Hospitable Hosts
Some of the Hospitable Hosts authors

Hospitable Hosts discuss their careers as rentalpreneurs

Worldwide: STRz speaks to some of the ‘rentalpreneurs’ who contributed to the inaugural Hospitable Hosts book published in May this year, including its creator, Jodie Stirling.

Andrew Hanson, Pond Life Rentals [USA]:

  • Please introduce yourself and your business.

I’m Andrew Hanson, the co-founder of Pond Life Rentals, a vacation rental management company and owner of CS Companies, which is a family of specialised companies in the real estate industry.

  • Why did you want to contribute to Hospitable Hosts in the first place?

I wanted to help educate and inspire others in the industry, to show others that it doesn’t matter what your background is that if you go out and work hard you can rise to the top!

  • What does it mean to you personally to be a ‘rentalpreneur’?

This means everything to me, especially just being a recent nominee for the ‘2022 Entrepreneur of the Year‘ here in New Hampshire. To me, it means that you have several different businesses and are making an impact in many ways on your local economy, all while having the ability to serve others and make an impact on their lives.

  • What is one notable passage or story from the book that readers should look out for in your contribution?

The section where I share my top five quick tips for new hosts and property managers that are planning to get into this industry. This is a must-read section of the chapter!

  • If you had just one piece of advice to give to prospective or new hosts, what would it be? Or looking back in hindsight, what would you have done differently as a host starting out if anything?

My advice would be to go out and buy Hospitable Hosts. That would be a great start with over 40 expert authors giving out their advice, then start to network and join like-minded groups and masterminds that can help you expand your context and reality. The best way to start is just that “Start” and you can figure out the rest on the journey!

Tatianna Taylor-Tait, Tatianna Taylor-Tait Ltd [Canada]:

  • Please introduce yourself and your business.
My name is Tatianna Taylor-Tait and I am an award-winning designer and marketing specialist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. With extensive experience in both interior design and real estate, I now work with clients from all over the world, sharing my knowledge and skills to help individuals design beautiful spaces while increasing their Airbnb profits and short-term rental returns.
  • Why did you want to contribute to Hospitable Hosts in the first place?
I wanted the opportunity to share my story and inspire anyone who may have felt lost or found themselves along a similar journey. Hosting has truly changed my life for the better and I feel so grateful for the connections and community it has built
for me.
  • What does it mean to you personally to be a ‘rentalpreneur’?
The freedom and ability to fulfil my creative passions every day. As a ‘rentalpreneur’, you tend to wear a variety of different ‘hats’ where no single day, property or project is always the same, which, if I’m being honest, tends to be my absolute favourite part about this business. I love from one moment I could be focusing on design, the next delighting guests, or even negotiating new deals. Whatever the day, I wake up excited and ready to embrace any growth or experience that is coming my way.
  • What is one notable passage or story from the book that readers should look out for in your contribution?
With every guest, I have had a unique interaction, and each has been a gift. They have helped me to discover myself, in their own, unique way. Including good and bad, they have culminated in an experience of true discovery, where my path in life has been defined. and I will forever be grateful to my guests for the gift they have given me, and the transformation that this has had on my life.
  • If you had just one piece of advice to give to prospective or new hosts, what would it be? Or looking back in hindsight, what would you have done differently as a host starting out if anything?
Just start & don’t let yourself get consumed with doubt. As with anything new, there are often steep learning curves and inevitable challenges that will surface along the way. Education is crucial, so I would encourage you to research the rules and regulations in your city, or find a mentor with enough experience to ensure you do not make the same mistakes that many of us hosts have made before!

Tracey Northcott, Tokyo Family Stays [Japan]:

  • Please introduce yourself and your business.
Tokyo Family Stays – a true local home experience in Tokyo. We understand what it is like to live like a local in this truly magical
city. We provide you with the information and the tools to thrive. Tracey Northcott Consulting – Short Term Rental guest
experience specialist. I help hosts using my Whole Hearted Host methods to get booked in a crowded market without discounting.
  • Why did you want to contribute to Hospitable Hosts in the first place?

I wanted to tell my story and hopefully inspire other hosts that despite setbacks, you can rebuild after a disaster.

  • What does it mean to you personally to be a ‘rentalpreneur’?
Understanding the local nuances of your community and looking for ways to add value to your business and guest experiences through solving problems.
  • What is one notable passage or story from the book that readers should look out for in your contribution?
What you have done has added more value to your family and community than simply earning a paycheck.
  • If you had just one piece of advice to give to prospective or new hosts, what would it be? Or looking back in hindsight, what would you have done differently as a host starting out if anything?
Take pride in the business brand you are building and create an identity and vision that is unique to your properties, your guests and your values. I want to give hosts the permission, the tools and the courage to make choices that suit their markets.

