Direct Booking Simplified Podcast – EP06 – Get more direct bookings by unleveling your quality and consistency with Chris Petzy

In this episode, we have Chris Petzy. He’s a seasoned operator with over 80 doors and is a coach at STR Secrets. He walks us through his operational framework of Technology, People, and Processes that lead him to consistent direct bookings.

Podcast Summary

Chris underscores the significance of technology, processes, and personnel as the foundation for delivering consistent 5-star guest experiences that encourage direct rebookings. His tech arsenal includes platforms like Guesty, Pricelabs, Stayfi, GoSTR, and Breezeway, each serving a specific function in managing various aspects of the business. Central to his approach is the establishment of robust processes and documentation to train team members effectively and uphold standards across properties. Utilizing tools such as checklists, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and regular communications, Chris ensures consistency is ingrained within the organization.

A key focal point for Chris is assembling a team of “A players” who embody the company’s vision, which he deems as the most critical factor in success. By emphasizing strong leadership, clear processes, and an inspiring vision, he attracts and nurtures top talent within his organization. In terms of direct bookings, Chris employs post-stay email/SMS journeys and monthly email campaigns that highlight seasonal offerings, promotions, and new properties to keep guests engaged. He places great importance on tracking leading indicators such as website traffic, follower growth, and top-performing content to optimize strategies for direct booking growth, reflecting his data-driven operational approach.

Chris’s operations background underscores his commitment to being data-driven and understanding the key performance indicators (KPIs) behind guest experience and direct booking performance. The overarching theme of his insights revolves around integrating operations and guest experience seamlessly into the business, establishing them as systematic components that foster consistency and drive repeat bookings.

Essential Highlights

Here are a few key points from Chris’s insights on operations, direct bookings, and guest experience:

  • He emphasizes having great technology, processes, and people as the three pillars for delivering a consistent 5-star guest experience that drives direct rebookings.
  • His tech stack includes tools like Guesty, Pricelabs, Stayfi, GoSTR, and Breezeway to manage different aspects of the business.
  • Having robust processes and documentation is critical for training team members and maintaining standards across properties. Things like checklists, SOPs, weekly communications help ingrain consistency.
  • Investing in building the right team of “A players” who embody the vision is the most important factor. He focuses on leadership, clear processes/tech, and compelling vision to attract and develop top talent.
  • For direct bookings, he leverages email/SMS journeys post-stay, as well as monthly email campaigns highlighting seasonality, deals, new properties etc. to keep guests engaged.
  • Tracking the right leading indicators like website traffic, follower growth, top posts etc. and optimizing based on what’s working is key for direct booking growth.
  • His operations background makes him data-driven, focused on understanding the numbers and KPIs behind guest experience and direct booking performance.

The overarching theme is making operations and guest experience an embedded, systematized part of the business to foster consistency and repeat bookings.

Follow Chris on instagram @chris_petzy


It all has to do with operations. So we didn’t really touch on this earlier, but if you talk to people in the mastermind, they, they kind of see me as the, the ops guy. Um, and that’s actually my group coaching call is operations and scale. That’s where my niche is. That’s where my focus is in this business. 

And to do that really well, I always say you need three things. You need great technology. You need great process and you need great people. The people being the most important part, but if you put those three things together and then monitor that, have good, the quality control in place,  that’s going to be what creates that consistent experience for.

Uh, your guests, your clients, et cetera. 

Hey folks, welcome back to direct booking simplified. We break down the tactics and strategies to win more direct bookings. On today’s show, we have Chris Petsy. He operates over 80 doors and is a coach at STR secrets and is an operational beast. Today. He’s going to walk us through his operational framework of technology, people in process to win more direct bookings.

So let’s bring him in. Hey, Chris. Welcome to the show. 

Hey, thanks for having me, man. 

Yeah. Um, I’m, I’m glad to have you on. Uh, I’ve been referred to you by a couple of folks from, uh, from your cohort address, your secrets cohort. Um, so I’m, I’m glad to have you on,  um, to kind of kick us off. Can you give a brief intro on who you are and what you do? 

Yeah. I’m the co owner of Seacoast Summit. And we operate a couple of brands, Seacoast vacation rentals and summit vacation rentals in the New Hampshire mass coastline, as well as the New Hampshire and Vermont mountains, lakes and mountains. And we were founded by my business partner actually in 2019. And over that five year run, we partnered two years in  and we went from about 10 listings when we first started to, we’re going to be over 80 by next week.

Whoa. Is that mainly co hosting nowadays or are you still acquiring? 

Yeah, I got started by acquiring. So I have nine doors myself. My business partner has seven. So I think one of the cool things about our model is we’re not just co host. We get it from the investor side of the house. And,  uh, but the rest are, are co host deals.

And we do have one,  I guess, like a part hotel. So that’s an 11 unit in Hampton beach. So we have a little bit of that experience to operating a hotel style 

accommodation.  Yeah. I bet.  I bet you, given that you’re a host yourself, it makes it a lot easier to have conversations to other hosts on taking over because they trust you on your own properties. 

And you’re able to kind of empathize back to them about Really? Like, how do you make mortgage? How do you actually get good revenues back in return?  

Yeah. Is this relatable, right? So like we, as, as investors, we have goals for our properties, whether that’s profit or, you know, maintenance free and all the systems and things that we do for our own businesses we do for our clients.

And so it’s in perfect harmony and alignment. The business that we, you know, execute on for our personal properties. It also happens for our clients as well. So it’s a benefit for everybody. 

Got it. Yeah. That makes sense. You’re also, um, you’re also a coach as well too. Is that right? Yeah. So a 

couple, almost two and a half years ago now, I, I had joined short term rental secrets, the mastermind by Mike Shogren when I first got started.

So as soon as I bought the property, I was like, I want to just have all the answers. So who’s got that blueprint? And Mike did. .So I joined the mastermind couple of years went by, we had some success and that’s when he was scaling his business too, on the coaching side. And so I joined him, started running a coaching call.

Now I have about 50 students that I do one on ones with and, you know, stay close contact with, help them achieve their goals. And so that’s a big part of what I do as 

well now.  I bet you that’s super fulfilling for you as well, too. You get to a place where you’ve done really well for yourself and now you’re trying to elevate others as well. 

Yeah, there’s levels to it, right? Like if you’re  all depends on where you’re at and like what you’re doing, but a lot of people get into real estate because they’re trying to create financial freedom.  Right. And so you do that to say, let’s get out of your w two. Well, then you achieve that. And then it becomes, well, now what, how do I  stay fulfilled?

And this has kind of been my path, um, getting the pay it forward and help other students achieve the same type of success, depending on what their goals are, is everything. And that’s what kind of fires me up now. 

Yeah.  Awesome. Um, I think I met you from, again, from, from folks from SDR secrets. Um, and they mentioned that you actually have some pretty solid direct bookings yourself.

Um, can you speak to kind of some of your wins there?  

Yeah, we do between 20 and 40 percent direct on a week over week basis. Obviously that varies, um, from time to time,  but the success has really been around, um, Just creating consistent value proposition for guests over a long period of time and collecting a bunch of review scores.

So if you look on air DNA and you look at our five core markets, we have the best review score out of any property manager by far by 0. 3 to 0. 4. And so by creating that, Really strong guest experience on the front end of just being very consistent over time, those people want to come back. And what’s interesting is our organic traffic is actually really poor to our website.

So on that front, like I, and I just talked to Allie this morning about this, like they, they are doing great and they have  a lot of traction with content creation and blogs and all the rest of that. And we do that too. But I think one of the big successes for us has been getting people to re book with us and that’s.

Part of it, it’s market driven because people, it’s a drive to destination. So people are coming back year over year to Hampton beach, for instance,  in other, in other ways, it’s because we’ve created this brand and it gets this experience that people can rely on. And so the guests appreciate that. And.  You know, you go out to Airbnb and you see a smorgasbord of different options.

And that’s one of the things that’s a debt. One of the downfalls of this industry is it’s not like hotels that consistent experience, you can create that brand and that exposure. Um, it helps people feel more comfortable with you when they book. And so that’s, I think one of the. The key reasons why we’ve been able to be successful on the direct booking side.

Why do you think you do such a better job than the folks around you? Like 0. 3%, the 0. 3 score is actually a quite a big gap between you and even the second place.  

I think it’s, it all has to do with operations. So we didn’t really touch on this earlier, but if you talk to people in the mastermind, they kind of see me as the ops guy.

Um, and that’s actually my group coaching call is operations and scale. That’s where my niche is. That’s where my focus is in this business.  And to do that really well, I always say you need three things. You need great technology. You need great process and you need great people, the people being the most important part.

