Listeners Hear from I-PRAC’s Leaders for the First Time
It’s been one month since I-PRAC announced its biggest recruitment news since the company’s inception in 2016. Professional writer, Neely Khan joined the senior team as Managing Director in September 2023 – marking a new and hugely exciting era of growth for the brand.
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Most recently, in what can be described as an ‘industry-first’, the senior leaders of I-PRAC, Founder and CEO Chris Maughan and Neely Khan made a joint appearance in the STR world’s most highly-anticipated podcast, the no BS short-term podcast, hosted by John Stokinger and Mateo Bradford-Vazquez. This was an excellent insight into Maughan and Khan’s shared vision for I-PRAC – as well as how exactly their powerful partnership came to be.
I-PRAC is sincerely thankful to the hosts of the no BS podcast, for presenting an episode in their signature authentic (and utterly unfiltered) way.
The full episode, titled ‘Remove the Uncertainty with Trust’ can be found on the the podcast host’s main website here, with links to listen on other platforms, at the end of this article.
Part One: Partnering on Values
As listeners would expect from the hosts of the no BS podcast, the episode wasted no time in getting into the juicy details.
Maughan was asked his reasons for appointing Neely Khan as I-PRAC’s new MD, particularly as the brand had gotten off to an influential start from the very beginning anyway. The CEO delved into the story of his and Khan’s first meeting in Cannes, back in 2016 – where he had invited Khan to write for his corporate short-term rental business, AES Accommodation and Events.
Maughan was quickly impressed with the writer’s ability to not only grasp complex ideas through clear and engaging content; but also her proactive nature when it came to industry research (and how this was always carried-out outside of the ‘conventional’ means). The CEO then offered Khan the opportunity to step in as I-PRAC’s lead Content Writer and Senior Research Journalist – where she led larger projects, both from a creative and operational standpoint.
Over the last seven years’, Maughan’s mentorship has enabled Khan to not only evolve as a writer in the short-term rental industry, but as a businessperson, too. Maughan’s experience of over 23 years’ in the industry continues to remain of enormous value to Khan (as she candidly pointed out to the show’s hosts); and the two professionals have always found their working relationship to be smooth, transparent, and void of ego and ownership.
The CEO explained that recruiting senior leaders in a business ‘is not always about experience’. For Maughan, an alignment of values is far more important; and he recognised how Khan has always been on the same wavelength as him, where growing I-PRAC’s brand in the right way is concerned.
The two leaders unanimously believe that I-PRAC’s growth will serve as somewhat of an ‘awakening’ for the short-term rental industry. The business extends much further than just a verification and membership platform – as it enables peace of mind, legitimate practises, and social sustainability for a sector that’s been akin to the ‘Wild West’ for much too long.
Naturally, when you have a business that’s built on the premise of such strong values, it makes sense for the faces of it to be completely aligned on those beliefs, too.
Part Two: Why is Trust Still Not at the Forefront of STR Brand and Marketing Strategies?
I-PRAC positions itself as a powerful marketing tool for more direct bookings.
This is based on years of research (and proven methods) from the team, around trust psychology, trust marketing, and human neuroscience. Just as the biggest brands in the world deploy a clear trust marketing strategy – such as Uber, Apple, and Amazon – I-PRAC believes that STR operators need to earn the trust of their guests’ first, otherwise they will always struggle to fill their calendars.
Chris Maughan’s own STR business is a prevalent example of this; as it has scaled over the last twenty years through direct bookings alone – and now has the likes of Spotify, Netflix, Paramount, Disney, and Ogilvy in its portfolio. Safe to say, the CEO understands the nooks and crannies of growing an STR business to phenomenal heights, through trust.
When asked by co-host, Mateo Bradford-Vazquez, ‘Why is it taking the industry so long to understand the importance of trust?’ , Maughan leaned into the lack of education in the community; and how most operators are fixated on quick wins rather than the long-game – which will come at a cost to the longevity of their business.
Khan added, many STR hosts also carry a ‘self-serving philosophy‘, in that they feel they don’t need to prove that they’re legitimate operators through I-PRAC Approval, because they themselves know they are legitimate anyway. The MD explained how this displays a real ‘lack of hospitality‘ from hosts – as guests deserve to live with 100% peace of mind.
Part Three: The Future of I-PRAC and its Growing Community
Now that I-PRAC’s team has more senior hands on deck, the industry can expect a host of new campaigns and initiatives – all centred around the value of trust and guest certainty.
Maughan is excited to see Khan’s engagement with I-PRAC’s existing members, as she will tap into her years’ worth of STR writing and marketing experience and roll-out a number of content marketing guides and resources to help hosts leverage their accreditation, for more direct bookings.
The CEO also teased the beginnings of a brand-new (and never-been-seen-before) idea that he is working on with Khan – titled the ‘Trustology‘ – which will give STR operators the chance to learn about trust marketing in length, like never before. Both leaders have confirmed that there will be a great deal of ‘consultancy’ involved with this new project – and in typical I-PRAC style, they certainly won’t be doing things half-heartedly.
Khan also talked to the hosts about the industry’s first Rental Fraud Awareness Week. This new I-PRAC initiative is set to launch in the September of 2024 and will dedicate a full seven days of learning about holiday rental fraud (and what can be done to stamp it out). The team will actively start reaching out to industry speakers, writers, panelists, and vendors – who may like to get involved.
For the full scope on all that was discussed in this episode, tune in with the no BS podcast on their website, or on the platforms below. The show hosts put a great deal of hard work into educating the industry, so please do give them a Like and Follow as well:
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