Hello and welcome back to The Accommodation Show. We help accommodation owners like you get the knowledge and skills you need, to grow your business, improve your guests experience and increase your profitability.
Bart: Okay everybody. Welcome back to another episode of The Accommodation Show. This week I’m joined by the wonderful Tim Mortimer from b&b Made Easy. Welcome to the show.
Tim: Thank you for having me. Very it’s a pleasure to be on the show.
Bart: I have heard about you for roughly about a year and a half. I think one of the first times that you came up on my feed was when you were with my friend, Julie George, and you guys were having a whale at a time you took around everywhere. There might have been a limo involved or not. I’m not sure but there was definitely champagne. I’m really excited to get you onto the show and get you talking about what you do in BnB’s. So thank you so much for joining me,
Tim: Thank you so much for having me. I’ve got the Julia is a good friend of mine. And we actually invited her down that time to say thank you because she helped me at the very beginning of our journey. Yeah, right.
Bart: And so that’s what we’re gonna be covering today. We’re gonna be talking about your journey from zero properties to the business in 2018. And then getting to you’re about 150 right now, is that right?
Tim: 140 Yeah, yep. And growing.
Bart: I just pick up as we go.
Tim: Just don’t just we’ve got some sort of great plans in place, but I’m also considering our current clients and bookings at the moment. We’re just taking, taking what we need and what is suitable to the market and just plugging away and exploring other ideas as well, which is really exciting.
Bart: And that’s actually really interesting because I actually have found that quite a few property managers are really changing their strategy this year. And it actually started sort of mid-year last year, where they’ve been a bit more selective about their portfolio of properties and what they’re going to bring into their business.
Tim: Yeah, I agree. And that’s a lot to do with the expectations. of guests and travellers these days, you know, if they, if they find a property that’s not going to be not going to add to their experience or be their dream holiday or whatever, then they’ll review it badly. And that counts against or in our case where we host all of our properties on one account that counts against all other properties as well. So you need to consider the property that you’re taking on it needs to be high quality for it to work.
Bart: Is it gone are the days where you could just kind of find almost anything put it on to an OTA and off you go?
Tim: Yeah, all for us. Definitely. Because you do have to start and you know, you kind of want to grab everything when there’s stuff but you’ll learn quite quickly that it’s in a way it might it may hurt you more than then do your justice. To keep the quality high is definitely something that we focus on.
Bart: I’m so tempted to digress into this topic because I really enjoy it and I like to think about what people are doing kind of moving forward and I think we can circle back to it. But Tim, give us a bit of an introduction about yourself what your background is and how you got into let’s call it Airbnb or short-term rentals.
Tim: There is a lot of good information there. as well. So I was a school teacher, here in Oregon, which in New South Wales, which is a regional area, it’s thriving, which is great. Three hours west or four hours, three to four hours drive west of Sydney. So a nice weekend sort of place to come and stay beautiful seasons and everything. So then being a teacher and just thinking the way I do. I saw the opportunity for a short-term rental management business I hadn’t, but I actually thought of it in my brain and then two seconds indoors to split seconds into a Google search to understand that these exist all around the world. Are is not a typical n holiday spot or had hadn’t been it’s developed a lot in the past 10 years. So yeah, idea came up.
I contacted I just reached out on social media and just said hey, is anyone doing this and then a lovely lady by the name of Julie George said give me your phone call. I’m doing this in Cannes at the moment. We’re having great success and you know how generous she is. She’s amazing. She’s an incredible woman and she’s that was before she sold her business. So she just inspired me to give it a go and the numbers lined up for me and that’s what I did. I gave it a really good go.
Bart: I was gonna say Isn’t it incredible? How important it is to have someone just to have your back and say I’m doing the same thing. We’re in this kind of together like it gives you that confidence to at least give it a go. Right?
Tim: Yeah, and what a lot of people out there even watching this might find themselves quite lonely in the path that they’re taking. So it’s really important as far as that goes, just to have someone to talk to things talk about, about things that are involved in your industry and maybe in your local market. That’s not it because they see each other as competitors or whatever. But you need to find someone with that you can run ideas often get experience from an end user as a mentor as well. And Julie was mine. She was amazing and a very big part of the reason that we’re here today in this capacity. My model, I must say is completely different to the one that I started with hers. Because we’ve adapted to our environment along the way. So that’s been really interesting to see play out. And yeah, it’s me and Julio, when we whenever we talk, we always talk about you know, what we’re doing and how we’re evolving in our different sort of career paths. It’s great to look back on and very much part of each other’s journey in that sense.
