Episode 050 - Dana Young from Virtual Concierge Knocks Michelle's Socks Off with Their Service!Jul 05, 2021
In this week's episode, Michelle interviews Dana Young from Virtual Concierge and she is blown away by all they have to offer. Dana explains how AI can not only make your job easier but how it can make you stand head-and-shoulders above the competition! You will want to listen to this and take notes. Then, get ready to try Virtual Concierge for yourself. You won't want to miss a second of this interview.
Go to Virtual Concierge:
Check out how you can use Alexa (Amazon AI) or Hey Google at your property to increase your guests' experience. Click here to go to Virtual Concierge or cut and paste the link below.
Transcript of this Episode:
Hi, this is Michelle, the master of money mindset, and you are listening.
BNB dash boss podcast. And in today's podcast, we are going to be speaking with Dana young, from virtual concierge. This product is one of the most amazing products that you can have inside your brain. And it can change everything for you. Not only that, I mean, there's some really cool technology that Dana has come up with and we're going to tell you all about that.
So buckle up and here's Dana young from virtual concierge. Dana. I'm Michelle. It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm super excited about hearing more about your company, because I know you're changing everything. You're in the works of switching your name out right now. I think we are at the cusp of, I mean, there's so many great technological advances coming to help us all as hosts.
Your company is so intriguing. And now you're going to the AI things. So I've got a lot of questions for you. I wanted to know, first of all, how you got started in the virtual concierge. Sure. So I am a, uh, very small time vacation rental, short term rental host. Um, we've had a place for 12 years. Out in north central Washington on a very remote regions about as far away as you can possibly get.
And that's been a passion for, for me. And, um, you know, I love the industry. And so, um, in late 2016, when, uh, I received, uh, an echo device as a gift, my brain just started churning on, well, this is really cool. What can I do with this? And then, um, I'm a tech geek, so, you know, I'm immediately kind of went to it.
Does it have an API, you know, is it programmable, um, and finding that they had at that point in time, just released an API just a few months before I got my device, I just dug straight into it. And, um, it just had the connection. Like this would be so great to apply this technology to, uh, vacation rentals because of course, as we know, I mean, There's no front desk.
There's, there's no someone there. Um, but you can go to concierge type questions. And so, um, from there a virtual concierge was, was more that's amazing. I remember getting our first echo. That's so cool. Just having a dot when they were just the dots before they were well, first they were the big towers and we were like, that's a little intrusive, but when they first had the dots and we started putting the dots in everywhere, I mean, it was so great.
You took it even a step further and said, how can I do that and create that myself. I'm like, that's amazing. That little idea. What's really cool about your. When you use that technology, how is the security for people? Because when we have somebody check in and we have an echo dot there, we have them connect to their account.
So the first thing they say is Alexa, connect to my account and then she'll search for their account. Now, what do they do when they connect? I just remembered when I went to say it, I was like, oh, I better be careful because maybe she'll hear it. Yeah. But that's, I mean that in there in lies the technology we're talking about, because you can control your nest with that.
You can control the temperature, you can control lights, you can control, um, you know, everything from Alexa and your guests can too, they can control so much. Most people think of that. It's just me. Or maybe their television shows why, you know, the Amazon, if they had a show device or something, but it's much, much more technology.
And so I want to hear what your device can do and how they do that. Sure. Yeah. And, uh, specifically to the privacy and security aspects, this is something where the in particular, Amazon has created a really extensive, um, organization. Building a solution just for that. And, um, and they call that Alexa for hospitality.
Um, so, uh, we've been, we've been a strong collaborators with that organization. Really the last three years, um, we're working hand in hand with them, but effectively when you get a device signed up, uh, with our system, we use the, um, Alexa for hospitality under the covers, and then the code that goes onto these devices.
Actually gets swapped out. So the retail code that gets pushed down, you know, when you, when you sign up for an account is actually different than the Alexa for hospitality code and the Alexa for hospitality code. We'll do some interesting things. For one, all utterances, uh, are deleted after 24 hours. So there's no privacy concerns with this, you know, data being available in the cloud somewhere.
