Our Marketing Manager Flora spoke with Fanny Chapel from Emerald Stay, Switzerland.
Flora: Hi Fanny, it’s lovely to have a customer reach out to chat about GuestJoy. I also know that a colleague of yours has done an interview with Mews, and we were mentioned. How nice of you!
Fanny: We found GuestJoy in the Mews Marketplace and as we are very satisfied with it, I’m more than happy to share our testimonial. Emerald Stay is the first prop-tech company to manage premium homes in non-urban destinations. We are an innovative hospitality company constantly looking for the best tech tools out there. The short-term rentals industry is quite a new segment within hospitality so it is not always easy to find the systems that completely fulfill our needs and adapt to all specificities of the market. We were looking for an online check-in solution and we are glad to have found GuestJoy! We would definitely recommend it to any hospitality company.
Flora: So what made you choose GuestJoy?
Fanny: Flexibility was a key decision driver. In GuestJoy, everything is completely customizable which is great. We have some very specific check-in procedures. For example, you may know that in Morocco, you are not allowed to host a Moroccan citizen in the same room as a person of the opposite gender if they are not married. So for legal reasons, we need to collect a wedding certificate in such situations. We needed a system that is able to integrate such specific requirements.
Another requirement for us was the scalability of the tool. GuestJoy allows us to grow. We are ambitious and we need solutions that can scale with our quick growth.
Furthermore, the price-quality ratio was one of the key things we looked at obviously. There are countless products on the market at a higher price compared to GuestJoy even though they offer the same features.
Last but not least, I would like to highlight the quality of the service we have received from Andrew and Kristin at GuestJoy – it is nice that you are a small, human company, open to considering new developments and very reactive. It is always easy to talk to someone.
Flora: We are really trying our best to provide creative and independent players. And of course we are proud of being fast both in replies and in implementation.
Fanny: Indeed and cloud tools are a must for us – we work with Mews Systems (a cloud PMS) and tools that easily allow us to work remotely whenever necessary.
Flora: On that note, what do you think about the daily job of a hotelier, how does GuestJoy help?
Fanny: The automation part is just great. The less time we spend manually collecting check-in information from guests, the more we can spend on actual human interactions such as tailoring the services for their stay. We do not want our team members to complete repetitive tasks and/or something that technology would do better – we want them to be valued as human beings, completing tasks that cannot be automated essentially.
With the GuestJoy automated emails, we can ensure check-ins are completed and guests receive their property access code by email and by text message 24 hours prior to arrival. This way, they can let themselves in whenever they would like after 4 pm. They do not need to let us know if they wish to stop at a restaurant on the road or if they are late for whatever reason. Within 24 hours post-arrival, our team members will visit them, answer any questions they may have and share some local tips.
Flora: This is very smart. I have been on skiing trips with my family, and traveling with a child can really be a slower experience. We never arrived at the hotel/apartment on time, and this way your staff does not have to do overtime to wait for guests.
Fanny: We like to challenge the status quo and do things differently if need be. We do things because they make sense for our owners and our guests, not because that’s the way they have always been done in the market. For example, we do not force the guests to stay at our properties from Saturday to Saturday throughout the winter season like some other players do because that’s not what they ask for.
Flora: What is the biggest change GuestJoy has brought to your property?
Fanny: Our operations team is divided into two parts. One is on-site in our destinations. They are the ears and eyes of Emerald Stay on the ground. They make sure that everything is seamless at the properties, they visit guests and they coordinate local operations. And then we have the centralized operations team in our main office in Barcelona. Before implementing GuestJoy, this team had to make sure we had all the right documents and information prior to each arrival. It took us a tremendous amount of time to manually contact each guest as you can imagine. Now it is a simple verification process!
Flora: What do you think the key trends are? What do you provide on the market that’s new?
Fanny: I can not mention Covid-19. It obviously had a huge effect on the hospitality industry. We have noticed several trends which I believe will stay, not just in the short term. Overall people want flexibility and functionality. They seek flexible cancellation policies and often book at the last minute. They are looking for fully equipped properties so they can be independent during their entire stay. They may want to work remotely and need high-speed internet and screens (which we provide) – there is definitely a digital nomad trend.
Flora: I love to hear this. We are all for innovation, convenience and seamless guest experiences! As for my last question, can you tell us your story in hospitality and how did you end up at Emerald Stay?
Fanny: I studied International Hospitality Management and graduated in 2013. I have been working in short-term rentals ever since and have seen major changes in this industry. After spending 2 years in Brazil and 2 years in Spain working for an urban short-term rentals player, I joined Emerald Stay in Switzerland in January 2018. Prior to and throughout my studies, I worked at traditional hospitality companies such as The Ritz-Carlton hotels and smaller independent 4* hotels. But I must say I am fascinated by startups and growth. I was convinced by the model of Emerald Stay right off the bat and was their first employee. It’s been a very interesting ride so far!