Direct Booking Simplified Podcast – EP11 – Organically building your social media following with Candice from Boho A-Frame

On this episode, we have Candice from Boho A-frame. She’s a short-term rental host with a unique a-frame along the California coast. She walks through how she’s grown her social media following and why, even though she has 95% occupancy before direct bookings, she still invests heavily in marketing her own bookings.

Podcast Summary

In our conversation with Candice, we delved into the intricacies of working with influencers, cultivating a robust social media presence, and fostering direct bookings. A crucial point emphasized was the importance of thorough vetting when selecting influencers. Beyond just follower count, it’s imperative to scrutinize factors like engagement rates, follower demographics, and their track record in driving bookings for other hosts.

Furthermore, we explored the diverse array of platforms available for property marketing, spanning Instagram, Pinterest, and even Facebook groups. The key lies in understanding the guest’s journey and strategically positioning oneself where they are most likely to discover the property. Leveraging opportunities such as getting reposted by travel accounts, networking locally, and investing in high-quality visuals emerged as effective strategies for organic audience growth.

Direct bookings emerged as a cornerstone of sustainable hosting, offering independence from OTA reliance. Establishing a personalized website and booking engine is essential for this endeavor. However, beyond the transactional aspect, our discussion underscored the significance of delivering exceptional guest experiences. From thoughtful amenities to curated local recommendations, going the extra mile is pivotal in fostering guest loyalty. Finally, the conversation highlighted the value of experimentation and continual learning, urging hosts to remain open-minded and receptive to evolving marketing tactics within the dynamic landscape of hospitality.

Essential Highlights

Here are a few key takeaways from the podcast episode with Candice about working with influencers, growing a social media following, and pursuing direct bookings:

  • Vet influencers thoroughly – look at their follower location/demographics, engagement rates, who they’ve worked with before, and whether they actually drove bookings for other hosts. Don’t just go by follower count.
  • Try different platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook groups to market your property and build a following. Put yourself in the guest’s shoes for where/how they may discover you.
  • Use strategies like getting reposted by travel accounts, networking locally, and creating quality visuals/videos to attract an audience organically.
  • Direct bookings are important for independence and avoiding total reliance on OTAs. Build your own website/booking engine.
  • Focus on providing an outstanding guest experience beyond just a nice property through amenities, local tips, and personal touches.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different marketing tactics. Learn from others in the community and keep an open mindset.

The main takeaway is to take a multi-pronged approach to marketing, carefully vet influencer partnerships for ROI, and prioritize direct bookings while delivering an exceptional guest experience. An open, learning mindset is key.

Follow Candice on instagram @boho_aframe


Another thing I do to vet influencers is I always go to their page and I look at the posts they’ve shared and I see who they’ve worked with and I go to that person’s  social media page or it’s a hotel. I’ll find who the email, whatever.  I’ll be like, hi, I’m looking at working with this person. Would you mind letting me know what your experience was working with them?

Did it bring you bookings? I specifically asked, did it bring you because  so often the answer is.  Um, not really bookings. We did get more views and we did, um, get a lot of followers from it, but we didn’t really get very many bookings. And so for me, if I’m paying an influencer trading, whatever you guys have come to an agreement on, if I’m paying them, say, I don’t know, a thousand dollars to work with them and I don’t get a single booking from that, what did I gain?

You know? So it’s like, cool. Okay. I got followers, but that doesn’t make me money. At the end of the day, followers don’t make me money. Bookings make me money. 

Back  to direct booking simplified. We break down the tactics and strategies to win in direct bookings. On today’s show, we have Candice from Boho A Frame. She has an A Frame cabin in Big Sur, California, not a place that you’ll typically find an A Frame, but she has done extremely well. She’s built up a social following and has locked in really high occupancy rates.

On today’s show, she’ll break down how she’s built her social media following using different platforms, how she works with influencers and why direct booking is so important to her. So let’s bring her in. Hey, Candice. 


Welcome. Welcome to the show. 

Thank you for having me. 

Yeah, it was good. It was good to meet you.

I think I found you because I think Either I followed you or you followed me, uh, and I started to see all the content that you were producing. I was like, I need to have this person on the show. 


Before we get too deep into it. Do you mind giving folks a idea of kind of who you are? 

Yeah. I’m Candice.

I run a short term rental on the central coast of California. Um, I have a background in science. I got my bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and I worked in emergency medicine for quite a while and got injured in that realm and it like diverted me and I got to start hosting, which was like my passion. I loved traveling to a bunch of, Vacation rentals.

My husband and I would try and do like three countries a year back then. We don’t anymore with kids, but, uh,  but yeah, so it was like, I didn’t like choose this path, but I ended up here and I really like it. And it, it was a cool transition to something that I was passionate about in my personal life. And now I get to facilitate guest having experiences like the ones that I used to enjoy when I traveled.

So that’s been fun. 

Nice. And you have one of the, my favorite structures in of all, which is like the a frame, um,  my wife and I, we, we want to, we go to Tahoe every so often, every so, every so often, maybe like every one out of 20 houses, it’s an a frame with. It’s not very common over there. I 

have to send you a few Tahoe rentals that I love that are,  yep.

Oh my God. I would love to stay. I would love to stay at more a frames. Um,  um, actually what, like, what is it like? To own a short term rental in California.  

Yeah, I mean, it’s got its pros and cons. I’m sure like any place, uh, the area I’m located is definitely, especially like my city, um, is not super short term rental friendly as far as like getting licensed and stuff.

So there’s definitely more complexities to it, but, um, You know, a perk is that people like to travel to California. We’re near Big Sur coast. We’re about an hour to the beginning of the Big Sur coast. So, um, we get road trippers and stuff like that because of it. And we’re right, you know, we’re kind of between San Francisco and LA.

So we get people from both sides of the cities there. So like we have, um, you know, big travel ports and surrounding stuff, but we’re like, thankfully not in the busyness of it, which I prefer. Um, so. Yeah. I like that about being in California. 

So are you like right along like PCH?  

I am located in Los Osos, which is near Morro Bay, California.

People tend to don’t Morro Bay or San Luis Obispo. Um, yeah.  

I cannot think of Morro Bay without thinking about like Nemo. 

Yeah. Nemo, that didn’t used to exist too. That’s fairly new, but it is so funny because that whole movie has like a big aquarium that doesn’t even exist in Morro Bay. But yeah. So I’m like.

I’m on the backside of that Bay. Um,  yeah. 

Are there a lot of other cabins in the area or are you kind of unique and unique for that? That’s day. 

Yeah. There’s very few cabins in this area. Um,  I, that’s why my marketing slogan is a cabin experience by the sea because like You don’t typically have cabins like this low basically in sea level near the ocean.

Um, but we’re kind of in a unique forest feeling, uh, property that’s like close to the state park over here.  So we’re kind of a unique. Combination of things here. You know, it’s interesting cause the A frame was originally built in, I think the fifties, maybe sixties, I think it’s fifties. Um, and, uh, it was the original owner’s vacation home.

