behind the host matt Caissie [THUMBNAIL]

Behind The Host with Matt Caissie

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 467. In this podcast I'm going to be talking with Matt Cassie from Airbnb Uncovered, but we're going to be putting an interesting twist on this episode where we do a dual interview. I am going to interview Matt, then we'll switch it up and he's going to interview me.

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Here's the audio for this episode:


Here's the video for this episode:


Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Introduction
01:24 – Who is Matt Cassie?
05:27 – What is Matts biggest roadblock in his business?
10:07 – Matts cleaning advice for multiple units
13:28 – What key tools does Matt use everyday in his business
18:36 – How does Matt see 2022 playing out in the world of vacations?
25:02 – Matt interviews Mark
25:19 – What actions increase activity specifically on direct booking sites via Facebook?
33:11 – Influencer Marketing
36:35 – What does Mark tell his direct hosts to do regarding liability and damage protection?
41:42 – How many leads can Mark bring in for people?

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Audio – Boostly Podcast




Transcript from the Episode


[00:00:00] Mark: All right. Welcome back everybody to a very special podcast. Uh, this is going to be a very unique one because for the first time we're gonna have a duel     podcast going on and I will introduce our guest in a very special minute. Uh, but before that, what I wanna do, I wanna throw the question over to everybody that is watching with me.

[00:00:18] Mark: Life is how did you get started in the world of hospitality and short term rentals? What was your career? Before this, and what I love about this industry is not many people are born into hospitality. You, you fall into it from another career. So what, here's what I wanna forward a question out today, whether you're watching live, leave a hashtag live and the career you were doing before this, or Boostly on your, on the hashtag replay.

[00:00:42] Mark: Again, same question to you. But before that, before we dig into all of this and we have our amazing guest on today, let's start with the usual little introduction for the podcast.

This is a freestyle I'm going off the done. Ready for my closeup. Good looking, let me tell you get more bookings. Ah, that'd be nice. Giving me tips, tools and advice. Yeah, you're gonna get 'em hun. You're gonna sit back. Listen to Mark Simpson. What? Having a blast, gonna get out on the Bruce Lee podcast cars. Bruce Lee, let Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the tees loose leaf making up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loose leaf. If you want my respect, you better, but direct. Here are the words in the podcast. That's what comes.

Who is Matt Cassie?

[00:01:24] Mark: Okay everybody. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. And welcome. We've got a very special guest to my left onto my right. Depends on how you are seen as on your screen, Mr.

[00:01:34] Mark: Matt, Cassie of Airbnb uncovered. Uh, how you're doing, sir. Thank you very much for joining.

[00:01:40] Matt: Hey, mark. Thanks so much. Your, uh, your intro video always makes me chuckle up. Like what are they gonna rhyme with? Direct bookings.

[00:01:46] Mark: There we go. He's a very talented guy. He's a very talented guy. He, he, uh, I throw loads of things at him and he makes it all stick every single time.

[00:01:55] Mark: Okay. So we've got a very cool little podcast coming up to, we're gonna do like a two parter, a little. Episode. So we're gonna start off with me interviewing you, and then we're gonna flip it around halfway and you are gonna interview me, which is awesome. We're doing a, doing something that I've never done before is very exciting for what we can do in the future.

[00:02:10] Mark: When we, we do podcasts like this. So for everybody tuning in, for everybody watching, we've got people from all over the world. Can you please let the audience know who you are, where you are in the world. And most importantly, my first question to you is how you got this job.

[00:02:24] Matt: Yeah, I saw that's what we're gonna be seeing in on the socials.

[00:02:27] Matt: We're gonna get lots of hashtag lives and, uh, we'll find out how everybody started. So I'm a host based in Toronto, Canada, I've been hosting for gosh, like I think this summer is gonna be the eighth year. And in that time I've hosted, well, getting really close to 3,500 guests, I've been a super host the entire time, which.

[00:02:48] Matt: Pretty crazy to be honest on that volume of guests, uh, every once in a while I challenge the Airbnb rep that I'm speaking to, to go look and see how many reviews I have. And they're like, oh my God, I've never talked to anybody who has this much. And you're still a super host. So, yeah, I I've been doing it for eight years and more recently I've started doing, started sharing what I've learned over my journey with other hosts.

[00:03:15] Matt: So I have a YouTube channel that people can check out. It's simply Airbnb uncovered. So just uncovered. And I share all kinds of tips and tricks. Uh, Insights and talk about things that people don't generally talk about publicly. Um, at least, you know, the top host, cause we're all busy doing our hosting business, but fortunately for me, I've implemented a ton of systems.

[00:03:43] Matt: Uh, I've figured out a way to manage my cleaners, manage my guests. And so I really don't spend that much time running, you know, eight, seven listings, depending what the current climate. And I'd say the current climate, because, you know, COVID has had all kinds of different effects on us. I'm certainly not powering through with a dozen listings as I used to be, but, um, seven under management at the moment.

[00:04:09] Matt: So yeah, the, um, Working in Toronto and helping host, I offer a couple different programs that, uh, I think are really, really impactful. I look for the biggest roadblocks that hosts might have. And, and honestly, the first one is pricing and occupancy. So often I see people just setting one price and forgetting it or not, not confident enough in their product to.

[00:04:36] Matt: To set a higher price. Uh, and then the other thing is just the, the busy host, who's just run ragged, trying to grow, trying to work in their full-time job and trying to get out of it so that they can be a host full-time and, and really enjoy freedom in all aspects of their life. Financial freedom, time, freedom, location, freedom.

[00:04:54] Matt: Uh, so that kind of thing.

[00:04:55] Mark: Well, it's a big one. It is. I discovered your YouTube channel, um, just from browsing one day and just on my feed and recommended came up and I came in and dug into it. And this was probably about, I think, six months ago now. And I reached out, uh, discovered the Instagram reached out and we've been meaning to do this for, for a long time.

