From Three-Ring Circus to Well-Oiled Machine
Family-owned Beachwalker Rentals opened its doors in 1984. Since then, they’ve grown to manage 150 vacation or long-term rental properties. Located in Kiawah and Seabrook Islands near Charleston, South Carolina, Beachwalker Rentals sees high traffic, especially during their busy summer season. Check-in days were a “circus” (their words, not ours).
Beachwalker Rentals had two big lions that needed to be tamed immediately: their processes were inefficient and led to long check-in lines on busy days, and their overloaded staff kept having to stop what they were doing to answer phone calls from current guests.
While hiring another person could have taken pressure off of the staff, it wouldn’t actually give guests the information they need upfront or help decrease the amount of time it took to check someone in.
After weighing their options (and budget), Beachwalker Rentals decided that a mobile hospitality app was the best way forward. They were looking for a mobile hospitality app to do three things:
improve guest management through automated check-in and check-out processes,
give guests answers to questions before they have to ask them, and
send pre-scheduled push notifications to guests throughout their stay to keep lines of communication open.
Beachwalker Rentals saw an immediate improvement after they began using a mobile hospitality app.
"It's like gaining an entire person!" – Alison Barker, Beachwalker Rentals
What once took hours of work to confirm, check-in, and update reservations every week was reduced to twenty-minutes of setup, one time. After that initial twenty minute set up, all of their emails were sent automatically according to the schedule they established. Lines at their office shrank considerably. Busy check-in days felt much less like managing an endless stream of clowns piling out of a clown car. In fact, the whole operation began to “look more like a machine and less like a circus.”
Their app also gave guests better information about the area and the property they rented up-front. At one point, the staff estimated that 75% of calls they received were from guests asking the same handful of questions. The app dramatically reduced the volume of calls Beachwalker Rentals receives on a daily basis.
"A few years ago, the phones rang constantly with guests asking the same ten questions. Our phones ring so rarely now that our owner asked us if they were working!" – Emily Vandall, Beachwalker Rentals