They built it in plywood walls. It wasn’t anything special at all, but, um, they, they built, you know, I’m sure. The kind of the history of a frames was they were kind of a cheaper bill that people would just slap up. And, um, so they built it as a vacation home, um, back then. So maybe they had a thing for affinity for a frames in the mountains too, you know, but they wanted to bring it over to the ocean.

I don’t know.  

I never thought about that. Like, because you have an a frame, you actually don’t have walls. You have just basically two rooms that touch the ground. 

Yep. Yeah. It’s funny. And like there’s pros and cons that obviously people are attracted to the character. So it’s like easier to sell, but at the same time, like when you’re renovating it, cause we flipped our place when you’re the one renovating it, cutting stuff for those triangular walls is such a in the booty sometimes.

But yeah, it’s funny about people like reach out and want to do like wall art for the apron. And I’m like, where am I going to hang it?  

You can’t hang a TV  

at two straight walls. And they’re like, Maybe four inches wide, if that,  

that’s hilarious. 

There should be like a, like a meme about like a fame problems. Yeah. 

Right.  We got him in DMS for sure. A few people and like people message me sometimes like, how did you get that ladder to fit in there? I literally had someone yesterday, like, how did you hang your curtains in the loft? So it’s like, it’s like, it’s just like this character, which it’s.

Like that’s the pro and con of character, you know, there’s things to navigate, but it’s also like kind of worth the enjoyment to some degree. So, yeah. 

Yeah. Yeah.  Awesome. I’ve always wondered if I should, if I should get into, so I’m also in California, I’m in like, I’m in San Francisco. So I’ve always wondered like, should I get a place in California?

I’m always dreaded like all the laws and all the changing. I don’t know if you saw this morning, but like  the RBO sent out a message saying that like, Oh wait, now have to include. Um, the cleaning fees and all the taxes or the cleaning fees into the nightly stay rate as well, too. Cause I don’t know if you saw that. 

So California always has like, we’re always really  in the forefront of like more regulation. Yeah. 

Yeah. I wouldn’t, um, like  we ended up with our property kind of word of mouth and whatever, and, but like, if I was just an investor, like purely thinking logically and I wasn’t like. Someone who grew up here, I wouldn’t be like, California is the best place to invest.

And I don’t think really anyone who’s rational would think that because like the laws here, not super friendly to landlords at all. I mean, we had to evict tenants. So like, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of California’s. Rental regulations and the irony of it is if they made it easier for property owners to like be landlords and like not end up in crummy positions, like it would probably be easier for us to rent and like provide places for people.

But that’s a whole lot. 

It’s, it is, it is a bit one sided. It definitely is a bit one sided.  

Well, it’s like you make it harder for the property owner. You also make it harder for the tenants. Not everyone thinks about that. Yeah. 

Yeah. Yeah. So you have a, you have a pretty big following yourself. Like you have a couple of thousand followers there.

How did you kind of get to that place where folks are starting to kind of naturally follow you? 

Yeah. So I think,  A lot of it is just from like networking, connecting with people myself. Um, some of it’s from working with pages who are like in my realm. Um, some travel pages, um, uh, travel bloggers. I, a lot of it is honestly just through like fluidly getting picked up by pages who are in my world and reshare my stuff.

They see it, like it, reshare it. And then I like, where’d all these people come from? Um, and so. So a lot of it wasn’t even necessarily intentional. Some of it was working with influencers. Um, a lot of it too, is hosts who have, um, talked about me with other hosts and been like, Oh my gosh, you got to follow Candice.

Like she shares some really good stuff. Yada, yada. And then there’s like a trickle down effect. So  it’s been, it’s not like I got to that many followers overnight, you know? Um, it’s just. It’s like through time they’ve kind of just trickled in. Um, so yeah, and there’s been occasional fluctuations of like a few hundred when like something really got pushed through or whatever, but like one, one was Airbnb picked up one of my posts and re shared it.

And I, that brought me a fair amount of followers. So, 

um, yeah. One thing I noticed about your content is like, it’s, you have some really nice photos, um, there, I think that that has, that was a pretty heavy contributor to why folks follow you and reshare your content, would you agree? 

Yeah, I think so. I mean, I feel like that’s the beginning of good marketing.

Like you need to have quality, like imagery that really like depicts your property in a way that’s appealing and like speaks to people. Cause if you have like crummy, grainy, dark photos, like, I don’t know, I don’t like that, you know?  So I’m like, I feel like, How do you market a space if you can’t even picture it like in a way that’s appealing, you know, so that’s like one of the big things to start with.

So start with good content to share for sure and know who you’re marketing to and, and then go from there, you know? 

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Do you, do you take your own pictures or do you have, do you hire someone to take your pictures for you? 

Yeah, I, I, um, I dabble, or dabble, what’s the word? Dabble.  Like is it a P or a B?

I’m not sure right now. Um, uh, with photography, and I can take pretty good imagery, but it’s just like something where, They don’t come out as perfect as I want them to, so I, I like to work with photographers cause it’s way easier for me to just like get batches of content and then I edit them into posts and stuff in my social media.

So most of the imagery is not mine. Um, some of it is, but, um, I have a friend who’s a photographer locally that I’ve worked with and he’ll create like a bunch of video clips and then I’ll make it into reels. Like he just batches a bunch of different stuff and I help like Come up with ideas of things they want to depict and market to people.

And then, um, I’ll crop it all up and add it to audios and do that kind of thing. Um, but he’s got the equipment to make it look beautiful and I’m sure edits it in ways that make it look better. So, yeah, and I, I also occasionally, and I do like working with photographers who are traveling or in the travel industry.

Um, like true quality photographers are, I love working with them because they can really depict the space in ways you wouldn’t think to. So, um, yeah, most of it’s not, not my personal photography. 

Nice. Nice. Do you find that like video performs better or do pictures perform better in your content? 

It’s so different.

Yeah, I wouldn’t say I’ve found like a super black and white, like videos always work better or photos were always work better. I would say for a while, their photos seemed like they were dead and then real seemed like they were more popular. And now it seems like sometimes photos like break through the noise and actually get more, um, interaction.

So I don’t know. It kind of just depends. 

That’s actually really, that’s actually really good to hear because I have like really quality photos for my, for my places, but I don’t have any video content. So like I always kind of struggle like of building out the content. I always feel like I have to hire a videographer in order to have consistent Um, like content I could push out, but it’s, it’s good to hear that.

Like even actually like photos itself would actually form still fairly well if you have the right photos. 

Yeah. And honestly you can tinker with images and make them into like little video clips. So like, for example, you could go on Canva, which is like a really easy site to use if you’re not super like,  And you could like, say you have a picture of someone holding like a coffee cup.

You can add like an element into that that makes the coffee look like it’s being stirred or like something dropped into the coffee mug and you can save it. And it looks like a little video clip, but you just used a photo, like there’s things you can do, you know? So there’s like stuff like that, where it’s like, it’s interactive, but you didn’t have to like have a full on videographer do it.