[00:05:10] Mark: So it's cool to be able to do this. And I feel like with yourself, there's definitely a couple of. Really cool niches that, that you can latch onto and, and really share with the audience. So again, if you're tuning in live or on the replay, again, what I would love for you to do in the comment section, let us know what you were doing maybe before you fell into hospitality, but also as well.


What is Matts biggest roadblock in his business?


[00:05:27] Mark: The second question is what is your biggest roadblock? Uh, what is your biggest roadblock in your business right now? Now you mentioned it massively their pricing, you know, automation, cleaning, et cetera. So from, from your experience, and you've coached a lot of hosts now, you've, you've, you've coached people from all over the world and all different types of niches when it comes to.

[00:05:45] Mark: Short term rentals. So when it comes to it and a, and a host comes to you and they say, right, Matt, this is my problem. What's your advice that you give to 'em to say, right? This is how you clear that, that, that roadblock, if you could just delve into that, please, that would be awesome.

[00:05:58] Matt: Sure. Yeah, you're right.

[00:05:59] Matt: I totally started talking. Didn't give you my, my journey. So I was working in a corporate job prior to being a host. I was a marketer for 10 plus years. I even dabbled in accounting for a while. Um, and I quit a job that I absolutely hated. I could not stand the job, my boss, the whole thing. And one day I just woke up and I was.

[00:06:19] Matt: Not going to work, not doing it. Yeah. And I had a friend who was doing Airbnb and making a ton of money. And I was like, I think I can do this too. And instantly that was the start. It purely started financially. Cuz I needed money. I wanted to travel. And uh, and then I was continuing to look for a new job in marketing.

[00:06:40] Matt: I thought maybe it was just the environment that I didn't like. And one morning I woke up and I was. I, I don't think I wanna go to work for anybody else anymore. And I absolutely love hosting people, which is so weird. Cuz in the beginning, the hosting is like cleaning up your house, putting your person belongs away and then worrying, cuz you don't know enough about how, um, Like who your guests are gonna be and what have you, and worrying like crazy that you're gonna come back to a trashed place, but I loved it.

[00:07:10] Matt: And I just dug in, I learned everything I could. And here we are eight years later, millions of revenue and I've never looked back. So I think probably the biggest roadblock with people that I coach that I work with hosts that I work with. Is, um, often their pricing is confusing for them. So, and it doesn't normally show up as pricing.

[00:07:28] Matt: It will often show up, um, in revenue or occupancy is the issue. And so once we can fine tune that price and really market our properties properly to guests, then we start to see that our, um, bookings go up, our hosting stats go up and ultimately our revenue goes up. So that's, that's the huge, the biggest one that I see the most often.

[00:07:50] Matt: And then the other one that I alluded to. At the beginning was that a lot of hosts are just spending their time in, in weird ways. Um, and it's often because they don't know about a different way. Um, they don't know about automation. They don't know about software that can take care of 80% of the mundane tasks that they have and when you're able.

[00:08:12] Matt: And so there's also a hesitation to going to automation and that hesitation stems from thinking that they're gonna lose their personal. Um, lose their personal, are we still sorry? Oh, good. Keep going. We're good. All right. I, we switched. Yeah. Okay. They're gonna lose their, uh, the personal touch with their guests.

[00:08:36] Matt: And the reality is, is that automation does the complete opposite. When you automate all of your mundane tasks, you get to free your mind. You get to free your time to actually engage with your guests on a higher level. Chat with them, get to know them, provide honest recommendations and that sort of thing.

[00:08:54] Matt: So, um, automation is such a great thing. Pricing is also something that, uh, hosts struggle with. And probably the third one, mark, I don't know, like it's kind of in the weeds, but it's, it's really cleaning. So cleaning is. The core of our business, it's essentially the product that's, you know, if we were a normal store, it would be our, our special t-shirts or it would be our, um, You know, our, our food, if we were a restaurant.

[00:09:24] Matt: And so cleaning is so very important because it's our product, it's what our guests arrive to. It's what sets the tone for the stay. And it really signals to guests that we are ready for them and we're anticipating their arrival. And, but it's such a huge roadblock for hosts. Like getting cleaners.

[00:09:42] Mark: Sorry.

[00:09:42] Mark: You were gonna say no, I was, I was gonna say that's the one thing that really stands out to me about your channel and about your videos was when you were talking about the cleaning. About, you know, about this aspect of it. So when, when we talk about cleaners and getting cleaners, I feel like this, this is really hard for so many hosts and it's definitely been a very big topic of conversation, not just in the boostly community, even not in just the hospitality community, but the, the Airbnb community and a whole, you see it on Facebook and whatnot.

Matts cleaning advice for multiple units

[00:10:07] Mark: So what can my question to you when it comes to cleaning, what would be like a. Sort of roadmap or helping advice or a little nugget that you could pass on to somebody that maybe in this position where they've got a couple of units, maybe 3, 4, 5 units, and they're struggling when it comes to cleaning.

[00:10:23] Matt: Yeah, sure. And I, I talk about this all the time, to be honest with my students. Um, one of the, so first off here's a pro tip do not hire a cleaning agency and that's often the easiest way to go. You call somebody up and you say, Do you have cleaners for me, I have these places that need to get clean and they're like, yeah, of course.

[00:10:44] Matt: And the problem there is inconsistency. You're not getting the same cleaner. You're not able to, um, really train and coach that specific cleaner. So that's kind of the, the first thing is void agencies. Um, together. The second thing that we look at that I talk about a lot is just because somebody is a really good residential cleaner they're.

[00:11:05] Matt: By Def fact, a good Airbnb cleaner, cause it's, it's different in if, if I have someone to come into my house and clean and you know, maybe in the bathroom, there's the odd hair or something. Probably not that many in my situation, but there could be the odd hair that's left over after it's cleaning. It's not a big deal for me because it's, it came from me.

