237. 5 Quick Tips for Leveling Up Your Listing

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 [00:00:00] Annette: Hello, welcome back for the great episode. My name is Sarah Karakaian.

I am Annette Grant, and together we are–

[00:00:05] Both Sarah and Annette: Thanks for Visiting. 

[00:00:06] Sarah: All right. We’re going to kick off this show by sharing some awesome listeners short-term rentals, but we’re going to do it a little differently today. Right, Annette?

[00:00:14] Annette: Yes. Our STRShareSunday, we’re having a little bit of a remix this week, but we’re really excited about it. What we want to do is first share @levelupyourlisting. Again, that’s @levelupyourlisting. And this whole episode is a recap of the event that we just attended in Scottsdale with all of the guests that are on the show today. They are remote guests. They are calling in, but we want to share this event.

And the two lovely ladies, Natalie Palmer and Tatiana Taylor Tate, they just crushed this live event. The word on the street is it will be back in 2024. So be on the lookout, but please give them a follow @levelupyourlisting. And we are going to get onto this episode. What it is, every guest on the show today, they are going to share their big takeaway from this event. And each one of our guests, they are going to share their Instagram handle. So please give them a follow. So we are going to do a multitude of sharing today. Sarah, who’s up first?

[00:01:13] Sarah: Yeah. Okay. So up first we have Amber.

[00:01:17] Amber: Hi, this is Amber, co-owner of Big Buckle Mountain Homes, where we host and co-host vacation homes in Colorado. We took home many great tips and tricks on incorporating social media into our homes.

One of the best tips was to link any instructional or informational clips in the home to our Instagram. For example, we have a 22nd clip on how to operate the fire pit, open and close the hot tub, or put together the ping pong table. We’re going to move these to our Instagram account so that when guests scan the code to watch the video, they’re taken to our Instagram and it encourages them to be familiar with and tag Big Buckle Mountain Homes and their vacation postings. 

As we grow our business, we’re striving to become more organized in our business week. Currently, we feel the pressure to create social media content daily. One of the tips we took away from the conference was later.com. This is a platform that will allow you to create numerous social media posts or content and schedule them to be delivered on future dates.

I believe this will help us schedule one moment during the week to sit down and focus on social media creation. Thirdly, we were able to connect with representatives of many of the platforms we currently use. This opened doors for us to connect on social media through our Instagram and Facebook, and discuss opportunities for mutual media sharing when we highlight their products. Overall, the conference was a great way to connect and build relationships with other short-term vacation hosts.

[00:02:40] Sarah: I love all the takeaways that Amber shared with us. One tip that I want to just elaborate on is that first one, taking you back to Instagram to have them engage with you. One step further, if you have a direct booking website where you could also grab their email address and maybe a special offer if they’re the first time that they’re arriving to your website and having your videos live there would also be a really good tip.

[00:03:05] Annette: We should have done this at the intro, but listeners, the reason we chose these specific voices to let us know their largest takeaway from the event is they are members of our Hosting Business Mastery membership, and we got to connect with them in person over the three days.

So there were lots of learning, obviously nightly meetups after to discuss all the things. But we had such a great conversation on the final evening of the event that we were like, wait a second. Sarah and I like to do recaps of live events that we go to, and we’re like, they had so many great takeaways.

We’re like, we want to have you on the show and share your takeaways with all of the listeners. So I just wanted to give a little bit of background on why these lovely ladies are the ones telling, um, their takeaways. Because there were hundreds of women at the conference and I’m sure they, I mean, we could have episodes for weeks, about the takeaways, but that’s why we specifically chose these women.

Okay, next up we have Tanya. And Tanya was a huge help on our live event. So I just want to give her an extra shout out here because she was very, very important in the live event that Sarah and I conducted. Tanya’s Instagram is @YYHMinnesota. Again, that’s YYHMinnesota, and we will have links to all the ladies’ Instagram in the show notes.

[00:04:19] Sarah: It stands for. Yay, you’re here, which I thought is so cute. All right, here’s Tanya and her take.

