Posts tagged stay here
What vacation renters really think about people’s homes (via Seattle Times)

If you are in the short-term rental business, it's time to shift your mindset. It's time to think about your AirBnB as a business, and it has to be incredibly evident that you care about your guests' experience when they stay there.

Seattle Times recently published an article on this topic, and I was much obliged to give my two cents. The article covered my favorite topics: marketing your AirBnB and setting it up for success (or, read: guest comfort and satisfaction).

There is a multitude of things you can do to improve your reviews and your guests' overall experience. But before you can do that, you must get them there. And that's where the marketing comes in. Invest in a professional photographer and possibly even a videographer. What's your rental's story? What's the narrative? Tell it well, and then outfit your rental accordingly.

The second most important factor of your rental (following the quality of accommodations) is amenities. Splurge on nice sheets, a professional cleaning between stays (this one's a must), and other amenities that go along with the narrative of your rental. Is your rental near family-friendly activities? Then you'll want to include snacks, games, and other kid activities. Is your rental near a National Park? Then maybe you'll include a park map, picnic basket, and sunscreen or bug spray.

Ultimately, the important thing to remember is this: you are hosting a guest, whether you're present or not. What can you add to - or, much of the time, take away from (granny couch, dirty carpet, etc) - your rental to ensure your guests feel like they are being taken care of, even though you're not there?

Original Article By Kim Cook The Associated Press

If you’re thinking of listing your home as a vacation rental, have a listen to what travelers say makes a space inviting and welcoming, and what’s a turnoff.

For starters, amenities and cleanliness matter.

“I would have loved better sheets and towels as well as decent soap and amenities,” says Carol VanderKloot of New York, who was underwhelmed by a recent Michigan rental.

Nice linens are mentioned often in online reviews. In a poll conducted by Airbnb this summer, travelers rating their vacation experience cared most about the quality of their accommodations, followed by amenities that are functional and thoughtful. So along with nice shampoo, consider a bottle of wine, a bicycle, scooter, sled or fully loaded beach bag.

A host in Los Angeles whose home is popular with young families stocks kids’ books. In Milan, Italy, a host with a pool set up Bluetooth speakers outside.

Focus on potential guests’ comfort, both in your décor and your marketing, says Peter Lorimer, a Los Angeles-based real estate expert.

He has teamed up with interior designer Genevieve Gorder on a new Netflix series, “Stay Here,” in which they help homeowners refurbish and redecorate their spaces to make them more attractive to visitors.

rental_TZR_0402-768x493.jpg

“Massively bad for repeat business is dirt,” he warns. “After every guest there needs to be a cleaning plan. Look at this as an investment in your business; if a restaurant is dirty you’ll never go back, and it’s the same with short-term rental.”

Gorder notes that everyone has different standards for tidiness, so it’s best to go pro. “It has to look, feel and be CLEAN,” she says. “That means having a professional service handle your rental before and after each guest checks out. Your reviews will skyrocket and that’s worth its weight in gold.”

Get rid of stained or worn carpeting, refinish wood flooring, and lay fresh tile or new rugs. Provide several good mirrors, as well as storage, and a folder or notes on how to operate things. As Lorimer points out, “the last thing any guest wants is to try and figure out how to use the TV remote or turn the ceiling fan on and off.”

Consider including “insider” suggestions for what to do and where to go in the area. Displaying some local photography or artwork might pique curiosity and help you build a relationship with nearby shop owners.

Lorimer suggests drawing up a calendar of fun local events and posting it with your listing. Consider an incentive gift for longer stays, like a gift certificate for a local restaurant, or lift tickets at the ski hill.

Gorder warns against the “junk drawer” effect, where owners try to save by kitting out their rentals with dated furniture and hand-me-downs.

And keep the décor relatively neutral.

“Owners tend to decorate for themselves and how they live instead of for their guests,” she says.

“Home is in many ways a reflection of our most intimate selves. When you turn a property or a room in your home into a short-term rental, it’s time to shift your thinking.” The key is finding a balance: a space that’s neither too personal nor impersonal.

Renters differ about how much personal style they like in a space. VanderKloot enjoyed an array of vintage radios displayed on a shelf in a Michigan home, but appreciated not having kitschy décor in a rental in New Orleans. “The Scandinavian interior in that rental was a perfect counter-palette to the excess of [the city],” she says.

In an apartment in Copenhagen, New Yorker Darby Drake says she would have appreciated some personal touches. “What turned me off most was how bland everything was. It didn’t quite feel ‘lived-in,'” she says.

Invest in a standout piece or two, if you can. Drake fondly recalls a big, comfy, cowhide lounge chair in a different Copenhagen rental, as well as another great piece: “There was this massive gray bean-bag lounger that was wonderful. After a long day exploring the city, it was great to be enveloped by it.”

The lounger wasn’t shown in the online photos, Drake says. And that could have been a missed opportunity.

For the original article click HERE

'Stay Here' Co-Host Peter Lorimer on the Netflix Home-Renovation Hit

I recently spoke with TV insider about some behind-the-scenes details of Stay Here and my tips and tricks associated with owning and operating an AirBnB. Our conversation ran the gamut--from how we chose the property owners down to working with the amazing Genevieve Gorder.

Written by Scott Fishman, TV Insider. For original article click HERE.

PeterLorimer-Headshot-1014x570.jpg

Since Netflix’s series Stay Here dropped in August, co-host Peter Lorimer has gotten feedback from short-term rental owners who have applied tips from the show and turned their own struggling properties into profitable ventures.