[00:11:28] Matt: But in an Airbnb situation, it is a big deal. And specifically hairs are, um, huge when. Arrive. And if they see them, it just sets off this chain of a chain of events. Um, so the differences between residential cleaning and Airbnb cleaning, of course, there's the damage piece. Um, the other big one that most of the people watching will, will likely be familiar with is guests super annoying, um, have of taking clean, dirty dishes and putting them back in the cupboard.

[00:11:58] Matt: Like that drives me insane. And if you're doing a residential cleaning, you would never think to check that person's coverage to make sure they didn't put dirty dishes away. And if they did, who cares? It's their home dirty dishes, but in an Airbnb business that is killer. We can't have that. So what do you do?

[00:12:15] Matt: So what do you, do you have to, um, source cleaners. Likely through referrals or through Facebook groups, or even through ads, I recruit cleaners generally speaking, and then you need to spend time training with them. A lot of hosts out there are thinking that you hire a cleaner, you just tell them to clean and it's done it.

[00:12:32] Matt: That's not the case. Um, you have to treat a cleaner just as you would treat any other employee in your business. They need coaching, they need training and they need to be compensated effect. And so those are kind of the three areas that when we talk about cleaning that I, um, that I coach on and talk about, and in my courses, we talk about specifically how to train cleaners, how to coach them, how to pay it for pay for performance and that kind of

[00:12:57] Mark: thing.

[00:12:58] Mark: So I'm gonna move on and just step it up and ask for like your outlook of the, of the industry, especially like from a, from a, your point of view. Cause obviously you're based in Canada, Toronto's had one of the strictest lockdowns you reopening up, but before we do. Um, I just wanna find out more about the tools that you're using when I love doing these podcasts.

[00:13:15] Mark: And I like to go like behind the host. So one of the things that I really really loved doing over the past few years is when I do marketing reviews, we, we look and dig in to see what the tools that every host is using. And it'll be interesting from, from your point of view to share what you are using.


What key tools does Matt use everyday in his business


[00:13:28] Mark: So, so starting from, let's say the property management. Um, and we'll go down to any automations. You may be using any noise, aware devices or anything like that, but what, what are your key tools like your three or four key tools that you are using in your business on a day to day? That just makes your life.

[00:13:44] Matt: Yeah, I love that question cuz there are, was it you, that was telling me the other day, there's like a thousand different property management softwares out there now 1000 fall hundred to me, which is crazy. Okay. 1400. Yeah. Um, so that to me is. Bonkers. I, I think that it's crazy to think that there's that many out there anyway.

[00:14:04] Matt: So which ones do I use? I love host away. I'm a huge host away fan. Um, host away, manages everything in my business. Um, it's the main hub and you probably for the viewers, um, host away will connect to your different channels. It will connect your direct booking site and you guys have an integration, I think, into host away.

[00:14:23] Matt: It directs. Yeah. We love the team that. Yep. Marcus and, and, um, saber the whole team saber. Yep. I was gonna call him Sebo, but that came from, I talk to Sabre all the time. Uh, so yeah, they, that does everything, uh, message automation, review automation, um, manages, pulls the pricing in from my price automation software, which I'll get to next.

[00:14:46] Matt: Um, it also is, um, truly just managing everything in the business. That leads me to, uh, pricing automation. So the two that I like are beyond pricing and price labs. My preference is for beyond pricing, but, um, unfortunately they're not in every market and this is both a good and a bad thing. The reason they're not in every market is because.

[00:15:09] Matt: Um, beyond pricing actually has a person who's responsible for every market. It's not one person per market, but it's one person for multiple markets. So they're monitoring what's going on in these local markets to make sure that the bumps in pricing are adjusted correctly. And when they, the lulls are adjusted correctly as well.

[00:15:27] Matt: So they do a fantastic job. Um, price labs also does a great job. They're cost effective. Uh, they've got a really good algorithm, so I enjoy them again. If beyond isn't operating where. I'm operating or one of my students are operating. Then we go to, to price labs and, uh, they're pretty good. They're missing that.

[00:15:46] Matt: Um, I forget what they call them location manager that beyond has. Um, and I get that. You can't have that everywhere. It's, it's difficult to scale when you have to have, you know, staff looking at every single market and seeing what's happen. You hit on another one that I love, uh, noise aware, which is noise monitoring.

[00:16:04] Matt: I have one in every single one of my units. And for those, uh, on listening in that don't know, noise aware will monitor sound levels, non actual conversations, and send you an alert to your phone if, um, if things are too loud and it's really neat the way they work. Um, if. A TV like TV or a movie, won't set them off, but conversations, loud conversations will.

[00:16:32] Matt: And oddly enough, the. The vacuum sets them off. So I use that as a, like a, a comical way to monitor the cleaner side, actually cleaning.

[00:16:42] Mark: How do I know if the cleaners are in? Yes, I can see that. That's good.

[00:16:45] Matt: Yeah. I can see that there is vacuuming going on. Um, there's another one out there. I think it's minute.

[00:16:51] Matt: Uh, I haven't tried them yet, but they offer even more, um, information like humidity levels and temperatures, which I think are good if you're remote hosting and you're not on location. Especially in Canada where, you know, things could D drop below, wave below freezing, and you could have pipe where pipes freezing and bursting.

[00:17:08] Matt: And so, yeah, those two are great. I also deploy August locks in every opportunity that I can, so I can see who's coming and going. And I won't live without, uh, blank or some kind of video monitoring on a standalone property. Like I need to be able to see who's coming in and going out. Um, Of course always make sure that, um, you don't place video cameras in any of what Airbnb dubs, the private rooms, like bathrooms, sleeping areas.

[00:17:36] Matt: That kinda, I just put them outside. Yeah. Honestly, mark it's outside. You can see who's coming and going. That's all I need to

[00:17:42] Mark: see. Yeah. A hundred percent. No, you, you don't wanna be put in 'em anywhere like that. Cause that's the surefire way of getting. Listing taken off Airbnb and you won't be allowed to well, and

[00:17:50] Matt: even if they're inside in a, in an area that's permitted on Airbnb, like how do you get over review that says, uh, the place was great, except I felt like the host was watching me the entire time.

[00:18:00] Matt: Cause there's a camera in the

[00:18:01] Mark: kitchen. You don't want to have the feel of big brother, um, in, you know, because again, at the end of the day we're doing this for hospitality. I always say, end of the day, beginning end, you've got, this is hospitality. This is a hospitality world. And yeah, you don't want anybody feeling.

[00:18:14] Mark: Like they're being watched, cuz that's an ultimate easy way to go to a free or two star review, which what you don't want. Okay. So let's finish off then, uh, with, with the, with the segment of what is your outlook for the vacation rentals industry? Obviously 2020, as you know, uh, as you witnessed was a bit hairy for a lot, obviously there was a bit of a recovery, 2021, depending on where you were in the world, there was a, a bit more of a recovery.

How does Matt see 2022 playing out in the world of vacations?

[00:18:36] Mark: How do you see 2022 playing out in the world of vacation? Re.

[00:18:41] Matt: So it's gonna be incredibly interesting. It's it's gonna be good. Uh, you know, in my view, but let me just share a couple things with you that, that make it so interesting. So in like 20, 20, late 2020 bill gates declared the end of business travel forever.

[00:18:58] Matt: Now, is that entirely true? Probably not. Um, there are many business travelers that need to be on site and they've been just itching to do things that zoom just can't accomplish. Now at the same time, zoom actually opened our eyes to how much we can get done virtually. So there are gonna be situations where people business travelers, aren't gonna bother traveling as often because to save money.

[00:19:25] Matt: Um, and also because they can accomplish much of the same thing via zoom or, you know, E cam live, which is what we're doing right now. So that said business travel will likely be down on the whole, not dead. but many people who travel for business did so because they, like, they sought out jobs that allowed them to travel.

[00:19:48] Matt: And what happened to those people is they got really, really cabin feverish at home because they were used to being on the road and traveling a lot. So that's one, uh, factor that's gonna impact. And the other factor is that a lot of people in the middle class and upper classes, socioeconomically speak.

[00:20:06] Matt: Saved a ton of money and that money has just kind of been building. And those people are also sick of being at home and are ready to go. And so when you combine those two factors, you combine business travelers who aren't able to travel on their own anymore, or sorry, who aren't able to travel. For business purposes anymore.

[00:20:25] Matt: And you, you, uh, combine a pent up demand for travel. I think that as vaccines continue to roll out as treatments, um, become available for COVID and restrictions, start to go down. We are going to see an explosion of traveling. And that explosion is going to be in different segments. So instead of it being business travelers in the off season, or for big conferences, it's going to be vacationers with their families.

[00:20:50] Matt: And as hosts, we need to adapt to that reality and begin to start thinking about how can we cater more to. Vacationers not cater less to business travelers, but is there areas in our business that we can increase? Um, our hospitality, you say marked towards vacationers, um, and perhaps decrease a little bit away from, uh, business travelers?

[00:21:11] Mark: Well, there's a, a really interesting ski, uh, article that came up recently and they were looking and digging into business. And they were reporting that Mariot have reported their highest ever figure since since 2019, which is encouraging and what they're noticing as well in Europe, they did a European study, a natural prices of hotel rooms in Europe of higher than what they were in 2019, because what they're noticing.

[00:21:35] Mark: Yes. Overall business travel is on the decrease, but they're staying business. Guests are staying for longer and hence, that's why they can put the price up. So it's, it's really, it is really interesting. And, and what you'll definitely have, have touched upon massively is you'll get more people now who will be workcation and.

[00:21:53] Mark: And there's definitely been reports in Spain and France and Germany and in the UK and definitely in America as well, where you're getting more mini breaks. So we'll have a four or five week intensive and then they'll maybe have a, a week vacation. So if you break that down, if you've I've got school, I've got kids, a kids at school four to five weeks is a, is a, is a half term.

[00:22:14] Mark: So it's very, you know, what you find is that people will do you four or five weeks and then they'll go away, but they'll still be able to work well away. So again, I feel that, that the hosts all over the world, you got to really now real focus on your, your niche. So a lot of people now are really catering to location, to the extent where not only have it got a little desk, We've got a little, they're actually going step up for getting ring lights.

[00:22:35] Mark: I've seen somebody with a green screen. It's like, they're, they're really sort of stepping up and making it really appealable. But my advice to everybody, which we're gonna talk about market in a second, but advice to everybody is if you really do nail down that niche of a of workation, you've gotta talk about it every single way, shape or form Mr.

[00:22:51] Mark: Brian Chesky. Look at what he's doing. He's spending the next year, traveling around Airbnbs consistently for the next year. He's he's a, he's spotted the trend he's reported on Airbnb. That their length of stay booking has gone up. It's not decreased. It's gone up. It's now averaging seven to 10 days where it used to be four to five.

[00:23:06] Mark: So you're a hundred percent right. That the whole business guest, as we knew it in 2019 has gone. And I feel like now you've got to really sort of focus on how you can be put in front of this whole new category of guests, which is the not digital nomads, but it's the workation so super interesting,

[00:23:24] Matt: Matt.

