How This Vacation Rental Operator Solved Her Guest Communication Problem: A Perfect Vacation Rental Case Study

A Perfect Vacation Rental is a West Maui vacation rental company with some of the best properties in Puamana and Lahaina Shores Beach Resort. With just under 50 units, this rental business offers guests from all around the world a chance to discover a true tropical paradise. In addition to water activities, golf, whale watching, and sunbathing, guests can also enjoy amazing sunsets right outside of their doorsteps.

RueBaRue is proud to have APVR as one of its most recent customers. We spoke with the owner Cathy Medina to discover more about how they create amazing guest experiences and manage to stay on top of everything by using RueBaRue.

A Perfect Vacation Rental beachfront property

A Perfect Vacation Rental was looking to consolidate its operations for better efficiency and less stress.
~ Cathy Medina, Owner of A Perfect Vacation Rental
Want to see how RueBaRue can help your rental business? Schedule a demo today .

The Goal: Reduce workload and delegate work to staff

A Perfect Vacation Rental isn’t pursuing growth. The business is going great, employees are happy, and guests are satisfied. Over the years they’ve received offers to sell their business but turned them all down. Cathy explained:

“We’ve never marketed for new owners. Our success is based on word of mouth.”

Their business focus is on ensuring great work-life balance and finding better ways to work. It’s about minimizing stress by maximizing efficiency. This is where they initially saw the most value in implementing RueBaRue.

A Perfect Vacation Rental beautiful property interior

Source: A Perfect Vacation Rental

Reducing staff workload and stress meant a better way to communicate: RueBaRue’s solution for guest text messaging.

A lot of APVR’s employees work on a part-time basis and most are young mothers. Cathy explained that it’s important for her as an employer to offer a way for them to financially contribute to their families, but also to have a role outside of being a parent:

“Everything has its learning curve, but RueBaRue is simply awesome. The mobile app is great. Employees who work remotely can go to their kids’ soccer games and just look at their phones when needed. RueBaRue comes in, the guest asks about an early check-in, our staff can quickly text the cleaners to inquire about the status of that particular unit, and then the guest gets an immediate answer. No laptop required!”

The Problem: Unreliable guest communication with the PMS

The need for a reliable and user-friendly guest communication tool became crystal clear after APVR experienced an uncomfortable situation that caused a lot of stress and frustration—both on the guest side and among staff.

There were issues with air conditioning in five different units. Given the fact that APVR always provides amazing guest experiences, they were quick to react by sending emails to guests who were about to arrive. However, there were problems down the line, as Cathy shared:

“I went to our PMS to create an email template and address this issue by reaching out to guests who had a reservation in the affected units. I told them what their options are and what we’re doing at the moment to solve the issue.”

But then, three guests arrived and they were appalled that they didn’t have air conditioning. Cathy was confused because she previously notified all the guests. To her surprise, the message didn’t get through to all of them:

“It turned out that sending this information via email and directly from our PMS, resulted in that email being sorted as spam for all the guests who didn’t have a Gmail account. That’s when I realized that I couldn’t count on the message sent through my PMS to reach its intended audience. Probably 30% or even more of our guests don’t use Gmail.”

A Perfect Vacation Rental property lawn

Source: A Perfect Vacation Rental

With RueBaRue’s platform for guest text messaging, Cathy was able to quickly address any issues.

Cathy was forced to come up with a workaround that would ensure all of her guests were properly notified:

“For future cases, we had to make phone calls to every guest who wasn’t a Gmail customer. This took us at least two days—not because sharing intended information took long, but because guests had follow-up questions about the accommodation, beach, activities, etc. It was extremely inefficient. All I could think was—this should have been an email.”

Frustrated guests didn’t try to hide their disappointment, especially because APVR rooms cost up to $1500 per night. At that price, you would expect everything to be top-notch. As Cathy shared, it all turned out to be an exhausting exercise for something that should never have happened in the first place.

The Solution: RueBaRue’s Guest Messaging Software

After her call with Nars Krishnamachari, RueBaRue’s founder, Cathy felt reassured that she found a solution for her problems:

“I was impressed because I immediately realized that RueBaRue had a goal to make it as easy as possible for me to run my business. The value of text messaging that they have, the ability to send automated messages to guests at certain points of their stay… It’s amazing. I trust them. I know my message will be delivered after I send it.”

It turned out that RueBaRue offers even more than APVR expected. Namely, Cathy had issues with another app they were using specifically for creating property guides:

“We used one specific app for creating digital guidebooks, but it wasn’t very user-friendly. As a matter of fact, they are now slowly phasing it out. We were happy that RueBaRue offers the option of creating guidebooks as well, so we basically rebuilt what we had. We created the Property Guide on a much more updated platform that was also intuitive and easy to use.”