Cause it’s hard to make like really good video. Reels that market your space. But I mean, honestly, I think to some degree people still appreciate like just phone quality too. It’s like re there’s like a realism to it, you know? So I do some of that in the mix, but yeah, I mean, I, I guess like generally speaking, my videos get more traffic than my photos.

Cause like, I mean, I’ve had video reels get like tens of thousands of views versus a photo I’ve never had to get that many, um,  social media is an ever changing.  Think  yeah, 

I actually talked, talked to me about that. Like how did you learn some of the tactics and kind of like how you grew your following?

Like how did you go through that journey? 

Yeah. So, I mean, like, I think I just looked at it all as like a sponge essentially. I just soaked in everything and tinkered with things and Maybe Google a bit and like tried to figure out things, but honestly, it’s mostly just trying on there with me. I’m like, I’m gonna try this.

I’m gonna try that. Um, so it was really, cause it’s like, my background is really not in digital marketing. I’m very much a grassroots marketer. I’m sure like if somebody was in digital marketing, they’d be like, what are you doing? You know, but, but A lot of it I think is really based in networking for me.

So it’s like reaching out to people, interacting with people in my world, like talking to local businesses that like could like collaborate with me and share my space. So like, whether it’s like, you know, local fishermen who have people coming over and chartering their boat need like places for people to stay or, um, like private chefs who often cook for people who like to travel to this area or Stuff like that.

Like there’s a degree of like, just actually like low marketing that people neglect to think about. And there’s so much noise on the internet these days that like, I feel like that kind of marketing actually really breaks through and speaks to people. So it’s like, you know, word of mouth, put posters on a wall in a coffee shop.

Like, honestly, I love standing, waiting for a coffee and looking at local businesses on a wall. Like it’s so much more interesting than like all of the stuff that like gets thrown at you online. Um, so I think there’s like a grassroots element of marketing that like gets me. Neglected, but takes more time these days that I’ve done a little bit of, and it’s brought following and, um, you know, interacting with my guests and just like offering a space that my guests like to stay in, that they want to share is a great way to have free marketing because they hop on their social media, they share it, tag it, and they tell their friends.

And then there’s like a, again, that trickle down effect of like some followers streaming in from that. And. There’s a lot of power in word of mouth, you know, and people trust word of mouth more than a random, you know, ad online. Um, but so that’s definitely some of how I’ve done it. Um, And then influencers is a good way as well.

Um, and just networking within like that, like kind of short term rental cabin community online. So yeah. 

Yeah. It sounds like you tried a whole bunch of different things and I think you actually had the advantage of Not coming from this world or the marketing world, digital marketing world where  like, if you came in from the digital marketing world, you treat it, everything as, okay, I can use all these tactics I’ve learned throughout my career.

But given that you don’t come from that world, you actually get to bring in unique experiences or unique ways to approach the problem.  And I think like, Correct me if I’m wrong, but you put yourself in the guest position and you think about where are they? How can they discover you? How can they learn more about you?

Um, and you’re trying different things to see what really sticks. And if it sticks, then maybe you’ll invest a bit more in that. 

For sure. And it’s good to like hop on the internet and pretend to be someone who’s like typing and searching to travel to your area. So I’ve gone on and been like, Oh, okay. Like, yeah.

Places to stay in the central coast of California or places to stay in California or places to stay near Morro Bay or stuff that I think that people would look at and I see like where I’m ranking and popping up in that and I can, you can see travel and just like, uh, agencies and stuff that might be good to work with, like, I’d love to, I haven’t done this, but I’d love to try and network and work with like some magazines.

I mean, I had travel leisure randomly pick up my property and put it in an article about eight frames to stay in, which was great, but like, and so I’d love to do some more of that. And then, um, yeah, so it’s just like, You like see what, what they’re seeing and what you might like want to like, where you might want to push your property out to.

So, and I noticed that  like when I was pretending to be like a road tripper or someone traveling to my area that, uh, my Pinterest was really helpful in making me pop up. So I’ve,  yeah, Pinterest is like a very untapped world. I think that it’s just like a really good search engine. That pops up more than people would think.

Um, and so, I honestly haven’t gotten to do as much with it as I’d want to, but I get way more interaction over there a lot of the time than I do with, um, other platforms. And it’s nice because it It really seems to help me drive views to my dark booking website and also to my Airbnb and VRBO. I mean, I usually mostly do Airbnb for that, but, um, you know, driving views to your Airbnb helps you get bookings over there too.

So I’ll do a little bit of both, but, um, I’ve noticed that, uh, with very little effort, you can get a lot of traffic to your Pinterest. Um, it’s just easier over there and people are, I think people like, On Instagram, maybe you have a bit of a like scarcity mentality. Like they don’t want to save, send, like, like everything.

Like they don’t want to be too extra where I’m Pinterest. It’s like more maybe like,  and they just like pin, like share, interact with like copy, whatever, all this stuff. Cause it’s like, it’s like they’re bored of just everything, right. They just slap it all in there. Um, so I think that helps. And I’ve, I’ve noticed like Airbnb picked me up on Pinterest and re shared me on their Pinterest.

Um, which they did that on Instagram too. And that was by tagging and hashtagging, mostly tagging those companies. Um, so I would share my property tag, Airbnb, and that’s how I got both Airbnb and VRBO to re share my photo of my property on their Instagram. So that’s all I had to do y’all, but that’s amazing. 

It’s a really simple construct. And like, I’m not someone who’s like throwing a bunch of money at marketing and ads and stuff, and it brought me a ton of business. So like when Airbnb re shared. My property on their Instagram. I got a handful of bookings like immediately and a fair amount of followings from that.



And then I noticed later, like they had taken my Pinterest boards and put them on their Pinterest. And so they were taking my property off Pinterest and putting it over there. Like there’s not as much competition or noise over there. So they’ll take it and pull it. And like a travel blogger reshared my property and like her blogs.

And like, cause they need content. They have to push content, right? These magazines, these bloggers, like they have to like create content that people are interacting with all the time to like keep their views and whatever going. So like they need that and want that. And I don’t think like every travel blogger is going to go every single place that they share about.

All the time. That would be a lot of movement. So sometimes they might pick up other links and share stuff. That’s like mere recommendations they’re giving and whatnot. So I’ve noticed that I get a lot of use on Pinterest. It was like very, very minimal effort. So that’s worth it. That 

is interesting. Do you find that the folks that are engaging with you on it on Pinterest are really more on the content creation side and they’ll end up.

Basically recirculating your content and that’s actually how you get your, your viewership or are you, do you think that like travelers?  

Yeah, I’ve seen both. Um, so I’ve had some, uh, like a few pins in particular that really took off and got a lot of views, which was a whole variety of different people.

And then I’ve, I’ve seen the value of, I guess, like additional marketing from other people in the industry, taking what I’ve shared and posted on there and resharing it and repurposing it.  

That’s amazing. I’ve never thought of using Pinterest in our world. I know like if you’re designing a house, like that’s a really good place to get a lot of inspiration  for traveling.