[00:23:24] Matt: Yeah, I agree. And, and I think too, like one thing that I didn't mention is, um, as an issue that my hosts that the students I work with don't fully get is marketing the power of marketing on Airbnb. Pictures positioning. And you say, talk about rotation all over the place. Yeah. You have to mm-hmm you have to demonstrate it in pictures and you have to tell people, um, because we don't want, like, we don't want our brains to extend extra energy when we're trying to find a place.

[00:23:52] Matt: So if, if as hosts we are putting in front of them, Solutions to their problems. I E I'm gonna be gone for three weeks. I'm like, family's gonna be joining me for the third week, or they're gonna be there the whole time, but I have to work and they're trying, they're looking at pictures and like, could I work in there?

[00:24:07] Matt: Could I work in there? Just show them where they can work.

[00:24:09] Mark: Yeah. Well, this is, this is really good. This is a little teaser for what's coming in part two, which is going to be all about marketing. So let's at there map. Were people gonna come and find you a podcast? How do they go and find it? Where's the YouTube?

[00:24:22] Mark: What do they type in? How do they find it? Because obviously when we come back after the break, we're gonna be talking about marketing. So how do they find you before we, we, we, we switch over to the end.

[00:24:31] Matt: All right. So look me up on, uh, YouTube. You can search Airbnb uncovered. It's all one word, or you can go direct.

[00:24:37] Matt: So, Airbnb uncovered. I'm also on Instagram, Airbnb uncovered as well. So you can find me on those two channels. You can also Google Airbnb uncovered. Cause of course there's. Everywhere everywhere. I'm in all the places. Love

[00:24:54] Mark: it. Okay. Right. We're gonna have a little 32nd break. We'll come back and then we'll be flipping it around where I will be the interviewee and Matt will be the interviewer.

Matt interviews Mark

[00:25:02] Mark: All right. All yours, my friend.

[00:25:04] Matt: All right. So time to turn the table. So, um, this is actually pretty cool cuz some of the students that I work with are big fans of yours. And I put out an email to them earlier this week and I said, look, I'm gonna have one on one with Mark Simpson. It's going to be recorded.


What actions increase activity specifically on direct booking sites via Facebook?


[00:25:19] Matt: It's gonna be live. Um, what do you guys wanna know? And so they, they hit me up with some pretty good questions. I hope you're up for it. I'm ready for this. Um, Dad joke in there just cause you're a dad. So you gotta throw the cheese around. Um, okay. So first one from, uh, one of my hosts who operates in, uh, Nova Scotia, Canada, she wants to know what are the top three actions that increase activity specifically on direct booking sites via Facebook.

[00:25:46] Matt: So what should she do if she's drawing. Trying to drive business through Facebook. Yeah.

[00:25:51] Mark: I mean, this is the, this is the, this is like the golden challenges, what everybody wants to know, but I've got a website, so they spend all this money on a website, or I spend all this time doing a website up and then it's like, right.

[00:26:02] Mark: I've launched it. Brilliant. And then you just wait for people to come. And as that wholesale crickets. Yeah. If you build it, they will come. But they, they don't. So you have to actually go ahead and you have to drive traffic to it. And so this is a question that comes up a. In in my community and I see it in other communities and I, I see it on, on the Reddit forums and quo and all that is how do I drive travel to my website?

[00:26:24] Mark: Well, number one, one of the best things that, that you can start to do is to utilize things like email a hundred percent would invest in your time and, uh, in, get in some form of email list created, um, there's. You could go whole episode on this alone, but what I would recommend everybody do, if you, if you go into Google, open up a Google shirt, search type in MailChimp, YouTube, boosty you type in MailChimp, YouTube boosty, we've got a full, deep dive over the shoulder.

[00:26:54] Mark: How to set up a MailChimp account from scratch for free. It doesn't cost you any money and it'll show you as well, how to start getting people onto your email list. So this is really important. Everybody now has got guests coming in. Who's listening to this. So everybody's got guests coming in over, over the next sort of six months.

[00:27:12] Mark: What you need to do is you need to start getting your guests email, and there's so many reasons and benefits. Why, but Airbnb, cuz I'm gonna assume a lot of your bookings are coming from Airbnb. They're not sharing with you that email. Okay. So you've got to at some way, shape or form from the point of book.

[00:27:29] Mark: To the point of arrival to the point of checkout, get your guest email address, and there's are loads of ways that you could do. So, number one, you could have a Google form create or a jot form, which is free to do. And when the booking has come in, you could send out a little message just to say, Hey Matt, thank you so much for your booking.

[00:27:45] Mark: Just to speed up your checking process. Could you please fill in, fill in this quick Google form. It will just make sure we've got all the relevant information. It's absolutely fine. It's above board with Airbnb, all that jazz. And if you've got a PMs like Hostway, that will be automated, which obviously is nice.

[00:27:59] Mark: So when they fill in that Google form, obviously you're gonna ask for name, last name. You can ask for other people in the party, ask for their address, car registration. You know, if you need any relevant information for your country. So in Spain, for example, they ask for passport information or France passport information, et cetera.

[00:28:15] Mark: And then what you can do at the bottom. Have a little tick box that says, would you like to be kept up to date with information about your stay, tick the box. And if they tick the box, that's good. They've joined your email list. They're saying they're happy to get emails from you. And if you do that consistently over time, like next week, you may get one.

[00:28:31] Mark: And then the week after you may get two and over time, by the end of this year, you could have a hundred emails and having a hundred emails on your list may not sound all singing and dancing, but it's very powerful. Just imagine right now in the room that you're setting there a hundred people sat around.

[00:28:44] Mark: And that hundred people sat around you in the room that you're at. You think that's pretty overwhelming? Well, that's the same as having a hundred emails. That's what I would be first be doing, would be getting, building an email list and then starting to send emails, which is very important. I know people that are sat on email lists of 10,000 people and they don't email 'em.