But if you put those three things together and then monitor that, have good, the quality control in place,  that’s going to be what creates that consistent experience for.  Your guests, your clients, et cetera. 

Nice. Let’s dive a little bit deeper into each, each one of those there. Um, maybe starting off with the first one you mentioned is software.

What is, what does your stack look like? What’s, what’s like what the critical ones? 

Yeah, of course. The property management system. We use guestie for pros. Um, we use price labs for pricing. We have stay five for collecting emails and doing campaigns. We use Sam Estrada who I know was on the podcast. We use go STR for some of the texts and email marketing.

We just started with him two or three months ago.  And that’s all kind of on the marketing side management house. But then in terms of the operation, we use breezeway. So that helps with cleaning inspections and maintenance and just goes much more in depth than say a traditional PMS might.  Um,  And that’s kind of the bulk of it.

There’s, there’s several others that kind of protect the property, like ring cameras and smart locks and noise monitors, but from a direct booking standpoint and like how we market to guests, like those are the key softwares that we use. 

Yeah. What made you choose. Uh, guestie for pro. Did you always have guestie for pros?

I’m guessing you probably had some other PMS before or you got to a certain scale where guestie for pros was almost necessary. 

Yeah. At the time I was using hospitable, so I had three myself and my business partner at 10 and he didn’t have a PMS at the time. And so when I, one of the value propositions that I provided him was, Hey, I can be your ops person and build the systems because of all the things that I had learned from trucking mental secrets, or he was really good at sales and marketing, uh, he could handle that piece of the business. 

So when we did that, we went from three to say 13 and we needed to upgrade our PMS at the time. Hospital didn’t have a direct booking site like it does today. Um,  And in the course, we teach hospitable or guessy and guessy for pros is what Mike, the founder of that company was using. The, the right thing, because again, my whole thing is if somebody else has already figured out the systems and the process for it, then let me just replicate that and use the tech that they’re using.

There’s other great softwares out there, host away and, um, host fully. And there’s a few others, but get super pros as work for us. 

Yeah. And in. Um, SDR secrets. Do you guys also, um, support guestie for host as well too? Or do you find that it’s like almost a separate platform altogether?  

It is kind of separate.

It came from your Porter, right? So it’s a different platform. They have been integrating a lot of their softwares together and trying to streamline that. So we do support them. We support any student that uses any software, but in terms of the education that we provide, we focus mostly on just guestie and hospitable.

Got it. What is, um,  that one thing that kind of separates guest D for pros from some of the other ones that you’ve seen yourself?  

From a co host perspective. And again, there’s multiple softwares out there that are getting better and improving, but the two that I really like are the analytics suite they have and how in depth some of the metrics are in that, uh, in that feature, as well as the owner’s portal, it’s very easy to use for our owners.

They can see a lot of the information without having to come to us for questions and block dates and all that stuff. Um, so between those two, those are a couple of the big reasons why we use them. 

Yeah, I, I didn’t realize how important Um analytics was until you get to a certain scale and you’re looking year over year numbers You’re looking at occupancy rates compared to previous years.

You’re looking at market data and  Yes, you can look at revenue as well too. But like in terms of like driving Your price lives adjustments and so on. Like I actually find out that I, I use owner as myself and I find out that I go back to owner as quite often to look at last year’s bookings and compare stats, even though like price labs has some pretty neat tools and built in. 

Yeah, we get questions from owners all the time. Like my role at this point is not necessarily in the operation as much as doing more of the analysis and forward pacing and figuring out what we need to need to do from a vision and strategy perspective. And a big piece of that is owners coming to us and saying, Hey, What’s up with bookings this summer and it’s so helpful to be, to be able to go back in time, look at where we were at this day last year and say, okay, you had three reservations on the calendar last year.

We have four this year. What’s the problem  using, using, having those analytics at your tooltip or, uh, at your fingertip can be extremely powerful in those cases. Cause it. Takes the subjectivity out of the conversation and just makes it a data driven, um, conversation. 

Yeah.  Um,  I want to get back to, to the, the website you, you mentioned earlier, but before we get into that,  I want you to kind of go through some of the other two, um, pillars that you have for operations.

You mentioned process and people, uh, what are some of the critical things that you do to make sure that you’re really elevating the, the guest experience there?  