I never thought about that. 

Well, I, you know what made me think about it is being a traveler. Not what I think about it is because when I would go to travel somewhere, I’d be like, okay, we’re going to Bali. I’m going to hop on here and see like what good places are in Bali. And I would go on there and I would read, A bajillion travel blogs and look into all the different areas I draw the map put down little spots where everything was and I would come up with like a concise plan of everything I wanted to see mostly from like reading blogs about people who had gotten to experience it firsthand And then i’d also like do other research but like So I guess like for me, when I went to plan a trip, I would scroll on there and find images of like places that looked awesome that I wanted to experience.

And then I’d be like, okay, is that one too over traveled or not? And I would decide and whatever, you know? So I guess that’s kind of how I started with it. And I think probably a fair amount of people do that. Um, so yeah, and I, I wrote that down. I wanted to tell everyone, cause I like giving concise info.

You can sync your Instagram.  So it will populate your posts from Instagram and stick them in your Pinterest and push them over there as well. So you’ll get more views to that Instagram post and you’ll be getting the Pinterest traffic and you can do that. Let me, I wrote it down cause I want to be able to tell everybody, go to your settings,  blamed accounts, and then you add your Instagram account and you toggle on content option and  to just sync it all and push all of that stuff.

And so it’s a great way to just like.  Extend your marketing reach further for free. 

Literally that takes like no effort. Like once you have it all set up, it takes like no effort.  


that’s amazing. Yeah, that’s amazing. I 

think that’s a new feature too. Cause like I used to have to manually reshare it into Pinterest and now I don’t.

It’s great too. If a person like, say you’re somebody who saw. Like a page of someone’s rental you want to stay at and you have an Instagram board that’s like places I want to go you can click the share button on your Instagram and Share it to your own personal pinterest and save it for later on your pinterest too if you want  

I had never thought about that.

Yeah  It’s a great way So i’m like there’s a lot you can do with pinterest and I don’t even know it all but it’s cool. Okay And  it’s like I haven’t touched my pinterest and probably like At least six months, honestly, it’s probably more like a year and I’m still getting 15, 000 views Like a month, which is probably honestly nothing in the pinterest world to a digital marketer But that’s 15, 000 people seeing my property without me trying ever.


with zero effort. 

Yes Which is crazy  

Have you youtube at all?  

I a little I just it’s it’s crazy At some point I feel overwhelmed by the like so many different places to like put your effort in, you know Yeah, there’s just so many different platforms. There’s tiktok. There’s instagram. There’s facebook.

There’s pinterest Like there’s just so many different i’m like I just have to like kind of stick to predominantly one which for me is like I kind of predominantly stick to instagram But I’m just like, it’s just too much for me, but I’ve heard really good things about YouTube and the potential on YouTube.

It’s just, I don’t feel like I’m a huge like video person either. So, 

yeah, I think, I think you do really well in that because of just how unique your property is and how well it produces. So like things like Instagram, things like Pinterest, that actually feels very natural for a place like yours. Yeah.

I’m thinking like my place. So we have, we have our place in like Branson for instance. And what we ended up doing was we ended up partnering with  a local Branson person that all they do is produce content about all the great things to do in Branson. And that was like one of the most effective ways because when you go and visit a very tourist heavy place, what’s the first place you go to?

It’s probably YouTube and you’re looking at top things to do in X, Y, Z. And like that and itself has actually generate a lot of traffic back to our site for us. Like we saw, we saw when the announcement went out and we’re looking at our metrics, it’s insane about the amount of traffic that we drove in from that.

Love that. That’s it. Well, it’s, that sounds like basically YouTube is like, you’re using it. Like I use Pinterest. 

I think so. I think so. I think like, like the moral that like, I’m getting out of this conversation is like, really just put yourself in the guest perspective. And if you want someone to discover your stay, like how should you approach it?

And it might be different for everybody for you, where you’re very like image heavy. Yeah. A place like Instagram and Pinterest is like makes a whole lot of sense. Yeah. Or for me, it’s really more about not less so about my, my place, but what’s going around it. And so if I want to reach that customer, YouTube is a really good place.

SEO and Google will be a really good place as well too. 

That makes sense. Cause if you have like a more practical stay vibe versus like a picturesque, like Insta worthy one, then like, yeah, I’m like very, like the A frame is very Insta worthy. Like that’s the kind of person who’s coming to my space. So like people who are on Pinterest and, and Instagram are definitely going to be drawn to it for sure.

Yeah.  Yeah. That’s interesting. It’s, it’s basically, it’s the same kind of a funnel construct, you know, and I’m sure you get travel blogger types from YouTube. I’ve definitely watched  those as well. So yeah. Yeah. I like that.  

So going back to like the influencers, like how do you find the influencers that you’ve, you’ve worked with in the past? 

So I think about who I market to, and I think about who I’m marketing to by looking at my insights on my Airbnb portal, mostly. So like, where are my guests already coming from? And for me, that’s mostly California. I do get some from Europe and like other places, but generally speaking, the majority of my guests are coming from within California.

So then I, when I’m searching for an influencer to work with, I’m not going to be looking at like someone who’s like predominantly marketing. Marketing to people on like the East coast or like they’re a world traveler. Like maybe the world traveler has some value to me, but generally speaking, like I’m, I want to know, like they’re predominantly California travel based.

Right. Um, so before I work with an influencer, that’s one of my first questions is like, where are your followers located? So for like their percent and look at like the locations of their followers. Cause if they don’t have a majority, they’re like, In California, they’re probably not the most rational person for me to work with.

Um, because you got to know who you’re marketing to. And I think a lot of the times people will see like, Oh, they’ve got a lot of followers. And like, they might just be like a fashion, Instagram, what do they call them? Lifestyle influencer. And I’m like, okay, well, that’s cool that you have nice shoes and clothes and stuff, but  that’s not selling to my ideal guest.

And so I know, like, I say this because I’ve talked to a lot of hosts who have worked with people who were lifestyle, and maybe they were even based in an area that they get guests from, but it didn’t do a whole lot for their listing because Those people are really interested in like probably shopping and like different, you know, types of things.

So the next thing I look for is like someone who’s really sharing like travel based content. So, um, it might also be someone who’s like maybe more predominantly sharing like stuff about hiking or like, I don’t know, beach activities. So like surfing, something like fishing, things that are in my area that people would be attracted to.

So you got to think about like what people are doing in your area and, um, that kind of a thing. So I definitely make sure that ideally they’re already sharing vacation rentals and people are already interested in seeing places to stay on their page. Um, those are like two huge ones to start with. Um, I also like working with, influencers who have like not a ton of followers because I prefer someone who I would say like is maybe 150, 000 followers or less that has good engagement.

I think people get too caught up in high follower count and I think there’s a lot more value in like smaller influencers  because like if you think about it even if someone has A thousand followers. I mean, I wouldn’t call them an influencer to a thousand followers, but that’s a thousand people that you could book  that’s a thousand potential guests, you know, so I don’t feel like, and I, again, like there’s so much noise online, like the more following, the more it’s like more that you have to like break through.