Bart: Yeah. Wow. And so Okay, so that was back. When did you that sort of first Well, one of the things I love that you said by that I want to go back to it is you said you Googled it? And that’s something that I cannot tell you how many friends of mine come up to me and say, hey, I want to start this business. Should I do it? I’m like how you put it into Google? Have you seen if anyone’s doing it? Have you just Google that? No, just Google it because there’s a good chance someone’s tried it or somebody’s doing it? Someone knows far more about it than I do, because I don’t know anything about printing T shirts, but someone on Google will know and you’ll be able to start to get answers. What do you think is a blocker for some people to actually just put it into Google? And is that right? Is that what you did you kind of Google that when I was on Facebook?
Tim: Yeah. And since that time, so the 2018 The idea came in, got my first property at the back end of 2018. So the growth has been quite quick considering the fact that COVID has been there as well. A few big things in the world happening since that time. But um, yeah, I suppose that’s where I went Google and then and then I’ve found a mentor to inspire me and that’s what Google can provide. The connection there. Doesn’t that have to be in Australia there can be all around the world. There are a lot of good editing education programmes out there. If you want to learn more about anything, and that’s how I started my journey and it’s fully transformed my life, which is great.
Bart: Interestingly enough, so when I started I booked online. I didn’t have a mentor as such. I really didn’t have those sorts of networks, but I did have networks of people that I could ask questions. So building those and you know, going on Reddit, going on Facebook groups, starting to talk to people and just kind of asking them questions and the ones that want to help you will help you they don’t have to be a mentor as such because I also don’t want people to go oh, I don’t have a mentor. I have to have a mentor. You don’t you can just have a network of incredibly valuable people and keep them building on that you can ask the pressing questions when you run into problems.
Tim: Definitely. And then the other part of what you just said, it’s just about getting it did you learn great advice from my dad who’s a veneer on here in orange came from rugby league, so he big transforming career? And I said, I said that, that you can do this. This is what I’m thinking and he goes, I didn’t know anything about wine when I first started and all of a sudden he’s a very renowned vineyard in orange. Just as in Gideon, you’ll learn along the way that it’s not going to be perfect when you look back, but you’ll learn from your mistakes and just get in and a half ago and that was my commitment. When I saw I got a young family to support so I had a lot on the line which probably helped. I put myself under pressure and just made I had to I had to make it work. But just by getting in and giving it a crack is what life’s about. And yeah, it’s you can only kindly try and for those hard workers, it usually comes off successfully.
Bart: So and then so 2018 is I want to get that timeline a little bit sorted out so that people understand of between you doing your regular job and coming up with the idea and then deciding to potentially quit the job. What was that start a journey like to sort of paint the picture so that someone that’s potentially in that situation now that they’re in a job and they want to take some steps towards running their own business? What was it for you?
Tim: For me, it was either at the start of 2018 Check with Julie got inspired and started to create a business plan. So just a lot of research, just so I could be confident in making the step or trialling the idea. Great advice from Julie back in the day was to get my real estate licence and that was my point of committing because it was I’m taking a week or two off school and heading down to Sydney and doing a crash course and all that kind of stuff. So that was there and then the first property came at the back end of 2018. So again that was just getting in and learning like trial things learn things when something happens don’t forget it like work out a way to so it doesn’t happen again. etc. So went through the 2018 code like teaching and just the beginning of management of clients and properties. Went through 2019 teaching and the clients and properties as well. We finished 2019 with about 20 properties so mid-2019 I was it was pushing me so I needed a part time employee. It finished 2019 with a full-time employee and letter asking for a year off from the teacher. Let’s just
Bart: You were half committed to leaving?
Tim: It was good actually so the year that was Yep 2020 And then COVID Hit straightaway as well so and I couldn’t even go back to teaching to fund where I was so it testing times but again just by doubling down and committing that got me through to where I am today which is not hectic host anymore. It’s I’ve got a team of employees practically do the work that needs to be done. And then I’m here taking opportunities or deciding where we go and where we play and how to keep our quality and how to improve the guest experience and which you know, that’s kind of it’s optional, which way we take this thing from now, which is a fantastic place to be compared to the last few years. It’s
Bart: Changing the job from a property manager to an HR manager, right?
