Feb. 16, 2022

Raising the Bar for Women in Tech, with Guesty President/COO Vered Raviv Schwarz

Raising the Bar for Women in Tech, with Guesty President/COO Vered Raviv Schwarz

In today’s episode we are joined with Vered Raviv Schwarz, President/COO of the property management platform Guesty.  We had the pleasure of meeting Vered at the Women’s Conference at the end of 2021, and got to listen to her speak about being a female entrepreneur in a male dominated tech world. An advocate for women in business and technology, Vered shares with us stories from her career that led her to understand that you can truly do anything you put your mind to, and that with the right amount of hard work and determination, anything is possible.  

Vered has over 20 years of experience in private and public companies, including some of the most successful companies in the Israeli tech scene. Prior to starting her career in technology companies, Vered was an attorney at one of  Israel’s prominent law firms, focusing on M&As and IPOs. During her career, Vered helped technology companies scale, go public, acquire companies and get acquired. She was the first executive at Fiverr and helped grow the company from 40 people to a global organization. Vered holds LL.B and LL.M from Tel Aviv University and serves on the advisory board of several startups, while participating in mentorship programs focusing on female entrepreneurs. Vered has been featured in prominent media outlets including Forbes, USA Today, Entrepreneur and The Next Web. She has also shared her insights at numerous events including The Next Web, Skift, Phocuswright and more.

Watch on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/uZvAlIMQ5Yo

Learn more about Guesty here: https://hosts.guesty.com/?r=alexandannie

CONTACT VERED RAVIV SCHWARZ
vered@guesty.com

CONTACT ALEX & ANNIE
AlexandAnniePodcast.com
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram

Alex Husner - Linkedin
Annie Holcombe - Linkedin

Podcast Sponsored by Condo-World and Lexicon Travel

Transcript

Alex Husner:

Welcome to Alex and Annie. I'm Alex. And I'm Annie. And we're here today with Vered Raviv Schwartz, President and COO of Guesty. Vered, welcome to the podcast.

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Thank you wonderful being here with you, Alex and Annie.

Alex Husner:

We're so excited to talk to you and hear all the great things that you have going on at gesi. But, you know, it's been such a pleasure getting to know you a little bit more, we met at the Women's Conference and got to see you speak on some panels and really dive into your background, which is just fascinating. So let's get started. Can you give our audience a little bit of a background on who you are, and what you've done up until the point of getting to get it?

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Sure. So my background is is of law. Actually, I started my career as a lawyer doing IPOs and mergers and acquisitions. And then during the year that, you know, we call the tech, the first tech bubble, in 2000, I decided to join an organization and really start leading from within rather than being it on a consultant role, and have been doing that ever since. So started with Radware, a public company traded and as that and since then have been to four other companies. So guest is actually my fifth company. I also expanded my roles was starting from General Counsel added operational roles and other roles until my current role as president and CEO. I think it's also interesting that my previous company, Fiver, also public company, traded in the US. I joined them as the first executive when there were only 40 people and really built a team from the ground up, built the organization at built to scale up to six years later when I left them to join gessie. And I found out that this is really what I love doing love joining organizations when I think there's a great product, a great market to think about and help them really grow scale and become an international global, large organization. And this is what I've been very fortunate to do. It gets the for the past almost four years now. Wow.

Annie Holcombe:

That's, that's amazing. And so you're so you're with Guesty. And what I guess I would ask you, What drew you to them with all your background, and again, mergers and acquisitions and, and the different companies that you've been with this is a guy in the vacation rental space is a different space. So what about them was intriguing to enough to join?