Right. So  that’s something I definitely think about. Um, another thing I do to vet influencers is I. Always go to their page and I look at the posts they’ve shared and I see who they’ve worked with and I go person’s Um social media page or it’s a hotel. I’ll find who the email whatever  He’ll be like, Hi, I’m looking at working with this person.

Would you mind letting me know what your experience was working with them? Did it bring you bookings? I specifically asked, did it bring you booking? Because so often the answer is  not really bookings. We did get more views and we did get a lot of followers from it, but we didn’t really get very many bookings.

And so for me, if I’m paying an influencer trading, whatever you guys have come to an agreement on, if I’m paying them, say, I don’t know, a thousand dollars to work with them and I don’t get a single booking from that, what did I gain? You know? So it’s like, cool. Okay. I got followers, but that doesn’t make me money.

At the end of the day, followers don’t make me money. Bookings make me money, you know? So.  Um, I think that’s something that people like really neglect to consider that being said though, if you’re driving a bunch of views to say your Airbnb listing or your website, you are helping push yourself in. That viewing, um, algorithm of some sorts, you know, and it can drive other bookings to come in, but that doesn’t mean they’re the actual bookings that influencer brought you, you know?

Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s a lot less tangible than, than like raw bookings. 

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And I mean,  If they’re marketing for you and they’re supposed to be bringing you bookings, then that’s kind of, you know,  that’s kind of the whole blame. But I think a lot of influencers, they won’t promise that. Cause they can’t promise that.

I mean, if I was an influencer who was marketing for travel and bringing in like, you know, Like marketing rentals, I wouldn’t be able to say like, I can for sure bring you 10 bookings. Cause I don’t know that. And there’s a bit of like, um, ambiguity. Is that a word? I have not slept in like months.  But like, there’s, it’s a, like, it’s not a definite science in that world.

You know, it’s not black and white. It’s not like, if I do this, you will get this. It’s kind of like, you are going to like be gambling on them to some degree.  So I think that’s kind of like the things they definitely start with. And then once I’ve done that, I, I always will consider like doing a contract with them because I’ve had a few experiences where people didn’t follow through or things got a little like, Oh, we didn’t actually do that.

And we say, we’re going to do it. Or like, so for me, I’ll, I’ll do a simple contract. That’s just like a basic agreement of like when they’re staying. What’s the payment and what deliverables they’re giving. So in that world, deliverables is like the number of photos or video clips, or they’re sharing a post real story, whatever it might be.

Um, and then when it will be delivered by, because sometimes people can take a very long time  on a timeline and some people don’t want to share, like when they’re actually here, totally understand that you don’t want to tell people who are in the moment. So, um, I come to an agreement there and then, um, I do definitely consider like a clause about if they don’t follow through and what you would do now because I, when I was more casually doing it in the beginning, I definitely had people bailed like an hour in advance and I was like, I’m so glad I just lost out on all that income for nothing because it’s like, yeah, so like, it’s good to think about those things.

Write something into the contract that like would protect you in those circumstances. Um,  but yeah, and I honestly, but I feel like the most valuable thing about all that is looking and seeing who they’ve worked with and asking them what their experience was like, it can tell you so much about what you could potentially get.

So, yeah. And then, uh, I guess the final thing would just be considered like, is it worth it? Like, I think people get a little starstruck by the fame and fortune and they don’t actually think about if they’re going to get a return on that investment and if what the influencer is asking from it is rational because they can have ridiculous acts.

I mean, I’ve had people ask me for The blend of a down payment on a house. I’m like, are you, are you kidding? 


I can buy an entire another investment property with the amount you want for three posts, like meaning a story or real in a stagnant photo post. So I’m like, that’s insane, dude. Like, and it’s like, I would never do that.

I would take that money and invest it in. Running my like hiring someone to run an entire ad campaign for me before I would ever hire one influencer for that price, you know, so Um, yeah, you got to look at their asks because sometimes they’re reasonable But some people I think are used to working with like huge entities and not small short term rentals and they don’t like taper it down You know, it’s like you’re not working with them.

Not here, dude Like and honestly, it’s ironic because I see a lot of stuff online about How hotels won’t pay influencers, the only trade with them. So I’m like, is that true? I’m sure they pay to some degree. They have to, but I’ve seen a lot of stuff about how they, they won’t. And I’m like, well, maybe there’s something to be said from that.

But yeah, well, they’re probably running their own ad campaigns that they find more value in to some degree. Right. So there’s definitely that to consider. And, um, I’ve noticed there’s like kind of trends in that world of, of like wanting the. The host to offer a discount code that they can promote to their following.

And for me, that’s like a hard pass. Cause I think if I’m paying you to market for me, you should be able to push bookings coming in at full price, if not higher price, you know, I’m not going to take a pay cut by paying you for you to like, I can promote my own discount and make more money, you know? And then another one that I’ve started to see people want to do is take a commission off every booking that they bring in themselves.

And here’s the thing. Weekends are popular. Your weekends are always going to book, right? So it’s like, okay, well, you’re not bringing me those weekend bookings. Those are for sure booking anyway. And for me personally, like my lowest traffic month last month or last year was 89 percent occupancy. And we had like a tornado and like huge storms that much.

It’s like, never happens in California going on that month. But like, so like my, generally my lowest occupancy is. Like low nineties across a year for like two months. So it just didn’t make sense for me. Why would it make sense for me to give you a percent commission on bookings? I know I’m going to bring in myself.

So like, you just have to think about it and like, yeah, sure. The popularity, the traffic, the, like.  Branding and like putting your name out there is great, but like, is it logical? 

Right. Right. Is it actually bringing in the ROI that you actually want to get out of it? 

And I think a lot of the time people don’t consider that, but Hey, if at the end of the day, they just want to trade for days and it’s slow and your days aren’t really booking that much, and maybe you have a few hundred bucks to throw at it and they’re fine with that payment, why not give it a whack?

Like you might, I mean, there’s been times I’ve been like, I can tell this influence is probably not a deal, but this one night stay between bookings. It’s not going to book and they want this day and they’re fine with that. And I’m like, sure, why not? We’ll gamble with it, you know, so don’t be, you can try stuff, see how it goes.

But, um, yeah, so, I mean, I have definitely brought in some, some traffic that way I would say there was one influencer I worked with that I really liked, um, but the rest of them. I,  there was a few that, and then the rest of them, it was just kind of like the asks were so big, I was just like, you’re a big name in this realm.

But like, it just, I, it doesn’t make sense. I already booked so high, like an occupancy. I like, I only have so many days. Like it just doesn’t make sense to work with you. I’m just taking a huge pay cut for not really a good reason. 


um, yeah. So, and what’s rational for one. Rental won’t be for another. So, yeah, but those are all the things that kind of run through my head with influencers and yeah, it’s, it’s like,  yeah, I have an influencer, um, request form on my website too, that I would say like, go look at that if you’re a host and see what it asks for, because that will kind of give you a good indication of like what you should see if they have an offer, um,  So yeah, it’s just, it’s an, it’s an interesting world to navigate and it’s, you know, you don’t want to offend people, but like, you also need to think about like what is rational.

