Direct Booking Simplified Podcast – EP02 – Growing to 50% direct bookings with consistency, cadence, and value with Allie Fugatt

On this episode, Allie Fugatt, Short term rental host turned boutique hotel expert walks us through how she grew from 0% to 50% direct bookings in just 6 months.

Podcast Summary

In the realm of short-term rental entrepreneurship, few stories are as inspiring as that of Allie Fugatt. Within a mere 18 months, she catapulted her rental empire from ground zero to an impressive 54 rental doors. What’s more remarkable is her strategy: harnessing the power of direct bookings through an ingenious social media campaign. By targeting her ideal guests – typically middle-aged women traveling with family or friends – Allie achieved a staggering 50% direct bookings within just 6 months.

Central to Allie’s success was her meticulous social media strategy, a well-oiled machine designed to attract and engage her target audience. Consistency was her mantra. Through regular postings showcasing her properties and sharing valuable content such as local tips and events, she cultivated a loyal following. This wasn’t a one-woman show, though. Allie understood the importance of delegation and collaboration. With a dedicated team handling various tasks from social media management to email marketing, she was able to scale her efforts efficiently.

But Allie’s triumph isn’t just about numbers; it’s about mindset and methodology. Her advice resonates beyond the realm of short-term rentals: stay consistent, add value, and set ambitious goals. Tools like AI writing assistants and task management platforms were instrumental, but it was her unwavering commitment to embodying the identity she aspired to that truly set her apart. As she eyes further expansion and ventures into commercial properties in 2024, Allie’s journey serves as a beacon of inspiration for entrepreneurs everywhere, reminding us that with strategy, dedication, and a dash of innovation, the sky’s the limit.

Essential Highlights

  • Allie Fugatt is a short-term rental coach who scaled from 0 to 54 rental doors in just 18 months using direct bookings as a major driver.
  • For her rental management company’s portfolio, she was able to achieve 50% direct bookings within 6 months by consistently posting valuable content on social media aimed at her ideal guest avatar – typically middle-aged women traveling with family/friends.
  • Her social media strategy focused on 1) Consistently posting about her properties 2) Adding value by sharing tips, local events/activities etc. that guests would find useful 3) Promoting her brand and driving traffic back to her website
  • She built a team to execute this, with specific roles like social media management, blogging, email marketing etc.
  • Tools she used included AI writing assistants like ChatGPT/Jasper, monday.com for team task management, Facebook’s Meta Suite for scheduling posts, and Stayfi for email capture.
  • Key advice: Stay consistent, have a regular cadence, focus on adding value. Embody the identity you want to step into. Set specific, ambitious goals and write them down daily.
  • Her goals for 2024 include further expanding her management company and acquiring more commercial properties.

The main takeaways were her structured approach to leveraging social media for direct bookings through consistent valuable content tailored to her ideal guest persona. Building a focused team and using productivity tools enabled systematizing this process.

Follow Allie on her social media accounts @she_hosts_blueridge


The tactics that I use like anyone can use and that I don’t have like Thousands of followers.  So I want to make that really clear. I think it’s about consistency and cadence , I think those are the two things that  contributed to my success in this.


folks, welcome to direct book and simplified where we simplify direct bookings and make attainable for all hosts. I’m your host Gil Chan. And on today’s podcast, we have Allie Fugen. She’s a short term rental coach and she has a boutique hotel expert. She scaled from 0 to 54 doors in a very short period of time, and she’s nailed how to get consistent direct bookings.

Today, she’s going to break down how she got from 30 to 50 percent direct bookings in a matter of six months. So let’s dive in. 


hey, Allie. Welcome to our show. It’s really good to have you here. 

Thanks for having me. I’m super excited to be here. 

Well, we met what, when was it? Like sometime mid last year.

And you talked to me about your journey through direct bookings and some of the stuff that you’re doing at SDR secrets. And I was, I was like, this is someone I want to get to know a lot more and really, I’m They were the picked her brain on it. So I’m very pleasured to have the chance to have you on as a guest and be able to pick your brain on everything direct bookings and more.

Yeah, absolutely. And it’s been a pleasure to know you and like see your growth through all of this. It’s been so exciting. 

Yeah. I think since we first chatted. I was still working my W2 job and I always had this passion of starting something on my own. And when I was starting to talk to folks about direct bookings, it always felt like a really big wall to, to climb over first, like setting up your site.

And then, and then everything that goes around it, it’s not just about your direct booking sites, but it’s like how you drive traffic back in there. So I’m like, I’m very, very passionate about just helping people get through that whole process and really nail some, some really solid bookings, but also like build a long lasting brand for themselves that really pays dividends over time.

