With all the technology available to help improving the rental process, it is easy to forget that the number one thing that drives the whole industry is hospitality. And ensuring that your future guests will have the best possible experience is not related to your having the latest new cool communication tool but rather knowing who your guests really are and how to welcome them to the best of your ability.
To this effect, the Hostfully Platform provides a fairly sophisticated system to gather the data you need to prepare your guests' stay. This comes in the shape of a "pre-arrival form" that you main guest can fill out on behalf of their party. The idea is to gather the follow data:
- name, email address of each guest (and potentially their age)
- a contact phone number
- a valid government-approved identification document
- information about the guest trip: anticipated arrival/departure times (in comparison to standard checkin/out times), reason for trip, flight number etc
Note: the fields with the red asterisk (*) are required for guests to fill in. Others are optional.
Here's an example of this form:
There are 2 ways to request that your guests fill out the "Pre-Arrival Form".
Set up the pre-arrival form to be shown after a guest provides their payment on Hostfully (this can be for all channels where Hostfully is used as the payment processor). Simply set this from the Agency Settings page, checking the box called "Capture guests information after payment".
This option takes a little more time, but allows you to have guests fill out the form regardless of the channel they booked from. This is done by creating a custom template and an associated trigger that you can attach to a booking event. Here are the steps to get this set up:
Step 1: create a custom template
See this article on custom templates. Create a template like this one:
As you see above, the key here is to create a dynamic link that the guest will click to get to the form. The [$ORDER_UID$] is the variable needed to get the right link, like https://platform.hostfully.com/guest_info.jsp?o=[$ORDER_UID$]
Step 2: create a custom trigger
Then, simply create a trigger that will fire on a Booking Confirmed event. I would suggest to apply it to channels that are not already covered by the payment processing flow (option 1 above), like Airbnb or TripAdvisor. Select the Guest as the recipient, and select the custom templates we created above:
With the mix of both options, you're covered and you should be getting this valuable data for every one of your bookings.
Finding the guest information
The system will send an email whenever pre-arrival forms are filled out by guests, but just know that this data will typically be show on the Edit Lead window, under the Stay Details tab:
Customizing your pre-arrival form
The system allows for customization of the pre-arrival form. Please see this article for more details.