Direct Booker is in Greece

Direct Booker opened its 27th franchise and the first one in Greece. One day while scrolling through Facebook, Theofilos Tsiepas stumbled upon an ad in which Direct Booker announced they are looking for a franchise partner in Greece.

“At that time, I was looking for new business opportunities while regularly monitoring trends in the tourism sector, as I’m the owner of some Airbnb apartments. The most important factor underlying my decision to begin a partnership with Direct Booker, apart from their professionalism, organization, etc., were the profiles of its founders who are self-made, have business acumen, and built the company from scratch, having gained crucial experience at all levels. From my point of view, their business development plan, which is based on the franchise model, is the appropriate strategy for both Direct Booker and the franchise network, as we are talking about a relatively new industry where prevalence will be determined by the speed of acquiring new customers. And last but not least, the in-house development of advanced technological solutions, like Booker Tools, can provide future strategic maneuverability, thus increasing chances for long-term sustainability.”

What was your job before taking the Direct Booker franchise?

“I’m a Commercial & Business Development Executive with MBA studies and several years of managerial experience in FMCG (Fast-moving consumer goods), as well as in the Automotive and Software industries. I have a diversified career in Business Development, Sales, Marketing and Operations in multinational and family corporations.”

What would you say are the biggest advantages of taking a franchise?

Today, more and more entrepreneurs realize the advantages of buying a franchise over starting α business from zero. “You get Know-How, a proven business model, and a strong brand name while being a member of a network; all these factors pave the way for a more profitable outcome. And I must mention DB support, always professional and willing to provide solutions and guidance when the need arises.”

What would you recommend to anyone interested in buying a franchise?

“Not to approach it as an investment proposal alone, but more as something that inspires them and to which they will be committed. To learn and understand it in-depth, before delegating any tasks to partners. Equally important is to identify key factors –such as competition, market size, and trends of the industry, etc.– in order to have realistic expectations and be able to formulate an effective business development plan. In a few words, prepare a good plan and be consistent in rolling it out!”

The COVID pandemic had a great impact on all aspects of business, some of them prospered and some had an enormous loss. The travel industry suffered, but some people, like you, found this situation as an opportunity. Could you tell us more about the current situation in Greece regarding tourism and Vacation Rental Industry?

“In Greece, tourism is the most critical industry, since it corresponds to about 25% of GDP. The approximately 30 million tourists that visited the country in 2019 generated a gross income of over €50 bn. Regarding competition in the vacation rental industry, there are several players, ranging from small, local property management agencies to global companies. The accommodation market is relatively multidimensional, comprising family-run apartments or huge 5-star hotel complexes. I believe that the accommodation market is relatively uncharted and Direct Booker Greece can gain ground and make a difference.

Where do you see Direct Booker and yourself as a part of DB in 5 years?

“I am quite confident that Direct Booker will establish itself as one of the best Vacation Rental Management companies in the world. Honestly speaking, my vision at the moment ranges from a side business activity covering the area of Epirus and the Ionian Islands to developing into one of the largest vacation rental agencies in Greece, based in Ioannina. As the franchise business development partner for Greece, I am quite confident that the optimistic scenario will prevail, because I strongly believe that the technological solutions that Direct Booker has developed, such as Booker Tools, provide a significant comparative advantage and a strong lead over the competition. Hopefully, Direct Booker Greece will evolve into a key strategic partner for the parent company, gaining awareness as one of the biggest and well recognized VRC companies of this industry in Greece.”



Our new international partner from UK


We had a lovely chat with our new international partner VillaMore from the United Kingdom. Adam Thompson, Commercial Director, and Ian Sheekey, CEO, recently visited Direct Booker in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The senior management team at VillaMore has over 50 years of experience in the Vacation Rental industry.

“VillaMore delivers first-class villa holidays, catering for the mid to high-end market. Currently, we have over 3000 properties live across Portugal, Spain, France, Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, and Malta, with new destinations being added all the time.

Offering a diverse range of villas to suit everyone’s requirements, they aim to become a one-stop shop for all destinations, focusing on families, groups of friends, and couples looking for a first-class villa experience.

This past year has been a challenging period for travel and vacation rentals due to the ongoing pandemic, with expectations of further difficult times ahead. VillaMore has implemented new safety measures across all of their villas to ensure the safety of all visiting guests and offered flexible booking if travel restrictions change.

