As a hospitality professional, you may have experienced the challenge of dealing with fragmented technology within the industry when incorporating it into your business. In this blog, we will outline our connected approach to creating a cohesive tech ecosystem for hospitality businesses. Instead of ripping and replacing existing tools, we are focusing on connecting them.
Three ways to approach the fragmentation in hospitality tech
There are three distinct approaches to building a cohesive hospitality tech ecosystem: M&As, developing an all-in-one solution, or connecting disparate tools through APIs (marketplaces or white labels).
Mergers and acquisitions
Large organizations are purchasing smaller companies as a way to expand to new markets.
For example Guesty’s recent acquisition of Australian tech vendor HiRUM and Spanish Kigo, has allowed them to add a new customer base in these regions. Streamline, and their recent acquisition of LMPM allows them to modernize the tech stack offering of their existing clients.
Due to a complex new technology landscape, many hospitality businesses opt to adopt a single vendor strategy and implement an all-in-one system. According to the real time Short-Term Rental Technology Landscape by AJL Atelier & PeakSpan, there are 150+ companies in the PMS category. The major players of property management new solutions have an all-in-one offering. These actionable insights show that it is a very competitive environment.
Technology providers are now focusing on expanding their value proposition and increasing their share of revenue. We can see that across various software systems, including operations software, revenue management systems, channel managers, and traditional PMS. Looking to property managers with all-in-one offer, these vendors are integrating channels and developing add-on features.
Additionally, one-stop shops offer connected marketplaces that integrate with many other systems, ranging from tens to hundreds of connections.
For example, Mews PMS has 750+ apps and integrations for managing operations, revenue, and guest experience in its marketplace. The company believes that using various vertical-specific tools increase operator efficiency due to their hyper-focused nature.
Balancing All-in-one and Best-in-class with a “Connected Approach”
With that many point-based solutions addressing specific issues, layered on an all-in-one PMS, how can operators create a cohesive ecosystem? Adopting specialized solutions from many vendors, and integrating them in a way that serves the needs of the business can be challenging. This involves managing multiple logins, work environments, instructions, links and bills. In this case the major challenge is creating a strong tech ecosystem without complicating operations and disrupting the guest experience.
The solution lies in streamlining the connections between systems while eliminating manual processes from the equation. This is exactly what Enso Connect does. It links tools and adds customized if/then logic to workflows so they work exactly how operators need them to work. Best of all, this is all done automatically (however, if needed, a manual option is always available as well).
There’s no need to decide between All-in-one or Best-in-class. With Enso Connect hospitality professionals can have the best of both worlds.
The Zapier of Hospitality
Enso Connect has set its sights on being the ultimate connector in the hospitality industry. As part of this vision, it is announcing the release of hundreds of new connections for both hospitality operations and guests, earning it the nickname “Zapier of Hospitality.”
Just like Zapier streamlines workflow automation for businesses, Enso Connect is doing the same for short-term rentals and hotels around the world. With Enso Connect, operators can effortlessly integrate different tools and systems, creating a smooth and efficient operation that delivers the ultimate guest experience.
Hospitality operations essentials
Typically, hospitality professionals use about eight to ten different software products to effectively manage their business. In addition to the PMS as a center of any hospitality tech stack, property managers use these third-party platforms and apps:
- Guest verification solutions
- Smart locks and other smart home systems
- Digital guidebooks (aka guest books and area guides)
- Contract signature tools
- Payment system
- Custom fees and upsell tools
- Customer relationship management (CRM systems)
- SMS messaging and survey tools
- Marketing automation and email technology
- Property care (housekeeping, maintenance management)
- Noise monitoring systems
- Revenue management & dynamic pricing
- Guest Apps
Today each of these categories includes multiple sustainable solutions, with a couple of best-in-class options. Operators can choose the best options for their business or maximize the built-in functionality in their central systems.
But they can also balance both approaches with Enso Connect.
Enso Connect’s unique solution is to integrate and white label those tools within customized workflows. This goes beyond simply transmitting data to the tool and allowing it to function independently. Instead, the tool is integrated into your system, enabling you to set it up, onboard, and pay for it all through one platform.