They've set it up with, you know, hotel, grade security and compliance relative to privacy. So that's pretty fundamental. And then as we think about, you know, ways of, of taking hospitality forward, like you said, there's lots of interesting things you can do with connecting to smart home devices. That's also possible through this system, and it's just a matter of kind of deciding what you want to standardize on in terms of lights and thermostat and things like that.
Maybe even motorized trucks. Um, to provide access to your guests, lots of possibilities. It's hard with, um, really, you know, informational. Um, that's kind of the core value proposition. How do we take this thing, which is really smart and, um, you know, I mean, we think. History and, and looking back and how today we have access to so much knowledge, just, you know, at our fingertips.
And it even in the last few years, how that's ramped even further and faster. So Alexa has all this great wide knowledge of the world, but she's not equipped to be able to answer guests questions about a specific property or about a host's recommendations for things to do in the area, or, you know, some of the best restaurants and things like that.
Right. Oh, that's the layer that we provide. So we've got a mechanism and I guess, you know, not a guest state host portal, um, where, um, you can effectively equip Alexa with all that kind of knowledge and then have that available for her to share with you today. That's pretty cool. So, okay. So for instance, when we're down in Florida, We've got several properties in the same area of Orlando Kissimmee.
Um, you know, just around that area, around Disney world and universal studios. So if we set up something, could we plug all of those into that one location? And then could we share in somebody else's location? What if I just, what if I decided I wanted a property up in Seattle or close to your location?
And I knew nothing about it because, you know, I just, I thought it would be cool to have a place where I could stay when I wanted to go see my daughter, but I wanted to rent it out the rest of the time. Could I, could I plug into somebody else's information? No, uh, the, the direct answer to that is no, but I'll, I'll kind of expand upon it.
Um, the way that, um, the system works is, and, and by the way, we, we actually had envisioned, um, you know, sort of a sharing economy of sorts where, um, could provide that access to their, you know, dataset and exchange for somebody else's dataset. Um, it turns out that this market's pretty competitive. Um, and so.
The kind of information that, um, that a hosted provider it's kind of considered a little bit of a, an edge, you know, against, uh, other people in the, in the region. Yeah. It's proprietary. That's my favorite restaurant. It's not your, you can't share that. I only, I know about that hole in the wall plates. Yeah.
They might all have the same hole in the wall, but, um, you know, they kind of carefully guard their curated content. We didn't deploy that, um, aspect of it, uh, from a technology enablement standpoint, because we just didn't see that that would actually get used and you're right. I mean, hosts are very, very, they do guard that information, so, yeah.
But, um, to go back to your first point about your multiple properties and around kiss me, um, so this is something that we're. I'm pretty excited about in terms of like the direction that we've taken the platform. Um, we've, we've included the capability now to have multi-tiered content. So, um, for example, If you're a large organization with many, many properties in a given region, you can have a container that will how's information, consecrated content that can be applied to every property, you know, in the, in the Kissimmee.
And then you could have a different container of content that is only applied to properties in a specific neighborhood or a specific condo complex, um, or, you know, specific resort community, things like that. And you can have any number of these layers of content all the way down to the individual property.
So at an individual property, you can have a container of content that is only applicable to that particular part. So what the system does is it will look at this particular property and what a higher level containers exist that it should then use for content. And it does this big aggregation of all of the content and packages it up and makes it available for Alexa to deliver.
That's pretty cool. That's one of the reasons why we recommend people when they buy properties to start with at least three in one area and then branch out. So you're not all over the place, but it's also so that you could make deals with say cleaning crews or the services that you're using. You can get better deals on them if you have a multiple property.
So this is the same thing. Being able to tag into the information that. Who do you find is your average avatar? How many properties do they have? I mean, what is your average person look like? No, um, it's, it's really across the board. Um, we have on the high end and with our sort of major, um, go to market with call it, you know, the real professional property management companies that, that use, you know, extensive services and PMs system integration and everything.
We partner with Explorer. And we have a program where exploring basically creates all the local content for you, and it can make that available as a turnkey solution. And it has this, this container mechanisms so that, you know, your properties, get all of this curated content that they've put together.
