Lake Tahoe Accommodations Delivers Personalized Guest Experiences with Breezeway


Lake Tahoe Accommodations was founded by Jim and Melinda Morris in 1979, with the initial purpose of offering property management services to their real estate clients. Today, the company has expanded to manage over 100 properties around Lake Tahoe, with three offices spanning two states and four counties. Annie Schnaubelt, Vice President, and Melisa Benscoter, General Manager of Lake Tahoe Accommodations, manage their company’s portfolio and operations with the help of Breezeway and Barefoot.  

The Situation:


Lake Tahoe Accommodations offers luxury rental properties with concierge services. With their commitment to providing high-quality guest experiences, Lake Tahoe Accommodations was being held back by the volume of manual tasks their teams could achieve with paper checklists and phone call communications. However, they were reluctant to automate their services or adopt technology that would make the guest experience feel robotic.

The Solution:


With the combination of Breezeway and Barefoot, Lake Tahoe Accommodations was able to find the right balance between personalization and automation. This advance in technology allowed them to pull guest reservation information from Barefoot into Breezeway’s operations and messaging platform to offer the personalized services they craved, improve guest satisfaction, and help staff complete high-quality work more efficiently.

  • 10XBoost in
    Google Reviews
  • $35K Revenue Generated from
    Gap Night Messaging
  • 40Hours of Manual Work
    Saved per Week


Working Through PhoneTree Frustrations


Lake Tahoe Accommodations is centered around their three office locations along the lake. These offices acted as hubs where their customer service staff would sit to field incoming calls or emails from guests, and their operations staff (including housekeeping and maintenance personnel), would come to pick up their paper checklists for the day ahead.

With their deliverables physically in these locations, staff were tied to these offices to begin and end their day. General Manager, Melisa Benscoter remembers, “before Breezeway, we were physically printing cleaning worksheets that our cleaners would have to come pick from the office daily, then manually fill them out at the properties, and finally bring them back to the office before we knew the property was ready for check-in.” While this system allowed for a very personal and hands on approach with staff, it was not time-efficient or conducive to in-field communication and last-minute changes.

Lake Tahoe Accommodations also offered in-person check-in at their office where guests would pick up their keys before heading to their property. Because of their limited visibility to property-readiness status, this reduced the flexibility they could provide to guests for early check-ins or late check-outs. To ensure all turnovers were completed before any guest arrivals, check-in time was scheduled after 4:00 PM, funneling a rush of arrivals during a limited window.

With all of these inquiries happening on the same day, the PhoneTree became a disaster. Annie recalls, “on Fridays, or big check-in days, it was crazy with a lot more phone calls and office arrivals.”  During these high-volume times, guests who had simple questions, or potential customers trying to make a reservation, could get frustrated with long wait times on hold. Annie says, “we didn’t have any text messaging before Breezeway, so everything was done either by a phone call or email, and email usually had a pretty low response rate, so our office phones were always ringing off the hook.”

This also affected the company’s operations as when guests would call to report an issue or request an additional service, managers had no way to record the task and what the guest had been promised. On the other side, they could not track if the task had been completed and if up to the guest’s satisfaction.


After Hours Coverage with Breezeway Assist


To further alleviate phone tree frustrations and improve guest communication, Annie and her team adopted Breezeway Assist, Breezeway’s team of hospitality professionals trained to respond to guest calls and messages at any hour. Before launching, Lake Tahoe Accommodations provided the Breezeway Assist team with all of the necessary information on their properties, processes, policies, etc. to be able to respond to any guest question that might come up.

Being in a 24/7 hospitality business, Lake Tahoe Accommodations must always have someone on call to be able to respond to guests. With growing staffing shortages and staff not wanting to work night shifts, this became increasingly challenging. Annie says, "Not only has it allowed us to eliminate the staff member who was manning the phones until 11:30 pm every night, but it provides a more complete 24-hour service, using the messaging tool that our guests love."