Here’s how it works. Enso Connect plugs these best-in-class technology partners into users’ guest journeys. Property managers follow the steps in Enso Connect’s Guest Journey Editor, choosing the best tools on every stage with one click.
Here is a step-by-step review of what Enso-connected users can, using the platform:
Send the confirmation and guest app link in an SMS, email, WhatsApp. Automate the process, personalizing the messaging to specific modern guest personas and use cases. They can craft their own messages or choose from templates.
Build the screening and verification process, tailored to each guest and case. Operators can choose Suprhog or Autohost as verification providers, or collect and check the ID manually in case the booking comes through Airbnb and doesn’t require additional protection.
Create rental agreements in over 200 languages and make them easily accessible to guests by integrating an electronic signature solution such as DocuSign for legal validity. They can create a condition to send the agreement only in case of a specific trigger, for example last minute booking or a specific listing.
Security deposits or damage waivers
Charge a security deposit or offer guests a choice between a refundable deposit or a smaller non-refundable damage waiver. Many guests’ personal preference is to pay a damage waiver, allowing the operator to use this money to cover
Fees and upsells
You know why your guests are here, you know who they are. Leverage this data to increase your margins.
House rules and guidebooks
It’s not just about money, but also about creating a personal connection with your guests. Provide information to elevate their stay and give them a reason to come back.
Set up everything for a quick and easy check-in. Deliver a seamless digital check-in experience, with or without smart locks.
Streamline the checkout process for both your guests and your cleaning team. Provide clear instructions and add efficiencies to the process.
Why remind every guest to leave a review? Handpick your champions to give you the glowing 5-star reviews you deserve!
Guest experience essentials
The way your hospitality service makes your guests feel pre-, during, and after the stay is the meaning behind the guest experience. It starts from the moment they book their stay and continues even after they leave the place. It’s all about providing convenience, meeting their expectations, being responsive, making them feel at home, and giving them a local experience they’ll never forget.
What technology is essential for hospitality professionals to ensure their guests have a delightful stay and return for future visits?
In the realm of short stay hospitality, we identify three core elements of guest experience:
A smooth, effortless, and quick processes
This includes streamlined verification, contactless check-in, one-click purchases, available transportation and other convenience services.
Meeting guest expectations
This can be achieved through effective communication, responsiveness, and providing all information necessary for a great stay ahead of time.
Creating lasting memories
Operators can curate available local experiences for their guests. This can be done through providing neighborhood guides, offering tours, excursions, and opportunities to dine and shop locally.
Enso Connect is enabling hospitality professionals to enhance their user experience with the help of its numerous integrations.
Enso-connected operators can provide their guests with a seamless vacation experience, all accessible in one place. With just a single tap, guests can arrange everything from transportation to food delivery and even car rental services from Turo, allowing them to explore nearby locations hassle-free.
Enso Connect links property managers to a wide range of experience partners, connected through the “Zapier of Hospitality,” to assist their guests in tackling various logistics such as transportation, luggage, food, and more.
By incorporating affiliate links to service providers like Uber, Turo, Viator, BabyQuip or local partners, property managers can create additional revenue streams. The ultimate goal is to prioritize the guest satisfaction and provide them with everything they need for a truly memorable vacation.
For example, guests can use Boarding Pass to order Uber with pre-populated addresses, reserve local restaurants, schedule tours and more. They can use the guest app to order anything that operators connect and set up in their Boarding Pass. Enso Connect allows operators to set up links and connections with more than 200 experience partners. See the full list here.
Enso Connect’s Connected Approach
Enso’s connections, similar to Zapier, assist hospitality professionals in streamlining their operations and accessing best tools without the need to handle multiple logins, setups, and bills. With Enso, they can avoid fragmentation in their operations and simplify their management process.
This connected approach to guest experience is specifically crafted to cater to the demands of scaling hospitality businesses. It enables property managers to configure their operations to meet even the most challenging edge cases, which they might face while running such a complex business.