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Well, I think that when I look, to join a company, I really want to feel to be exciting enough and disruptive enough. I want to be able to make an impact, not only in my role, but in the industry, I joined. And when I joined the five for my previous company, I felt that We're disrupting the way people work, in a sense, you know, people nowadays can work from anywhere. And anyhow. And you know, speaking of, you know, my special interest in promoting women and other minorities, I felt that that's a way where everyone, even if they don't have the backing, the funding can start their own business. And I found the same type of interest and excitement when I joined guest in the short term rental industry. It's again, an industry of Intrapreneurs of self made men and women that had the passion for something and could start their own business by providing an elevated guest experience by innovating in the way they treat the field of hospitality. And I was really drawn into that intrapreneurial spirit and how we are disrupting the way people live and travel. Basically, if you think about it, short term rentals is far broader than you know, just hospitality, especially nowadays, when people change their way of living and can really work from anywhere, live from anywhere, move from one place to the other and use the short term rental industry as a way to promote that new way of living. So I found all that extremely exciting.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, that's, that's interesting that two different companies, how they actually are quite similar, in a way, you know, it's an interesting background, and I can see why I guess it would be drawn to you to bring you on as president but Andy and I just used Fiverr when we started the podcast to record our intro and outro and we got you know, the voice talent, the music and it was a great experience. I've never used it before but it's it's amazing when you see, you know, these different options that people have now it's so much just happened in the last year because of the pandemic of allowing people to be able to be more flexible with where they live and work. And I think fivers is definitely one of those elements of that's enabled, you know, this shift and travel, the shift in lifestyle that we're seeing that affects us on the property management side. And, you know, the the people that we're having that want to come and stay long term, and they want to stay for a few months, man, it's just, it's amazing to see how everything kind of has cascaded down. But really interesting. Very interesting.

Annie Holcombe:

So I think that one of the things that we talked about was, again, meeting you at the Women's Conference, and we kind of dove into women in industry and and elevating women in industry. And so you mentioned in the onset here that you know, you wanted to help elevate elevate women in the industry. So are you doing anything currently are you are participating in any programs, maybe within Europe, or within the US that are focused on on that on women in tech, maybe or women in vacation rentals,

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

both I joined thrive as a mentor that is focused on women in travel. Previously, I mainly focused on women in tech, there is a forum called a women founders forum that was actually founded in Israel, that is kind of a an accelerator for women intrapreneurs. So we take women when they're in the first stages of building their company, and really help them. Think about the business about the strategy about growing your organization about funding, about a lot of you know, management issues that come along in the first stage of the company, I'm happy to say that there are a few women that I've mentored in the early days of their company, and the company's really grown and succeeded and went through several rounds of funding since then. So it's a great feeling to feel that you're there for women in the beginning of their career. I also volunteer in a lot of organizations, for women in terms of advancing their careers, pro women, and she works and other organizations that there's a Google conference for moms, that was created to help young women that started a family and want to make sure that they don't lose touch with work. And you know, think about the next phases of their career. All those organizations or organizations that I'm involved in and was involved in, and always happy to contribute in general to young or older women. Yeah, that come to me with questions. A lot of times they get, you know, just requests from women into industry to consult and to ask questions about during next steps about their company's next steps. And I can't say I don't help men, then the industry as well. But I really try to give priority to women, because I think they have less of the resources and the context to help them. And if I can be such a resources, I think it's my obligation to do so.

Annie Holcombe:

No, that's great. And I think we talked about it and, and Alex and I talked about it kind of several of our guests is that we had a lot of men along the way that mentored us. And not necessarily that there weren't any women that mentored us, but we just had more men. And I think that their women weren't stepping into that role of being mentors, because they were fighting their own battles to kind of crawl up that ladder, if you will. And you mentioned being a part of the Thrive, women in travel comm excuse me, I was part of that in the beginning to a lot of several of the of my previous co workers from Expedia launched that. And they had asked me to be involved. And it was, the timing of it was perfect. Obviously, we had a lot of free time on our hands with how COVID happened. But the thing that was really glaring or not glaring, it was It was eye opening to me, is that how disproportionately women were affected by COVID. And that, you know, like, I think it was just a vacation rental 60% of the of the people that work in the industry, our women, and they were the ones that were leaving in droves, because again, they were having to be caretakers and educators and moms and you know, leaving their businesses and some have not come back to the industry. And so we've lost a lot of really, really smart minds, a lot of really talented people, not just a COVID, but just the impacts of COVID along the way. So I am so glad that you're involved in organizations like that. It's really, it's really important that all of us can participate wherever, you know, wherever we can.

