From time to time I’ll be running interviews with inspiring entrepreneurs and up-and-coming business leaders from around the world. Marko Mišulić (pictured) is the founder of Rentlio, an online property management platform aimed at rental owners. He lives and works in Zadar, Croatia.
Please introduce yourself and your business
I am the founder and CEO of Rentlio. I am 30 years old and I was born and raised in Zadar. I studied at the faculty of economics and business in Zagreb. I got my first job in the finance industry whilst being in the second year of faculty.
Rentlio was founded in 2014 in Zadar after I worked almost eight years in asset management industry, where I was a head of a team responsible for development of complex portfolio optimization models.
In April 2014 I quit my job as I didn’t enjoy it any more. I completely focused on Rentlio and prepared the stage for global exposure after successful launch of the product on the Croatian market in March 2015. Rentlio is a software service product that automates vacation rental management. Our typical users are small hotels, self-serviced apartments, hostels and other similar properties.
Explain the concept of Rentlio
I like to call Rentlio the ‘autopilot for vacation rentals’. Rentlio is property management and central reservation system that helps you manage bookings you receive over online channels you advertise your rental on.
When you receive a booking from, for example, Booking.com it automatically shows up in Rentlio and adjusts the availability on Expedia, AirBnB and other connected online travel agencies.
Besides that, Rentlio is a guest relationship management tool that helps you remember details about your guests so you can make their stay more personal in your property while giving you opportunity to boost your direct sales. Many vacation rental owners still rely on pen & paper management of their properties so we can call Rentlio a pen & paper killer as well. By automating all the boring and administrative things you need to do while managing your vacation rental we save a lot of time for our users.
What are the opportunities and challenges of starting a business in Zadar?
Well, I would say the challenges of starting business in Zadar are the same as the challenges of starting business in any other place in Croatia. I would even say that starting a business is not such a painful process, compared to the bureaucracy and administration you will face after you start to operate. You need to think about too many papers and rules which takes away precious focus and energy in running your business.
I see many opportunities in Zadar primarily connected with its unbelievable location. In less than two and a half hours you are in Zagreb, whilst in less than an hour and a half hour you are in Split. It is October, the sun is shining above 20 Celsius, and I am working while sitting on a terrace overlooking the sea. For me, this is most inspiring workspace you can imagine.
Being small and big enough both at the same time, I think Zadar can be attractive for many independent professionals and companies, especially in the IT industry. So, further development of IT companies is a main challenge. More companies working on advanced technologies for clients all over the world will be the reason to stay and move to Zadar.
In your opinion how can government contribute to the success of small business in Croatia?
Government should contribute to the success of small business in Croatia by making administration smaller and much more effective, by lowering the tax burden that is among the highest in Europe, and by giving you the opportunity to stay focused on your business not on the paperwork.
What would be your advice to young entrepreneurs in general and especially in Croatia?
I am sure this is something said a trillion times, but saying it again can’t hurt: enjoy what you are doing but love the problem, not the solution. For Croatian young entrepreneurs additional advice would be: don’t let overall negativism bother your vision. Don’t be afraid.
Good advice. And your thoughts about the COIN co-working space?
COIN co-working space is an example of good practice in Zadar. By giving young entrepreneurs a place to gather, network and help each other, COIN is promoting an entrepreneurial mindset while connecting local people with people from all around the world.
For more information about Rentlio please visit: