The Future of Guest Services: Software Innovations for a Professional Touch

In the Boostly Podcast episode, Jeremy and Liam explore the power of determination in overcoming challenges, focusing on the intersection of personal growth and business innovation. Jeremy introduces Breezeway, a platform he founded to enhance property operations and guest experiences in the short-term rental (STR) sector. By automating tasks and streamlining communication, Breezeway aims to elevate the quality of service in STRs to hotel standards, addressing a gap left by traditional property management systems.Β 

Reflecting on his journey from FlipKey to Breezeway, Jeremy highlights the industry's shift towards prioritizing guest satisfaction and the importance of quality in distinguishing STR offerings. The discussion concludes with Jeremy sharing a personal mantra that has guided his entrepreneurial ventures, emphasizing determination as the catalyst for achieving the extraordinary.

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[00:00:00] Jeremy: The difference between the possible and the impossible lies in a person's determination. I think, you know, that is a mantra that fuels a lot of my, a lot of my workβ€”a lot of my efforts. Progress is hard-earned stick with it and you'll be able to accomplish, um. Hopefully, some pretty great thanks, I'm having a blast.

[00:00:19] Gonna get it on the Brucely podcast, Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee, ‘because it's so hard on the tea, is loose leaf. Looking up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely. If you want my respect, you'd better put it directly. Here are the words in the podcast. That's what comes next.

Welcome back

[00:00:34] Liam: Welcome back to the Boostly Podcast.

[00:00:36] The podcast that gives you the listener, the tools, the tactics, the training, and most importantly, the confidence. So you can go out there and get more direct bookings. On the Boostly podcast, we shine the spotlight on services, businesses, and people that you need to know about as a host. These can be anything from tech to awesome people.

[00:00:55] And today we are diving into a person who is the CEO and founder of their software. And, uh, someone who I'm excited to talk about today is software that I use personally in my STR business. And we've got, uh, Jeremy from Breezeway with us today. So this is going to be so much fun.

[00:01:13] Welcome along, Jeremy. Thanks, Liam.

[00:01:15] Jeremy: Happy to be here. Excited.

What is Breezeway?

[00:01:17] Liam: So Jeremy, I know I've kind of teed you up there. Can you give everyone a short introduction as to what Breezeway is for those who've never heard of it?

[00:01:25] Jeremy: Sure. Breezeway is a property operations and experience platform. Uh, to help you professionally deliver on, you know, what we think are the most important parts of the guest experience.

[00:01:38] How is the property prepared? How do you clean and maintain this property so that your guests have a great experience? And then while they're there, how do you communicate with them? Make sure they're enjoying your home, provide other services and make sure they truly have a great experience while they're there.

[00:01:54] Liam: Why do I need a second Product when I've already got, say, a property management system?

[00:02:00] Jeremy: Sure. Yeah, we think, and I've got a lot of history and, um, in the and in the vacation rental space, um, that, uh, vacation rentals and short-term rentals have become so much more experiential than transactional your property management software system is your transaction hub.

[00:02:23] Uh, your channel manager, and how you get new guests and manage your reservations and your bookings and your occupancy separate from that, how you touch the property, how you coordinate task management and the experience that goes along with it. It's a really big part of the job, and I'm sure a lot of your listeners and hosts, you know, feel the pain of what it's like.

[00:02:44] To deliver over and over again, and make sure that they, um, you know, have a great experience that they bring to the guests. It's not easy to do, especially if you're remote, um, you've got a property or home someplace, uh, far away from where you are and dialling it in to understand how you're doing it.

[00:03:01] It's challenging.

How did Breezeway get started?

[00:03:02] Liam: Give me a history of the business. How did this start? And, uh, can you take me back to the beginning and give us kind of like, um, the, the why you've done this? Yeah,

[00:03:11] Jeremy: sure. I'm a talker, so I'm gonna, I'll keep it, I'll keep it short. I'll keep it sort of succinct. The, um, I'd started a previous company in the vacation rental space called FlipKey, sold that company to TripAdvisor and Expedia, uh, which was a marketplace for vacation rentals, um, while I was doing that, um, we built that up to about 500, 000 listings worldwide, made a lot of friends with property managers and hosts.

[00:03:38] Started talking to them about their business and what it was like, what it was like to deliver service to the guest. And I felt that you know, vacation rentals and short-term rentals were converging more and more with hotels and hospitality. The magic of a great short-term rental is. A unique property, um, that feels so personal to you as a guest, but is prepared, cleaned, um, your interaction feels like you're at an incredible hotel, right?

[00:04:12] It's perfectly set up. Like, that's what you want. You want authenticity, but you want this hospitality-level service and experience and I felt like it was really hard to accomplish that. So, um, I talked to a lot of property managers and a lot of hosts about how they did this. A lot of people told me it was painful.

[00:04:31] Uh, this was a really hard part about their business. They didn't think they had a lot of insight into it. Um, and then I approached the partners that we had had back at Flip Key and said, hey, I'm, I'm thinking about doing this. Um, we think there's an opportunity here for a point solution.

[00:04:47] That's focused on operations, property care and the experience. Um, we started in 2017, um, over the years, we've built up now, I think, 45 different integrations with property management software systems with lock systems. with supply providers, um, to help with amenities the, in the home on each stay.

[00:05:11] Um, now we work with about 200, 000 units worldwide and in 90 countries, and we help millions of people, millions of people have a great vacation.

How does Breezeway work for hosts?

