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Kigo Partner Q&A with Operto

We are pleased to welcome Operto as our first official home automation partner for Kigo clients!

Operto is a property automation software built for the short-term rental industry.

Learn more about how Operto can help you streamline your operations in our Q&A below.

  • Tell us a bit about Operto.

Operto is a property automation system - software that intelligently controls smart devices within your properties based on your reservations, 100% automated through a powerful integration with Kigo. Property managers are the busiest people we’ve ever worked with, and our mission is to make your lives easier - and your guests!

  • What value do you bring to property managers who want to work with you?

Time is the most valuable asset for any property manager. Operto's integration with Kigo automates guest entry so guests can easily check themselves in using a unique code on a keypad lock. It's a better guest experience and saves managers a ton of time, money, and worry.

We also control thermostats and ACs to save money on the energy bill, create a sustainable rental experience, and keep your guests comfortable throughout their stay.

Finally, making sure guests adhere to house rules is key to keeping owners and neighbors happy. Our system gives a full log of the people coming and going, and we've added a sensor that measures noise and occupancy (by using CO2) to alert you of any risks of parties and over-occupancy. It's not often that a guest is trying to cause a problem, but sometimes less responsible people can show up at gatherings.

  • Have you seen any emerging trends in the vacation rental industry related to Operto products and services?

There's been a consistent rise in the use of "smart home" technology for years now and it's really accelerated in the last couple of years. A key factor is device maturity - devices like smart locks and thermostats are much more robust and widely available than they were five years ago. Equally important are software solutions like Operto that make these home-oriented devices suitable for commercial businesses with large portfolios.

Shifting guest demographics has seen the number of younger, tech-savvy travelers increasing every year, and guests are increasingly expecting a tech-powered, but very intuitive experience.

Convergence is another big trend. The lines between accommodation types are blurring, as operators aim to offer the best aspects of both hotels and vacation rentals. All of these options now list on the same booking sites and guests increasingly have the same high expectations of both.

  • Why do property managers choose Operto over others?

Operto brings all the devices you need for modern short-term rental management into a single platform. Since we connect to best-in-class hardware of various device types, you no longer need an individual app for thermostats, an account just for noise monitoring, etc. We put it all in one place - and bring it together through automation.

  • Talk to us about your typical client.

Honestly, there is no "typical" client. We have clients across the entire scope of guest accommodations - traditional vacation rentals, urban apartment buildings, large hotels, boutique hotels, hostels, even treehouses!

In terms of size, we have individual hosts operating just a few units and enterprise property managers with thousands of units in multiple countries. Automation benefits everyone, though it becomes less of a luxury and more of a necessity when you scale into larger portfolio sizes.

  • What would you say are the top 3 benefits for a PM to use Operto?

Better guest experience: smart locks mean guests don't have to go on a treasure hunt for a lockbox or wait around for their host, which is critical right now due to the need and preference for social distancing. The unit is also pre-cooled or heated to a comfortable setting.

Operational efficiencies: No more greeter / key handover appointments that are expensive and difficult to coordinate. No need to worry about keys disappearing, which is an all-too-frequent event that can disrupt the next guest's arrival. Last-minute reservations are easy to manage because the check-in process is completely automated. Your cleaners are even notified when guests leave so you can turn units over in record time and offer your guests early check-in.

Safety: Unique codes, full access logs, and a connected solution for every access point; our solution safeguards against both unauthorized re-entry and the next guest showing up on a whim while the current guest is in the shower. Noise and occupancy monitoring also prevent violations and damage from parties and lets you know if the entire football team is crashing on the floor of a 2-person reservation. These types of precautions create a responsible rental experience and attract more owners, who feel comfortable knowing their property is protected.

  • How has Operto adapted to the impacts of Covid-19 on the industry and travel trends?

Operto was always geared towards serving guests and managers in the smoothest way possible, which often meant less direct human interaction. For example, eliminating an in-person key drop makes check-in stress-free for guests, as they don't have to coordinate arrival time with the manager, but also saves the managers hours of time for every reservation. Prior to the pandemic, Booking.com issued a survey showing that 63% of guests preferred not to be greeted. Post-COVID, that number is likely to be closer to 100%.

Using Operto to automate operations also leads to significant cost-savings. In the tough market that we're in, these operational efficiencies are more important than ever.

  • What do you think will be the top trends post-pandemic?

We are already seeing a huge trend toward domestic travel and drive-to destinations. There are also positive signs for travel around holidays, which is perhaps an opportunity for short-term rentals to capture more homecomings then hotels, which are unable to offer the social distancing and full in-suite amenities of apartments and homes.

On the technology-front, self-check-in will no longer be optional. Both hosts and guests may feel exposed if forced to interact with each other, whereas keyless entry combined with a warm welcome message creates an outstanding guest experience - and one that can be fully automated thanks to the partnership with Kigo!

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