Then on sort of the opposite side of the spectrum, we also. Have the individual, you know, uh, VRVO Airbnb, single property owner, like me that just, you know, wants to get something up and running for their single property. So it really is a way all over the, yeah, I like that though. A lot of times, it's really hard for people to get started and they're afraid of getting into something.
Cause they're like, well, I only have one property that's really made for people who have 10 properties. So the fact that you will allow somebody who's a small time person right now, the more technology I think that we use the better our property runs and the easier it is for us to begin to duplicate our properties, the technology behind it, a virtual concierge.
Have you looked into how much more your properties make than somebody who say doesn't have any kind of, you know, thing like that, because honestly, I think it makes it a better property. I think it, it, it makes you a premium property. If you have AI technology attached to it. When you can say that you have this system in there, I mean, it just puts you at a different level as a host.
Don't you think? I do. I think that there are, um, particular, you know, uh, property managers that are doing a great job of differentiating themselves as high tech cutting edge sorts of, of brands. And, um, this just fits and plugs right into that. Um, more and more it's kind of becoming where if you, if you don't have an angle of your business, that's leveraging some of that kind of capability.
You kind of get left behind. The trick is how do you make it as easy as possible? Because man working, you know, with, uh, property management companies and, and folks that are, um, just trying to keep up with, you know, with guests demand and every thing that they have on their plate is really hard. And so trying to keep the technology and all the, you know, AI.
Just as easy as possible to consume is really kind of job one. And then, you know, you get it in place. And the idea is that, Hey, we can offload some of this, so you're not fielding as many questions. Um, and you know, having, having Alexa be equipped to be able to do that for you to get, you should buy some time back.
I really liked that. And I, you and I probably, and probably most anybody who has an Alexa device, you can go in there and you can delete it. Uh, the history of it, but we were having to do that, you know, like we weren't doing it between every guest. I mean, there was just no way. So having that, that extra added where you guys already do that, I'm like, I'm sitting here going, oh my gosh.
That's so cool. That's so cool. So how did you do this? Like, how did you make this service? Like. I mean, just having the idea of, you know, I could create something that does this, how did you do it? Did you, how long did it take you? And I mean, and the technology behind that. And so in a thing, like what you've done.
We know that there's technology and there was a basis behind this whole operation. How did you get it to be so affordable? Well, um, it's been four years now that we've, that we've been at it. Um, when, from that initial inception of the idea, I wrote version one of, of the capabilities. That's where, you know, I pretty much run out of the gas in terms of, you know, my, um, technical, I'm more of a hacker than a, than a professional developer.
Um, so it was pretty clear that in order to grow the company, we needed to bring on the pros. And so we've been very fortunate in having a network. Um, and it helps being here in Seattle with the tech climate. There's a lot of talented folks. So, um, so yeah, we've been able to build this team, um, and have some, some folks joined that, you know, are just exceptional at what they do.
The ways that that's kind of manifested itself as we've, we've got one patent in place. And, um, and two more that are, that are in flight right now, just in terms of the way. Create that sort of value stack, um, on top of the underlying voice assistant technology. So somebody could have a hate Google device and it's not, it doesn't have to be just Alexa.
So I know there's some people who are, you know, go one way and some people who go the other. And so I was like, wow, there's both of them. That's pretty incredible. Yeah. We felt like it was important to make sure. Yeah. You know, I have, um, kind of heterogeneous support for some of the best and brightest, you know, providers that, that are out there.
And, uh, and so Google, um, has had a, uh, a place in the whole thing from the beginning as well. Yeah. But, um, no, it's, it's been just, you know, Hey, let's tackle this technical problem and it's tackle this next techno and you know, it, it certainly hasn't been. You know, um, born overnight and, uh, some of what we've got in the cooker, you know, for a new feature sets coming up.
Um, we're, we're excited for where it, for where it goes from here. Okay. Well, I want to hear about the future, but first tell me some of the things that you you can do with your Alexa, because if somebody doesn't have an Alexa, what are some of the things that they can do right now with virtual concierge?
