Adding Location-Based Touches To Attract Guests

Adding Location-Based Touches To Attract Guests

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 586.

In this episode of the Boostly podcast, host Liam Carlin interviews Joshua Kitlas, a short-term rental host from Glen Falls.

Joshua talks about his journey into the short-term rental space, how he got started, and the lessons he learned along the way.

Joshua grew up staying in short-term rentals and was always fascinated by the unique experiences they offered.

He eventually decided to invest in short-term rentals after consuming a lot of real estate content and researching the market.

He chose Glen Falls as his first location due to its proximity and popularity as a vacation spot on the Hudson River.

However, finding a location for his short-term rental was not easy as he encountered restrictions and prohibitions from different municipalities.

Eventually, he found Glen's Falls, which had no such restrictions, and decided to invest there.

Joshua advises hosts to research their desired locations thoroughly before investing to avoid any surprises.

The interview is full of insights and tips for anyone looking to invest in the short-term rental space.

Here's the video for this episode:

Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Intro
00:36 – Zach Intro
03:33 – Any aspects which are important to you?
05:55 – How did you come up with the name
07:01 – How does it work from a host's point of veiw
11:18 – Outro

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Transcript from the Episode

Intro

[00:00:00] Liam: Okay, so welcome to the Behind a Host podcast on the Boostly podcast. I'm Liam Carlan, and today we are joined by a host, uh, he's based up in Glen Falls. Uh, his name is Joshua Kitlas and today we are interviewing him about his short-term rental. And how he got started in, uh, in short term rentals and the lessons he's learned across the way.

[00:00:22] So today, listening for the next 20 or 30 minutes where you can pick up tips from other hosts, uh, things that you can implement in your business to help you. So welcome along Joshua, and thank you for joining me. Before we get started, um, if you could, uh, just introduce yourself, how you got into short-term rental space and, uh, you know, sort of, uh, a little bit more about your property.

Joshua intro

[00:00:42] Joshua: Yeah, sure. So my name's Josh Gik as, as you said, and I got into short-term rentals. I guess if you were gonna go way back, um, you know, as, as a kid, my, my parents, when we would go on, on holidays, you know, we would stay in, in short-term rentals or, or short-term, lets, and, and we did that throughout the, the Northeast US.

[00:01:06] I was. Raised basically in the same area that I'm, I'm living now. And, uh, you know, it was just a, a cool way to, to spend a holiday really. And, you know, you have access to all these different kinds of properties and it's, uh, it's a really unique experience whether you're staying in somebody's. Cabin on, on the lake, or you know, some house in, in the mountains.

[00:01:30] It was really cool. So that always, that always stuck with me. And then, you know, over time, um, you know, of course Airbnb came up and just, it, it continued to be something of, of interest. But then from, I'm trying to transition this into the, the business aspect. You know, I, I'd been doing commercial real estate investing and I was just looking for something else, and.

[00:01:52] Consumed a lot of, of real estate content and, you know, Airbnb, as everybody noticed, started popping up and I said, huh, you know, this sounds pretty cool and this is also something that I'm, I'm familiar with. And so then, you know, ultimately I just said, this is it. I'm gonna go and do it. And then I went and I started researching where I'm gonna do it, and that's, It's a big thing.

[00:02:15] Right? And so for, for my first property, cause this is not just my first investment property, this is also my first property. I live in New York where it's like a million and a half dollars for, uh, one bedroom apartment. So a lot of us are, are still renting. So it is kind a big deal, first property. And um, I wanted it to be close, you know, close enough to travel too.

[00:02:41] Not something that was all that. Far away. And I just, uh, the Hudson River is a really popular place to both live and vacation on in New York, and it kind of starts down by the Atlantic Ocean in New York City, and then it works its way all the way up into upstate New York. And so what I did was, you know, I, I, I knew that something on the Hudson River would be a good place to, to have a, a short-term rental.

