By popular demand this episode of The Accommodation Show was put together from the live STR Legends Live USA session , where I had the honor of hosting a group of amazing industry leaders. I was humbled to have such an all-star lineup of guests, including Richie Khandelwal, Brooke Pfautz, Dennis Goedheid, Alex Husner, and Stacey St. John.
During the session, we had an engaging and thought-provoking discussion about the latest trends, tools, and tactics driving success in the short-term rental industry in the USA. We covered a range of topics, from guest experience and technology to marketing and business growth, and the insights and expertise shared were truly invaluable.
Our session covers the critical role of guest experience in the industry and we dive into what the top short-term rental companies are doing (Casiola!) to create memorable experiences for their guests and share tips on only how to wow your guests but also how to create a consistent guest experience, across all touchpoints in the guest journey in all your properties.🏡
Next, we explore the impact of technology on the short-term rental industry. Our legends, share their insights on how technology is changing the way guests book and stay in short-term rentals and how operators can leverage the latest tech trends and tools to streamline their operations and enhance the guest experience.🔌
In the third segment, we tackle the ever-evolving world of marketing. Our guests share their thoughts on the latest marketing strategies and channels and provide expert advice on how to reach your target audience effectively. We’ll talk about how to build a strong brand presence, leverage social media, marketing strategies on a shoestring budget and implement effective email campaigns to generate more bookings and drive revenue. 📈
Finally, we discuss business growth, and our experts share their insights on how to scale your short-term rental business. From diversifying your portfolio to expanding your team, we cover the most critical steps you need to take to grow your business sustainably. 🚀
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring this conversation to a wider audience through The Accommodation Show. Whether you’re a property manager, investor, host, or are in hotels and want to see the latest innovation in STR in the USA, this episode is packed with practical tips and actionable advice that you won’t want to miss.
I feel incredibly grateful to have hosted these guests and to have been able to bring their expertise to you.
So, don’t miss out on this epic episode of The Accommodation Show, and get ready to take your business to new heights!
Richie Khandelwal – Co-Founder – Price Labs
Richie Khandelwal is a co-founder at PriceLabs, a cloud-based revenue management platform for Airbnb and vacation rental owners and property managers. PriceLabs has customers in over 100 countries and prices over 180K listings actively. At PriceLabs, Richie looks after GTM and Operations.
Brooke Pfautz – Founder – Vintory
Brooke Pfautz, is one of the industry’s foremost experts in growing vacation rental inventory. He literally wrote the book on inventory growth – and it’s already a three-category Amazon bestseller. Brooke got his start in the industry in 2007 when he co-founded Vantage Resort Realty in Ocean City, MD, and took an idea on a napkin to more than 500 properties in just five years. After a successful exit, he went on to grow inventory Today, Brooke leads Vintory, the first and only CRM & Sales and Marketing Automation Platform designed exclusively for Vacation Rental Managers to grow their inventory. At Vintory, a team of over 50 growth experts are laser-focused on one thing: helping VRMs hit or exceed their inventory growth goals.
Stacey St. John – Founder – STR Global Enterprises, LLC
While working for a global consulting firm, Stacey St. John fell into the real estate investment game by accident in 2018. Fast forward to today, she now has a multiple 7-figure real estate portfolio on her hands and said goodbye to her “corporate gig” in 2022.
Stacey is passionate about educating and empowering women in the short-term rental industry. She helps ladies around the world cultivate meaningful relationships, expand their knowledge, grow their wealth, and learn to live their best life. She’s the creator and founder of:
• The Female Short-Term Rental Investors Facebook group
• The Short-Term Rental Society
• The Short-Term Rental Virtual Summit for Women
• The STR Success Accelerator mentorship program
• The STR Sisterhood podcast
Alex Husner – CMO – Casago
Alex Husner has a passion for developing strategies that drive sales overnight and brand over time, connecting all aspects of digital, social, and traditional marketing. As the newly appointed CMO for Casago, she’ll be helping grow the reach and exposure of the brand in both B2B and B2C capacities. Alex previously served as CMO for Condo-World for 13 years, a vacation rental business based in North Myrtle Beach, SC that managed over 500 properties and marketed an additional 5,000 across the Southeast, where she maintained a 95% direct booking ratio, putting Condo-World in the 1% of vacation rental companies globally that relied only minimally on OTAs such as Airbnb or VRBO to drive business.
Alex is also the Co-Host of Alex & Annie: The Real Women of Vacation Rentals, in partnership with her partner, Annie Holcombe. Together, they share stories from the top leaders in tourism and business and have been named part of the Top 30 Hospitality Podcasts by the Global Hospitality Institute.
Dennis Goedheid – CEO – Casiola
Dennis is the founder and CEO of Casiola vacation homes and Guestor vacation rental investment fund, Dennis Goedheid is an accomplished Entrepreneur specializing in technology, marketing, real estate, investments, and company culture. He is an expert in events management, property management, and real estate with extensive experience in public speaking and organizational growth.
In this episode, we cover:
Ensuring the guest experience is consistent across all touchpoints in the guest journey. 👥
The impact of technology on the short-term rental industry and how operators can leverage the latest tech trends, tools, and AI to streamline their operations and enhance the guest experience. 💻
The most effective marketing strategies and channels for reaching target audiences, building a strong brand presence, and generating more bookings and revenue. 📣
Scaling short-term rental businesses sustainably by diversifying portfolios and expanding teams. 🌱
Emotional branding and how to use it to create a stronger connection between consumers and a brand. 💖
Strategies for monitoring and improving brand messaging and guest experience. 📈
Aligning employees with the company’s guest experience goals and values through training and development programs. 👩🏫
Creating a positive and engaging workplace culture that attracts and retains top talent in the hospitality industry. 💼
The expected changes in technology and the impact of the AI revolution on short-term rental businesses. 🤖
Hello and welcome back to The Accommodation Show. We help accommodation owners like you to get the knowledge and skills you need to grow your business, improve your guest’s experience and increase your profitability.
Bart: I’m super excited for this particular session because what we’ve tried to do is we’ve tried to get people that I believe are some of the leaders in short-term rentals in the US and this is not at the exclusion of other people. We know we all know hundreds of great people, but this particular group of people are real leaders and people that are out there doing it. And ever since I started in this particular space, I’ve been watching their growth. I’ve been watching what they’re doing, and they are real people that you want to follow and make sure that you keep up with what they’re doing and learn from and that’s the biggest thing.
All of these people here are teaching, they share. They collaborate. They’re always saying hey, how can I contribute and how can I give and that’s why when I asked him to join, every single one of them said yes, what do I need to do? And there was never a question of what was in it for me, it’s how do we make this thing happen? And how do we collaborate? So I don’t know if all the people who have our panellists know each other, but this is a great opportunity for them to get to know each other. But also if you are watching this, and if you have questions that I do encourage you to ask now, I’m the only moderator here so bear with me on what I’d like you to do if you are in the chat. If you could just post up a message saying, Hey, this is blah. I am from particular this particular place and tell us what you do in the short-term rental space. We would really love to know, but if you’ve got questions as we go please just shoot them through to me as a private message and I will address them as we go on. I don’t promise I’ll get to all of them, but I will get to them as we go through.
