Amazing Resources That All Hosts Should Know About

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In this Boostly podcast episode, Liam introduces STR Hub, a platform by Christianne Crump that compiles information about services for short-term rental hosts. STR Hub offers details on property management, guest messaging, OTA connections, and more.

Christianne shares her background and journey as a host, which inspired her to create STR Hub. The platform provides free user reviews, a forum, and categorized insights.

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Timestamps (audio)



[00:00:00] Liam: Today, we are going live with an episode of the Boostly podcast. We've got the spotlight series where we go and look at businesses and awesome services and people that you need to know about as a short-term rental host. Um, so this is the podcast, which gives the tools, the tactics, the training, and most importantly, the confidence to go out there and get more direct bookings.

[00:00:21] And certainly today, uh, the service that we're going to look at will help. you in many, many ways. This is something which, uh, I have been surprised that this hasn't been done before, but I'm excited because it's going to help so many people and just something that you need to be aware of. Um, so we're going to welcome Christianne from, uh, sorry, Christianne.

[00:00:42] Crump from strhub. com. Easy for me to say. Um, if you haven't already heard of this, this is just an amazing service, which is got a lot of information in one place. Um, you can go and check it out after the podcast, which is www. strhub. com. But before we do that, let's have an interview with the, uh, the CEO and the founder.

[00:01:04] Um, and, uh, let's talk about, the service. So welcome along. How are you doing today? I'm

[00:01:09] Christianne: great. Thank you so much for having me. So excited to be here.

[00:01:13] Liam: I'm excited. And often when I get to speak to people especially services that I've used, I directed somebody who was talking about websites this week to your website and it helped her straight away.

Christianne’s Introduction

[00:01:25] So it's already having a good impact. So, um, before we get started, if you can give an introduction to yourself, uh, your history and really what brought you to this kind of hospitality space?

[00:01:38] Christianne: Yeah, that's a great question. And it's so interesting because I think that this industry is still so young and there are so many people still discovering it and jumping into this space that, you know, when I go to conferences and meet people, I meet people who are who have come into this space from all different walks of life and all different industries.

[00:02:00] Um, and so it's always fascinating. And I think that that, um, melting pot of different experiences and different backgrounds brings a vibrancy to our industry. And everybody has these little nuggets and bits of wisdom that they come, that they bring because of their backgrounds. And that just really makes it so fun to engage with other people in the industry.

[00:02:24] So in my case, I have actually kind of my background is very varied. I have training professional training as a nurse. I have I'm a registered nurse here in the United States, but then I also have a degree in zoology, which is like seemingly very different from zoology in the sense of the human as an animal.

[00:02:44] I was, I have the, all the prerequisites to go to medical school or dental school, but I ended up pivoting and not going in that direction. Um, I found myself doing clinical trials, uh, oncology and also analgesic clinical trials. So the drugs that come out and before they get FDA approval here in the United States, there's years of research that has to go into those.

[00:03:06] So I spent a few years being involved, being involved in that clinical trial, you know. Roadmap and roadway that

The Kind of challenges Β 

[00:03:13] Liam: what sort of challenges did you find and how did that bring about the str hub? Yeah,

[00:03:19] Christianne: great. So we owned a family cabin that we'd had since 2014 but we were very selfish about it.

[00:03:26] It was since it's not too far from us It's only about an hour and a half away. It's the place that we would go to on weekends It's on a lake by two ski resorts. So it's like the perfect place for us to get away and For years, my husband was pretty adamant that we didn't want to have to have the hassles that go with actually renting it out.

[00:03:43] We had all our clothes there, you know, my, my clothes were in the dryer and all my kid's stuff was spread out all over. And so we were content with that setup. And it wasn't until we kind of got that push from our accountant that my husband finally conceded that okay, it probably doesn't make sense to transition that into a revenue-producing asset.

[00:04:04] And so we launched into renovating that which we were in the midst of that right during the pandemic, which was a crazy time to be renovated because of the supply chain issues and there were labour shortages, there were so many. Interesting factors. That's like a whole nother episode, probably talking about the crazy things that we do in connection with setting up our properties.

[00:04:27] But so we were going through the renovation of that property and somewhat simultaneously, we had an opportunity that came up clear across the states from us in Alabama in Gulf Shores, Alabama, oceanfront

[00:04:44] And we just decided it was exactly what we were hoping when we hoping to get when we, you know, imagine what our short-term rental portfolio would look like if it checked off all the boxes. So we went ahead and decided that we would, even though we were still in the middle of a crazy renovation we would go ahead and purchase that.

[00:05:01] And so we were kind of. multitasking, bringing two properties online simultaneously, which was crazy. It was like trial by fire, but, um, you know, in hindsight, a whole lot of fun. And it just really, the learning curve just was straight up. There was so much that we had to learn quickly and pull together to bring these properties online and go from having no hosting experience to like the super host type quality host.