[00:03:09] And so I literally, I literally started about 30 minutes north of New York and I just started calling. Every planning and zoning department had all these main cities going up, and I went one to another, to another to another. And it just like Glen's Falls is up there. Like I really had to work my way up because I was running into one of either two issues.

[00:03:33] One, they were. Banned or they were restricted on a level that just didn't make sense, where, you know, some places, uh, short-term rentals were permitted, but. Only 90 days out of the year, or you had to live in the town as well, you know, so there were all these restrictions that I just kept running into, and so I just kept going one town after another, and then I might find a town where the restrictions permitted me to, to be there, but it was outta my budget.

[00:04:02] So I just kept going and going and going and going, and then finally hit Glens Falls and everything was great. So that's how I ended up going to, to Glens Falls. It was really the, the closest. Municipality to me that permitted short-term rentals, you know, that didn't really have any restrictions. And so that's how I, I ended up there.

[00:04:22] And give a little bit more about Glen's Falls. Um,

[00:04:26] Liam: yeah, certainly. So, wh why, um, so you've ended up with Glen's Falls for, for that, that first one, and. What it sounds though, you had to be pretty determined to, uh, to, to get there. Like there was a lot of, um, a lot of nos along the way. So, you know, first of all, you know, accommodations for, for keep going.

What aspects to consider for a short-term rental

[00:04:45] And uh, also what was the, um, when you set on Glen's Falls, you found out it was okay to, to do short-term rentals there. What were some of the aspects that you considered as to whether or not it would make a good place for short-term rental? Um, as the listeners will, will be thinking, well, you know, I've got a researcher place, and it sounds like the state laws, you know, is one really important aspect to look at when you find somewhere that allows it.

[00:05:10] What, what other things should somebody consider?

[00:05:13] Joshua: Yeah, well, there's state, there's county, and then there's also city. I'm not sure how it is overseas, but here, like th those are really the three logs you have to look at. And it's not so much state. It's, you know, more county and, and city that you didn't need to look at.

[00:05:27] So, you know, the, to answer your question though, the other pieces to, to consider are, you know, I think one, what's, you know, what's driving the demand there because you need to have. You, you need to have bodies in, in the house to, to pay the bills and, and make it successful. So, um, one thing that I really like about Glens Falls is that it's, it's centrally located to a lot of attractions upstate that a lot of people from the city go to.

[00:06:00] So there's, in the wintertime, they're skiing in the summertime, there's a lot of. Hiking. It's very accessible to the Adirondacks, which are a mountain range. Up in upstate New York. It's very popular for people to go. And then also in the fall, in autumn time, people like to go there to do what we call leak peeping, which is look at the different, um, foliage, the changing color of the leaves.

[00:06:23] Um, summertime also, it's, it's very close to Lake George, which is a very popular lake for recreation. So it's about 15 minutes from there. It's also about 15, 20 minutes from Saratoga Springs, which is the home of horse racing. And there's about a, uh, it's like a six or eight week span. It just wrapped up this weekend where people from all over the world come to Saratoga Springs to watch the horses race.

[00:06:56] And so there's, there's a lot of different things that are, are going on year round and, uh, you know, the demand that I've seen so far is really, it, it is been, been really nice. I was at capacity for. Um, almost all of June, all of July, all of August, September is starting to shape up nicely. And uh, you know, I know it's gonna be a slightly, or I believe there's gonna be a slower season once you get into the dead of winter.

[00:07:23] But, um, looking to, to other avenues to fill those times. Like, look, looking at, um, like nurses and professionals to. To help fill the gap

[00:07:36] Liam: there. I mean, it sounds like you've really done your research. Did you know that before? Was, was this all part of the research or did you know about some of these places before you, you sort of set on, uh, on Ben's falls?

[00:07:47] Joshua: It, I'll, I'll say it to mix like I, I did know about Lake George. I did know about, Saratoga, I should know that there's also a pretty significant performing arts center up in Saratoga. Mm-hmm. Um, so I, I, I did know about this, but you know, there was also that element of, of a leap of faith because you never really know in like a newish place.

