This week let’s meet Doug 😊
Doug was born and raised in Keo, a Southern town of 226 people in the geographical center of Arkansas. After college, he moved back to Little Rock in 2003 and started his own property restoration and rental business along with Lee, his best friend and partner in life for the past 29 years. Doug is an experienced superhost, who enjoys talking with his guests about his beloved city.
Let’s hear his story! 🔊
So Doug, tell us, how long have you been hosting for? How and why did you start? How many properties do you manage?
I manage my own long-term rentals for a living. I have been intrigued with short-term rentals for some time. I love to travel and will often stay in short-term rentals when I’m traveling. When we purchased our current home this year, the Carriage House was already set up as a short-term rental. It was one of the main reasons we decided this house was the one for us.
Are you an owner or a manager? Is this a part-time or full-time occupation for you?
I have had long-term rentals for about 20 years. They are my full-time job. I’m treating my short-term carriage house rental as part of my overall rental business.
What is the best thing about hosting, and what are the biggest problems you face?
Creatively finding a source for additional income is always nice. I also enjoy talking to new people about our wonderful city. As for problems I haven’t encountered anything major so far. I have been very fortunate to have such great guests from all over the U.S.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you started hosting?
Having stayed in many short-term rentals over the years, I think I was pretty aware going into it. I think now, several months into being a host, I have realized that having well-thought-out guidelines for guests is a great thing. For instance, we try to be as pet-friendly as possible, but pups and their nails can wreak havoc on leather furniture. So, I’ve decided when we are expecting guests with dogs, placing a fitted cover over the couch and recliner goes a long way toward easing a guest’s anxiety.
What is the most important advice/tip you would give someone interested in becoming a short-term rental host?
Being a short-term rental host can be a great way to earn extra money. Keeping your place as clean as it possibly can be as well as always being mindful of customer service is probably the most important aspect of being a short-term host. It’s wonderful to have repeat ‘customers’. For me, it’s a testament that we’re doing something right.
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?
Hosthub (formerly Syncbnb) is a must-have. I have appreciated their always friendly customer service and attention to detail. They have definitely streamlined my booking experience. I also tried using a smart lock, however, most aren’t compatible with every listing site. To simplify things a bit I’ve recently gone to a keypad deadbolt lock that I hope will be easier for folks to use.
Which channels do you list on? How much has your revenue increased since listing on multiple channels?
I am currently listed on Airbnb, VRBO, and Misterbnb. Listing on multiple channels is a must in today’s short-term rental market. I would not be fully booked in any given month if my carriage house weren’t listed on several different sites.
Besides listing on multiple channels, what other things can a host do to increase his/her bookings and revenue?
I am in the process of maximizing my short-term rental’s potential. Some things like location and size are not changeable, but there are things that I can do to enhance the experience I’m offering. For instance, I recently added a washer and dryer to my carriage house. My hope is that providing a washer/dryer will get me more long-term stays which require less cleaning. I’m also working on the courtyard to increase the “living space” as well as enhance my guest’s outdoor experience.
You can find out more about Doug’s property here:
Here are some photos to give you a better vision of Doug’s property (click for larger versions) 🧐