[00:29:01] Mark: It's ridiculous. I'm like, you are kidding me. So yeah. Get emails. Start email him. Number one. Number two, obviously social media, somebody said Facebook, obviously Facebook and social media, Facebook groups is the, is still so powerful. Everybody. I feel like in America and in Canada, maybe Facebook people look at Facebook and go, Ugh, but in Europe, massively people still use Facebook a lot.

[00:29:23] Mark: They use Facebook, they use WhatsApp, they use Instagram part of the meta group. So definitely be utilizing Facebook. Funny enough, you think that Facebook isn't gonna be used from 18 to 25 year olds, but their biggest growth in 2021 was with the 18 to 25 bracket in Facebook groups. So the, the community building is still strong.

[00:29:43] Mark: So find free Facebook groups. And I talk about this in the book. I talk about it in this book, I talk about Facebook groups and I talk about the power of 'em and about how you need to join three to five groups. One of them is in your local area. One of them is in your niche. So if you are a glamping plot pod, for example, you find the glamping community.

[00:30:02] Mark: If you are a city apartment base, but you specialize for contractors and corporate and business go and find business groups, business, traveling groups, or healthcare worker groups, there's Facebook groups for everything. And then what you're gonna do next is you're gonna find a big generic one. So ones, that's got lots of traffic going in, and then what you're gonna do over time.

[00:30:20] Mark: If you keep showing up in those groups and just keep adding information, don't be spaming your. But if you answer questions, if you, you know, answer questions, provide support and care and attention over time. What you'll notice is people will check out your Facebook profile and if you've optimized your Facebook profile, like you will do your Airbnb profile, include your web linking over time.

[00:30:42] Mark: You'll notice that people will come to your profile and go, right. Let me find out what this person's all about. Oh, look, they've got accommodation. Let me go to the website to check it out. And finally the sort of third one. So we've done email, we've done social media. The final one is blogging. Seriously.

[00:30:57] Mark: Bloggin is such an untapped out. So many people are not creating content on their own website. Everybody is creating content on somebody else's website. So everybody's creating YouTube videos. Everybody's creating Facebook posts, everybody's creating reals, tos, Instagrams. Nobody's creating content on their own website, which is criminal.

[00:31:16] Mark: And if you start blogging once a month, You will be doing more than 99% of the other hosts in your area. I guarantee it. And again, people think, oh, writing content that's such annoying. I can't do it. It takes forever. I dunno how to write. I've got a hack on my YouTube video showing you how you can get a content writer for just $30 to build a blog for you every single month.

[00:31:40] Mark: And all you need to do is to send a free links. So. If you want that video go to the boostly YouTube channel and type in blog, content writer, boosty YouTube channel. So type in boostly, um, YouTube blog content writer, the video will come up and it will, it will be your, your, your peer resistance. You will love it forever.

[00:32:00] Mark: Whoever asked that question.

[00:32:02] Matt: I think that's fantastic. Um, a couple like follow ups, one of them with Facebook, you know, when I think about responsible hosting 18 to 21, doesn't super hit my, my ideal gas profile. But what Facebook is really good at, especially north America is the 35 to 45 year old family segment.

[00:32:22] Matt: Moms love Facebook. And so I love that answer. Um, so let's

[00:32:26] Mark: see what as well, I was just gonna quickly go back to about 18 to 21 year olds. Yes. They may not be the target demographic, but they are now responsible and they are in the bookings in for their parents. So for example, 18 to 21, 18 to 22, they could be college kids.

[00:32:39] Mark: They could have their parents coming to visit them from outta town and they'll be like, well, hang on a second. I've I've noticed this, this accommodation provider in the area, they can sort you out, so you don't have to stay X, Y, or Z. So again, it's, it's like. You gotta tap in, not just, uh, not the think, the mindset of you speaking to the person that is gonna be staying with you think about the power of the social media realm, their, their, their influential group of friends, family, coworkers, X, Y, and Z.

[00:33:03] Mark: So, yeah, there's, there's so many ways to tap into that, that sort of data, which, which is so exciting for like me, who I come into this from like a marketing point of view.

Influencer Marketing

[00:33:11] Matt: I'm gonna need to reread your book. Mark. There you go. I missed that part. There you go. um, yeah. And one other thing that you mentioned, you know, you think about an email list of a hundred people.

[00:33:21] Matt: Um, how many people do those? A hundred people know. So you think a hundred people is a smallest, how many people do those? A hundred people know. And what if you're able to offer say, Hey, you know, if you have a friend, these are repeat guests, these are past guests who know how great it is to stay with you.

[00:33:38] Matt: They would love to talk about where they've stayed, what they've, you know, what their experience was like. And, and oftentimes in a friend. One friend will go somewhere and then like two friends will go to that same place within a couple years because they wanna experience what their friends are talking about.

[00:33:53] Mark: Well, this is a hundred percent it. And when we talk about influencer marketing, right? When we, when we talk about influencers, everybody would love to work with within influencer because they instantly think of the Kim Kashian levels, millions or a hundred thousand followers. But if you think about it, they'll change your mindset.

[00:34:08] Mark: Every single one of your guests is an influencer. Every single one of your guests is influential in some way, shape or form. And what's what I love about that. When you think about that, you'll think about it so differently because the power of social telling social, sharing, social, telling everybody about your business, but as well, the main reason why nobody actually gets a social share or tag is because nobody's asking.

[00:34:32] Mark: One of my favorite videos, the one that's got the most traction on TikTok of all channels over the last year is a video where I said shy kids don't get sweets. And the reason of the story behind the, the TikTok was that when you ask. People are more likely to do the problem is you're never asking because you're too shy to ask.

[00:34:54] Mark: So it's a simple case of having, uh, something on your fridge. You can get a fridge magnet, put it together quite nicely, get it printed and put it onto your fridge. And on the fridge magnet, it will say, do you have any good picks from your stay here? In the area in the town in Toronto or whatever, share 'em on Instagram and act tag us in and have a hashtag.

