How Vendors Are Adapting to The World of AI

In this episode of the Boostly podcast, Mark explores the impact of AI on the short-term rental industry. Guests from Over Network, Angel Host, Enzo Connect, Hostway, Journey, and other companies discuss their integration of AI, including chat GPT, into their businesses. 

They highlight the benefits of AI in areas such as guest reviews, listings creation, communication, and operational efficiency. The episode emphasizes the importance of maintaining a balance between AI and human interaction. Listeners gain valuable insights into how AI is transforming the vacation rental industry.

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Timestamps (audio)


[00:00:00] Mark: Welcome back to the Boostly podcast. Uh, we are now well past 600 episodes flying onto 700. Uh, not bad for a podcast that is six years old. Uh, I just wanna say thank you to everybody who is part of this journey, and in this video, in this episode, you are going to find out all about a. I, that big buzzword that everyone's talking about here.

[00:00:22] Mark: Now I'm not just gonna talk about Boostly. What I wanted to do is instead I wanted to go to the whole of the short term rental industry and find out how they're adapting to the world of ai. Cuz all of these vendors are gonna be impacting you in some way, shape. Or form. And so I reached out to tons of my friends.

[00:00:40] Mark: I jumped into the DMs, I jumped into the Slack DMs. I sent text messages and emails out to all of our partners, vendors, buddies in the industry, and asked them the one question, how are they bringing in AI into their business? And you're gonna hear from all of them. In the course of the next few minutes.

Find out more about Chat GPT

[00:00:57] Mark: Before I do that though, please make sure that you find out more about AI Chat gpt. All you need to do, if you wanna get started, uh, there's a real good resource, just go to Boost Lee dot code uk slash robot. That'll take you to Facebook Messenger. Just tick the box to say you're happy to get a message and it'll send you a Google Doc of all the latest news.

[00:01:16] Mark: What's going on. Prompts to use and all that good stuff. But without further ado, let's go in and we're gonna start with our first friend and vendor from the industry and they're gonna explain how they're adapting to the world of ai.

Hearing from Vendors who use AI

[00:01:39] Guest Vendors: Hi, this is Rafael, Guest Vendorseting manager at Over Network. Um, when it comes to AI at Over Network, we saw a big opportunity to cut down on time spent when it comes to, uh, repetitive tasks. So we integrated chat g b t into our systems in a way that allows us to deal with our guest reviews much more efficiently. So, And what that means is when a guest review comes in chat, g p t will automatically correct um, the grammar mistakes and it will then translate the guest review into French or English, depending on the original language.

[00:02:06] Guest Vendors: And this has greatly reduced, um, time spent on guest reviews by our account managers, which now allows them to deal with much more important matters. Hello, Eduardo Mandri, co-founder and c e o of Angel host. So how do we use ai? How do we use chat j PT in our day-to-day operations? From day one, when we started this company, we always consider there would be two things that would allow us to remain competitive and to be a force of good for our clients.

[00:02:33] Guest Vendors: One of them was having the best technology, and number two, having the best team. And when it comes to technology, we cannot ignore AI and we cannot ignore chat. G B T. It's something that from day one, we have started incorporating into our day-to-day operations. For example, in the creation of listings or save replies.

[00:02:49] Guest Vendors: But more recently, we actually collaborated. With another IT company in the creation of a new tool that allows us to respond faster and better to all the guest inquiries. Now we're not replacing our guest services team. Our guest services team is now powered by CHATT b t. We still need a human to make sure that whatever the AI engine is suggesting does make sense that that strikes the right tone and with the right answer, with the rise of ai, one thing is clear to me.

[00:03:16] Guest Vendors: It won't be AI replacing people's jobs, but humans that use AI will replace the humans that don't. And that's because AI makes you 10 times more efficient. And the reality is AI personalization has been used on us for over a decade. Think about your social media experiences, your Amazon, all of those customer journeys on every OTA are personalized to you or whoever's using it based on their purchasing power preferences, affinities, and so on.

[00:03:44] Guest Vendors: That way, they're able to show everyone properties they like on their website Guest Vendor seting and more at adaptive. We're democratizing this technology, so smaller businesses have the same ability to level the playing field and personalize every customer journey, increasing the velocity of their current team to double their revenue without doubling their workforce.

[00:04:04] Guest Vendors: Hi, my name is Francois and I'm the co-founder and c e O of Enzo Connect. We're a guest experience platform for the vacation rental industry. Uh, we've been using different. Functions of ai, uh, since day one, including sentiment analysis, context analysis, and now of course chat, G B T. Uh, so how does this work for Enzo Connect?

[00:04:24] Guest Vendors: Really simple. We've got, let's say three or four different verticals, uh, for ai. Sentiment analysis allows you to track the sentiment of your guests throughout the conversations you have. Context analysis allows you to categorize the types of conversations you're having so you can better predict the, the problems you might face.