And there’s a lot of people on the internet asking for free stays and stuff from businesses. So it’s like, how do you navigate it? You just have to find a happy medium and sometimes you will, and sometimes you won’t. 

So how do you find your influence influence in the first place? Are they coming to you? Are you going to them? 

Um, some of both. I honestly, at this point in time, I would say I prefer ones that I go to because I’ve found them and seen that they are popping up like essentially when I’m pretending to be someone traveling to my area.

So I’m like, okay, I could see this person. I’ve noticed like some of their content pop up. A lot of times they’ve shared stuff in my area and traveled to my area already too. So I’m like, okay, they’ve been to Morro Bay. They like this area. And a lot of the time they come back to this area. And so I can see how people have already engaged in a light content for stuff that you can do here.

Um, and so I’m like, Hey, if you ever come back to this area, I would love to have. Yeah. You know, kind of, um,  so, which is, I think a luxury I have being based in California and usually working with like smaller influencers that are based in California and sharing a lot of travel content within the state.

Um, so yeah, I would say that is a big way, just kind of, you know, Pretend it’s again that whole like just pretending to be a guest looking in this area and see whose contents popping up um and how you’re coming across it because that’s can teach you like who would probably be wise to work with because if you’re already seeing stuff in the algorithm that’s from them That’s like marketing stuff around you near you in your world.

Like that’s probably a good choice of someone to like Network for you. 

Right. Right. And so, yeah, so are you searching for tags on Instagram when you’re looking for, for, um, influencers?  

Yeah. Tags, um, area. And I think honestly, because I share stuff based in this area and I’m like kind of already in that realm, the algorithm just like pushes that is like of the content that I would want there.

Um, I already follow some like.  Influencers that are California based. And so it pushes other ones and I’ll go look at one influencer that  is doing well and has shared content that’s relatable and applies to what I do. And I’ll go see who they follow or who’s commenting and like, cause a lot of the time they’re kind of like a little club and they like, and talk on all of their posts so you can go look and see like.

What, which ones are doing and trending and engaging in ways that you would want just from like kind of looking at their little community online. 

Yeah. You mentioned that you have really high occupancy. You’re like in the eighties, high eighties, 90%. 

Yeah. I would say, honestly, I, I’m usually a hundred percent occupied with the exception of like, Three months a year.

And in those three months a year, I was  94 percent occupied. I think two of the months in 89 percent the month that 89 is the lowest occupancy I’ve had in forever, honestly. And there was huge storms. So generally a hundred percent occupied. Really? Um, there’s about 15 days of the year that I don’t book. 

That’s insane. That’s pretty, that’s pretty darn good.  

I feel like I’m a, uh, what do I say? I’m a, I’m a big fish in a small seat. We’ll put it that way. Yeah.  

Um, given that, like, how important do you feel like direct bookings is part of your long term strategy? 

Yeah. So, I mean, the biggest reason I feel like direct bookings is important is because  you’re like not building your business on borrowed land is what I always say.

Most businesses, if you’re a small business owner, you’re starting a business, you can’t just go slap your business on another website and start raking in a profit. Like you have to really build your own marketing. And that’s one of the luxuries we have as short term rentals to have these small businesses.

agencies like Airbnb, VRBO, Wickedness. com, whatever ones you use to market for us, like, and to instantly bring us income, you know, but I, I’m not someone to sit comfortably and like, ride that train. I’m someone who’s like, also thinking about like, I don’t know, independence and self preservation. And I have talked about this before, but A big reason for that is during, um, 2020 Airbnb reimbursed a ton of, uh, booking profits to guests that didn’t honor cancellation policies.

And I can understand why they did that, but at the same time. Uh, like a bunch of people were sharing online as hosts about how they couldn’t afford their mortgages because they were dependent on income that they Had expected and was known income essentially because of their cancellation policies and um They were like, you know trying to cover costs Now that they didn’t anticipate having to cover so, um, I think that they probably should have had a little more fail safes in like position, but I also don’t think that it it’s like great as a business to like not honor your policies with the people who make you money, you know?

Um, so once I saw that, I realized like, okay, like, At the end of the day, it’s like every man for themself, you know, and so like, I need to not be dependent on these entities to bring me my income in full, you know, like I need to exist outside of Airbnb. Um, and so that’s when I really like started to make myself.

Like push towards direct booking. And I also have noticed like, you know, guests don’t want to pay fees and it’s like, well, you got to pay a cleaning fee and we have to pay taxes, unfortunately. Although I always argue to have those lower when the forms come out with my county, but, um,  but it’s like, um, so the only thing you really cut out at that point is a service fee and that’s just a fee for a middleman dude.

So like do a little more researching on your own. And I shared a bunch of reels about how to do this. I think that’s how it might be. How you found me actually, that 

is how I found you. 

Um, So it’s like there’s ways to find rentals online, but I think honestly we’re having to break this like stigma that vacation rentals are Airbnbs, like they’re vacation rentals, they’re separate licensed.

Entities and businesses and people have branded them as Airbnb. So we’re like, and it’s, it’s starting to break. It’s starting to break a lot, but, and people are starting to realize like, Oh, you can book these elsewhere. But, um, yes, I think it’s kind of breaking that, that stigma that it’s an Airbnb and realizing that these are  independently functioning businesses that use those platforms as tools, you know, anyways, I kind of got on a tangent, but it’s important to me because I feel like.

I feel like our properties and our businesses should be able to make us money independently of third party sites that we use as a tool for marketing. 

Yeah. Yeah. We talked about this the other day, but like  a lot of hosts in the very, especially in the very beginning, but like, Oh, I just got an Airbnb. I just bought an Airbnb.

I have an Airbnb. I’m an Airbnb host. I’m like, no, you’re not an Airbnb host. You’re a short term parental host. It’s like, it’s, it’s that thought that like, We hang our hats on being an Airbnb host, or that’s like, that’s part of our brand. But I think over time you do have to break yourself from it because like, like you mentioned, like during what COVID happened or,  or if, if Airbnb, we talk about this quite a bit, like when Airbnb decides to market something different, like right now, they’re, they’re, they’re pushing icons.

Icons does not help us host at all. 

What’s that?  

Uh, If you go on Airbnb site right now, the landing page are experiences that you can get from like big influencers in the space, um, and really big brands. So like Disney has their up house on there, like the one, the house on the balloons. 

I didn’t know what was happening.

I just like glanced at it and I was like, you know, chasing a toddler around. I was like, what the hell is this? And I thought it was like a little, like, it looks like it was a virtual experience online of an uphouse. I don’t know. I didn’t know. 

I, I don’t know what it is, but what I realized as a host is that like, they’re taking up our real estate that typically would have our properties on there and they’re pushing something else.