Now, instead of having staff on call, Annie uses Breezeway Assist for after-hours support from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. to answer any guest question, and the manager on duty will only be called in emergency situations. Annie says, " The Assist team has created templates for troubleshooting locks/wifi/thermostats, so most issues are already solved when we are alerted to them in the morning. Also, everything is transparent. We have a record on the dashboard of the communication with guests, unlike your typical after-hours answering service."

“Assist has been a game changer for Lake Tahoe Accommodations. The Breezeway Assist staff manning the communication lines is professional, and they speak the language of hospitality. They respond quickly to our guests so they know someone is there to help them and empathize with them while they create follow-up tickets for the morning team to address." 

-Annie Schnaubelt, Vice President, Lake Tahoe Accommodations

Transforming Operations


“We made a big change going from paper housekeeping checklists to fully adopting Breezeway’s software. All of our staff and management quickly adjusted because it made everyone's lives so much easier.” - Melisa Benscoter, General Manager, Lake Tahoe Accommodations

Lake Tahoe Accommodations was able to transform all of their paper checklists into digital checklists on the Breezeway app with even more customized abilities. Now Melisa can set property-specific requirements, like sweeping the deck from properties that have one, and requiring photo uploads of specific completed tasks, like cleaning the BBQ grill. This creates more accountability in the work their teams are doing and enables more communication between staff and management.

For Lake Tahoe Accommodations staff, adopting Breezeway was a huge time saver. Instead of waiting for printed checklists or phone calls from management, housekeepers can record their progress right on their phone in the Breezeway app. From there, management can track property status in real-time and are automatically notified when an inspection is complete.

These operational efficiencies have also helped provide a more seamless guest experience. Annie adds, “Thanks to the tools we have in Breezeway, four months ago, we transitioned to keyless locks with remote check-in. Our inspectors can communicate property readiness efficiently to guest services, who can then communicate check-in details clearly with the guest.”

“From a managerial level, Breezeway helps me oversee what's happening in the business and when we understand what the issues are, it is super easy to fix them.” - Annie Schnaubelt, Vice President, Lake Tahoe Accommodations


Improving Guest Experiences with Personalized Messaging


In addition to more advanced staff communication, Breezeway and Barefoot ultimately helped bring personalized guest communication to the forefront of Lake Tahoe Accommodations’ operation. By integrating Breezeway and Barefoot’s technologies, all reservation information tracked through Barefoot gets automatically pulled into Breezeway.

“We now use Breezeway’s automated messaging workflows to send pre-arrival messages. We have templates all set up with information from Barefoot, so the system automatically sends the guest a personalized welcome message.” - Annie Schnaubelt, Vice President, Lake Tahoe Accommodations

Their customer service team is leveraging this information to deliver an even higher level of quality service. Staff is now automatically notified when a property is ready and can text guests right away to surprise and delight them with complimentary early check-in. They’re also driving more revenue for the business with automated gap-night messaging by offering guests the option to extend their stay for a discounted nightly rate. Since 2022, Lake Tahoe Accommodations booked over 195 additional nights via gap night messages, resulting in $35,000 in additional revenue.

“Messaging has been a huge revenue driver for us. Being mostly a drive-to-market, and with people’s flexible work schedules now, we’ve seen so many conversions with gap-night messaging and people wanting to stay another night. We’ve also had past guests reach out to us in our text chain from their previous stay asking if they can book again!” - Annie Schnaubelt, Vice President, Lake Tahoe Accommodations

Since adopting and integrating new solutions, Lake Tahoe Accommodations is saying yes to more personalized service requests from guests. With the help of Breezeway and Barefoot, they now have a clear and easy way for guests to reach out and have the systems in place that can track these requests to make sure they deliver on their promise. This increase in service is reflected in their exponential growth in Google reviews, going from 30 to over 256 reviews with an average of 4.6 stars, in the years since they’ve deployed Breezeway messaging to send post-stay review requests.

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