This week let’s meet Valerie, a host from Oklahoma City, USA 🇺🇸
She is renting a charming bungalow right in the middle of the OKC renaissance!
Let’s hear her story! 🤩
So, Valerie, tell us, how long have you been hosting for? How and why did you start? How many properties do you manage?
3 years in May. I had been in a car accident and could not work for 8 weeks. I had a place to stay with my aunt, so I started renting out my house for vacation rentals to make ends meet.
It did so well that once I recovered, I ended up finding a permanent place to live so I could rent my home out full time. I’ve found that I am good at hosting and love being my own boss.
Are you an owner or a manager? Is this a part-time or full-time occupation for you?
I own and help manage part-time.
What is the best thing about hosting, and what are the biggest problems you face?
The best thing about hosting is being my own boss and meeting people from all over. Also, the money helps! I am blessed not to have had any big problems hosting.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you started hosting?
I wish I would have known to have as much seating in the dining room and living room as I had beds for guests. Guests subconsciously look at pictures of your home and picture their families in the living and dining rooms and literally “size it up”. Splurging on a giant sectional started paying for itself immediately and my bookings increased quite a bit.
What is the most important advice/tip you would give someone interested in becoming a short-term rental host?
Don’t sacrifice design and luxury to save money. It’s an expense upfront that will pay for itself many times over in the long run.
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?
One thing I love is my coded deadbolt. The battery lasted two years and it saves so much time and energy for you and your guests. I do wish I had gotten the wifi-enabled ones and will upgrade to those soon, along with the ring doorbell cameras. They have human motion detection alerts, so you don’t get notifications that the wind blew!
Which channels do you list on? How much has your revenue increased since listing on multiple channels?
I use VRBO, Booking .com, Airbnb, and HomeAway and I believe it did increase my revenue to expand to all of these.
Besides listing on multiple channels, what other things can a host do to increase his/her bookings and revenue?
Hosthub has been a real game-changer in consolidating bookings and pricing while also completely preventing double bookings on all my platforms. It’s a one-stop-shop management tool.
You can find out more about Valerie’s property here:
Here are some photos to give you a better vision of Valerie’s house (click for larger versions) 🧐