Now, folks, welcome to the STR legends Live session. We’re gonna be talking about trends. We’re gonna be talking about tips and tricks, we’re gonna be talking about marketing, technology, growth, and business. I’ve got five amazing guests who are joining us and I’m going to ask our guests to introduce themselves and we’ve got for now just disappeared on me. But that’s okay. I’d ask everyone to introduce yourselves and let everybody know who you are, what you do and where you’re from, and we can kind of kick off the session from there. I’m going to start off with Stacey and if you guys want to take turns that’d be awesome.
Stacey: Hey everybody, my name is Stacy St. John and I live in Cincinnati, Ohio here in the US the vast majority of my short-term rental portfolio is actually in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. And I know Alex, we need to do lunch sometime. But you know, one of my favorite things about being in this industry is not only helping you know, but vacationers make memories while they’re at the beach or relaxing in the foothills of Ohio. But I think even more rewarding is having the opportunity to serve women in this space. And so I have kind of a family of brands that are solely dedicated to helping women launch, manage and grow successful short-term rental businesses and Bart, I just appreciate you having me. Thanks for the invite.
Bart: Stacy just put together an event. The name of it was a short-term rental virtual summit for women. It was one of the most impressive virtual events that I’ve ever been to, the platform was amazing. The speakers were amazing. The community was absolutely stunning. That’s one of the main reasons I really wanted you to be here because you lead by building communities and by building groups of people and teaching them and sharing that information. So congratulations on that event. You should be super proud especially with everybody’s fatigued from live events, but you pulled it off, so congratulations, and well done.
Brooke: All right. Excited to be here. Bart. Thanks for putting this on. Yeah, my name is Brooke Pfautz, I’m the founder and CEO of inventory, located here in Baltimore, Maryland. Just got in literally about an hour or two ago, I was visiting a partner up in Killington, Vermont. But yeah, so Vince, where we were, we’re a sales and marketing platform. We help short-term vacation managers grow their inventory. That’s all we do. So been in this industry for about 15 years. Got into it, like most of us just kind of stumbled into it. I was actually in mortgage banking, but I founded a company back in 2007, called Vantage resort Realty grew that company from 0 to 500 properties in five years and wrote a little book about it that you may have heard about Bart, but yeah, I exited that business and I’ve helped several other like leadership roles within the industry since most revolving around inventory acquisition. And yet about four years ago, I found inventory and we were excited to say we’ve helped over 500 companies with their inventory growth efforts. And we have a team of over 60 growth experts focused on one thing and one thing only and that’s growing your inventory. So yeah, really excited to be here. Thanks for inviting me bar.
Bart: Brooke’s presence here is one giving someone that wants to educate people and just help people. I had the absolute privilege of attending one of his masterminds or his mastermind in the US before the vrma. And I’m like, why are you putting this on is I just want to help people and I want to help my partners and that was the similar vibe to Stacy in the room. And the great thing about Brooke is that he’s not only a short-term mentor but also technology and marketing. So this kind of confluence of skill sets that are super useful to you if you’re looking to grow your business and expand, and he’s going to be thinking about things in a completely different way to all the rest of our panelists. So, thanks for being here. Alex, kick us off.
Alex: Yeah, thank you so much Bart for having me here. I was so excited to finally get to meet you in Vegas last fall out of your international and we’ve talked about doing some things so as soon as I saw this invite I was very quick to say yes. And appreciate being on this panel was such an awesome group of people too, but everybody who’s here, so my name is Alex Husner. I live in Myrtle Beach where Stacey has all her properties and Bart I don’t know if this was on purpose. But yes, I have wanted to meet Stacy and get to know her better. I just admired her from afar, so we will definitely need to connect. But it’s Myrtle Beach. I’ve been here for 13 for actually been there and 15 years. I am now with Casago, as Chief Marketing Officer. I was previously here in the Myrtle Beach area for 13 years but Condo-World and for that business from 150 units to 500 and we were a 95% book direct business and had an OTA and we were a budding franchise model and I was always extremely interested in how somebody could make franchise into a model within short term rentals.
And when I met Ryan Dane who’s our partner with Casago, literally about a year ago right now and I heard what they were doing. It was just it was extremely interesting to me. And over the last year just continued that conversation and came on and started working with them last fall and now just a few months into it but really learning all the benefits of you know how economies of scale can really grow short-term rental businesses. Our phrases compete nationally and locally and we really feel that the local ownership of businesses is for how businesses stay successful in this industry how destinations say stay successful they keep their seats at the table from a regulation standpoint and from a tourism board standpoint that way, so new on this journey in this role, but this t-shirt but enjoying it very, very much so far. And also I’m the host of Alice and Annie: Real women of vacation rentals podcast that we’ve been doing with my co-host Andy Holcomb for the past year. And that’s just been an incredible way to grow and make connections within this industry. So thank you, Bart.
Bart: Look, I think your journey is very impressive. I think that everything that you’ve done in the short-term rentals and everything that you seem to touch seems to turn to gold. And I’m not trying to play with your ego or anything here like literally so much success and you can see it right you seem to do so well. And I think that you’re the chief marketing officer at Casago now, so I imagine that like you’d like you said you’ve got the new challenge of dealing with a much bigger company now and trying to find the strategy to grow so I’m really looking forward to asking you some questions about 2023 because that’s gonna be awesome, Richie.
Richie: Good morning everyone. My name is Richie. I’m one of the founders at price labs. I’m coming to you. live today from India. So if I fumble, it’s because I just woke up if you missed that. As I said, I’m a founder of price labs. We do dynamic pricing for vacation rentals. We’ve been doing this since 2014. So about eight years now. Still feel a little bit like an outsider to the vacation rental world because personally unlike Stacey, Alex, Dennis, and Brooke, I don’t have as much experience running a vacation rental as my own individual bedroom when we started putting in an extra bedroom if you remember the old days of Airbnb, right? Putting your shared bedroom or private bedroom online that’s kind of how I started. And then I do occasionally host but I do not have as much expertise as some of the people here. But what we do is we do dynamic pricing. We adjust rates based on supply and demand. We’ve been doing this for eight years, like I said we’ve been working in 100-plus countries today, and we have a little over 200,000 properties that use PriceLabs actively.
A little over 25,000 customers use PriceLabs actively. And then apart from dynamic pricing over the last two years. We’ve also come out with two new products which are market dashboards and portfolio analytics. Market dashboards help you track what’s happening in various markets around the world. And portfolio Analytics helps you come up with business intelligence for your own reservation data so that you can better understand what kind of patterns are reoccurring or happening in your own data. So that’s me, looking forward to being on this panel looking forward to being well, every, like every single person on this call is amazing. I do recognize my fellow panelists. But even the guests that are on this call, I recognize some names and have seen you at all of them. So really looking forward to everything today.