“We would say our biggest success is establishing the brand in a very challenging climate and working with our suppliers and guests to ensure everyone receives the best outcome in this rapidly changing environment.”

VillaMore has used the past year to focus on streamlining the business, making the guests’ booking experience quicker and easier while maintaining a safe and secure booking environment. Part of this process was to change Channel Manager due to increasing villa numbers and automation across all processes.

“We have been using an alternative channel manager for a few years but realized as we increased our offering, the limited functions and unworkable speed limited our progress. Booker Tools has been great to work with, developing the system constantly, and we are excited about the huge potential of the system as we grow the business.

Booker Tools is a Vacation Rental Software developed by Direct Booker, a globally awarded Vacation Rental company. It was completely adjusted to the needs of agencies and is intended for anyone in the vacation rental industry looking for a technological solution.

“As VillaMore grows, the speed, flexibility, and automation of Booker Tools will be advantageous for our suppliers and guests. We aim to move the business towards 100% automation, including booking, payments, reports, and additional services.”

“The market is growing exponentially, and we see our business growing the same way.”

If you’re a Property Manager looking for a quality technological solution that will help you improve your business, try Booker Tools for free 15 days.

“In a job like this, the most important thing is to always understand who is sitting on the other side”

Read something more about our colleague Ana Raguž who started her career in Direct Booker at Information Department, continued in the Research and Development Department, and has recently taken a new position, as a Senior Business Developer. So far, Ana has lived, studied and worked in two world capitals.

Tell us, how did your life look like outside of Croatia?

From my early youth I knew that part of my life journey would be with a suitcase in my hand. When I was 21 years old and completed my undergraduate studies at DIU International University, majoring in International Relations and Diplomacy, I decided to go for a master ‘s degree abroad. After applying to colleges in Barcelona, ​​Vienna and other European cities, eventually I decided to go in Paris and studied master’s degree in International Business Development and Consulting.

My next destination was Belgium, Brussels, where I perfected my French with work experience, which made my life and work in France easier. France is one of the countries where you just have to know language to be able to live everyday life, and certainly the goal of my departure was to build myself in an international environment.

The most valuable things I have gained abroad besides language, are friendships that will surely remain for the whole life. and travel that were an integral part of the bucket list.

Tell us a bit more about your Department and work @Direct Booker?

I currently work in the Global Partnerships Department, as a Senior Business Developer. Although I’m in Direct Booker for some time now, my current position is from October 1st this year. The advantage of working in a company like Direct Booker is that with young staff and professionalism at a high level, perceptions do not play a major role, but only the quality of work.

There are no strict working hours or standard schedules in my Department. Access and communication with potential clients or partners are the most important in our job. Everyday brings something new on the table. 🙂

What are the goals and specifics of your business?

The goal of Senior Business Developer is to achieve cooperation with as many foreign partners as possible through communication and presentation. Our expansion model consists of two types; software Booker Tools and Direct Booker franchise.

When it comes to our franchise model, it is already a bit more challenging. We are the only ones in the world offering such a franchise model, and even the negotiations themselves and the introduction of the client into our core business require extra time and effort. But it ultimately brings a positive outcome for both sides. Partners get a brand and a successful business model. We are currently focused on international tourism fairs and summits that are going online, which we believe will return to normal in the foreseeable future.

Given the current Covid situation, meetings are conducted exclusively online, and the meeting itself is the final part, the whole process of initial communication, preparation, and the whole logistical part. Our current targets are Italy, Spain, and England.

We have set a goal and regardless of the Covid crisis we are moving towards the goal, and every working day is shaping up according to our goal.

Describe one typical working day in your Department.

We do not have the standard work schedule terminology. The workday always starts by checking e-mails and organizing a working day, holding presentations and arranging the next meetings. Since we are still in the process of organizing the whole Department, a lot of the time is taken up for preparation. We do several online meetings on a daily basis.

What is the secret to the success of mutual satisfaction, for you and the client?

In a job like this, the most important thing is to always understand who is sitting on the other side, who is the interlocutor, and then adjust your approach. As for the technology itself, customers always have the same goal, to find the best possible solutions for their business, and it is up to us to offer our PMS and Channel Manager, Booker Tools, which offers everything to a property managers, camps, ho(s)tels, or any agency needs.

If you’re looking for a business opportunity, and know a few things about short-term rentals, we can offer solutions for you: franchise, agency service or software for property management. Contact us and find out more: