Barriers to growth
When The HOST founder, Brittney Greene, first opened her own newly-renovated property as an Airbnb, her hospitality background helped her deliver an exceptional experience to her guests. In fact, Brittney’s Airbnb was so good that people soon started asking if her property management services were for hire – and so The HOST was born.
Brittney found the best cleaning, maintenance, and concierge service providers available in New Orleans, and personally trained them to meet her standards. And with such a well-rounded team, The HOST set itself apart from the competition through its uniquely customizable services.
Brittney explains: “Homeowners want to be in control of their properties. Every home is unique, but with traditional full-service property management companies, people often find themselves paying for a one-size-fits-all package that isn’t tailored to their needs. That’s where we come in. With The HOST, clients can choose precisely the services they want, and those services are tailored to the requirements of each property.”
This fresh approach proved immensely popular, and The HOST built on its success by teaming up with Evolve Vacation Rental Network. With Evolve handling marketing and bookings, The HOST was free to focus on service delivery.
However, rapid growth brought its own challenges.
“Once we reached about 15 properties, we started having problems coordinating our services,” says Brittney. “With more bookings coming in through multiple channels, it became difficult to manage the specific requirements of each property and organize service providers. We were paying someone an hourly rate just to manually manage the calendars, and even then, we were more or less at capacity.”
Manual tasks also made onboarding new properties a highly time-consuming process. To achieve the level of personalized and high-quality service that The HOST prided itself on, staff had to create physical binders for each property with visual checklists to show service providers exactly what was required. What’s more, staff would often inspect properties in person to ensure standards were being met, putting considerable strain on their time.
“We had our sights set on further growth, but our existing processes couldn’t support it. If we were going to keep expanding, we needed to streamline our operations.”
In parallel to Brittney’s property management business, her mother had launched her own cleaning company – and it was she who suggested that Brittney try Properly.
“We evaluated several other solutions,” recalls Brittney. “Properly was by far the best fit, both in terms of functionality and scalability.”
Properly has enabled The HOST to digitize its property checklists and tailor them for the services required by each owner. Instead of having to create and maintain physical binders with instructions and photo guidance for service providers, The HOST can simply upload photos to Properly – giving cleaners access to visual checklists at the press of a button.
Because The HOST lets owners select services à la carte, Properly’s checklists reflect only those services required by each individual owner.
And it’s not just housekeeping that Properly is helping to streamline, The HOST is using it to coordinate other service providers as well. “It’s an incredibly versatile tool,” confirms Brittney. “For example, we’ve been able to create checklists for our concierge providers for check-ins and checkouts.”
With Properly, all of The HOST’s scheduling is automatically centralized into a single location, so that service providers can always see what needs doing regardless of what calendar app they might otherwise use.
“The integration between Properly and Guesty, our PMS software, is fantastic too. Any reservations that we make through Guesty are automatically pushed into Properly and populate in the central calendar.”
The HOST has also been taking advantage of Properly’s ongoing customer support. Brittney comments: “The customer service is phenomenal. If I ever have questions or need assistance, I can schedule a time to talk with our Properly contact, or just message him, and he will always be responsive. The support has also been great in helping us on-board and train new service providers to use the platform.”
Scalability through efficiency
With the help of Properly, The HOST has broken down all the barriers to business growth, enabling it to bring its unique hospitality services to more homeowners and guests than ever.
“We’re saving around 30 hours a week in labor thanks to Properly’s process automation,” reveals Brittney. “Not only has our digital transformation eliminated the need for manual calendar management, we no longer have to inspect properties in person either – service providers just upload photos of their work to Properly and we can review them remotely.”
The HOST is also now able to on-board new properties much more quickly. The company has developed a master checklist template which it can easily customize based on the needs of each property. All in all, the onboarding process takes just one hour, and that includes a visit by a local ‘host ambassador’ to establish the requirements of the property in person.
Since implementing Properly, The HOST has already scaled up to manage more than 50 properties – and it has no intention of slowing down, with plans to expand further into the mountain towns of Colorado.
“Expansion on this scale simply would not have been possible without Properly,” concludes Brittney. “Working with partners like Evolve has been central to our success and growth strategy, and the automation and centralization that Properly offers are crucial in enabling us to effectively manage the reservations coming in from all these channels.”