Hospitality expert and reality star, Anthony Melchiorri, explains what property managers and small-time renters can do to stand out from the crowd.
Managing multifamily properties is a dynamic business that needs dynamic tools. Hospitality expert Anthony Melchiorri has been in the industry for 30 years and knows what it takes for property owners to succeed.
“I was in the hotel business [doing] everything from development to managing the front desk, housekeeping, revenue management and sales,” says Melchiorri, an Air Force veteran who’s known for starring in Hotel Impossible and Five Star Secrets on the Travel Channel.
Now, the founder and managing director of Argeo Hospitality is sharing tips to help property owners maximize the tools and technology needed to improve the tenant/resident experience.
You can run one or two units in a low tech, Mom-and-Pop style operation, but when it comes to managing a lot of properties, Melchiorri says “technology, strategy, and marketing come into play.”
He recommends property managers attend tech conferences to get the best new products. The biggest tech tool you should be using? Smart locks.
“There are smart locks out there that basically come in all shapes and sizes and they download to your phone as a guest,” says Melchiorri. “You basically put the code in and you open up the door.”
The virtual keys are safer than traditional keys too since the code can be changed for each tenant, reducing the worry of physical spare keys being copied.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can help you value your property’s worth and marketability. AirBnB, for example, uses AI to analyze the market, including local demand for properties, competitors, and rates.
Gathering this data on your own is time consuming and it might not be as accurate as a computerized system.
This information is “absolutely critical,” Melchiorri says. “The hotel management or property management business isn’t an expense driven business. It’s a revenue driven business.
“On one night you might get $100 for your little loft apartment in New York and another night you might get $1,000 for your little loft apartment. That could make up for all your downturn in a week.”
Meeting tenant expectations
Focus on providing a good tenant experience. Start with a clean, well-maintained property. Melchiorri suggests hiring cleaning and maintenance services to handle the workload. Make sure guests have a number to text or call about safety or maintenance concerns.
Then stock the property with conveniences.
“If you have three, four, or five different properties, understand the basics,” says Melchiorri. “Make sure you have Wi-Fi that’s high speed, comfortable sheets and towels, toilet paper. Basic shampoo. Don’t cheap out on this stuff.”
It’s important for you to know your tenants. Are they renting your property for business or leisure? What extras do they want, such as free parking? While people on business typically want the basics, leisure guests demand more.
“They want more luxurious bedding, they want better amenities,” he says. “Maybe they want a stocked kitchen because they’re going to be there a couple of days.”
Leisure guests also want to know what’s happening in the neighborhood. Melchiorri says smartphone apps like Getting Local show local entertainment and restaurant options that pop up on your phone in real time.
He says the tech helps people get to know the area and gives them a reason to stay in your apartment.
Give guests something to remember.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got to make it memorable,” says Melchiorri. “Really, to me, what makes it memorable is when you give them something they didn’t expect. Could be complimentary Netflix or a muffin from your grandmother’s recipe with a recipe card.”
The gesture leaves a good impression with current guests and could help you book the next renter. These days most travelers read online reviews and look for places with positive feedback and great service.
Melchiorri says the best part of the industry is consumers having a say. It’s good business to focus on the customer.
“Be friendly,” he says. “It’s that simple.”