Wifi For Guests: Elevating Guest Satisfaction in the Digital Age

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In this podcast, Liam and special guest Philip Picard, CEO of Speedy Wi-Fi, discuss the growing importance of reliable Wi-Fi for short-term rental hosts. Philip shares his inspiration for creating Speedy Wi-Fi, driven by the challenges of remote work travel and the need for predictable connectivity.

The platform offers a simple plug-and-play solution with a hardware device, providing property managers with 24/7 visibility of Wi-Fi performance and a verified Wi-Fi rating for listing sites. The goal is to attract bookings from travelers prioritizing high-speed connectivity.

The discussion emphasizes the platform's benefits for apart hotels and large villas, where extended-stay guests seek dependable Wi-Fi for work and leisure.

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Timestamps (audio)



[00:00:00] Liam: So today we are talking about the importance of Wi-Fi in general. So as short-term rental hosts, Wi-Fi has never been more important. I mean, people would rather be without water than Wi-Fi in many situations. So today on the podcast, we're talking all about Wi-Fi. We're talking about how. You can advertise it to your guests and also how you can identify problems and, and things like that, which may be happening with your wifi.

[00:00:25] So to help me do this, we've got a very special guest here today. Uh, we've got Philip Picard, he's the co-founder and CEO of Speedy wifi. And we're gonna be diving in, with his product and talking about what it does, how it can help you as a host, and ultimately how it can help your guests.

[00:00:43] Let's welcome along our guest. Welcome along, Phil. How are you?

[00:00:46] Philip: Cheers, Liam. Uh, yeah, big thank you for inviting me to be here. I'm excited to come to share our story. So thank you.

A bit about Philip

[00:00:52] Liam: Well, we appreciate you joining us. So, Phil, before we dive into, what Speedy WiFi is, tell me about yourself. Why did you, how did you come up with this product and why?

[00:01:05] And your background. Yeah,

[00:01:07] Philip: sure. Um, I'm originally from South Africa, spent the last 15 years living and working abroad, spent six years in Hong Kong, and five in Los Angeles. Since a young age, I've always had the itch to roll up my sleeves and become an operator. But you know, as the saying goes, don't build a business for the sake of building a business.

[00:01:29] So I was, um, you know, patient and looking for something that was, you know, a real deep pain point and something that affected me that I could then, you know, pour my blood, sweat and tears into. So at the start of COVID, um, we were hopping around various rental properties and we kept on running into the same issue, which was slow and unreliable Wi-Fi.

[00:01:49] Uh, which we have no way of knowing, um, before arriving at a rental property. So, you know, a first-hand pinpoint that I experienced, as a remote worker. Um, so, you know, I started looking at the market and realized there was a massive opportunity to provide, um, a Wi-Fi connectivity solution for property managers and their guests.

[00:02:08] So from that moment, uh, we were off. We raised some initial capital and recruited a great team. Um, started to build out the product, which we launched, um, earlier this year. So excited to, you know, be out in the market with our product and, um, you know, expanding our customer base.

[00:02:27] Liam: Well, it sounds like it's happened quite, quite fast.

[00:02:29] And just what were you doing when you're having to travel for, for work? So why was the Wi-Fi so important to you at the time?

[00:02:37] Philip: Um, well, yeah, so my time abroad, I've always, you know, been, been across continents and, you know, visiting family, visiting clients, um, you know, vice versa. But I think that, at the onset of COVID, we suddenly had this flexibility that we didn't have to be in the office anymore.

[00:02:51] So. You know, like many others, we, uh, we took advantage of this flexibility and we were hopping around various, um, villas in Southern California. And, yeah, as I mentioned, you know, the Wi-Fi was a massive issue for us. And I think the aha moment was then when we realized that as guests, the Wi-Fi would drive our decision-making.

[00:03:12] So we would, you know, select one property over the other if we had, you know, verifiable information of the Wi-Fi at the property.

What problem does it solve?

[00:03:20] Liam: What problem does it solve?

[00:03:22] Philip: Yeah, I think the starting point is just, you know, our dependence on Wi-Fi in today's digital age. Um, you know, our kind of personal story came through remote work and travelling.

