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News, stories, and insights from within the vacation rental industry.


We Used Elance To Learn About Our Competition

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Our team is halfway through our journey to Austin aboard the StartupBus, and things are starting to come together. The guys are busy hacking the core components of our mobile app, and I’m coming up with ways to get our story out there. A critical part of building Smart Host is knowing as much about the ecosystem we’re entering.

As we began to discuss how our service will fit into the market, we quickly realized that we didn’t have a clear picture of our competition.

We started to ask ourselves:

Pressed for time and our “To Do” lists growing, we turned to Elance to help us paint the full picture. We logged onto our account, explained what we were looking for, and clicked Submit.

Shortly after, we started receiving proposals for people to start working. We provided the listing with an example Excel spreadsheet to show exactly how we wanted the data to be displayed. Some gave us a few entries on our own project to see the exact quality, and some showed us some of their past work. We sifted through the quick resumes, and settled on someone.

A few short hours later (sweet, precious hours) we all had a nice list of companies to review and help make Smart Host better than them all. I highly recommend Elance if you know what you want, but don’t have time or resources to get it done yourself.

Pro Tip: Explain every step of what you would like to see in detail. If it’s data entry, make a spreadsheet with some initial data in it. If it’s a logo, send them some sketches to work off of. Even send them logos you don’t like. The less ambiguous the better!

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