In this video, we are here to talk about the Hospitality Helps program, which CloudBeds is running. It's a really cool program during these uncertain times.
Hospitality helps is a program that was pioneered by CloudBeds founders, Adam and Richard. They just saw a gap, right, when COVID-19 started happening. They noticed a possible connection between hotels and hostels that have completely empty zero or very close to 0% occupancy and traveling nurses and traveling doctors, people who needed to stay quarantines couldn't go home to their families. So we had more success hosting people of that sort hotels, I think they were probably a bit more receptive to that too.
Some really good partnerships were formed. In New York city we were able to connect some properties, which ended up being about 10,000 beds total yeah. With the New York government and putting them in touch. So they then went ahead and made an arrangement. And we also got some engagement from like charities. So people are being displaced due to a variety of different things you know, homelessness and things like that. So obviously, yeah. So putting people in touch, we weren't necessarily people didn't always end up hosting people, but just forming those relationships with people could have that comfort.
SHOW VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
James Black (00:00): Welcome back to the hostel pandemic mini series on hostel manager.com. I'm Jimmy black with the hostel road trip podcast joined again by Bobby Dyer. I teach hostels hello and Juliet strip wholly with cloud bits. Julia Strippoli (00:19): Hi guys, James Black (00:21): And we are here to talk about the hospitality helps program, which cloud beds is running. And it's a really cool program in this uncertain times we're in to utilize your property, but also to help out with the situation you're in and we're in as a community. But also just to hear a little bit about cloud beds, Julius or poli is one of their top new salespeople. And Julia, tell us a bit about your product before we jump into this hospitality health program. Julia Strippoli (00:52): Yeah. So club beds is in all-in-one hospitality suite. We work with tons of hostels. We have good functionality for working with people who have dorm beds to naturally work with a lot of hostels around the world. It tussles being some of our first and favorite customers, of course. But yeah, so it's a front desk system, a booking engine for your website and a channel manager to keep you connected and in sync with all the OTAs. James Black (01:20): That's cool. Then you've got the unique experience of having been a hostel manager here at IGH that use cloud beds. And you were part of that whole onboarding process when we switched over. And now that you work there, I thought that's always been a cool thing. That five minutes has people that have been on the other side of the fence using those softwares and having those experiences. So it's very easy to relate to and work with your software and your company as far as making improvements and enhancements, because they're very much in tune with the hostel industry, which is rare for reservation software, as in general, still, you know, that's a really cool thing that going on there, but in this situation, I think your companies found a really cool way to highlight how hostels can make use of their properties while at the same time being proactive and helping out with this can genic catastrophe by utilizing their space in this hospitality helps program. So tell us a bit more about this program. Julia Strippoli (02:20): Yes. So hospitality helps is a program that was pioneered by our founders, Adam and Richard. They just saw a gap, right, when this all started happening, that there's these completely empty zero or very close to 0% occupancy, also hotels properties all around the world and in particular North America. So their original thought was to try and connect hospitals with these empty properties so that they could house patients. Right. We saw on the news, everyone's freaking out about being thousands of beds short for patients and things. So that was the original intent. It actually worked out to be, once we started forming these relationships was it was more geared towards hosting, like traveling nurses and traveling doctors, people who needed to stay quarantines couldn't go home to their families. So we had more success hosting people of that sort hotels, I think were probably a bit more receptive to that too. Julia Strippoli (03:23): So yeah, but we had some really good partnerships formed. I know in New York city we were able to connect some properties, which ended up being about 10,000 beds total yeah. With the New York government and putting them in touch. So they then went ahead and made an arrangement. And we also got some engagement from like charities. So people are being displaced due to a variety of different things you know, homelessness and things like that. So obviously, yeah. So putting people in touch, we weren't necessarily people didn't always end up hosting people, but just forming those relationships with people could have that comfort. James Black (04:05): Yeah. I'm going to segue over to you Bob with your experience, but it's a good point that you can sign up for this program, but you still have the ability to accept or deny the service based on who comes through the program in this way, because you have a wide range of people. You could have someone that is just tested positive for COVID-19 that needs a place to quarantine, to a nurse that's traveling and needs a place to stay to a homeless person that is now even more dire straights, but I'm that over to Rob dire? What is your experience been Bobby with this program as we've had some incoming from it over at IGH? Yeah, it's been great. We've definitely been we signed up as soon as we saw it so we can help out. And I've taken a call personally from a nurse who was looking at looking for an area place to stay as she was helping out patients. James Black (05:00): It's been great to be able to give back and you know, do what we can. That is true. And I, and it does, it helps out, it makes you feel good. You know, you can, if you have concerns about the cross contamination is or anything that's could obviously put these people in private rooms and whatnot, but also you see, when you have these traveling nurses and medical professionals, these people are the most in all about the precautions of cross contamination. So you're going to see a person washing their hands multiple times, wiping down the doorway after they use it. Yeah. So it's definitely high percussion on their end, but it's a really cool way to get involved with the community and help out. And then, you know, it could be used as a good marketing element to what would you have any advice for that, Bob, as far as, you know, if you are using that, what's a good way to put a positive spin on that in collusion with the program for your hostel. James Black (05:51): Do you recommend put that out there? You know, giving back to the community, helping people out is always good for you're building a brand with loyal followers. So I think you know, just by helping