Client interview: The Edinburgh Address
Written by Robin Morris ,
In order to help us understand how we are doing and get some feedback, we sat down with The Edinburgh Address and interviewed Anna Morris (AM) and Anne Marie McEwan (AMM).
We met them at the gorgeous Castle Terrace apartment that they manage in central Edinburgh with amazing views directly on to Edinburgh Castle. We only had a hour or so as guests were arriving with Anna and Anne Marie ready to give them a personal greeting.
Tribalogic services used by The Edinburgh Address:
What does The Edinburgh Address do?
We provide luxury self catering accommodation on a short-term letting basis in Edinburgh. This basically consists of two jobs:
- property management; and
- guest relations.
What kind of properties do you look after?
AM: "The properties we take on, we are looking for them to have something special about them, whether it is the views or interior decor or something that makes them stand out on our site."
"Ideally the properties we take on will complement each other, so we would not for example take on five two bedroom apartments in one street in Marchment - we try to take on properties that will attract a variety of guests, from family to corporate or ex-pats looking to come and stay in Edinburgh for a month and then go back home."
What method do people use to book?
AM: "We advertise our website and properties on a breadth of channels and of course on our own website."
by far and away the most common source of bookings is our own website
"Occationally bookings come through 3rd party agents but by far and away the most common source of bookings is our own website - either straight online booking with no [prior] contact or booking online after an initial enquiriy."
Would you take a booking on the phone or direct them back to your site?
AM: "We would direct them back to our site if they are ok with that"
AMM: "Send them a link to the [specific] flat [on our website]."
Do you ever take bookings by email?
AM: "We do in a way provisionally, but they are only confirmed when they book online, that way they are a secure payment and all the details are likely to be correct."
How long was the business running before booking side of things took off & what impact has it had?
AM: "We have always used a form of online booking but we have definitely noticed a trend away from phone and emails since we introduced booking on our own site."
we have definitely noticed a trend away from phone and emails
AMM: "people tend to email or phone sometimes if they have a question specific, such as, can they check in early. Things like that come up but then they wiill go an book before we have had a chance to respond to the enquiry. It is almost like they are confident that they can book the accommodtion and then the question will get answered anyway. That is new and never used to really happen before - there was more of a reluctance to book online.... you would think if they had a question they would wait but they don't."
Do you think there has been a change in attidutes?
AMM: "I think so yes, maybe a bit more confidence an saying to themselves, 'I will go and book it anyway an secure the dates as this looks like a busy flat... get it booked before someone else nips in'!"
Do you get feedback from guests about the booking process?
AM: "Not specficially, we just ask them overall how they have found the service... no one has ever picked up on or complained about the booking service - if anything they have said positive things."
AMM: "People have said... I remember people saying at check in and you point out the cot and the highchair that it was great just being able to pick that [when booking]... the extras, people seem to quite like that."
"We don't have any problems with the online booking system - at all. We don't have ever payments not going through or queries from guests - ever."
AM: "Often we actually get more feedback from potential owners who will have a wee look and a play and say 'I really liked your site and how the guests can book'. We seem to get a bit more feedback from them."
AMM: "They are maybe looking about for a management company and like that we have an online booking system that looks good, slick and professional."
So your site indirectly promotes your management services?
AMM & AM - "Yeah."
How far in advance do you publish?
AM: "It depends on the apartment and the owner... some of them about a year, which is about the most we publish in advance but some of them might only be six months. A year is our preferred amount."
What is the best thing about the Tribalogic's software?
AMM: "I think from someone booking it is so easy to see what is available, easy to see what is free at a glance rather than having to do a search on specific dates. It is easy to navigate and get about and see what dates are free at a glance."
from someone booking it is so easy to see what is available
"[On a specific property] if you have flexibility, you can just choose your dates."
"From our point of view it is just so straight forward"
you have listened to feedback from users and developed with users in mind
AM: "It is quite intuitive, it has also grown, you have listened to feedback from users and developed with users in mind - yeah, we have found it has just got better and better. You have put add ons and new features."
"We find it easy to train our staff on the back end too."
If there was one thing you could change, what would you change?
AMM: "A replication feature... for pricing and things - copy one property to another. We have groups of flats that have the same pricing scructure, because we band our flats into differenct categories."
Do you use the Joomla side of things often?
AM: "I do a little, not a lot because I am not very technically proficient at it and I feel I need a wee bit of training on it. I don't use it as much as I would like to.. it is a time thing as well. So I do use it but I would like to use it more."
"It would be good to have say an hours tutorial or seminar - ff you don't use it for a while, you kind of forget how to."
Would you recommend the Property Portfolio and Booking Service to other businesses?
AM: (laughing) "As long as they are not in direct competition... or in a different city... or country!!"
For more information on The Edinburgh Address, check out www.theedinburghaddress.com.
Photographs © 2011 Aline Raiffé and Robin Morris