In an exclusive interview with Martin Picard, Co-Founder & Chief Real Estate Officer for Sonder, we explore Sonder’s unique approach to redefining the guest experience through their seamless integration of technology. By leveraging the Sonder app as a central guide, Sonder ensures a personalized and hassle-free stay. Read on to discover how Picard and his team find the right balance between technology and human touch and learn valuable insights for hoteliers on optimizing workflows and maximizing return on investment. Sonder’s innovative approach is a perfect example of how hospitality technology can elevate guest satisfaction and drive financial success.
Key Takeaways from Sonder’s Tech Strategy
- Sonder leverages technology for every part of the guest experience, ensuring accessibility and seamlessness.
- Technology enables convenient features like mobile unit access, instant replies to inquiries, and integration with city infrastructure.
- Traditional hoteliers should optimize workflows and resource allocation based on guest needs and cost structures for higher ROI.
- Sonder’s technology investments focus on optimizing pricing, room management, and underwriting for enhanced operations.
- Streamlining operations and reducing labor costs boosts Sonder’s net operating income (NOI) per square foot, benefiting both the company and property owners.
- Sonder maximizes space efficiency, offering guests larger spaces or attractive pricing through their distributed labor model.
Shiji Insights: Thank you for joining us today, Martin. Can you tell us about Sonder’s approach to hospitality technology and how it sets you apart from traditional hotel chains?
It’s a pleasure to be here. At Sonder, our approach centers around infusing technology into every aspect of the guest experience. We aim to break the reflex of guests heading to the front desk for assistance and instead encourage them to reach for their phones and access our app. By leveraging technology, we provide a modernized and efficient experience that differentiates us from traditional hotel chains.
How does Sonder help guests to embrace this technological shift?
It’s a gradual process. We carefully design our communication strategies and create intuitive user flows within the app to guide guests toward utilizing it. Additionally, our property layouts and setups are aligned with app interactions, making it easier for guests to seamlessly integrate technology into their stay. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance between automation and the human touch, so guests can choose between engaging with technology or having a personalized interaction with a local representative.
What advantages does Sonder’s technological approach offer to both guests and your operations?
Our technological approach provides several advantages. Guests can enjoy secure mobile access to units, streamline requests for early check-ins or late checkouts, and easily access amenities through the app. We also leverage city infrastructure to enhance the guest experience, offering curated food delivery menus and personalized recommendations. From an operational standpoint, integrating technology optimizes workflows, allowing us to allocate resources efficiently and focus on high-return tasks that directly impact guest satisfaction.
For traditional hoteliers seeking to optimize their operations, what advice would you give them?
I would advise them to break down the components of the guest experience and evaluate their value in relation to cost structures. By doing so, hoteliers can identify areas for optimization and ensure efficient resource allocation. It’s important to focus on high-value tasks that directly impact guest satisfaction while reducing labor-intensive processes with low-value returns. Embracing technology can play a significant role in streamlining operations and elevating the overall guest experience.
In closing, could you summarize how Sonder’s innovative approach demonstrates the power of hospitality technology?
Sonder’s approach showcases how technology can revolutionize the guest experience. By seamlessly integrating technology into every touchpoint, we create a modern and efficient stay for our guests. However, we always prioritize the human touch and empower guests to choose their preferred interaction method. The key is finding the right balance and leveraging technology to optimize operations, maximize guest satisfaction, and drive financial performance. Sonder’s success is a testament to the transformative power of hospitality technology!