Today we profile one of the top vacation rentals companies in Italy. Habitat Italy pioneered Vreasy’s guest experience methodology to build a luxury property rentals business that offers guests much more than just a place to stay.
They entered one of the most competitive property markets in Europe and excelled thanks to the quality of their properties and how they make their guests feel. Starting out in Rome, they are now about to expand their operation across Italy.
Here’s how Habitat built their methodology to maintain personal and attentive service as their business started to grow:
Habitat Italy were one of Vreasy’s first five clients. Years ago, their founder, David, decided to add short term rentals to his successful real estate business. Beginning with a single apartment in Rome, Habitat soon discovered a real lack of large, high-end properties available for short term rent in the center of the Eternal City. Since this initial property, they have worked hard to build a portfolio of three, four and five bedroom properties in the most desireable areas of Rome.
Habitat eventually found apartments that fit their specifications and built a brand and reputation based on high quality properties and exceptional service. To enhance their brand and to make sure their guests returned again and again, they used the Vreasy guest experience methodology to provide a special experience to every single guest.
This experience is top-notch no matter the guest or the property they are staying in. Habitat Italy hosts everyone from families to investment bankers, Hollywood stars, to groups of students. They make sure that every single guest is given the same level of service and attention to detail. They built a top reputation by excelling with very demanding clients — who often have extraordinary requests. Habitat Italy is a luxury business that provides the highest level of properties at an affordable price.
Let’s hear from them:
What type of properties do you rent?
We rent high-end, luxury properties in the center of Rome. We only rent the highest quality, three, four or five bedroom apartments.
What appeals to you when choosing a vacation rental property?
Our first priority is the location, it has to desirable for travellers. Then comes the property itself. Rome has a lot of older buildings so we carry out thorough checks of every property. We’ll only pick the properties that fit our exact specifications.
Each apartment has individual style and we will choose the furnishings to fit. No two are the same. We have high-ceilinged palatial spreads, urban and industrial lofts, and rustic Roman garrets.
What type of clientele is your business aimed at?
We deal mainly with families and high-end clients, investment bankers, even the occasional hollywood star. We describe it as affordable luxury. Our properties are all of the highest standard but we make sure they are great value for every guest.
How has Vreasy helped you to simplify and automate the management of your business?
We use the Guidal.com e-concierge app a lot and the Vreasy arrival forms are fantastic because we obtain all the trip details of the client. You don’t have to sell the guest services – the guests book for themselves. The guest app saves time and it’s very useful because we load all the information about the apartments into the guests’ phones. It makes it really easy to communicate with them. We they have a request, we insert a task into Vreasy and they do the rest.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a property manager? (how has Vreasy helped you combat these issues?)
The biggest challenge is the client. You always have to be available for their questions. You have to be calm and available to answer their requests. We do everything we can but even we cannot provide a terrace with not a single mosquito or Rome with no church bells noise, though!
Having time for every guest means we can answer almost every request. Vreasy gives us this option and lets our guests plan and book their own services.
What are the top 3 things you think help to make a great vacation rental business?
The first thing has to be the quality of the apartment, furniture and the decor. Then comes the attention to the client. People travel and choose vacation rentals because they want something different. Something more original and unique than a hotel
Finally, how you welcome the client — and the price has to be right – our business is based on affordable luxury. Know the value of what you offer and do not over sell.
Since working with Vreasy, has your guest methodology changed with the ability to augment your business by selling services?
Yes absolutely, because everything is automatic. We can offer more services to every guest.It’s all fluid and automatic and at the end of the day it gives us hundreds of extra minutes to devote to the clients.
What does going the ‘Extra mile’ mean to you?
We try to be with the clients from the first moment they enquire. Personal emails are written, we automate the booking process but every other email is written specifically for the guest.
We help them whenever they require, giving them a stress-free trip from start to finish. Booking restaurants, train tickets, museum entrances, and other suggestions for great things to do during their stay.
What makes Habitat Italy stand out from others is that they defined a unique gap in the market and then expanded to fill it. They have a clear brand message and only choose properties that fit this carefully crafted image.
From there, they made sure that their service and the guest experience matched perfectly with their high-quality properties. This created a brand that is sustained through their guests’ satisfaction. They have more time to act as expert property managers for their specific demographic and don’t waste time or money competing through untargeted, broad marketing.
How has the Vreasy guest experience and services platform changed your business approach?
Like every company, we are happy with the extra revenue, but for us it is more about giving more options to the guest and allowing them to create their perfect trip.
How Habitat Italy Succeeded:
- Identified what was missing from their market
- Planned a defined approach to provide it
- Combined high quality product with high quality service
- Used a methodology to roll out their business model for every guest
- Created a network of satisfied guests
- Remained consistent and improved every aspect of the guest experience
Habitat Italy used a methodology to provide an automated level of service, going above most property management standards. They now have the time to then go even further. Their level of attention to every guest is remarkable and it’s part of what keeps guests coming back.
The ”Habitat Italy Service” has become a cornerstone of their marketing. Guests discover that as well as booking one of central Rome’s best properties, they are with a company that truly cares about their experience. Their business grows further through referrals, reviews, and good word of mouth. They have a network of guests that have returned and become brand advocates, bringing new guests with them.
With a small investment of time, a few calls a day and the structure to automate 90% of the booking and communication process. They can be confident everything is taken care of and then add unexpected, personal and human touches that elevate each guest’s experience from the mundane to the extraordinary. Investing more in your guests than trying to capture new bookings is the only way for property managers to survive in the post property management boom world.
We’d like to thank Veronika from Habitat Italy for taking the time to show how Vreasy added a new dimension their property management.
Create your very own guest experience methodology today.