Happy New Year… Feliz Ano Nuevo… Felicidades.. Feliz Ano Novo… Ok, you got it. Right. The Christmas Tree is already stripped of the lights and by the curb. The gifts you received, exchanged, and you got what you really wanted. The resolutions not really forgotten, but you’re already skipping the gym…
I know what it’s like.. Life happens, maybe you have a cold, maybe you have guests in the house. Not blaming you. We all have the best intentions. Hey, it’s a new beginning. A new year. A brand new slate. Let’s start fresh. In today’s episode, I don’t want to talk about goals and resolutions that we’re not going to make happen because all that’s going to do is make us feel guilty and bad about ourselves. The reality is that’s what we have family and friends for, not me.
I’m here to make you happy! To make you feel good, my dear hosts. To give you hope. To give you joy. I’m your Evelyn, I’m your dream maker. In today’s episode, we’re talking about…
Creating a Powerful 2019
We’re going to break this episode down in the past, the present, and the future. No, we’re not talking the classic novella and movie A Christmas Carol. Sometimes, one of the best things to do at the beginning of the new year is to reflect on the previous one. Yes, dear hosts. I know you thought I was going to go forward, but sometimes you have to go back before you can move forward. It’s important to reflect to see where you were and how much you have learned…so…let’s go to a little ride on the way back machine.
Whether you started hosting 2 weeks ago or 2 years, I want you to look at the reviews from your guests. Actually, I want you to make a copy of your reviews.
Take them from the Airbnb site, and place them either a Dropbox folder, a google drive folder, or your computer (if you back up your computer (pro tip: Always be backin’ up). If you have too many reviews to go through them all yourself, hire someone from Fiverr to do this for you. Fiverr
is a place where you can hire a freelancer from anywhere in the world at affordable rates. Make sure to give them very specific instructions to screengrab the name of your guest and full review.
The reason for this request is because should anything happen to the Airbnb account, you want your review out of the website or any other vacation rental platform and somewhere you can access them anytime you want. Look, technology issues happen, and you don’t want your hard earned reviews to go poof in the night. Trust me.
Now, I want you to read them… some might give you pause, like…
…. The apartment was equipped with everything you could possibly need. The second bedroom is significantly smaller than the master which is huge and awesome. The living room is a bit small for 4 people to hang out it in but the kitchen was large and comfortable…..
Others will bring you joy…
Evelyn is super communicative and knowledgeable when it comes to recommendations and New York/Brooklyn wisdom. She has a great setup. Would book this Airbnb again!
Some reviews will contradict each other…
The bedroom on the street side was noisy at night as the apt is on a busier street, so if you are a light sleeper I would stay in the back bedroom.
Yes, contradict one another…
I actually slept more soundly there than at home and I had the bedroom facing the street!
So, read them…
And accept that you opened your home to people, and human beings have opinions, different tastes, and will provide different reviews what you might think of as the same experience.
Nonetheless, you provide more than a bed; more than an apartment. You make folks’ vacations. Remember, some people saved money to come to your city. It’s their dream… some are coming to visit family or for a business trip or a wedding. You’re a dream maker.
In addition, you need to read the reviews that make you pause and cringe… the ones that make you say, “Really? You got to be kidding!”
You also must walk up a narrow staircase to get to the apt on the second floor.
Steep steps to the apartment should be considered if you have mobility issues.
This review comes after me posting a photo of the offending narrow, but typical, NY staircase. Mind you, I added that photo after reading a review a few years back. So that’s the importance of going back and reading every last word. To learn and not take it too personally.
An important part of your past is for you to discover what you did right (so you can keep doing it and so you can recognize a job well done).
Now, I want you to pull out a notebook. I know, we’re going old fashion pen and paper, my dear hosts. I want you to think about what worked from this past year:
- Were there any emergencies with guests?
- Construction projects?
- Inclement weather?
- Unforeseen circumstances?
- Did you buy a better plunger? Hey, sometimes that’s all it takes.
- Do you have the right communication in place?
- Repeat guests… Guests that you liked… Guests that you liked to see go and never return?
- Any systems that you created?
- What did you get rid of? Because getting rid of something is what works, my dears.