Yeah. So from a process standpoint. You know, speaking to the value proposition of creating a cut, like a great experience  implementing breezeway has been huge because it lets you put a checklist together for your entire property.

And yeah, you can do that in most PMSs, but it’s much more extensive and more user friendly for both the cleaners and yourself. Yeah. So big thing that I. Try to, uh, make sure happens in our company is  not just shove technology in front of people, but make the process super easy for them to actually use the technology.

So anytime a cleaner joins our team, we’re going to send them a welcome email. And we’ll send them an attachment with how to docs on how to use Slack, which is our communication tool and how to use breezeway. And then we’ll actually sit down with them one on one and talk through how we actually go and use those tools in our business.

And so the process of that, like having that document that having the SOP and then be able to share that with our team is everything because it sets them up for success from the start. So that’s. Kind of the process side of things. Now, on the people side, it’s always about working with a players. And one of my core beliefs is not necessarily that you have to hire a players out of the gate, but you can cultivate them.

And the way you cultivate a players is by setting an amazing, a very compelling vision for the team to, uh, Rally around  having great technology that’s easy to use and having processes in place to use that tech.  So being at this point in my journey, it’s really about that vision setting and leadership, but having those other components in place is what helps  gravitate a players to us.

And then also cultivate and elevate people into that a player status. 

Yeah.  You’re, you’re at a point where you have your cleaners. They’re, they’re less like vendors now and the more like employees as, as part of your team there, um, for some of the, your students, do you still recommend breezeways for people that are basically using cleaners that are our vendors, the cleaners are serving many different other clients.

Do you find success on having breezeway?  

We just had this conversation this past week, actually. It depends on  what level you’re at. And just to put like a line in the sand, if you’re around 20 properties, that’s kind of when you want to start thinking about a tool like that,  I say that because there’s just so many different things that are going on in the short term rental, the cleaning inspections, the maintenance, that it becomes much harder to track manually in a tool.

Like. Google sheets or a monday. com than it is to have some of the automations and features that breezeway brings into the, into the equation. So kind of depends on the level of operation that you have going on. We didn’t sign up for breezeway until late last year when we had 60 properties. So at that point in time, we were still using Monday, we were making it work, but things were starting to fall through the cracks.

And so I saw the opportunity for us to kind of shore up again, the quality, so we can maintain consistency and maintain our five star reviews. 

Yeah. Do you, did you prior to breezeway had some other mechanism for a checklist, um, for, for your cleaners? 

Yeah. So we use guesties inherent tool around tasks, which works okay.

But the checklist just isn’t very extensive  for cleanings. You can automate a lot of that maintenance. You can automate some of it inspections. You can kind of do the same thing, but again, it’s not as  fully built out with all the capabilities that a breezeway has. 

Nice. Awesome. Um, you mentioned just, just a little while ago that your site, one of the reasons why you went to guesty was like, you’re starting to scale quite a bit.

Um, and, uh, hospital at the time did not have a direct booking site. What do you, what do you use right now? And what are you looking to improve on that?  

So we use guesties booking engine, which provides us with at least the capabilities to take direct bookings,  the problem. And you probably know this better than I do from, uh,  Uh, a domain perspective and SEO and all that stuff, but the guestie book engines essentially gave you a sub domain.

So you’d have to type in S V R dot guestie bookings. com to see us. And the problem with that is that Google doesn’t give you credit for any of that activity because it’s a sub domain. And so guestie does have guestie websites, so you can have a front facing domain. And that’s something that we’ve been  thinking about, but again, we don’t know if that’s the right.

Solution necessarily long term for us, given our size. Um, and it would be recurring payment versus like a one time project to get an agency that build the company, uh, for us. And there’s other offered options. Like we had talked about, um, yours, you know, being able to use something like that to replace it. 

So we use the guest booking engine right now. I know hospitable has something like that today as well.  Um, but that’s kind of where we’re at at the moment.  

Yeah, yeah, you’re, you’re right about the subdomain side of things. If, if you’re not hosting your site and I think like folks that use like who fee, for instance, is another example of this is like you’re directing traffic to another website.

Um, at least in the guestie for pros, um, situation is still your dedicated site, like no, one’s going to click out and go find another property elsewhere, but it does. make linking and SEO a little bit harder. Um,  so like I seen people that will have their property pages on the website. Um, and then whenever you want to book, it’s a completely different, disparate experience altogether.