Um,  and what that means for us is that like, we,  

It’s a business. They’re there to make money, you know, and so are we, and people need to realize that like, we’re not Airbnbs. We’re businesses. They’re a tool to, you know, they’re, they’re how we make money. That’s it.  

Cause that’s 

how they treat us, honestly.

Like, and I feel like, honestly, Airbnb’s crummy customer service is one of the big, like, other realized, like, ways I realized this. And I was like, you know, I am nothing to them at the end of the day. It’s ironic because I make them a fair amount of money, but at the same time, you know, just passively. But like, and like, at the same time, like, I really don’t mean anything  to them at the end of the day.

And you need to realize that, like,  If your listing popped off Airbnb today, they wouldn’t be calling you. That’s for sure. 

They would not be. And I don’t know when the, I don’t know if hosts do this, but I do this quite regularly. But like, if you look at your bookings, three, four, 500 from each booking is being drawn out and paid back to them.

So they’re, they’re making, they’re probably making more cashflow on your property than you are making yourself in some cases,  depending on the overhead. 

Yeah, they could be.  Yeah,  they’re software. They don’t have the overhead costs that we do probably. I mean, they’re big enough. I’m sure they have like whatever, but, um, yeah, you don’t, they don’t have a mortgage utilities, all that, that I’m sure they have other expenses that big corporations have, but, but generally speaking, they don’t have those like grassroots level, um, expenses to their business.

Um, yeah, I think 

one of my bookings, I did the calculation last year, I paid them 20, 20, 20, 000 in commissions. 

Yeah, I’m not surprised. I, I think I was, I don’t remember what I was. I looked at it. I wish I remembered that number right now, but yeah, I know I paid thousands and thousands of dollars for sure.


that’s nuts. I can be spending that money on advertising. I can be spending that money on all other ways to drive traffic on my own.  

I agree.  But yeah. Oh, you know what? Another one I didn’t think about, I forgot to talk about is, um, Facebook is a good place to market yourself direct to now you can make like Facebook pages for your business and you can get in.

There’s all kinds of groups on there. For people who are looking for direct bookings and looking for vacation rentals and wanting travel advice for your area and depending on you don’t want to be like spammy in there. Some people have to get spammy, but you can go in there and share like there’s a page that, um, that I got such good.

Uh, feedback from um, it was like a a camping travel page And it was camping on the central coast and in the in the dead of winter when most people don’t want to camp I went on there and I was like, hey y’all  Everybody’s looking for a glamping experience I’m on the central coast would love to host you and so many people were like and I shared my airbnb  link because When I don’t, people like, are like, Oh, are you on Airbnb or whatever?

And I can’t tell you how many people replied and were like, what’s your direct booking link? Everyone needs to book direct. And I got so much interest over there. So it’s like, and I would, when I went and did a little bit of networking on Facebook groups that were for travel and vacation rentals that I could see the spike on my graph on Airbnb, it was nuts. 


yeah, that’s interesting if you want to camp, if you want to camp at a, with a tent with walls, 

any more tips that you want to leave with, uh, our listeners today.  

I don’t think so. I think that’s kind of like, I mean, there’s, yeah, that’s good enough. I’m sure  there’s email marketing, other things like ways to, I mean, I do, we’ll leave it with this one. Um, make a landing page through MailChimp or your, I’m sure other, uh, email subscriptions.

I use MailChimp, but, um, do landing pages, but you can set it up so that your social media has a landing page. where they have to put in their email to then be connected to your listing to book. So you, when people are interested in wanting to book your space after viewing your posts, they have to put in their contact information.

So it’s a great way to collect information, to have people to like, to be able to communicate with people who want to book your place and we’re looking and we’re interested. Um, so yeah, it’s a,  It’s kind of like a way to funnel and like get contact info so that you can  bring them in, rail them in, and you know, your marketing is space, not a product.

You can’t just like hop on and like add to cart, have it shipped to your house. Like people need to have time off, people need, there’s a lot of things to coordinate for travel, so like it’s gonna take more marketing effort. Then just like usually one click and book to end up there, you know, it’s a bigger business for them.

There’s time off, like all kinds of stuff to coordinate. So  yeah, that’s, that’s something else to consider. So 

are you saying that you use your direct booking site as a lead magnet on your Instagram? So you basically, if someone goes on your Instagram and they see a link when in order to get their direct booking site, you land them onto your MailChimp site first and you grab their emails and you send them.

I think my direct booking, it goes straight to my website, but for, I have like a, uh, what is it? Linktree, the  Linktree. 


Um, I, so I have my direct booking website at the very top. It says like book here to get hundreds off or something like that. Like really trying to pull it, like trying to grab them there first.

If they don’t go there and they click on my airbnb listing or my vrbo listing It requires them to do it through a landing page that allows me to collect their info So if you go click instead, so I have like airbnb listing below that vrb listing below that Um, and so if you do that, you’ll click on my airbnb listing.

It says airbnb listing It’ll take you to my mailchimp landing page You got to put in your email address and then it’ll let you go to my airbnb They probably don’t book in that moment. And then I mark it to them booking direct via the email I collected 

That is smart. 

Yeah, I learned that from another host.

I can’t remember his name, but he taught me about landing pages and I was like, ah, this is great, but I can’t remember his Instagram handle right now. I’ve 

never, I’ve never seen, I’ve never seen your listing be used as a lead magnet like that before. That’s actually really, really clever. 

People like to click and look around and explore pricing and all that.

Right. And people tend to gravitate towards Airbnb instead of clicking on the direct booking website, even though it says get hundreds off here. And so, um,  Yeah, so they’ll, they’ll click on it and then I get their info and I can push them booking direct in the future. 

Yeah, yeah, yeah. How’d you, how’d you get started on, on your direct booking site?

Um, like specifics or what? Like what do 

you use for your direct booking site right now? 

Uh, HostFlea. 

Oh, nice, nice. 

So my, my, um,  Sister in law, she built my webpage because I just wanted to have a webpage. And I was originally just linking it to my Airbnb, but I had her build the webpage with the intention of doing direct booking.

So then I started to have to look into software and I ended up on Hostfully. Um, So, yeah, but I’ve heard hospitable is a good one. I mean, you, you build the website and then you have them connect to the software, right? 

Yeah. So what craft a stays as it allows you to connect to the different PMS is so hospitable host away,  uh, owner as, and when you do that, we suck in all your property information.

Um, so all your listing pictures, your descriptions, all that. And then from there, you’re able to choose your template and you can build a site literally in five, like 15 minutes, like no kidding. It’s, it’s amazing. Um, and we’ve actually had, we’ve worked with a lot of hosts on creating new templates together.

So we’ve actually. Started to build a library of like really high performing templates, um, that we’ve used. So it’s been, it’s been, it’s been a fun ride. So 

yeah, that’s like definitely something people need. Cause I think that’s one of the barriers to people like getting into, uh, property management software, you know, um, it’s just like building a website and like having a place to put it, but there are some that act as the website themselves, but it’s usually a pretty basic webpage.

