Shampoo and Booze Episode 14: Total Airbnb Gut

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In the spirit of being total gluttons for punishment, we ripped out all of our water pipes in preparation for the electricity to be shut off so the roofer can do his thing. So this really is a total gut! We even discussed ripping all the tile floors up and replacing them since they're in really bad shape. But we know from past experience that if you want something done right, you have to do it, even if it takes longer and costs more. Not everyone does business this way, as we find out talking to other rental owners. As we have acknowledged, this is not a quick flip and we are not normal business people.

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14 comments:

  1. Some ideas for marketing - these are some ways to get renters who don't necessarily know they want/need to go on vacation. Whereas relying on your listings only will attract those who are actively searching for a place to stay.

    Create a Facebook page for the farm house, even though you're not on Facebook (I'm not either) most people are and they can like/share/and most importantly "check in" at the Farm House. People really love to check in where they are and it pins in on a map, and shares it with all their friends.

    Post craigslist ads on DC craigslist directing people to the farm house airbnb listing "Rural Weekend Getaway, 2 hrs from DC"

    Tweet out something similar to the craigslist add

    Pin photos of the farm house on Pinterest from the airbnb listing

    These are all quick/easy/free and even if they don't help they certainly can't hurt.

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    1. we post on DC cl and throughout the northeast, we've had one person ever say they saw us on CL, but that's not to say people don't see us there and come to Airbnb. don't have a twitter acct for the farmhouse or facebook (started one but i just really hate facebook). and i have pinned us on pinterest.

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    2. A family in Kansas just booked a week in July from my High Rockies craigslist ad. It never ceases to amaze me the number of bookings I get from craigslist.

      Not that you need another blog, but blogging is another way to attract visitors. Sharing ideas of area attractions and such can draw business. You guys seem to be doing just fine without doing additional marketing.

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    3. i love to hear this anna. i wish we could book stuff the way you do, i'm jealous!

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    4. One thing they did in Daytona Florida was put together a guide of all the thrift shops in that area. Basically any thrift shop that you went to had this little print out of a map with all the thrift shops listed at the bottom with a corresponding dot. I used that like a bible when I was there and would have used it for other business if it was available because it's not always easy to find aggregated businesses on the internet even though a lot of information can be found.

      Maybe if you did something like that in a different context. Go to local businesses and put together a pamphlet of restaurants, attractions, places to stay etc. Then it's essentially free advertising for your place because those locations on the map have that print out and give it to customers.

      If vacationer x goes into a restaurant grabs that print out and sees your rental it might result in a booking. Who knows if it will actually generate bookings but it will at the very least establish a relationship with the other businesses in your area.

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  2. I laughed when I heard this story about the old man poking his nose into your business. When my Dad was starting his wedding venue there were a lot of people that tried to insert themselves into the process and of course threw in their 2 cents.

    It took him about 2 years to get up and running to start to book weddings etc and along the way probably 70% of the people that he spoke to either told him what he was trying to do wouldn't work or when something positive did occur they would write it off.

    I know it's a morbid way to look at it but I think a lot people are insecure and ignorant to people working hard to start a business. All you can do is surround yourself with like minded people which is easier said than done. Then of course kill the doubters with kindness. All the people that told him it wouldn't work now pay him for space at wedding shows etc so I guess the joke is on them.

    I think reaching out to Wedding Venues is a great idea. One of the main things that people look for from that perspective is a shuttle to get them from the Venue to the hotel or wherever they stay because they want to drink as much as possible. If you were able to facilitate something like that it would be game over.

    Sorry for the long winded reply but I can relate all to well with that exact scenario you described. You guys will make it work and that guy will envy the end result.

    This is my parents place which they redid entirely by themselves and repurposed everything in the Church.

    https://www.facebook.com/TheVenueCohoes/?fref=ts

    That's also my Lisa as the main pic on the red couch from the interview. Let's get some more comments people!

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    1. Agreed. I think we each have to be honest with our own vision. I always appreciate feedback and advice if it's shared in a good spirit.

      Your father's place looks amazing. Awesome that he brought a community space back to life.

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    2. we always love to pump people for info when they're "giving away free advice", like how much are they making each year, how they clean, how they market. so it's not bad to talk to those folks. but sometimes it just makes you feel like you need to take a bath afterwards. no passion, lots of complaining and saying how they wish things were better etc etc. we take it with a grain of salt (or many grains of salt).

      the wedding venue your dad runs is so amazing. i'm glad he never listened to the naysayers!

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    3. I agree my Dad is the same way. He will talk to a tree if it responded to him lol. You basically have to talk to everyone to weed out the people that like to hear themselves speak to find the people that actually know what they are talking about. He's established a lot of good relationships along the way. It's even worse for me when I am there helping him because I am in my 20's so all the older guys like to tell me the meaning of life. Now I just build up their ego and tell them how smart they are it's pretty funny.

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  3. When you install new plumbing you should consider using Pex pipe. When I did my flip I replumbed it with Pex piping. Check out familyhandyman.com which is a readers digest magazine/website and they have great info on Pex.

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    1. Good suggestion. We used Pex on our two other houses and plan to do the same for this one. Good stuff.

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  4. I'm curious why that guy's cabin on the river isn't making a profit. Either he gets very few bookings or has a huge mortgage on it..maybe both? I would have asked him! LOL We may not learn what how to run a business from these types, but we can learn how NOT to run one. :)

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    1. I asked all these questions. His problem is trying to book solely through his own website. He doesn't want to pay the fees to rent through Airbnb or HomeAway.

      He also have a page of rules and extra fees for guests. I think that approach scares off people looking for a fun vacation.

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  5. In regards to the call about insurance, Jay and Ryanne hit the nail on the head so to speak. When I worked on my flip, my agent gave me special renters insurance because it wasn't my primary residence while I fixed it up.

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