Bart: The background to this folks is when you’re trying to get this many panelists together as you need to find a schedule or a time that’s going to work for everyone and we knew that someone would get out was going to have to take a bit of a hit. And that was Richie today. So thank you so much, and your journey is also very impressive as well. Price service has absolutely revolutionized short-term rentals. They were one of the first ones to do and especially at the scale that they’re doing it if you don’t have dynamic pricing, everybody talks about it. Everybody knows about it. And once again, the very impressive thing about Richie is that he’s also someone that will get up top he will help you out and he’s always front foot forward in that way. Thank you, Richie. And Dennis, our final panelist.
Denis: Yes, thank you. Good evening, everyone. Excited to be here. I was born and raised in Belgium, Europe, before moving to the US and started an online printing company. So we did something similar to Vistaprint this year in the US solar company in 2013. My goal in moving to the US to Orlando was to get better weather and to slow down and I thought property management was a good idea. So easy enough sitting all day with a cocktail, waiting until someone needed me. And probably the biggest mistake of my life. So after a few months, I told my wife, yeah, this is just so hard. The hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and I’ve run businesses with 100, or 150 people before. There are only two options. We either scale these businesses so we can hire staff and we don’t have to be on call 24/7 anymore, or we sell it and we do something else.
So and it’s something very weird in this industry. Once you get into it. Everyone has a love-hate relationship. Once you get in it’s very hard to get out. We love it but we also hate it sometimes. I absolutely love it. I saw so much potential also. Yeah, it was the years that Airbnb was really exploding so we decided to grow. Right now we manage 450 properties in three exotic destinations. We started in Orlando, and we now also manage homes in Aruba. And since September in Miami.
Bart: Welcome to The Accommodation show in the past I think most of you being guests is power from Alex and Richie Rich. He hasn’t been a guest yet but Dennis, the thing that I love about you is one is once again you’re giving and that sort of thing that if anyone wants to look at branding, and a really great company brand, there’s nothing like Dennis’s brand. It’s just so pink. You can’t forget it. If he’s in a photo you can’t miss him. If you the video that you put up last week of you and your team I don’t know if you were in that room, but there were people dancing as part of your team in terms of culture, and that sort of thing. It’s exceptional. It’s just you are emotionally connected with your brand even though I don’t know you guys or anything like that. So congratulations and I liked everything, were you in that video?
Richie: Luckily, I wasn’t the dancer so no, I spare you that one that is true. And it’s actually not something that we set up initially, it happened mainly organically, but it is really part of our DNA or what I see Michael here on the call to. He’s sitting at home at almost eight o’clock and he’s still wearing this Casiola shirt because I didn’t even know but it’s just what we do. And yeah, I love it that that’s what I love the most about running businesses, this building that culture needed people. That’s what makes it fun.
Bart: Awesome. Thank you, everyone, for coming in and attending. Just for those of you that haven’t met me before. I’m Bart Sobeys. I run The Accommodation Show. I also run Ibookedonline, we are direct booking experts. So if you need a new book, Direct website, you talk to us. We’re based out of Australia, but most of our customers are in the USA and that’s why I’m putting together this session and bringing all these people together. You can follow us you can jump onto Facebook. We’ve got a sizable Facebook group as well, where you can keep in touch and get all sorts of information. But I want to focus more on the talented people in the room around me and myself. So, folks, I did a poll before we started this session and there are a few key topics that we’re going to cover today and I’m gonna run through them right now. So one of them is guest experience, technology, marketing, and business growth, then we’ve got regulations as well. So technology, marketing, business growth, and guest experience are just in the chat. What is the number one that you would like? To hear about first, so it was technology, marketing, guest experience, or business growth? What is the number one hot topic that you would like to hear about? What do our panelists talk about? So I’ll go through it again. guest experience technology, marketing, or business growth guest experience, even giving it to us what else folks
Brooke: has 100% of the vote so folks, the number one requested thing was actually guest experiment or
Bart: On the other polls that I did, technology was actually the number one was guest experience, business growth and then marketing was actually at the bottom which I found quite interesting. And then regulation just kind of didn’t even make the cut. No one wants to talk about it. But what I’m gonna do for you guys, rather than me sort of kind of asking each of you questions, I want you to pick up the mic and say, Hey, I’ve got something that I want to add. We’ll spend five minutes 10 minutes on each question and each topic and then we’ll move on to the next topic going through. So really, this is up to you guys direct how you want but I’ll be here to sort of go hey, let’s move on. Or you know, we’ve already been through this so let’s, let’s keep it going. But what I think is the growth I love it.
So I think I’d like to start off with his guest experience now. guest experience is incredibly important, especially in short-term rentals. Guest experiences are something that is incredibly important for hospitals for hospitality overall. We need to make sure that guests are happy and if they’re happy, they’re going to come back it also allows us to differentiate ourselves as a short-term rental brand if we have a great experience then we can have a better experience than one of our competitors. And as short-term rentals get more and more competitive providing an exceptional guest experience becomes more important and what gives us five-star reviews. And what gets us as a what’s it called the pro harvest on Airbnb and that sort of thing. Now focused on experience in 2023. How important is it going to be in comparison with last year to get it right
Dennis: I think it’s not gonna be more important than last year to get it right. It’s always important. What we have noticed is things have changed. There’s like a pre-COVID era and a post-COVID era and that is very interesting to see. People want things quicker. Want responses on chat channels, WhatsApp, messenger X on before it was mainly found that that’s the channel that we almost don’t use it, or we still use, but it’s a very small percentage of people are a little bit more than that. I don’t know maybe we all have been at home too long and not been socializing enough anymore, but a lot less patient and forgiving them than they were pre-COVID.
So we need to be on top of our game for sure. I think talking about guest experience too and looking at the future. I think cancellation policies are something that we also look at.Times are uncertain. They are they have been uncertain for a while. But you see a lot of job losses in the US at least people do not know. Are they going to have a job 24 months from now? So just by hearing that they have today in the news, they think twice about booking a vacation for the future. So I think you should definitely look at your cancellation policies if bookings are slow try to lower them I also know that all channels give higher rankings if you have a more flexible cancellation policy especially Airbnb makes a huge difference. If you have a strict policy compared to the flexible one, two rankings, and reviews are day and night difference. So those are a couple of things that we all should definitely look into.
Alex: Can I jump in real quick? I think that guests and I agree with you, about the dataset guest experience. I think it’s always important. I think it’s going to become more important and I think in 2023. Anybody who focuses on it and more is going to see more growth because Airbnb is continuing to get a bad rap. I literally had three people last night send screenshots of Airbnb on Tucker Carlson, Fox News about how everybody’s like North Korea, but their policies and I’m like oh my gosh like this is starting to spread like wildfire that all the things that we’ve done about Airbnb and how challenging they are to work with.
