How Kentucky’s Neat Suites Were Able to Shoot Up Their Airbnb Response Rate to 100% While Scaling Their Business
In today’s short-term rental ecosystem, simply meeting a traveler’s basic expectations isn’t enough. You need to wow them.
This is what Jeremiah Hines and Ed Feldmann, Managing Partners of property management company Neat Suites, believe in, and each one of their properties reflects that attitude to a T.
Specializing in uniquely-designed listings (including a refurbished pickle factory) in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati area, their spaces are more than just a bed for the night. From rural farmhouses, cabins with pools, and boutique urban lofts to historic Victorian buildings, Neat Suites offers singular experiences that appeal to the adventurous side we all have inside—”where imagination and reality collide.”
Launching in 2019, Neat Suites went from an initial six to 46 listings (updated July 2022) —and is growing fast—on track to double its inventory by the end of 2022.
From left to right: Neat Suites’ Managing Partners Ed Feldmann and Jeremiah Hines
While each Neat Suites property is highly individualized, guests always expect their stay to be of a consistently high standard, with quality amenities and a smooth, uniform check-in process. But responding to guest requests and inquiries proved a significant challenge, taking up far too much to manage. As Ed recalls, “after hours messaging was probably the most difficult thing. When someone couldn’t find something or get into their apartment late at night, it was only Jeremiah or myself who could deal with it. Although guest responses should take up 10% of our time, those constant messages added up quickly. That 10% time task ended up being about 40%, which escalated to become a major pain in our daily lives.”
While keeping so many fast-moving balls in the air, handling the communication and guest feedback left them with no time to monitor response rates properly and have any semblance of work-life balance.
In July 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Jeremiah and Ed, who have been using Guesty’s platform since Neat Suite’s earliest days, decided to onboard Guesty’s 24/7 Guest Communication Services. Running Neat Suites became infinitely easier and more profitable with reservations, rules, response times, and more taken care of comprehensively by a dedicated team of hospitality experts.
GCS made it possible to respond within the hour. “Guests felt cared for. And even if they didn’t get the exact answer, knowing that somebody is listening to them made a big difference to their satisfaction levels.”
At the time, many travelers were trying out short-term rentals for the first time. And for people reading Neat Suites reviews, response times mattered. “It was crucial for us to have street cred on all the biggest OTAs to show we were on top of our game. To focus on marketing and branding ourselves properly, we needed to hand over guest communication to GCS.”
By adopting GCS, Neat Suites’ response rate on Airbnb shot up to 100%, and their internal average response time to guests cut down to less than an hour at 56.8 minutes.
Neat Suites AVG Response Time (in minutes) improves drastically starting July 2020, thanks to Guesty’s 24/7 GCS
“By developing systems and processes, we got more time back for ourselves because guests are asking us less questions. In fact, the biggest impact for us was not specifically around reservations, but on our sanity. It’s a huge relief not being the first line of defense. With rankings, it certainly helps people to see we’re responsive hosts before they book—and it helps us make money.”
The Neat Suite team has also been taking full advantage of Guesty’s robust marketplace of fully integratable tech partners. These include Beyond‘s pricing tool and Breezeway, which runs cleaning and property maintenance schedules by pulling guest and property data from Guesty into its internal system in real-time.
As Neat Suites move onwards and upwards through 2022, Jeremiah and Ed are hoping to relax a little, knowing they have Guesty by their side to help them reach their goal of 100 properties by the end of the year (while still being able to focus on their personal lives and enjoy the ride).