Spain: Apartment rental agency AB Apartment Barcelona says it is pioneering a software which offers its guests the opportunity to check in online before arriving.
The tourist rental market is booming, and last year, overnight stays in tourist apartments have increased compared to hotels. It means that rental management companies in Barcelona must prioritise innovation in an attempt to differentiate themselves and stand out from their competitors, by offering excellent customer service and enhancing wherever possible their guest experience.
AB Apartment Barcelona says that it stands out from other local agencies due to “its commitment to technological innovation”.
In 2013, the company launched a mobile version of its website, specially designed for frequent phone users, making itself a “pioneer” apartment agency in Barcelona. With this, AB managed to be a success story in Google, they even appeared in an e-book as a good example of e-commerce.
This time, AB Apartment Barcelona claims to be the “first company of its type to implement the technology which allows their guests to check in online”.
The system was implemented in June 2019 and thus far, over 60 per cent of their customers prefer to check in online before arrival.
At the same time, AB Apartment Barcelona has installed smart locks in the majority of their apartment inventory, allowing its guests to access their apartments via their mobile phone. It aims to provide a hassle-free check-in process from start to finish, while offering the guests the freedom of arriving at whatever time and allowing them to go directly to their apartment.
AB Apartment Barcelona head of marketing Sandra Roig said: “Our main objective is to improve the customer´s experience; we want that from the point of meeting us, booking with us and staying in one of our apartments until their departure, everyone has a great experience.
“This is possible thanks to our quick, straightforward and intuitive website; being able to check in online and self-check in to the apartment, ensuring that the guest has a wonderful stay in the apartment,” she added.
AB launched in 2006 when its founders, David Aguilar and Daniel Aguilar, started to grow the company into what it is today: a company that has more than 50 employees, two strategically placed offices, a website translated into nine languages and that receives more than 10,000 customers every year.
Moreover, it has between 60-70 per cent direct sales and is one of the only touristic accommodation companies that has a 24/7 office.
CEO David Aguilar said: “Our customers know that we are always available: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They know that, if they have any problem during their stay, they can call us and we will get to their apartment at whatever time; or they can come to our office whenever and that we will always help them.”
AB Apartment Barcelona offers a full management program for their property owners: from online marketing of the property, to check-in and check-out, a comprehensive maintenance service and housekeeping 365 days a year, optimising prices, noise control and setting up the property.
The secret of the company´s success is having focused only on Barcelona, according to Aguilar.
He said: “While some of our competitors venture into opening up in new destinations trying to compete with Booking or Airbnb, we want to be the local expert agency in the city. This is something which has set us apart and has allowed us to survive in this very competitive sector.
“In recent years, we have seen various companies who have attempted to expand, regrettably disappear,” he added.
For more information, visit the AB Apartment Barcelona website here.