[00:35:13] Mark: And what we say, you gotta dangle the carrot. So what we used to do was every month, we'll pick our favorite picture, our favorite tag, and that person will win X bottle of wine, Amazon vouchers, Netflix vouchers, Disney vouchers, whatever, and the amount of people that would do it was insane. We weren't having to actively or proactively ask.

[00:35:31] Mark: We just had it on the, every fridge and we had it. On the other most high touch point in your house, which is the front door. We had it on the back of that in a nice little picture frame. And the amount of people that did it was crazy. Our Instagram blew up because of it. We had so many people tagging us in and, and for, for me for content creation, content creation is another reason why hosts don't post on social media every day when they're tagging you in.

[00:35:54] Mark: You literally don't have to think about it. If you've got a day where it's like, Ugh, I can't be bothered. You go into Instagram, you share. The post that you're tagged in and that's your content for the day. It's literally so simple when you do it. But all you've got to do is ask so, start asking and you'll get the benefits from.

[00:36:11] Matt: Yeah, that that's some great advice. Um, I'm gonna have to call, um, not call, but go onto Vista print and get myself some fridge benefits. Yeah, yeah. And picture frames on Amazon. Yeah. Um, alright, let's see what other questions my, uh, my students had. So another one was related to insurance. So Airbnb offers, uh, now it's called air protect or air something, air cul, which is.

What does Mark tell his direct hosts to do regarding liability and damage protection?

[00:36:35] Matt: Air cover. That's what it is, um, which ultimately provides liability and damage protection for bookings made through Airbnb B. When you go direct that coverage goes away. So what, what do you, what do you tell hosts to do? Cause I'm sure that's a roadblock that they, that you face from your clients who come to you and say, I want a website.

[00:36:53] Mark: So for me, in being in the UK and Europe, we've. So many, um, insurance providers that we just, we just know, you know, and, and we all look at Airbnb and we look at air cover as what it is, which is marketing spiel. That's literally all it is. It's just a very clever market employee because what Airbnb don't want you doing?

[00:37:11] Mark: Airbnb don't want their hosts figuring out how they can do it themselves. In fact, Brian Chesky went on the sway podcast in, in Q4 of last year and the podcaster asked her him directly. What would you say, or how are guests booking themselves direct how we getting D bookings and he battered it away. He said, ah, they don't wanna do that.

[00:37:30] Mark: Hosts don't want to do that because he doesn't want to spread the message that guests and hosts, sorry, can figure it out and could get their own D booking website. So. When it comes to the insurance, it's just clever marketing spiel. I've been in a lot of clubhouse rooms over the last two ye a year and a half.

[00:37:46] Mark: Sorry. And I've been listening intently to hearing how American and Canadian hosts talk about this because it's the biggest question when people get started. So it's my mission to say, listen, it's just a marketing spiel. You've got proper dot insurer. So P R O P E Insurance company based out of America.

[00:38:05] Mark: Okay. So there's solutions on site. There's in the, in the UK, but it's a worldwide company it's called GAD, G U a R D H And there's many, many more. And the cool news is, and this is the, this is the really good news for me. Is there's more and more solutions becoming available for the world of vacation retinals and short term retinals.

[00:38:25] Mark: So all it is, you've gotta do a simple Google search and you will find the results I've given you two right there. Just go to one of them and off you go. Um, so you don't have to rely on air cover. They've got the same protection, if not better, but the best news is you. Haven't got a third party to go to, but it's going to favor the guests.

[00:38:42] Mark: And, and this is really prevalent right now because Airbnb are about to update their rules. April the 29th, 2022, they're going to update all of their rules and their policies around refunds. The rights that the guest has. And it's, if everybody was in the doubt, although we're thinking, well, hang on a second.

[00:38:59] Mark: Airbnb is more of a platform that looks after its host over its guest. It's now just boom, massively tilted in Uber way. They are a guest first platform. They do not care about you. So you've got to do everything in your power to make sure that you are building your house on your land. And if you are thinking.

[00:39:15] Mark: What percentage should I have of Derek bookings? If you've got anything more than 50% coming in from a, from a third party, you are reliant on that. So, what you need to start doing is you need to start number one, go pick up this book. It's less than $20. It literally will be the best thing that you can invest in, implement the tactics in there.

[00:39:34] Mark: And you will start to see that that going. So it'll go from like a lot of people, 85% reliant on Airbnb, 50%. Sorry, 15% D bookings. If we can just start to slowly tweak it. And over the years you can get to there, your business will be better. Your profits will be healthier. And if anybody's looking to exit over the course next five, 10 years, you need to be very, very, very focused on diet bookings and building your brand.

[00:39:57] Mark: So yeah, very important. You do so. Yeah,

[00:40:00] Matt: a hundred percent mark. I mean, and it, it almost starts, you kind of brought us full circle because you started off with email marketing and how Airbnb holds the email and, and we don't get it. Um, and then you talk about insurance and how, um, Airbnb really controls that insurance.

[00:40:16] Matt: And by the way, they generally don't call it insurance. I mean, they are kind of now, but if you read the fine print, it's still not insurance . Um, so there is no arbitrary. You can't, you don't get to go to your insurance company the same way that you can go to Airbnb. Like doesn't work that. Um, and so really, and I love where you're going with this is that the reliance needs to be on us as host to protect ourselves, to build our own robust businesses.

[00:40:41] Matt: And even that exit strategy, like that's fantastic. And Matt, like, I work with a client right now who buys the sell vacation properties. He fixes them up. Yes. That's a thing kind of flipping vacation properties. Yep. And the problem he always has is how do I get my bookings that I've got while I owned it over to somebody else, nearly impossible through Airbnb.

