How a 350+ unit property management company scaled a high touch guest experience with digital guidebooks
Cabins for YOU is a professionally managed hospitality business where guests immerse themselves into the wilderness, without the stress associated with traditional camping.
The family-owned company started in the early 1900’s with two rental cabin businesses on the East coast, expanding to 350+ properties today.
Cabins for YOU is different from traditional home sharing services because of quality assurance (personal cabin inspections before listings are approved), and delivering a full-service guest management experience. The company also employs a team of vacation specialists who are on-call to assist guests with any questions or concerns they have before, or during their stay.
Before using Hostfully, the guest relations team at Cabins for YOU were handling approximately 12,000 calls each month. Many of the calls were inquires for basic information that could’ve been explained on their website or guidebooks.
This was a significant issue for Cabins for YOU, who needed to repeatedly answer the same questions and missed out on addressing time-sensitive guest concerns, including last-minute itinerary changes. The result: frustrated customers, and flustered, overworked staff.
Today, Cabins for YOU uses Hostfully to power hundreds of online guidebooks. They use Hostfully’s Splash Screen feature, which helps guests agree to terms and conditions. That same Splash Screen also collects guest emails for future marketing. This email collection is critical for vacation rental businesses, because it helps them create an email distribution list to re-market to everyone who stayed in their property—not just the person who holds the reservation. Note that this is an easy and ethical way to work around Airbnb’s policy of not supplying guest emails to hosts.
To get started, Stefani, the Director of Marketing at Cabins for YOU, and Zack, the Campaign and Community Manager, sat down and brainstormed the information they should include in their guidebooks. This content included information to simplify arrival and departure processes, and details on nearby restaurants and attractions.
After identifying what they would include in their guest guidebooks, Stefani and Zack created two guidebook templates, and two standard cards. Standard cards can highlight arrival and departure instructions, places to eat, a house manual, local attractions, and more.
Stefani and Zack then created a training guide to educate their team on using Hostfully. After laying this groundwork, the Cabins for YOU Marketing team split up all properties on their site, and within a week, they created 345 guidebooks!
Whenever a digital guidebook is created, it gets its own URL (or link). With the 345 guidebooks created for each property, the Cabins for YOU marketing team also updated their reservation intake procedure. Now, whenever a reservation is confirmed, the guidebook URL is shared two days before the guest’s arrival.
Cabins for YOU reports that inbound support call volumes have dropped significantly, as guests are now able to find information via their digital guidebooks. This is essential to their success, leaving Cabins for YOU free to focus on issues such as assisting lost guests, and processing last-minute itinerary changes. Cabins for YOU can also focus more on the concierge side of their business. This means that more guests receive unique experiences tailored to their individual requests. Guests see significant benefits from the guidebooks. Now, they can plan their trips without having to scour different websites to discover things to do, places to go, and venues to visit.
Key Success Metrics
Hostfully’s suite of industry-leading vacation rental management software helps customers like Cabins For YOU scale and grow their businesses through automation. On top of digital guidebooks, Hostfully also has its award-winning property management platform (PMP). It’s built from the ground up to help vacation rental owners and managers of all portfolio size manage their operations with the following features: