Our Woman’s Power Hour profiles celebrate women who are storming the short stay industry and this edition is showcasing Avgustina Angelova who is Vice-President at ALTIDO, a global property and hospitality management company which launched in 2019 with more than 1,700 distinctive properties in many of Europe’s most desirable locations.
How did you get into the short-term rentals industry?
By accident, although I used to work in tourism for years but in a different field – Spa & Wellness. I saw a job advert, found it interesting and applied, then quickly started as a guest relations employee. In the last 4 years I worked in practically every role at the company, which was so helpful! I can now understand all sides of the business and be fair with the guests, property owners and my staff. You can’t see it all if you haven’t lived it all.
How did you come to found your company and what were the biggest challenges you faced when setting it up?
It is a great story actually. The company I used to work for was acquired by The London Residents Club, the London partner at ALTIDO. The co-founders Tom Archer and Will Parry knew they were acquiring a company, but were not aware or prepared it would come with a well-trained team, based in Bulgaria. This acquisition had to happen within 48 hours and I was in Bulgaria, so we had some funny situations trying to get to know each other quickly and put down a plan together. Out of this slightly chaotic situation we forged a great bond between us, which helped us later to chase our dreams and to develop a strong trustworthy company.
How do you intend to face the challenges within the industry as a company?
With excitement. The short term lettings industry is very dynamic, so we have never sat still. Now in ALTIDO especially, we are stronger than ever, strong in our diversity and unified in our beliefs. Regulation is obviously the biggest challenge, but we are ready – we have developed many models from student accommodations to boutique hotels.
What is your advice for the next generation of leaders and change-makers?
Best advice that was given to me: Eat the frog first! If you have to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the bigger one first. This means tackling the most unpleasant task for the day, as soon as possible. Because if you don’t do it, you will end up procrastinating around it for the rest of the day.
How do you keep self-motivated?
Motivation has never been a problem for me to maintain. It is in my nature – I simply give it all and breathe with the company. I am a big dreamer and love chasing my dreams, so I can open space for new ones.
Biggest lesson you have learnt about yourself?
To treat myself the way I want to be treated by others. Such a game changer when you put yourself first. If you have it all the way you want it, you can give it all to others.
Best piece of advice you were given?
As mentioned above: “Eat the frog first!”
Who is the individual you admire the most?
My parents. Raising 3 kids in the murky water out in Bulgaria during the 80s and 90s whilst working at 3 places to be able to support us. They were strict with our grades, taught us respect, gratitude and work. There are many successful business people out there, life coaches and leaders, but the real heroes and the ones that inspire me are the day-to-day people.
Holiday destination of choice?
Greece. Every year.
Your Favourite city in the world?
My hometown Varna. I am so proud to be able to deliver for it now. 2019 was very successful and I have opened 2 new offices in Varna ( 3 in total ) with 60 employees – all of them great young people with a wonderful mindset and very willing. Emigration is our biggest problem for the last 20 years and I am feeling grateful I can contribute to Bulgaria’s economics and stop even 100 people emigrating by offering them good jobs, by investing in them and developing them to be good leaders and professionals.
How do you celebrate your achievements?
With the team – they are ALTIDO’s beating heart and their success is my most significant achievement.
If you could run any company in the world what would it be and why?
Google. I am so interested to explore their people management and practices.
What book would you recommend?
Depending on the person, who asks me 🙂 Currently finishing “Paula” by Isabel Allende and can definitely recommend it. It is about the difficult path of an emancipated woman in the 80s in Chile ( Isabel herself ).
Want to feature in our Next Power Hour? Email Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org for your submission.