Toby Dore, Cajun Stays [USA]:

  • Please introduce yourself and your business.
My name is Toby Dore and I am the owner and founder of Cajun Stays, a short-term rental management company in Lafayette, Louisiana, USA.
  • Why did you want to contribute to Hospitable Hosts in the first place?
I really like the cause / charities. I had been thinking for years about writing a full-length book but am currently involved in too many other projects. I think my story is unique and I thought this would be a great springboard into the goal of authoring one or more other books in the future.
  • What does it mean to you personally to be a ‘rentalpreneur’?
I started hosting when Airbnb was only about one year in existence. Within a year, I was managing multiple homes utilising all three models of management, while also renting out my car and bicycle and travelling around the world staying in other people’s Airbnb properties.
  • What is one notable passage or story from the book that readers should look out for in your contribution?
​My tip about making sure that you educate yourself on the local regulations for short-term rentals in your area.
  • If you had just one piece of advice to give to prospective or new hosts, what would it be? Or Looking back in hindsight, what would you have done differently as a host starting out if anything?
Start slow, start small. Attend conferences and join Facebook groups. Join an accelerator programme. Learn the business before
scaling. I probably would have invested in fewer properties and higher-end but budget travel was my thing at the time so I don’t regret turning my house into a mini hostel.

Sean McGregor, SWAP CoHosting [USA]:

I am the chief experience officer of Stay Work And Play or SWAP CoHosting for short. SWAP CoHosting has over 2,400 reviews, our SuperHosts have had a 4.96 star rating since 2018, and SWAP is so confident in the experience provided that it offers a five-star guarantee where no commission is owed if a guest leaves anything other than a five-star review.

I joined the Hospitable Hosts project because of the incredible people involved in the project that I had previously learned from and befriended. I also had an interesting story to share about running a three-location coliving / coworking community for digital nomads and solo travellers in Austin, Texas, that my better half Lindsey and I ran remotely while travelling around the world with our son.
Once Covid made the idea of strangers sharing a sleeping area a really terrible idea, we used the experience we gained in remotely running our properties to pivot to cohosting so we could help owners from around the USA get the most out of their
properties while also providing an amazing experience to their guests.
To me, being a Hospitable Host is all about understanding that this might be our guests’ only trip all year, their only time to be with this group of friends / family all year, and that I need to make sure their experience is an incredible one so they can be the hero of their group for booking such a great venue.
In my chapter, I detail some of the methods used by SWAP to host homes readers have never seen before, in places they’ve never been to before, for owners they’ve never met before, while being thousands of miles away and still having the confidence to offer a five-star guarantee.
A huge thing I learned from Lindsey when we first started dating is that travel is only expensive if you are paying for two places when you go on a trip. Instead, if you rent out your home while you travel, your home will almost always pay for itself and your trip.
For anyone interested in getting started in hosting, rent out your home while you are away. It is a simple way to get started, plus you’ll likely get a free trip while also gaining valuable hosting experience.

Lizzie, Owl Valley Glamping [UK]:

  • Please introduce yourself and your business.

Hi, I’m Lizzie and I am a co-owner of Owl Valley Glamping, situated in North Devon, UK.

  • Why did you want to contribute to Hospitable Hosts in the first place?

My main reason for contributing to Hospitable Hosts was because the idea of the book made me really excited. It’s something really unique and it really intrigued me.

  • What does it mean to you personally to be a ‘rentalpreneur’?

To me, being a ‘rentalpreneur’ gave my family and I the time and freedom to be together and help make some lifelong dreams a reality.

  • What is one notable passage or story from the book that readers should look out for in your contribution?

Whilst we may not be the biggest or the most experienced, we are just ‘normal’ people who have jumped in with both feet and are enjoying the process.

  • If you had just one piece of advice to give to prospective or new hosts, what would it be? Or looking back in hindsight, what would you have done differently as a host starting out if anything?

My one piece of advice is don’t sweat the small stuff. Not everything is going to go the way you wished, hoped or planned for and that’s okay. Also, hosting can at times feel like a really lonely profession – social media is your friend, network and connection. You’ll find the most amazing community of crazy, knowledgeable individuals to help guide you and be your biggest cheerleaders along the way.

 

Jodie Stirling – “the visionary behind the book”

Stirling knows that being hospitable is about ensuring her guests have a wonderful experience, not just a place to lay their heads. She had the vision to share her story and the stories of others from around the world about their passion for the short-term rental industry. Each author shares their journey of how they got to where they are in the industry and who their most memorable guests were. Hospitable Hosts is also an education tool as each author shares their top tips to inspire others.

Since the book launched on Amazon in May, it has become a number one best seller, creating a global community of like-minded professionals that organises celebrations, meet ups and collaborations as a result of the project.

Boostly, I-PRAC, SUPERHOG, Operto, Invested Talent, BNB Amplify sponsored the project. All proceeds from the sale of the book have been donated to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London and WarChild.

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