2023, week 20 Brent Phillips, Burton, Texas 🇺🇸

Host of the Week

This week let’s meet Brent 😊

Brent Phillips is from Johannesburg, South Africa and he living in Burton, Texas now.

Brent and his family have successfully established a remarkable self-sustainable farm resort, featuring an impressive array of over 400 animals. They have cultivated a diverse range of 60 fruit varieties and incorporated aquaponic farming into their operations.

Let’s hear his story! 🔊

So Brent, tell us, how long have you been hosting? How and why did you start? How many properties do you manage?

We started in September of 2022, so we have not even been hosting for a year yet! We were building a self-sustaining farm and began using Airbnb to help offset the costs. We started by converting the garage attic into our first stay, a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom loft. We listed it and we were unsure if anyone would book but they did! After that, we created our second stay on another part of the farm within a small forest and that too started to get booked. Now we have just completed three more stays around our pond and those have started booking up too! In just over half a year, we have booked 114 nights with with 63 upcoming nights booked so far.

Are you an owner or a manager? Is this a part-time or full-time occupation for you?

I am the owner, and this is our main income for our farm and home. I am also building a new community platform called Luep, so between the farm, Luep, and my family, I have a wonderfully full life. I am so grateful that I get to build technology while living in an open space on the farm.

What is the best thing about hosting, and what are the biggest problems you face?

I did not realize that I would love hosting so much. I get excited every time a new booking notification comes through because these are people I don’t know and if it weren’t for hosting, I would never meet. Most times we get into a groove in life where we are just surrounded by people we know but hosting allows me to constantly be meeting new people and forming new relationships. It also fills my tank to see people have a good time, so we have gone out of our way to make this a fun place for guests. I think the biggest problem that we will face in the future is when we have all 5 stays constantly booked with guests, to make sure that we are not too busy to keep the personal interaction and care. Obviously, we need to earn an income but hosting is so much more than that, it’s about making people feel loved and valued.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you started hosting?

It would have been great to have a checklist of everything needed in the unit before a guest arrives. Airbnb helps some by having, for example, you select if you have a hairdryer but there are so many more small things that we missed in the beginning but guests have been wonderfully gracious and we have maintained a 5.0 rating so far. I would highly be recommending having a good team to help, a team who has a vested interest in what you are trying to do.

What is the most important advice/tip you would give someone interested in becoming a short-term rental host?

Your “why” is important. For us, we needed to create an income stream but there has to be something greater than that for Airbnb to flourish. E.g. We are going to create an income stream by creating an Airbnb where people feel loved and celebrated. I think the greatest hosts really care about the guests, even though they are complete strangers. It’s important to trade positions and think about when you travel and the concierge, host, or airline attendants treat you with value more than just another customer.

Besides Hosthub, are there any tools, devices, or software (eg. Remote keylocks, cameras, local guide apps, power meters, etc) you use? What is your experience with them?

We use a variety of smart locks, Alexa-enable features E.g to turn on the hot tub, and turn on the fire fit, as well as smart plugs and thermostats to be able to automate the environment before guests arrive.

Which channels do you list on? How much has your revenue increased since listing on multiple channels?

We list on Airbnb, VRBO, and booking.com. We only really get bookings on Airbnb though, I am not sure why. Even though we got Hosthub purely to manage multiple channels, our value has been with multiple team members.

Besides listing on multiple channels, what other things can a host do to increase his/her bookings and revenue?

We are still trying to figure this one out! For us, we rely on guests talking and sharing about us on social media. We have all the regular things like social accounts, websites, etc but the magic is when a guest gives a glowing review and brags to their friends. You can’t control if that will happen, all you can do is your very best to give them the most beautiful experience.

You can find out more about Brent’s properties here:


Here are some photos to give you a better vision of  Brent’s properties (click for larger versions) 🧐


Recently Viewed Articles