[00:04:24] Tanya: Hi, I’m Tanya Rooney. My Instagram handle is Tanya Rooney MN. I’m in Hosting Business Mastery Method Mastermind. And I think the biggest takeaway that I had was how much design matters in your short term rentals and that it actually can drive up some of the ADR that you have. 

So I think the biggest thing that I took away is just that I can actually do some work on my rentals and make them– like there’s actually one that I really want to revamp because it was the first one I ever did and it’s just kind of average and I think I need to work on making it better than my own home.

So that was one big takeaway was that people book short-term rentals because they want to be at a place that’s better than their own home. So my biggest action item is I’m revamping one. I took measurements of every bedroom and a living room and a hallway, and we’re going to add in some cool wow factors.

I’m going to redo a living room and then make sure that the decor get revamped in a couple of the bedrooms, like it’s a five bedroom, three bathhouse. 

[00:05:29] Sarah: Yeah, Tanya. And then hopefully everyone knows too, obviously we are partnered with Minoan and we use them, love them. And I know Tanya will be shopping through Minoan to make sure that she can get tons and tons of discounts on those revamps that she’s not paying retail for all of those wow factors she plans on putting in her home.

[00:05:48] Annette: And the one thing that I love that Tanya pointed out was like, hey, this was my first one. What happens is you get going, you get started, you get those bookings, and it’s hard to close your calendar down because it’s revenue.

But I love that she has the foresight like, hey, I might have to slow down to speed up here and make an investment. But her average daily rate, like she’s going to make more money by making these changes. And I love that she’s excited. I mean, obviously she’s taking action already. I think we’ve been home for like four days, so good job, Tanya, there. But I know you’re out there listeners, the ones that are like, yeah, I really should fix that or replace that. This is your sign. This is your sign to make that reinvestment. It will pay off. All right, next up we have Chelsea.

[00:06:35] Chelsea: You can follow my Instagram @thedigs.co. Also on Facebook at digs co vacation rentals. My biggest takeaway was actually the keynote speaker at the very end of the summit, who was April Brown from the Netflix series Motel makeover. We actually loved watching that show, and it was great to see her in person and talk about her experience, growing her motel business and being motelier. 

She kept repeating a phrase, which is not a foreign concept to me, but as we’re growing our business and making sure that we’re maximizing our efforts, her phrase delegate or automate. What are you delegating? What are you automating was a big one for me. I’ve delegated a lot as we’ve been growing, but I think it was nice to hear no matter what scale you are, no matter how big your operation is, you still have to have those things come into play. And I’ve actually implemented this already. I’ve delegated our newest employee who is taking over all of our safety inspections. Great to see you guys. See you soon in Nashville.

[00:07:38] Sarah: Thank you so much, Chelsea. We love that takeaway. We also give you permission. There are so many moving parts and pieces in running a short-term rental. And if you ever feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath. Write the things down that you’re doing in your business. Take a log first for a little while and then you can look at it. We call it a brain dump, and you can look at it and see is there anything there that you can automate without losing those personal touches. Is there anything that you can delegate and maybe provide someone with some extra money in their life and free up some time for you to just have some more head space? 

So I just take myself back to what you just feel like everything’s just caving in around you because there’s so many spinning plates and you’re like, how do I start taking control over this a little bit? And for me it was brain dumping and seeing it all on paper and then taking it kind of one by one.

[00:08:33] Annette: That phrase is very popular and there’s sometimes a third word attached to it. So automate, delegate. The word I like the best that people add on is eliminate. Also sometimes, there’s things you can also just eliminate them from your list. If they’ve been on there forever and there’s something that’s really not necessary and it’s bothering you and adding more to your plate, you can eliminate it for a little while until it’s time to bring it back on.

[00:08:57] Sarah: Yeah. 

[00:08:57] Annette: All right. Last up. We have Ms. Stacy Race.

