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Strategic growth and personalized hospitality with Sojourn

By Naama Oren | Mar 10, 2024

20 to 257

Property growth

2019

Year they joined Guesty

Innovative

hybrid model

What you’ll learn

  • Sojourn expanded from 20 to 257 properties, in part because of a well-planned growth strategy in a competitive market
  • Their success underscores the importance of integrating advanced technology, like a unified guest communication system and a multi-calendar, for efficient property management and guest interactions
  • They implemented an innovative hybrid model, catering to both short-term and monthly stays, demonstrating the value of flexibility and innovation in property management
  • They provide high-quality, personalized experiences, illustrated by their Director of Happiness, who manages the ground crew (runners and cleaners), creating high-quality personalized experiences with direct human interaction
  • They’ve become a recognized brand for accessible luxury and seamless travel, showing their adaptability to expansion into new markets

The features unlocked

  • Guesty CRM

  • Unified Inbox

  • Multi-Calendar

Meet the client

Sojourn, co-founded by CEO Dunnzy Kaufman and COO Nicole Pace, started with a mission to create an elevated and professional hospitality experience for guests. One founder kickstarted her journey to success with an Airbnb lease arbitrage business, while the other expertly managed a multi-unit building alongside a legal career. Given the demands of their professions, Guesty emerged as the most logical choice to grow their businesses. Both recognized the benefits of using technology to create experiences their guests would love.

Starting with a handful of properties, they’ve experienced impressive growth thanks to their focus on providing a consistent, high-quality guest experience and leveraging Guesty’s many features to streamline operations.

At the core of Sojourn’s success is their commitment to “human hospitality.” Their grounds team is led by the Director of Happiness, and each and every Sojourn employee is charged with ensuring their guest’s happiness. Their approach combines technology with human interaction, creating a balance that resonates with their clientele.

  • Location

    Mostly on East Coast

  • Employees

    <14

  • Number of listings

    257

  • Property types

    Short and long-term rentals

 

The challenge

The primary challenge for Sojourn was to manage a mix of short-term and long-term stays, catering to a varied clientele including corporate travelers, interns, and tourists. Their unique model required a flexible, yet robust system to manage different types of properties and bookings.

"As the Director of Customer Experience I am able to leverage the Unified Inbox to optimize my customer service team. It allows us to work together and respond to guest inquiries quickly, efficiently, and in an organized manner."

Taylor Jabin, Director of Customer Experience, Sojourn

The problem to solve

  • Managing diverse rental models

    Complex calendar management:

    Balancing different rental periods required Sojourn to schedule carefully, in order to avoid conflicts. This demanded precise and dynamic calendar management to optimize occupancy and revenue.

    Pricing strategy

    Different rental models required varied pricing strategies and balancing these became challenging. 

    Operational logistics:

    Short-term required more frequent cleaning, restocking of supplies, and maintenance while longer-term rentals needed more tenant management.

  • Efficient communication without Guesty would be impossible to scale

    Consistency across multiple platforms:

    Properties listed on OTAs all came with their own communication system and managing those, while providing consistent and timely communication was a challenge.

    Personalization of communication:

    With Sojourn’s goal of giving guests a personalized experience, they struggle to scale their communication efforts while staying true to their brand personality.

    Managing guest expectations:

    Managing guests’ overall experience was tough when the number of properties grew.

  • Brand building and direct booking

    Heavy reliance on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs):

    This was problematic in creating a distinct and trustworthy brand that would help Sojourn stand out from its competitors.

    Reviews and reputation management:

    Managing and responding to reviews required a lot more effort because of the reliance on multiple platforms.

    More control over customer experiences:

    Sojourn didn’t have control over their booking, cancellation, or pricing policies which influenced their bottom line.

"What I really like about Guesty is I find them very collaborative and user-focused."

Dunnzy Kaufman, CEO

The solution

Guesty’s Multi-Calendar enabled Sojourn to efficiently manage all of their properties’ scheduling, letting them block out dates for monthly rentals while opening other dates for nightly bookings, facilitating a high occupancy rate across different rental models.

The Unified Inbox and Guesty CRM allowed them to centralize all guest interactions in one place, for improved efficiency and a consistent, high-quality guest experience. As for the booking engine – Direct Reservations – it integrated seamlessly into their website, enabling them to increase direct bookings and offer a more connected experience with guests.

Guesty’s partnerships, and open API, provide Sojourn with a whole suite of robust tools, both within and outside of Guesty’s ecosystem, that can be integrated and managed all from one place. For example, INTO AI is integrated into their inbox, allowing them to expand their customer service team and create consistency, plus they use HostAI to create dedicated landing pages for direct bookings that integrate back to their booking engine.

Unlocking the features

  • Multi-calendar

    View and manage all of your past, present, and future reservations from one place so you can see who is booked, where and when

  • Unified Inbox

    Get all of your messages, reservation details, and internal notes – from every platform – in one place, to action them and give guests the responses they need

  • Guesty CRM

    Encourage guests to stay loyal and keep coming back with communication and relationship management tools at your fingertips

"We’ve spent the past few years perfecting the operations of providing a consistent service in a disparate environment."

Nicole Pace, COO

The impact

In 2019, Sojourn took the step to integrate advanced hospitality management software into their business model. Guesty has helped them keep everything organized and manageable, freeing them up to scale as much as they wanted to, and exceed their occupancy and revenue expectations.

Key takeaways

  1. Sojourn evolved to their hybrid rental model through Guesty’s advanced technology and their own adaptability, which in turn boosted their occupancy, and ability to cater to different market needs throughout the year
  2. With their strong emphasis on high-end, personalized customer experiences, Sojourn was able to centralize their guest communications and marketing materials through Guesty’s platform
  3. Guesty aided Sojourn in boosting their operational efficiency while maintaining a human touch in customer service
"Our vision includes expanding our operational excellence to new markets and deploying it in larger buildings for institutional clients so that they can leverage the hybrid model."

Dunnzy Kaufman, CEO

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