This is now becoming a consumer-facing problem. And so when you look at what we’re able to provide as property managers, let’s solve that problem. Let’s make it easy and make it easy for guests and not only makes it easy for guests, I mean, you have to make it easy on your own channels but then you also have to drive people to your own channels. And you know, I thought was interesting Bart said that marketing was at the bottom of the list of interests. Marketing should be at the top of everybody’s list of interests right now. This is the year I’ll be able to grow market share with I mean if there’s a negative connotation in the news from a guest perspective, not just from all of us that have been upset about Airbnb, this is the year to be pushing your own book, direct brands. And, you know, I mean, you’ve got to you have to build your own book direct strategy.
You have to build those relationships with your CVBS and your tourism boards and find ways to leverage just I mean, if you’re a small company, obviously you don’t have a multimillion-dollar marketing budget, but find ways to leverage within your community. Whether it’s other companies you can partner with working with your competitors actually is a great strategy that we’ve found in the Myrtle Beach market. There are ways to do that, but I think guest experience, all wraps in that this is the year to focus on your marketing focus on the guests’ experience the communication strategy, and let’s get the guests off Airbnb and get them to start realizing that they can book directly with our companies.
Bart: To add to this to that, ask another question about this guest experience part.
Stacey: I’ll just add to that. And obviously what Alex and Dennis shared I think is super important. The other thing I think is kind of the elephant in the room where so many property owners or property managers are looking at empty booking calendars and they’re wondering what on earth is going on to Dennis’s point maybe travel booking trends are changing, where folks aren’t booking as far in advance but I think if you lean into guest experience your booking calendar, will stay much more full than others who don’t. So I absolutely wholeheartedly believe that, by having a key focus on your guests, knowing your guests through and through anticipating their needs doing something that wow your guests is going to serve you well not only with a fuller booking calendar but with increased direct bookings by word-of-mouth referrals. So I think guests’ experience is even more important now than ever, in my opinion.
Bart: Questions for all of you and I just picking your brains is just much fun. It really is. One of the big problems that a lot of property management companies have especially when you start to get to scale, you can get to 10 properties 20 properties 30 properties, and then you get to 500 Casago. I don’t even know how many of your books at the moment, but consistency on guest’s experience can be super difficult to achieve because you’ve got so many different moving parts. If you’ve got a hotel, generally you’ve got all the rooms together you’ve got some staff members that are running around and doing whatever they’re doing. You can meet everyone in the morning and you’re good to go. With property imagine you can only sometimes achieve that. How do we ensure that we have achieved a consistent guest? Experience? What are we what are our thoughts?
Dennis: So what we have done at Casiola is, we brought a certain level of standardization into our properties so that guests every house that we have is unique. We don’t have two homes that are alike but there’s a couple of basic items that you’re going to find in every single Casiola vacation homes. One of them is like bedding. When I came from Europe to the US I couldn’t believe what I saw comforters is something that we don’t have. I’ve never seen it in real life only the movies you came here in the US and in every single home has comforters, people take it off the bed, throw it on the floor, and stand on it. And then when housekeeping comes in of the guest Excel they put it back on the bed and don’t make the bed so we went to hotel linen external loud we have a certain set of basic requirements in an old kitchen we provide a starter kit for our guests with a certain amount of toilet paper, shampoos that is just more than that. What you are basically getting in most of the other vacation rentals, but though those items are exactly the same everywhere so you know wherever whatever vacation home from Casiola, you book you have the basics covered in order to create that consistent guest experience.
Stacey: I also think Bart, in my opinion, having checks and balances in place and your standard operating procedures is critical to building consistency in your brands. So you know a lot of individual owners are relying on their cleaners, to do so many things and our cleaners and turnover teams are critically important to our business. But what I see happening a lot of times is that owners just say okay the cleaners said everything was good All right, awesome. It must be perfect without any checks and balances. So I think having an additional layer or tier of inspection really controls your quality. And again having a consistent experience for your guests is really tied to your way the way that you’re operating your business and your SOPs, so for me at least I know that the quality control inspection role in my business has been critical to helping build that consistency.
Brooke: Yeah, just kind of echoing what Stacey said there. I like those SOPs and those standards are so important. I had the pleasure of actually touring Casago corporate headquarters in Scottsdale and the number of systems and processes they put in place. I mean that that’s the only way you can scale to you know, like they have over 3500 properties, and now why they’re turning this into more of a franchise model and it’s just that’s the only way you’re gonna be able to scale and I love that model. I love what they’ve done. Just to plug out here a little bit but they’ve done an incredible job and highly recommend kind of their franchise system. Another thing just kind of I’ll go on a complete tangent here a little bit though was just hiring good people. It is amazing how the talent stack that you have and the good people that you have on your team. How important it is and I’ve been preaching this since I started Ventory I’ve been using psychometric personality profiling systems like culture index and predictive index. And it really does help create when you get the right people on the bus and in the right seats.
Dennis: I agree with you on that one Brooke but on the other hand, it’s very hard to get good frontline workers. It’s another thing for the kinds of positions that you are looking for or office positions. We also use predictive analytics and it’s important to find the right people, frontline workers, we almost need to get whatever walks through the door because, from 10 interviews that have been scheduled, nine of them don’t even show up on the day of it. So it makes it really challenging. And that has been our biggest struggle I think in the last two years.
Alex: Yeah, that’s one thing I just had a long conversation with some operators here in Myrtle Beach about that, you know, we as a destination and destinations across the country are hiring people at a very senior role to come in as Workforce Development agents and really giving them a task that I don’t think that anybody can figure out I mean or not. That they can’t figure out but it’s not solvable. And our world has changed so much in the last few years that especially among dentists, the people that you’re talking about hiring, a lot of that workforce disappeared because of being able to work from home. I mean, hearing this directly I mean a lot of people they’re going they’re doing DoorDash and Uber Eats like they’re doing things where they don’t necessarily want to drive Uber but like they don’t mind going and driving food around and they’re ending up making more money doing that than they were doing in housekeeping or maid service or maintenance, working in hospitality and that’s not something that any of us can overcome. That’s not going to change. I mean technology is going to continue to be the wave of the future until we can find robots or something to clean the rooms. I don’t know what we’re going to do about that. I don’t it’s not about the benefits of staying at home. These people are working, they’re making money. There’s making money in other ways.
Richie: As that, just for my understanding, and because you guys are in markets has that eased out in the last quarter or two, like being able to hire the frontline workers or not really, it’s been the same challenge?
