Case Study: "From Real Estate to Professional Short-Let Host"

Interview with Ben Painter, Co-Founder of Dromor & Wheelhouse Customer
Interviewer: Eric Mason, Vacation Rental Enthusiast & Advisor
If you could paint a picture of what the consummate host would look like, how they would make you feel, how they would treat you, you’d get Ben, co-founder of Dromor. Several years ago, Ben was selling real estate in the UK, he was plugging along doing well, and it was decent money. He was approached by Mark, who was the co-founder of Dromor and Mark wanted to get someone in to push Dromor forward. So, he approached Ben with a partnership proposal, and the rest is history. Ben became co-founder and the CEO and day-to-day operator of Dromor.
So, what a minute, what’s with the name? It turns out finding a name for a business isn’t super easy to find. It turns out that Mark, the co-founder, was from a small village in Northern Ireland, called Dromore, and given the challenges of finding a great business name, they dropped the “e,” and off to the races they went… Dromor was born.

Ben, understanding there was a lot of infrastructure to put into place to deliver the level and type of service he wished for his clients, knew he’d need some partners. So, Ben formed a close partnership with a group with a national and regional footprint to allow him to scale virtually without limit. Feeling confident he could deliver on his promises to owners and investors of properties, Dromor began marketing their services in the UK.

Some properties would come in property by property, and some would come in groups. Business seemed to be going well, and things were falling into place. Ben initially used the “gut” method for pricing, so maybe we’d increase pricing by $20 a night to see if it helped or hurt that type of thing. The “gut” method doesn’t use all of the available data in a market to assist with decision-making, so he decided to check out some of the pricing and data solutions in the market. Some he tried early-on didn’t provide the user experience he wanted, and some didn’t have the intuitive graphs, displays, or scoring that allowed him to see a clear picture of the market and the property’s pricing options.

Ben ultimately found Wheelhouse, and the rest is history; he hasn’t looked back.

Wheelhouse has allowed Ben and his team to outperform many others in his market, capturing higher-rated business, optimizing every single drop of value from the properties managed.

Looking after a property’s sales and marketing effort is the tip of the spear. So much needs to line up to scale and continue to deliver against the guest, owner, and investor expectations. Revenue is at the core of a successful engagement with owners; if you can’t perform, they’ll find someone that can. 

Adjusting to a pricing solution isn’t always easy; you can’t take a short view; you have to take a longer view. He knows some managers who are hesitant to invest in performance, meaning the right tools. Time and time again, he eventually sees churn of properties out of those management companies. Sometimes, they come to him. 

Today, being able to prove that you have the right team, tools, and market expertise is critical in recruiting new properties. Given there has been a potential reset regarding how markets may emerge or recover after Covid, now is a crucial time to leverage market and trend insights. 

When Covid hit, Ben saw two years’ worth of business development go down the drain in a few days. It was devastating. That said, Ben and his team discovered a silver lining; they saw a rapid departure from Higher Ed dormitories, and knowing the government had just placed quarantine requirements for inbound travelers, they pivoted to accommodate those in quarantine. That was just enough to get them through the worst we’ve seen so far from Covid. 

Ben is now seeing travel demand return, so he sees that holiday rentals / traditional short let holiday demand come back, maybe a little faster than anticipated. Brighter days ahead. 

To learn more about Dromor, please visit Dromor’s website here

To learn more about Wheelhouse, please reach out to us at