Track started as a software startup out of Sevierville Tennessee. It was originally started by Jeff Reef, a software engineer looking to make a better property management solution for Vacation Rental management companies. It changed shape a few times and was originally called ResortZilla.
“I found the software on a trip to visit clients in the area. One of my clients was using the software to run their vacation rental company, I hadn’t seen it prior to that day, and I’m familiar with most, so I inquired about who created it. It took me 2 days to track Jeff down; I took the Smoky Mountain back roads out and found a little stand alone office building, kind of out in the middle of nowhere, inside I met Jeff. He told me that day that he had some folks interested in acquiring the software but hadn’t made anything happen yet. I told him not to do anything until we had a chance to talk. 2 months later we closed the deal. We were going to take his current software and reshape into an industry leader in the Vacation Rental and Resort space, which was the space we came from with ResortsandLodges.com. We decided to change the name to Track and begin developing 3.0 which is what we have taken to market” says Investor and principle owner, Matt Renner.
Track is all about helping the independent unique lodging companies. The team calls them Lodgiers. All they want to do is level the playing field for the small businesses, by giving them technology to help them compete with major brands, while on a small business budget.
Matt and his colleagues were in the hospitality software business with ResortsandLodges.com (Ryan Bailey, Charles Bailey, Matt Renner) and they had created software for independent properties in the past (RezTracker). RezTracker was created by Charles and Ryan in the late 90’s, early 2000’s. So they were looking at either starting a new software or acquiring around this time. When he met Jeff, Matt was convinced that Jeff already had a great vision and a great start to his software, Matt helped make that vision a reality and gave him a platform to see his vision come to fruition.
“We also brought on some other key people such as Dan Johansson who is the lead engineer and visionary on TrackPulse to really take it to another level. We currently have the only system in the world for independent lodging companies that combines a fully cloud based property management system and call center / reservation sales and marketing software, integrated into 1 system” he says.
In this business, there are certain times of year companies are going to want to make a switch and implement new software and making sure that their sales and product match up with those time frames has been a challenge for Track.
“Any reservation system can make a reservation. In fact, all can. Ours is the only property management system that has reservation sales and marketing software built-in, for Free. We not only help generate the leads, but we nurture in a way that only the very large companies currently do. For example, one of our first customers will combine 3 systems into 1 and save $1 Million in software costs every 5 years by switching to Track. They aren’t losing any functionality either. We see that as a big problem we are solving” he added.
Matt feels that rather than worrying about competitors, they are really just focused on what they are doing to build amazing tools to help their target customers, independent lodging companies.
Their goal is to build a long-term sustainable company that returns great shareholder value. In a time when a major lodging revolution is happening with vacation rentals and unique lodging, he feels lucky to be working on a project that would create an impact on the industry.
“If Track can become one of the 2-3 most widely used systems worldwide, I think we’d all be very pleased. We are an enterprise company, so naturally we cater to businesses. Our core focus with this product is unique lodging companies, Vacation Rental Management companies and Resorts” Matt says.
They currently monetize the software through SaaS services that they provide to their customers.