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Yeah, and you bring a good point that I think that all of us when we're young, we have our own battles, right. And I think that only in that, I'd say the past like 10 years have I also made a point of helping the younger generation because I used to be that You know, woman juggling a lot of stuff around and fighting for my place. And I remember the exact date actually where I chose to be more involved and do more for other women. And it was in an event of the of the an investor that invited the C suite executives for, you know, a portfolio meeting. And there were about 50 people in the room, and I was the only woman, okay, with, like, 50 people, with me being the only woman. And I looked around and I said, this is just, you know, this is not right, this is something that we need to do something about it. And from that day on, I really decided to write about it to post about it, too. If if you look at medium I do some posts about, you know, women in tech and women's career and get more involved, volunteer more help other women more, because if we won't do it now, when you know, we can, and no one else would.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, and I think I've noticed just this past year at conferences, I mean, so much has changed versus just two years ago, probably when you used to go to these events that there are definitely more women being on panels, there's more women being involved, being asked to contribute, which is, you know, testament to what's going on. I mean, you know, your guests are coming to you knowing, I would imagine I'm not positive, but did they set out to find a female CEO, CEO? Was that a criteria for them?

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Actually, I don't think so.

Alex Husner:

Okay, okay. Yeah, cuz I mean, some companies are specifically now targeting that, because they, for the right reasons, when they want to have a female leader, where before it's like, I don't, it wasn't like that. But

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

diversity, it's the right thing to add, there's a lot more focused on diversity. Yeah. Which is great. By the way, I just have our, you know, latest data, because we had the 2021 summary. And we have 44% Women at castI, which for a tech company is here, you know, way above average, I still, you know, hope for about 50. But 44 is not bad. And it's something that I can't say that we try to hire women on purpose. I really believe that if you want to have a diverse team, and if you really are open minded, when you hire and when you interview, and when you allow diverse people to interview, so you have more women, interviewing and not just men, the likelihood that you will find yourself with a diverse team is just bigger, right? Yep.

Annie Holcombe:

Yeah, one of the things that they mentioned at the Women's Conference, and we talked about this in our pre interview is that women don't apply for jobs until they feel like they are completely and totally qualified. So in your, in your experience, if you've got a resume, and you saw someone that maybe was applying for a lower tier job, but you saw that they were more experienced, or maybe could be pushed up could elevate it up to push it into into a role. Would you do that? I mean, I wonder, again, if women are applying for jobs, are they you know, are companies looking for them to to find ones that are maybe diamonds in the rough or ones that aren't giving themselves enough credit for their skill set?

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Well, I'll tell you a few things. First of all, a you encourage women to apply for rules, even if they don't meet every you know, check every box on the job description, because no one does. Usually people don't check all the boxes, right? And if others are applying, and you're not applying, you're losing out. So you just have to put yourself out there and apply to as many positions as you can. In terms of the way I see it. We really believe in giving people a chance. And by you know, sometimes taking people from different backgrounds and different experiences, because diversity is not just gender, right? Diversity is the industry you're coming from the roles you played in those industries, your life experience that your your that Where did where did you grow up? And What languages do you speak and what cultures are you coming from? And having a diverse team elevates the discussions and gives more perspectives and more points of views. And eventually, we believe it brings a better product and a better you know type of service to our clients. So many times in my past, I've hired people that that actually never did the job that they applied for but I said this person could be really good at x because They bring this, you know, very unique angle, or they come from a role where they managed a lot of people. And you know, although now they're managing them in a different area, still, management skills are extremely important. This, you know, specific role or understanding the customer is very important, even if you're coming to a product role. So maybe you were in a customer facing role, but you can still be a great product manager, for example. So, and definitely, for us bringing people in from hospitality, even if they weren't in tech in the past, but they really understand hospitality, we believe they can bring additional value to us as a tech company, because they really understand the client, they really understand the pain points, or, you know, the perspective of the clients using the product, which is also valuable. I think,

Alex Husner:

Annie, I can't remember who it was recently that said this to us. There might have been Ali Callimeti, that said, you can teach a skill, but you can't teach will, right? Yeah, I mean, you can, if you have somebody that you know, they're you, they've got the right personality traits to fit in with your organization. And you see them having that desire to rise up and be able to learn new things that's so valuable to a company and having the right fit of a person, I think personality wise, is ultimately going to be better than having somebody that just checks off all the boxes skill wise, and you got to have somebody that meshes with you, and your leadership styles work together. So that's really important. But you know, in our industry, I do think that is an important part on guessing and what what you do that the knowledge of hospitality and how we all use software and the user needs and personas, you do need people that actually are familiar with with, you know how that is actually done. And we do see in some of these companies that they are very tech heavy on developers that are not experienced at all in hospitality. And there might be some leadership that has a hospitality experience. But you can see that there's a disconnect between what the leadership brings to the table and what is being developed that it's like, sometimes you almost feel like you're speaking two different languages. Right. So that's a challenge. But I think, you know, its guests has just been, it seems like as an overnight success, it's not exactly an overnight success. But it is a fairly quick success for us that started in 2014. Right? Yeah. And as a property management company.