So, um, kind of begins with calendar integration and the ability to understand the reservation data. And then from there we can establish a personalized greeting for the guest. We can also, um, do a, a one-time host welcome message. So. And in some respects, it's great to be able to, uh, answer questions from guests, but you also want the ability to proactively push some information.
If there's some things that you really want the guests to know, if there's some frequently asked questions that you just kind of want to head them off of the past, or if you want to direct guests, um, to, um, you know, some of the, the best, um, maybe activities in the area. Those are kinds of things that you can, you can actually, after the guests uses the system for the first time, um, she will then, uh, proactively, you know, share some, Hey, by the way, would you be interested in hearing some information about XYZ?
Um, so that's kind of some of the initial exposure, you know, that, um, that a guest has to the system. And then from there, it's all about that, that guest's journey, you know, through their, through their vacation and, uh, with that company, Um, you know, what, what do we, what should we do today? Um, you know, uh, what's, uh, what's something fun, you know, to do on a rainy day, all these kinds of nuances that, you know, might, uh, I guess, might find themselves in a, in a, in a position to ask a question like, um, Hey, you know, we've got an hour before dinner, um, are any yard games available?
Um, it's just, they don't know the property. They don't, um, necessarily, um, Have access to, you know, be able to call the owner or, you know, get out their phone and text, you know, through Airbnb or something. It's just so much faster and easier to just ask the question and get the answer. You get the answer right there.
And I'd like to, because you're leaving open an opportunity. It sounds like to upsell somethings. So maybe like, uh, an extra cleaning service. Um, Hey, can I get it, you know, a maid service and here. Clean up after something. I mean, and Alexa could tell you that, right? Yeah. Yeah. We weren't that, um, in terms of like, for situations like that, where you want to either get a hold of them.
Call it, the front office, the front desk, um, of, um, uh, a company or the maintenance crew or the cleaning crew. Um, we have more than a half, a million different ways of asking questions that, uh, Those those things routed to the right department. Um, and so you, you can provide contact lists of people in your organization that should receive a text or an email based upon a guests query about this topic or about that topic, um, including the ability to, and do you have a way to gather information about things that clients in a past guests have asked that weren't able to be answered so that we can build on them?
Uh, that did you, did you read a little ahead to, uh, yeah, that's a perfect question because that's one of the things that, um, our system, a system is, uh, is really good at. So if you haven't yet received at, sorry, if you haven't yet, as a host had a chance to provide content on a specific topic that a guest might ask about, um, the system will come up.
With one of two things. Number one, if it's something in the surrounding area, um, and we can come up based upon, um, you know, some, some web services that we utilize with the best substitute anyway. We'll provide that best substitute answer, um, to the guest, instead of saying, sorry, I, you know, I can't help you with that.
Um, or if it's not a subject like that, but instead it's something specific to the property, like, you know, where, where do you store, you know, the spare bedding, then we'll say, sorry, you know, uh, your host hasn't yet equipped me to answer that question, but I can reach out to them for a quick answer. If you like, would you like me to do that?
Awesome. That's awesome because it doesn't just leave him hanging where they're going to get angry. It says, Hey, we can fix this and they'll answer it right now for me. So I still have an answer available to me. It'll just take an extra second. So I love that. I love that. Yeah. And then what happens is that content, um, and so the hosts use the hosts, get, um, the question, say an attack.
Um, you see the question you reply back with the answer. The answer goes back to the guests, but then it also gets added to the content repository automatically. So that the next DSS, that question, the answers already there. That's perfect. That's perfect. We used to use a service called pat live. I don't know if you've ever heard of them.
It was mostly for real estate people, but it was basically a twenty four seven live call center. Every person who worked there was named pat, you know, they just called him pat, if it was a girl or a guy who answered for you, it was like, you know, you've reached, you know, uh, the office of island B and B's, this is pat, how can I help you?
You know? And pat would tell them stuff. We had a whole list of stuff for these people so that they had a person available, but that service was very expensive, but we found that guests wanted somebody live all the time. You know, we were hiring virtual assistants from the Philippines, from all these different locations and it was costing us a bunch of money to have somebody live there.