Alex: No, I mean, there was a difference when, you know, some of the government benefits went away, but I mean, that was a while ago. So things have not changed. I mean, and really, you know, what we’re hearing is that it doesn’t matter how much you pay people like it doesn’t, the work of frontlines is really hard work. But when that was the only work that people could find, then it was good work. But now if you’re getting paid way more to stay at home, why would you go and in cleaning rooms. I mean, it’s a tough paradox for hospitality just in general. I mean, and really for hotels, I think it’s a bigger issue and, and bigger management companies. I mean, it’s it at scale, this becomes a really big issue.
Bart: The USA, everywhere is having staffing issues and start and staffing problems. And I think that really reinforces your point, Brooke, is that actually those people you’re getting on. It’s just more critical than ever? Like you need to make sure that you’ve got a good team, whether they’re available or not as an issue that we need to keep them working on and definitely if you think about 2023, it’s an issue that has to be thought about resolved, worked on, better systems processes, better ways to keep to retain staff, better ways to encourage staff to come to you better ways of seeking out staff and potentially enticing remuneration packages that have really work within the business model. So potentially the business models have to change a bit to allow for having to pay people more so good one.
So I got to keep moving on to our next topic. For today we’re going to jump into technology because I don’t know if you notice, but kind of on the edge of it anyway. With this conversation, and obviously, technology is changing the world. Richie is at the forefront of having developed technology for pricing. Brooke is developing technology for getting new listings on board. The role that technology plays in our space is incredibly important. And that’s across all industries regardless, but if we were to dissect it a little bit, and if you were to think about what your predictions are for the advent of how critical the tech stack will be in 2023, are there any kind of obvious changes? And I know I’m kind of leaning towards chat GPT but they’re, you know, it AI right. So AI wasn’t a thing before now it is a thing. How much of a change is technology going to bring to our businesses in short-term rentals for 2023?
Richie: I think it’s going to be pervasive right? And it’s not stopping it is going to go into grow. It has grown leaps and bounds use of technology over the last couple of years. And that’s really a result of two things here. Right? One, all of us are getting more and more comfortable with technology. Right? So if you think about maybe two decades ago, and if you not even two decades, right 15 years ago, none of us had a smartphone in our hands, right? Today, we have one of the most powerful devices in like, in our hand, if you think of it from that perspective, right? It’s only 15 years old. So. So kudos to everyone who’s already adopted technology, but think of it as it’s only 15 years old, right? Think of it like a teenager right now in terms of technology adoption.
So but having said that, it’s moving at such a pace that it is going to get more and more pervasive. Chat GPT I think it’s crazy, if you think of it as artificial intelligence, what it can do, but not just what it can do. How much adoption had seen it? I think I read a number of it said 100 million in just under a month or month and a half 100 million people have access Chat GTP right? So that’s like that kind of it’s the fastest growing software ever, in terms of one and a half months 100 million people have accessed it. Right. That’s, that’s crazy.
So coming back. So that’s number one. Technology is becoming easier you have access to all of these things, right? And then number two, all of us are get are building this affinity with technology. So we’re getting more and more comfortable with being able to say yes, I can trust a system, I can trust automation. And so a combination of that allows you to allow this technology wave to continue and it will continue. Now what it does allow whether that’s Shut up, whether that’s price labs, whether that’s blog software, whether that’s other software, it allows you to eventually save a lot of time in every single regard. And in that time, like time is the most valuable asset that a human business a company has. And so it allows you to scale in whichever way whether that’s dentists acquiring 500 more properties or whether that’s someone spending time with your family and friends, where it allows you to scale. So I think technology is going to be pervasive. It’s easier to use. We’re getting more comfortable with it, that is going to further drive adoption as people adopted. It’s going to save you time which is going to further keep creating this flywheel.
Dennis: I agree with Richie on that and just to get back to chat GTP. I also think there is the other sides that we have to think about. So it’s going to be a timesaver of legal for a lot of people. But on the other end if you’re creating content, there’s going to be just the floodgates are gonna open with content in the next few years. Everybody’s gonna make artificially intelligent movies and clips on YouTube and it’s gonna be harder and harder for it to stand out in the mass content creation. So you’re going to have to think about how are we going to do this SEO is going to change completely in the next year or two. Everything that we have been working on for all those years to ranking Google, it’s going to go out the window because now every single individual owner or every property manager changes without content automatically. upgrades that have never been seen before. Or that were not cost-effective before. So yeah, it’s something that we are thinking about now already, like what do we need to do to keep our rankings and to stand out in the overflow on information that we’re gonna see in the next few years?
Brooke: There was a Marc Andreessen, one of the co-founders of Andreessen Horowitz, one of the top VC firms in Silicon Valley. He wrote an article 10 years ago, it said Software is eating the world. And he said at the future, there might be software companies and nonsoftware companies, every company will be a software company. Well, guess what? It’s coming to light and yesterday, obviously, you still need cleaners. You still need maintenance people and things like that. But just look at how the tech stack has changed for professional vacation rental management companies.
I mean, how many subscription-based software companies does the average vacation management company use right now? It’s insane. Where if you look, you know, 345, even 10 years ago, whatever it was, you barely had anything but going back to kind of then the Chat GPT conversation like this is to me this is probably one of the biggest game changers our industry will ever see over like the next decade. To me, it’s as big as the internet and it’s as big as the mobile thumb. actually wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago about how I actually went through I spent a Saturday morning, I spent an hour and I said you know what, I want to see if I can build all the key fundamentals of starting my own short term vacation rental management company, and I had a goal to do it in under an hour.
And guess what I was able to do almost everything I was able to figure out how to get the licensing setup and how to it actually wrote the operating agreement between my fictitious business partner and mine that had 49% equity. It wrote employment agreements that wrote the management contract it wrote the rental agreement. With a guest group, it wrote all the copy for the website and wrote all the owner acquisition strategies. I mean, and it just it’s mind-boggling to see here’s the scariest part. We’re only in chat GPT 3.0. Essentially PT. Thread 4.0 is coming out probably in the next three, or four months. And it’s 575 times more powerful. I mean, so we’re just I mean, we’re not even in the early innings. We’re like the first at bat. So I mean, it’s just getting started. And this is just one form of AI. So the entire landscape is going to change over the next couple of years here for sure.
Alex: I was just gonna say, you know, I think it’s really easy to jump on the newest, brightest shiniest thing. But I think at the end of the day, it’s still really important to remember the fundamentals of marketing and branding and business building, that those transcend any generational thing that’s going on and I mean, this is crazy to think that all this time that we’ve spent hiring copywriters and doing content is essentially this could just be done by a machine.
But at the same time, I mean, the long-term ramifications of that we don’t know what Google is going to prioritize and I can’t imagine that Google is going to prioritize that content in the long run of images. It doesn’t, I mean, maybe they will, I think there’ll be a lot of manipulations to it. But what we do now and what we have heard is that I mean, true user-generated photos, those are something that you can’t recreate photos and then there’s that’s why I stock and Shutterstock is only as good as it is because somebody else can go out and use that. But when you have your own user-generated content that is really huge and building a brand and I know in my past history that has been a massive part of it. I mean, you building your brand is about giving legs to the people that are part of your brand. And your brand is also your guests, your homeowners. Let them tell your story. When you get them involved in it and they have that buy-in and they’re sharing their stories that are personal content, not ad-driven, their personal photos. That’s what speaks volumes and gets you to a much larger audience if you’re trying to do it on your own.
