Moving from Entech to Escapia: A Success Story Featuring 360 Blue Properties
360 Blue Properties opened in 2008 with a small inventory of homes along the scenic Emerald Coast of Florida. After a growth spurt several years later, 360 Blue needed expanded tools and capabilities for their business. The upgrade from Entech™ to Escapia in late 2012 significantly increased 360 Blue’s operational efficiency, streamlined their accounting, reporting, and reservations processes, and increased the productivity of the staff.
Read more in the following interview with Jennifer Talbert, 360 Blue’s Director of Sales and Revenue, to learn how Escapia improved 360 Blue’s business.
Increasing Operational Efficiency
How has Escapia affected your business processes?
It has made processes in accounting, reporting, and reservations much easier. In accounting, the owner statement and end-of-month processes are streamlined. Reporting is fantastic; Escapia has better reporting capability, which cuts back on time, maybe 2-3 hours a day. It's so nice to have all of those reports right at your fingertips.
The reservation grid is more efficient than Entech’s and allows you to see everything that is open for a guest, which helps to speed along calls and bookings so we can get the next call. Quoting homes is much easier; the Quick Quote is probably the agents’ favorite, along with sorting by community, amenity string, and rate. Also, EscapiaNET™ makes life so easy.
How has EscapiaNET made life easier for your business?
The process for distributing to our channel partners has been really successful; there are fewer steps and you have a central place to make updates. Before Escapia, it would take half a day to update 20-30 homes. We have reduced time by about 30%, so it’s been a huge improvement. Escapia allows the person in charge of changing and keeping the homes updated more time to focus on bigger picture projects.
Improving Business with Escapia's Tools
What do you love most about Escapia?
The reservation grid is great and very functional. The Quick Note, sorting functions, and amenity string search make it easy for our staff to provide guests with information quickly. We are also pushing our agents to use the Quick View of the property for bedroom and sleeping arrangements.
There are a lot of reporting options for various needs, and we have the ability to create our own reports, which is really nice. We have a complex rate setup, but the rate module has a lot of potential. We really like the copy rate rule function because you don’t have to set up a new rule every time. As I said before, EscapiaNET has made life so easy. And the online booking engine has been very successful.
The Convenience of a Web-Based System
How does a web-based system improve the way you conduct your business?
The web-based aspect of Escapia was very appealing when we were looking at upgrading. It’s so convenient! We had construction in our office this summer and our reservations agents worked from home. I have one agent who lives about 45 minutes away and she fully operates from her home office. We also have a late night emergency agent who takes calls from guests at night. All of this would not have been possible with Entech.
Do you or 360 Blue management log in when you are at home or on vacation to check certain aspects of the business, like monthly performance or number of bookings to date?
Yes. When I am out of the office or on vacation I can log in to Escapia and pull reports for revenue to see where we are for the week. Our CFO is able to get a lot of the small tasks done from home in the mornings. The staff has the option to wrap up a project, task, or email from home.
Access to the Same Great Support Team to Help Along the Way
Please share your experience about the customer support you’ve received.
I was really impressed with the implementations coordinator during the setup process for Escapia. Any time we needed help, she always came to the rescue. In general we’ve had very positive experiences with support. They are very prompt, helpful, and friendly.
Advice for Other Property Managers
What are key criteria you would recommend to others to help them select the right vacation rental software provider for their business?
Research! Ask a lot of questions, especially about implementation, and find something that will work for your business. I would recommend you ask about the rate setup and accounting setup, and if those aspects of the software have flexibility to fit your business needs instead of changing your business to fit the software.
What is the single biggest reason you would encourage a colleague to use Escapia?
Functionality. There is so much the system can do for any given person in the company. It is easy to use for day-to-day tasks.