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16 short-term rental apartment buildings and two hotels, all run by one front desk. Sounds impossible? Prague Residences is proof that it isn’t only possible—it’s already been done.

When the short-term rental and hotel operator wanted to make their operations more efficient and scalable, they knew they needed to make a change. 

 

So they partnered with Operto for automated solutions that allowed them to optimize their staff while upholding the guest experience. As a result, they are now saving $10,000 per month. 

 

Learn what happened when Prague Residences partnered with Operto for scalability and success, and what this change has meant for their operations and guests.

Stop being so dependent on staff and give guests the experience they’re looking for.

Discover what Operto can do for you.

The story behind Prague Residences

Prague Residences opened their first rental apartment back in 2008, and they have been growing and adapting ever since they welcomed their first guests. They now operate 18 apartment residences/hotels, with a total of 349 private units, in the center of Prague. 

Prague Residences wanted to give their guests the ability to walk out the door and be in the cultural center of Prague, which is why all their properties are located within 15 minutes’ walking distance of the city’s Old Town Square. 

They’re passionate about giving their guests an experience that allows them to be independent and take full advantage of their stay as they immerse themselves in the city and local culture.

“For us, the guest experience isn’t just where you are, but it’s how you interact with where you are.”

-Colin Stanley, COO of Prague Residences

 

What’s unique about Prague Residences is they operate both apartments and hotels. They offer three different types of accommodations: “Luxury living” for a more upscale clientele, “local living” for guests looking to feel at home during their stay, and “hotel living” for a more traditional boutique hotel experience. 

 

Because of this, they have unique challenges that require a specialized, customizable solution.

Why Prague Residences needed a solution for the front desk and check-in

Prague Residences were running a large and complex operation, and needed a way to simplify it all, starting with check-in and the front desk.  Before their partnership with Operto, staff had to be present to give guests their keys in person (which were sometimes lost and required replacing). Plus, their reception areas often got overcrowded with guests waiting to go through what was a time-consuming check-in process.  Because of this dependence on front desk employees, scaling the business was highly complicated. They had to find a way to optimize their existing staff while maintaining their exceptional guest experience. But, with the difficulty of finding and holding onto qualified hospitality personnel, this was proving very problematic.
Stylish boutique hotel rooms are a key part of the Prague Residences experience.

“Prague Residences wanted to scale. But some of the processes that they had in place, as well as their dependence on physical check-in centers and greeting every guest in-person, was holding them back from being able to scale profitably and efficiently.”

-Mike Anderson, Director of Enterprise Sales at Operto

 

They also faced the challenge of finding a partner that could help them streamline operations while making sure each unique property and guest had a solution that fit their needs. 

 

For example, some of Prague Residences’ properties are located in historic buildings, limiting the possibilities for tech solutions. And it wasn’t ideal for guests to have to rely solely on their phones for accessing their units, as this could alienate less tech-savvy guests and cause issues should a guest lose or break their phone.

The Prague Residences ‘local living’ stays are for guests who want to escape the tourist mindset and immerse themselves in their surroundings.

Their goals? Go contactless, cut costs, and meet guest expectations

Prague Residences had one main goal: Find a way to meet guests’ needs with a smaller, more agile team

 

 

That meant fixing the problem of guests having to wait in line on arrival to be slowly checked in by an attentive but overwhelmed team. They recognized they’d benefit from contactless check-in, but they were naturally worried about the expense and complexity of implementation, especially considering the age and nature of their heritage buildings. 

But Prague Residences knew if they could successfully make guests more independent and start freeing up their hardworking staff, they’d be in a fantastic position to scale their operations—the demand was there, they just needed a way to meet it.

“Our goal was to go contactless and maximize flexibility, save costs, and have a smaller team of people that we could invest into long-term.”​

-Colin Stanley, COO of Prague Residences
Prague Residences’ luxury stays are for guests who seek a more upscale experience.
Prague Residences’ luxury stays are for guests who seek a more upscale experience.

“Leveraging technology and instituting a contactless process enabled Prague Residences to replace some of their front desk operations and instead pivot towards a more digitized style of hospitality that showcased all that they had to offer and welcomed guests in a new and creative way.”

-Mike Anderson, Director of Enterprise Sales at Operto

How Operto helped Prague Residences go contactless while upholding the guest experience

 
 So how did such a big accommodation provider improve their guests’ arrival experience while reducing their staff numbers? By partnering with Operto to implement keyless entry with digital check-in and remote access control.

With Operto’s technology in place, guests could now check in independently with automated ID verification, and use their unique access code.

So, with Prague Residences’ new digitized approach to hospitality, they were able to give their guests greater independence while running a more efficient and scalable operation.

 

Using hotel check-in automation frees up their staff to address and enhance the guest experience, meaning they can quickly respond to guest inquiries when necessary and help them carry their bags to their room instead of being stuck behind a front desk. 

 

At the same time, Operto’s digital solutions empower guests to have control over their own journey from the moment they book until check-out. And since improvements can always be made, Prague Residences and Operto have weekly calls about how the product can be further enhanced to best serve guests and ensure their operations are seamless. This highly productive, constructive conversation is just the way we do customer success at Operto: As an open, collaborative exchange.

“As a company, we’re very proud of our technology, but as the CEO, I’m actually more proud of our people. We have a fantastic customer success team that is constantly in touch with our users, making sure we understand their business and where they want to be today, tomorrow, and in five years.”

-Steve Davis, CEO of Operto
Operto Guest portal showing early check-in request
Guests can easily request early check-in or late check-out on the Operto Guest web app.

The results are in.
Savings, reduced staffing, and more independent guests.

 

By joining forces with Operto, Prague Residences have successfully moved to a contactless system. Previously, they were trying to staff four receptions—now, they have just one; a change that saves them an estimated $10,000 per month. 

Because Operto’s digital solutions help create independent, autonomous guests, they are no longer troubled by long lines at the front desk. And since staff are no longer bogged down by transactional tasks, like checking people in and distributing keycards, they have more time to meaningfully engage with guests. 

This means they can focus on activities that have a more significant impact on the guest experience, like warm greetings at reception and providing curated concierge services.

“The contactless system has become incredibly important to how we work. In all honesty, we couldn’t work without it.”

-Colin Stanley, COO of Prague Residences

 

Operto has helped Prague Residencies find the right balance between technology and the human element that is so essential to hospitality, demonstrating that providing a unique, unforgettable experience and utilizing digital solutions aren’t just compatible: They go hand in hand.

The Operto Guest web app showing a mobile key
By offering their guests contactless access, Prague Residences reduced dependency on staff and made guests more independent.

Looking to the future

From the apartment house that started it all almost a decade and a half ago until today, Prague Residences has continuously grown and evolved. Now, they’ll be able to scale even more thanks to Operto. 

 

We provide solutions that streamline your processes and operations, allowing you to be an efficient and scalable operator. Additionally, we grow with you, meaning we can help you find new tools as you evolve and your needs change. 

Prague Residences aims to be one of Prague’s premier short-term accommodation providers, running on 100% contactless hotel check-in, while offering the best accommodations and guest experience in the city. With Operto’s help, that mission is well underway.

Stop being so dependent on staff and give guests the experience they’re looking for.

Discover what Operto can do for you.