Direct launches as an end-to-end Property Management System (PMS) designed specifically for the short-term rental industry.
founders with two winding paths that converged before a huge problem was unearthed.
businesses created within the short-term rental space led to the launch of Direct.
years of using technology in the rental management space and running businesses with SaaS technology.
Co-founders Wes Smithe (CEO) and Chad O’Farrell (President) serendipitously met in Chicago through a mutual friend in early 2015. Prior to meeting, Wes co-founded a global marketplace for professional vacation rentals called Vaystays, a spinoff of a niche marketplace for college football weekend home rentals he helped launch with his previous partners in the late 2000’s called GamedayHousing.com.
While successfully leading hotel & resort business development efforts at Groupon Getaways, Chad witnessed first-hand the impact alternative lodging was making in the travel space, and he quickly decided to make the leap into the startup world joining Wes at Vaystays.
A few years later, convinced by the recent advances in web technology, and the severe level of dissatisfaction among the professional operators supplying Vaystays, Wes and Chad decided to pivot to building a modern, enterprise-grade PMS with native channel connectivity, and Direct was born.
Football weekends got the team into the STR space, but exposure to professional suppliers unearthed the big realization: the industry needed a software update!
For property management businesses to successfully grow & monetize short-term rental inventory, the industry needed to move forward.
Short-term rental managers in many verticals shared similar needs and faced the similar issues with antiquated software platforms that don't scale.