This week let’s meet Casey and Jodie 😊
They have been hosting since 2018. They are super hosts at Airbnb and have excellent reviews on both Airbnb and Booking.com. Casey and Jodie are passionate about sharing their beautiful cabin with others and providing them the opportunity to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect with each other and nature. Casey, who is a qualified massage therapist and meditation teacher can also provide to guests both massages and guided meditations during their stay.
Let’s hear their story! 🔊
So, Casey and Jodie, tell us, how long have you been hosting for? How and why did you start? How many properties do you manage?
We began hosting a little cabin in our backyard in Perth just 6 months prior to leaving. We have been hosting our cabin in Cooroy since September/October 2018. We bought our property because of the existing cabin already built as it was our intention to offer a retreat-style business and also to facilitate a change of lifestyle from the fast-paced and busy lifestyle we were living in Perth. We were also a short time managing an apartment in Noosa for about a year but it became too difficult with our Cabin as well Covid kicking in so in the end we had this permanently rented instead.
Are you an owner or a manager? Is this a part-time or full-time occupation for you?
We are both owners and hosting is Jodie’s full-time occupation and part-time for Casey who operates her own basketball coaching business.
What is the best thing about hosting, and what are the biggest problems you face?
We love meeting our guests and being able to provide an affordable couples retreat including massages, breakfast baskets, and lots of other goodies. Jodie also is a whiz at making jams/chutneys from homegrown or local organic produce, eco-friendly bath bombs, and a homemade Fire Tonic which we sell in the cabin. Our biggest problem is the access road to the cabin, being steep and gravel it is only accessible by 4wd. We have mitigated this somewhat by allowing guests to use our 4wd however it is manual and not everyone has a manual license or can drive a manual which then requires us to drive guests up and down back and forth on arrival and departure and also to their car if they wish to go out.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you started hosting?
We wish we would have known how long it would take to clean after particularly messy guests and guests who left well after the checkout time. We originally had a very short turnaround time between check-in and checkout which we have now amended and extended as our space is quite large and especially with the advent of covid and detailed cleaning required. It would have saved many stressful turnovers for us!
What is the most important advice/tip you would give someone interested in becoming a short-term rental host?
Our most important advice would be to always try to greet guests personally. Another good rule of thumb is to always offer a complimentary basket of goodies etc. this should cost no more than 20% of the booking price. We give all of our guests a goodies basket, eco-friendly bath bombs, wine, and on special occasions a home-baked cake, chocolate-covered strawberries, or the like depending on the occasion. Cleanliness is most important so always ensure your property is sparkling clean and do your best to ensure you are always available to contact should guests require anything at all.
Which channels do you list on? How much has your revenue increased since listing on multiple channels?
We list on Airbnb, Booking.com and have our website, FB, and insta pages. We find bookings run in cycles and at times we will get a higher percentage on Airbnb and then it will be on booking. com. We have just started to see an upturn in direct booking through our own website which is fantastic and without being on multiple channels we would miss out on quite a few booking/inquiries, not to mention the rating system which guests use to gauge your property.
Besides listing on multiple channels, what other things can a host do to increase his/her bookings and revenue?
Word of mouth and recommendation are key to success so it is always about the guest and doing whatever it takes to make it enjoyable for them. Also making contacts within your local community and business owners and having business cards to hand to owners of businesses is another key recommendation, Having a social media presence on insta or fb is also crucial, and increasing your followers by posting attractive or special photos of your property or interesting features. Find your point of difference from other holiday let properties and promote it!
You can find out more about Casey and Jodie’s property here:
Direct Booking Website
Here are some photos to give you a better vision of Casey and Jodie’s property (click for larger versions) 🧐