Diogo Cardoso

Be present, be prepared, and be you.

October 15, 2023

1.    Hi Diogo, can you talk a bit about who you areand what you are doing at the moment?

My name is Diogo Cardoso, I’m 28 years old and I’m currently the Finance Manager at Lisbeyond . My experience has always been related to the tourism industry and property management, apart from the last 2 years, that I was working at EY as an auditor, in the banking and asset management sector.

My current tasks are based on “studying” the financial health of the company, creating budgets, forecasting, and taking the lead on improvements that the company can make in this area. Returning to the tourism sector after being an auditor, was the way I found to combine my 2 areas of interest, tourism, and finance, in compliance with the challenge to help and grow with Lisbeyond.


2.   In a competitive market such as tourism and property management, what is the advantage of Lisbeyond? and what problem youare trying to solve?

Lisbeyond is proud of going beyond what is expected from a property management company with a strong focus on quality over quantity. We offer a range of services that take away all issues/problems and the burden of owning a property and renting it. With the boom of tourism and real estate investment that we’ve been dealing with in the last decade, there were a lot of new companies emerging, like property management companies, who wear the shoes of the owners making their lives easier. At Lisbeyond we deal with each owner in a customized way and focus on delivering quality service to enable high reviews: for our property owners we know their needs, and their pains, and we can proudly say that we’re almost friends, and that’s theLisbeyond main advantage.


3.   Property management…How does that work?

As a property management company, Lisbeyond assists clients throughout the whole process. From the moment a property owner contacts us, we can take care of the application for the local accommodation license, assist in purchasing all the necessary items for the property, and start renting it. We also deal with all the communication with guests, take care of check-ins and check-outs, maintenance, finance, and revenue management, make projections, provide insights on how to increase income, and many other features and support.


4.   As in your role as a Finance manager, can we talk numbers? How many customers, what is your average margin and what is your current growth rate?

At the moment, we manage over 140 properties spread across the country. We’ve started the year with around 80 properties and we’re expecting to finish the year with 200 properties, so we’re talking about a growth of more than 100%.


5.   Who is your target? Who is your customer (tourist, entrepreneur, etc.) but also, who are the persons that “give “ you the house manage

As we’re in the tourism business, our main customers are indeed tourists. Nevertheless, in the last years, with the legislation for non-habitual residents and digital nomads, and the international recognition of Lisbon as a startup hub, we’ve been witnessing an increase in demand for mid-term properties. This shift in demand means that we must constantly rethink our target customer.

Regarding the owners of the properties, they can range from individuals, families, and international investors. They are people who saw local accommodation and tourism as an opportunity to expand their income and add a second source of income.


 6.   How do you see the boom of AI this year?

AI will transform how we work, as other technologies before already done. ChatGPT and other AI tools are already changing the way we produce and look for information, speeding scientific investigations and providing various insights across business sectors. But as with almost everything in life, it will have its dangers. AI can produce images and news that are completely fake but hard to notice to the naked eye, and that’s a big problem because it will have the power to shape and influence people, as we’ve seen before…


7.   Does LisBeyond is already working with AI? If so where and if it’s in the plan where?

At LisBeyond we’re using AI to do even better. We’re currently partnering with a company that uses AI for better revenue management to get the most revenue out of each property, considering the market prices and the characteristics of each property.


8.   How does AI affect the tourism industry?

AI can help the tourism industry grow. By applying its technology to daily tasks, like support, revenue management, finance insights, and many other examples. The combination of the people's expertise with the power of technologies is what will create a big boom across sectors, and not only the technology per se.


9. Portugal is becoming a place for digital nomads, but not only with web summit and many companies also setting up offices in Portugal, Lisbon is having a technology hub. Now it has been said that they want to make an AI Hub for Portugal. How( if any ) is this going to affect your business and why?

The creation of the Unicorn Factory, the continuous development of the startup ecosystem, and the digital nomad's visa will just keep increasing the flow of people in Portugal. Lisbon, but not only, is becoming the main hub for many startups and there are already some big companies like Mercedes or Volkswagen moving their innovation areas to Portugal. This, of course, will have an impact on companies set in Portugal with quicker and easier access to innovation that can foster powerful partnerships. Relating to property management, this flow of people with expected higher income will help raise the standards on rentals and increase value-added tourism.


10. As Lisbon and Portugal are becoming more and more attractive, for locals (especially in Lisbon) is the opposite. Is all this viable in the middle, long run?

After the financial crisis in 2008, Portugal saw tourism its an escape route to recover. Tourism made neighborhoods rise from the “ashes” by recovering houses and entire buildings. This later led to an issue: due to the lack of regulation, too many of the recovered properties turned into local accommodations or hotels, which pushed away the locals from the city center to the suburbs. At the same time, we saw a decrease of 126thousand houses built in 2002 to only 20 thousand in 2022. This of course has a huge impact on the available houses for residential purposes. Also, adding to the equation is the super high taxation on Portuguese salaries that reduces the buying power of the population.

There’s no easy or simple way to fix the housing problem that Portugal currently faces. For the last 2 years, there was already a restriction on acquiring new AL licenses, so there are bigger issues at play that need strong leadership from politics to ensure changes for locals in these cities. The problem requires a common effort from different stakeholders so we can make Portugal both viable for tourism and for the Portuguese population to buy or rent houses.


11. What is at this moment the biggest challenge for AI?

There is a long way to go regarding AI, in my opinion. We don’t fully understand the technology and its power, therefore there’s still a lot of investigation and research to be done. The second challenge, but not less important, is privacy concerns. These systems frequently depend on extensive quantities of data to achieve optimal training and operation. Nevertheless, this data may encompass personal and sensitive information, raising apprehensions concerning privacy and data safeguarding.

To address this, corporations must prioritize the implementation of robust privacy measures, including data anonymization, secure data storage, and adherence to pertinent data protection regulations.


12. What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for small businesses when it comes to AI?

Small businesses face challenges such as cost, lack of expertise, and data limitations when implementing AI. However, they also have opportunities to improve efficiency, competitiveness, and customer experiences through automation, data analysis, and innovation. Careful planning and external support can help small businesses leverage AI effectively.


13. What is your favorite tool and why?

My favorite tool, not related to AI, is PryFinancials, which is an FP&A instrument.


14. Word of advice

I like to think that what I’m currently living on the personal and professional side is all due to my hard work and persistence. So, my word of advice would be: Be present, be prepared, and be you.


15. One book, one person to follow/ that inspires you, and one music?

One book that I loved to read was “The subtle art of not giving a f*ck”, by Mark Manson. I get inspiration from many people from different business sectors, so it´s hard to select one. Music “Silêncio”from Slow J.

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