By The Hospitable Team
Quynh Vu went from being a full-time pharmacist to a short-term rental host managing six properties across three states with her husband Tri in just two years.
In the beginning, the majority of the couple’s time went into guest communications and daily operations—which severely limited their ability to scale their STR business.
But amid the hassle of managing all their properties via the Airbnb app, Quynh and Tri switched to automation with Hospitable.com, which was a complete game-changer. Suddenly, they could minimize the average time spent on answering repetitive guest questions and invest it in growing their business. Here’s how they did it.
Building a real estate portfolio in San Diego and beyond
Quynh and Tri have a thriving STR business spread across California, Arizona, and Tennessee. Besides being an Airbnb Plus Superhost, Quynh offers her services as a real estate advisor. Her varied experience in the industry has helped her success as an investor as well.
What started off as an attempt to develop a real estate investment property has now transformed into a thriving STR business. Quynh and her husband managed their first property entirely through the Airbnb app—from answering guest queries and bookings to taking care of their guests.
The success from their first property allowed the couple to scale operations and buy more properties across San Diego. Today, they own six properties:
- Two single-family homes
- One condo for traveling nurses and students with a 30-day minimum stay
- Three properties out of state in Arizona and Tennessee
While handling one property seemed challenging because of constant guest messaging and management, using Hospitable.com made it easy to scale to six rentals. Let’s see how.
Using the Airbnb app to manage guest communication
As a rookie host, Quynh spent over 10 hours every week on the Airbnb app to stay on top of guest communication and ensure each booking went as smoothly as possible. But doing all the heavy-lifting herself was a challenge.
Quynh had to answer messages and inquiries from guests all day—including long after her supposed work hours. Plus, she had to organize the housekeeper to come every time she needed cleaning done.
One of the biggest reasons why she decided to do everything manually was because she didn’t know there was a better way to do it. Since she was new to the STR ecosystem, she wasn’t yet a part of the host community to take more informed decisions about her business.
But then, something changed.
Hospitable.com to the rescue
Automation became the biggest game-changer for Quynh and Tri. When first introduced to the concept of automation for property management, the couple tried a somewhat buggy app, but they struggled with it. Then they discovered Hospitable.com.
Quynh quickly understood how Hospitable could turn things around for them—especially because of the smooth and extensive onboarding process where the team explained all the features they could use to their advantage. The onboarding call helped Quynh create a plan to automate different workflows and improve the overall efficiency to deliver an enhanced guest experience.
Using Hospitable was a major upgrade from the Airbnb app because it provided better visibility into different performance indicators to explain what was and what wasn’t working.
Along with its super-intuitive interface, Hospitable helped Quynh and Tri on many fronts. Here’s how:
1. Automated responses
Guest communication was one of the biggest problem areas throughout the couple’s journey as hosts. With its automated response feature, Hospitable.com simplified a crucial aspect of guest comms: Speed.
Using cutting-edge AI technology, the platform interprets what a guest message means and sends an accurate response from a directory of saved responses.
Quynh and Tri used automated replies in two main ways:
- For prospects: She set up auto-responders for common inquiries to keep the Airbnb response rate up at all times. Whenever a prospect asked a question about availability, amenities, or anything else, they’d get an automated response like “Thank you for your interest” before Quynh could answer their query herself.
- For guests: They also created auto-responses to answer some of the most frequently asked guest questions, like “What’s the Wi-Fi password?” and “Where’s the parking?” This ensured quick answers that minimized any friction in the guest experience, and far less time spent fielding repeated questions.
This way, Quynh could win back the hours she previously had to spend on managing inquiries and answering guest questions.
2. Automated messages
One of the most exciting upgrades with Hospitable.com was a message flow to send automated messages to every guest. These automated messages allowed the couple to offer a more personalized touch to guests and even improve her guest reviews.
Here’s what Quynh and Tri’s message flow looked like:
- Thank you for booking (upon booking confirmation)
- Check-in instructions (on the day of check-in)
- Recommendations for things to do (day after check-in)
- Friendly reminder of things to do before check-out (day before check-out)
- Check-out instructions (Day of check-out)
- Review request
Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.
They also included a message giving guests the option to extend their stay whenever possible. This created additional revenue by helping the couple fill any gaps in the booking calendar—all with a little automation.
3. Task management
The ease of planning and managing resources was another major change Quynh and Tri experienced through Hospitable.com.
Instead of texting the housekeeper every time they needed some cleaning, Hospitable made it easy for the couple to inform the cleaning staff about upcoming tasks. They simply shared the calendar access with the cleaners to let them know beforehand about future jobs.
So, the couple’s task management responsibilities quickly became a breeze with seamless coordination and minimal back-and-forth.
4. Dynamic pricing
Pricing is make-or-break for any business, and Quynh and Tri realized the value of using a dynamic pricing tool when they accidentally undersold a stay at their property during a popular TwitchCon event in San Diego. So, despite being locals, their lack of awareness about local events resulted in them losing out.
Now, they use PriceLabs to get the pricing right for all seasons of the year. PriceLabs is a dynamic pricing tool compatible with platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo and suited for properties like serviced apartments and vacation rentals.
The tool automatically identifies potentially demand-hiking events and trends to adjust the nightly pricing—saving Quynh and Tri the stress of losing money during periods of high demand.
But the best part is that Hospitable.com integrates easily with PriceLabs to sync the real-time pricing updates. That means, the couple can simply rely on Hospitable to present the best prices for all their listings without worrying about making changes manually.
5. Channel management
Besides helping with property management and guest communication, Hospitable also acts as a channel manager for both Airbnb and Vrbo. This allows the couple to coordinate across these channels with laser-focused messaging for the varied audiences on both platforms. Since most of the communication happens on auto-pilot, there’s little to no scope for error.
Expanding to new markets
Thanks to Hospitable.com’s advanced automation capabilities, Quynh and Tri could use their time more strategically, allowing them to purchase properties out of state with designated property managers. Putting several operational tasks on auto-pilot gave them the chance to be in control of their day and invest their efforts in expanding the business with more properties.
Now that they have six properties to run, the couple has assigned a property manager for each property—and Hospitable.com still works perfectly for them so they can stay on top of every single detail.“Hospitable can still be used if you want to be partially involved in the management of the property”, Quynh says.
Quynh and Tri use Hospitable.com for property managers through shared access so they can look into all the operations related to their respective properties. Plus, it’s also easy to switch property managers since all the systems and workflows are already in place. So, a change in management will never hamper the guest experience.
Given the benefits the couple discovered with automation, a crucial question they now ask any potential property manager is, ”What are the automation tools you’re using?”
Hospitable.com seamlessly handles everyday operations and channel distribution for Quynh and her husband to give them that much-needed peace of mind as STR hosts.
Scaling her business with automation
Quynh and Tri Vu managed to skyrocket her success in the STR industry with indispensable support from Hospitable.com. The platform allowed them to improve the guest experience and set up human-like automated messages, optimize their response rate with automated responses, and get rid of the constant back-and-forth with housekeepers.
Without Hospitable, expanding across three states and six properties simply wouldn’t have been possible, but now, further growth is on the horizon.
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