Tim: Yeah, that and then business strategist as far as where the business can go and will go and how far we want to take it. So all of those options are options and they’re all ahead of us which is fantastic.
Bart: Okay, so this is this is amazing. Thank you so much. So 2018 ideas brewing, reach out, figure things out, then then it takes a little bit of all you get your real estate licence. That’s your first kind of commitment because you make your financial one on one of time to say I want to do this you probably don’t know what the business will look like at that particular moment. But this is a good thing. I want to educate myself and I’ll kind of figure it out as I go and you said 20 properties by the end of 2019. Yes. And then you’ve got 2020, 2021 and 2022. So within three years, you’ve added another 120 properties to your portfolio.
Tim: Yeah. A lot of work behind that. Yes. But I know you’ve been again, there’s probably a great piece of advice that I can pass on is that if you work hard at building the foundations right and that will be much easier once it gets bigger because now I’ve got my team working to my standards that I want them to work to the core values that I want them to behave to. And I don’t have to keep going back to them and correcting things they just do that they’re allowed to do that they licence from me to do that and it just allows me to then be working on the business which is one of the greatest goals in business. So that’s the point where I’m at right now which is to like I said, it’s a fantastic place to be after a couple of years of pretty hard work. And most a lot of scrambling as well with COVID in the mix, but we’re here now and things look good.
Bart: I look you know when we summarise like this, it can seem like it’s really simple and very easy and there’s no work involved and we don’t know each other that well but from everything I’ve heard and from there some of the stuff that you’re doing in the background, I know that you’re constantly engaged in working really hard to build something and I think that from my feeling is you do this because you want to do something cool. Not so much because you’re it’s a aspire to be a multimillionaire or anything like that. This isn’t about sharing massive amounts of wealth. This is about having a great time along the way. Am I getting that right?
Tim: 100% Yeah. Well, no, that’s right. Orange is a great community and we find ourselves in a position of kind of power I grew up here and you know, all of my friends are in local businesses. Cafes and shops and things Silla doors around town. We’re at a point where last year we hosted 30,000 guests and we have their emails, we have their phone numbers, we have the reason for travel, we can retarget them and invite them back we can give them local tips. And so we find ourselves in a great fantastic position of power we can encourage them to spend in the region before they even arrive through our messaging towards them and then while they’re here in the homes a great guests experience and then they can leave until they’re friends and want to come back and pretty much I suppose to help ensure that you just got to make sure your quality is is really high from the start your standards are really high because that’s the way to ensure longevity in this short term rental game, I believe with the guest’s expectations changing from COVID.
Bart: And I can imagine that that Sunday that you learned along the way it is well that maybe from the start you did appreciate which bits were the most important because you can get that guest feedback and you get a guest feedback and yeah, oh God, we got to go do things differently and build that foundation. I really want to help people with building a foundation because you said I got up to 20 properties I’ll be still okay. I imagine at that stage, you may have had systems. I’d like to know what you had in your sort of business stack into the technology what you were doing when you add 20 units and then you decided to get that person on and then as well you said build that foundation. So I’m trying to get that, that that interplay going on because I also want people to know what the reality was of what you were doing, rather than what you might want to have done because I think a lot of people get really stuck on systems and processes. I’ve got to build all this stuff, but they don’t have any properties on and they’re gonna go on high and they gotta do all these things. No, just get some properties, make some money and figure it out. Tell me about that foundation piece. And then getting that first person that’s 20 properties.
Tim: Yeah, that’s such a great question because it is so important for anyone starting and like I said at the start, everyone’s environment is different. What I’ve done is not going to work everywhere. I’m just adapting to the challenge and that growth mindset is what you need, what’s going to help you through this. So from the very start, I had a growth mindset. Learn as much as you can always be learning and even today, we’re moving into another office soon and that’s going to change a lot of our systems and procedures. We’re going to go back and lay the foundation again and then explore ideas moving forward. But it’s sort of a process with time you can’t do it all straight away.