Stacey: I keep thinking about the individual owner, you know someone who has one, maybe two properties and maybe they’ve heard of Chat GPT maybe they haven’t. Right. And so I think sometimes tech can be extremely overwhelming for folks. And so I look at Tech as obviously the way of the future but I also look at it as a business opportunity for folks who can lean in and support others who are overwhelmed by the tech. And you know, there are so many creative ways in this industry, I believe to have service offerings that support other people. And so I really envision with the more complex tech stocks that are coming down the pike that there’s actually a business opportunity for someone to consult to support to help individual property owners build the best tech stack and the best brands without the overwhelm. So
Bart: Saying, that made complete sense to me. But also it’s a bit terrifying, right? We’re kind of saying that the whole world is going to change and it’s gonna be a 5,7 times better and it’s going to happen overnight, right? We’re talking about a few months and then it’s so overwhelming and one of the biggest struggles that I find, even in my own business is keeping on top of which tools are the most relevant to me. New tools are coming out all the time. I’m like, Ah, that’s cool. That’s cool. And I’m kind of following people and then jumping. I didn’t jump too much but you know, that sometimes you’re missing out on potential opportunities because you decided on that CRM or that PMS or that particular system, and now you’ve stuck with it or because you’ve made that decision. You stick with it. What would your advice be to people seeking out new technology for their businesses, be it for marketing be it for get experience, be it for property managers versus dentists? How’s everybody wouldn’t when you’re thinking about technology and choosing that next supplier or looking at the next solution? Are you guys using consultants to figure it out? How do you figure out where to be guided with technology? Where are you getting your information from?
Dennis: We definitely don’t use consultants at Casiola. I think the hardest part is not choosing what you want to use, but what you don’t want to use because all this software’s as a surprise, they can’t wait for the price and before you know it, you’re giving it away your whole margin on all these little tools that maybe only two or $3 a property a month but it really adds up in the end, so we try to be very careful when we select. Do we really need it? Is there any other way to do it? Also, keep in mind it’s very hard for new staff members to learn 15 Different software systems so we try to use things that are as much integrated as possible. Simon Lee man-made like big charter weeks ago on the date where he grouped all right I think it was a wheelhouse, not the same wheelhouse created that short with all those different software systems. And I started counting all the ones that we were using and I came out to 17 or 18 different vendors that we are using and we really selective, if we ever own the house to build it. We build a lot of the operational stuff ourselves and we integrate as much as possible to make it easier for our staff so they don’t need for different foods to chat or create work orders and photos. So we have that all-in-one system. And clearly, we are we using how 70,80 of the services so if you go to these conferences and you see all those vendors there they all have amazing tools and I want them all but it’s you just cancel you have to be very selective. What do you really need that is going to create the most value for your business for your owners or for your guests?
Alex: Yeah, I echo that and, you know, speaking from two different companies that were kind of aligned in the same backgrounds, at least of being property managers, but also being very tech-enabled property managers that is honestly is it that Dennis had it was his spot on it is hard to decide what things are right to invest in because there are so many different things but it sounds like it’s just a little bit when it’s $3 here or 1% there but our margins do not accommodate for multiple add ons like that. So I think trying to find a solution that bundles as much as possible is really the best way to go if you can’t build it yourself. at Costco and also condo world there are a lot of things that we built ourselves and the things that we didn’t build, we would leverage hosted systems and I think there’s a good benefit to that. But I mean the increasing demands of being professional of you know, offering consistent service they’re not insurmountable if you have the right tools and having the right tools and right systems, having them effectively put in place with the teams that can run them.
That’s That’s key. I mean, that’s going to be key to all the things we’re talking about right now how you grow, or how you enhance guest technology, how you increase your brand awareness, and how you stay more profitable. I mean, you’ve got to have the right people and you have to have the right mix of those system systems to work together. But it’s hard to do that on your own. That’s definitely the challenge unless you’re a big organization.
Bart: What I’m enjoying the most about this session is just the amount the depth of experience that everybody has to actually add value to these questions. It’s it’s incredible. I can’t explain how much I appreciate these answers because it’s blowing my mind as well but going I will move on to marketing, which is one of the questions that I think is super important, and then we’ll finish off with business. I am aware that we’ve got 10 minutes left for the panelists if you do need to shoot there, just send us a message saying hey, I’ve got to run. That’s okay. We’re gonna aim to be done in 10, 20 minutes if that’s okay with you I know that stretches a little bit, but, but it’s there’s so much value here. So marketing is an interesting one.
When we think about marketing for our businesses, there’s two sort of main parts, which are wanting to get more guests through the door but also when we’re marketing we also want to get more properties signed up over a property manager. So there’s that those sorts of parts of it. I might start off with just a quick question about marketing 2023. We are quite aware of marketing ourselves on Airbnb or putting ourselves on channels like VRBO, booking.com. How important is it for us to pay attention to marketing in 2023 as opposed to previous years?
Dennis: What when the market goes down, there’s a lot of opportunities. A lot of companies are going to cut costs and unfortunately, marketing for many is one of the first disposable posts that they can get from the balance sheet I think and that creates a lot of opportunities for other people that are investing in market there’s a lot less noise out there to reach your target. Audience. If you have the funds or you have a reserve, I would definitely say even in a down market or marketing and as much as you can because you get the benefits. When it goes up again and everybody starts doing it. You’re already one step ahead. So yeah, we don’t have it really on our schedule to slow down marketing expenses for now.
Stacey: I was just gonna say that I wholeheartedly agree with Dennis that it’s really important, even in a down market to have your brand seen and heard consistently. And again, for large property management companies. You know that is a budget line item for the individual property owner, chances are they don’t have a marketing budget. So you know, I think it’s really important to be number one creative in you know, looking at opportunities to market your business. But then also number two, making sure that you’re looking at marketing as an investment and not an expense. And that can be an investment financially or an investment in your time, but it absolutely provides a return for your business.
And then number three, I think it’s really tough for the individual property owner to come to terms with they may not be a marketing guru, right then so it is okay to go outside of your own household to get help. There are so many creative people that do social media that do emails, that are, boots on the ground, print that I mean, there’s all different ways to market your business. don’t operate in a silo, get help from other creative people and collaborate with them because that can help your business tremendously, especially during a downturn. Okay, Alex, I’m so sorry to jump in on top of you.