I’m guessing that’s kind of what you’re facing right now. Um, definitely bringing them together not only improves SEO, but it improves your conversion quite a bit as well too.  Yeah, 

I imagine it does 100%. I think  The one on the, it’s all about prioritize prioritization, right? What are you going to focus on?

What are you gonna spend money on? And like, I just talked to Allie about this earlier today, if you’re doing some of the things that she talked about on your podcast and You’re seeing 40 percent direct bookings already. It’s a hard sell to say, yeah, we need that, right? Even though we know like long term is definitely something we want to think about and implement.

It makes it more challenging when the conversions are already there. Uh, but I think that’s because we’re mostly getting repeat renters that have already gained that trust versus somebody that’s coming off from Google. And now if you’re just adding friction points, there’s more, a much higher likelihood that they’re just going to exit and not come back.

Yeah, you’ve already built that report and they’re, they’re not coming in at the top of the funnel. They’re, they’re coming in kind of somewhat in the middle of the funnel where they trust you already. They know who you are. They know what the experience is like. Um, for them, they may be actually, I’m actually curious to find out, like  they might be shopping out around to see other stays that you, you have.

Um, so that kind of like leading to like the next question there, do you find that guests that rebook with you, are they booking the same place again? Or do you find out that more often they’re discovering another property that you have that they want to try out?  

I haven’t run that analysis yet.  I would suspect that  given our, again, this is market dependent in markets like Hampton beach or Rye, like folks. 

We’ll come back with their families to the same place a year after year. So I bet a good chunk of that percentage are those types of repeat guests.  We do have a number of guests that bounce around like folks that are working Monday through Thursday and like, Oh, you have five places in Ryan. I’m going to try out different ones.

And.  It just depends on the avatar. Some people, uh,  you know, want that consistency. They already know what they’re going to get. And then other people want to try different flavors of what you have to offer. And that’s actually another reason why we’ve been moving into the mountains. We have, uh, 10 listings now between  Conway, New Hampshire, and then over to Kellington, Vermont.

And  we want to say, Hey, like you vacationed here on the beach in the summertime. For your ski trip, have you come up and join us on the mountains? You already understand the experience, so they don’t have to do that guesswork. And we have kind of both ends of the spectrum throughout the entire season.

Yeah, that’s, that’s really smart. That’s really smart. Um, and I bet like, almost like as your portfolio grows, You’re also giving them the opportunity to find the right dates to because if you only have a few properties there and you’re marketing that one property,  there’s a, there’s a good likelihood that that those dates are already booked up.

Whereas if you give them the entire portfolio and you give them the ability to search by dates on when they’re available to travel, they know that they’re going to get a good experience and they can try out what the other properties, if the last one that they stayed at wasn’t available anymore.  

And that’s the risk.

If you only have a couple or one property, Oh, my dates aren’t available. I’m going to go somewhere else. And now they’re building rapport with a different manager or a different property. Yeah. 

Yeah, hopefully all of us scale to have multiple properties, 

I guess that’s the luxury we have, I suppose, but, uh, yeah, I guess that’s one competitive advantage that we have.

I hadn’t really thought about. That’s a great one. 

Yeah. Um, so talk to me about some of the ways that you’re driving traffic back in there. Um, I talk to hosts all the time where everybody, well, not everybody, but a good chunk of people give really good reviews. They say, I can’t wait to come back. And you don’t hear from them for a long while.

And then maybe they went somewhere else the next time they went to, to, to, to visit the beach. Um, But how do you draw them back into booking with you?  

Yeah, there’s two or three different ways. So what we did sign up with Sam and the go SCR team. So we have the text and email journeys. You didn’t listen to that podcast.

Definitely recommend it. But they  essentially are doing a journey after the guest stays both by text and email. And so that’s, something that helps us retarget those folks and capture them. And then we just monitor the click through rates on subscribe rates to make sure the design of those journeys stay sound.

And if there’s anything that’s kind of falling, then we’ll make tweaks to the, the top, the, you know, Other pieces of the funnel that need to be, to be changed.  Aside from that, we will do a monthly email campaign through stay fi  and that is more geared around the seasonality. So if foliage season is appropriate approaching in the summertime, that’s when we’ll do a monthly campaign and we’ll talk about other things, but we’re going to start to advertise properties that are going into that peak season or providing discounts on stays for, for properties that are going into their off season.

