We are proud to say that we work with the Best!

Beth C
Jan 27, 2024 5:11 PM
Joined Jun, 2017 4 posts

I remember our first email and when I came on board.  At the time, I remember saying that if it worked well for me I would shout your praises from the rooftops!  I have never looked back and frankly don’t even respond to software inquiries.  I appreciate everything about how OR does business.  

Richard and Dallas C
Jan 29, 2024 5:10 AM
Joined Aug, 2020 7 posts

Great job Ownerrez! You have saved us hours of work. Here's to the next 10 years.