Since its founding in 2016, LocalVR has seen technology as a way to improve, disrupt, and grow in the historically low-tech vacation-rental industry. But as a newcomer to the market in Breckenridge, Colorado; Tahoe, California; and Park City, Utah, the company was getting bottlenecked by manual financial processes and backend systems.
“Creating owner statements and issuing payments was a super tedious process,” says RJ Half, founder and CEO of LocalVR. “We had to take all the reservation information from sites like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Expedia, manually calculate owners’ rental income, subtract the cleaning fees and taxes for each reservation, account for local tax jurisdictions, and use all of that to build the report by hand. It was begging for human error.”
With ambitious goals to expand the business to new regions, LocalVR recognised an opportunity to automate its processes, improve efficiency, and create a better experience for owners, renters, and its own internal team. Looking for a solution that would help it grow at the rate it wanted, LocalVR found Foxbox.
Foxbox, a digital product agency, guides businesses on their online strategies with solutions that are easy to grow and break through technology roadblocks. As a Stripe partner, Foxbox integrates inventive payment systems that adapt alongside business needs directly into its products.
“For LocalVR, we built a tool based on Stripe Connect to easily accept payments from renters and automatically distribute payouts to owners once a month,” says Rob Volk, founder and CEO of Foxbox. “The platform automatically calculates the payouts, removing fees and taxes, to simplify a highly complex process.”
While the platform started out as an internal tool to manage financial information, Foxbox has since added a portal to give property owners insight into their income streams. Combined with a dynamic pricing engine that adjusts rental prices according to key dates and events, Foxbox’s tool, powered by Stripe, is the all-in-one rental management platform LocalVR envisioned.
More efficient and accurate financial processes
When LocalVR first started working with Foxbox in 2018, the team was serving 40 rental units, manually creating statements, and distributing monthly payouts to each owner individually, a process that Half says took three days to complete each month. With Stripe Connect, it now takes one person 30 minutes to complete statements for the 300 rental units that LocalVR now serves.
“I can’t imagine how long our financial processes would take if we hadn’t automated,” Half says. “Our portal now makes sure everything is appropriately accounted for, connecting it all back to owners’ Stripe accounts, where they can see all the historical data from their reservations. It takes something that should be super complicated and makes it incredibly simple.”
100x faster payouts to owners
This streamlined financial-reporting process has also enabled faster payouts to owners. Before teaming up with Foxbox, it took two minutes per client to distribute payouts. Now, Half says, “I just go into the platform that Foxbox built for us, click to distribute payouts with Stripe, and can take care of all rental units at once.”
20% revenue increase for owners
Faster payouts, automated reporting, and dynamic pricing have all added up to increased revenue for owners – up 20% since connecting with Foxbox and Stripe. Having a reliable process that is able to handle demand, coupled with dynamic pricing, has helped increase reservations across the board.
650% increase in active rental units
As for scaling from 40 units to 300, Half and Volk agree it would not have been possible without Stripe. “It would stunt our growth if we continued to do things the old way,” Half says. “We would have had to hire multiple people to handle the volume of work.”
Opening the doors to new rental markets
With Foxbox guiding LocalVR’s digital strategy, and Stripe supporting its financial infrastructure, Half and his team are equipped to continue growing locally and into new markets.
“We’re growing as fast as we can build our team on the ground, so we can provide the same high level of quality and service to our clients and our guests,” Half says. “We would not be able to do any of this without Stripe and Foxbox.”
I can’t imagine how long our financial processes would take if we hadn’t automated. Our portal now makes sure everything is appropriately accounted for, connecting it all back to owners’ Stripe accounts, where they can see all the historical data from their reservations. It takes something that should be super complicated and makes it incredibly simple.
Foxbox Digital is an award-winning digital product agency, headquartered in Chicago. Foxbox partners with SMBs and start-ups to design, develop, and deliver successful digital experiences across mobile and web. It is a Stripe-certified partner that excels at solving challenging payment problems using Stripe. Foxbox is ranked #121 on the 2022 Inc. 5000.
For LocalVR, we built a tool based on Stripe Connect to easily accept payments from renters and automatically distribute payouts to owners once a month. The platform automatically calculates the payouts, removing fees and taxes, to simplify a highly complex process.