The Apartment International (prior TAM) was founded in 2006 with a single room available to rent for $30 a night. Since then the business merged with Lifeafar and expanded to over 40 properties servicing 35 owners from 9 different countries. In 2012, TAM merged with First American Realty Medellin (FARM) to form the single largest furnished apartment rental company serving the foreign market in Colombia, with an additional 40 apartments under direct management. We have since seen our inventory grow to almost 100 properties.
Today, we are the go-to company for not only property management, but a range of other services including sales, design, remodeling and a variety of commercial investment projects.
The fusion of the two companies has enabled us to garner around 70% of the market share of the furnished apartment rental business for foreign tourism in Medellín, and with better efficiencies and best practices we provide greater value to our customers and owners alike.
One of the most important areas where we set ourselves apart from the competition and keep potential new competitors at bay is our complete dominance of all the major search engines and online advertising platforms. Both companies rank in the top 3 and usually at the number #1 spot for all English search terms related to our business. This has taken years of consistent hard work and has been assisted greatly by the great number of satisfied clients that leave positive reviews and comments all over the web.
More recently we have expanded our use of social networks to further leverage our position and our brands. Technology has always played a major role in our development and we are the first company in Colombia to use the Bookt booking platform used by some of the biggest vacation rental companies in the world. This provides the platform for online bookings, advanced search capabilities, real-time calendar and availability information, automated owner reports, an integrated CRM (Customer Relationship Management Tool) with automated responses and real-time analysis as well as many other sophisticated advancements including a multi-platform web front-end that automatically re-sizes for smartphones, tablet or PC screens. These are just a few of the improvements that keep us light-years in front of the competition and on the cutting edge of vacation rental technology. We are constantly growing and adapting to new systems and applications that improve the customer experience, making it easier for our clients to find the perfect rental they are looking for and more transparent for the property owners to see how their investment is growing.
But we don’t just stop there. In the world of vacation rentals the biggest players are the massive global listing services like Homeaway and Airbnb. It’s imperative for our business to be able to not only compete with the local hotels and provide better service at a lower cost, we also need to complete with individuals who can operate with almost zero overhead on these listing services. To that end we have made alliances with all the major vacation rental portals such as Homeaway, VRBO, Tripadvisor, Flipkey, Airbnb and booking.com amongst others to list the properties of our clients not only on our own #1 ranked website, but also featured on the world’s most popular portals giving them exposure to literally millions of visitors each year. We do this at considerable expense as well as providing some of the key services that not even these massive global companies offer, such as free professional photos and video for all the properties we manage, and more recently, free cleaning services as part of our growing list of enhancements for property owners.
What this means is that we are constantly receiving requests (around 70-80 per day) from clients wanting to rent our properties, which means we are able to provide our property owners with the highest level of occupancy available in the market. Since we started recording occupancy levels back in 2008, our occupancy level has increased steadily and consistently over the years and we are closing in on 80% across the board for both short and long-term rentals. This is a testament to our policy of quality over quantity and our commitment to create the best experience for both our customers
and our owners alike.
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