You have to get in and do some hard work and then learn and take your mistakes and looked at look at them as opportunities and improvements and then build again and just need to slowly do it that way. You can’t. You can’t know what you need or even the language isn’t there when you’re at 20 properties you don’t know much about property management software and you know what all these different CRM is an all that kind of stuff, but you just need to get in there and just take baby steps but do them to a good quality and I think that so my standards just naturally are at a good quality. I think that’s just how I can see or if I was to get to do a business.
My family’s on the line now. I want to make sure that in Orange is a lot about reputation and, to be honest, up to 100 properties. It was word of mouth, it barely advertised. It’s just because we did a good job of providing good returns. Wherever we made a mistake good communication, which is one of our core values wherever we may have made a mistake. It’s a phone call to the IRS to say hey, look, this has happened but this is what we’re doing. So it doesn’t happen again. And people really appreciate that communication. It’s not us versus them. It’s like we’re in this together. We’re a commission base sort of model. So we are in this together if you perform well we perform well. So understanding that you’re not going to be perfect from the start. But you’ve got to get in there and get into the grind and what you do with information along the way is really going to help you move forward.
Bart: And then that first person that you got there, there are 20 properties they came on part-time and what was it what prompted you at that particular moment go yep, I’m ready for someone or I need someone what was the chicken Yeah,
Tim: It was the workload. On top of teaching. It was becoming too much. It was affecting my teaching, which I don’t like as well. But it was also the communication throughout the day, which I couldn’t do while I was at school and it was also the Organising of cleaners and changing the beds and linen and all of that so I just needed that part-time person. I found them they weren’t in the role for long because their their career change. But they had other plans, which is fine, fine. And then I found a full-time person who was like, like a mother to the business. So as soon as I started the interview, I knew she was the right person. She was going to be caring and helped me with all our mistakes, not mistakes like learnings along the way. And just the nature that you need to be in hospitality just a caring nature and that was a great hire for me to start off she’s not with us at the moment she had a sort of has also decided to change her career but um, but yeah, just again, taking time to make the right decisions. Whatever falls in front of you make the best decision or have any information or data that you can get and gut feeling is a big one in this game as well. There are a lot of times we’ve had gut feelings and haven’t followed them and, then I look back in hindsight, I should have followed my gut feeling nervous. But yeah, again, learning from mistakes. That’s that’s that’s it.
Bart: I think that as a business owner, you need to put that into the math into the numbers is that you are going to fail a certain percentage of the time and just be okay with it. Go alright, you know what, I will make mistakes, be accountable for them. Don’t make the same mistakes twice, learn from them. Just account for the fact that you are going to have to make mistakes along the way with your money with hiring people, with guests with everything but as long as you weren’t you’re gonna be fine, but they do happen all the time.
Tim: Definitely. It was just it’s a mindset of understanding that not everything is going to go 100% Perfect or having a percentage in your mind that you can write off if it doesn’t go well just alleviates so much stress in the future. And then like you said being I think leadership is shown when you can be accountable for your mistakes and but also encourage your team to let them know that they can try things and if they make a mistake, we’ll revisit it and then understand why and leading up to make it again so that’s that’s quite a key element in delegating and letting people do their own work and you know, living their passion for the industry come into things and understanding that what you’re thinking it might be fantastic, but there are other brands and other ideas and other experiences out there that might complement the business and they need to be free to make decisions as well and that will again alleviate stress on all of our lives.
Bart: And I think that when you get all those different ideas from people when you’re getting that fresh input quite often as a leader or a business owner, you’re quite siloed you’re on your own, trying to figure out these puzzles all day long right of how to how to put things together and then you get a new hire and they will always brand new ideas. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I never thought of that or that they find new ways of doing things that are just better or different or might improve the process for you.
Tim: Yeah, and again, it’s that growth mindset. Come in with a different mindset. Think of it a whole different way to what you have before and you might it was only recently I really committed to learning about this dynamic pricing tool that we’re using. And then I found a mistake that I’ve been making for two years and I had that mistake written in my procedures for two years. So you know you can if you’ve got to review things all the time, you’ve got to have an open mindset. He even changed we’ve tried onboarding with a few different tech companies that just haven’t worked and we’ve just jumped straight off just wrote her off and lets we’re better going forward without this tech company. So it’s that’s the mindset is it’s just a growth mindset and you know, and just analyse things as you go along and use the information that you have at the time to make the best decision.
