Major update numero uno, in case you haven't heard:
HomeAway acquired the Glad to Have You™ app.
What does this mean?
First, that means calendar syncing and integration with Reservation Manager are in the very near future. I feel like I rubbed the magic lamp, and the genie has granted me a wish.
My wish wasn't for HomeAway to purchase the app, but for the calendar syncing. You can read more about what the app was lacking, in my opinion, over in my original review of the Glad app.
Since my first review, the Glad guys have been working hard, and there have been some cool features added to the app. I'll also go over a bit more documentation as to what your guest sees.
Here we go:
Reviews are important to me as an owner, and I know reviews are important to my future guests as they decide if my property is the right fit for their vacation.
So I was a little bummed that the Glad app couldn't handle hyperlinked text in their auto thank you message to my guests. Having the review request already in the thank you email would save me the time of having to send an additional thank you email requesting the review.
So their very next update to the app in January, the Glad guys added my feature. Woot!
So to activate it, you need to go into your "rental info" on your Glad dashboard and follow these steps:
- Checkmark the option to "Disable Guest Book"
- Enter the direct link to leave a review on a listing site in the appropriate field.
- Hit save.
Not painful at all! Here is what it looks like on my dashboard:
And here is what the email looks like to the guest:
This feature is still being tweaked, so look for updates as owners give feedback on the review links. I have a couple tweak requests of my own that I have submitted. 😉
I have seen many owners mention that there is not a whole lot of documentation available for the Glad app. Meaning, nowhere does anyone walk you through what you see as an owner and what you see as a guest. Or, how does it even all exactly work?
My first review covered a few things, like when a guest receives an email, the types of info blocks available, how to duplicate the info blocks to all of your properties if you have more than one property, and more.
So here is a little bit more, starting with the owner dashboard side...
One question I hear a lot is:
"Are your guests actually using the app?"
Thanks to the activity log, I can say:
"Why, yes, they are!"
If I wanted to, I could even scroll through and see exactly who is using it and figure out what percentage of guests use it, and even how they use it, not to mention who else in their group they invited to use the app.
Here is a screenshot of my activity log from this morning (guest names removed for privacy), pointing out all of the cool info that you have right in front of you:
Note that it doesn't tell you exactly what the guest is doing...that would be a little creepy, don't you think? It just shows you that your guests are using the app. Very cool!
I did filter my activity log...
So if you wanted to see even more activity, you most certainly can.
The next question owners have:
"How does a guest actually get the app onto their smartphone or tablet?"
After you add the guest reservation in your dashboard, the guest receives a welcome email about 10 minutes later. This email contains a link to download the Glad to Have You™ app, as well as the password to access pharmacy-no-rx.net/viagra_generic.html your property.
The link sends the guest straight to the appropriate app store, and the guest will need to click the download button. After it is downloaded, they can now use the app!
"But how do they actually access the information???"
It's a two step process to make sure all of the details are correct:
If the guest mistakenly deleted the email with the password, then they can hit the "resend email" button to retrieve it.
Wondering what you can put in those brightly colored info blocks? Here are a few examples from my properties:
The What's Provided info block gives an area where you can list everything the guest should expect at the house. I also add at the bottom to please contact me immediately if they find one of these items missing so it can be replaced.
The Map info block only shows if three criteria are met in your dashboard:
- rental agreement has been marked "signed"
- balance has been marked "paid in full"
- the arrival date is 14 days or fewer from the current date
If the guest hits the "Open In Maps" button, the app automatically inputs the coordinates into the Google Maps app (or the default map app, I assume) and begins the directions. Pretty sweet!
The Emergency info block is a good spot to put the important instructions in case of the electric going out, a fire, or other emergencies that could happen in your area. Don't shy away from putting in the basic, common sense instructions.
For the Boating block, and a few others, you can also add a website link for a particular web address. Ideally, I would like to be able to have these links as hyperlinked text within the block of information, so hopefully that will be a later tweak.
Also, the phone numbers or email addresses in the text area of the info blocks are not "tappable" to directly call or email the owner. Currently, the guest can tap the phone icon at the bottom to call the owner. Hopefully the "tap" features will be a later tweak as well.
One of the top questions from guests are:
"Where is the nearest grocery store?"
"What restaurants do you recommend?"
With the Grocery Stores and Restaurants info blocks (as well as other distance based recommendations like nearest coffee shops, hospitals, etc.), a Google algorithm automatically populates the blocks. However, you as the owner can put your favorites on top and add your tips to particular spots if you would like.
Two other info blocks that have been extremely useful for my guests are the Coffee Maker and TV/Cable. Simple troubleshooting steps for the Keurig machine has saved a few tears, and the list of cable channels in hand has helped if the guest misplaces the channel guide that we provide in each room.
One other update...if you list your property on HomeAway or VRBO, you get this cool app for FREE. (Sign up here if you are on HA/VRBO.)
And if you don't have a property listing on HA or VRBO? No worries! You can still use the app, and it's well worth the $99/year. Click here to sign up and get a FREE 90 day trial.
Do you already have the Glad to Have You™ app?
How do you use the app for your guests?
Is there a particular feature that has been a life saver for you or your guests?
Please tell me about it in the comments below!
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