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Interview With Meg Partridge, Product Officer of HVN our New Preferred Partner

In a globalized world where there is a lot of competition, win-win-win Partnerships are the best option and can be constructive when there is a mutual benefit for all the stakeholders involved. 

At Avantio we nurture these type of partnerships and forge them, to create long lasting relationships where we all listen, innovate and connect together.  

And talking about partnerships, we would like to present our new Preferred Partner HVN! 

We had the pleasure of interviewing Meg Partridge, Chief Product Officer of HVN Travel Group so she can tell us a bit more about who they are, their viewpoint  on the Vacation Rental sector and the add on value of this new partnership with them. 

Tell us a bit more about the history of HVN and how it has evolved within the sector. 

HVN (pronounced “haven”) is defining a new category of stay as the exclusive distributor of wholesale rates on professionally-managed apartment and villa rentals – private “havens” distinguished for their trusted quality, unique amenities, and exceptional value. In partnership with corporate travel programs and professional travel agencies, HVN services employees of Fortune 500 companies who choose HVN as their trusted source of both business and leisure accommodations. 

HVN has grown rapidly since opening its doors in 2018, with over 150,000 unique properties listed on its platform and employees from companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and T-Mobile booking “havens” across a variety of price points in top destinations worldwide.

When you list with HVN, you’ll open entirely new opportunities to boost revenue and occupancy through travelers’ preferred private channels. 

How long have you been in the vacation rental business? What are the most important changes that you have seen in the past 5 years in the industry? 

The HVN team has decades of experience in the travel sector as executives of leading tour operators, investors in alternative accommodation marketplaces, and as villa property managers themselves.

Over the past few years, the rapid rise of short-term rental marketplaces like Airbnb and Homeaway has raised consumer awareness of unique accommodation experiences. No longer a niche offering, short-term apartment and villa rentals have become the preferred option for many people when they travel. However, the promotion of non-professional and illegitimate operators within these marketplaces has led to widespread quality inconsistency and concerning traveler safety issues. As a result, travelers worldwide are increasingly demanding a higher level of quality and safety – seeking out trusted hospitality operators and pushing for the professionalization of the short-term rental category. 

Responding to these trends, HVN leverages its team’s expertise in travel and technology to provide the first online platform for professional property managers to connect with discerning travelers through their preferred, trusted private channels. HVN exclusively lists professionally-managed apartments and villas (called “havens”) and co-markets these properties to travelers in partnership with respected corporate brands and reputable travel advisors. 

In doing so, HVN is setting a new standard for the short-term rental industry, defining a category of professionally-managed “havens” distinguished from both Airbnb-style home shares and traditional hotels for their assured quality, unique amenities, and exceptional value.

The short term rental market has evolved at a fast pace. What is your prediction in the upcoming 5 years for the industry? What are the main trends that you see in the travel sector and how is HVN responding to those trends?

Over the coming years, HVN is well-positioned to be at the forefront of three major trends: the growth of consumer demand for short-term rentals outpacing that of traditional hotel options, the rise of blended “bleisure” travel, and the modernization of legacy travel technology systems.

23% of business travelers and 1 in 3 leisure travelers prefer short-term rentals over hotels, and demand for unique rental accommodations is growing 3.5x faster than hotels. HVN is riding this trend and offering professionally-managed rentals to corporate travelers who have previously only had access to hotel feeds through official employee-only channels.

The rise in interest in short-term rentals amongst corporate travelers is tied with the growing trend of blending business and leisure activities on business trips. This phenomenon, known as “bleisure” travel, is popular amongst corporate employees at both small and large businesses, with 16% of business trip bookings including a Saturday night stay for leisure purposes. When they book through their company’s private HVN feed, business travelers are able to choose unique local accommodations that speak to both their business and leisure travel needs – getting the comforts of home with the confidence of a hotel.

Underlying all of these trends is an evolving technology landscape in which decades-old legacy platforms are being replaced with modern user interface designs and intelligent backend systems that better serve both property managers and travelers. HVN is committed to driving the travel industry forward by combining the best of people-centric hospitality with the best of technology innovation, deploying an in-house team of software engineers and product designers with backgrounds in intelligent systems architecture, natural language processing, machine learning, and human-centered design. HVN is proud to partner with Avantio in leading a new wave of modern travel technology providers, designing systems to enable optimal revenue management for property managers and seamless guest experiences for travelers. 

Which do you think are the strongest markets and which will have the potential to grow within the vacation rental industry? 

SEO is increasingly difficult to crack, and professionally-managed rentals often have a hard time standing out amidst the noise of public marketplaces like Airbnb and Homeaway that actively cater to casual homeshare providers. In contrast to the increasingly saturated and hard-to-crack public markets, HVN’s unique private market channels present the most exciting new opportunity for Avantio property managers to grow market share, boost brand recognition with a discerning traveler base, and increase revenue and occupancy – all with zero marketing spend. 

Within the private markets, HVN projects growing demand for professionally-managed urban apartments and family-friendly vacation homes, as companies of all sizes embrace more flexible work-life arrangements, human resource departments embrace travel as a core benefit to promote employee wellbeing, and Millennials advance into higher-paid senior management roles that enable them to spend more on travel experiences with their young families.

One of the benefits of HVN is that you offer a secure payment infrastructure for guests. How is HVN preparing for the new European regulation PSD2? 

HVN is committed to being compliant with all regulations relevant to our platform. We work with payment system providers that support 3D Secure 2 (3DS2), a straightforward way to support PSD2 requirements. Our goal is to build a marketplace of trusted travelers and accommodations, using modern technology and security practices.

What do you think is the value add- on of the partnership between HVN and Avantio? 

As the exclusive distributor of wholesale-rates on apartment and villa rentals, HVN enables Avantio property managers to access a private global network of Fortune 500 employees who book both business and leisure accommodations at special rates through closed members-only portals.

Listing is free for all Avantio PMs, and there is zero marketing spend required to reach millions of travelers through HVN’s exclusive private channels. The special rates you offer through HVN are typically 12.5%-15% off your public net rate, and they are securely password-protected and not discoverable on public search engines. HVN opens new opportunities for incremental revenue with a previously untapped traveler base – making it possible to fill inventory that would otherwise go unsold while also protecting your price integrity with the general public.

As Avantio’s only Preferred Partner servicing this valuable demographic of corporate travelers, HVN is committed to working with you to boost revenue and occupancy through its private market channels. 

If you wish to connect to HVN through our Channel Manager, get in contact with one of our Account Managers here

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