How I Built a 60-Door Rental Company on 100% Referrals (Episode 365)

The Truth About Short-Term Rental Tech: You Can’t Do It All at Once!

Today’s expert guest is Colleen Chrien, a hyper-engaged member of our Hosting Business Mastery Method, mom of four young kids, and owner of Picket Fence Properties and Fully Furnished Charleston where she manages a portfolio of 38 long-term rentals and 21 furnished rentals – a mix between short, mid, and long term listings.

We learn all about how she launched her business and landed in Charleston as a long term hub of operations, detail a few pain points on her initial projects, and unpack mindset shifts inspired by challenging life events – how she’s shifted her business goals to align with her vision of the future. 

Make no mistake, what we have here today is a true superhero of hosting. Colleen’s a one-woman show, and gets super honest with us about the bottlenecks that she’s identified, from how she’s gone about adding to her team, to the brutal truth about the tidal wave of emerging tech in our industry — there’s no magic button to press!

Her candidness about the journey is a fresh counter to social media’s insistence on impossible “passive income” and “set-it-and-forget-it” narratives. In this industry, we work! And we’re proud of it. We know you’ll be as inspired by Colleen’s story as we are.

(00:01:23) #STRShareSunday: @dellcollective

  • Winning with great photos and video walkthrough
  • Chandeliers in the barn – you’ve got to see it!
  • Blogging as a sub-brand to tell a larger story 

(00:03:46) Introducing HBMM VIP: Colleen Chrien

(00:10:07) The Evolution of Fully Furnished Charleston

  • 38 long-term rentals and 21 furnished rentals
  • Diversifying into short-term rental management
  • Meeting her cleaning team at Crossfit   
  • Getting valuable experience working on a cleaning team
  • Blurring the lines between partner and contractor 
  • Benefits of joining a business networking group

(00:19:11) Rental Company Hiring, Operations & Business Goals 

  • Filling her own skill set gaps with new hires 
  • Investing time and money into herself and her business
  • How her husband’s cancer diagnosis changed her mindset 
  • Colleen details a big shift in her goals 
  • Prioritizing her STR vs. long term rental business
  • Leaning into the magic of hosting and hospitality   

(00:27:36) Colleen’s Short-Term Rental Tech Stack Tips

  • Honest take on implementing tech tools 
  • Check out Hospitable, PriceLabs, and Breezeway
  • Managing tech overwhelm 
  • Using Buildium for long term listings 
  • Mass of readily available support in the STR space
  • Healthy mindset tips to avoid unfair comparisons
  • Bonus points for a great SEO brand name

Download a transcript of this episode.




This week’s #STRShareSunday spotlight shines on Dell Collective Unique Boutique Getaways. With cozy accommodations and all the modern luxuries you could wish for, Dell Collective is the perfect place to unwind. Their Instagram account is a must-see attraction, boasting incredible photography and a professionally produced tour video. Even better, these hosts have built a stunning direct booking site to showcase their space. Come for the amazing photography, but stay for an animal experience in a chandelier-lit barn (yes!).

We would love to feature YOU, so don’t forget to use #STRShareSunday to get your chance!

Together, Annette & Sarah are the dynamic duo behind the wildly popular podcast Thanks For Visiting, co-creators of the Hosting Business Mastery Method, & seasoned short-term-rental hosts.

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