[00:04:42] Guest Vendors: Chat G B T, well, you guessed it, a full indexing of your data so that we can predict the most accurate response. And then content generation, creating upsells, creating content for your guidebooks and anything else that you need to write. Uh, but embedded in your systems. Okay, so one of the products that Hostly offers is the guidebooks, which are, which are to enhance the guest experience and service by providing all details about their stay from check-in, checkout, parking, wifi, where to go needs, what's going do.

[00:05:11] Guest Vendors: They can. You can upsell the, the, the manager can upsell and offer loads of features within the guidebook. And one of the ways we're adapting to AI and chat gpt is we now offer an AI planner. So the guests can go in here, put in their details, and it'll plan a trip for them. Um, so you can put in many different details.

[00:05:31] Guest Vendors: They click plan the trip, and here's an example. So it comes out with a lot of recommendations for the guests to, um, to go and do during their stay. Hey, there, Solana from Journey here. What journey currently is doing is something very unique. We've basically taken the concept of a traditional PMs and flipped it on its head.

[00:05:49] Guest Vendors: Not only have you built the first vertical integrated platform with direct access to the best class providers for guest screening, guest communication, revenue management, and housekeeping and maintenance, who are true experts in the respective fields, but we've also taken a step further. I launched an advanced AI assistant built on Chat gpt four.

[00:06:10] Guest Vendors: Essentially, we wanna make our technology accessible to anyone out there. That's why we offer the first three PMs with direct integration to Airbnb backed by chatbots. To help property managers to streamline their guest communication while improving operational efficiency. Hi, I'm Marcus from hostway.

Using AI as a guest

[00:06:29] Guest Vendors: Hostway was the first vacation rental PMs to implement chat G P T at the moment. It, uh, reviews the descriptions and the titles of properties and we plan, plan to expand this into guest communication as soon as, uh, we're able to feed the data that's relevant to giving the answer. Uh, so far the industry hasn't seen much success in this.

[00:06:51] Guest Vendors: Turns out it's incredibly difficult giving the right answer to a guest because the context matters, and it seems like it's hard to know when, when, which context to use. Uh, guests have different expectations and the, the, the language they've used in asking previous questions. Will it have to be analysed in order to, to choose the right approach for the next answer?

[00:07:17] Guest Vendors: And that's something that, uh, that we're working on to figure out right now. Stay tuned. Hello everyone. How are you? My name's Miguel from We United. I'm Power Host. Uh, since May we've been starting to enjoy AI creating our first AI driven tool. Check my listing here. We analyse users, customers, and potential customers.

[00:07:41] Guest Vendors: For free their Airbnb profile. The AI will go into detail from your description, your reviews, and your pictures, giving you personal recommendations for you to improve. This improvement will mean one first. Ranking higher in Airbnb. Two more bookings, and three, an increase of revenue. So AI and the vacation rental industry.

[00:08:07] Guest Vendors: Um, I think the AI camp, uh, in general, but in definitely in the vacation rental industry is split into multiple camps, uh, both of which are extreme. One camp views it as a Guest Vendorseting gimmick, uh, really doesn't help products. It's more jumping on the bandwagon and, uh, trying to boost your products with certain words or certain advertising campaigns.

[00:08:27] Guest Vendors: Uh, the other camp is also extreme in, in thinking that AI is going to, uh, solve all of the product problems, all the service problems, and, um, kind of take over and, and replace all the interaction now that you have in, uh, vacation rental interfaces and channels and other things. I think really the answer lies in the middle, and this is where Owner Re is focused on ai and that is using AI to empower the communication piece between hosts and their guests.

[00:09:00] Guest Vendors: Um, I think if you're a small or medium operator, uh, there's definitely a need and after hours time or if you have another job or something else where you're not able to interact all the time with guests to step in and provide answers in a human relatable way, um, where. You can, uh, where the AI piece can ingest and then, uh, uh, uh, send communication to the guest for things like amenities and rules or even, uh, which properties are available and what the pricing is.

Using AI to empower communication

[00:09:28] Guest Vendors: Um, there you can have a, a meaningful communication there, I think even at some point, probably on the phone. Uh, so that's the part that we're looking at and we're really interested in, I think the business operations side of AI where you actually book the dates and exchange credit card information, signing renter agreements.

[00:09:43] Guest Vendors: I think that's probably further off down the road. But um, definitely in terms of empowering communication, uh, AI has a real, uh, future and some real potential here in the near future. So we look forward to working with it. Hi everyone. It's uh, Francois. I'm, uh, the CTO at, uh, guest ready. As some of you may know, we are both, uh, property manager and, uh, PMs, uh, editor, uh, with our all-in one Solution Rental Ready.

