MyVR - About Us
The Open Platform for the Vacation Rental Industry
We Started by Scratching Our Own Itch
In 2012, MyVR co-founders Jonathan Murray and Michael Stachowiak were lamenting how difficult it was to manage their vacation rental properties while working full-time job. While there appeared to be dozens of legacy software solutions for larger professional property managers, we saw nothing targeting the small property manager or individual owner - and among those legacy solutions, nothing that seemed modern or easy-to-use. Having just successfully sold their prior startup, Jon and Mike teamed up with Markus Nordvik and agreed to commit the next phase of our lives to solving this challenging problem.
A study around the same time (by Global Radius Market Research) showed that about half of all professional property managers in the US fit into this size category - too big to exist operate well without software but too small to make the clunky legacy solutions geared towards large PM’s work. As a matter of fact, the study showed that almost 2/3rd of small property managers didn’t yet use software and almost half of them didn’t even have a bookable website! This is in addition to the 57% of the US vacation rental market that doesn’t even use a property manager and are rented directly by the owner - virtually none of whom used software and very view had their own property websites!
We saw this lack of technological tools to be a real problem, particularly for a $100 billion industry that seemed to be on the verge of explosive growth. It seemed then that the need for software was only going to increase as vacation rentals continued to go mainstream, competition increased, distribution channels expanded, and bookings and payments moved from almost entirely offline to almost entire online. The days of activities like faxing contracts, depositing paper checks, sending emails manually to inquiries and renters (across multiple distribution channels) were over. Software would become a necessity, given where the industry was headed.
A Big Problem Requiring a New Solution
MyVR is on a mission to build the most robust and easy-to-use software available to vacation rental owners and property managers. More than that, our goal is to build a powerful open platform for the alternative accommodations industry.
With our open platform approach, we’re focused on building robust and powerful software for owners and property managers, while also opening up to outside developers and service providers to build on top of our platform so that our customers will always have access to best of breed products and services, connected with the software they use to run their business.
This is a huge win for owners and property managers, because it means they’re no longer stuck with archaic, legacy solutions who have built proprietary, vertically integrated systems which box you in, hold your data hostage, and limit your choice of features and functionality. As our developer community continues to grow, customers will increasing access to great technology solutions and services without ever needing to change software companies.
Our Industry Is Built on Respect. So Is MyVR
Your vacation rental business relies on the quality of your relationships—with guests, service providers, and the owners you work with. MyVR is focused on achieving results and getting things done for the owners, property managers, and third-party developers we work with. We’re committed to doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, putting people before personal agendas.
The Team Behind MyVR
Jonathan Murray - CEO
Jonathan leads MyVR's product development, corporate strategy, and business development. Before starting MyVR, he co-founded Lift Media (acquired), a lead generation company that worked with clients like American Express, Netflix, and Fandango. He started MyVR after being frustrated with setting up his own Sonoma cottage as a vacation rental. He studied engineering at Bucknell University and received his MBA from Stanford University.
Favorite Vacation Spots: New Orleans, Hawaii, and Ireland
Mike Stachowiak - CTO
Mike heads up engineering, setting the platform architecture and technology strategy. He's a serial technology entrepreneur and owner of a Lake Tahoe vacation rental. Before MyVR, he co-founded two other companies, Lift Media (acquired) and 4INFO ($70M+ raised). His lead generation and technology experience has helped him find innovative ways to make vacation rental marketing easier. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan with a degree in computer engineering.
Favorite Vacation Spots: Lake Tahoe, Munich, and Virgin Gorda, BVI
Markus Nordvik - COO
Markus is responsible for engineering operations, technology integrations, and customer success. Formerly, Markus was the Co-founder and VP of Engineering at 4INFO, leading a team of 35 engineers building a mobile advertising platform. He received his BS degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University.
Favorite Vacation Spots: Barcelona, Chicago, and Istanbul, Turkey
Jesse Kasky - Sr Software Engineer
Jesse was the first member of our software development team, and he has been instrumental in architecting our platform. He wrote his first piece of software when he was 9, and has not stopped since. Previously, he has worked at Hotmail (pre-acquisition), Microsoft and more recently spent 7 years at Google.
Favorite Vacation Spots: Big Island HI, Costa Rica
Tristan Brotherton - Product Design / UX Engineer
Tristan is a tactician who loves to build great products, possessing a rare combination of design, UX, and software development skills. Tristan specializes in designing products from the ground up, honing his craft at numerous startups over the past decade. Prior adventures include founding an outsourcing company in Ukraine and several start-ups.
Favorite Vacation Spots: Anything that floats.
Bill Zeller - Software Engineer
Bill is a full stack developer, building features from the ground up. He left a 7 year career as a litigator in 2013 to pursue the more interesting problems presented by coding, surfing and traveling in South America. Bill has an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and a law degree from Northwestern University.
Favorite Vacation Spots: Pichilemu, Chile; Florence, Italy
CJ Avilla - Sr Software Engineer
CJ meant it when he set out to learn the full stack: in 2011 he deployed to Afghanistan and built a network for 50,000 subscribers over satellite, fiber, radio and microwave for the Army, all from scratch. In his past lives, CJ has been an instructor at the App Academy, written code to track insider trading, and programmed liquid-handling robots.
Favorite Vacation Spots: Las Vegas, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe
Danny Eiden - Software Engineer
Danny is a software developer with a bias for action, focusing on rapidly coding up requirements and getting features into the hands of the customer. He graduated from Northwestern University summa cum laude with a BS in computer engineering, where he TA'd a startup class.
Favorite Vacation Spots: Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Paris
MyVR is thankful to have some of the best and most helpful angel investors out there.
We couldn't do it without them. The long list include awesome folks like Y Combinator,
SV Angel, Chris Dixon, Alex Rampell, Paul Buchheit, Clem Bason, and Ben Boyer.
MyVR is a graduate of the Y Combinator program.