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GUEST BLOG - Henry Bennett YourWelcome

Henry Bennett, CEO of YourWelcome was a speaker at our Digital Catapult Centre Brighton event Tech Beyond The Screen: Real-time Place-based Digital Marketing at The FuseBox on 16th March 2016. Here, Henry talks about his company and the growing demand in the short term let industry for this unique technology.

"YourWelcome is a rapidly growing start up company that is helping short term let hosts and property managers better monetise their assets.

In the hotel industry, it is common for between 20% and 40% of revenue to come from selling services. These include food, experiences and airport transfers. However, in the short-term let industry, (which includes Airbnb hosts, holiday lets and serviced apartments), the percentage of revenue that comes from selling services is very close to 0%. This huge disparity in percentages is not surprising as hotels often have on-site facilities such as gyms, restaurants and spas, whereas the short term let sector mainly provide just rooms. In addition, hotels make the buying of services simple, either via the hotel TV, phone or face to face with a concierge.

Due to the rapid rise of on-demand services in major cities an opportunity for providing a similar set of services from within Airbnb or short term let properties has arisen. Just because the property does not have room service is now no barrier to offering high quality food delivered to the door as quick, if not quicker, than with room service, using suppliers such as JustEat or Deliveroo. The same is true with offering day gym passes via PayasUGym or Spa treatments via Wahanda.

The barrier for short-term let properties selling services is that they are usually privately owned, often owner occupied when not rented, and are therefore effectively a ‘walled garden’ to brands and services. It is not possible for brands to market directly to the end guests as they are reliant on the host or property manager to promote their services. This is where YourWelcome offers a significant opportunity to brands and services to have access to an audience that is engaged, wants to spend money on new experiences and services but often is unaware of how to access them.

YourWelcome is a subscription service and open to Airbnb hosts, property managers and serviced apartment providers. The subscription includes both a tablet and pre-installed software and offers the ability to offer on-demand services to their guests by setting up the device and leaving it out for visitors to their homes. In addition, hosts and property managers are able to record instructional video guides to the home which helps streamline guest communication. YourWelcome core purpose is to help turn host recommendations into guest experiences. For example, the host may recommend a restaurant; YourWelcome will, in just a few taps, facilitate the booking of the restaurant, coupled with a live taxi price to get the guest to the location. Thus offering a genuine value add to the guest and a new revenue stream to the short term let property. This revenue stream will be shared with the property managers and hosts to enable them to monetise above simply selling room occupancy.

As the short-term let market continues to evolve at great pace, we believe that selling services in-property to guests will become a core part of the eco-system and YourWelcome is well placed to provide this service.

If you are interested in hearing more, please do get in touch.

Henry Bennett."

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