[00:03:34] But what we've come to realize is we all, you know, depend on Wi-Fi, whether that's family wanting to keep in touch with loved ones, you know, kids wanting to stream whatever show on Netflix and then, you know, just general work and, you know, keeping connected. So, understanding, you know, the broad demand for connectivity was, you know, our North Star and making that information available to guests, um, ahead of time.

[00:03:59] Um, in terms of our solution, uh, we've built one solution for one problem. So we've tried to be, you know, really specific and, you know, intentional about what we've built. So our platform is driven by a hardware device, which property managers plug in at their rental properties that capture the wifi performance data.

[00:04:19] That feeds a web application, which gives you 24/7 visibility of the Wi-Fi across your properties. And then finally, as we touched on, we've got a verified Wi-Fi rating, which you can embed on your listing site. So really, you know, advertising high-speed Wi-Fi is a unique differentiator of your properties.

[00:04:38] With the real purpose of capturing increased bookings and longer-term stays from travellers that require high-speed connectivity.

What’s the host's experience?

[00:04:46] Liam: If I was a host, so there'll be hosts listening to this, some with, you know, multiple properties and some, some with only one. But I think Wi-Fi problems in general are something that we all want to avoid.

[00:04:57] So. What is my experience as a host? What do, what do I need to do and how do I, um, how am I best to kind of show off, the wifi speed? Yeah,

[00:05:09] Philip: sure. So, uh, you know, right from the get-go, we focused on building a hardware-agnostic solution that's plug-and-play with very little integration. You know, there's, there's so many tools out there and we don't wanna be, you know, overwhelming hosts with just another, um, product suit.

[00:05:25] So. First off, you know, depending on how many properties you have, 1, 10, 200, 500 plus, um, you know, we've got, um, scale pricing depending on the volume. So we'll send you the devices. Um, all you need to do is connect it to power and connect it to Wi-Fi. Um, that will then self-register and pick up in our web application.

[00:05:48] And from there, we've got, um, a no-code widget or rating that can be on, embedded on any direct listing site. So we're compatible with WordPress. And it's just one line of code that you can drop into your site to showcase, um, first of all, the speed. And then we've got the ability that guests can click in for further information if they want to understand if a particular property will meet their connection requirements.

[00:06:16] Liam: That's cool. So as a host, I sort out my Wi-Fi. I go and pick it up from my preferred supplier. I plug in your device and that device will then automatically connect to an application, which I can then see what the speed is doing. So if a guest then phones me and says, you know, the Wi-Fi isn't working. You know, I'm on the right network and that we can, we can see that.

[00:06:40] Is that right?

[00:06:41] Philip: Yeah, sure. So, on the monitoring side, the first piece is acting as an early warning system. So you receive a notification from us rather than a complaint from a guest. And we can set the sensitivity of those notifications. So you're not constantly getting.

[00:07:01] You know, bombarded. Um, so that's the first piece. And then the second piece, what a few of our customers have found helpful is that the guest calls and they, you know, complain about faulty wifi. The first thing that they do is log on to our platform and see if the property is online. So if it's online, you already know, you know, that you can get the guests to recheck the password or they're capitalizing that first letter, adding the exclamation mark at the end.

[00:07:28] And, you know, that's helpful because it avoids you having to send somebody out to the property when there isn't an issue.

Who’s your ideal customer

[00:07:35] Liam: Who is your ideal, um, I guess your ideal customer who would come and, uh, come and use this product? Yeah,

[00:07:42] Philip: sure. We started with with quite a broad offering because, you know, everybody everywhere has Wi-Fi and everybody cares about it.

[00:07:48] But after being in the market now for a couple of months, we've narrowed down our ideal customer profile to apartments hotels and villas. So large villas. So we find with, you know, the villas and apart-hotel offers, guests typically stay longer. And when they're staying longer, they're usually, you know, demanding the comforts of home and the connectivity of an office.

[00:08:11] So. You know, there's less sort of wiggle room and just more demand for absolute connectivity while travelling. Having a

[00:08:18] Liam: blast. Gonna get it on the Boostly podcast. Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee 'cause it's so hard on the tees. Loosely. I looked up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.