And give yourself that moment to shine. I’m giving you permission to be proud of your accomplishments. Yes, you did it. You fixed the problem You dealt with it. Take this moment to recognize that you did it. For the most part, we don’t take the time to give ourselves credit for a job well done. It’s pat yourself on the back time!
Now for the Present:
Are you feeling good about yourself? Good. You deserve it, my dear host. Being a host is a job. I know. I am one, just like you. Ok, we took a few minutes to think about the past. Now, let’s get on with what you want to improve in the present.
If you’re in the middle of your high season like the folks in the Caribbean or my dear Australians, I get it. But if you’re in your slow season, it’s time to look at your home and listing and go into renovations and restorations.
Start with Your Home:
Believe me, I already called my handy dandy handy person with my very long honey-do list. One of the first things to do in the house it checks all the batteries for your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. And btw, Airbnb is giving some of them away for free go to the dashboard and check it out.
What projects do you need to get done?
And remember, there are some projects that fall into the urgent must get done category. Other projects might go into the do you really need to get that done now list for later?
Will, that project bring you more money, or is it vanity? For example, I have another water leak that needs to be fixed. I know, me and leaks. This time isn’t on the roof, it’s via the front door, (we’re trying to find it). Hopefully, the siding will last for two more years. Hopefully.
The water leak and a few other issues have to get fixed, and it’s the season to get them done.
Get that notebook out one more time. Go through your home, especially if it just went through the battle of the high season:
- Does the house need a new paint job?
- Does the bathroom tiling need to be re-caulked?
- Does the bathroom tub need to be re-glazed?
- Do you want to add a new vanity or mirror instead of doing an entirely new bathroom remodel?
- A new video doorbell? You know you want it.
- Go through your towels and linens. Have they seen better days?
- What about your dishes?
- Believe me, my guests are all, I broke a glass, a wine glass, a plate. The list goes on by the end of the season, you wonder if you even I have any dishes left. Which is the reason I recommend buying a double set so you have those extras.
- What kind of small upgrade can you do?
Make a list and check it twice.
- Are you on too many platforms? Platforms you’re not really using anymore.
- Or only on Airbnb?
- Do you need to update your photos?
Do you have pre-written messages to your guests? A communication system?
- Or do you have to take the time to write a message every time you get an inquiry?
- Do you have a house manual? Or is it a bunch of menu flyers and postcards? Or nothing at all! Really? I have taught you better than that. Take a few hours and create one. You only have to do it once, and it is literally the gift that keeps on giving.
Do you have one? Do you have the right team members for you? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, listen to Episode 33: How to Build and Keep a Team for your Airbnb.
- A cleaning person?
- Handyperson? Electrician? Plumber? Etc.
The worst time to find one is when you need them. Get some recommendations, and make sure to train your cleaning person to meet your specific needs. Trust me. You will thank me later!
Anything on your wish list to create? A website? A Facebook page? Instagram?
Let’s get that done.
Yes, there are the practicalities we just spoke about in the present for your home and your listing,
but I want you to think about the life you want to live.
- Are you sure you want to be an Airbnb host? Yes, I’m asking that question. This life isn’t for everyone.
- And I want you to look at the numbers. Realistically, or the numbers you wish you were making, pie in the sky
- Are you really making money? Or are you surviving?
- Can you do something else with your time? Do you want to?
- Do you like being a host? If you do like being a host but you are just barely getting by, how can you increase your income?
- Do you want to be tied to your home or be able to take off whenever you want?
- Do you want to live with strangers or walk around without a bra?
- What if Airbnb was to go away tomorrow because the city shut it down? Can you do something else? Would you want to do something else?
Think of the life you want to create.
Feel it, Be it, and start living from that vision.
Who do you need to be to live that life? What skills do you need to hone? How much money do you need to be comfortable?
To live that dream? Now, if you love hosting and want to continue. Yes!
There are still questions to consider. Do you want to stay with one listing or go a bit bigger? It doesn’t have to be an empire, you could co-host.
You do you, my dear hosts. You need to create the life you want to make for yourself. Create the space for your dream… Whatever it is.. whether it is to paint, to swim, to visit every country, to run every marathon, or to have time to babysit your grandchild.
Go and make that dream that you whisper in the night into a reality. Let’s do this. It’s 2019.