Having AI there. That technology is incredible. I mean, it just, it takes everything to another level because people really referred to. They think in their heads when they're talking to Alexa, that's a live person. I mean, they know, I mean, their brain says, yes, we understand, but here's the deal. They really feel like somebody is there talking to them and they're getting that one-on-one care that they really are reaching out for us.
So I love the idea of having AI technology, you know, right there at your fingertips. People really feel that you care. So, yeah. It it's, um, it's a way to give them a little bit of distance so that they don't have to feel like they're imposing, right. Uh, by reaching out for a question. Cause I think that some people are just, they're just careful about that and they think, well, I don't, I don't want to bother anybody.
Um, or some people are like, you know what? I like, I like to know this, but I don't have it. Mental energy to have a conversation with somebody to, you know, to get me the answer. Like I just, I just don't want to talk to anybody right now. So there's that. And then there's this category of people that in general has grown up.
You know, relying on systems to get information, whether they don't have to do it from, uh, you know, with, with people yeah. That their abilities have grown over the years. I mean, and they almost expect that millennials almost expect this type of technology when they go into a property. So yeah, it did sort of depends on the person on the other side of the table.
Um, but in general, there's, um, there's also an ability for you as a whole. To, um, create a little bit more of a personal connection through the device if you want to. So for example, on any content item, instead of, um, having Alexa deliver the answer. You can actually just record a little snippet of your own voice and you explaining why you like this place so much.
And then Alexa will pass the ball to you. She'll say I've got some information from your host about that here in and out here they are. And then, um, the, the guests then here's you to explain why. So much that it is so personal. I mean, it, it, that is that touch alone. I mean, that's amazing. So it's not going to be Alexis voice.
It's going to be yours. That's awesome. I love that. Okay. So what about, you're changing everything right now. What about the future? What do you got? What, what have you got coming up? That's going to be super cool that we can look forward. What kind of things are you working on? What are you cooking up in that brain that God already came up with this brilliant idea.
Um, yeah, I gotta figure out how to answer this in a way that gives you something without giving away the farm here. But yeah, exactly.
It's like, we'll beep it out. We'll be like, uh, Jimmy Fallon did a, did an, uh, an interview with somebody and they're like, don't give away the movie, you know, like the whole thing. And they ha they, they kept talking. They were beeping it out. So we're going to beep out everything. It goes good back, people that out.
Um, yeah. Um, well, let's see. It's um, Right now, um, a really interesting time as it relates to looking at, you know, the, this guest journey. I mentioned, you know, some of the initial things that I guess, um, can, can hear about, or, you know, the ways that they're introduced to the system with a one-time post welcome message and stuff.
Um, the, the ways that then you sort of follow the journey through the remainder of that time, and then at the close of their stay, we've done some interesting things that we'll continue to improve on, um, over the course of the time here. But, um, the checkout process, you know, is, is a no brainer. Um, so that if, uh, you know, I guess as, uh, Alexa or checking out now, um, that immediate notification you can go to.
Um, to the, uh, to your staff, to the host. Exactly. I mean, to everybody, you established as the context that shouldn't hear about that. Uh, and then, um, and then another thing that we, this is this isn't the future. This is something that, that we've already done, but again, just thinking about ways that, uh, I'll try to talk about where we go from here, but, um, The, um, the natural thing at the very end of the, of the journey is, um, what did you think of the place?
Right? Like the, the classic guest review. Um, and we kind of have imagined this new way of doing a review. That to my knowledge has never been done before. Um, and that's a voice review. So you typically go to a VRVO site and you type in a paragraph of what you thought about the property. Um, that kind of thing, but, um, one of the things that you miss with that is kind of the emotional side.
And so we created this thing called the voice review. Um, the very first time I heard a guest, um, respond with their voice review. It was, uh, it was a dad and his two kids and he shared a little bit about their experience. And then he turned to the kids. Guys, what did you like best about your stay? And they're like the pool, the pool.
