Operto Case Study: Using Automation to Rebuild Confidence in Japan
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The Peace Park of Hiroshima is one of Japan’s main tourist attractions. The surrounding area is naturally home to many hotels housing numerous international visitors. However, these hotels are often outpaced in booking volume by the largest short term rental company in this small city, Breakfast Inc run by Ooshi Takayama and Edward Hsieh. Breakfast Inc, founded in 2015 manages 300 properties within the city (including rental apartments, an aparthotel and a Japanese-style ‘capsule hotel’). Pre-COVID19, the company welcomed guests from all over the world with 90% coming from France, the US and Australia. The business was booming.

Not only was Breakfast Inc. growing but it was also very profitable, and operationally efficient. According to Transparent Intelligence data, the average short term rental company has a ratio of one full-time employee for every 10 units under management. This is largely due to the distributed nature of a portfolio, inefficiencies of operations and other technological factors. Edward and Ooshi, however, have managed to reach a staggering ratio of 60 properties to each member of staff whilst still maintaining high guest and owner satisfaction. They both credit this impressive figure to their use of technology.

Operto, and Breakfast’s use of our home automation software, can’t, of course, claim all the credit! When we started working together, the company was already at an impressive 40 units managed per one full-time equivalent employee through a combination of software automation and strategically locating units around the highly visited Peace Memorial Park. Partnering with Operto technology has however allowed the company to become even more operationally efficient through the use of smart locks from Yale and igloohome.

“When the coronavirus hit Japan in January of this year, it was very hard to instil confidence in bookings. Literally, no one wanted to have any personal interaction with our team. Thankfully we already had Operto’s keyless entry system installed on all our properties. The ability to rent properties with no need for a human ‘check-in’ has allowed us a booking volume 5 times the average on Airbnb, according to Airdna”, says COO Edward Hsieh. “In addition to this, our cleaning staff, which were already very strong, are now even more effective at cleaning units. For this period of time, in the midst of the pandemic, the guests we are welcoming are of course no longer international but include healthcare workers and local guests that need to self isolate away from their homes and families. They feel confident, through the use of the Operto software and igloohome locks, that we are providing them with a completely hygienic and safe environment.”

Even prior to the global lockdown, Breakfast had always been able to adapt quickly and achieve high occupancy rates while also achieving a strong revenue per available room. This strong RevPar is achieved by leveraging a deep understanding of the value each unit offers their guests.

The company is confident that they will be able to weather the storm of the current pandemic and once again welcome international visitors to the city’s historic Peace Park.

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Yale smart locks used for automated entry at the B-hotel.

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Igloohome smart padlocks at the Breakfast Capsule Hotel.

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Igloohome smart lockbox at a Breakfast home.

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B-hotel (“Better than hotel”) - brand new opening in Hiroshima.

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Self-check in keeps guests safe and secure at Breakfasts units.

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Smart layout in one of Breakfast’s rental apartments.

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Comfortable, stylish, and economic accommodation at Breakfast Capsule Hotel.


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