Improving the guest experience at scale
How a 350+ unit property management company scaled a high touch guest experience with digital guidebooks
The family-owned company started in the early 1900’s with two rental cabin businesses on the East coast, expanding to 350+ properties today.
Cabins for YOU is different from traditional home sharing services because of quality assurance (personal cabin inspections before listings are approved), and delivering a full-service guest management experience. The company also employs a team of vacation specialists who are on-call to assist guests with any questions or concerns they have before, or during their stay.
Overwhelmed customer service teams
Before using Hostfully, the guest relations team at Cabins for YOU were handling approximately 12,000 calls each month. Many of the calls were inquires for basic information that could’ve been explained on their website or guidebooks.
This was a significant issue for Cabins for YOU, who needed to repeatedly answer the same questions and missed out on addressing time-sensitive guest concerns, including last-minute itinerary changes. The result: frustrated customers, and flustered, overworked staff.
Answers delivered fast
Today, Cabins for YOU uses Hostfully to power hundreds of online guidebooks. They use Hostfully’s Splash Screen feature, which helps guests agree to terms and conditions. That same Splash Screen also collects guest emails for future marketing. This email collection is critical for vacation rental businesses, because it helps them create an email distribution list to re-market to everyone who stayed in their property—not just the person who holds the reservation. Note that this is an easy and ethical way to work around Airbnb's policy of not supplying guest emails to hosts.
How they did it
To get started, Stefani, the Director of Marketing at Cabins for YOU, and Zack, the Campaign and Community Manager, sat down and brainstormed the information they should include in their guidebooks. This content included information to simplify arrival and departure processes, and details on nearby restaurants and attractions.
After identifying what they would include in their guest guidebooks, Stefani and Zack created two guidebook templates, and two standard cards. Standard cards can highlight arrival and departure instructions, places to eat, a house manual, local attractions, and more.
Stefani and Zack then created a training guide to educate their team on using Hostfully. After laying this groundwork, the Cabins for YOU Marketing team split up all properties on their site, and within a week, they created 345 guidebooks!
Whenever a digital guidebook is created, it gets its own URL (or link). With the 345 guidebooks created for each property, the Cabins for YOU marketing team also updated their reservation intake procedure. Now, whenever a reservation is confirmed, the guidebook URL is shared two days before the guest's arrival.
Less stress for customer service teams and happier guests
Cabins for YOU reports that inbound support call volumes have dropped significantly, as guests are now able to find information via their digital guidebooks. This is essential to their success, leaving Cabins for YOU free to focus on issues such as assisting lost guests, and processing last-minute itinerary changes. Cabins for YOU can also focus more on the concierge side of their business. This means that more guests receive unique experiences tailored to their individual requests. Guests see significant benefits from the guidebooks. Now, they can plan their trips without having to scour different websites to discover things to do, places to go, and venues to visit.
Key Success Metrics
- 345 guidebooks created in one week
- 12,000 inbound monthly calls before Hostfully was implemented
- 10,200 after Hostfully was implemented—a 15% decrease!
- 6% increase in revenues after Hostfully was implemented
The Hostfully advantage
Hostfully’s suite of industry-leading vacation rental management software helps customers like Cabins For YOU scale and grow their businesses through automation. On top of digital guidebooks, Hostfully also has its award-winning property management platform (PMP). It's built from the ground up to help vacation rental owners and managers of all portfolio size manage their operations with the following features:
- Multi-channel distribution: increase your marketing reach and generate more revenue
- Pre-built direct booking site: generate your own bookings and gain independence from listing sites
- Central messaging hub: easily manage guest communications on one interface
- Booking pipeline: follow-up on leads and increase conversions
- Integrations: connect other vacation rental software like turnover and cleaning, dynamic pricing, and credit card processing
- Payments processing: easily collect payments from direct bookings or from upsold services and products to guests
- Property management data: make informed decisions based on data
- Owner financial reports: save time and effort in preparing owner reports
- Open API: keep using your custom software but also gain the benefits of the Hostfully PMP