[00:10:10] Guest Vendors: So recently in Bordeaux, we gathered all our product team together and, uh, we've, uh, run a small hackathon, um, on the AI topic and in particular how we can actually implement chat DPT to help as much as possible our operation and improve our guest experience. Out of this, we have, uh, found and deployed.

[00:10:31] Guest Vendors: For, um, projects that we thought were the best, uh, uh, use of this tool. And, uh, the first one being automated answer that you can see here, uh, assisted answer. So improving existing answer, correcting grammar, improving the tone to be more in line with the guest ready value generating itineraries for our guest and generating dynamically SEO page.

[00:10:54] Guest Vendors: So, lot of cool things, lot of cool usage, and, uh, We are looking to, to deploy and use, uh, tragedy more and more in the, in the future. Thank you. I would say that Wheelhouse has been doing ai, not only doing it, but publishing our work for eight and a half years. So Wheelhouse builds a machine learning model to help people understand how to price their home perfectly.

[00:11:17] Guest Vendors: We actually publish all of our research. You can see here, this is a white paper. If we were to scroll through it and read it slowly. It would take more than 30 minutes to read, but we're gonna tell you all the approaches we've learned to basically answer this incredibly interesting question of how should we price every unique home, every single night based on whether it has a porch pool, patio, pi, wifi park, pet parking, pet policy, et cetera.

[00:11:39] Guest Vendors: So I would say machine learning has been alive and well, and therefore AI has been live and well in wheelhouse for eight plus years. Again, ai, large family machine learning is small component that's really good at big data sets. Now chat gpt is a little different, right? It's a large language model, so it's usually used for designing chat interfaces so people can interact with systems and potentially data.

[00:12:01] Guest Vendors: How could wheelhouse incorporate that? Obviously we could use it for sales or customer support. I think there are more interesting questions to be asked around revenue management. So for example, could we allow someone, let's just go back to the calendar for a second, and here we're gonna see a calendar.

[00:12:20] Guest Vendors: With someone's listings, they're gonna load up about 50 listings here in a second, all their listings, and you can see their listings here. You can see how their price recommendations scroll out in the future. Wouldn't it be interesting to be able to ask a Chat GPT like model, what five properties should I pay the most attention to?

[00:12:39] Guest Vendors: We think that'd be pretty cool. We've integrated as a company chat, g PT, into uh, elements of our back office. But I'm actually gonna talk about, uh, ways that I've used it on a kind of a day-to-day basis. I use it as my sounding board. I kind of throw ideas at it and it obviously comes back. It's just a really good, uh, tool to just ideate, uh, and come up with ideas.

[00:13:00] Guest Vendors: Um, very useful in that way. It also helps me, uh, kind of proofread certain emails. So if I've write, written an email, I just want somebody to go through it, um, and highlight things that we actually want to maybe emphasize on more so. It's a really good tool to do that. Um, one thing that I've not tried extensively is that it seems to be able to, uh, do quite a good job at interpreting spreadsheet data.

[00:13:23] Guest Vendors: So if I take a property performance report, which is just a spreadsheet and slap it into chat, G b T, the formatting looks all wrong, but it actually does manage to, uh, kind of analyze the data and also interpret it by saying, you know, this is, maybe, you know, clearly the difference is here, or there may be a problem here or here, which, uh, is obviously really.

[00:13:43] Guest Vendors: Quite useful. Um, and then it also helps me, you know, schedule stuff like, uh, meeting agendas and things like that. So I provide a bit of context, talk about who, who the person is, talk about the goal of the meeting or the interview. And then the chat g p t basically provides me with a, a full agenda, even specifying, you know, if I've got 15 minutes meeting or, or, or a 30 minute meeting.

[00:14:07] Guest Vendors: Uh, it just basically manages to stick to the time and highlights all the questions that I need to ask. And obviously, You then need to build on top of that. Um, so yeah, I think it's good at saving time. I think it improves your accuracy. Um, it streamlines decision making and is good at enhancing communication as well.

[00:14:26] Guest Vendors: And I think that the main point and the main takeaway that I'll kind of, uh, make here and uh, and emphasize here is I think that we need to look at it as a tool. It's not gonna do things for you. I think it's gonna help you do things in a more efficient manner. And that's what I'd encourage everyone to experiment with because at the end of the day, you know, let's go back to the kind of the idea of diffusion of innovation and what are we right now?

[00:14:53] Guest Vendors: Are we early adopters or are we the early majority? Well, regardless, we need to get on this thing because it's happening. So, Pick up your phones, pick up your computers, talk to it, use it. And I think you'll be surprised. You'll have some terrible surprises, but you'll also have some good ones. So, uh, happy chatting, having a blast.


[00:15:14] Guest Vendors: Gonna get it on the Boostly podcast, Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the tea is loose leaf. Making up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.