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Exactly. So I think the interesting thing is that the company started off as a property management company, seeing the success of Airbnb, that was a very young company back then, today. And I mean, I'd so to our CEO and his identical twin brother, actually, we're speaking about the fact that Airbnb is exploding. But the experience of you know, renting out an apartment is so cumbersome, just doesn't make sense. And then they came up with this idea of a property management that is very, you know, tech focused a lot on, you know, automation and streamlining processes. And that's where they started off, apply to Y Combinator with the idea, and it started there in San Francisco. And after about two years, they understood that there really are better at, you know, technology, then really understanding those pains of hospitality and laundry and all that. Yeah, we're now maybe tech geeks should stick to tech, provide that technology to other amazing property managers out there that are focused on hospitality, which is something I really believe in, by the way that hospitality brands should focus on hospitality and really allow us to help them solve all the technical pain points. And this is what we've been doing since since then since 2016. And we've been growing ever since quite dramatically, with the help of our customers that have been growing with us. Yeah,

Alex Husner:

yeah. Yeah, we were speaking earlier and I mentioned that your presentation at VRMA the booth that guest he had was quite impressive, right, it was one of the larger ones there and you you had a big staff with you and a lot of really, just you can tell the people that were there were very excited about the product that they were showing us and you know, wanted to show us a demo immediately and we set one up and we got to see it in action and it's it's a great product so it was exciting to see and it to me it's like it's just I feel like we've seen the the the big ones we've seen streamline Waseem track for a long time. And it just seems like gessie All of a sudden is just kind of booming right right along so it's it's nice to see another big player come on the scene and it looks like you guys are checking A lot of the boxes for a lot of those different use cases. So for multi use condo condo resorts for smaller managers, for larger managers for individual property owners, can you speak a little bit to how you've built that product out to be so robust to speak to all those different types of personas?

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Sure. So I think we started with what we call the, you know, the middle size players from five units to, you know, 100 200 units. And then I believe we kind of grew and matured at with the needs of our customers or customers grew, and all of a sudden, they had full buildings or full floors and complexes, and they needed solutions to fit those new needs, whether it's, you know, just a multi unit management. That, of course, is very different than individual homes, in terms of, you know, the, the ratings and reviews and in terms of just the, you know, the occupancy management, and rates, and so on. So we really started catering for those needs, and building out, you know, the accounting model for different business models, add data and analytics, because we understood what kind of data our customers need to take on, you know, data driven decisions in their business, and so on and so forth. So I really feel did a product developed with our customers growth and development. In addition, we didn't serve the very small customers like up to five units until recently, but with the acquisition of your porter, and it's repackaging rebranding as guest for host this year. Actually, it's last year, right, because we just started a new year, as in just just last November, we relaunched gesi for hosts. And now we also have that self serve mobile first product to help the small players because we believe that even the small players can benefit from automation, and do better operation and just get that you know, peace of mind of someone helping them take care of all that really cumbersome work of managing properties. So even if you have one or two properties, it can be a lot of work. And it can, you know, really kind of jeopardize your day to day or your day job if it's not a full time job. Or just give you the ease that someone is responding to customer requests, and you know, automating some of the check in and checkout processes, things like that, that, you know, I think everyone needs. So now I really feel that we cater for all different needs and personas. And it was an evolution and it will stay in evolution. And I believe we will continue to add new features and new products and new ways to help our customers as they grow and evolve.

Annie Holcombe:

One of the things that we talked about in all this that you guys are doing is that you're you like to be very collaborative with the industry. And and having been around for 20 plus years in it. I know that initially the industry started very siloed. Everybody did their own thing. People didn't want to share data, people didn't want to share API information. It was all about your your being your own entity in China trying to compete with each other and not be collaborative. And so you talked a lot about that. Your collaboration with other channel managers and other pieces of the connectivity ecosystem. So could you tell us a little bit more about you know, why that you think that that's good for the industry and why you guys are focused on that?

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Sure. First of all, being a tech company, we're used to a lot of collaboration from different tech players. That's where we grew up. Right. That's, you know, I think that collaboration increases innovation helps the industry helps the entire ecosystem. And doesn't matter which industry you're in. Now specifically for hospitality. We started with our marketplace early on, I think now there are a couple of players that have, you know, a marketplace offering. But we really started early on believing that that connectivity is key, and that we can develop everything, even if we have like 20 different products and features within gesi. We can never develop anything, everything and sometimes it also doesn't make sense, right? I'll give you an example smart home automation. Okay, I'm not going to start manufacturing smart locks right now. But I am going to offer a good solution that plugs into guestkey Because that's what my customers want. They want the ability to manage everything from the guests, the dashboards, and they want to be able to toggle a lot of different solutions on to the guest three dashboards and that is what we're offering We have several dynamic pricing tools, solutions that are plugged into the guest the system, we have, you know, luggage solutions, we have, you know, insurance solutions we have, you name it right? Every every possible solution out there in the ecosystem is plugged into guest you one way or the other. And of course, also the channels, we have direct integrations, but we also offer channel managers offering additional integrations that, you know, could be niche could be for a certain geography. Sometimes there are, you know, solutions that are necessary in certain regions or states and are not necessary in others. So, we can't develop everything, but we can give our customers access to everything. And we also believe in the freedom of choice. So sometimes, we could have a task management solution, Indigo St. product, but we also have task management solutions by other vendors in the marketplace. And we really believe that if our customer feels that this is the application that is better for them, they should be able to use it, we shouldn't prevent them from using the best of all worlds, if that's what they feel is good for their business. Because a happy customer that feels that the overall offering suits their needs is you know, the best customer you can get. And if we need to partner with others to provide that experience for our customers, that's what we should do. And that led to a very robust marketplace. Today, we have over 100 partners in the marketplace, and a lot of collaboration in the industry. Because again, a lot of it can be a win win, if we help partners in the ecosystem succeed, and they help us succeed, right. And we all help the customer grow their business, it's a win for everyone.

Alex Husner:

Absolutely. And that is just music to my ears. Because I know with our business, we work with a lot of condo resorts that still use hotel based software. And I'll tell you what, it is a very different atmosphere in that side of things versus vacation rental software, and kudos to our industry for being very collaborative, just in general, I guess. And, you know, seeing that, that is the future of how software needs to develop is that it needs to develop alongside the needs of the users don't prevent your customers from working with who they want to work with. Because ultimately, what that does is it ends up that they're going to not want to use your software and they're going to switch to somebody else. And it's just, it's, it's amazing to me when we talk to some of these other hotel based software's that that is still the way that they're operating that if you want to integrate with them, you've got to pay massive amounts of money to do it in the first place. And then they're also charging the client, you know, on the other side of it. And it's really it's it is the opposite of everything that you just described. And it's surprising to me, because I think vacation rentals is always people have looked at it, as were, you know, on the heels of hotels that hotels have done a lot more in terms of the technology. And now we're trying to catch up. And I don't know if I can really agree with that. And nowadays, because I think the technology on our end is surpassing a lot of the hotel software technology.

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Oh, my God, I definitely agree. I think that actually we are way more tech forward compared to the hotel industry think of the software that hotels are using. Most of it is like 20 years old, right? Yeah, right, exactly, you know, was, you know, innovative in the past, you know, 20 years, not much. And because we're a new industry relatively, right. I mean, we're not really new industry. But I think a lot of you know, the personas that we see today are new or relatively new. And a lot of the online activity in our industry is relatively new. And as a result of that there's a lot of innovation, that the fact that we have to be more nimble in the way we work. The fact that we operate with less staff compared to the hotel industry means that we need to have more technology to bridge those gaps, right to have more automations and more workflows that will enable smooth sailing in our industry. And as a result of that I actually think that the short term rental software is way more advanced than the hotel software. And it really helped us and resonated in COVID times, right? Because all of a sudden, when remote work is everything, even for the hotel in your you know, the hospitality industry in general. Short term rentals really shine because they already knew how to work remotely. They already knew how to do remote check ins and checkouts. They knew how to give that feeling of a contactless safe stay for customers and hotels couldn't really bridge those gaps that quickly.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, yeah, it's I mean, the rubber kind of met the road in the last couple years there And I think all things were leading up to the pandemic being, you know, the shining light for vacation rentals that not only from a product standpoint, but also from a technology standpoint that the things that had been being built, you know, were really, they were in place at the right time for our industry to capitalize on it. And, yeah, it's, it's amazing, Andy and I are going to do some deep dives, in the new year on some episodes with what vacation rentals can learn from hotels and vice versa, what hotels can learn from vacation rentals? I think that's gonna be those are gonna be some interesting topics to dive into. Because, you know, I think there's, there's a lot on both sides that, you know, it's the history and the professionalization that hotels have, and the organization of things I think, is still very strong, and that's the backbone of their success. But I do think that the technology side is where we can all work together a little bit better, and, you know, be able to share, share some things that could benefit everybody, especially when you have products, like what we have in our market that teeters between being you know, we call it a condo towel, that it's a, it's a condo resort, it's, it looks like a hotel to a regular person, but they're individually owned units, but they operate as an on site resort. So there's there's not really, there hasn't really been any software that caters to that needs yet, and I think you guys are getting close to that, and are speaking to a lot of those needs. And I know track is as well, trying to focus on that too. But it's gonna it's gonna be interesting to see how that moves forward. Because I do think that's a segment of the inventory that needs that help finding the better solution?

