How Guesty Helped This Host Triple Number of Corporate Rentals In One Year
January 17, 2016
Brynn Rovito, Project Paradise, LLC
Washington, District of Columbia, United States · Honolulu, Hawaii, United States · Member since July 2012
Brynn Rovito is no stranger to the vacation rental business: she’s been hosting for nearly a decade and has been active in the short term rental market well before many of the popular rental platforms even launched. Her expansion can be attributed to a deep love for Hawaii, her home away from home. After earning her degree, Brynn relocated to Hawaii and fell in love with the warm culture and the spirit of the people who welcomed her there. This was exactly the type of experience that she wanted to share with her visitors.
With her small rental side business already set in motion in D.C. (where Brynn pursues a full-time career in public service), there was no need to waste time learning the vacation rental market from scratch. She quickly recognized the ease at which one can host remotely and began looking for a unit to rent out in Hawaii: “Once I saw that there was a short-term sublet market in D.C., I figured… I can do this from the computer here, why can’t I do this in Hawaii?” Not too long after, Brynn found her perfect “starter home” and expanded her business into the Pacific.
Now, one year later and one year into her relationship with Guesty, Brynn’s business has grown significantly, expanding the number of units she manages in D.C. And, thanks to her success with short-term rentals, Brynn has been able to combine her full-time job with her part-time hobby. Brynn has just recently partnered with Honolulu Development Firm, Burns Group, LLC, to create affordable housing units on Oahu. She accredits the progress she’s made with this project to her experience hosting through Guesty and the resulting profit she has turned. This is a community that has given her so much, and with the help of and progress made through Guesty, Brynn can finally afford to give back.
24-Hour Attention & Communication
I was getting interrupted all day long.
At the beginning of her hosting career, on top of working a full time job – Brynn just did not have time to answer her emails anymore: “I was losing sleep. All night long I would get pinged from my guests. I never wanted to leave a question unanswered so I’d sleep next to my phone and wake up every time I heard it buzz. I would wake up 3 hours before work, answer guests’ emails for an hour, and then I would go on my lunch break and answer them for another hour. I was getting interrupted all day long.” And she only had 2 units.
Maintaining Quality of Service
I realized there was no way I could continue to do a good job unless I relinquished control a little bit.
The need for constant communication wasn’t the only issue for Brynn: what she values most is her relationship with and the level of service she provides for her guests. “I couldn’t keep up with reviews, and I was starting to get really frustrated because I couldn’t answer questions or provide the level of service that I wanted to offer. I have really high standards and I really want every little detail to be taken care of. I just couldn’t do it anymore.” She wasn’t willing to compromise the guest experience.
Her temporary solution? On her lunch break, Brynn would leave Capitol Hill in her suit, go to her apartments, change into sweats, and start cleaning toilets. Most nights, she would drive home with a car full of laundry, make herself dinner, then wash everything for another 2 hours. Then, she would wake up in the morning, go to her units, set up everything before work and start the process all over again. Rinse, repeat. Literally. There’s only so much one person can handle. “I realized there was no way I could continue to do a good job unless I relinquished control a little bit.”
Then, Brynn was introduced to a more permanent solution.
If I were doing it myself, I would have no way of accommodating every request. The simple fact that they are staffed 24 hours a day makes that possible.
In order to keep up with demand, Brynn needed a 24/7 team to maintain the level of service that she prides herself on: “I like using Guesty because the are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are real human beings interacting with my guests, they help to perfect my business along with me.”
I’m not just using some service that doesn’t know who I am. There’s a trust-level here.
While outsourcing mundane tasks is common, outsourcing to a technology-driven service that is professional, personal, and trustworthy is hard to come by. Not only is Guesty a human-based service, they are well-immersed in the technological side of the short-term rental market and that is a unique asset to the industry. This is precisely the type of partnership Brynn needed in order to maintain her business the way that she has built it.“My customers’ needs change, and like Guesty, I’m a start-up business too, so we have a mutual appreciation for the challenges that go along with that. So I like that Guesty and I can grow together and I’m not just using some service that doesn’t know who I am. There’s a trust-level here.”