The streaming service’s new foray into home reno sees the music producer-turned-entrepreneur and real-estate expert hitting the road with interior designer Genevieve Gorder to transform unique listings across the United States.

Here, the Brit transplant answers burning questions from filming the show and gives insight into taking advantage of the bustling Airbnb business.

Tell me about some of the success stories you’ve heard.

Peter Lorimer: There have been a lot of people reaching out saying similar stories to this: “Thank you so much. You’ve given me and my husband to get off our derriere and do the work. We’ve turned our potting shed into a small little Airbnb guest unit now, and we’re making x amount now. Thank you so much.”

I’ve got hundreds of those. The other one I get hit with every single day is: “Thank you so much for sharing all the secrets of the business through these tips because it was such a mystery to us. And in the end, you broke it down in a really digestible way."

People are taking those principles and applying it to their businesses and getting a return on their investments. So, "happy day," as they say in England.

netflix-stay-here-854x570.jpg

How did you go about choosing the properties throughout the United States? What criteria had to be met in choosing the ones we see on the series?

We spent three or four months going through loads and loads of properties. We had a ton of properties and a short list of, we’ll say 40 around the United States.

Through those we whittled them down to the eight that made the show. The criteria were the stories all had to be one-thousand-percent genuine. This doesn’t make them bad shows, but there are ones that are kind of helped along. Our show, everything was completely raw. We wanted to show genuine stories with the people in them, which is why I think a lot of them were so touching. Case in point was the people in Seattle. That wasn’t actually the first episode we shot. It just ended up being the lead on the series, because I think the story was so strong.

All of the people that owned the properties had to put significant money in. It wasn’t like the TV company came in and paid for everything at all. And in the case of at least half of them, it was touch-and-go. If it had gone horribly wrong, it would have been pretty catastrophic for them. Thankfully, everybody we worked with after we finished have gone severely into profit. Thank goodness for that.

That is the common misconception, that the production just went in there spending all this money. They basically have to go all in to make this work.

I think that was one of the most important ingredients of the show. If someone is getting their house completely renovated for free, there isn’t any fear. For some of these homeowners, it’s like when the circus comes to town. We come on a Monday and leave on a Friday. All of this work, and renovation and hammer-swinging, chainsaws go through their property. Then we are done on a Friday. Obviously, there is weeks of planning, so when we do roll up, we knew exactly what was going to happen.

With Gordy (Episode Four: Brooklyn Brownstone), you watch him in the beginning of the episode closely. He was kind of cagey and guarded. He was like, “What the heck is going on? I’m not sure if you need to do this.” Then, at the end of the episode his shoulders drop, he realizes we are going to deliver, and he essentially breathes a sigh of relief, because if things had gone wrong, that would have been famously catastrophic for him.

I think what is also great about the show is that you’re not only, “Hey, go somewhere else for a few days and come back to a new place.” These owners are heavily involved in the process.

Someone gave me a phrase a long time ago. They said to me, "When it comes to business, food always tastes better with friends." So, when it’s a collaborative effort. When everyone has their thumbprint on this business, because that is essentially what this is. It is a small, independent business that may be an extension of one person’s personal home or an investment property. It is a small micro-hotel where they are the GM of their own small business.

I think it’s not only the right thing to do, but I think it would be unnatural to just kind of send them away and bring them back for the reveal. We wanted them to see what we were doing every step of the way so that not only the owners of the property could see it, but also our audience can go on that journey with them.

stay-here-netflix-976x570.jpg

You mention all the owners are making a profit, but are there any plans to do a “Where are they now?” check-in with these folks?

It is the very same question I asked before we started the series. I think that the producers, George and Will, who I love, what they wanted to do for Season 2, which isn’t confirmed yet — but we are all crossing our fingers and toes on it — we would potentially begin Season 2 with a “What Happened in Season 1?”

The viewers got to see you and Genevieve immerse yourself in these settings. Like you going to New York for the first time and seeing the Biggie Smalls mural and how much that meant to you. What was it like working together as you journeyed across the country?

I got very lucky with Genevieve, because she is a veteran of television. She was very kind and sweet. Obviously, she knows her stuff inside and out. She is extraordinarily talented. Moreover, she was a really good mate to be on the road with. After we finished, we’d hang out off the set.

We couldn’t be more different. Genevieve comes from this design and very Americana world. I come from the world of house music and business and ROI and short-term rentals for a lot of celebrity clients here in L.A. We were essentially worlds apart, but I think my yin complimented her yang. I think that is why the chemistry was so great and why it worked.

If there is a Season 2, what are some places you want to go or see as a market of untapped potential? Would you want to take the show international?

Netflix, as you know, we love them, but they haven’t told us what their intentions are. We have spoken about an international season, which I feel is a no-brainer.

On a personal level, I would like to go to some markets that have emerged, but they aren’t fully at the top of the profit margin yet. Places like Nicaragua. There is some room left in Bali.

There are lots of areas of Europe now that could make it a potentially a good buy because Europe is suffering from the whole Brexit thing. It’s sending shockwaves through a lot of European markets, but I firmly believe in the real investor that when the market is in a bit of a spiral. You wait for it to drop.

I think one of the worst mistakes one can make is waiting to find the bottom. No successful investor I’ve worked with has bought right from the bottom and sold right at the top. You buy when it has gone down enough, and you believe the elevator will go back up past the point you bought significantly.

I feel a lot of Europe is like that right now, because I think Brexit will ultimately at some point get repealed, or/and Europe will stabilize again, thus the market would begin to rally. At that point you’ve bought a great investment. You can charge great rents that will put you significantly into profit.

Stay Here is streaming now on Netflix