Miguel joined City Relay almost 2 years ago and as our Distribution Manager, he is in constant contact with various departments and oversees a huge part of the process that goes on backstage at City Relay to get a hosts property online and marketed. He is a great member of our team and we’ve had the pleasure to interview him and help you get to know him better!
Tell us a little bit more about you, Miguel.
(Miguel) I come from Lisbon, Portugal. Before starting to work in the hospitality industry, I had the ambition of becoming an engineer. But I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought! Therefore, I move from engineering to hospitality and immediately fell in love with this industry, as it consists of lots of people-to-people interactions. You get to be in contact with a lot of different people and to help make their time staying in a City Relay apartment unforgettable. What is also thrilling for me is to see how fast this industry evolves: we are currently shaping its future and the future of how people enjoy their free time.
You moved to London about 2 years ago. Why did you decide to do so?
(Miguel) I chose to move to London to gain personal experiences. I have already lived some time outside of my home country; in Spain, and then in Brussels in Belgium. The main reason why I chose London as my next destination is that it really is the capital of tourism – not only in Europe but in the whole world – and because it is growing very fast. No one walks here, everyone runs! This is a great place to develop my skills and learn the new trends that are shaping the hospitality industry. On another level, I think it is also the best place to develop oneself.
Once settled here, you started working for City Relay. What attracted you to this company?
(Miguel) Well, I have previously worked in hotels and it was great but there was always something missing. I needed a different approach to hospitality, which I found here. We provide a different experience for guests, about comfort, and most importantly about helping our guests find their home away from home. With City Relay, we can make every stay unique, with specials touches and details that you could not find in a big hotel chain. Furthermore, when I joined City Relay, the industry was quite recent and growing fast: there was so much to learn and to do!
Tell us more about what you do on the team.
(Miguel) I am the Distribution Manager, so my job is mostly twofold.
On the one hand, there is Reservation. I oversee the department, assisting our guests with their bookings and getting in touch with them before their arrival. On the other hand, I deal with distribution. It means that when we have a new host onboard with City Relay, I create the profiles online, connect them to all our channels, advertise them and foster relationships.
Besides this, I am involved in overseeing the development of a new project that revolves around developing new tools to be more friendly in the hospitality industry. I have currently been working on Outswitch, a new start-up aiming at boosting rental revenues and which City Relay has recently acquired.
You seem to really love this industry, especially this industry in London. What are the best things about living in this city?
(Miguel) There is always something happening here. I’ve been here for 2 years and there are still new things for me to discover every day. For instance, I recently went to a neighbourhood I had never been before that is the Hampstead. It was amazingly quiet, and had many parks, although it lies in London city, it felt like a movie set. Another thing I really enjoy in London is how one place can be extremely crowded, and then a 5-minute drive later you are still in London but feel like you just arrived in the countryside.
Could you tell me about the challenges you’ve had to face since being here?
(Miguel) Every day has its own challenges. The biggest I’ve had to deal with since working at City Relay was to fully change our operations software from Kigo, a software that was 7 years old and working quite well, to our own in-house platform, which is relatively new and we are still learning to work with.
What are you proudest about?
(Miguel) Definitely my team. I’ve worked in 4 different teams over the years and I could not be more proud of them. We have a great spirit, amazing communication and everyone works very well and with great autonomy, so it makes it easy to supervise.
Is there one skill that is crucial for doing the work you do?
(Miguel) Attention to details! This one is a must. If I ever have to interview someone and they don’t mention this, it really bugs me as every small mistake has huge consequences in our business.
For you, what does the perfect day look like?
(Miguel) The perfect day would be to wake up and go on an adventure. Nothing planned. I used to do this more when I was living in Brussels. I would go to the train station, pick a destination and go. One time, I went to Paris just for a day, it was great.
Talking about travelling, what is the best destination for holidays?
(Miguel) Go South! Now that I live in Northern Europe, I am just looking for the beach and good weather. I really love going to Spain, since I used to travel there when I was a child. It feels like home.
This interview is coming to an end. Is there anything you would like to add?
(Miguel) Well, I would like to say how happy I am to live and work here in London. In less than 2 years, I have seen enormous changes in this company, in the people and in what we do. I love my job, being able to work for changes and seeing results quickly.
If you decide to short let your property with City Relay, Miguel is one of the friendly people that will take care of your listing and make sure it performs well on the market. Becoming a host is quick and easy, simply click the button below and fill out your details to view your property’s earning potential!