[00:05:21] Liam: So let's dive into the product because there'll be people out there still not fully, understanding what it is. Is a host. How does it work for me? And, uh, what is the big benefit?

[00:05:35] Jeremy: Yeah, think about, um, I think the easiest way to orientate to our product. It's an operations and experience platform. We have a couple of different products. 1 of our main products is the operations product, which is. For everything you need to do, someone has to touch the property to get that property prepared from cleaning to quality assurance inspections, routine maintenance and fixes.

[00:06:01] Um, and, you know, a lot of the power of the breezeway platform is. How you schedule and coordinate those tasks, how you automate it. You have a workflow, you have a standard, um, that you want to operate to and that you want your properties prepared to, you know, by, and we help you do that by, you know, photos to help guide, uh, cleaners and inspectors and maintenance folks, um, exactly what should happen at the property, how you want your, your property positioned exactly what it's supposed to look like.

[00:06:36] Um, very detailed task management and coordination to get the right people at the property at the right time. Um. Understand and track their work, pay for their work, um, and help them, which is equally as important. A lot of these service providers might be working for several different small hosts.

[00:06:57] Um, help them understand exactly what is expected where they're supposed to be what they're supposed to get done when it's supposed to get done. Um, it's a detail-orientated job. You know, Liam, you said earlier and I agree, like, as soon as you have more than 1 property, you know, your, your burden starts to extrapolate and become bigger.

[00:07:17] But even with 1 property, you know, it's a complex. Dance that happens when you turn over a property and there are so many points of failure and risking that failure and risking a bad review or letting the guest experience of the property start on the wrong foot. So that you're behind the whole time. You know, it's pretty, it's pretty tough.

[00:07:40] So, the operation systems or dials all of that in, make sure that happens with a lot of automation and then separately, we have a messaging product. So that as your guest is arriving, while they're staying with you, you can automate certain touch points through text messaging, um, to interact with the guest and offer more services.

[00:08:00] Make sure they're having a great stay. You don't have to worry about remembering to send that message and then if they write back. You can coordinate and you can communicate one-to-one two-way texting and pick it up and personalize it. And that's integrated directly with Airbnb messaging or directly with your PMS system.

What has been the biggest wow moment?

[00:08:17] Liam: What has been the biggest wow moment over the last seven years for you?

[00:08:21] Jeremy: That's interesting. I think When I started, I, you have to have a level of, um, naivety to sort of start 1 of these businesses, I think. And I, I think when I 1st started, I was, I was a bit concerned about operations and the scope of the value we could deliver to clients.

[00:08:42] I think part of the wow moment for me is seeing how these products are connected. And how the operation is a loaded word, right? And I think I worry sometimes that it doesn't resonate with hosts and managers. They think to themselves, like, operations, like, what exactly is that? Right? But what it is, is it's it's the nitty gritty work of actually being a host.

[00:09:06] It's everything except marketing and taking the reservation. Right? And there's so much of that. That has become so much more important in the business. Um, and I think we've just, I've enjoyed it's such a dynamic industry, um, travel in general, but short-term rental and vacation rental specifically is so dynamic and ever-changing.

[00:09:31] Um, I think another interesting sort of trend over this time has been professionalism and quality and how. Um, you can see it at Airbnb through favourited homes and kind of the prioritization and the changes that they're making in search. Um, everyone's focusing on quality and how to surface these quality experiences.

[00:09:55] Um, to guess, and I think it's, it's incredibly fascinating. So

[00:09:58] Liam: there's, there's going to be people listening to this, who want to find out more about Breezeway. Where's the best place for them to go and do so?

[00:10:06] Jeremy: Um, you can go to breezeway. io. You can shoot us an email at VIP at breezeway. io. We'd love you to say, um, that you heard us on the Boost League podcast, but you don't have to, of course.

[00:10:18] Um, and reach out, um, super consultative. We're happy to chat. Um, give you some more tips. Help you think about safety and a couple of other things that you're, um, at your homes. So

[00:10:30] Liam: that brings me to the last question, Jeremy, which is, is there a motto, a mantra or a piece of advice, which is stuck with you, um, over the years, which you'd like to share with

[00:10:40] Jeremy: us.

[00:10:40] You know, and I don't know if I don't know if you do this in the UK and America, uh, oftentimes, like, at the end of high school, you have to put a little quote in your yearbook or something like that. And, um, mine was, um, the difference between the possible and the impossible lies in a person's determination.

[00:10:58] Um, and I think, you know, that is a mantra that fuels a lot of my, a lot of my work, a lot of my efforts. Um, and that's, you know, progress is hard earned stick with it. Um, and you'll be able to accomplish, um, hopefully, some pretty great. Thanks. So

[00:11:18] Liam: true and what a nice sentiment to, uh, to bring it to an end.

[00:11:21] Was there anything we missed along the way?

[00:11:23] Jeremy: No, I think it's great. We appreciate, uh, we appreciate you having me on the show. Thanks so much. We appreciate you having fun as well. Don't be a stranger and, um, make sure you reach

[00:11:33] Liam: out. Thank you so much. Thank you too, for listening to this on the Boostly podcast.

[00:11:37] We know there are lots of places you can put your attention. Really. Thank you for putting it with Boostly. That's it for me. That's it from Jeremy. We'll see you on the next one. Thanks for your time today, Jeremy. Bye for now. Having a blast gonna

[00:11:48] Jeremy: get it on the Bruce Lee podcast Bruce Lee likes Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard and the tea is loosely Making up those rhymes.

[00:11:54] Don't write it. Just do it loosely