Bart: Can you quantify for me in your mind what a growth growth growth Okay, let’s say a growth mindset actually means
Tim: It is one of our core values always be growing. So feel that in our team as well. But it is just this this is a very dynamic industry. There are new ideas there’s things that new ideas that will work there are also new ideas that won’t work knowing that you’re in a way creating your own path. Understanding that experience counts and other people have knowledge that you don’t have. So you need to learn you need to stay ahead of the game. How to put that into paragraphs, but I don’t know it’s just about being open there and reviewing things along the way.
Bart: One of the tips that I got from a boss of mine was always when you think about growth, think about scale. So everything that you do, you need to be able to replicate it at that scale. So having multiple people doing it or doing the same thing again, so you’re not doing the same task in a crappy way you’re doing in a way that could be repeated a100 times or 1000 times which enables you to have that growth. You have another example from you. Your growth mindset is hey, we need to move offices but now you’ve combined the business into one building. And with a view of growing further. Can you tell us a bit about what’s going on in the business right now? So your 140 properties. There are a few different elements. Maybe you can pull those all together and complete this story for me.
Tim: I started in the garage, which is always a cool thing. We’re a garage business up until that 20 properties and bursting the rims of my car and so we found a premise which was Julie’s recommendation, and it’s done wonders as far as just what a trusted business established on the street signs up with the new idea of Airbnb, which country Australia is pretty new. You need to trust someone in order to with your biggest asset. So that worked in this is the office we’re in today. Where I mentioned before where we pivoted away from Julie’s model was when we built our cleaning business in-house we’re not a coastal area that has cleaning businesses and so we and to ensure the quality just naturally had to be that way. And during COVID We weren’t relying on any other businesses. So it was a really strong asset to have during a lot throughout the COVID period to have our cleaners in-house because I feel that if we were relying on other businesses, it would have been a bit scarier for us would have blocked calendars and things like that so so that was great. Again, this is just the story of B&B Made Easy so this office I’m in now was the warehouse side of things and then we busted the rims on this and then we had to move them out to another like a build shed is actually quite big and then I don’t know and then we’re at the point now where we’re looking towards the future. We know that travels a little bit softer than that but it will come back again. Well, especially in orange which is a really good place for future projects and things like that so and accommodation requirements.
Then we found a place to lease a commercial premise that we could bring both of them together and it was already pre-built with the warehouse component of it but also offices in it to a bold move because it is much more expensive than what we’re spending on all our leases at the moment. However, excuse me, we can see the benefits in bringing all of our staff together and creating a really synchronised business with the warehouses, saving a lot of time and money and stress with like not having the division as a physical division. And then there’s space in there too. I suppose when once you get an audience of properties and an audience of clients and an audience of guests, then the little tweaks made are improvements made can have a huge ripple effect down the track. So we were now looking at okay, we’re focusing on growth before now we’re focusing not wanting to impact the housing market or anything now we’re focusing on the guest experience and how we can encourage our guests to spend support our friends in local business and have a great time themselves. So in that space in the few spare rooms we have there we were thinking upsells and all kinds of things education as well. I bet there are a lot of ideas there that we can then choose to take on and we’re also expanding in other towns as well. So you know, kind of a support base there as well. So, yeah, look
Bart: The upsell and cross-sell thing. The experience-based travel is a spot that’s been underserviced in short-term rentals. From what I’ve seen so far actually over like in most accommodation players haven’t actually extended that much into the experience space. And I can see that as a booming, booming opportunity for business owners to make more money and that’s why I put together a course for a project she launched on Wednesday. So I get that and I love it. I live and breathe it. And that’s what the current market is saying, hey, I want to package I want to cater it for me. If I had never been to visit you guys, I want that kind of experience where I don’t have to worry about all the little minute details or also not worry about missing out on some of the things that I should be seeing or doing when I’m in your area
Tim: Or wasting time or not wasting time. But if these guys can give me all the recommendations, I’d have to spend two hours in my car on a Friday afternoon working out trying to plan it and then it all being too late because it is a busy town. And then again it I suppose in a way it snowballs. So providing it helps with branding obviously because there’ll be branded that way as well, which then might help with investors who are coming to town they’ll see this brand and they might we’ve got guests who stay in our properties they just love a b&b Made Easy service and they let us know that all the time. Then like and then the relationships with local businesses that we’re going to be using so somewhere like a little cheese platter service, a photographer a yoga class a massage, a wine to like we’re going wedding venues like we’re going to be creating these relationships with the town that will then work around because they will know that guests who come through our properties will experience good service and I can see that generating, you know more direct bookings as a result as well. So you know, that’s all in the projects.
