Host Insights — Batch1 Hosts Update
April 6th, 2022

Last month, we introduced the Host Beta Program, which serves to shape Dtravel v2 directly with the help of hosts. By gaining more details into the major problems vacation rental hosts face today, we can create a better user experience early in the product life cycle.

We’re extremely grateful to the first group of Batch1 hosts for dedicating their valuable time and providing insightful opinions, suggestions and talking points. These learnings will be instrumental in developing a web3 future for the vacation rental industry and will continue to be central to our strategy as we invite more hosts to participate in Batch2.

In this article, we’ll introduce two of our wonderful Batch1 hosts, provide key insights from what we’ve learned and summarize how this feedback will be implemented into Dtravel v2.

Host Spotlight

Melissa

Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

Why she loves this industry: The short-term rental (STR) industry has allowed me to work while I travel, meet fellow digital nomads, share my love of Tahoe, and connect with the wider crypto community.

Why she’s excited about Dtravel: The STR community needs a new alternative to the traditional OTAs and marketplace. Big tech STR apps have not changed with the times and are not evolving as the industry and its members require. Dtravel has the opportunity to bring together the two things that many of us love: crypto and travel. That is VERY exciting to me.

Khang

Location: Da Nang, Vietnam

Why he loves this industry: As a traveler, I love to go around, learn about the culture, the people, and the local experience. After years of traveling around Vietnam, my wife and I decided to come back and settle down in our beloved city: Da Nang.

With our passion of traveling, sharing the culture and making friends, we became hosts. Our happiness at the end of the day is not only to bring travelers the comfiest home to stay, but also to show them the colorful local culture to experience

Why he’s excited about Dtravel: I truly believe web3 and blockchain can add value to the tourism industry. Without a doubt, Dtravel is on the front lines and I’m excited to be a part of this amazing journey!

Key Insights

Throughout March, we’ve been posting questions and sharing product designs to a private Discord channel composed of Batch1 hosts. Hosts like Melissa and Khang weighed in on these questions and designs in their spare time to help us better understand what works for them, what doesn’t work, and what they’d like to see in Dtravel.

Being able to receive immediate feedback, comments, and validation in our Discord channel and design files has been incredibly constructive. With professional-minded hosts from all over the world offering their thoughts on the product — including many with several years of professional hospitality experience, interest in crypto/web3, and even a seasoned Product Manager in our featured host Khang — we’ve been able to gauge our approach with a diverse group that shares a common passion for improving the hosting experience.

Following our discussions, we’ve condensed this feedback into three key insights that present opportunities for Dtravel to tap into by leveraging web3 and blockchain technology.

Faster Payouts

Hosts typically expect payouts once guests check in. However, some hosts have had experiences with leading platforms regularly taking over a week to pay them, which can disrupt regular host operations.

Using smart contracts, payouts on Dtravel v2 can be automated with trigger rules. If the cancellation policy has not been triggered prior to the check-in date, the host will receive the guest’s payment.

Depending on the flexibility of the cancellation policy, hosts may even receive payment before the guest checks in. While this is not an expectation of hosts, such a payout policy could potentially be incentivized to attract high-quality guests who are less likely to cancel bookings.

Championing Crypto Payments

Our Early Adopter Host Persona identified in our Host Research article is either crypto curious or crypto native. From our discussions, Batch1 hosts believe that cryptocurrencies are the future of payments and want to be involved in making this belief a reality.

Our featured host Melissa has a desire to “make entering crypto fun, liberating and confidence building,” and she’d like her listings to aid in that. One of her suggestions was to include a discount for cryptocurrency payments and a way to make it simple for those new to the crypto space to acquire crypto.

An incentivized cryptocurrency booking model was already in the pipeline, particularly with respect to the native TRVL token, and proposals of this nature from our hosts further reinforce the introduction of such a model. The latter part of Melissa’s suggestion also presents an opportunity for Dtravel to integrate a third party fiat on-ramp to provide members with a simple and quick solution to purchase crypto directly from their Dtravel account for a seamless booking experience

Rates & Availability Syncing

We recently released an article that details how and why we’ll be integrating property management system (PMS) software into Dtravel v2. One of the key value propositions of using a PMS is the ability to sync listing information — most importantly rates and availability — across multiple vacation rental platforms without manually updating these on each platform.

While a PMS exists to simplify the lives of hosts by combining multiple booking platforms in one interface, we knew there’d be challenges that we had to be prepared for, especially since there are many PMS softwares used by hosts across the world. By starting the conversation early, we hope to turn these potential obstacles into opportunities.

For instance, when asked whether there are times where hosts need to unlist their properties from platforms when using a PMS, it was mentioned that this has to be done whenever fees change or new features are added.

A major pain point of this, however, is that many platforms don’t clearly communicate these changes to hosts, so much so that some hosts have termed these “hidden” features. Hosts therefore have to be proactive in tracking down this information to ensure their listings remain up to date with the latest details, spending time and effort that could be better used to grow their business

Communication is critical, and Dtravel is committed to ensuring that these gaps don’t cause unnecessary headaches where a simple email containing information about new features relevant to hosts in each release would go a long way.

Join Future Host Beta Program Batches

Interested in joining future intakes of the Host Beta Program? We’re continuing to take expressions of interest from experienced home sharing hosts below.

To apply, please complete the survey here.

If you have previously registered for our waitlist, an email was sent with information on joining our v2 pilot program.

We’ll be regularly sharing more details of our Host Beta Program, so be sure to stay updated by following us on our socials below.

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