Keywest Vacation Homes, a vacation property rental owner and operator with 35 luxury properties throughout Keywest, has been a user of Lynx software for property automation since 2017. We spoke with Javier, Keywest Vacation Homes’ GM, to get a better idea of how Lynx’s software has impacted their business and made them one of the most tech savvy vacation rental companies in southern Florida.
After Keywest Vacation Homes’ initial keyless lock hardware was destroyed in Hurricane Irma, Javier sought a more durable solution that could easily partner with Escapia, the company’s rental booking software. Lynx’s affordability, personalized customer service, compatibility with Escapia, and compatibility with their new hardware was what led Javier to choose Lynx over their competitors.
Q: Why did you choose Lynx over its competitors for your property automation software?
A: “I did some research. Point Central was obviously a very close competitor, but their cost really put them out of reach for us, and honestly, they’re too big. The fact that Resha and Dipen have been available to be on the ground floor talking to me, that meant a lot. The fact that I can get them on the phone, that was really the show. Between the cost and the hands on customer service by the owners, that was a big difference.”
Q: Since beginning to use Lynx in 2017, what features were most important for you then vs. now?
A: “When I first started, it was locks and key codes, and that’s it. Then, we started getting guest checkout codes, and we are able to track who’s in and out. We had been trying to get housekeeping more efficient, and the checkout codes have been very useful. We get a lot of early check-in requests, and we were hounding the housekeepers, ‘When’s it ready?’ Now, we instantly know when it’s ready, and we can relay that to the guest and in some cases charge for it.”
Q: What other Lynx features do you find most useful?
A: “Groups and smart tasks, like automating the temperature with the thermostats, which is huge for us. Increasing temperature at check out makes the properties more efficient and saves us money. The Lynx team has really guided us into this automation, which has enabled us to keep our overhead low and keep a small staff. Coincidentally, with COVID, we fell right in line with what the county and the state wanted us to do, which is remove the interaction with the guests.”
Q: How has Lynx helped your operational continuity during COVID-19?
A: “A part of the [county’s] approved plan was that the guest interaction was to a minimum. All of the check-in processes needed to eliminate interaction with staff. We already had contactless, keyless entry via Lynx, so that wasn’t an issue for us. But some of our competitors have refused to get keyless entry for years, even at my suggestion, because they want the guest interaction. They want to see the guest at check-in, and I get that. When I first started, I was doing that, until I realized that the guests were annoyed. Many of them prefer to explore the space on their own without interference, and so now it’s a matter of safety as well as convenience.”
Q: What is important for other vacation rental operators and owners to know about Lynx?
A: “I would say that the biggest solution that Lynx has brought to the table is efficiency. Lynx just keeps growing, and they keep expanding. They’re staying ahead of the game, which is really important…I actually have my own vacation rental that I run independently, and I use Lynx for that, too, and it’s great. Every mom and pop should have this. With Lynx’s communication features, I’ve now made my vacation rental as professional as the ones I manage with very little infrastructure and very little cost.”