Guest Screening: Ensuring Security for Global Portfolio
Guest Screening ID verification
November 14, 2022 | Holt
Benjamin, CEO of HOLT, a property management company, explains how they minimise risks before, during, and after the stay.
Unauthorised parties and the damage they cause pose an enormous challenge for property management companies worldwide. Benjamin Earley, CEO of HOLT, a property developer and STR management company, explains how they use Know Your Guest by Superhog and Minut’s risk management technology to minimise risks before, during, and after the stay.
Remote management with confidence
We’ve been working with both Know Your Guest and Minut since mid-2020. We have nearly 40 doors now and we’re very spread around the globe, so we really need services like Know Your Guest and Minut to give us the tools and confidence to manage from afar.
Protection made for STR
In 2020, we had a huge party at one of our properties. The guest had dozens of people over who were putting out cigarettes on the window frames and running all the faucets the entire weekend. It was insane. That’s when we set off on an exploration of STR-operator-embedded insurance and protection products..
I interviewed everyone in the market, though most were US-specific and didn’t provide much coverage at all for what they were asking in terms of costs..
For some of the newer, hipper STR insurance providers, either they didn’t cover in some of the geographies we operate in, or I simply didn’t love the cost/benefit trade-off. Some of them were sort of positioned as a supplemental AirCover.
Superhog, with their Know Your Guest’s damage waiver and guest screening risk management technology, gave me positive vibes in their marketing materials, showing they were clearly all-in on this growing business, and in the initial calls. It was a no-brainer after all of our interviews.
Global solution to parties
After that same party, we knew we needed a party prevention method.
There was no competition for Minut. There’s only one real US competitor, and they don’t work in non-US outlets.
Minut was implemented in a minute, for real. The global shipping, fulfilment from multiple continents, and then the setup process is so friendly. It looks like, acts like and feels like an Apple product, really.
Since we installed Minut two years ago, we haven’t had the same amount of damage to all our properties combined as we did from that one 2-day party that pushed us to Minut in the first place. That’s saying something.
Know Your Guest gives us an early look at someone who might not be fully honest and allows us to keep the calendars open for real guests.I also think the seriousness of how we present ourselves from the start, alongside signed rental agreements and Know Your Guest’s portal, tells guests that we aren’t here to play games.
After submitting their ID to Know Your Guest, anyone that had ideas at first certainly turned to their group and said: “Not with my info on the line, guys.” That’s likely saved us innumerable times.
For Minut, we’ve absolutely caught parties in the early stages, especially in Bucharest.
Bucharest is a bit of a party town for visitors. Minut is our last line of defense. More than a few times, we’ve sent local managers over to calm down an escalating situation and/or remove problematic guests. It’s not something we’ve had to do yet, but the data published by Minut could also help us in our conversations with OTAs when discussing how and why we had to remove guests.
…and after the stay
Since we implemented our partnership, Know Your Guest has also gotten us back money that guests and AirCover were unwilling to pay.
And the same for Expedia and Booking, as they have no coverage options really. So each and every dollar back from Know Your Guest has been beyond what we would have gotten before using their service.
Improving guest experience
One thing guests don’t understand is that operators often have to manage their businesses to the lowest common denominator: the 10% of guests that are likely to cause trouble. Without tools like Know Your Guest, we cannot know who this 10% are, so everyone has to be treated as a potential bad guest.
Guests often don’t realise that services like Know Your Guest and Minut make the overall experience better.
No longer having to stress over problem guests and their actions save us time, lightens the load of the business and allows us to concentrate on making everything amazing for our guests.
Investing in peace of mind
What Know Your Guest and Minut provide, beyond literally their services, is peace of mind (for all employees of an operator) and sleep (for management and ownership).
I can’t say this enough: Know Your Guest and Minut just give us confidence and a sense of relief. The margins are good enough in the STR business if you know what you’re doing.
A few extra dollars for extreme tail-risk protection in the form of a noise sensor and an embedded insurance or protection partner are worth being able to sleep at night, knowing that the spectrum of harm to your business is greatly reduced.
Know Your Guest and Minut: working together
I think the partnership between Know Your Guest and Minut is great, and the more technology companies and services can deepen their integrations in the STR industry, the more we all stand to gain.
Our favourite thing about Know Your Guest is how client-responsive they are. Our favourite thing about Minut is how seamless the setup and ongoing operation is. There are zero issues with the devices as long as they are charged.
Get started with Know Your Guest. Don’t forget to ask us about our partnership with Minut.