YourWelcome Advance

Jul 2016

Project outline and my role

In the Vacation Rental industry it’s incredibly valuable to verify your guests prior to check-in as it helps to protect against fraudulent bookings.

Each Online Travel Agency offers differing levels of protection, but ultimately it is the accommodation provider’s responsibility to protect themselves.

YourWelcome Advance was built to enable hosts to ask guests for their contact details and government-issued ID in advance, as well as taking a means of payment to cover any damaage or in-property purchases.

As the product lead I oversaw the specification and roll-out of this new product line. On this occasion I was also the principle designer, working with a key client to bring the idea to fruition, from MVP to general release. As the CPO I researched and prepared the pricing and go-to-market strategy.

Current check-in process

  1. Guest books the accommodation, usually via an Online Travel Agent
  2. Pre-arrival communication; this usually consists of a mixture of manual and automated messaging. While most OTAs remove or obscure phone numbers and email addresses from the on-platform message, many accommodation providers had found ways around this in order to communicate directly. e.g. replacing the ‘@’ with (at) when spelling their email
  3. Guest travels to the property; guests often get lost on their way, or underestimate the time required to travel - missing their original ETA and, in some cases, costing the host additional hours while their meet and greet team is left waiting for them to arrive
  4. Confirmation that the guest has arrived; in the vast majority of cases, this required the guest to confirm they had arrived via message - which sometimes wouldn’t come until the next day

Field study

I organised and attended research sessions with the front-office staff from two of our largest clients, who described their ideal check-in solution.

“It should be simple for the guests and for us”

“Depending on the type of guest, it should ask them for different information”

“It should offer our upgrade services in advance”

“We could send them all the information they need to get in to the property, like the door codes”


After quickly mocking up a number of screens and using card sorting sessions to determine an appropriate order, we put together a live MVP to trial this new feature.

The first version of the online check-in form included the following screens:

  1. Capture and verify up-to-date contact details
  2. Capture their government-issued ID details and photo (at which point the form is submitted)
  3. Up-sell services prior to arrival (optional)
  4. Provide detailed instructions to find and enter the property (optional)


YourWelcome Advance became one of the company’s most sought-after products.

Based on a short trial in 200+ properties it was estimated that, on average, properties with YourWelcome Advance would protect against 1 fraudulent booking every 2 months and provide an increase in up-sell value of $10-15 per booking.

YourWelcome has since pivoted to offer a software-only version of their service (via and YourWelcome Advance remains part of the key offering.

YourWelcome Advance