When I travel I always like to stay in vacation rentals, but until recently I hadn't even so much as created an account on Airbnb, much less actually stayed in an Airbnb home. I needed to end that streak.And when planning my visit to New York City -- pretty much the bubbling cauldron of the shared economy -- I figured it would be ...

My mom always taught me it was good to have backup plans. So to get your listing site non-dependence initiatives in 2016 off to a good start, I wanted to share with you three tactics that members of our Inner Circle community have used to build a stronger, more sustainable vacation rental business.1. Export With so many changes in the vacation rental industry ...

Many years ago, a mentor turned me on to a New Year's exercise that changed the way I write resolutions. The idea is to choose three (and only three) words that define your goals for the coming year. And the power behind choosing just three memorable words is in forcing yourself to drill down to the true roots of your desires. For instance, ...

Paul Prudhomme was a larger than life creole chef known for inventing blackened seasoning...a recipe/technique that went on to become a staple on every restaurant chain menu in America (albeit with varying degrees of authenticity).Chef Paul passed away earlier this month, so it was with a special gravitas that I sat at the head of a giant back-room table at K-Pauls (his flagship ...

"I need to fly to New Orleans."The realization literally woke me up on Tuesday of last week.It was like 4:30am.And although it was early, I was surprisingly alert and laser focused.Without any real planning or phone calls, I logged onto Kayak.Found a last minute flight to New Orleans.And began asking myself some questions...​Why Am I So Interested In PMs? Property Managers are dramatically ...

Two of the biggest challenges in building archetypes and frameworks for vacation rentals are that (1) the industry is so new that limited data is available and (2) us hosts are all so darn different.A $70/night cabin in Pigeon Forge has entirely different operational needs from a $500/night penthouse in Tokyo.And a 60-year old mom of three has entirely different operational skills and ...

When I first moved down to Central America, it was because I wanted to avoid the rat race of corporate America. Most of my friends were entering jobs in DC and New York and while I knew that wasn’t for me, I didn’t exactly know what was. And so I connected with an alumn from my school who basically took me under his ...

In 2011, Google hired a third-party market research firm to survey some 5,000 people upon purchasing items in 11 different industries ranging from cars to toaster ovens to burritos. The innovative theme gleaned from all this research became what’s now semi-famously known as the “Zero Moment Of Truth” (they published a book on it too[1. Winning The Zero Moment Of Truth: a free, ...

I’ve had the honor of working for the past few months alongside Rachael Plitch, a student at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, to determine the booking behavior of vacation rental travelers. We surveyed 124 of your guests to learn how they search for vacation rentals and how they ultimately chose yours. Understanding what travelers are looking for — we believe — can help ...

Image: kanate at FreeDigitalPhotos.net I can’t tell you how many negative guest reviews I read that feature the word “unprofessional.” The only problem is, professionalism can mean a lot of things to a lot of vacation rental hosts. To some, being professional simply means being honest and acting with integrity. To others, it means hotel-quality toiletries, a personal website and branding campaign, or ...

As owners and managers, we’re constantly looking for ways to make our property stand out. And the first step — getting professional photos (if you don’t already have them) — is not rocket science: You choose a photographer. You hire them. You pay them. You publish the photos. And you watch your inquiries increase. [thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]Note: It still astounds me how many ...