We had such an awesome time at the pool and it was look, it was the energy behind the message that just wouldn't get. Yeah, this isn't just a review. That's a testimonial. That is way more personal. And if you can share that on your site or something, just imagine. I mean, I'm sitting here right now. Like almost in tears.
We just had a nurse stay with us and she's a trauma nurse and she's a traveling. And, you know, we have all these gifts that we have at our property that we lay out for people. And we ask, we also have a welcome board that says, you know, we're, we're happy. You're here. Blah, blah, blah. And so imagine I'm sitting here imagining it in my head, not just a welcome board, but imagine a welcome message that comes in that we're so glad you're here.
Just taking those few minutes to set that up. This, this lady, we just had the welcome board and, uh, and the tray and stuff set out. And she, she sent me a message on my phone because she had gotten lost. So she had my phone and stuff and she said she was crying. And she said, I was in trauma all day. I deal with a lot of, you know, she goes to, my job is extremely difficult.
There's a lot of really sad things that happen. She said, I walked in and I saw all the things that you did for me. And she said, I just sat and cried for five minutes because. I, I, you know, I got to sit down in a peaceful place where I felt at home, I could sit and relax and she goes, and I felt welcomed as if somebody just put their arms around me and gave me a hug.
And she said it was so moving and I'm sitting here going, oh my gosh, I imagine because I heard that message on my phone. I had enough other people heard that message as well. I mean, that's fantastic. Just like those dads. Hey kids. What did you like? I mean, that moves people emotionally to book with you.
Can you imagine? Because a lot of people who are staying in Florida, We have properties that have multi bedrooms down there, you know, seven and eight bedroom properties, and we'll get a ton of families. We used to get a ton of family is before COVID, but we'd get families who would come in.
Multi-generational families, grandma and grandpa were there. Mom and dad were there. Aunts and uncles were there. Cousins were there. Everybody was all coming together. And imagine the emotion that comes with that, you know, we were able to come together, especially now this post COVID stuff, getting an actual testimonial like that from a family saying we finally got to be together again.
I mean, yeah. Oh, that's really that, that would be powerful. I mean that would take this whole business to a whole new level because that's what people are looking for. And you as a whole should really, I mean, I know we were thinking about it marketing, but I mean, our business is really touching people. We are in a service industry and we are there to serve them.
I think that that is a huge part of serving my people is knowing what they want, what they need, because I'm might. You know, I'm, I'm telling my girls all the time. If they want something, get it. I don't care if it's a new blender or a new mattress. I said, we get it there because if some, if something is wrong, we have to make it right.
So this is so amazing. I love this. I love this. Okay. Now tell us about. Why you changed your branding because now your branding is going to change. So everybody's going to go looking for virtual concierge and they're going to see a whole new thing. So tell us a little bit about that. Yeah. Um, and, and this.
Uh, you know, the, the timeframe for when we'll actually go live with it is still a little bit up in the air. And so this is kind of preliminary for me to be sharing, but yes, we're, um, we're shifting gears, um, and moving, um, to, uh, a brand name of apex apex technology is spelled AI PEX. And, um, with that comes our ability to.
Then, um, actually look at some additional use cases in addition to hospitality. So, um, we're talking about the impact of people's lives. Um, we see the platform that we built actually has a really interesting application in the, um, in the, uh, senior living space, um, especially with COVID and the ways that you can use technology to connect people.
This is something that we, we excited about from the Stanford. Being able to take a lot of investment that we've already made in hospitality and repurpose it. Um, and so with, with apex, we'll have some different, um, lines, you know, of, of business as it relates to these, to the technical. That I mean, and that's fantastic.
I can get that. I mean, look at it. Yeah. All the brilliant you are brilliant. You are brilliant, sir. What you came up with. I mean, that's awesome. You, you try to build a good team and then, and then they're the ones that have more ideas. I, I think that's usually when it does come, when we're doing something, it seems like you'll go to sleep and like a million more ideas will come to you.
Like, okay, slow down, slow down. But at least you're open to them. Right. So that's really good. That's going to give us, this could give us a lot of peace of mind in so many different ways. Like you said the learning technology. So it's going to be building on all those skills, all those questions, and it's going to be taking what people it's just going to be like you say, AI, it's stuck.