Um, so between those two, those are probably our two primary strategies for getting folks to rebook with us other than simply just messaging them and saying, Hey, you booked with us last summer and would you want to rebook with us again this year? Uh, and there’s a number of different like nuances to that around discounting and length of stay that you can deploy, but the basics are, are those two components.

Yeah. Got it. So you actually use two different tools to send out Um, emails, you mentioned you use state fi and, um, Sam service for, um,  go SDR marketing as well. Right? Exactly. Yep.  Um, that’s, I never thought about actually deploying multiple tools. I always, I always try to figure out how to converge them to, um, is there, is there a good reason or is there a reason why you decided to use two separate tools and not kind of converge them together?

Or is that a plan down the road? Yeah, 

that’s something that’s on the roadmap. Is it because we just started with Sam three months ago, we have been doing the monthly emails already with stay five. The question is, do we need multiple services? How can we combine them? Can we just use Sam service? My understanding around str go str is it’s journey based.

Whereas stay fine. Those monthly campaigns that we do doesn’t have to be stay. Phi could be wicks or square space or, you know, constant contact. What are any of those? The reason we stay five is because we have the email collection as well. So it’s all built into that software and it’s easy to just take that and send emails directly from the software versus having to integrate it or export import to a different tool.

And now you’re talking about a data collection tool, an email service, a, you know, done for you, sir. It’s just a lot. So ideally it would just be one,  but that’s on the roadmap to figure out as we see the success of go SDR. 

Yeah. Yeah.  Um, when you send out your monthly seasonal mailers, what do you, what do you talk about?

And, and as part of that, are you sending the same mail around to all the folks or are you sending out, um,  market specific emails?  

Usually all the folks, but it can be market specific and it can be two different avatars.  So Um, Yeah. One avatar might be  the guests that stayed in our beach properties, but another, and it wouldn’t even be a guest would be a midterm rental agency.

So in our market, this is very, again, market specific, but six months of nightly rate weeklies, shoulder seasons, traditional short term rentals. The other six months are more geared towards winter rentals or midterm stays 30 plus days So we’ve actually created a database and relationships. With a number of midterm rental agencies, whether that’s real estate agents or medical providing agencies, insurance relocation agents.

And we send them a monthly newsletter of what’s available because those are the folks that are going to connect us with people that need housing for those longer stays. So it’s multifaceted. Um, we’ll, we’ll attack the guest side, but we’ll also attack the agency side of the fill occupancy. And that’s what drives direct bookings up a lot too. 

You, um, You mentioned consistency earlier on, and this is a big thing that Allie talked about on, on our podcast together. Um, when you think about consistency is specifically what Direct bookings or even around the quality of the stay. What are some of the things that you make sure that is there and how do you actually keep that stamina to have that consistency  comes back to process.

So having the SOPs and the people to execute those processes. And for instance, every week we do a. We call it pro tip Tuesday. I know Allie calls it tip Tuesday, but I’ll do a quick insight into the guest experience or for our clients, how to host better.  Uh, we’ll do that. We’ll do a property spotlight, and then we’ll typically do some sort of, um, like a landmark spotlight.

So a restaurant or a place that’s nearby.  And.  It just comes down to consistently executing on the strategy and having a process in place. So it’s very easy to do it and having the team members kind of rally around and make sure it happens. And then at the end of the day, because I’m not necessarily in the work as much, I need to be able to see our KPIs and be able to measure lead versus lag.

So lead being the things that you do to achieve the lag measure, which is direct hookings. And so we’ll track that on a weekly basis to make sure things get done. So the accountability needs to be, that’s the probably the biggest piece is making sure it gets done  the way you want it to. 

Got it. So you mentioned the lagging measure is how many direct bookings you make in a particular period.

What’s the lead measures that you look at?  

Lead measures would be users, Per month or per week on your website traffic, the number of followers for our social accounts  and another one, um, would just be simply number of posts, you know, making sure that if we say we’re going to do five posts, we do five posts  and then what’s the most like posts, like trying to understand what’s actually gravitating or, uh, attracting the people that are watching us and then leaning into the things that are working and just, and scrapping away the ones that aren’t.

That makes sense. What does, um, What does your, you mentioned you have a team to help you with, with this, what does that structure look like and what roles do they play versus what you play?  

So we have a full time marketing account manager and they drive the  creative side of the house in terms of marketing.