[00:09:02] Stacy: Hi, I am Stacy Perretti Race. And my properties are just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. I absolutely loved the conference, um, and what I learned there. I will have to say, although it wasn’t the sexiest of sessions, uh, the two key takeaways that I had. The first from Proper Insurance, finding out that my umbrella policy does not cover me liability-wise if it’s a business activity.

And then I learned a lot about deductions in the tax session that I need to speak with my CPAs about because I think I’m missing out on some deductions that are, uh, applicable to my. Other than that, I just love the whole atmosphere of it all that it was geared toward women. And the cherry on top was being able to spend some great time with three of my best friends in this business that I met through HBMM.

And I want to thank you guys for connecting all of us as you do. We’ve formed a great friendship and community just from being in this business and learning from you guys together. If anyone would like to check out my properties, my Instagram handles are Sleepy Lagoon LA and LaCroix Covington. That’s L-A_C-R-O-I-X Covington. Thanks so much, guys.

[00:10:19] Sarah: She’s got beautiful properties. 

[00:10:21] Annette: Yes. Stacy’s crushing it. And obviously, Stacy just brought up two really important things. We will circle back on specifically if we can get proper on to discuss what Stacy is mentioning. But until that time, if you want to reach out to Proper, we will put their link in the show notes. 

If what Stacy just said about her personal umbrella policy and her property being separate, that’s a business, and then her personal liability, I am sure that Proper, if you want to discuss some things like that, if you want to reach out to them, get a quote from them, make sure that you are doing apples to apples comparison. Huge red flag right now. If you don’t have short-term rental insurance, then we really want you to reach out to Proper today.

But, Stacy, thanks for bringing that up. And then what she mentioned about her tax person, please let your tax person know exactly what you’re doing with your property and also what you plan to do with your portfolio in the future. You can’t just keep them siloed in what you’re doing today. Let them know the whole future of your grand plans with your whole short-term rental portfolio. But Sarah, let’s talk about our takeaways. 

[00:11:25] Sarah: Yeah. My takeaways is, someone said this too at the conference, I think it was Tatiana, one of the hosts. And she reminded all of us at the conferences or anything that you do, it’s what you decide to take from it. You can show up, and that’s really half the battle. You then have to make the most of that situation. 

And I really love that because Annette encouraged me when we go someplace, we set intentions. What do we want to get out of this experience? Because you could show up and never go to any of the sessions, or we go to sessions, but not really be checked in.

And so anything you do that you decide to give at your time, show up with intention. And for me, it was just these little reminders of how important it is to revisit my operational systems and processes. I did love the tax discussion because we’re in this for, yes, because we love hosting and hospitality, but what a great benefit that we get to do it through real estate. And uh, she had some really great reminders there. So we’ll definitely have some more tax discussions this year, Annette, I think, on the show. 

[00:12:27] Annette: Yeah. Speaking of taxes and live events, if you’re running your hosting business like a business to go to these summits, these are tax write-offs. You can write off this travel. So please, that is a huge reason you want to open up that LLC, you want to open up that points credit card for your hosting business. So that’s something obviously the tax representative there was chatting about as like, let’s make sure that you’re separating your personal and your business, so you can write these things off. Because some people had booked their hotel, they booked their flight on their personal and it gets muddy. You don’t want to do that. 

And I think for us, everyone there was like really taking their business seriously, which was so exciting. A lot of people were transitioning from maybe hosting part-time to full-time. A lot of people wanting to get into co-hosting. But it just reminded Sarah and I that like getting out, getting to live events, connecting with the hosting community is really important. It got us fired up. 

We are in the works right now of bringing our live event back this year, so please be on the lookout for that. But try to put something on your calendar where you can connect with other hosts. The hosting community is really important. It’s important that we get out, we meet fellow hosts and not only uplevel your own listing, but it’ll help uplevel the whole entire hosting community.

[00:13:42] Sarah: With that, I am Sarah Karakaian.

[00:13:44] Annette: I am Annette Grant, and together we are–

[00:13:46] Both Sarah and Annette: Thanks for Visiting. 

[00:13:47] Sarah: We’ll talk to you next time.