It's definitely artificial intelligence building upon itself so that we don't have to keep repeating. Ourself, you know, so it's like building your SOP in your business. You're like, okay, what do we do more than once let's create something so that we don't have to do it again and again and again, and again, and answer that same question over and over again.
This is going to build on that technology. And, um, I think it's, I mean, obviously the, the review thing, that review thing is going to be amazing. I mean that's that, that is going to be crucial. I can't wait to see that. I can't wait to hear that. I can't wait to hear my first review, you know, from somebody who leaves it personally.
And, and, and when you get somebody right then to there in that emotion, you know, they're at the location still in the joyous part of their vacations and stuff. So they're in the emotion of it. So that's, that's beautiful. It's not a week later or a few days later when you're back to reality. So back to reality, we're not in Hawaii anymore, gang.
I know for me personally, as a guest, when I, when I go places and that's the time to hit me and I just, as I'm leaving the property great about things and I haven't yet had had the real world, you know, um, and, and my email inbox, um, hit me right. Where one of those emails is, you know, the link to go do like the VRVO, uh, follow-up.
And then you're just one of a million tasks that all need to get done. Exactly. And that, and it doesn't feel like a task when she's asking you right then and there. Right. You don't feel like, oh shit. I mean, because you don't have to type it all out. It's just right there. Just say. Just say it's super easy.
Amazing. That's fantastic. I love this. Well, I am so glad I got to have you on. I was super excited when you said yes, and very honored, very honored that you said yes, honestly, that's one of the biggest things people ask for now, what kind of tech is out there? We're kind of new and upcoming things, you know, can I do to improve my business?
Do you have any other tips? You know, because you are a host there in Washington. What kind of tips can you give us for using this technology or building your business? Any of them, anything you want to throw out there to these hosts? The majority of people who are listening right now have between one and five properties and they're trying to duplicate their business.
Do you have any advice for them? Well, um, I would say as quickly as possible to get to the point where you have enough scale to do something with exploring, um, because that ends up being. A way for you to have all of their expertise around activities, make it very easy to like upsell and take advantage of, um, you know, the way that guests are going to spend money.
Anyway, this is, it's kind of a hand in glove technology with what they're doing, but as I've been exposed more and more, you know, to that model, Um, it just makes a ton of sense. Um, this is one of those things where you do have to have a certain, you know, scale, um, to, to really, um, be able to take advantage of it.
But yeah, that's the guest experience side of things where, um, it's, it's much more than just about, you know, their stay, but it's about their whole trip. It's about their whole vacation and you can have a really, if you set up a structure like, uh, you can take advantage of it. That's so true. Most people think it's scary to scale.
I always tell people, I go, you wouldn't believe the more you scale, the easier it gets and that, and they're like, how does that work? And you're like, I don't know. It's not like having kids. It's like being a grandparent because you know, somebody else is doing the other part of the work and you get the benefit, the best part.
You know, so like scaling my business, I always compare it to being a grandparent is like, you get better at it. You know what you're doing? And you delegate all the hard parts, you know, the paying the bills and doing all the rules and you just take the fun parts, you know? So, yeah. Well, and, and that's, you know, everybody's in a different place, right?
In terms of like what their, what their passion is. I use this term of a red thread, right. Something that you're particularly. Interested in passionate about and good at, right. And if you can kind of gravitate to your red threads, it might mean that scaling isn't for you. Right. And that, um, The best model is to stay at three properties or whatever it is, and just have a great time doing that.
Um, but, um, when you do, um, have a, you know, an opportunity where you're driven to grow, um, I think that there's, there's some really interesting things that, um, we're doing in that space. And then the other one would be the application of AI and the pricing model. You know, this is kind of interesting. With, with apex technologies, we're doing this sort of guest facing AI and then on the backend.
And there's lots of smart people that are doing all of the pricing optimization, um, with, with the same underlying technology of, of machine learning, looking at large quantities of data, to be able to, um, um, you know, uh, uh, do something that's really never been possible. Um, and so, yeah, that it's fun to watch, uh, you know, the, the companies that are in that space, leverage AI and, um, kind of very different business technology.
