Paradise In Hawaii Solves Its Toughest Guest Service Challenges With Extenteam

Q: When is a vacation-rental guest not a vacation-rental guest?
A: When that guest loves their experience so much they become a vacation-rental owner.

That’s been the case, over and over again, for Paradise in Hawaii, which prides itself on “having the Big Island’s consistently best equipped homes,” in a magnificent destination dotted with active volcanoes, and some of the world’s best beaches, notes Paradise in Hawaii Luxury Homes owner Jeff Seifert.

But the combined property-management operation and full-service real estate brokerage wouldn’t be where it is today–delivering superb Hawaiian vacation experiences and converting happy guests into even happier owners–without exceptional guest care. And that level of care was in danger of faltering as the company continued its rapid growth trajectory. Enter: Extenteam.

Being located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean means having some of the most spectacular shoreline, sunsets, snorkeling and vacation vistas on the planet. It also means being in a different time zone than your potential guests. “We are typically two to six hours behind our feeder markets,”—in this case, the U.S., Canada and Japan—“meaning that when guests are researching their family vacation with a cup of coffee it may be 3 a.m. here in Hawaii,” Seifert explains.

But that’s not the only time zone issue. Once they do book their Paradise in Hawaii vacation, “many of our guests arrive on flights that land late at night, between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.,” adds Seifert. “By the time they get their rental car and drive to the resort it may be midnight. It is important that our team be there if they have problems or questions when they arrive.”

On top of that, Hawaii is experiencing a major labor shortage. And while it might sound easy to entice hospitality professionals from the mainland to move to such a beautiful locale, the island’s sky-high cost of living makes the prospect of relocation much less appealing.

So, how does a growing vacation-rental property management company maintain professional 24/7 guest service and reliable guest communication, in the midst of these difficult labor challenges, while keeping costs down and keeping an eye on continued expansion?

“We learned about Extenteam while at a Keystone Retreat led by Matt Landau, in August 2022,” Seifert explains. “Meeting fellow vacation rental owners and hearing of their success with Extenteam made it a no brainer for us.”

Paradise in Hawaii initially brought on Extenteam remote team members to fill two “guest ambassador” roles, who could handle seven-days-a-week coverage for guest emails, texts and phone calls. Impressed with the quality of its Extenteam guest ambassadors, the company soon added a team member for a logistics role, coordinating property care and inspection teams.

These Extenteam pros worked out so well, the company recently added a third guest ambassador and a second logistics coordinator, bringing its Extenteam team to five members.

Like all Extenteam talent, the company’s new team members came to their roles with hospitality experience and technical know-how. To ensure its new team members also had the right location- and property-specific knowledge to serve guests, the company invited them to dig deep into the company website and destination marketing sites. “We also asked them to create a list of 100 questions that might be asked by guests who didn’t know anything about Hawaii, and then try to research and answer them. We had them look at all our homes and communities and take the Matterport 3D virtual tours as if they were there.”

Paradise in Hawaii also adjusted team schedules initially so that new Extenteam staffers could shadow existing employees virtually using Ring Central conferencing. It’s a process the company is able to easily scale as it continues to grow and add new Extenteam members.

Paradise in Hawaii takes the meaning of “team” very seriously. Seifert emphasizes that its staff members, no matter where they work, what time zone they’re in, or what role they fill, feel they are equals—part of the same team with a common goal.

“We have a very diverse team with different language, ethnic and family backgrounds. Respect for one another and everyone having each others' back is incredibly rewarding. When our employees on the mainland, our Extenteam members in the Philippines, or our employees here in Hawaii interact, it is always clear we are one team.”
It’s all in the service of serving guests—some of which will become owners.