So they’ll develop the strategy, they’ll create the copy. They’re going to work in tandem with one or maybe two of our virtual assistants. Who are primarily there for the guest experience, but they have a hand in pretty much every part of the business, including marketing. So they might do some video editing.

They might put some copy together. They might actually be creating the posts and Canva. And then our marketing director will be, you know, signing off on that and make sure the post gets scheduled and sent out. 

Got it. So you, you now have a, you now have the process in place where again, like you’re not needing to.

To spend time on each one of those. You have someone, each one of your team members to help execute on, on that strategy. Exactly. 


Awesome. We went through lots of different tactics, kind of how you structured your, your, your software, your process, your people, how to get into consistency. Is there anything else that you want to share with our listeners here today to help them drive more direct bookings? 

Know what you want and like what gets tracked gets and measured gets done. So be able to track your results and like, keep the eye on the prize. Like everybody wants to talk about followers and likes and okay, cool. But Allie will be one of the first ones to tell you, like, she doesn’t have that many followers to her account, but she knows how to drive people to her account to get the result, which is a direct booking. 

And so if you focus on the results and really measure that and dial it in, then you can reverse engineer the other, Strategies and tactics that you need to use to get the result that you’re looking for.  

That’s a, that’s a great advice coming from a true, uh, operations lead there.  

Well, Peter Drucker for you. 

That makes me curious. What was your life prior to short term rentals?  

Uh, I was a program manager, so I did a lot of reporting and analytics, um, 

It makes so much sense. Now,  

I did get my master’s in business operations and, uh, I learned a lot of like about lean six Sigma Toyota way, all that jazz. And so my background is. 

operations. But, um, you know, the biggest piece, the operations is like understanding your numbers and as a leader, like that’s what it comes down to. If you want to elevate out of the day to day, you got to be able to like work through the numbers instead of working through the actual work. Yep. And, um, yeah, that’s the kind of position we’re in now.

Yeah. That’s why I really love about our Our industry is that we all come from very, very different diverse backgrounds, but you’ll notice that hosts will really lean in. The really good hosts will lean in on what they do very, very well. And they’ll lean in on the lean against others to help really,  uh, fill in, fill in the gaps there.

Um, like talking to all the hosts that, that are in my, my circle. Each one of us are very different. And when we ask for advice, we know exactly who to go to for certain things.  Um, and it’s just remarkable how no matter what background you’re in, you can be really successful on it if you really, um, can hone in on your skills and apply that towards kind of your niche there.

Yeah, a hundred percent. I mean, there’s,  there’s a component in this business for everybody. So if you want to be creative, you know, you can work on welcome baskets and marketing and all that jazz. But if you want to work in operations, you can do what I do. You want to do sales and marketing, um, like talking to clients, talking to guests, like there’s a, there’s a place for you as well.

And I, and I agree. I see people from, you know, All backgrounds join this industry and they fall in love with it, I think, because the community is so abundant and like the mindset is different. It’s not scarcity based. And, um, that goes a long way. Cause it’s, it’s much more rewarding being in those types of circles than playing scared in, in, uh, a different, different realm.

Yeah. I imagine what hosting will be like. When we’re able to like leverage each other very, very effectively five, 10 years from now, and just how much things will grow because we’ve already seen it in the last two, three years where there are new services out there. Um, when we went to the conference, Walcon a couple of weeks back, I started to find out about new services.

that allow you to,  um, give like local amenities to your guests and be able to book experiences there that didn’t exist like,  like two years back. Um, and these are because people come from different industries. They learn about the short term rental space that are host themselves and they feed, they see this gap in the market and they’re like, Oh wait, we can plug this gap.

It’s actually not that hard.  

Yeah, a hundred percent. I mean, if you really think about it, like short term rentals have been around for a long, long, long time, but the barrier of entry has only existed since Airbnb came into the fold like 15 years ago. So there’s so many new things that are coming that  the.

Like the standards is going to continue to elevate and raise up and you have to kind of stay afloat by by having these conversations by staying plugged into the community because it’s not a set and forget it  type of business. 

Yeah. And I actually don’t think it’s actually even harder to like we’re up leveling the quality there, but we talked about a bunch of different tools.

These tools have helped us really 

And that’s what’s fun about it is it’s,  I mean, it’s real estate, but it’s, it’s more about hospitality than it is about real estate investing. And, uh, that’s what, like, you can just use so many different components of this to make it fun and exciting for your guests, for yourself, for everybody involved.  