So again, Ali, I’m, I’m really appreciative for you to be part of that journey. 

Yeah, absolutely. This is exciting. I have a passion for the direct booking side too, and the growth that it’s helped with our company and continues to help with us like transitioning off of those platforms. 

Yeah. I think when, when I first like met you, you had a really solid month in, in direct bookings.

I think you were, this is close to mid summer, I believe. And if I remember correctly, you had close to 50 percent direct bookings on, on some of your properties.  Is it was, was that right? 

Yeah. Our port are just our, so for just the background, we, we have a short term rental portfolio. We have a management company that we do, and then we also own a hotel.

And so just for, um, the short term rental space last summer, we had a 50%,  um, direct bookings across our portfolio. 

So that’s not just one property that’s across the board, 


Wow. That’s amazing. That’s amazing. Uh, I definitely want to. Kind of have you walk through some of the, the, the strategies that you think about and how you got to, to that journey.

Do you mind kind of kind of getting us caught up and giving our guests a sense of kind of who you are and kind of what, what you’ve done in the space? 

Yeah, absolutely. Uh, so my name is Allie Fugatt and, uh, we are in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Uh, so my husband and I started this journey in 2021. And when we started, we were just like everybody else, kind of like on that long term rich dad, poor dad play.

Um, and so that was taking us down, um, obviously the long term rental journey. Um, we were doing the BRRRR strategy, and, uh, we thought that that was going to be the path, um, for us. And whether we were BRRRRing it to sell it and make a quick profit, or Um, however, um, I myself was just not excited about the model. 

We, I wanted to get out of our jobs as quickly as we could, and 400  a month off of a long term rental was not exciting for me because that was literally like, What the, Oh, you know, after overhead, that was what we were seeing on our long term rentals, uh, per unit. And I was like, this is not okay. Um, this is not, this is gonna, it’s going to take so many of these for, to get both of us out of our job.

And so I just started kind of becoming a connoisseur of different real estate methods. And I fell upon a podcast, short term real secrets podcast,  and I just.  I, I listened to other short term mental podcasts at the time, but, um, you know, just like anything in life, it’s about who you resonate with. And I just really resonated with short term secrets.

After  I listened to that podcast, I sent it to my husband. I was like, you got to hear this. I’m like super bought in. And that was like. the beginning of our short term rental journey. And, um, we joined STR Secrets in August of 2021. And, um, 18 months later, my husband and I had both retired from our jobs within that period.

Um, and we had went from zero to 54 doors for short term rentals, which included, um, our hotel portfolio.  

Wow. That’s a, that’s an amazing journey. I, I had the same kind of realization. I didn’t, I didn’t grow quite as quickly as you did, but I also did longterms for quite a while and I don’t know, I got bored with it.

Um,  and similar to you, I was like, Oh, I’m only making like a couple hundred dollars per property and you’re spending, you’re spending the energy into it. And I was like, how do I scale this one faster? And two, how do I make this more interesting? And it probably took me another two years until I got into from longterm into short terms.

But I’m so glad I did like some people don’t like the guest communications and, and the whole process of getting everything all staged out. But like, to me, that’s actually very thrilling. That’s a really big part of it. So that that really resonates. 

Absolutely. I think and it took us a little bit too. So like we started our real estate journey in like 2019.

Um, and that’s when we bought our first, our technically, I guess our first one was in 2016. Um, we bought a live in flip that we did ourselves, right? So it was like, I guess our first true experience. But then 2019, we started like actually purchasing other properties. And, um, yeah. From 2019 through that August of 2021, we had done 11 different home flips and either, either like transition them into, um, a long term rental or we had just flipped them to sell them.

And so, um, You know, that it’s very much, it was kind of like, um, while everybody else was dealing with COVID, we were kind of like working together and flipping houses. And, um, it quickly got very boring. And we realized that while Chip and Joanna games are very flashy and that’s like very like rainbow style, um, that wasn’t us.

And, uh, we wanted something that was a lot more passive, um, or that at least we could create to become more passive.  

Yeah. Are you, have you been doing Bursters as well now? Are you, are you taking that BRRRR and combining that into your short term rentals?  

Um, we have, um, we current, so we did that for our very first short term rental.

That’s exactly what we did. We were actually, so when I fell upon the podcast in August, we had started, um, the entire renovation on a home, um, that July. And so this time I was like convinced my husband was like, we’ve got to try this. Like, we don’t have a tenant in here yet. It was going to be a long term rental.

Let’s just throw a few couple extra thousand dollars and make it a short term rental. That’s exactly what we did. And, um, that one property is what got me out of my job. Um, I ended up making enough off that property to almost match my teaching salary I was making. 


