Hey there, thank you for finding our page and following along on our journey as hosts. I am Nicole, the Owner + Designer of The Brass Cactus and this is our first ever blog post!
This last year has been a wild and crazy ride. As we have hosted our boutique Airbnb rental for nearly one year, we have decided to officially give the "BC" its own website and launch this blog. In doing so, we plan to share more of our journey, host tips, local hot spots in the neighborhood, and vacation ideas.
Much like becoming a parent, it is hard to precisely describe the highs and lows one goes through in becoming a host. However, we put together our top three lessons learned in the first year. Enjoy!
LESSON NO. 1 – SEEK ADVICE FROM THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE AND THEN MAKE IT YOUR OWN.
I am a typical Type A personality. Before I jump into a project, I research anything and all things I need to know before making the leap. Let me tell you, there is a TON of information out there on how to host. In fact, there is so much information it can become a bit overwhelming. I read blog posts, listened to podcasts, and went to Airbnb networking events before I wrote out a business plan.
With that said, I probably followed about 10% of the advice I learned through all of that research. Much of it didn't connect with me, and so I forged my own path. Do your research, but in the end, go with where your gut leads you. What worked for another host, and another property may not be the best fit for you.
Your space will be a reflection of you and what you want to put out in the world. Just got for it, don't overthink it.
LESSON NO. 2 – HOSTING CAN BE HARD AND TIME-CONSUMING
I don't want to come off as a Negative Nancy, but I get so many people who find out that I am a host, and then they tell me with stars in their eyes how becoming a host is one of their dreams. (I too had many stars in my eyes about the whole idea before becoming a host myself.)
I never want to discourage any potential host, but I don't think many realize how involved hosting can be. Unlike your traditional long-term tenant, you are available to your guests 7 days a week at any and all hours of the day. I have left a family function to go let in a guest that accidentally got locked out. When something breaks, you must fix or remedy it ASAP. What happens when the AC is down, and you have a full house of kids to take care of?
The lovely image above is from the time my husband and I realized our heat was powered by gas. We had never had gas heat and so never thought to get the gas turned on. (This is the only thing in the unit that uses gas.) Unfortunately, the company could not get out to us for days and so we had to cancel on a guest. One week of revenue lost and one very unhappy guest!
If you are thinking of becoming a host, awesome! It has also been one of the most rewarding things we have ever done. Just make sure you are fully aware of the financial and time commitments upfront.
LESSON NO. 3 – IF IT'S BECOMING TOO MUCH, GET HELP.
Ahhh, I could laugh at myself when I look back to the early days of opening up the BC. I was going to do it all. I cleaned, managed bookings, updated the listing, promoted on social media, and fixed any and all things. It went great for a while, but I quickly learned a few things about myself.
#1| I don't like to clean up after others. I have two kids and barely want to clean up after them. Find a reliable and trustworthy cleaner early. Test out a few and see who you mesh well with. Check-in with them every month to make sure the level of cleaning stays on par with your expectations.
#2 | As much as I tried, I can't do it all alone. Besides being the BC's Owner, I also own my own interior design studio, The Social Home. The juggle was doable at first, but when my design business picked up in May (oddly and thankfully!), I knew I needed a co-host.
I had met Meghan (the Owner of Girl About Town) when she reached out and introduced her company through social media. After meeting with her a few times, I asked if she had ever thought of adding co-hosting to her services. She is so incredibly warm, GAT already catered to Airbnbs, and she knows Scottsdale so well, she was a perfect fit. Now, I now have a ton more time back on my plate.
Obviously, no one could have planned a global pandemic to come in and completely throw us off track. I did not include it as a lesson learned because there was literally NO WAY to have foreseen or planned for that.
Yes, we took a big hit in April. But so have many other hosts, Airbnb themselves, and any other business or human being on the planet right now.
We were very fortunate to have remained steadily booked since May. Because of this, I am hopeful that travel will return. It will not be a quick recovery, but I see that more and more people are starting to venture out.
I am thankful to you all here on this journey with us. Our followers on Instagram. Our incredible guests who have stayed with us. (Really, we have had some of the best!) My husband for agreeing to go along with my crazy idea. And my kiddos who love to go to "our Airbnb" to check-in and drop off supplies.
We hope you follow along to see where Year Two takes us!