Um, to close this out, uh, I have two questions for you.

One’s a mindset question and one’s an action question. Uh, what’s one mindset advice? And it could be particular to short term rentals. It could be particular to direct bookings, but what’s one mindset advice that you would give to folks  that are trying something new, something that they haven’t done before. 

You got to know what you want  and You got to become that person today.  So there’s this great quote, um,  I think it’s in the invisible power,  but it’s the concept of principle over precedent.  So I see so often  people look at their past failures and, or successes, and then they,  you know, rest their laurels on them.

And like, that’s how the way that’s the way it’s going to be. But principle principally in the, in the concept they brought up in the book was  like the materials that allows us to fly existed way before we actually learned how to fly.  But the ability to put those pieces together, that’s the principle of it.

Like those all existed, but the precedent was that it. It never happened before. And so in your own life, you can look at that and say, whatever your goal is, once you figure out what that is, and you have a strong burning desire for that goal,  you know, that you can achieve it. If you start behaving like that person today.

So that would be my best piece of advice. Know what you want and then start becoming that person today, even in small ways.  

Yeah. That’s very similar to the book that Sam and I talked about and what Mike Shogan talks about the cycle cybernetics. I don’t know if you’ve, you’ve gone through and read that one yet.

That one’s a lengthy one. Um, it reminds that, that your quote reminds me much, very much like 

that. Yep. A hundred percent. It’s all about that self image. Yeah.  

Um, so last question, what’s one action, um, that you would advise folks to, to take today?  

It really depends on where you’re at. So if you’re just starting out. 

I would strongly advise not getting a direct booking site. That’s not your problem. Like you need to be very good at the basics. And what Airbnb is so great about is like, they create the training wheels for you to get, to be good at hosting.  So you gotta be very good at adding value. And providing a service to your guests.

So if you’re at that stage, that’s what I would advise. Like make sure your, your product is like better than anybody else out there. Just focus on that. And you can never lose focus on that. That’s just always has to constantly evolve. But as you grow,  You have to have awareness. So that would be the, the, the action item is stay aware day to day of the changing industry and the things that are coming into the fold in this industry to take advantage of, and to start plugging into your own business.

It’s like we talked about earlier. It’s not set up. These are not longterm rentals. You know, just like a little box on Airbnb. I mean, maybe you used to put a porter potty on there and still make money, but like you can’t do that anymore. So you have to stay hyper aware. And the action item there is just keeping your, your, your pulse on the industry and what’s going on.

And then being patient. To not just like jump in on every nice, cool feature. Cause that’s, um,  you know, just, it’s a waste of time and it’s going to deviate you from her focus, but having the recognition, the awareness to the plug in pieces as they make sense patiently. Yeah.  

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense.

Like you exhibit this yourself where you mentioned like you were  doing using spreadsheets and such until you found out that you probably need something that’s scaled to kind of where you have grown into. So you didn’t like use breezeway from, from the very beginning. It’s um, you used it when you actually needed to use it,  but you probably knew about it quite a bit since. 

Yeah. Like even with our expansion into the mountains,  we’ve wanted to do that from the beginning, but we wanted to make sure our core product was really, really sound here on the coast first. And so it took us three and a half, four years to even have the guts to go up there.  And once we knew we had the right service in place, that’s when we made the leap.

So see the opportunity, but not necessarily like. Yeah. 

I like how you call it a product. I don’t know if you, you do this in your coaching sessions as well too, but that’s kind of how I think about my short term rentals as a product. And I’m a product guy, so it makes a lot of sense to me, but it’s kind of weird to hear others talk about the same way. 

Yeah, I guess it’s synonymous with service, but at the same time, like easier to visualize, I think like your product is that home, 

you know?  Awesome. Chris, um,  where can folks find out more about you? Where can they follow you?  

Yeah. On Instagram, you can find me at Chris underscore Patsy.  We also have a couple Instagram handles at Seacoast vacation rentals at Summit vacation rentals. 

I use Seacoast to Summit. For our email domain, um, as it’s the branding thing that as a parent company, but if you want to find us on social DM me with questions, like those would be the places to, to reach out to us.

Awesome. I’ll make sure to include those into the show notes and people can follow you.

Awesome. Thanks a lot, Gil. I appreciate the time today, man. This was great. 

Yeah, it was great having you here. Thanks. 

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