Alex: No, no. And that’s such a great perspective. I’m just excited to pick your brain more offline. I think when you represent more on that side and then there’s just very interesting to hear just more about it. I think it’s important to think about both sides. I mean, I come from more of the enterprise-level companies, but you know, not everybody is enterprise, right? And there are things to be learned on both sides. I know during COVID One of the things that Myrtle Beach in our destination did extremely well and that was more from good, the planning and foresight to have enough budget and reserves to be able to do this but we did not stop marketing during the pandemic we changed our message drastically that it was much more about embracing, we can’t wait to see you and we’re sharing memories of the past and, you know, getting that getting people excited and having something to look forward to but we never turned it off.
And you know, my previous role of Condo-World we never turn that off either and that really you know, that paid a lot of dividends, we took our pencil to every marketing lab item that we had and cut where we didn’t need things which was actually a really good exercise. We found a lot of services and things that we didn’t need anymore. But we still knew we had to keep that visual presence in that brand and I think you know Stacy, even for smaller operators, there’s something to be said from that. But you can’t you might not necessarily have a budget to go do a tonne of Google ads, but you can always still be present on social media for free, and if you build up enough good authentic, organic content that will become viral and that goes back to getting content from your guests from your owners. I mean like showing who you are people want to see people and you know Airbnb is faceless for most of us. We want to see people that are hospitality. And I think there’s a lot to be said there. there and don’t let the economic downturn turn you away from doing those things because this is the time actually to really focus on.
Dennis: I just want to add to also don’t think of marketing as only social media only online, our shirts, every little property manager can wear a branded shirt every single day. Every time they go out if I got a call at 2 am at night and I was in bed wearing a shirt before I walked into that home in case I needed something I would always put on my shirt. This doesn’t cost a lot in the beginning. We just bought shirts in the store and we had a nametag on top of it that was like a Tommy Hilfiger shirt with the same color and we just had the main tag on top with every single day I was wearing it all our staff was wearing it, saying when you Vance make sure that you have at least a magnet or that you can wrap them it’s a one-time investment but you’re in those homes in those communities every single day that best marketing you can have an ad it doesn’t cost a lot of money. Every small property manager can do that. And if the economy goes down or up doesn’t matter, because you already have it and it’s so powerful.
Bart: Echo I agree with all of you and I think that you have to be super mindful that marketing is an ongoing thing. You’re kind of constantly doing, you’re constantly thinking about it. You’re constantly investing in it, and you just get better and better at it with time. The one thing with marketing is consistency. So you want to keep doing the same behaviors and a much better way each time you improve on it. And then people will start to resonate with you and call I can rely on this. I trust this brand. I trust these people and that’s what really builds that, that depth to it. I do have a question and I’m gonna ask this question. We’re gonna move on to the next topic. So we’re gonna start to try to go a little bit faster. The question from one of our guests or one of the listeners is “Why do you think that short term rents in short-term rentals, there is this big push to book direct, whereas in other spaces, such as Amazon, YouTube, Shopify central folks, and folks are more comfortable operating on the platform? So basically, e-commerce versus I guess accommodation. Why are we talking more about both diets with accommodation whilst with the other platforms? It’s kind of okay, just to use them as a primary channel to drive your whole business.
Alex: I want to hear Brookes answer to this one because I think he can speak very well on it because the product that we have, he helps people get through inventory as inventory homeowners is not a commodity but Well,
Brooke: That’s funny you were I was I was actually going a different way. I was going more on the guest side but I mean, for me, it’s on you know, I think traditionally if you look at short-term vacation rentals, you know, I look back even when I started 15 years ago, 16 years ago, like there, you know, everyone was booked direct. There weren’t really any OTAs out there. So that was why that’s the way we kind of came up, but if you look at some of these newer platforms like Etsy and things like that, and more of the E-commerce you know. I guess they all and Amazon like that’s how they came up. It’s like you always use some kind of channel to help market and so I don’t know, I think a little bit more old school and I would look that a little bit differently. Alex, I appreciate your thinking.
Dennis: So for us, we are probably a different case than most property managers. We’re not part of the big book direct movements because our markets are London is so competitive. We have tried every single trick in the book. And it just cost us more money to get a booking direct than to get an OTA booking. And we have recognizable brands, strong brand goods online presence, and London markets. direct bookings are less than 5% of our overall bookings. So the top eight OTAs, are Airbnb VRBO booking.com. That’s where we get most of our bookings. Direct is just very, very hard and everything that we try costs us more than the 15 to 18% that we would have to pay to OTAs so we’re not really pushing very, very hot that we’re not spending a whole lot of money on guest marketing use the OTAs. So for that, it’s almost risk-free. You only pay them when you get a booking. We focus almost our entire marketing budget on acquisition. And yeah, right being understood, contact us to manage their home, and then that new inventory gets filled up to the OTAs almost, I’m not gonna say by itself, but it’s a lot easier and less capital intensive. Getting direct bookings.
Alex: I also think, again, just in the frame of mind of an individual property owner or someone with a handful of properties. One of the reasons why the book direct movement resonates with them is because very candidly, Airbnb a lot of times favors guests and not the owners. And so your business tends to be at risk if you have a guest that makes the claim. You know, Airbnb can directly impact your bank account very quickly. I think there was also a lot of trusts lost, you know when COVID occurred and, you know, bookings were canceled and owners didn’t have a say and when people received refunds, again for the smaller Mom and Pop type of owner who may have a very small portfolio, they want to have control over their business. And so I think that that book, the direct movement really, really resonates with them. Just my opinion. I want to
Dennis: Working now from the standpoint of a business owner guests don’t care about businesses. They saw what Airbnb did, and to be honest, we did exactly the same even before Airbnb started raising the funding for guests. We were already doing it. But guests have seen them and they say, Hey, Airbnb has our backs. If I booked direct, I may never see my money again more I need to get credit and to a place where I can’t make it any more a year from now in the next year. So I think we as an industry if we want to push that book direct movements, we just gonna have to do a much much much better job than we’re doing right now. And I’m not talking about anyone specifically but industry. I book usually vacation rentals I look on verbal or Airbnb for a nice how that I try to find the property manager direct because I actually did a booking last week I think $1,000 In price on VRMA and booking direct, but then the whole process to get booked and get the credit card in and sign the management agreement and do the ID verification. There are so many different ways barriers that they put up. That you don’t have only Airbnb with three clicks on Airbnb, you can book a new state, you don’t need to enter your credit card information anymore.
You don’t need to add your address. You don’t need to sign an agreement that’s already done. Once you have an account. You’re set up to book over and over again. We have none of the PMs systems right now that I know of support even Google Pay or Apple fee. So we’re asking every guest to type in their credit card numbers over and over again. Guests are not used to that anymore. If you refer to Amazon, it’s in there. You already forgotten about it just in one click you do a booking or place an order for a new product but for vacation rentals you have to fill out endless forms and sign agreements. So as long as we’re going to stick with that and say hey, we want to have control over our business. We’re not going to have those direct bookings, or it’s going to be a lot harder to make that shift. And I think the companies that have been booking direct as Brooke mentioned a few years ago, there was more.
