How You Can incorporate AI Into Your Hospitality Business

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In this podcast, Liam interviews Clive, founder of Hello Hosty, discussing their AI concierge, Alina, created for the hospitality industry. Alina offers 24/7 guest communication, reducing the workload for property managers. Clive, with a background in real estate, highlights how Alina integrates with platforms like, Airbnb, and VRBO to learn about properties and mimic human interactions. 

Alina handles a variety of guest interactions, from maintenance issues to general inquiries, and alerts property managers when necessary. Clive addresses concerns about AI's impersonality, encouraging hosts to experience Alina's effectiveness.

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Timestamps (audio)


[00:00:00] Clive: If a guest says to Alina, Oh, hey, there's, um, the sink, the sinks leaking, um, Can someone come out to fix this? Alina will respond to the guest saying, Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. I'll speak to the property manager and I'll come back to you shortly. At this point, Hello Hosting notifies the property manager or owner and says that your attention is required.

[00:00:20] This is the conversation. So, uh, There are points where Alina will jump in. Similarly, Having a blast, gonna get it on the Bruce Lee podcast. Bruce Lee like Bruce Lee, cause it's so hard and the tea is loose leaf. Making up those rhymes, don't write it, just do it loosely. If you want my respect, you better book directly.

[00:00:38] Hmm. Here are the words in the podcast. That's what comes next.


[00:00:42] Liam: Welcome back to the Boosty podcast. This is the podcast that gives you the host of the tools, the tactics, the training, and most importantly, the confidence. So you can go out there and get yourselves

[00:00:51] direct bookings. What we like to do on this Boosty podcast is we like to bring your attention to services, people, and things within the industry.

[00:01:00] That will help your hospitality

[00:01:02] business. One of the biggest things at the moment, and you've seen it everywhere is AI and how you can incorporate that within your hospitality business and how it can make things a lot easier for you, how it can make things smoother and ultimately

[00:01:15] Give your guests a better experience. So that's what we're going to be talking about today. And we've got very special guests joining us for this. We've got Clive, who's the founder of Hello Hosty. So Clive, welcome along.

[00:01:28] Clive: Hi Liam. Thank you for having me.

What is Hello Hosty?

[00:01:29] Liam: There's going to be people on here who have never heard of Hello Hosty. So before we dive further in, what is Hello Hosty and like an elevator pitch style?

[00:01:39] Clive: Okay. So, uh, to summarize Hello Hosty, we have an AI concierge, Alina, who, uh, can communicate with your guests, learns about your property and communicates with your guests, alleviating the necessity to be available 24 seven and supporting your guests in the best. Possible way in the most friendly, uh, empathetic and informed way possible.

How did Hello Hosty come about?

[00:02:01] Liam: How did hello hosty come about? How it always amazed me when I'm not a techie person. So to see these new AI tools come around, which is solving some of the biggest problems for us as hosts. It always amazed me to find out how. Those problems came around and how you solved them or how you've come up with a solution.

[00:02:22] Clive: Well, I've always been a kind of techie person, but I've, I've been working in, uh, real estate, vacation rental, short-term rentals for about 14 years. So, um, managing a lot of properties all around the world and. One challenge that we couldn't overcome and that was always present, uh, is guest communications that guests need.

[00:02:43] They need, I call it a digital hug. They need to know that you're there. They need information. Even if you've given them templates, guests want a human at the other end of, the phone or of the app or whatever it is, however, they're communicating with you and they want to feel that they've got your attention, that you care for them.

[00:02:58] Hospitality is the whole nature of the business. And, um, with this recent revelation in AI technology. Um, in generative AI, we were able to build a product which could easily communicate with, um, with easily communicate with your guests. So learn about your properties and in a very human manner with empathy, with reasoning, respond, or generate responses to guest inquiries.

[00:03:23] So, I mean, we, we use it in our, in our business and I've, I've seen it. I've seen it handle some interesting situations. I've seen it talk guests through the process of topping up pressure in a boiler. Um, I've seen kind of interesting conversations that have gone down a really like, uh, I mean, sending like love heart emojis and, uh, you know, like the way that the, that Alina can communicate with guests is, is phenomenal.

[00:03:52] It's, it, it is like a human communicating and with our, with our product, it's, um, it's possible with booking. com to put it onto auto as well. So if a guest is, uh, Many guests that like to just communicate and just fire backwards and forwards continuously. I mean, we had a guest on Sunday night, just gone and the guest started talking at 10:30 PM and I'm watching the conversation.

[00:04:15] I mean, we have a team that, deals with communication, but I'm watching the conversation and this guest started talking at 10:30 and was asking. Like all kinds of questions. And Alina was responding. I went to sleep and I woke up the next morning there'd been an exchange of about 20 messages between the guest and Alina all through the night, 2:30 AM and Alina responded within about two minutes.

[00:04:37] So this guest has got, has fundamentally got. Uh, hospitality professionals are available to them 24 7 answering their questions, and we're not out to trick anyone. But the guest was completely unaware that this was, uh, an AI that it was that it was talking to. Let's talk more about how it works.

What does a host need to do?

[00:04:56] Liam: What from the host's point of view, would I need to do so? I'm a host myself. What do I need to do to have that ability to be able to not worry about, um, the guests communicating with me at 2 am?

[00:05:09] Clive: Okay so we've built, we built this product with simplicity and ease in mind.

[00:05:16] It has to be, it had to be easy for hosts to be able to sign up and just start using. So what we've, what we've done is we've kind of Uh, to, to, to, Alina needs to have as much information as possible to be able to respond to guests. But to get that information from the host, we don't want to, we don't want hosts to have to spend hours and hours updating Alina.

[00:05:38] So, um, so our software can take information from booking. com, Airbnb. VRBO, it can, can gather all of that information. There's some information that the host will put into a profile for each property that they list on Hello Hosty. And we also, um, if, uh, if the host has a guidebook, amazing, fantastic.

[00:05:58] You can upload the guidebook. If you don't have a guide, but if the host doesn't have a guidebook. Um, we have a short questionnaire which can be filled out. We create, uh, the guide digital guidebooks for, uh, included within the price for the host. And then Alina will use all of the information, which is in the guidebook, all of the information, which was, um, gathered from Airbnb booking.

[00:06:18] com and VRBO and a couple of other small pieces of information regarding checkout and address and different things like this, um, that the host would upload. And then. Any question relative to the information that's contained within those three areas of information, Alina will be able to respond to. Um, so from the host perspective, it's an easy, fast, uh, sign-up.

[00:06:39] It's, it's, it, it would take roughly about five minutes, to create a property and get it and get it started.

[00:06:46] Liam: Is there any limitations around what it can and can't answer? You know, is there, are there any times when It would need a human involved?

[00:06:56] Clive: Yeah. Um, we have, we have team overseas that handles a lot of our communications, a lot of the admin in our business.

[00:07:03] And, and Alina was modelled to be able to do what these guys can do. So if there's a maintenance issue, of course, there's a computer that can't turn up and fix a leak in the sink, or, likewise, it can't turn up with more towels. But what would happen in that scenario with our, with our overseas team is that they would notify us that there's an issue.

[00:07:23] So if a guest says to Alina, Oh, Hey, there's, um, the sink, the sinks leaking, um, Can someone come out to fix this? Alina will respond to the guest saying, Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. I'll speak to the property manager and I'll come back to you shortly. At this point, Hello Hosting notifies the property manager or owner and says that your attention is required.

[00:07:45] This is the conversation. There are points where Alina will jump in. Similarly, if Alina doesn't have access to information. So for example, if the guests were to ask a question that wasn't included in any of those, um, areas of information we discussed earlier, then, then Alina would say to the guest, I don't have that information available right now.

[00:08:04] I'm going to check with the property manager and I'll come back to you shortly. And the host would notify the property manager.

For hosts who are worried about AI

[00:08:10] Liam: What would you say to those hosts who are worried that AI doesn't sound very human and that they're concerned that their guests will pick up on the fact that it, is a robot they're talking to?

[00:08:22] Clive: I would say, well, I'd say a couple of things. First of all, I would say. Try it out for yourself. We have, uh, with, with hello host, do we have the option that, um, I mean, we have a free trial that anyone can come and come and try it for free. Um, but we have the option to put Alina onto the default setting is not to be an automatic response.

[00:08:42] It suggests a response and you have a button to press send or edit. And then when you feel, I mean, when we first launched this product, I was the same, I was very nervous thinking, I don't want my guests to think they're communicating with a computer. So we, we worked hard, uh, me and, uh, a team of, um, prompt engineers, software developers, uh, an incredible team.

[00:09:03] We worked hard to preempt this kind of situation. We never want the guests to know. Because they don't need to know that it's an AI that they're communicating with. However, when, when we first launched the product in its, in its beta phase, I was, and we were using it in our business. Uh, we, I was very concerned that, that this might happen, that, that the guest might figure out that it's AI.

[00:09:25] And um, so I was nervous and I didn't allow Alina to go automatic to begin with. I was very, very reluctant. And then I was watching the response. I was like, this is pretty good. And then. After a while, I was like, okay, so when the guest has arrived and they're inside the property, it's pretty safe that they're already settled.

[00:09:42] They're not, they're not going to be left out in the snow. They can get inside. Um, then I'll put it on auto. So then, we started to put it on auto when the guest was inside. But now, as soon as the booking comes through, we press auto where I mean, the response is a, the response is fantastic and not once has a guest turned around to us and said.

[00:10:00] Or I said to Alina, are you AI? Are you a computer? This is, this has not happened. It's quite incredible seeing reviews mentioning, um, mentioning Alina's name now, which is, uh, Alina was so helpful. Alina was available whenever we needed anything. You know, like it's, um, really quite, quite, uh, Quite satisfying to see that being the case.

[00:10:22] Liam: Having a blast. Gonna get it on the Bruce Lee podcast. Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee 'cause it's so hard on the tea is loose leaf. Making up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.