Here are the main features Cathy appreciates:

RueBaRue’s feature Overview Benefits
SMS Automation With SMS Automation, you’re able to schedule and auto-send texts to your guests—even when you’re not around. Increase efficiency, reduce guest communication operating costs, eliminate repetitive tasks, and save time. Enable your staff to do more meaningful work.
Emergency Alerts Emergency Alerts is a popular feature available within SMS Automations that allows you to schedule or instantly send urgent messages to all guests or to guests staying at specific properties using tags. Ensure the best possible guest experience: Timely notify them about extreme weather conditions, closed roads, or issues with their rental units (e.g. malfunctioning ACs).
Guest SMS Messaging Answer texts instantly and delight your guests. Get a dedicated business line for guest texting with a shared inbox for your entire staff. Texting is fast, efficient, and convenient. Moreover, it allows you to meet your guests at a communication channel they prefer.
Digital Guestbooks Digital Guestbooks allow you to provide home and area guides in one place. Give your guests everything they need—from arrival times, door codes to Wi-Fi passwords, and property guides. Save time for your staff and avoid lengthy phone calls with guests. Ensure a seamless guest experience and make them feel welcome.

Guests love texts

When sending out emails, there’s a lag effect that doesn’t serve the guest relationship well. It all happens in a time frame that usually spans over a few days. It’s rather slow and not efficient at all. Plus, it prevents you from quickly accessing and personalizing your message for the guest. Cathy said how texting made all the difference for improving guest experience :

“We know the guest’s name, the unit that they’re in, the date range of their stay—all of that is available in RueBaRue. Creating great experiences and immediately addressing guests’ questions has never been easier. This was a game changer for us. We feel that email is more of a dinosaur now when all of our guests are on their phones.”

RueBaRue's guest text messaging platform at work.

RueBaRue’s solution for guest text messaging was a game-changer for A Perfect Vacation Rental and its guests.

Text messaging automation works amazingly well

When the situation calls for it, you have to be prepared to notify your guests about unpleasant news as soon as possible. Let’s imagine two completely different scenarios.

In the first scenario, the guest arrives at the property only to find out they don’t have an AC in their unit and it’s more than 30°C outside. In the second scenario, guests were immediately notified once the issue with ACs was identified. They were offered a discount, a complimentary dinner, and another room that’s more modest, but with a sea view.

Who do you think was more pleased with the service? This was exactly what Cathy pointed out about using RueBaRue:

“Alert through RueBaRue helped us get the message about the AC issue sent faster. Almost immediately, we had several guests responding. We’re getting a much quicker guest response which allows us to again respond in less time and ensure a pleasant experience.

Great customer service

Cathy also shared how it’s a pleasure to work with smaller companies that have a customer service team that is so committed. With some of the previous vacation rental tools APVR used, there seemed to be a lack of empathy for the issue they were experiencing as a customer.

With RueBaRue, it’s a completely different story. Cathy shared how she’s not a very tech-savvy person, and that she feels happy with the speed and quality of customer service:

“They encourage you to ask questions. When I send an email saying—hey, what did I miss, why can’t I do this, I get a response very quickly. I can call them, I can email them, I can chat with them. They are quick to jump on a Zoom call with me and share their screen so that we can work through the issue. I get a strong feeling that they care and they want to make it work.”

The result

For APVR, the benefits of using RueBaRue are undeniable. Because they don’t need to waste so much time on mundane tasks, ARVR’s employees experienced a boost in productivity and morale, and were glad to take on other tasks, Cathy shared:

“Part-time employees are thrilled with RueBaRue. They have more free time, which allows me to delegate more work. It has really made a huge difference.”

To sum up, here are the results after just two months of using RueBaRue:

  • Improved guest experience and happier guests
  • Less stress for the owner
  • Staff can work remotely improving their work-life balance and giving them more free time
  • Employees are more content and able to take on other responsibilities
  • The owner was able to delegate more and focus on other business segments (e.g. bookkeeping)
  • Reduction in time spent managing the business

The Future: Scalable growth, more free time, happier guests

As the owner of a successful business, Cathy faced the challenge of juggling too many things. She was putting out fires and wasting too much time simply because she didn’t have a robust guest communications tool.

With RueBaRue, her business received much more: An honest partner that’s happy to support another amazing vacation rental to create extraordinary guest experiences.

Want to see how RueBaRue can help your rental business? Schedule a demo today .