[00:41:00] Matt: Um, If you're doing it on your own terms, if you're using your own site, then there are ways to transfer these things over. Mm-hmm so yeah. Brilliant work. Do you wanna do one more? Mark

[00:41:12] Mark: ums? Do we have, do time? Let do one quick one. Yeah, let's do one quick one. I've got a, okay. Let see this skill to

[00:41:15] Matt: get to one yeah.

[00:41:16] Matt: Yeah. Your poor kids are gonna be waiting there. Going, where is dad? Where are we gonna get this? All right, so this last one you probably can. So, all right. Um, alright. Um, So this is from a student who I think is really keen to work with you. He says he hears a lot of, a lot of speak about increasing revenues and he wants you to, to I'll use my term, uncover what it's really like to work with you.

How many leads can Mark bring in for people?

[00:41:42] Matt: How much can, how quickly can he take his maybe 85% and start moving it up to, to. To 70% or what have you 60, he wants to know how many leads are you gonna bring in for him? Um, how many bookings he wants the,

[00:41:57] Mark: he wants the, he, he wants to know exactly what it's gonna get. Yeah. By working with me. Well, number one, I do not offer a done for you service.

[00:42:03] Mark: I started to do done for you when I first got going, but then I quickly pivoted to, to the done for many model, because my goal is to help 1 million hosts cut down on their overly on, on the OTAs. So what I do and the way that Boley works in the boost Lee academy, Is that we give you loads 80 hours worth of tutorials, templates, checklists.

[00:42:23] Mark: And then we've got the accountability group as well to make sure that everybody in the Facebook group is doing what they need to be doing. But I always talk about return so ROI and everybody assumes that ROI is return on investment. And I guarantee that everybody will get a return of their investment in new D bookings, but you have to do one other ROI, which is return on implement.

[00:42:45] Mark: I was saying to you earlier, I can give you the best looking fastest looking car in the world. And you could sit in that seat and you've got the destination, which is over there, which is gonna be the direct booking destination. But if you don't turn the key, you're not gonna get there. So it's up to you to turn the key.

[00:43:01] Mark: However you wanna focus on email, whether you wanna focus on SEO, whether you wanna focus on cold calling, whether you wanna focus on contractors or business guests or E uh, TikTok, whatever you wanna focus on. There's something for you when you work with the Boley academy and team Boley. This is not just me.

[00:43:17] Mark: Boley is not max Simpson. Max Simpson is not Boley Boley is, is a great not boosty boosty is a, is a grow. Massive massive, massive, massive organization worldwide business now. And we've got head coaches, we've got business development, we've got Brucely ambassadors. And the cool thing is about my world is that I'm able to open up my little black book and I'm able to bring in experts from all over the world of copywriters, Facebook ads, affiliate markets, Google influencers, and the group that we've got.

[00:43:42] Mark: Is really engaged and it's fantastic because we've got hosts jumping into each of accountable. And if anybody's got a question, we've got an Instagram expert at the moment, who's showing so many cool things with reels and tutorials and all those cool things. He's on hand and he is providing support and we've got other people that are also in there as well.

[00:43:58] Mark: So if this person is really interested and they're going, okay, I wanna learn more. I wanna do more Derek bookings. I will give them all the tools I will give. 'em the key to the car. It's up to them to turn it. And if they turn it and they do it well, we've got people. Absolutely go from 20% D bookings to 80% D bookings.

[00:44:14] Mark: We've got people that have got so many success stories. You just have to go to trust pilot typing loosely, and you'll just see over 300 reviews of people that just sharing their results and feedback and case studies, which is amazing because when you create something, as you create something with, obviously with your training program, you know, that what you do works is it works for you, the biggest sort of mindset shift, and the biggest thing that stops you from fully going is that will it work for other people?

[00:44:39] Mark: So when I first got those five, 10 sort of testimonials to go, yep. This worked amazing. And over years that 10 came to 102 hundred, 300 at that point I wanted to go. Okay. So what's the next step. And so I went to the CPD, it's a, a government body accreditation service in the UK. I said, here's my training.

[00:44:55] Mark: Here's all the training. Can you please grade it? Can you rate it? So they passed it. It's CBT accredited. It's one of the only ones in the UK of training companies. And think of in this industry that is accredited, which is amazing because not only do I know it works, not only do I know that it works for my members, but now we've got an official government body has said, yep.

[00:45:13] Mark: This training spot on it works. It's covered. It all makes sense. So that's, that's amazing for me and just amazing for the community and what we're.

[00:45:22] Matt: Hundred percent. Yeah, no, that's, that sounds amazing. Even I'm sitting here, I'm like, could I be benefiting from Boostly?

[00:45:28] Mark: come on in,

[00:45:29] Matt: come on, come on in. Alright.

[00:45:30] Matt: Maybe you'll see. Maybe you'll see me in there. Um, and I would love you talked on mindset, which is something I love to talk about and the roadblocks and barriers that are up here, there's so much potential that just needs to be unleashed. Um, and I think that's what working with coaches like us can, can unleash and honestly, Getting you to a place that you never even imagined was possible.

[00:45:52] Matt: And I think you and I are both proof of that. Like I just quit my job because I hated working for a boss. And now here I am. There you go. This is great mark. Um, I think your kids might be soon waiting for you, uh, outside the

[00:46:05] Mark: school yard. I can, I can hear 'em, they're gonna be, need to go to this disco. So thank you so much for having me, uh, and thank you so much for being on, on my podcast beforehand.

[00:46:12] Mark: So, uh, yeah, I look forward to chatting another.

[00:46:16] Matt: Likewise. Thank you. And, uh, for my followers, you can catch the, uh, full interview on my YouTube channel, Airbnb, um, sorry, uncovered.

[00:46:28] Mark: All right. Thank you very much, everybody. We'll see you soon.

[00:46:32] Matt: Thank you.




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