Phil Cooper never dreamed he’d go from living as a solo dad with 6 kids, to running one of the most successful property management companies in New Zealand.
“I pinch myself sometimes. It’s not something I was mapping or planning out.”
In just over 4 years, Ohana has gone from hosting guests at their one family cottage to managing 90 properties across New Zealand, including in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland. Through the family-owned business, they provide security, communication, maintenance, and cleaning services.
With thousands of positive reviews in just a short span of time, Phil says it’s their values and focus on family that sets them apart.
“Our point of difference has always been about creating experiences rather than the standard Airbnb mum-and-dad-run property. We make the property entertaining with spas, saunas, pool table and gaming consoles. We offer a lot more than the standard hotel room.”
10,000 guests have enjoyed what Ohana has had on offer. This growth happened despite the devastating pandemic which set many other companies back.
“Everyone was nervous and running the other way, closing their doors while we were opening them. It was great because at that time we were able to host international guests who had nowhere to stay – it was a good feeling.”
The values behind this business are in the name.
Phil tells of the story of when the kids were young, they often watched Lilo and Stitch, which uses the Hawaiian word ‘Ohana’. It means family, and no one gets left behind.
“After all those years of hard work, I was able to get enough money to buy a house and first thing I put up was a sign called Ohana”.
Now, dozens of homes hold that name across New Zealand, with many more on the radar.
Short-term, Ohana wants to manage properties in more pockets of New Zealand, including the regions. Long-term, Phil has his eyes set on an international playing field.
“It’s not something I’m afraid of.. We have good systems and processes in place.
“Many families struggle with the day to day understand of how an Airbnb works so we say we can help you and fill the gap that you’re not always good at.”
They fill this gap at just a 9% fee for clients. That covers the cost of all management – including vetting, photography taking care of the listing and setting optimal pricing.
There are short-term and long-term rental management service packages options, with Ohana operating as the “Professional Tenant” in the arrangement. This guarantees landlords an income and keep the property sale-ready.
Ohana is always looking for more properties to adopt into their family-centric brand, in their mission to create meaningful and lasting experiences for everyone involved.