In Portugal’s dynamic vacation rental industry, keeping up with regulatory requirements while ensuring top-notch guest experiences can feel like a daunting task. Trends like self-check-ins, though convenient, make it increasingly challenging to gather essential guest information. This is especially the case in Portugal, where the explosion of properties hosting international visitors on platforms like Airbnb must report guest data to the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF). From chasing guests for ID details to manually entering data into SIBA, these tasks can be quite challenging and time-consuming, especially for hosts handling a large volume of guests. So, how do you manage this balancing act while embracing the self-check-in trend?
Enter SEFScan, the latest feature from UpMarket.
Pre-SEFScan Era: The hassle of the ‘boletim de alojamento’
In the traditional process, hosts directly requested guests for passport or ID details, either during check-in or beforehand. These details were needed in order to generate the ‘boletim de alojamento local’ (alojamento local bulletin). This process often met with resistance from guests due to privacy and security concerns, creating delays and potential compliance issues.
Once the necessary information was finally obtained, the host had to manually enter these details into SIBA, a step that became exceedingly time-consuming for hosts with a high turnover of guests.
The SEFScan Revolution: The Host Experience Reimagined
SEFScan offers a breath of fresh air, providing hosts with an intuitive, automated platform for guest data collection. Hosts can easily connect SEFScan to their Property Management System (PMS) or directly to their Airbnb or Booking.com calendars, setting up an automated process that sends out timely notifications and reminders to guests.
One standout feature of SEFScan is the flexibility it affords hosts. Those who prefer more hands-on control can choose to review the collected details in the host admin area before these are sent to SEF. Meanwhile, hosts looking for maximum efficiency can enable SEFScan to automatically submit the details to SEF, removing the need for their constant involvement.
Moreover, SEFScan can also be tailored to align with existing communication workflows. Each property is assigned a unique link, allowing hosts to incorporate SEFScan into their existing communication templates, should they prefer this approach.
Added Security and Efficiency
Apart from its convenience and time-saving benefits, SEFScan provides an added layer of security to hosts. Hosts are promptly alerted in cases of non-compliance, allowing them to take necessary action swiftly. Furthermore, SEFScan is GDPR-compliant, giving both hosts and guests peace of mind regarding the secure handling of personal data.
How does SEFScan work for the guest?
Thanks to strong focus on automation and the guest journey, a group of 4 guests can complete the entire process in just one minute!
Here’s a step-by-step rundown of how it works:
- Guest Contact: SEFScan automatically sends a notification to the guest requesting their identification details. This initial contact is timely, polite, and professional, making a positive first impression.
- Information Submission: The guest is prompted to submit a photo of their passport or ID. This can be done quickly and easily from their smartphone. Guest can also choose to manually enter their details.
- Data Extraction: Leveraging sophisticated OCR technology, SEFScan extracts the necessary information from the submitted image. This includes the guest’s full name, passport or ID number and nationality.
- SEF Submission: After the guest confirms their details, they are automatically and securely submitted to the SEF, ensuring compliance with Portuguese laws.
Integration with Virtual Concierge
The essence of UpMarket’s virtual concierge service is crafting a personalized experience for your guests. SEFScan isn’t merely a compliance tool, it also gathers valuable insights about guests that can be used to enhance their stay. Once guests input their details, UpMarket’s virtual concierge can utilize this data to tailor suggestions and offerings to their specific needs, tastes, and preferences. From recommending local attractions to adjusting property settings to their liking, SEFScan and the virtual concierge service transform a regulatory requirement into an opportunity to better understand your guests and elevate their experience.
Redefining the Alojamento Local Bulletin with SEFScan
SEFScan isn’t just about meeting SEF reporting requirements – it’s about enhancing them. The proactive engagement with guests and seamless integration with our virtual concierge service turns a compliance task into an opportunity for enhanced guest engagement. This holistic approach, unique to UpMarket, redefines the process of “boletim de alojamento local”, demonstrating our commitment to enriching the guest experience in Portugal’s vacation rental market.
By proactively contacting guests and seamlessly integrating with our virtual concierge service, SEFScan turns a compliance task into a guest engagement opportunity. This unique, holistic approach sets us apart, demonstrating our commitment to streamlining property management while enriching the guest experience in Portugal’s vacation rental market.