Submitted by Robert Hertert, Board Member and host in Portland and the Oregon Coast
The Host2Host event on July 14th imparted loads of good information to our members on creative solutions to Build a Better Booking Strategy with StayFi. Be sure to watch the full recording of the presentation and take advantage of the Host2Host discount promo code below.
SPECIAL! StayFi is offering a 50% off for the first three months - use promo code host2host.
Meet the Host & Sponsor Speaker
Our techie, entrepreneur, Host2Host board member and property manager, Anthony Rallo did it again! This time, Anthony brought us Arthur Colker from StayFi, who sponsored the Meetup. Arthur gave us a great presentation about this WiFi tool to help with communications and marketing. Anthony, who uses StayFi in his business, highly recommends it.
Connecting Hosts with Guests
StayFi was founded in 2018 to help facilitate direct bookings with repeat guests. Most initial bookings come from an Online Travel Agency (OTA) like Airbnb, along with the fees and controls meant to keep future bookings under the OTA’s umbrella. The host may not even have the booking guest’s email address.
Uplevel Your Wifi Offering with StayFi
StayFi creates a new WiFi network in the host’s property that resembles guest experiences at hotels and other places where access to the WiFi is granted only after providing an email address. This applies to all the guests in the home, not just the person who made the booking, so there is a great opportunity for future connection with multiple individuals in the group.
The StayFi product is a combination of hardware, called an “access point” and software that allows guests to opt-in or opt-out of various offerings the host may have. These options are presented on what’s called a “splash page” when the guest first logs into the WiFi. Most hosts will only need a single access point, but more can be added if the space requires it.
Driving Guests to Your Website
Much of the presentation focused on the value of direct booking. Arthur strongly recommended creating our own websites, and driving traffic to them. One way to do that is to make sure the StayFi splash page includes the host’s branded website. Further, your direct listing site needs to have a pop-up to gather email addresses.
Email and Text Messages Produce Results
Personalizing the email is powerful. Having email addresses for people who have stayed at your property allows you to make the connection personal. In fact, 80-90% of guests provide their email addresses during a stay. StayFi is beginning a similar process for gathering text message numbers. The percentage of guests who opt in for text is small, around 20%, but has a 90% open rate. As a point of illustration, Anthony only activated text in one of his houses a month ago and instantly, a guest uploaded pictures to a Google Review page expanding reach and potential future guest reservations.
With StayFi, it’s easy to set up an ongoing outreach campaign that can include a Day Zero welcome message, a Day 1 check-in message, a Day 7 encouragement to review on Google, etc. Again, the guests can opt-out of these marketing messages, but many will enjoy receiving the communications.
What Sets StayFi Apart?
It’s important to understand the difference in roles between the host’s Property Management System (PMS) and StayFi. A PMS is oriented towards only the booking guest and provides messages like directions, lock code, parking, etc. StayFi’s role applies to all guests, not just the booking guest. 90% of StayFi's messaging is post-stay marketing with a focus on driving return guest reservations and referrals.
What Does it Cost?
The access point itself is $119-$200 depending on the physical size of the property, and the monthly fee to StayFi is $6 per access point. Most properties only need one access point. Don't forget about the Host2Host special discount!