What started as a website for a small group of holiday houses, eventually grew into a website that now supports more than 20,000 homes. Stayz was created as a way for holiday home owners to manage their bookings, online advertising and availability online. The website soon expanded into a complete holiday accommodation directory with comprehensive search, browse, property detail and availability features – an enormous project which was eventually sold to Fairfax Digital for $12.7 million. Chris Sharkey was responsible for software development and online marketing.
The Stayz story is a classic example of listening to your customer. Stayz started as a humble project and ended up being one of the most successful Australian websites still in operation today. Many of the best ideas in Stayz came from the property owners themselves. Their feedback was responded to and the software was upgraded to meet the growing demands of an increasing market.
The Stayz software grew organically to meet the needs of a rapidly increasing base of holiday makers and property owners. The success of Stayz can be attributed to a combination of intelligent software (which made managing an online property listing and website simple), and an unparalleled SEO (search engine optimisation) campaign which had Stayz, at its peak, occupying the top 7-10 of search results for many accommodation queries. In some areas every single result was a website in the Stayz group. This led to an enormous number of bookings. Stayz continues to enjoy success today under the management of Fairfax Digital.