Um, and so six months after we launched it, I quit my job. 

And, um, yeah. So it was that for sure. And then we’ve done it two other times since. Um, but we have sold both of those properties. They are both short term rentals, um, like somebody has purchased them for short term rental. We furnished them and sold them that way. Um, so we’ve definitely like used the strategy, but also to make the profit and overhead we’ve We’ve exited them pretty quickly.

Nice. So, so what’s your, what’s the model that you’re following now? 

Yeah. So currently we are actually more geared towards the commercial side of investing. So we transitioned. Um, so we exited a ton of the properties that we owned personally. Um, and we’ve put all of that into, um, the hotel that we have now.

So our total strategy on that is just like, Obviously more doors in one spot. Um, so more potential revenue as well as, um, creating that generational wealth for our family long term. So we’re not dependent upon market rates, right? Um, it’s just dependent upon what we can, uh, create that business.  Profit itself.

Um, so that’s like the huge play in the commercial space. I’m not dependent. I’m not worried about the changing of the market. It’s all about what I can make it perform to do. Um, so I think that that’s our strategy. Personally, right now, we still have our management company. Um, so that’s our second strategy of income that we have there.

Um, so We’re still taking on clients, but we, um, manage for other people,  um, for, for that company. So currently I’m not looking to get into any other, uh, single family homes myself. Um, just looking for commercial aspects. 

Got it. Got it. And when you said that you’re, you’re not subject to like the market fluctuations, what, what your sounds like what you’re now focused on is like that force appreciation back into, into those properties. 

Is that right? 

100 percent 100 percent and like while you can get some of that with single family homes um, you’re just getting a greater return on your money through the commercial space because  We’re again like a home that may appraise now for eight hundred thousand dollars If we see a market drop that home in a year or two may Actually only appraised for 400, 000.

So you could have lost a ton of equity based on that market, right? Um, whereas if I’m buying in the commercial space, it’s, they look at the revenue, um, that you’re performing at, and that’s how, and the other commercial properties that are in the same industry and that aspect, um, and what that cap rate is to evaluate your property.

They’re not looking at the actual trends of the housing market. 

Got it. So you’re, you’re actually, it sounds like you’re more focused on the. Appreciation of your assets rather than necessarily the cashflow that a lot of a lot of investors SDR specifically investors look into 

right? Of course. And of course, it always comes down to cashflow.

Um, for, for myself, for the investors, obviously, like everything has to make money, but it’s, um, exact that exactly that, that forced appreciation and that forced, um, you know, extra equity and cashflow that we can create. for everyone involved. And then obviously the exit strategy down the line, you know, to get out of that deal, if it’s going to be a much larger paycheck than, than what we’re looking at first in the family.

Yeah. Yeah. I’m interested in kind of hearing. We’ll, we’ll get into this a little bit, but like how your brand and how you’re leveraging direct bookings as, as a steady stream of, of, of bookings, how that kind of contributes to that force appreciation  going back to like what we were talking about earlier, um, Um,  you were, you mentioned that you got 50 percent direct bookings across your entire portfolio.

How did you get there? That’s a, that’s a phenomenal, like usually you get in the above 40, 50, 60 percent when you have a very, very unique stay and everybody talks about you. Maybe Levi Kelly is the one like that’s promoting you, but like for a lot of others, it’s really hard to get to that booking percentage.

Like how did you get there?  

Yeah, that’s a great question. And, um, I want to like definitely start out by saying that like The tactics that I use like anyone can use, um, and that I don’t have like thousands of followers. Okay. Um, so I want to make that like really clear. I think it’s about consistency and cadence.

Um, I think those are the two things that were the biggest attribute, you know, that attributed to my success in this. So, um,  what we just started was, uh, so for our management company, this is what we’re specifically talking about right now. Um, let me give everybody, some of our listeners, some statistics on this.

So most short term rental management companies, um, and so we’re talking like smaller boutique people like us, Gil, and, um, you know, they don’t experience high direct booking percentages. Very much. Um, evolve. They Casa. They’re very well known. They’re large. And so they’re, um,  their websites are well known.

And so they, it’s easy for them to attract those direct bookings. Um, they put a lot of money into that search engine, um, you know, results every month. But for us, we have to take a different approach, right? For smaller companies, we don’t necessarily have that money to attribute to all the SEO and everything.

Yeah. may not even have the expertise, but something that we can all be really good at. Um, and without not a lot of experience is social media. And so that’s exactly what I did. Um, I seen an avenue that we could pursue. And again, I’m not an expert, but I knew it was something I could do just to help. Um, in general with our company.

So, uh, I just started creating a regular cadence. And so I started a page just for our management company. And I decided that all of our cabins, we were going to publicize on there and it was going to be a consistent thing. Um, and so in the beginning,  I just started and I invited everyone on my friends list and it was just like.

Everyone come follow me and went through that way and, uh, ask them to all come like, you know, and, and follow my page. And I was started out by offering discounts to those people. Like, Hey,  you go follow my page. Um, you know, I’ll give you a 10 percent discount through our company.  Um, and that got a lot of traction.

So if they went on there and they followed or they, they watched the video or they looked at the post. They would find the discount code. So I was like instantly adding value to them. Right. Um, as they came to the page and I think that’s like what this whole business is about, it’s like, how can we consistently add value to people?

Because if they’re getting value, then they’re going to come back to you. Right. Um, and so, so that’s the first thing I did was like immediate value to those. To those guests because remember at this point i’m focused on how I can increase my revenue my business is still smaller Um, how can I continue to to increase this so that we make more money our homeowners make more money and then obviously in the process like Hopefully i’m attracting other homeowners that maybe want me to host their home, right?

So two two fold there So, um, so that’s how I started it. And then what I started doing was I started posting about helpful things that could add value to people that were not just guests, but also homeowners or potential homeowners. Maybe they’re looking to get in short terminals and they don’t know. So we would do like tip Tuesdays.

And it would be like, Hey, did you know that adding a waffle bar into your home could provide, um, extra value to your guests and also help increase your revenue because you’re offering a different experience, right? And so we’d make a whole post around that or a video around that. And so we started doing that every week, just adding some type of value in.

Um, and then we just. We just kind of like created a cadence from there. And so when I started this, I actually met with a friend of mine. Who’s also in my mastermind, um, that he was trying to mastermind around this topic as well, too. Um, how, how could we do this? And also how could we help others within our community grow in this aspect as well?

And so we just kind of met and decided like, what do we think the right cadence should be? And, um, so for weekly posting. And so we ended up deciding that like, um, every property should have been hit at least twice a month during that time to get enough exposure.  Um, and then every week we should have been adding two posts of value. 

Um, and then obviously then we should also be driving something back to our brand. And, um, we tested it and between him and myself, we, we both proven that it’s.  That it’s working. And so for me, just like, I just slowly watch those numbers. And so, and so that was a big thing for me. Like I wanted to know if what I was doing was working.

And so, um, at that time I was like watching the social media, like how many people were actually visiting my website from social media, because that’s where I was driving them right back, back to my website, um, to, to click on that book now button and, uh, it just slowly crept up. So I started this in.  Um,  it would have been  probably December of 2022  and by July I have 50 percent booking and now overall we experience a consistent, um, and so my portfolio is larger now, so I’m always adding homes on, which I think definitely skews our data just a tad of it, but we consistently have between 30 to 40 percent direct bookings overall.

Wow. So in a six month timeframe, you went from almost no direct bookings to getting a solid 30, 40, even 50 percent in some months.  And  if I can, I reiterate back that the three focus areas that you did is like one, like you want to make sure that you’re consistently posting on, on a very regular basis  and to your focus on  one, the property themselves and highlighting kind of why someone would want to stay with you, the moments that they get from, from those properties to.

This value add where you’re actually  advising your guests on how to make the most out of their stays in those areas. And then third is like really promoting your brands. Was that right? 

Yeah, that’s absolutely right. And so, um, and the promoting your brands, it could be anything from like, Um, you know, just giving insight to your program.

Um, we also posted things about how they could, people could go and direct book. Um, we drove them back to our blog. Um, so all of that, right, just like anything to promote just your brand in general on that aspect. 

Yeah. Well, let’s dive a little bit deeper into the value there. How do you think about adding value to prospective guests?

Like how do you break that down? 

Yeah, that’s a great question. Um, so for me, I think I always put myself in the guest shoes and that’s exactly what I, when I trained my team on how to do this strategy, um, exactly what I told them. Like if you’re a guest and you’re coming to stay at our property, I want you to think about some of the things that you would want to do, like what could add value to you there.

Right. Um, and the, and that’s what they still do. Um, so when we’re creating our blogs, we’re creating our posts. Um, what are some things in the area that they want to do? Do they want to go to wineries? Um, are we focused on getting them to the activities for like whitewater rafting or whatever? Um, and so maybe, maybe our post for that week to add value was not for us.

Maybe it added value to another business in the area, right? Um, so maybe we were featuring a COE Whitewater rafting for a special that they had going on, and, and we were supporting their business on our page. That still adds value to our guests, and it’s adding value to somebody else. Um, and so, I think that from that aspect, it’s always just like, What would a guest want to know?

Um, what would a guest want to experience? And so, um, we may, we would even add value to guests like, what’s like the top four things you may want to bring with you, um, if you’re packing to come to Blue Ridge? Right. So, um, we have a lot of international travel, travelers that come in,  they may not know that it rains 30 percent of the time in Blue Ridge.

And so they, maybe they need to bring a rain jacket, um, or maybe they don’t know that, um, you know, they should, even though they may not be thinking about it, they should bring a swimsuit because they’re either going to get in the hot tub or they can go down the water. Um, so, you know, again, just.  Thinking about what are some things that you know, you may need to know you could even feature certain amenities in your homes that may add value to guests.

Like I said about the waffle bar. Um,  you know, for us that that’s one because a lot of our guests would travel at night or if they have kids and they’re traveling at night to get there. They obviously might not make it to the grocery store, right, on their way in. So we can check a box on our listing by adding a waffle bar and this actually gives our guests an added amenity because when they get up in the morning breakfast is there.

Right.  Um, and so that’s another added, added experience to them, which there may not be getting other properties in the area.  

That’s a, that’s a, that’s a really good point. You mentioned about international travelers and, and knowing kind of who your guests are, how much do you think about kind of that, that guest avatar that we talk about quite often? 

That’s like number one, um, in this business, you have to know who you’re serving. And, um, we consistently, like we ask every guest where they’re coming from. Um, and I think that, and we’re constantly like aware and cognizant of that data. And, um, we’ve noticed that some of our properties, right. Um, definitely see more international, like they attract more international travelers than others.

Um, and so that’s interesting. And so, and for those aspects, we are sure to like. When we redo the copy on our listings that we are cognizant of that avatar, that we’re adding things in there for that avatar, or if we’re creating posts on social media that may drive them there, um, we’re cognizant of that.

Um, we do know, like, overall,  our primary guest avatar is a middle aged woman. More than likely with a family or a middle to, um, you know, older age woman who’s traveling with, um, her husband or friends. And so, um, you’ll see a lot of our posts, if you read the copy, it’s going to be mainly geared towards that particular avatar, um, because we’ve noticed that.

And so, um, it’s probably going to talk about having your nice glass of wine, looking at the kids playing or whatever, because, again, it’s usually that female that’s booking for us. 

Yeah. How, how did you come across knowing, kind of getting that really fine point of like the age and the gender and like who’s booking is, are you sending out surveys?

Are you messaging them through, through automated messages? How do, how do you do that? 

Yeah, so, um, we take it like basically once. Once they are, we started with once they booked, right? So we went back and looked at our previous reservations and just kind of seen like, Oh, it was a bunch of Sheila’s and, uh, Jane’s and Joanna’s, right?

And,  and then we pulled that data and, um, we just kind of, at the beginning, it was more of like me just like diving in, looking at their pictures that they have to submit and, and seeing that. And then ultimately, you know, as we’ve gotten into more of that marketing aspect of it, um, obviously, you know, some of that can be pulled off of, of the data aspect, right?

Of who your main target audience is and then like retargeting them. But, um, we also, we do ask, so we kind of just like casually bring it up in conversation, like, Oh, where are you from? And like, why are you traveling? And then like, now I know it’s Sheila coming from, You know, I don’t know, Pennsylvania, and she’s traveling with just her husband and her kids.

Okay, Sheila’s a middle aged woman with her kids, you know, coming. And so that’s how we’re, you know, currently, currently going through and just being cognizant and tracking it that way.  

What advice would you give folks to figure out kind of what content really resonates with their ideal avatar?  Some of us may not be the  persona kind of behind the avatar, the person staying at there.

Like, how do you, how do you guide someone through that process?  

Yeah. Um, a lot of chat GPT and Jasper, um, is the,  the main key now in the beginning. I mean, I. I related to that avatar. So when I was doing it, I very much related to that avatar. I could write it, um, as something that would be appealing to me and it worked.

Um, but my team utilizes 100 percent AI. And so when we go through with the AI steps, we’re just very clear. Um, when we give it a prompt, who our avatar is. What the language, um, or tone of, of the wording that we want to be used. Um, and we be sure to say, to like appeal to that avatar, right. Um, and when it comes out, it, it really does.

I mean, I mean, you can’t, you can’t beat AI. Um, it’s smarter than any of us. And so we, we leverage all of that for, for everything. For everything. 

Got it. So you got into like, you got into knowing all the proper engineering stuff and you’re trying to figure out how do you feed it the best information so that when it helps you, it’s really targeting the people that you’re trying to go after. 

Right. Right. And then when you’re, when we’re using it, um, you know, we were also very cognizant to continue to feed it. That on that same page, right? So it just learns. So the more that you feed it, the more it learns. And so the team just has one essential page that they’re using to come up with all their social media stuff and they just continually feed it and then it just learns and then it, it knows your style.

When it splits it out. 

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Like in chat dbt, you can actually open like new conversations with them. But if you keep on the same conversation, it actually retains everything above the page there. So you’re, you’re, you’re actually using that as kind of like your, your, the brain basically.  



Nice. Um, you leverage blog quite, quite a bit. Is that right?  

We do.  

What do you, what do you write about a lot in your blogs?  

We try to stick with the blogs to be primarily value add for, um, our guest avatar.  So what we, we’re always looking at adding again, value to guests, and then how can we support the community, which also supports us and our guests.

So my team goes out and like every month, they’re just researching  what events are coming up. If there’s any special festivals, um, are we having concerts? Are, um, are any of the fishing companies that we’re, you know, following, are they promoting anything? Rafting, whatever the experiences are, and we’re talking about that.

Um, and then other things that we’re talking about is we, we do host in a very, um, outdoorsy area, right? I mean, that’s what a lot of our guests are coming for the, to explore. So we also post a lot about that, um, different routes they could take, what they would see if they took a certain path. Um, and then what we do to leverage our company in that is at the end of the blog,  um, a lot of times we’ll say.

Um, let’s say we were talking about a certain, you know, creek, um, and the path that takes you to this waterfall on this creek. We would put at the end, like, if you’re interested in going here, um, this cabin is like a short drive away. And so we’ll say, like, that cabin would be your best bet, right? And so then it’s driving them back to that possibility of booking with us.

And whether they booked at home or they book another one, it’s, it’s linking them back in and they now can see our whole portfolio.  Um, so that’s, that’s one way that we’re driving in there. The other way I, I would share with people is on our email marketing, we actually drive them back to our blog as well too.

Um, and, and that’s very helpful. 

Got it. So it sounds like your, your blog is almost like your, your lead magnet to, to get folks to even discover about your properties in the first place. You’re, you’re not talking about your properties. You’re not talking, you’re not posting about  all the things that you’ve got on there.

You’re, you’re talking about what they might be interested in, in looking for. On Google, how they’re planning their trip. And then you’re using that as a way to kind of open that door so that they know that you’re there if you need them.  


How so you, you mentioned a few times now that you, you built a team around this.

What does that, what does that team look like? 

Yeah. So, um, I have a full 24, 17. Um, a V. A. S. So I have three V. A. S. Currently. Um, that worked for me. And then I also have an in house assistant and everybody plays a role in some sort of this process. Um, and so what I tried to do is I. I’m not a big fan of like when you build a team of micromanagement, I’m more of a fan of the empowerment, um, and, and getting your team to buy into the same vision that you have.

Um, and I’ve been very thankful that I’ve been able to create that with my team and, um, they do a phenomenal job, but basically everybody has their part to play. So, um, one person is just in charge of social media. Um, one person is just in charge of the blog and updating the website. And then another person’s just in charge of email marketing and like direct targeting of guests.

And so, um, by doing that, um, everybody knows what they’re responsible for and how they can best help us succeed. And I honestly think that was part of our success of getting such high direct booking standards is because everybody has their part and it plays to their strengths. Um, and, and they know how we can best drive that.

In order to help our guests and help our homeowners. And when they’re bought in on that vision, then, you know, everybody understands the end outcome, right. That we’re looking for. Um, and so  I don’t have to beg and plead. And I think that I’ve been very fortunate, um, and attribute a ton of the success to them because they just took what I.

You know, started and, and just ramped it to the next level. 

Yeah. To what you just said about getting started there, how would you recommend someone even getting started with this if they don’t have a team, maybe they haven’t built this all out yet? 

Yeah. Um, so what I recommend to my students is, uh, and, and a lot of this stuff can be, you can start doing this before you even have your first short term rental, if you’re going down like.

The co hosting route, or if you already have your own personal short term rentals, like, go ahead and start a branded page, whether you’re going to do this. For each property, or if you’re just going to do it for your main company that’s managing, uh, the short term rentals, go ahead and start it and then decide on what that weekly cadence is going to be.

I was going to say, that’s the first thing is like, what do you know that you can commit to? So for me, it was, I knew I wanted to commit to two posts. For the properties, right? So any of the properties, but two posts had to be going towards the properties and one post had to be adding value. And I knew I could commit to three posts a week.

So that’s the first thing like decide your cadence. Um, the second thing I always suggest is you. No one wants to be thinking about this and when you’re gonna post so you need to make it automated So there’s some tools that you can do that on your level. That is very helpful. So  How can we automate this? 

So I second thing is I suggest people sit down and you’re gonna block some time that you’re gonna give yourself an hour or two to create content right and so You’re gonna block it off. Let’s say it’s on Monday You’re gonna make a two hour block and you’re gonna sit down and make that content  So in that to help with, um, after you’ve done the content creation, the third thing is going to be scheduling that and so that you’re not thinking about it.

And so during that hour to two hour block, you can actually create enough content to be, you know, a week, two weeks worth of things so that you’re only having to do this biweekly. Right. Um, and then it’s not something you’re consistently having to do. So I tell my students to leverage the Facebook meta suite where they can, uh, post their posts on their schedule them out.

Um, and they can do that for Facebook and Instagram through that. Um, so I would say those are the three things that you can do to get started. Um, you know, uh, and, and it’s super easy and not very time consuming if you do it properly. 

Yeah.  It seems like you have a few tools that you, that you consistently kind of go back to.

You mentioned ChattGPT, you mentioned Jasper,  the Metasuite. What are some of the other tools that you, you use on a regular basis to kind of help you kind of operationalize all this and really focus on like what you said, adding value as much as possible?  

Yeah, that’s a great question. So we do leverage all of those in terms of, um, you know, this aspect of other technology that we use.

Um, my team. Uses monday. com, uh, to ensure that like, you know, what’s up, they kind of track kind of like what they’ve already posted about what’s upcoming, things like that. Um, and so we can make sure that we are, you know, providing quality posts and value to everybody. Um, they also track their cadence on there of when it was posted.

Um, so that’s one of the tools monday. com. And then you can use that for many other aspects of your business. Uh, other things we use, um, we use stay fi, um, and stay fi is actually how we’re collecting email addresses to retarget, um, guests for other properties.  So we’re collecting them that way. 

Nice. Nice.

It seems like you have a pretty well rounded set of tools and you’re trying not to like be overly complex. You’re trying to try to make it something sustainable for yourself.  

Yeah. Just keep it simple. I think that’s the huge name of the game. It’s. Not like people think that it all has to be like super complicated and complex and it doesn’t.

It’s just like if you can just remember to like I said in the beginning to stay, you know, consistency and the cadence. Um, uh, and, and then I would say the third thing is value, right? Consistency, cadence and value. Keep it super simple.  

Yeah.  Is there anything else that you would advise our guests to, to really dive into and learn more about if they’re really serious about getting more direct bookings?


am not a huge social media expert, but I think that it’s just because we’ve consistently tried to add value and, uh, you know, just come up with something. And if you’re, if you’re going for it, like as an example, um, if it is social media and. Instagram scares you, but Facebook is like where you relate, then just choose one and just do it.

Um, don’t, don’t overthink it and don’t overcomplicate it. Just go for it. 

Nice. Nice.  So it sounds like you had a pretty phenomenal 2022, 2023. What does this year look like for you?  

Um, this year looks like a massive growth. Um, we have. big plans for expansion of our management company. Um, and we’re also looking to get into our next commercial property.

So, um, it’s pretty big on that aspect. Um, we’re also looking at growing our team some more. Um, so we are looking at taking on, uh, possibly, um, a full, a full marketing, um, team member that will come in and do all of that for us. Um, and just take us to the next level, um, from what we’ve already established, as well as we’re looking at taking on some other people, um, in house, uh, to, to do some things on the management side for us.

Um, again, it’s all about how I can make this more passive, but also, again, generating more revenue for my homeowners. And the stays for potential guests. And that’s where our focus is this year. 

Yeah. It sounds like you embody the, the work on your business, not work in your business mentality, 

a hundred percent. 

All right. Two last questions to kind of, to kind of wrap us up. What’s, uh, what’s one  mindset advice that you would give to someone that is trying something completely new?  

That’s a great question. Um, I would say  the best piece of advice I could give for that is embody the new identity that you’re trying to step into for that new paradigm.

Okay. So every time you make a large shift like this, um, you’re, you’re stepping into a new paradigm of what, what you could be. And, uh, by doing so, um, you’re not going to see success in that unless you truly embody and take on that new self identity, um, and believe that it’s,  So, um, so step into that and if it is you are being the person that wears a blazer every day because you’re that new professional, then do it.

Um, or if it is that person that is gonna put your face on social media every day, then do it. And just own it. And, and don’t be afraid of, of, of the external impacts that, uh, or external forces that may be trying to affect what. Your decision is just go for it.  

