Check-in is an inescapable part of renting lodging. It’s a pain for both the renter and the landlord, particularly if you’re locked into outdated ways of doing it. This is particularly true with corporate apartments and other corporate housing options. Business travelers often arrive late – flight delays, traffic snarls and other factors almost invariably lead to tardy check-ins. That means the traveler is exhausted, and that the landlord often has to be roused from sleep (or is equally as exhausted because he or she has been losing sleep waiting on the renter to arrive). There are better options. These three solutions can help you streamline your check-in process.
Provide a Digital Step-by-Step Check-In
Digital technology is everywhere today. It’s embodied in your PC and laptop, but chances are good you carry it around with you on your hip or in your pocket. Your smart phone is basically the equivalent to a 1990’s desktop in terms of capabilities, and it’s much more than just a telephone. Enterprising landlords can use these devices to streamline the check-in process for corporate apartments.
A digital step-by-step check-in process might sound a little daunting, but it’s really just a natural extension of the existing system, with a few tweaks. And the beauty of it is that you can either buy check-in software that will largely automate the process for you, or you can set up a plan on your own tailored to your specific needs.
If you know your tenant’s flight number, you can set an alert to trigger when their plane lands. You can also arrange for messages or alerts when the tenant picks up his or her rental car (if they’re renting one, of course). When these alerts occur, you can digitally send documents for the tenant to sign, completely encrypted and secure. The tenant digitally signs them and sends them back. Once those are in hand, you only need to provide access to the apartment. This can be done in any number of ways, although the simple, low-tech option would be to keep the key in a secure lock box and to send the combination to the renter on receipt of their paperwork.
Another option would be to use video to go through the check-in process for corporate apartments and verify the tenant’s identity before giving them access to the lockbox where the apartment key is located. Skype works well for this, but you can also use platform-specific apps like FaceTime. A quick video chat, proof of credentials, and both you and the tenant can get on with things.
Using Text Messages
Texting is ubiquitous today. Everyone does it, from school kids to CEOs. However, it’s more than an ultra-rapid, direct form of communication. It can be used to streamline your check-in process for corporate apartments. There are numerous potential combinations where text messaging can be used in conjunction with renting lodging, but a few potential options include the following:
- Text on Arrival: If you’re not sure when your tenant will arrive in town, you can have them text you after they’ve touched down and left the plane. This alerts you to their presence and tells you they’ll soon be at your property.
Text to Get In: If you’ve prearranged payment with your client and expedited the paperwork (either digitally or by expedited courier), you can text the tenant the combination to the key lock box so they can let themselves into the property once they arrive on site.
Perhaps the most important way to streamline your check-in process is simply to be available. Be there when your tenants need you and not only will the process go more smoothly, but they’ll be more likely to use your property in the future.
For instance, rather than giving your tenants your landline number, give them your cell phone number. This ensures that they can get in touch with you at all times, even when you’re not in the office or at home. Give them your email address, and then make sure you check your email regularly – a smartphone with an email app ensures that you have access to all messages when they arrive, so long as you have signal.
Know when your tenant expects to arrive in town, and make sure you clear your schedule. Give them ample time to get off the plane, claim their luggage and travel to your location. Modern technology takes a lot of the guesswork out of this – you can check arrival and departure times, as well as flight delays on the Internet, and if you’ve got a smartphone or a tablet, the Internet is just a single finger tap away at all times.
Both guests renting corporate apartments and landlords can benefit from a streamlined check-in process. Use these tips to help make your process simpler and easier on you both.