VRMA

    Weathering the Storm Together: A Q&A with Julie Brinkman, CEO of Beyond

    Arrival spoke with Julie Brinkman, CEO of Beyond. Learn about Brinkman's journey leading a team in the midst of uncertain times, where she sees the industry heading post-pandemic, and why being authentically yourself can only lead to success.

    Can you tell readers a bit about yourself and how you got started in the vacation rental industry? How did you get to where you are today?

    I started at Deloitte, and I loved the pace of the job—I was able to solve problems in analytical and thoughtful ways. After working with Deloitte for a little while, I desired a faster-paced environment and wanted to explore the tech scene. I then joined Groupon in Chicago as a city manager. I began managing salespeople and helped grow the business, and I loved the ability to have an impact on results with a few shifts in technical approaches. I also thoroughly enjoyed working with small businesses, probably because my dad had his own small business and law practice.

    After my time at Groupon, I joined Hireology as their VP of Customer Success. There, I was able to grow into the COO role and also witness the growth of revenue from 5 million to 30 million within a five-year span. Within that time frame I learned how to develop structures for growing systems. After that venture, I was ready to move into my next chapter, and that’s when I began working for Beyond. They demonstrated a good product market fit, had strong investors, and the founder was involved and invested.

    Can you speak on leading a team during such unprecedented times? What obstacles have you encountered and what actions have you taken to overcome them?

    I started at Beyond on March 2, 2020, right before the pandemic hit. My plan was to commute weekly from Chicago to San Francisco.

    Working for a travel-focused company and witnessing the world coming to a shut down before our eyes really forced me to learn on the job quickly and figure out how to deal with the pandemic. We had to make very quick, yet impactful decisions. It really felt like the first few months were trying to read tea leaves.

    We were all facing the same challenges—so I had to learn how to build a strong culture remotely.

    This job isn’t just about hitting numbers and bringing value to customers, but also about making sure our people are okay. We figured out how to weather this storm together and that makes me very proud.

    This job isn’t just about hitting numbers and bringing value to customers, but also about making sure our people are okay. We figured out how to weather this storm together and that makes me very proud.

    Where do you hope to see the industry heading post-pandemic?

    I hope to see the transformation of the short-term rental industry no longer being a niche, but a formidable sector in the travel industry. I also hope that we can safely return to traveling for people to be able to see their families, since travelling is something that so many people miss.

    I also see consolidation and value delivery continuing to be important customers. Everything else we espouse will be table stakes.

    What piece of advice would you give someone just getting started in the industry?

    I would say: don’t say sorry. Take it all as a learning lesson. Learn from everything and everyone.

    If you make life easier for someone you work with, you will grow.

    You can and should expect to be your whole self at work, and you shouldn’t have to present a fraction of who you are. I believed for 10 years that I had to be this extremely polished, vanilla version of who I actually was in order to grow and succeed; I want to be able to make mistakes safely, acknowledge emotions, be free to be yourself and wear a sweatshirt.

    What you want can be what you have. You have to believe that you deserve it.

    You deserve to be a successful professional and have a successful personal life. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.

    You deserve to be a successful professional and have a successful personal life. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.

    Is there anything else you would like to add or comment on?

    There are definite differences I’ve noticed between how male and females are treated in the industry. I have a very direct communication style, and have been coached to speak in a more toned-down manner—which is advice I’ve never once heard my male peers receive.

    I personally believe that when a woman is confident and direct, she is oftentimes perceived as a threat. A few years ago, I used to be afraid that I wouldn’t be taken seriously. I don’t feel like that anymore, though, and I encourage everybody—but especially women—to be authentically themselves.

     


     

    Julie Brinkman Beyond Pricing CEO (2).jpg

     Julie Brinkman is the CEO of Beyond, where she is proud to lead a team who is passionate about working with short-term rental property managers and owners to run their businesses better and make their lives easier with top-of-the-line technology and world-class customer service. Before becoming CEO, she was Beyond’s COO and helped lead the company’s successful management of the global pandemic. Prior to her time at Beyond, she spent over a decade in various leadership roles at high-growth technology companies. When she’s not busy at the helm of an awesome company, she can be found hanging out with her two kids, big dog, and bearded husband.

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