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Definitely. And I do think that we see the lines blurring between industries as well. I mean, yeah, what isn't a part of right? Do you find the short term rental or hotel, it's apartments, but it's in one building. And we have more and more clients leaning towards those, you know, types of properties. And that's why we develop a lot of, you know, the features we develop. So, I do believe that 10 years forward, we'll see a lot of the solutions, catering to both hotels and short term rentals, because it will be very difficult to separate them.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, yeah,

Annie Holcombe:

I know, in our lexicon one of the one of our core competencies is that we work with a hotel style inventory. And we've proven out that the ones that operate in that space in terms of how they do their listings, they booked six to seven to one compared to a key level listing. But it gives him a lot of a lot of flexibility, again, across the spectrum of channels. But I think that there's there's been an in I referenced a quote that you add in an article about the fact that they were all in hospitality, it doesn't matter if your vacation or lose your hotels we have so much we can learn from each other, and share with each other. And I know Alex has market in the market where I live specifically, we're very much in those camps where we we see the need, and we're trying to get everybody on the same page to work together. So I think again, with what you guys are doing and creating a platform that can speak to all these different personas, not just as a consumer, booking a vacation, but also the you the user or the the actual property manager. That's a great and, and it does speak to where our industry is going in the future. So I'm excited about it. And I'm excited to see where guests will kind of take all of us.

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Thank you. So I think we're

Annie Holcombe:

getting kind of near the end. So we love getting to know you. And I'd love to have you back at another another point. So if at any time guest he has a really great thing that they want to talk about and announce. And again, if there's any opportunity to bring you back with another topic, we would love to have you. But we talked about some questions that we wanted to ask you. And one of them you actually were very excited to answer was, what is one story that you remember from your family growing up? And you said you had a really good one to share? So

Alex Husner:

I'm excited to hear we don't know.

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Thank you. Yeah, well, I call it the first lesson in my career, and I was about nine or 10. And I was doing my math homework. And it was difficult. And I went to my mom, who's a mathematician by the way, and tell her like, Mommy, I need help with my homework. I can't solve this. And she looks at me and she tells me what do you mean you can solve it, there is nothing you cannot solve. If you take the time. And you read it again and you think about it well enough. I'm sure you can solve it because you can solve anything. And it seems like just a small thing that she told me. But I really carried that across like, I still remember that whenever I had, you know, homework, or things to do or a test. I always said okay, I know I can solve this now I just need to focus and I can solve it and it's something I took with me across my career. Whenever there is a time that is more stressful whenever I have a problem to solve. I always say to myself very There is nothing you can solve, you can solve anything. We just need to think about it hard enough and come up with a solution. And I think it's the kind of attitude that has been with me for my entire career. And we've been through a global pandemic. I took the same approach. I said, Okay, global pandemic, I'm sure you can solve it. I didn't solve the pandemic yet.

Alex Husner:

I should be solved any day. Now.

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

I did that. I did think that, you know, as a business woman, I said, Okay, it's a tough time. Let's think what we can do, let's think what we can solve, and not just worrying about it. So

Annie Holcombe:

what a great lesson Oh, that's a really your mom was a smart woman.