Bart: It all ties in together. And I think that one of the important things with those sorts of projects is figuring out what your return on investment is going to be as well and having a very clear strategic plan as to what you’re trying to do and what you’re trying to achieve because it’s all good and well, being able to provide a private chef or private headrests or massages in the property, but then you’ve got all the logistics to sort it all out.
And those relationships and partnerships are incredibly important to me so they do work. And that also once you’ve created your packages or experiences that it’s communicated effectively with your guests so that one it’s in the target market, so you’re talking to the right guests, but also during delivering the right product for them. And they’re going to have a great experience because then it’s tied to you. So kind of it gets a lot more complicated very quickly. But I think that as we evolve as an industry it’s the expectation of the guests, which is going to make this a mandatory thing rather than an optional thing.
Tim: Definitely and very key to what you said there. We’re still in that planning phase. We’re not going to jump here. This has been an opportunity of ours for three years to upsell and things like that. But we’ve been focusing on other things we don’t want to spread ourselves too thin. We don’t want to do it poorly and then have a poor guest experience. So the whole idea of getting moving into this space. And justifying it is the fact that we can then focus now on the guest experience and do it once and do it well. And we’re trying to find a tech company that’s going to help us there too.
Bart: You’re one step ahead of me, that’s exactly where I was going to go to ask you next. Because you need the technology, the tech stack to be able to get your upsells, cross out all that sorted, and there are a few players that have come out in the US that I would like to talk about that later on as well. But I would like to rewind a little bit because we are getting very short on time. And I think there’s a little bit more value on it give people in terms of this sort of startup phase of the business. So one is we have to talk about his technology and what technology you’re using in your journey to get to where you are today.
Tim: Yeah, great question, because that’s definitely something that I would highly recommend people get right or try to get right or reassess along the way. Basically, and if you’ve been following shows like this you understand technology is fantastic for the process, take all the process work and allows our humans to be human in the hospitality industry, which also ensures the quality there. So I’m big on short on getting technology and paying for technology that is going to enhance the well-being of our staff, or not do the opposite, which is drain our staff, create a good space, create a great guest experience and a great client experience as well. So naturally, it’s hard to understand everything from the start. What you do need is definitely good support. There are a lot of different tech companies coming out and they’re not all perfect, the perfect fit, they’re all on their journey as well. So I something that I take into it is you look at their support teams, you look at their, the strategic goals for the future and how long they’ve been around and what they’re doing in their sort of their game. And that can also help give you confidence that you know they’re not going to be a company that’s then quickly bought out by someone else and then things change. So getting that right definitely So just quickly, wrapping those up definitely communication so we use Slack as a business to talk to each other. And then as a project management tool, Asana has been fantastic for us and we’ve got to that point, I love it. It is my favourite. It’s incredible and it is a learning curve. It’ll take you six months to get it right but once you get it right you can just see never look back. It’s it saves you half a week. A week. Moving forward in stress and well-being and tasks and following things up. So you need to build the procedures up all these good tech companies have a good education with them too, so that they can support you that way. So that faster, faster sort of process of onboarding. What else we do for we build up our cleaning business so we’re we’re analysing I won’t say what we use. We were analysing that right now because we think that there are improvements to be made there as well. Okay. Do you want me to continue going?
Bart: I want to know about PMS. I mean, you don’t have to name the company doesn’t really matter. But yes, the system is crucial. supervisory software,
Tim: It is crucial and I’m 100% behind this company, you guessed it and yo F to relic SD he, their support is we just changed PMS to guests during COVID and with AD properties at the time and we were on-boarded in a week just obviously that we had employees here who could work because they couldn’t get service guests. But it was just the support. It says the it’s good leadership in the company. It’s happy culture, as in global industry there later as well. And yeah, I’ve only got good things to say. They’re not perfectly something comes up the type of business who will try and sort the problem out and be in touch with phone calls like yeah, like I said, which is really important for a business and your staff as well to keep things working
Bart: Are you using any CRM?