But I think that direction is going the other way and it’s not going to stop companies that do maybe now 75% of their own bookings five years from now. I don’t believe they’re going to be even over 50% Those snowbirds that book already right away for the next year while doing hope of not going to be around much longer the new demographic that they are so used to Airbnb and very welcoming their accounts that you have to come up with different ways to help.
Bart: I agree with you but I also disagree with a couple of things. So the future so in five years’ time. I see a lot of hope for direct bookings, I really do otherwise I’ve probably shut down my business and right, but that whole ID and it being a one-click process is really important. So there will be services like Google and Apple which will facilitate that where they put all your details. And then it’s just like you know when you log in using your Google account, the same staff will just be the same. So you’ve got your ID already your sort of, there’ll be a universal database, and there are people working on that already. So that’s where I see the future of that. I’m going to jump in and wrap us up both because we’ve been here for a little bit over an hour and I wouldn’t be respectful of your time, but I am going to ask one last question. I’m gonna ask each of you and have it have a think about it. What are the top three things people can do to grow their short-term rental business in 2023 top three things you can get, it doesn’t matter, but up to three things that people can do to grow their short-term rental business in 2023?
Brooke: All right, I’ll go first. For me, of course, go figure. It’s growing your inventory. There are different levers obviously you can change and you can pull to kind of grow your top-line income which ends up also being your bottom-line income and the easiest lever by far I’ve done a study on this. You watch my videos on YouTube. The best lever by far is inventory acquisition. It’s just like the greatest way to grow net worth top line revenue to Kobe all and I was on stage with him at one time. He said he did over $200 million in transactions last year. And he said that the average contract value was about $34,000 per contract. So if you go out there and grow 100 properties this year, you just build about $3.4 million in net worth. So I don’t think there’s a greater lever you can pull than that.
Stacey: And a shameless plug for Brooke, if you haven’t read his book, which I’ve known Brooke for a long time I just recently ordered the book and I’ve been reading it and it really shows the metrics exactly in that formula. And it’s super important to pay attention to that. I mean, if you’ve been in the business, you know, losing one homeowner can really have drastic effects. But if you’re new to it that you know, especially as a small building, you’ve really got to keep your eye on that and marketing is twofold guests and homeowners I mean, and it’s very different tactics and metrics to do it. But I would say my advice for how to grow to 23. What Brooke said and then I would say leveraging user-generated content, focusing on finding and curating more stories from your guests, your homeowners, your investors, whichever your stakeholders may be, that you can use as your own content because I do think that despite Chat GPT, I think there’s going to be a lot of leverage and having really, truly generated content that you don’t have to write yourself or take yourself.
Dennis: I want to second what Brooks said. So inventory growth is the key for any property manager to grow their bottom line that I think that’s Secondly, also, revenue management’s watching your prices when it 23 is not winning 22 anymore. I don’t know if we don’t see 2022 anytime soon or ever again. So if you’re not constantly watching the market prices, and you think, oh, whatever I had last year plus 5% I think you’re in for a very rude awakening in 2023. So watch your prices provide great service and grow your event.
Richie: Sending you the short notice. But yeah, like I think what Alex, Dennis and Brooke said inventory is the number one lever number two lever I too because we also sell pricing. Still, shameless plug revenue management is a fantastic lever for you to pull. But overall as a team, I would say be more nimble similar to what Dennis was saying. 2022 was a different year. 2023 is going to be a very different year. Over the last four years, you’ve had quite a bit of volatility in the market. So just being that nimble, like being nimble, whether that’s about your pricing whether that’s about like Alex was saying adopting Chat GPT that that’s what’s really going to drive that growth level. So fundamentally, like, we tell this to our team every single day, having that learning mindset and being nimble is what is eventually going to drive your business growth right and then you’d find the right answer for your business.
Alex: I’m gonna give a shameless plug for price labs because not only do they make a huge difference in my own business, but PriceLabs has been a huge supporter of my community and my events. So Richie, I so appreciate you and the rest of the PriceLabs team, I really, really value what you’re doing not only for individual property managers and owners but for the greater good of the industry. So thank you. I will just say a couple of things on behalf of anyone who’s looking to purchase the property. I’m gonna say one of the biggest things to keep in mind in 2023 is to be creative. I think that there are going to be lots of opportunities where, you know, folks might have snatched up properties at the top of the market and they’re finding maybe they’re not investing into best-in-class processes and great customer service and this whole short-term rental thing just isn’t working out for them, but yet they can’t go in potentially resell it at what they’ve just purchased that property for.
I think that there’s an opportunity to do creative deals in the real estate sector there. So the key to those creative deals is an understanding that there’s a person and a problem behind that creative deal and knowing your market because when a good deal pops up if you know your market and you know your numbers, you got to snap. You got to run, run to that deal. I think the other thing too is making sure you are operating your short-term rental as a business again, we’re if we’re thinking about larger property managers, someone might think, of course, they’re operating like a business. And if we’re thinking about individual property owners, then sometimes you know there’s a little bit of grey area and so if you have 1235 10 properties, make sure you’re operating your short-term rental business as a business and that is you should be doing CEO-level activities. Leave all the day-to-day work with your team delegate to elevate what you’re doing in your business. And then last but not least, I think one of the biggest opportunities for growth is growing your network. You always see your network is your net worth and I am so incredibly grateful for you to know all the folks I have had the opportunity to have exposure to and they make difference in my real estate deals. I mean firsthand differences. So continue to grow your communities and your networks then you’ll grow as a business owner as well.
Brooke: Hey Bart, can I give a quick shout-out? I want to give a shout-out to Richie as well as PriceLabs, I actually have a friend who has three identical properties. And he put them on all the different dynamic pricing platforms that were out there. And he said by far price labs crossed all the other ones and by it was the cheapest as well. So shout out to Richie and the team and he did not pay me to say that so
Richie: Thank you so much, Brooke and Stacy. I really appreciate it.
Bart: You guys are awesome. Like so much value and look that I think there were maybe 12 Different things that people can do to increase their or to improve their growth in 2023. S super relevant, from my perspective, I echo pretty much every single thing that people have said but the whole education piece, get yourself educated and learn about these things. keep learning, keep learning because there are all these tools and all these opportunities that you might not know about. I think one of the reasons why everyone in this room is just hung around and they’re pretty happy just to keep them talking. It’s because we’re learning from each other as we go.
So, folks, Stacey Brooke, Alex, Dennis Ritchie. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for taking the time out of your day. To help people out. Thank you for participating in this event. Thank you for being part of this awesome industry. I appreciate all of you a lot. I’m hoping that we can do more of these things in the future. And keep collaborating, keep sharing. I do appreciate you massively and I think I think that’s pretty much a wrap we’ll we’ll catch you at another event soon. Thank
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