If I was just one person, I wouldn’t be able to maintain that level of service. Guesty maintains that level while I grow.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of hosting. First impressions dictate future business. That said, all guest correspondence must be timely, informative, and personal. Guests need to feel welcomed. These requirements make it difficult for a host to rest easy while someone else steps in and handles guest contact.
However, Brynn saw that by letting Guesty take the reigns, she could not only maintain a positive relationship with her guests but also gained some unexpected room to grow. Instead of threatening her hosting reputation, Guesty added value to it.
“It was a little tough at first [to give up control], but I eventually tasked Guesty with answering emails and doing reviews because I just couldn’t handle it. I wasn’t able to meet the demand. But, once Guesty was onboard, I was like ‘wow, not only can I relax a little, I can really grow!’ I can focus on the most important aspects of my business, like developing partnerships to better enhance my guest experience. This stuff excites me! And that enthusiasm pours over into the guest experience. Instead of hammering away at the keyboard, providing directions to my D.C. apartments from all 3 airports, along with metro stops and restaurant recommendations, I know Guesty has already taken care of that. Now, I can just pick up the phone to welcome my guests once they get here… with the confidence that they have already had all of their questions answered.
One person cannot maintain that level of service. Guesty maintains that level while I grow.”
Unparalleled Customer Service
And honestly, your customer service is fantastic.
At Guesty, we take the time to learn about our hosts and to master their preferences. “It was seriously impressive. Once the system’s set-up it’s easy.”
From then on, we know our hosts and we know how to manage their business perfectly – just the way that they would. “There are some really good leaders in your organization and they just really do a good job with handling problems. I’ve been really impressed with that. And honestly, your customer service is fantastic.”
I’ve acquired 4 new places in the span of a year.
Since joining Guesty, Brynn has almost doubled her number of rental units. “The biggest change I’ve seen since using Guesty, has been growth.” This is all in a matter of a year, only a fraction of the total time she’s spent hosting.
Guesty saves me at least 20 hours a week.
For dedicated, detail-oriented hosts like Brynn, there are no shortcuts. “There is absolutely no way that I could do what I do if I didn’t have someone answering my emails and writing reviews.”
Each independent responsibility of hosting compiles into a web of commitment – and the commitments add up to big chunk of time. “If I sat down every day and answered every single question, it would probably be a total of 3-hours a day and that’s if I could even consolidate it into one block of time. I have guests coming in from all over the world…I can’t answer those emails at 2 in the morning. Guesty saves me at least 20 hours a week.With a bi-coastal business, there’s a 6 hour time difference. I would never be able to go to bed!”
Happy Guests, Happy Host
Guesty gives a great first impression.
A good way to measure hosting success is to gauge the experience of the guests. Do they trust you and do they feel that they are being accommodated? Facilitating this type of relationship between our hosts and their guests takes precedence at Guesty: “Staying on top of the reviews and getting back to people right away gives them a sense of security when they’re booking your place. They’re super happy. They always say ‘thanks for responding so quickly!’ and that’s a good way to start off the relationship.”
Professional & Personal Development
Now I can draw on my own skills – my legal background and my hosting background – and actually give back. It’s incredible how the two sides merged. But with Guesty, it makes sense.
Brynn has always been interested in affordable housing issues and creative financing. Now, she can afford to bring this passion into fruition:
“The progress that I’ve made and the experience that I’ve had through using Guesty, first of all, afforded me the opportunity to buy my first apartment in Hawaii. And, now a year in, I can develop my business there; I’ve partnered with a local construction team and a financing group and we’re actually going to be developing our own units there for people who don’t have access to affordable housing. There are a lot of displaced families in Hawaii because of all the new development on the island and it’s a big problem. Now I can draw on my own skills – my legal background and my hosting background – and actually give back. It‘s incredible how the two sides merged. But with Guesty, it makes sense.”