[00:05:33] And so that journey of needing to pull together an entire business relatively rapidly was part of the genesis of STR Hub and where the concept for that came from. Because when I first got started You know, I think I did what a lot of people do. And that's basically, I just started to talk to people that I already knew were hosts and ask them what they were using.

[00:05:58] I was scrounging Facebook groups. I was listening to podcasts. There are so many amazing resources out there and it did help. It filled in a lot of cracks, but it was still difficult to have confidence and know that I was making the right decisions for my business. And so I kind of just.

[00:06:16] piece together a patchwork of things that I thought was going to get me going and went ahead and launched. And then kind of in the months that ensued as the dust settled, I started to kind of look around and realize, my word, there are so many amazing companies out there that I wish I'd known about because maybe I would have ended up using that other solution or that other platform if I'd had two minutes to.

[00:06:38] Find them and do a little research about them. And so, as I began to kind of wonder if maybe I should switch and, you know, pull together. a better solution and um, solutions that seem to fit my goals.

What is STR Hub

[00:06:52] Liam: What is STR Hub in your own words and what can somebody expect if they were to now go on to Google and punch in str, uh, StarHub?

[00:07:02] com?

[00:07:03] Christianne: Yes, so STR Hub aggregates the information about the different companies and resources that serve the short-term mental community, and we spent a lot of time. This site has been in development for just a little over a year now. Um, well, yeah, we're just coming up on about a year. And, You know, it was a lot of thought about what that journey is.

[00:07:26] And I knew that there were so many things that people need based on what I felt like I needed to have the confidence to make a decision. So, you know, not only do I need to discover, and I'm so glad that you mentioned that you discovered companies that you've never even heard of there.

[00:07:42] So so many companies and particularly property management companies, um, that is a section of the site that is going to continue to be flushing out and more content coming on for literally months and months to come, just because there's so many, um, so. You know this site we just launched this month and we've got a ton of information on there but really on the back end there is still so there's like a fire hose of content still to come.

[00:08:09] Um, so STR Hub aggregates the information about all of those different companies into one place and as hosts ourselves we really as we research these companies. Try to create and speak to the different questions that you would have. What are the guest messaging, you know, features in these platforms?

[00:08:28] What OTAs can I connect to? Can I do an automated rental agreement? Can I do an e-signature for that rental agreement? You know, and on and on and on. I mean, the things that we were looking into and researching. It's, it's fairly extensive. And so, but then we know that you know, just knowing about the features isn't enough.

[00:08:47] So we did create a way, and users will find that when they go to the site, we do ask them to create an account. It's completely free. There is no cost to utilizing STR Hub. But we do ask users to create an account. And that's for a couple of reasons. First of all, we do have a writer review feature where people can go in and leave a review on the companies that they're already using.

[00:09:07] We didn't want that junked up with spam and bots and just garbage. And so by having, um, the ability for people to have to create an account and use the capture feature, it. keeps the site clean and quality content. So I know it's a little bit of a headache, but to make sure that the site stays quality, we do have that little account thing.

[00:09:29] And then it also gives people access to the forum that we have. One of the downsides of using social media as a resource to answer, you know, to go ask those questions is that you ask a question in the feed. People are so generous. They take time to leave genuine comments. And make suggestions, but like 15 minutes later, that's gone.

[00:09:48] It's like buried in the feed and future users that come along behind you will never see that feedback. And so the people who took the time to reply, you know, it's very hard to ever see that information again for subsequent readers and subsequent users of that, uh, Facebook group. And the people who even left that message when they're, you know, they may not circle back and think about it for a couple more days.

[00:10:10] And then it's really hard to remember what group that I put it in and. Where is it? And, so we did create a forum where, and the forum is already organized, we've already organized it by all these different categories, and people could go in and go straight to a specific topic that is pertinent and easily go back and find that same thread.

[00:10:30] Quickly and easily again. So it's like permanent value. Of course, it's a new site. We've just launched. So it's not as if the forum is exploding with content, but we knew that it would bring great value to people if there could be that space where they could have conversations specifically about these tools and these companies, and it would be there and easy to go back to and find over and over again.

[00:10:54] So, um, Thank you. Yeah, we're aggregating information. We're creating a place where people can leave, you know, authentic reviews about their experience because that's what everybody wants. You want to know about these companies and you want to know, you know, who's using it. Are you having a good experience?

[00:11:08] Do you like it? And then you maybe want to talk to other people who are also, you know, in this space and using it. And so we felt it was important to wrap all three of those things together into this site, because if you're able to touch all of those bases, then you likely have the information that you need to feel confident to go out and make a decision about the company that you want to

[00:11:29] Liam: use.

[00:11:29] Thank you too. If you're listening to this on the Boostly podcast, or if you're watching on the Facebook live, we know there are lots of places you can put your attention and I thank you for putting it with Boostly. So that's it for this episode. Uh, we'll see you on the next one. Bye for now. Having a blast.

[00:11:44] Gonna get it on the

[00:11:44] Christianne: Bruce Lee podcast. Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee 'cause it's so hard on the tee's loose leaf, making up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.