Urbandoor Moves In: Furnished Apartment Marketplace Upgrades Its Transactional Email

When chains like Ikea open new stores, they usually send in teams for extended stays.

Many are turning to Urbandoor, a sort of AIRbnb that handles long-term furnished apartment rentals for business travelers or professionals relocating.  

That takes a lot of email. Thus, Urbandoor’s email program is largely transactional in nature.

“It’s difficult because there are so many parties involved,” says Dave Greenstein, chief architect & head of growth at Urbandoor. “There’s the resident who needs arrival and apartment instructions, providers who need to know someone leased the unit so they can take it off the list of availabilities, and the property manager who has to welcome the resident in the door.”

That may be the least of it: Urbandoor also has to communicate all this by in multiple languages worldwide in up to 50 emails per transaction.    

Recently, Urbandoor turned to Dyspatch -- a content management service offered by Sendwithus -- expanding its relationship with that firm.



In addition to eliminating bottlenecks and failure points, Dyspatch facilitates constant regression testing, according to Greenstein.

“Email can get broken in production,” he says. Not until tests are passed do the emails finally get pushed to production, he notes.

Greenstein adds: “We want non-engineers to be able to make these changes.”

And translation? “Translating is a matter of contacting someone,” Greenstein explains. “Dyspatch puts tags around all the different areas and text components of the email to translate.” 

Dyspatch also allows users to “preview the email and see the text snippets in context,” he adds. 

The result has been improved open and click rates and easier tracking of bookings by all parties, who can now avoid having to go through a portal — no small thing. Each firm “probably has 20 to 30 bookings at a time,” Greenstein says. 

Of course, Dyspatch also allows Urbandoor to handle every issue in the booking, right down to clean towels. In one instance, the renter had a puppy who had been safely locked in a room. But someone let the door open, “and the puppy went and destroyed the whole apartment,” Greenstein laughs.

Fortunately, renter’s insurance comes with all rentals.


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