Here’s what Francois Gouelo, the Co-founder and CEO of Enso Connect shares his vision of Connected Approach in hospitality technology:
”“Each hospitality business is distinct, with a unique brand, properties, guests, owners, and ways of operating. Therefore, a one-size-fits-all system is not suitable since it lacks flexibility. To expand and scale, operators need to diversify their assets, booking channels, and types of guests they serve, etc. This is why adopting best-in-class tools customized for your needs is like adding rocket fuel to your business growth potential.”Francois GoueloCofounder and CEO of Enso Connect
Centralizing your billing
Enso Connect’s better approach offers the convenience of centralizing invoicing for various tools, eliminating the need to manage multiple vendors and bills. The system uses a white-label integration method that centralizes billing in one or two locations, streamlining the process for users.
A great example for this is Enso Connect’s white-labeled solutions for verification partners, Autohost, Superhog and Partee, offering a seamless experience for clients. The innovative connected approach is aimed at making the lives of hospitality professionals easier and more efficient.
Solving the hassle of choice
Enso Connect is solving the hassle of finding and choosing the right tools, as well as onboarding them. If property managers want to connect any of Enso’ verification partners, upsells, guidebooks, smart locks, they can quickly and easily do so.
It takes just one click to add a partner on the platform. If a vendor is not working out, it can be swiftly turned off and replaced with a new one. This feature allows operators to A/B test their tools or have certain properties on one vendor while others use a different one, without heavy commitments.
Users have the flexibility to use specific vendors for specific properties or with specific conditions. This allows them to potentially pay less by still using the best in class vendors of the industry.
The flexibility of a connected approach: examples and use cases
Below are a few examples of tailor-made workflows for unique scenarios, created by Enso Connect users for their hospitality businesses:
Access post Verification
One crucial automation is sending check-in instructions and smart lock codes to guests only after they have completed the verification process. If guest verification is completed with check-in instructions, then the smart lock codes are released.
Making changes to the Customer Journey
Deny access even after releasing check-in instructions with the “Revoke Boarding Pass” feature. This feature ensures that property managers are covered in edge cases when they need to act quickly and make last-minute changes.
Parking Instructions when a guest pays the parking fee
Automate and simplify the parking check-in process. If your Property Management System (PMS) records payment information for parking, Enso Connect can release the check-in instructions for parking. This means that parking instructions will only be shown to guests who have already paid for parking. If the parking fee is paid, then the parking instructions are sent to the guest.
Add protection to high risk reservations
If the reservation process in your PMS is a last minute booking, then add insurance to this reservation.
Tailor Verification for Channels
Save on extra screening and verification costs for Airbnb reservations. Airbnb already has a built-in verification process, which may make paid verification services unnecessary for reservations made through this platform. Enso Connect offers the flexibility to skip paid verification for bookings made through Airbnb.
Seasonality in Hospitality
Display relevant information based on the season when the reservation is made. For instance, if the reservation is for the summer, show digital guidebooks that highlight summer activities. Similarly, display appropriate information for all seasons or other conditions.
Converging Real Estate Assets
Centralize your technology infrastructure for managing different real estate types and brands. If you manage both hotels and vacation rentals, and use two separate property management software, Enso Connect creates a unified guest experience process. This is achieved by linking the two PMS platforms into a single, centralized system.
Simplify Signature & House Rules
Simplify legitimate signature processes to comply with regulations. In some buildings, guests are required to sign specific documentation. Or operators have a rental agreement signature as part of their guest onboarding. Enso Connect can streamline the signature process by pre-populating data from the guest verification form into a DocuSign agreement, sent to the guest.
Increase Direct Bookings with Data
Boost revenue with personalized and targeted marketing campaigns using the data collected from verification forms or other tools such as StayFi. Enso Connect allows you to import data from reservations or StayFi, enrich it with additional information, and export it to marketing automation tools like MailChimp or Hubspot for effective campaigns.
Increase your Revenue
Maximize bottom line with dynamic upsells*. Utilize revenue optimization data to optimize your upsells, just like you do with your booking reservations. For example, an early check-in may be priced higher on weekends than on weekdays to reflect demand.