How Houst chose Next Matter and Front to make life easier for hosts and guests around the world

📋 About Houst

Houst is a short-term lettings platform that manages properties for hosts across Airbnb, Booking.com, and others. They oversee property listings, guest communications, maintenance, cleaning, and more. Houst’s clients come to them to ensure listings are regularly booked and that guests get the best possible quality of service during their stay. Naturally, that means cleans, maintenance, check-ins, and more have to be completed quickly and to a high standard – always.

Houst has grown considerably over the last few years, but that journey hasn’t always been straightforward. Until recently, they relied on the CS team to manage a whole range of complex operational challenges and workflows. This made it difficult to guarantee the quality of service their hosts and guests expected - particularly as the company grew. Clearly, a better approach was needed.

✈️ Houst’s journey to Next Matter

I think we’ve got a much bigger ask as a business than a lot of other companies. Ultimately, what we’re looking after here is our clients’ biggest emotional and financial investment. The stakes are high here and getting it wrong just isn’t an option.

Kitty
, Quality and Process Improvement Manager, Houst



Originally, Houst relied on a third-party tool to help them manage key workflows. But this solution was prohibitively expensive and required too much development time to build new workflows.

Nowadays, customers aren’t willing to wait - and expectations are increasing for how quickly you respond via email. At the same time, they also expect to resolve complex problems through a single person and crave deeper, more personal connections with brands. All of this creates unique challenges when it comes to building these complex customer service workflows.

Jacob Vasquez
, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Front


Houst’s customer service (CS) reps were already using the helpdesk tool Front to bring their guest and host messages into one place. Together, Front and Houst had built a great solution to centralize their helpdesk operation. But they still needed a way to manage complex processes from the same window. 

That required finding solutions to several complex challenges: 

😴 1. Workflows are mission-critical

Houst’s processes are mission-critical. Mistakes risk frustrated guests, poor reviews, and compensation claims – all of which can impact revenue and customer retention. Any solution would have to guarantee their workflows would be complete with the speed, consistency, and quality that their customers required.

🚫 2. Short-term lettings are make or break

In the short-term lettings industry, issues are often make or break for guests. If something’s broken or not working, guests on holiday aren’t likely to wait two days for an issue to be resolved. That means there’s no room for delay or error when issues arise.

🛠️ 3. The challenge of complexity

Property management can be a complex business. Often, agents have to coordinate information across multiple tasks, stages, stakeholders, systems, and third parties.

Finding a solution that could manage these moving parts wasn’t easy, and developing a solution internally would have taken too long. At the same time, duct-taping several tools together wouldn’t create the robust and reliable workflows they needed. Houst needed a solution that was simple to use and easy to deploy, while still providing robust customization features to design complex end-to-end workflows.

🎧 4. CS teams need the space to focus on what matters

CS reps can’t spend their time helping hosts and guests if they’re constantly clicking between multiple different systems. For Houst and Front, a key priority was to ensure everything the agents needed was available from one easily accessible window - including complex, mission-critical workflows.

✅ The solution: A single view for tasks, workflows, and messages

Front takes a proactive approach to partnering with third-party solution providers through their App Store. Their goal is to help customers create a one-stop shop for all their customer service operations, bringing everything into a single helpdesk interface. 

Houst needed the ability to build, track, and manage complex workflows without CS agents leaving the Front interface. Next Matter was the right solution, due to its straightforward, easy-to-use sidebar that CS teams could easily access from within Front. It fast emerged as the obvious choice. 

Next Matter quickly started working with the Houst and Front teams to replicate their old workflows. This would enable customer service agents to trigger, manage, and track the progress of processes like quality control and onboarding in the same Front interface where they checked emails and responded to guest messages.

Houst quickly got started using the Next Matter sidebar to trigger support workflows from directly within Front. They also began working closely with the Next Matter customer success team to fully customize steps for their own unique, complex processes. Before long, they’d easily replicated the three workflows they’d already been using. 

Since implementation, the sidebar has helped Houst become more efficient, responsive, and reliable, in several key ways:

🔗 1. Complex workflows that actually work

For Houst, processes aren’t as simple as assigning tasks and ticking them off when they’re complete. They needed to ensure specific calls, emails, and communications were sent, to customers, contractors, and guests, at particular points in their workflows. 

Next Matter worked with the Houst team to transform these bespoke processes into automated workflows so tasks and emails were all directed to the right place, at the right time.

📈 2. A simple approach to building new workflows

Before Next Matter, Houst only had three automated processes – and others remained prone to human error. Next Matter’s low-code approach has enabled Houst to build and manage almost 20 workflows, which can be triggered, managed, and tracked through the Front sidebar. 

This has played a crucial role in powering the next stage of Houst’s growth journey.

👁‍🗨 3. Visibility and ownership over the whole process 

Even automated workflows can get held up, for any number of reasons. That could include anything from the finance manager being off sick to customers not checking their emails. In these cases, Houst needs a human agent to monitor the progress of the workflow and step in, where necessary, to remove such bottlenecks. Next Matter gives agents total visibility over workflows, dependencies, and progress so they can effectively delegate and track the process of their ongoing tasks.

For me, the value of Next Matter is in ensuring that everything gets done. A lot of our operations simply wouldn’t work anywhere near as effectively without it. Next Matter gives me the confidence that if something needs to be done, it will be.

Kitty, Quality and Process Improvement Manager, Houst

🤝 Houst & Next Matter: Focusing on what matters

Companies like Amazon have really changed the experience that customers expect from brands. People think “Why can’t I get same-day delivery or smooth refunds from the business I’m working with?” Customers are holding their vendors to a higher standard - and delivering an amazing service is non-negotiable.

Jacob Vasquez
, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Front


Now, Houst has been using Next Matter for less than a year. In that time they’ve already significantly expanded both the scale and complexity of the automated workflows they depend on. This has played a huge role in helping Houst scale its processes while empowering agents to provide the level of service required to attract new customers and grow the business. 

But while Next Matter’s automation is powering Houst’s growth journey, there’s no substitute for the personal touch. For Houst’s customers, that relationship is the difference between knowing their homes and properties are safe and well looked after. Next Matter gives Houst’s customer service team the time and space to develop those relationships and focus on delivering the absolute best for their hosts and guests. 

We want our CS teams to let their personalities come through and build personal connections. Ultimately, customers are far less likely to leave if they feel they have a personal bond with the person they're dealing with. With Next Matter, we can maintain that personal touch while still building processes out at scale.

Kitty
, Quality and Process Improvement Manager, Houst

❓ About Next Matter

Next Matter helps companies transform their complex, mission-critical processes into reliable, automated workflows they can depend on. Combining no-code automation and pro-code builder tools, our workflows thread together human, system, and external interactions, giving teams full control of their most important work and capturing each unique requirement exactly as it needs to be.


At a glance

  • Company: Houst
  • Sector:  Short-term letting
  • Solution:  Complex automated customer service workflows
  • CS Platform:  Front

Challenge

  • Houst’s CS needed to build a series of automated processes to improve and accelerate common processes like offboarding, maintenance, and more. As the company grew, the team’s existing software and processes began to risk human error, missed tasks, and frustrated clients. Clearly, a better approach was needed.

Solution

  • Next Matter allows Houst’s CS team to view and manage complex automated workflows from the same Front helpdesk they used to resolve tickets and respond to messages.
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