This week we would like to introduce you to Michael a host from Texas, USA.
He is renting some really spectacular cabins in a non profit camp in Wimberly, Texas. Let’s find out what he has to say about the vacation rental industry. 😎
So, Michael, tell us, how many properties do you manage?
We operate a non-profit camp and retreat center in Wimberley, TX. At the moment we rent various cabins in the camp and we list them on vacation rental sites in 4 different ways.
What is the best thing about hosting, and what are the biggest problems you face?
We typically do various retreats for groups where we provide a safe escape from the everyday matrix of life. The problem is that camps and retreats are very seasonal and so the majority of the time our cabins are empty. We are excited about the idea of having a way to utilize our property to bring in funds to help us pay our expenses during off seasons. Ironically, our off seasons are holidays which are peek seasons for folks booking for personal use. So, we feel this is going to be a perfect solution for us. Our only regret is that we didn’t do this years ago.
What is the most important advise/tip you would give someone interested in becoming a short term rental host?
Recently, we decided to get creative and begin listing on sites like AirBNB and VRBO. We already have three bookings during times when we don’t typically have any camps. We listed our cabins in four different ways. We have one that is perfect for couples because it has only one king bed and a kitchenette. We listed two other cabins for families because those cabins are equipped with a king size bed and three bunks. We also listed a group of cabins for groups.
Besides listing on multiple channels, what other things can a host do to increase his/her bookings and revenue?
If we were to give other owner/operators some advice it would be this, just do it. If you have a house or cabin or other place that others could benefit from, it only benefits you to list them and bring in some income for your or your organization. For us, this is also going to give us some exposure that we didn’t get before. People are going to learn about our facility and they are going to spread the good word about what we do here and what we have to offer. Word of mouth is a very good advertiser so the more people you have visiting, the better.
You can take a deeper look into some of Michael’s cabins here:
Here are some photos to give you a better vision of Michael’s apartment (click for larger versions) 🧐