Short Stay Virtual Summit Expert with Elaine Watts

We are very excited to share with you all the space we share thanks to Elaine Watts she organized this amazing event called: Short stay virtual summit.

Elaine is the host of an amazing podcast in which you can learn how to start and succeed with your rental vacation properties.  See more about HLS podcast here. 

This is the 2nd year in a row, Elaine gathers more than 25 speakers to discuss the short-term rental industry giving notes and tactics on how to grow your business!

The summit will have a duration from May 25th to May 27th. You can check the event here. 

And in Doinn our CEO Noelia Novella was part of those invited speakers. 

Click here to listen to the interview. 

Now we leave you now with the amazing conversation they’ve had on the summit.

Elaine: Firstly tell us a bit about you and your background and a brief overview of what Doinn does

Noelia: I fell in love with our industry in 2013 during a round-the-world trip with my family, including 2 babies. It was an amazing experience to be able to stay in those “peer to peer” properties, BUT we did not always felt safe.

I always say that cleaning is a very personal thing and what means clean for me, may not mean the same for you. But we all grow up with the cleaning standards of the hotels and if people feel safe there, I thought it´d be handy to be able to get the same cleaning and linen rental providers they have.

Back from our trip I reached those companies and asked them what they needed to be able to work in our industry and we have basically been 6 years making tech for this to happen, helping local providers to become more efficient, grow their business, and making sure they follow the right standards operating procedures and protocols.

Nowadays we also work with cleaning companies that were born in and for our industry as long as they have a top-quality proof of record

Since then we feel we have done many guests feel safe, and definitely many property managers and property owners happy in almost 600 cities across USA, Mexico, Dominican Republic, UK, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal.

Elaine: Cleanliness has always been a top priority in our industry but now even more so – what changes have you seen in cleaning protocols in this new era?

Noelia: Since Covid hit, it seems our value proposition makes more sense than ever, cleaning and disinfection mean safety, it always meant it. Following a protocol or a checklist is definitely better than nothing, but cleaning is a profession, professionals bring safety in every aspect of hosting (electricity, engineers, architects, and definitely, cleaning)

For a professional cleaning company, there is not such a thing as new protocols, there were other viruses before covid19 and for professional cleaners, disinfecting or killing the germs was and is the whole point for them, like a uber drive to know how to drive a car

What has changed, like for any business, is the use of the masks and the social distance, they were already aware of the risks of shaking the dirty linen or not washing their hands.

Elaine: As someone wanting to build trust with future guests, how would advise someone new to the industry to get started with their own cleaning protocols.

Noelia: They can take the cleaning protocols from our webpage if they want, we are happy to share it and we have in fact share it with a couple of the OTAs. What is hard about cleaners is not the protocols, there are millions of videos on youtube. The hardest part is the recruitment process,  to keep them motivated and to avoid the high HR rotation.

When clients tell me how much they per service to their cleaners, most of the time they don´t take into consideration how much time they spend recruiting, training, supervising, and motivating them and how much money that cost to the company 

We´ve selected and onboarded cleaning companies that are in business, working for hotels for more than 25 years, I´m sure they much better than most of us recruiting, training, supervising, and motivating their employees to retain the talent and to reach the expectations.

Elaine: Something I hear a lot is that there’s a communication struggle with owners getting their cleaning team to clean to their standards needed – many feel as though they are constantly having to check up and chase after their cleaning teams – do you have any advice on how to communicate the standards required to ensure the property and guests are cared for to the top standards we need to present in our industry?

Noelia: Our technology helps to optimize processes, reports, and tasks to Property managers and Cleaning companies so they can be more competitive, reduce management costs and manage more clients.

But Doinn is not just technology, we have a dedicated team supervising that cleaning companies are beyond expectations, motivating them to keep their good work and making the industry give them the attention and respect they deserve.

That human touch on top of the technology (not just software or bots) in what allows us to raise the hospitality standards.

Property managers don´t need to have an in-house operations manager anymore because our team and our tech, cover that part. We want them to take every single opportunity to manage a property in any location without the need of having a local team there and with the guarantee of having professional and certified cleaning and linen services with us. Our mission is to get their boots on the ground.

Elaine:  How important is technology in assisting with ensuring cleans is up to standard and sharing and keeping top standards with cleaning teams?

Noelia: Like in any other business, there has to be a balance between tech and talent. I´m not a CEO because I use Slack but because of my skills and experience. Slack helps me to be more efficient, to work remotely, and asynchronous what is also very important, but tech tools are not the most important thing for someone that is most of the time with their hands busy and wet.

Elaine: How is it best to communicate the protocols you have in place when building trust with your potential guests moving forwards – website, social media, OTA listing sites?

Noelia: For the pre-sales stage: everywhere! And if the cleaning is done by a well-known cleaning company, talk about that to show how concerned you are about a professional cleaning

Once the guests get to the property, what we do is to seal the door in the inside part as proof that no one got into that space after the cleaners disinfected it.

In the sticker we use to seal the door, there is a QR code where guests can read about the protocols that were followed in several languages, and that makes them feel safe.

What I don´t recommend is to have a big picture with the virus in the entrance hall of the vacation home, Covid19 is definitely the last thing we want to get remember every time we get into the property we chose for our holidays.

Elaine: What are you seeing in terms of bookings for Short Term Accommodations at the moment, what trends have you seen?

Noelia: What we notice is that many of our urban property managers,  started managing properties remotely in leisure areas, it probably saved many of their businesses and open them to many new opportunities. At the end of the day, many property investors live in those urban areas so they can meet them and create trust. 

The second trend would be the preference for multiunits versus apartments spread out the city, and some office building will be transformed into these kinds of apart-hotels, due to the working remotely trend

Third but not least, the consolidation of a few brands, which would be a challenge for the OTAs.

Elaine: Final words of advice for anyone wanting to maintain top cleaning standards in their accommodation business?

Noelia: I´d give them the same advice that a property manager would give to a property owner: get as professional as you can in every part of the business, paying less most of the time doesn’t help to save money.

Elaine: Where do you see the future of our industry heading?

Noelia: I´ve always seen the OTA´s as Prop-tech companies and not as tourism companies. If you take it from that, there are so many things they could take advantage of what they already have: pictures, videos, annual revenue…they started with mid

That’s a wrap folks! This interview was recorded on audio & video on zoom recording if you want to hear it, go here.

Do not lose more about the short stay virtual summit enroll for the following day’s talks here!

Keep in touch and check out our other interviews!