out the people and, you know, letting others know on social media, they're helping out is great for building loyal following for your brand. Yeah, that's true. Now, Julia, over at cloud beds, is there any insight outside of the hospitality helps program that we've highlighted today that, you know, more industry-wide? I always like to get a perspective of people that have more of a 30,000 foot view on the whole industry as we had in a previous episode of the dorms founder, you know, he gets to see all of the reservations and bookings from all over the world at many different hostels. So he has a great insight much more than just our interior view here in San Diego say are Southern California. What are you seeing over there at cloud beds? Is there any hot announcements or news or anything you can give us there? Julia Strippoli (06:53): Yeah, so I mean, I've been talking with, you know, the hostel owners that I work with and it is kind of a wide range of experiences. I mean, everyone's in kind of a different boat. Like I have one hostel 1802 at San Juan, shout out to them. They're in San Juan, Puerto Rico. So you know, like everyone's in kind of a different position, right. They're coming, just coming off of their busy season. Right. And going into their slow season, whereas San Diego it's the opposite. Right. So everyone's in kind of different boats and also you know, your vicinity to airports too, is kind of putting people in different situations. But announcements wise, I mean, cloud beds is a great database of industry, you know, numbers and data. So we do hope to have some like public knowledge that we can share as far as like how occupancy is looking, you know, worldwide or how bookings coming in are looking worldwide. So hopefully that will be some, some things that we announced in the next couple of weeks and can share with everyone. Cause it is I mean, call beds is a great resource since we do work with 22,000 people. James Black (08:04): Yeah. Such a depth of knowledge with that data. You're like Google of hostels. You've got all the info, share it with us. Now, how about you personally, you know, as a, as far as like you have the account base that you handle and work with other people, have you seen many hostels closed for good? Julia Strippoli (08:25): So I haven't had anyone yet close for good that I know of. I've talked with, I've talked with some other like bed and breakfast that have some more smaller, like maybe three room property or something like that. I haven't had any hostels that are for sure for good. It hopefully for now it's mostly just temporary. James Black (08:49): Yeah. Yeah. That's it. I think a lot of it depends on how long this goes for, and then how long the recovery is that what kind of dictate, you know, how many come through out the other end. But I think that type of data, if cloud beds could put it out, that would be a great help for a lot of people. Because even in the situation of, if you knew it was going to be bad for an extended period of time, it gives you a better chance to make it because you could plan for that. You know, how do I get to this point now knowing that this is the point, but I think it's a lot of the unknown that has a lot of the uncertainties and the anxieties. You can't make your plan. You know, you just continue to do your best and the marketing and tighten down the ship while you can try to roll through this, any timeline on this program, hospitality helps, like, is there like, does this run through may or June? Or what do you got going on with that? Julia Strippoli (09:45): We don't have any timeline that I've heard of as far as like the end of this. I think just as it's needed, it will, we'll stay up and running. Luckily. So cloud beds kind of pioneered the project, but we've partnered with a whole bunch of other software companies to so it's kind of a team effort now. So I think it's something we'll be able to keep running as long as it's needed. So I don't see an end in sight. James Black (10:10): You guys know how many nurses are people that joined the program roughly. Julia Strippoli (10:15): So we've had over a million points, beds pledged. Wow. Which is awesome. And that happened even just in the first, like two weeks of the program coming live. I don't know a specific number of like successful placements. I think the larger success was that that 10,000 beds arrangement that happened in New York, but I don't know any more specific, James Black (10:42): Right. Wow. Yeah. We've seen a lot of hotels and hostels here in San Diego and convert to a housing, both you know, housing COVID patients are nurses and Diego and the homeless problem. So they're actually converting hotels into homeless housing, which is city wide we deal with. So Julia Strippoli (11:06): Yeah, a lot of the properties that I talked to as well, their kind of strategy is to cater to more longterm or month to month kind of stays, I guess right now for people who are coming into town or be able to do still have to travel to try and get them. James Black (11:20): Yeah. That's a very good point. You know, we've used that strategy with the more short, short term rental week to week has been very popular because even the month to month, it's tough to make the commitment when you don't know if you're going to get your job back or what the scenario is going to be or how long it's going to last. And the city particular, you know, so week to week has actually been a really popular thing that we've transitioned to. That's worked out well with the hostel. So it's always cool to see the creativity and how you can use your space differently in this time period and awesome to see a company like a cloud bed step up to allow us the opportunity to share our properties in such a cool movement that helps the community and helps out gives the industry a good branding and a good PR bump in a country that doesn't have very good PR about this industry. So that could all be very helpful. We're very grateful to Julius or pulley over at club as for joining us and telling us about the program. And thank you again, Bobby dire from ith hostels for taking the time to join program. Great to be here with you guys. Julia Strippoli (12:30): Yeah. And make sure, so one way that we can kind of give back right now is through the hostel road trip podcast. So if you guys want to share your link that you guys have since you are a cloud that's users people could basically get their first month free for cloud beds if they use your link right now to to sign up. And yeah. Typical barriers, right? Like price and occupancy, one silver lining that's kind of broken down right now, I guess. So if anyone wanted to take advantage, definitely share the hostel road trip podcast link with them. James Black (13:03): Absolutely. Well, thank you for that. They do say that the podcast is fueled by cloud beds. So grateful for that sponsorship and look forward to hearing from you again, in the future in also looking forward to those reports from cloud beds on the industry data, that would be really exciting for everyone to see, but thank you again, Juliet Bobby, James Black here with the hostel trip podcast until next time. Best of luck.