This week let’s meet Melany and Jon, two hosts from Pismo Beach, USA 🇺🇸
They are renting 2 beautiful houses and they have some pretty good tips to share with you! Let’s meet them 🤩
So, Jon and Melany, tell us, how long have you been hosting for? How and why did you start? How many properties do you manage?
We’ve been hosting since September of 2017. After our two children left we realized that we really didn’t need half the house. It wasn’t that difficult to split it inside & outside so guests could have their own private space. Unfortunately, our city changed its regulations so we had to stop. But we loved the experience so much that we bought two nearby houses just for short-term rentals.
Are you an owner or a manager? Is this a part-time or full-time occupation for you?
We’re owners. We’ve been entrepreneurs for over 20 years and have several businesses going, but at the moment this is our largest income source.
What is the best thing about hosting, and what are the biggest problems you face?
We LOVE interacting with our guests, giving them local tips, learning a bit about other cultures. The businesses we’ve run through the years have mainly been online. It’s such a joy to interact with people personally. The feeling that you’re helping to give someone a special vacation, create lifelong memories for them, is priceless. Problems? It’s upsetting when someone has a (real or imagined) issue and is disappointed. And the rare guest is inconsiderate and leaves damage or a mess. We clean the houses ourselves, so we have to be free midday seven days a week. But honestly, there aren’t too many problems.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you started hosting?
To set up the properties so they’re easy to clean and hard to damage. Keep it bright and uncluttered. Guests want an open space, and we want a space that’s easy to prepare for the next group.
What is the most important advise/tip you would give someone interested in becoming a short term rental host?
Message guests before they arrive with friendly, brief instructions. Greet them shortly after they arrive. Provide local tips. Remind them to contact you for anything at all. Message them the following morning. Message them after you leave a positive review. Don’t harass them, but be friendly. Make them glad they booked a short-term rental instead of a hotel. Give them the personal touch. Even if they have minor issues, if they appreciate you they’ll still have a nice stay.
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 have a lockbox so they can check themselves in, but that’s it. We use a human touch.
Which channels do you list on? How much has your revenue increased since listing on multiple channels?
We’re on California’s Central Coast. Our reservations are 70% Airbnb, 20% Vrbo, 10% Booking.com, and 0% Flipkey. We definitely feel multiple channels help but it’s hard to quantify.
Besides listing on multiple channels, what other things can a host do to increase his/her bookings and revenue?
Great photos, quick responses to inquiries. Keep pricing competitive. Friendly text in your listings. Allow pets. Don’t charge a deposit, have a minimum stay, or have other restrictive policies. And be super friendly and helpful; they’ll give you great reviews and you’ll get more wonderful guests!
You can find out more about Jon and Melany’s properties here:
Here are some photos to give you a better vision of Jon and Melany’s houses (click for larger versions) 🧐