Tim: We are. Like I said before, we haven’t really needed to market because it’s been so word of mouth, you know. So we’re at the very start of a marketing department in our business and we’re building that up as we go ahead. So we usually one at the moment called Campaign Monitor but I don’t know enough about them to compare them or anything like that. Time asked me in a year’s time, and I’ll probably really almost be an expert.
Bart: On the average hour with me, I’ve done a massive deep dive in the house. Companies I see the flip side we need to have robust CRM systems to make it all work and fit all together and track our lifts, and tax. Weather whether I’ve talked to Tim or not talked to Tim, I might have even sent you an email. I actually did this. So as CRM sent you an email saying, Hey, Tim, will be great to meet you and that sort of thing you like we’ve already met and that was actually the CRM getting it wrong. Because we just can’t manage it. I can’t manage the 600 emails a day that I get. So how do I make sure that I don’t miss crucial emails and that sort of thing? So CRM is there are some really great options out there and highly recommend to anyone that’s getting started on their journey that you least have something that’s free to track your leads and your contacts because that becomes very valuable in the future, especially if they say no to you. When you first start out two years down the track. You want someone to be able to talk to you say hey, we’ve improved x y Zed. We know all this stuff. Please talk to us. So all of your leads that you’ve ever had in your life, in your business, if you had good visibility over them, when you do go to market yourself, at least you know who’s where what kind of properties they have and that sort of thing. I’m digressing awfully now. That was
Tim: A really good example. Of how we’re still on our journey and we’re still learning. That’s, that’s perfect.
Bart: So and then obviously pricing tool you just recently picked one up, or have you had it for a little while?
Tim: For a while, we use price labs. They integrate with VST very well as far as I’m concerned and their leaders in the space as well. I haven’t tried any other ones by any means but the process has kept us satisfied and hundreds and recommend it or a pricing tool to anyone who’s not using one at the moment.
Bart: Fantastic. I mean, there are always auxiliary tools as well which I don’t think we need to talk about, but I think that communication is important. We use WhatsApp, you could use Slack as well. The Task Manager tool incredibly important property manager system and you’re pretty much away. Don’t forget booking websites, all the rest of it can be all plugged in and sorted out as well along that journey.
I wanted to finish up. I need to say before I finish off I just want to say when Tim is talking about support from a tech company, it’s not whether they have someone sitting there that can answer a ticket. It’s about them genuinely being responsive to your particular needs. Because you know what most systems out there, they’re a hodgepodge of stuff stuck together. And it’s never perfect. And if you want them to change something, generally it’s a massive task. You can’t underestimate how much work goes into it. To make changes for you as an individual because they’ve got much bigger problems to deal with and takes a lot of time and effort and money.
Someone, they say, Hey, I gotcha, I get the problem. I’ll either find your solution or an alternative to the problem that you’re facing. It is worth so much to the business that you can say, hey, I’ve got this problem. You know, it’s been looked after and you can carry on doing what you’re doing rather than stressing about that problem.
Tim: Well, that’s it. I think it’s important to note that there was a point where I was considering gessie Early in my career, but I couldn’t afford it. I couldn’t and I wasn’t mature enough in my mind to understand that it was an investment to then help things in the future, like I said, so. I did have a different one and then it gets you there well price but if you can consider it, though the price difference compared to another business as an investment in integrating to other platforms if your business is going to be around for a long time into the support team that’s going to be Katmandu is going to talk to you if you’re big enough.
It is easily justifiable, justifiable once you look at it that way.
Bart:: Beautiful. I want to tie off on one question that I’ve had since we first started talking and it’s just been in the back of my mind. If someone wanted to start a property management business today, and and let’s say someone in Orange County, my visit here, I want to start a property management business that’s made this a difficult question for you. What would your advice to them be? And would you say you should do it?