[00:08:10] Like, like you can, you can read and study all day long, but at the end of the day, you know, or you're not gonna know until. You know, you're really there and, and experiencing it. And so it's, it's, it's been working

[00:08:23] Liam: out definitely e experience teachers as if we need more of it. So, like you say, just, uh, you sound as though you've, you've done the research, you've, you've gone there, you kind of know it's a great place.

Was there any preparation done for short-term rental

[00:08:34] And, uh, you know, talk us through, how did you feel when you finally got, got the property and is there anything in particular you'd done to prepare it for short term rental?

[00:08:44] Joshua: Yeah, so when I finally got the property, it was kind of, It's like, okay, you know, I just signed this note for this place and, uh, you know, it's a, it's a big deal.

[00:08:57] So like, there, there was the newness of, of home ownership. There was the, uh, there's the newness of having purchased this for, for business that I haven't gone into yet. So, you know, little, I guess natural concern there. But, uh, You know, to, to get it set up for short term rental. I really, I really took on the guest perspective as best I could.

[00:09:24] And I, I would say that's, that's how I set it up and that's what I used as the barometer for create, creating the place. So what kind of, if I, and I put myself in the guest shoes, if I were the guest, like what kind of bed would I wanna be sleeping on? You know, what kind of appliances would I want to have?

[00:09:42] In, in the kitchen. Would I want to have a hot water? Ke would I wanna have a blender? Like how many different kinds of pots and pans would I want to have? And so that's, that's, that's the approach that. With setting it up. Um, you know, I did put in some cameras on, on the outside, not on the inside. Cause that's illegal and also creepy.

[00:10:03] Um,

[00:10:04] Liam: but, um, yeah, not, not a good idea on the inside.

[00:10:07] Joshua: Yeah. I don't, I don't wanna see what people are doing anyway. I'm not, I'm not that interested. But I I, to take on that, that guest perspective, you know, and, and understand, try to understand what, what a guest would want and, you know, It's worked out really well.

[00:10:24] Cause I've gotten really strong feedback from, from guests thus far about how well the place is, is equipped, so. Mm-hmm. Um, you know, in addition to comfy beds and some of the appliances that I mentioned for the kitchen, I got like a washer and dryer. You know, I know not everybody has that, but that's been, that's been huge.

[00:10:41] That's been. That's been really helpful. You know, I got some, what we call Adirondack chairs, which are like outdoor chairs that, uh, are common in, uh, in, up in upstate New York. So I brought a little bit of that, that regional flavor as well into the place. And I also have some, some really unique artwork that has been handed down to me from.

[00:11:10] My mom who has had that, you know, For a really long time. I mean, this is, this is artwork that was created probably like, I don't know, 60 years ago or so, just by a, by by local artists. But it, it, you know, it adds some, some flavor to, to the place and it doesn't give it that, uh, that cookie cutter type of perspective.

Outro

[00:11:32] Liam: That's cool then. Yeah, that is a, it is a beautiful answer and what a great way to, uh, to bring it to a close so people listening will have, uh, been inspired by your story. Josh, if they wanted to get in touch, what's the best way to do so?

[00:11:45] Joshua: Yeah, LinkedIn is probably the best. Um, my handle is my last name, kit list, k i t l a s.

[00:11:52] So you could just go to linkedin.com/in/kit and NAMA and you can find me there and we can talk more short term rentals.

[00:12:01] Liam: That's really cool. Well, thank you so much for your time today and uh, yeah, really the passion has shined through. So thanks again. Uh, that's it for another episode of Behind the Host podcast and uh, bye for now.

[00:12:12] See you on the next one. Having a blast. Gonna get it on the Bruce Lee podcast,

[00:12:16] Joshua: Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the teas loose leaf. Picking up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.

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