No, that’s awesome advice. It reminds me of, uh, what James Claire talks about in like atomic habits and really about like how your identity is something that you can shape yourself.

And if you kind of change the way that you perceive yourself, the way that you identify yourself, you start to change your behaviors and what you do to, to kind of.  Get towards your goals  

100%. And I think that, um, I’ll say this just real quickly, Gil. Um, someone said to me once that, and it’s something that has like really stuck with me.

And it’s, as I’ve gone through this growth this past year, um, I’ve been, when we talked about this the other day, I’ve like really been focused on a lot of this personal growth, mindset growth. And, um, someone said to me, you’ve got to start seeing yourself  at how others.  Right. And so I had like every, when people like us, like everybody’s like, Oh, they’ve got it all figured out.

Um, well we don’t, um, okay. There’s still like a lot of work that’s gotta be done. And, um, even though we’re seen as the experts in our field, um, sometimes there is a little bit of that imposter syndrome that creeps in, um, and. Like I just have to be who you think I think I am right and that that’s what stuck with me I’ve got to be who you think I think I am and when I can embody who you think I think I am Then like that’s a whole new paradigm that I can step into and accept, right?

And that’s when you really do start to make those quantum leaps is when you can actually identify how other people are seeing you 

Yeah, it’s it’s it’s really transformational when when you start to reflect back in All the people that you idolize on all the threads on social media, and you put yourself out there, it just changes the way that you think  where your boundaries could be or should be  


I mean, we’re all limitless. Like we’re, we’re all,  there’s so much abundance in every aspect of everything that we’re doing. Um, it’s just whether or not we’re open to accepting that abundance.  

And ironically, like in our space, yeah. That limitless really comes through like I haven’t seen any other industry where someone dives head deep, spends hundreds of thousand dollars on, on a new property and learns a whole bunch of new skills that they’ve never learned before.

Like I haven’t met any other industry where people are just so determined and when they’re determined they figure out any way to make things happen. It’s amazing. A hundred percent. I 

agree with that.  

Yeah. Um, all right. Last question. What’s one action that you would want people to take today?  

One action I would like people to take today. 

Um,  for those of you, I think I always challenge everybody, well, my students with this. Um, when they come in to me, I would challenge you today to,  to  decide what your goal is.  Okay, so you know what you want for your future. So what is your goal? Be very specific on that goal. And I would challenge you to write it down every day.

Um, and stick with it. Um, you know, have some accountability to hold yourself to that goal. And make it a goal that you don’t believe is obtainable, right? Um, make it make it far fetched and and go for that. So, um, whether it’s centered around the direct booking aspect that we’ve been talking around today, if it’s centered around your income, um, write it down and be very specific, you know, and and I.

I always challenge my students to say, you always start it with, I’m so happy and grateful now that I blank. Um, and write that down every day and you’ll be, you’ll be amazed at like how far you actually come in a short amount of time. Um, there’s no way I believe that I could have left my job so soon, had the growth that we’ve had if If I had not been that goal oriented.

So, um, so just get a goal, stick with it and write it down every day. 

Yeah, that’s amazing. You went from what? Zero to what? 54 doors now.  

Uh, so I have over that now. Um, but yeah, so in 18 months we went from zero to 54 doors, which included the price of our hotel, I’m sorry, the rooms of our hotel. So yeah, it was.

It was phenomenal. Uh, phenomenal growth. We have more than that now and, and still waiting to get more. 

Oh my gosh. I can’t wait to have you back and, and, and, and get to see, get to see what your journey has been since then.  Um, 

yes, for sure. 

All right. Well, that’s, that’s all I had. All the questions I had for, for us today.

Where can people find out more, more, more about you and how, how can they connect with you?  

Yeah. So, um, my handles on the screen here, you can find me on Facebook and Instagram, uh, personally as she underscore hosts underscore Blue Ridge. And then for my company for short term rentals at Cherokee Rose homes, and it wouldn’t fit on here.

But if you’re interested in coming to our hotel or want to see how we’re also marketing that, um, you can go to, um, at the Mallard Hotel on Facebook and Instagram. 

Yeah, awesome. I’ll, I’ll be, I’ll be sure to include, uh, all those links into the show notes. Allie, it was fabulous having you on here and thank you again for all the support and even my own personal journey thus far.

Um, you’ve been, you’ve been a great help, great inspiration. So I’m really happy to have you here.  

Awesome. Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure. And it’s also, again, like I said before, amazing to see your growth and I’m super excited to see where you go. And the next time we have a podcast together, I can’t wait to see like what it’s going to do for you.

Absolutely. Thank you, Allie.  

You’re welcome. 


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