This week let’s meet Brian😊
Brian was born and raised in Michigan. Along with his wife, they know everything Michigan has to offer. It has been their dream for many years to own vacation rentals and recently they sold their dealership to chase that dream. Brian and his wife recently started hosting. They own one vacation rental property and are planning to buy many more. Also, they want their guests to enjoy their home as much as they do!
Let’s hear his story! 🔊
So Brian, tell us, how long have you been hosting for? How and why did you start? How many properties do you manage?
We have been hosting for about 4 months. We have stayed at many vacation rentals and it has always sparked our interest. We sold our previous business in late 2020 and purchased our first property in Gaylord. We spent the first part of 2021 updating and went live in September. We also own a residential rental home and will be purchasing more vacation rentals as the market settles.
Are you an owner or a manager? Is this a part-time or full-time occupation for you?
Owner. This is considered our part-time occupation as we enjoy semi-retirement.
What is the best thing about hosting, and what are the biggest problems you face?
We love receiving feedback from guests in ways we can make it an even better experience. We are always noting comments and implementing changes. The biggest problem we face is guests who want to rent long term month to month and we have to turn them away. We would rather keep it as a vacation rental which also allows us to enjoy it on occasion.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you started hosting?
That listing sites such as VRBO, etc. update their layout often. All profile info can be filled in and boxes checked then find a few months later that things were added and now some fields are blank. They will not always send a notice of updates, they just happen. Review your listings often.
What is the most important advice/tip you would give someone interested in becoming a short-term rental host?
The key to a successful vacation rental is the appeal. It should be close to attractions/recreation. It should be clean and organized. Keep it homey without too many knick-knacks. Having things available that most will not be able to travel with including dishes, cleaning products, garbage bags, etc.
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?
What is your experience with them? We use Sifely remote locks that allow us to program the lock from anywhere thru the internet. We program the guests’ last 4 digits of their phone # as the code and can set the times it starts and ends automatically. We have two cameras on the outside of the home in the event we need to review an incident on the property.
Which channels do you list on? How much has your revenue increased since listing on multiple channels?
Airbnb, VRBO. Listed all at the same time.
Besides listing on multiple channels, what other things can a host do to increase his/her bookings and revenue?
Keep your listing updated and refreshed. Maybe change content or verbiage based on the season. Keywords that relate to the surrounding attraction or recreation (e.g. snow skiing, amusement park, etc)
You can find out more about Brian’s property here:
Here are some photos to give you a better vision of Brian’s property (click for larger versions) 🧐