Yeah. It's amazing. And it's, it feels like it's moving super fast. So I love having this information for people so that they can keep up with it. You know, because, uh, like I said, I didn't even know it was out there. And when I saw it, I was it's like, what? This is so cool, you know, but I mean, it's hard to be everywhere when you're living the day to day.
So it's like, when you're a little one-parent, you know, you're out there making the lunches and putting the kids on the bus and doing all this stuff when you're, when you've got one property and you're doing all the things that you have to do for that one. You don't see all this stuff around you. And so I think that this interview will give people the opportunity to see something that can help them out in so many ways.
And. You know, to grow their business. And I like that too, because we've got a guide that we stay at his place. Every time we go down to new Orleans, he has one place and he loves it. He's a host there. And you know, he welcomes you personally, every time you arrive, you know, he's, he's one of those hosts and you sit there and go these, these are the guys that literally, I mean, BnBs have been around since, before there were hotels.
I mean, this is the original. Well, Italia. I mean, this is, you know, when you go back to the time of Christ, when they went to Bethlehem and all the Inns were, but it wasn't BNB like us. It was all of us owners that, you know, everybody had come in to, to do their taxes and do all their stuff is like, but all of us, little guys, we got to remember, we started all of this.
So, you know, this we've been around for a long time. So whatever you want us to be able to. Yeah, and I love the community, you know, um, the, um, people that are in hospitality or in hospitality for a reason, um, it's, and it has to do with, you know, making other people feel special and that, you know, their vacation could be all I can see and, um, that, uh, Getting to work with people that have that attitude, um, you know, day in and day out and on an industry basis is really neat.
It's, it's, it's a special place to be. I want my place to be someplace where they want to come every single year. And they're like, this is our place. You know, we go there every year and we have so many families who come the same time every single year. You know, obviously COVID kind of kicked our butts, but for years and years, I mean, we've had people come.
It's so incredibly moving because you, you know, you see the same people and they really feel like it's their place. And I feel like it's their place too, because you know, it's, it's part of them, everything that they love and everything that they want. I love giving it to them because it does make you feel like you're a wish granter or something.
Doesn't it now. Yeah. This is like very, very special. They may not have been able to do, or, you know, you decided to do, um, uh, by themselves, but, um, they're able to come and for, for that week, it is their place. We've, we've had people for 10 years and, um, and if something goes wrong, uh, you know, they're, they're underneath the sink, fixing it.
Well, I thought like somebody had like somebody cocked around the tub, put new cocking around their tub at some place. And they said, my guests just fix my tub. They come like every year. And I'm like, oh yeah, it's one of them because it's there. You do not get it. They believe it's their place. Like this needs.
I love that. I love that. Okay. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate you. You taking the time and going through all the technological glitches that we had at the beginning of this too, so that we could share this with everybody. Was Dana young with a virtual concierge. Isn't that technology like the coolest.
There was so much more in that interview, but we took a little bit out to keep some of it secret, but I'm telling you such a cool product. Oh my gosh. I was like, all right, I've got to put one of these in my BMP because it's so awesome. So, if you want to find out more information, like I said, just go to our website, bnb-boss.com that reroutes you to BNB bosses.com.
And you can click on this episode. In this episode, you'll get all the links that take you back to date. And virtual concierge. And when they make their switch, we'll make sure we make the switch to get you to their new place too. So you won't miss out on anything next week. We're going to be talking to noise aware, and this is super exciting because noise aware is actually working with some cities in order to help people keep up.
Short term rentals, legal. So noise aware is one of the big companies. Everybody was using noise where, and as we evolve, they evolve, you want to learn everything that's going on with noise, where in next week's episode and see where that business is going and how it can protect your business from. And a bunch of other things that you probably never thought of.
So make sure you join us on Monday next week with noise aware and on Friday, we'll have our best of short-term rental revenue. Make sure you tune in then. And thank you so much for listening. God bless you. Have a great day. Go and grow.
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