VRS046 - The vacation rental mobile revolution with Kirby Winfield of Dwellable

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When a vacation rental experience is bad, most people would just write a poor review, shrug it off and put it down to experience. Fortunately for us, the founder of Dwellable, Adam Doppelt didn’t let it rest. In the same way he helped people discover new restaurants when he co-founded Urban Spoon, so Dwellable aims to create beautiful experiences for vacationers when they decide to rent a property.

In this episode I interview Dwellable’s CEO, Kirby Winfield and get the inside scoop on how the company is setting out to differentiate itself from the competition. We discuss some staggering statistics related to mobile search compared to search on PC that will get you looking at your listings and website with a different perspective.


@KirbyWinfield #Dwellable talks with @Cottageguru in this great #vacationrental podcast. Make your listing mobile!

One of the big differences between the Dwellable platform and the traditional listing sites is its focus on the user experience. A Quality Score is given to each listing based on a number of factors that will affect its ranking in search order. For the user this means they are seeing the listings with the highest quality photos, the best reviews, the owner’s social traction and an original description – not the ones that have paid to be at the top. This in itself is a game changer.

Kirby touches on a number of features of Dwellable that are in the pipeline, such as online booking, and a score for quick response to inquiries. It’s clearly an exciting time for the company, and with a $2M cash investment by a group of Seattle angel investors in June, others in the business market clearly think so too.

Listings are currently free so we think you should head on over there and take advantage of this while it’s still available. At the very least, download the Dwellable app and take a look at it from a vacationers viewpoint. That may just persuade you to get on board.

Topics covered in this episode include:

  • The ‘experience of discovery’ on Dwellable
  • What makes a great Dwellable listing
  • Why owners need to cover all the bases demographically
  • The launch of the mobile app
  • Why ‘denial is not a great strategy’ when it comes to being mobile responsive
  • Why shorter session times on mobile devices convert at twice the rate
  • How mobile search on vacation rental terms has overtaken pc search at a stunning rate
  • The importance of hi-res photos and why large photos never need to be shrunk
  • Kirby’s take on phishing and fraud in the industry
  • The easy 4-step process to listing

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The Dwellable app on iTunes

And the app on Android via Amazon

Geek Wire article from 2011 – Hawaiian beach vacation from hell sparks Urbanspoon co-founder to start Dwellable

And 3 years later: Bootstrapping vacation rentals startup Dwellable raises $2M from Seattle angels


Where you can find Kirby:










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