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S4E45 Interview with Michael Driedger, CEO of Operto

When you think about it, there’s a lot of unnecessary waste in the hotel world. Air conditioners or heating units running all day with no one in the rooms. Wasted time standing in line just to check in, even though your room has already been assigned and your identity was likely (or should have been) confirmed when you reserved your room online. And then when you start to think about security more and include AirBNB vacation rentals into the mix, you can quickly see there are countless ways we can make the experience of vacation rentals—hotels or AirBNB alike—much better, safer, and efficient. Operto is a company that is working to do that and in this episode we interview the CEO, Michael Driedger, about why this is so important and what his approach is to solving these challenges. He’s also as big a fan of pho as I am and is an expert on smart locks. We had fun during this interview. Enjoy!

Our founders both sought to improve wellbeing for people and the world we live in, but from diverse perspectives: green architecture and brain fitness. These unique paths converged thanks to a shared love of technology, sustainability, and travel. Operto was born from a desire to make life better for property managers, who are the busiest people we’ve ever met.

Originally called Slickspaces, our first goal was to reduce the environmental impact and energy consumption of short-term vacation rentals. Like many problems, it was simple in theory but challenging to solve. Convincing guests to turn off lights and thermostats was impossible, so we turned to technology – using smart locks to automate the process.

These early days of managing guest access revealed a much greater need. Property managers were spending countless hours getting guests in and out of their properties. They had almost no visibility into the status of their units and no centralized system from which to operate. While smart home technology was becoming increasingly common, nothing brought solutions together to create a truly cooperative ecosystem.

That seed brought us to where we are today: the world’s leading operating system for property managers across the full spectrum of guest accommodations.