Tim: Yeah, you should do it. I think there’s plenty of growth in Australia especially. Obviously, legislation is changing pretty quickly but, you know, which is a bit scary, but I think that as far as there’s a there’s probably 1000 pounds in Australia that don’t have a property management business. The standard of the guest’s expectations is increasing. So it’s harder for individual hosts and there are expectations when they’ve got second jobs as well. So the property management business in that space is a growing industry as well like offering the service of we do this for you and we do it well and we can manage it across seven different booking channels. You know, rather than doing it by yourself and just sitting on two and get you more occupied and a good reviews, etc. So there’s definitely room in the space and I’d say just get started if you’re thinking about it or if you’re at a really tight point of five to 10 properties or another point that journey just keep going because it does get to a point where if you’ve to manage enough properties and having enough bookings that you can then make decisions you have the power to make decisions that relieve you of your time and sort the issue out.
Bart: I love the answer but it’s just something that I want to clarify for people because a lot of us didn’t get started. Okay. Yes. What’s that? What is it? What does Get Started mean? In terms of, hey, I’m thinking about this. What is the first step that I need to take? Like, obviously, there’s the education part, let’s assume that I’ve done the education part what’s the Get Started part in your mind?
Tim: Yeah, I suppose it’s committing to it deep down inside or the way I did. It was inspired by Julie do education. Commit to it and what you want to say you’re going to do it like stick with it because you will get there and look at the older teacher before on a capital age. Let’s put it that way. I could see myself in in sitting next to me at school and in 30 years time I knew where I was, I knew I could see my life and where I was the fact that owning your own business and it’s limitless as far as you can go. So if you can see that vision and commit to it. I think that and knowing that it’s going to be a lot of hard work and it was a lot of hard work for me. There are only good things to come for people who are committed to working hard and learning. I think that’s the secret for me.
Bart: Awesome. But my one was when I started I booked online. When because you know I was thinking about it for such a long time and we needed the software and the product to be able to then go and sell it. But my real getting started with getting in front of someone and talking to someone and say telling them what it is that we do and seeing if they’ll buy it. And when that was when they went yeah, I’ll do it. That was another game that started now that’s when I was like on the road, calling people up and booking appointments to go and see them and talk about I didn’t look I didn’t. I felt confident enough to talk about it. But I was terrified about not being able to deliver on what I had said because I didn’t I’ve never done a first website, myself or my own company, right? You’ve never managed a property for someone else’s first time. Now you don’t. You can see what it is you can be completely forthright and say I’ve never done this before. But there are ways that you can also go about running with skinny in front of someone that’s my getting started.
Tim: That’s it. My first property was a cold call of someone who was selling a home a little bit of chance by we were walked through a home that was for sale and thought Jesus would be good as an Airbnb and then a person that I knew the ins I gave them a call and now they were like in the right place and time to give it a crack so we’re very lucky that it was only one cold call because then they told their friends and all of a sudden that word of mouth just took over and but it was scary. I didn’t know. I didn’t know. I didn’t know if what I was I did my research, and I suppose falls back to the get started and learn as you go. I love that message.
Bart: Tim, you’re so wonderful. Thank you for spending your time with us and taking us through this journey. This story is fascinating. I’m looking forward to seeing what you get up to next. And we haven’t had enough time in this episode to talk about all the future plans. I wish you a lot of success. A lot of luck. I know that we’re going to be involved with each other over the next few years. Definitely. And look Is there any way for people to reach out to you? Is there any final words you’d like to like to contribute?
Tim: Yeah, I just I’m open I’m happy to help like Yeah, I can’t wait to see what we can do in the next few years as well. And I know we’re gonna cross paths as well because that’s what happens in this industry. And it’s really exciting to learn about everyone’s journey and see yours as well but it’s been good to see. I like to be fine found on LinkedIn probably the simplest way as Tim Mortimer or B&B Made Easy as the business. You can just jump on our website and contact us if you need to. But apart from that, yeah, I’m just doing my little thing and looking forward and seeing what I can take on and do and I’m just in the middle of ticker my journey right here in orange in the central west.
Bart: it’s a real testament to show what you can achieve it in a smaller area that you know the all of the challenges that something is all the things that some people might see as challenges, opportunities. So thank you so much.
Thank you so much for listening. To this show and at theaccommodationsshow.com approved. Thank you very much notes, links to resources we have talked about in transcripts from the show. I really do appreciate you listening.
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