The professionals: Piotr Kubiczek, Hello Here
Hello Here CEO Piotr Kubiczek talks to STRz about his plans for growth and the professionalisation of the holiday home sector.
• You launched HelloHereApp in 2017. How does the platform work?
Hello Here is a welcome app designed to increase property managers’ revenue and provide five-star hospitality. It allows hosts to share information with guests, communicate freely and upsell on-demand services in serviced apartments. It provides great experiences for guests, instant and customisable communication through push notifications and chat, essentials of the place, host’s recommendations and extra offers.”
“Hello Here can be used by serviced apartments, short term rental owners and vacation rentals. The app is fully customisable and can be tailored to any type of guest. With Hello Here hosts are able to market their superb hospitality as a brand and ensure guests that always available essentials, private local recommendations and wide range of extra services are top-notch and curated by hosts.”
• What is your business model?
“Hello Here is a SaaS software. Property managers pay a monthly subscription fee based on the number of properties. Property managers can easily upsell any services, tours and activities, tickets and experiences through our platform and increase revenue.”
• How many serviced apartments and short term rentals are using HelloHereApp at the moment and what’s your target?
“There are more than 4,000 serviced apartments and short term rentals in which Hello Here is being implemented right now. Our target for this year is 20,000 apartments worldwide.”
• User experience is presumably a huge deal given that there are more hotel guests (used to concierge services) starting to stay at short term rentals and holiday homes?
“For a long time, hotel guests have looked at alternative accommodations as an unprofessional industry. Professionalisation of services is the key to win those guests. They expect a hotel-like experience going beyond a welcome basket and a clean apartment. Our software opens new possibilities to meet guests’ demands and win new customers by clarifying the value proposition.”
• What features of the app have been the most popular?
“It is crucial for property owners and property managers to have all the essentials about the property in one, easily accessible to guests, place. For guests, on the other hand, it’s a very comfortable and convenient to have the info in their phones, for a simple reason, the new habit of instant accessibility, regardless of places and time (and in our case, regardless of the internet access because the content is also available offline). The second big feature is communication. Our platform allows to communicate with guests through chat and personalised push notifications.”
• What have been the challenges so far?
“When we released the first version of our software, there even hadn’t been a name for such a category of software. We had to explain how important it was to provide highly personalised guest experience. Fortunately, over time, most of the companies have realised that such tools are indispensable in building a successful brand.”
• How are you looking to refine the product?
“We have a clear and very extensive roadmap for our product. We will implement key, I would even say, disrupting features in the coming months, but let me keep it a mystery until then.”
• How do you think Apps will affect the guest experience more generally?
“We have been observing the market with an increasing satisfaction. During the past two years, we presented Hello Here to a vast worldwide audience (Phocuswright Conference and WIT in Singapore) with great response, because not only did we win at the World Tourism Forum in Lucerne and Vacation Rental World Summit, but we have also noticed a fast growing interest in our product. Instant access to additional services and experiences combined with subtle communication will open new revenue streams for property managers and deliver hotel-like hospitality. Guests are becoming more demanding and impatient and the answer to these needs is a personal assistant, a mobile app in their smartphones, always at hand. We believe that good communication lays at the heart of comfort. To build up on that comfort, we added personalised content tailored to their unique preferences to improve guest experience.”