Hostfully Guidebooks vs Touch Stay
his article examines Hostfully vs Touch Stay by concentrating on the main features that a digital guidebook should offer. The data has been collected from Hostfully’s and Touch Stay’s websites and help articles.
In Capterra, Hostfully Guidebooks has a rating of 4.9, with the highest score for Customer Service.
Hostfully’s Guidebook Quick Start Wizard makes creating your guidebook quick and easy. Instead of creating your guidebook from scratch, you can fill out “cards” with useful information, such as arrival instructions and local area recommendations.
These cards provide checkboxes for adding content quickly, as well as customisable fields for tailoring the message when necessary.
There are multiple cards in each guidebook, and one card can exist in more than one guidebook. Creating templates can also help you scale even further, for example, if you’re a property manager responsible for hundreds of properties.
“Arrival” and “Departure” cards are included in every guidebook, providing guests with the important information they need to know. The “House Manual” and “Local Area” cards can also be edited in any combination you like.
To illustrate your written content, Hostfully allows you to embed images and videos.
If you want to create your own custom card categories, you must subscribe to Hostfully’s Power Host option or one of the business plans. Offering new and unique guest books for every guest and/or property is only available for the business package.
There are several templates available when setting up your guidebook with Touch Stay, including:
- Short-term rental
- Bed and breakfast/hotel
- Tourism guide
Using these templates will give you an idea of what content to include while allowing you to customise it completely.
The digital guidebook is automatically organised into Categories, Subcategories, and Topics, which you can modify if needed.
You can also insert images and videos amongst your text to give your guests an overview of your property.
By using tags, you can link the same Topic to as many guidebooks as you like – a quick and easy way to populate them all. The tag function is designed to ease the process of creating multiple guidebooks, especially for vacation rental managers with more than one property.
With Touch Stay, you can generate new and unique guest books for every guest and/or property.
Your local area recommendations will be automatically populated by the Guidebook Quick Start Wizard through Hostfully integration with Google Places. You can also create new Recommendation cards if you want to add your own suggestions.
In addition, your guest will see Hostfully’s sponsored recommendations (you can only turn these off if you subscribe to Power Host).
Hostfully also has a voice-activated concierge, so guests can ask about local recommendations and property information using Amazon Echo and Google Home devices.
To share local recommendations, Touch Stay lets you add location pins to maps, along with Tripadvisor reviews.
Guests can easily find their way around the local area by using the Map tab. A total of more than 70 map pin icons are available to help you label your locations accurately.
Google Business’s listing information can be quickly and easily accessed through Touch Stay integration with Google Places. Along with these recommendations, you can still write your own.
Hostfully allows you to insert your logo, custom colours, personalised welcome messages, and custom categories within your guidebooks only if you have a paid subscription (Power Host or a business plan).
Using Touch Stay, digital guidebooks can be customised to fit your own branding. You can modify the logo, font, colours, and pictures.
Since Touch Stay has only one pricing plan (based on the number of properties), customisation is always possible.
The opportunity to upsell is one of the best features of Hostfully. Within your guidebook, you can conveniently upsell products and services, like mid-stay cleaning or groceries upon arrival.
Your guidebooks can be linked to the Hostfully Marketplace if you subscribe to the Hostfully Power Host plan. This allows you to offer guests relevant upsells like late check-out and car parking, enhancing their stay and increasing your revenue.
To share your guidebook with guests, its URL can be pasted into any pre- or post-check-in communications. You can also customise your URL if you select Hostfully’s Power Host subscription.
Viewing the guidebooks does not require guests to download an app, and the link works on any device with a browser. However, Hostfully’s guidebook can’t be accessed offline.
Hostfully doesn’t offer scheduled emails for the digital guidebook product, but they do offer it through their Property Management System (PMS).
Your Touch Stay digital welcome book is attached to a link. The digital guidebook works on any device and doesn’t require your guests to download an app. Moreover, they can access the guidebook even when they’re offline.
Whether the guests are coming from your own direct booking site or from listing platforms, you can insert the link into any guest communication channel, including a booking platform messaging site, email, text, and Whatsapp.
From your Touch Stay account, you can also schedule emails and SMS messages. Thus, it’s possible to set lead times for specific information so that guests can only access them up to a certain time before their stay.
There are two types of hosting plans offered by Hostfully: Individual and Business.
- Free: This includes one guidebook, home information (check-in, directions, WiFi etc.), unlimited and sponsored recommendations, and customer support.
- Power Host: For one guidebook, the price starts at $7.99/month billed annually or $9.99/month billed monthly. Besides everything included in the free plan, Power Host also features an admin dashboard, guest email address capture, desktop device access, your brand design, multiple languages, Premium Print templates, custom recommendation categories, white-labelling, and the option to remove sponsored recommendations. They also offer a free 14-day trial.
- Prime plan: It costs $19.99 per month annually or $24.99 billed monthly for businesses with 1-5 listings. It includes multiple guidebooks with templates, custom recommendations categories, guest data collection, and logo branding.
- Prime Plus plan: It costs $44.99 per month or $49.99 billed monthly for businesses with 6-10 listings. Besides all the Prime features, it includes up to ten Guidebooks and a free onboarding call upon joining.
- Professional plan: It is for businesses with more than ten listings, and the price depends on the number of listings. It includes all of the benefits of Business Prime Plus, as well as custom features, a personal account manager, a custom domain, scalability across hundreds of listings, premium support, quarterly reporting, extra training, and access to new features once they become available.
Touch Stay’s pricing starts at $99 per year. There are different pricing plans if you manage more than one rental unit, depending on whether you operate a vacation rental, a glamping site, a B&B, or an RV rental company. The price you pay drops as your business scales, no matter which plan (property category) you choose.
Keep in mind that Touch Stay gives you access to all the product features, regardless of the price you pay.
Hostfully vs Touch Stay: Which Digital Guidebook to Choose?
Before choosing a guidebook provider, you may ask yourself: is it accelerating contactless check-in? Enhancing your brand with customisation? Working better for your guests, visually and functionally?
Both Touch Stay and Hostfully let you share essential information with your guests through a digital guest welcome book. In terms of automation, they are quite similar. However, the voice-activated concierge and upselling feature of Hostfully and the message scheduling capabilities of Touch Stay distinguish the tools from each other.
Furthermore, Touch Stay offers a variety of options for everyone, from B&B owners to full-on property managers, while Hostfully is great for smaller businesses looking to keep costs low.
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