Alex Husner:

Yeah. And so it's more it's about, you know, biting off a little bit at a time that, you know, a massive problem. When you look at it, it seems like there's just so much to do there. But if you take a little bit at a time, all of a sudden, you look back, and you do have it solved. So that's a great lesson. One question I have about that.

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Sorry, about, about the attitude about believing. Applying to that role. Yeah. And about taking that promotion, and saying I can do it. I mean, I know I can solve anything, and I can do anything I set my mind to doing

Alex Husner:

right. And it's like, it's like that quote, I mean, if you whether you think you can, or you can't, you're right. Got it. If you believe that you can do it, you can do it. Everything is solvable, you know, to a certain extent pandemics a little bit outside of that. We're getting there. Yeah, we're getting there. But I'm curious. Fred, who who has been a big mentor for you in your career path? I know you're a mentor for so many others. I'm curious who has been a mentor to you? Yeah, well,

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

I didn't have one mentor. But I think that all my managers throughout the years, I would, I was very fortunate in that sense, to always have managers that believed in me and trusted me. One of them, for example, was the CFO in a previous company of mine was called Media mind. And she's the one that suggested that I take on global operations and think about it, I was the general counsel. And she said, very, I want you to also take on, you know, global operations. And I said to her, Well, I don't know. It's not something I've done. And she said, Yeah, but can't you really do

Alex Husner:

it? Yeah, she's great at it.

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

And I was very quick to be convinced and say, Yes, but sometimes you need those people to believe in you. And to give you the opportunity, just like I tried today to give opportunities to people that haven't quite done what I'm asking them to do. But I believe that they have the ability to do it.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, we're in such a time that I mean, so much is still being developed right in front of our eyes, that there's a lot that not, a lot of people aren't gonna know how to do a certain thing, because it's still something that is being written into the future, right. And I remember when I started at condo world, I was 23 years old at the time, and I was hired. My title then was director of marketing. I remember telling one of my girlfriends from home that I'd gotten this job. And she said, Do you think you could do that, like, you can be a director? And I said, Well, I'm gonna figure it out. And I did. But but it did. It took the same thing. It took my the owner of our company having that faith in me that he knew I was young, too. And he knew that I didn't have all the answers, but he knew that we needed to take the company into the digital age, and I was about the right age to be able to figure it out for me was, you know, almost 80 years old at that point. So it made sense. But having that person that get has that faith in us is very important. And it's a, you know, overall arching theme of what we've learned from you today. And just another conversations, you don't have to know all the answers to commit, commit first and trust, creativity follows and you will figure it out. Yeah.

Annie Holcombe:

The Baron, thank you so much. And again, I would definitely love to have you back. If people want to get in touch with you, what's the best way for them to reach you?

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

My LinkedIn is a great way of reaching out to me. And also feel free to use guest he.com. And we have an info page and we have a contact page. And you're happy to look for me anywhere.

Annie Holcombe:

Right? We'll include that in the show notes so people can reach out to them. Or to you I'm sorry to you and guessing.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for it. And we look forward to seeing you at many events this year, hopefully, and we wish you and guests nothing but the best of luck.

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Thank you. So great being here and looking forward to seeing you in person too. Thanks.

Alex Husner:

If anybody wants to find any NY You can go to Alex and Annie podcast.com And we look forward to talking to everybody the next time so thank you for tuning in.

Annie Holcombe:

Have a great day.

Vered Raviv Schwarz:

Thank you

Vered Raviv Shwarz Profile Photo

Vered Raviv Shwarz

President and COO

Vered Raviv Schwarz is President & COO of property management platform, Guesty. She has over 20 years of experience in private and public companies, including some of the most successful companies in the Israeli tech scene. Prior to starting her career in technology companies, Vered was an attorney at one of Israel’s prominent law firms, focusing on M&As and IPOs. During her career, Vered helped technology companies scale, go public, acquire companies and get acquired. She was the first executive at Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR) and helped grow the company from 40 people to a global organization. Vered holds LL.B and LL.M from Tel Aviv University and serves on the advisory board of several startups, while participating in mentorship programs focusing on female entrepreneurs. Vered has been featured in prominent media outlets including Forbes, USA Today, Entrepreneur and The Next Web. She has also shared her insights at numerous events including The Next Web, Skift, Phocuswright and more.