Kigo Blog

The Faces of Kigo: Meet Karen Miles

Vacation Rental Growth Secrets

We created the Faces of Kigo series to showcase the unique individuals at the core of our business.

Meet Karen Miles, Implementations Team Leader based at our corporate headquarters in Richardson, Texas. Over the course of her career, Karen Miles has worked for business-to-business service providers both large and small in a variety of sales, account management and training roles. She has enjoyed working for an educational software company as well as a recycling company, with their positive impacts on children and the environment respectively. But she says her position at Kigo is her favorite ever. Karen and her husband are devoted parents to three cats, as well as a chihuahua that serves as mascot for a local softball team, while Karen fills in as scorekeeper! They are both very active in their local church and clubs.

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Learn more about Karen:

Why did you choose to work at Kigo, and what do you love about your job?

One thing I really like about my job is the Kigo software itself, which means a lot since I am working with it all day long! I love how easy it is to use and how it saves so much time for our clients, for example by updating listings across marketing channels. Though of course I know the system well by now, I find myself digging deeper into it and trying out new ways of doing things; it keeps life interesting! Beyond this, it’s so gratifying to have a job that’s about helping people be more successful in their businesses. I love hearing from them when they’re adding new properties and growing, because we get to be part of it.

How do you approach finding places to stay when you travel?

Prior to working for Kigo, I used Expedia or Orbitz to find lodging during my travels. Working for Kigo has opened my eyes to new options for lodging. I love the concept of staying at a vacation rental where you have the conveniences of living at home or at a resort depending on your needs. My husband and I visited Washington D.C. during the July 4th weekend and stayed at a vacation rental.  We loved it. Our hosts were very responsive to our needs, and had information waiting for us about the area. We both recommend checking out vacation rentals to our friends and families, and they too have found them to be a wonderful alternative to hotels and other forms of lodging.

What do you look for in a vacation rental? What do you avoid?

After checking availability, I look at the location and amenities. Then I narrow my choices down by reading the online reviews.

Reviews are crucial to determining where to stay.  I avoid rentals that have few or no reviews, as well as those that have multiple negative reviews. If I find a property that I’m really interested in with a bad review, I check for the host’s response or send the host an inquiry.

I do have a pet peeve: I avoid staying at a place that doesn’t meet my parking needs. I do not want to pay additional money for parking at the place I’m staying while on holiday. I don’t pay to park at home, so I really don’t feel like paying for parking to sleep somewhere else.

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How can property owners make their vacation rentals more appealing to travelers like yourself?

I think professional photos are key. Not multiple views of the same room, but one nice shot of each room, along with the exterior and surroundings. If there are extra amenities such as fitness facilities, a pool or a sauna, I’d include a photo of those as well.

As far as the copy goes, I feel that less is more. A lot of people don’t have time to read lengthy descriptions. Of course the advantages and amenities should all be covered, but there is no need to write a novel. I do think including a short paragraph about the property’s proximity to transportation and attractions is helpful.

As we continue to explore the Faces of Kigo, you will meet more members of our global team working every day to create the best products in travel. Stay tuned!