And I want it to be able to like put more and share more on it. But. Yeah. What would you say is like, where should someone start that wants to, um, get into direct booking? Cause that’s a question.  

Yeah. So we ended up creating an ebook for this, but like the, like the three kind of like phases of it is like, one is really like nailing your brand, nailing your persona.

Like that’s like the number one step that almost everybody like just completely ignores, they go straight into building or they’ll just go straight into like building their a direct booking site. But if you don’t know, like. What headline to use on the front of your page. Like if you don’t know who you’re marketing to, it’s really hard to gain traction on your direct booking site.

So I would recommend really like starting there. yeah. Step two is really like, once you have your branding set up, is it really like making sure your PMS, you have a PMS in place, um, and when, because like, In, in order to take any direct bookings, you need to be able to take payments. You need to be able to like block your calendar, sync your rates and everything.

So like your PMS is actually like the backbone of it all. 

Do you have a PMS that you like and recommend and like to work with when you’re doing this for people? 

It depends. So I use owner as myself for my, my direct bookings or my, my PMS. 

They’ve got some pretty good features. 

They are there, but they’re really heavy though.

Um, so like they’re pretty robust and you can customize your messages like pretty intensively. Um, but if you’re a host that has like one or two properties, it’s ends up becoming like very overwhelming. 


Um, so you have like, you have like hospitable, for instance, is a really good one. 

It seems like a good starter one.

And I’ve honestly kind of thinking about looking into them instead of the one I’m on currently, because they’re, I think just under half the price, like mine’s.  Over doubled in price since I started with them and it’s comparable features and I’ve heard good things from people in the software industry and it seems pretty fairly like user friendly and stuff.

So it’s like, I think that might be a pretty good option for people to begin with them. 

We have a lot of, we actually have a lot of, uh, hosts that are on hospitable. That’s kind of why we chose them as one of our, one of our partners is because Um, for specifically our product there, we want to make it easy for hosts.

And  a lot of hosts that like, I have smaller portfolios really benefit from, from ours as well, too. We’re also working with like really big portfolios, but yeah. 

Yeah. I think when you have like big portfolios, you have to start looking at some, some bigger names to like, cause they can re they got a ton of resource and you can really have a lot of different options that way.

Yeah. And I, so I, I would never say like, there was like one, One PMS that rules them all they all have their pros and cons 

for sure. Yeah. I sat in so many onboarding meetings  and asked so many questions and had so many bullet points and things that I was like trying to figure out what was the best option before I like pulled the trigger on one.

For sure. There’s, there’s a ton of options out there. 

And I bet you right at the very end of it, you’re still, you still weren’t sure like whether or not you had, you made the right decision. 

I was, but then they raised the rate and I was like, darn it. I should’ve asked that question. I didn’t think to ask if it stays at the same price.

Yeah. Yeah. So our, our platform does allow folks to migrate from PMSs. Um, so if you started with one PMS and you end up outgrowing it, um, it allows you to keep your direct booking site and then re sync all your properties. So you don’t end up breaking anything. 

Yeah, it’s something you like don’t really like think about or know to is like until you’ve used it, you don’t know how it’s going to fully run, you know, but what I do love about host Lee is they have amazing customer service.

That’s really a problem. They’re seconds away, like getting that message box and they’re going to help you. So like, they’re really nice people, really good customer service. Um, Um, it’s honestly, it’s really run quite smoothly with them. So I don’t really have much complaints over there at all. So 

that’s awesome.

That’s awesome to hear.  All right. Well, we’re, we’re pretty deep in there. I usually end with two last questions there.  Uh, one is a mindset question and then the one is like a takeaway.  So for the, starting with the mindset question, what’s one piece of mindset advice that you would give to hosts that is starting something completely new? 

That’s so big. 

It is big.  

Um, okay, let’s see. Um, as a host, I would say, make sure that you’re considering the guest experience and you’re not just thinking about numbers.  And being a, what I call baseline host, because I think a lot of people are out there investing in properties and looking at them as passive income, which I cringe when people say that. 

And so I would really. I would put a lot of effort into showing up as a person managing your property and not just a property because people connect with people. I would put a lot of effort into including amenities and conveniences that make your guest’s life easier. Easier when they’re there. So like if you have a washer and dryer, leave them some laundry detergent.

No one wants to buy a bottle of laundry detergent when they’re on vacation. Like if you have a stocked kitchen, leave them spices. Nobody wants lame drugstore spices that don’t taste very good and are stuck to the bottom of the jar. Like people want new sponges, like put effort into these things. Small things that as a guest, like you can really appreciate.

Cause I traveled a lot and I stayed a lot of places and I can’t tell you how many times I’d buy bottles of spices when I’m across the country. Like I’m going to pack up these spices after I go like, no, I’m not going to take bottles of spices with me everywhere. So like stuff like that, I think those are like.

Very small things that really enhance people’s stay and, um, can create such a like more positive environment. So I think like really just like facilitate a good guest experience, give local recommendations. Like don’t just have a book that’s like manuals and basics, like check in, check out. Like basic property details, like give them ideas of like how to experience your area so that they have a good travel experience, because I get so much feedback on my listing about, Oh, Candice was so friendly.

She was so nice. She had so many local recommendations, yada, yada, yada. And it’s like, they’re loving their stay here. Not just because of my space being well equipped for them, but because I’m helping them like learn how to experience. where I grew up, you know, um, so I would say branch out and like be more than a baseline host and really like help people have an experience like above and beyond what they might’ve had if they had just like shown up and had to figure it out themselves.

Yeah, 100 percent 100 percent like which 

fake question you gave me.  

That was good. I actually like it. I like people taking it in different perspectives.  

Black and white person. I’m like, why are you gonna do that to me?  

The next one might be a little bit easier than  the last question is, what’s the one big takeaway from this conversation that you want everybody to be able to, to capture?

Um,  just give it a try. Like  just absorb and learn from all the people around you. And cause we’re all from so many different walks of life. There’s something different to learn from everyone. Like we’re like, we can all learn from each other so much. And I think that it’s such a lost art to use social media as a place to facilitate community.

And I love that my social media has become a space where I’ve been able to learn from people, learn with people, share with people, feel heard by people, and help, like, enhance people. My experience as a host and also the experience for my guests by just getting to know people online Like there’s so much value in community and I think people really neglect that So I would say like don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and to be a person that’s managing a space and to try Different marketing things like don’t be afraid to be bad at something too.

Like just try it. See how it goes, you know  So yeah, I would say just like network, grow community, learn together and give things a whack and see how they go. 

I love that. I love that.  Awesome. Candice, it was really good to have you on the show. Thank you for sharing all the different information about how to grow your influencers, how to reach influencers, how to grow your social following, how do you even use Pinterest?

You’ve dropped so many nuggets of information. I appreciate that. 

Hopefully there’s some value in it for somebody.  

I think a lot. I think Alison has got a lot of value out of it. 

Thank you. 

Thank you. See you next time. 

All right. 

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