Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 454. In this podcast we speak with Sally Kember – a hospitable host, about her serviced accommodation journey as well as her podcast which has just reached the amazing milestone of 100 episodes!
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Here’s the audio for this episode:
Here’s the video for this episode:
01:10 – How did Sally get into Serviced Accommodation?
04:30 – How important is Mindset?
08:06 – Where did the idea for a podcast come from?
15:35 – What does it mean to you to be a hospitable host?
26:05 – What tools does Sally use daily?
28:39 – Consistency is important
32:29 – What does the future hold?
35:23 – A little more about Sally
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Transcript from the Episode
[00:00:00] Liam: Okay, welcome to another behind the host podcast. And today we are lucky to have Sally Kember here. Sally has a Helms wood service departments, which is based in red hill. Uh, she’s also a fellow host of a podcast and her amazing podcast just reached a milestone of a hundred episodes, which I’m excited to speak about today.
[00:00:20] Liam: And that is the service accommodation secrets podcast, which has helped me. Uh, you know, sort of get started on my journey into service accommodation. So I am so pleased to have started here, Sally, thank you for doing this today. And, uh, yeah. How’s how are you doing? Uh,
[00:00:35] Sally: thanks so much for having me then it’s brilliant to be here.
[00:00:38] Sally: I’m really well, how do we go to a hundred know.
[00:00:44] Liam: What an epic milestone. I mean, like I say, you should be having a party hat on and I’m doing a special, special episodes and stuff like that for the a hundred mark, but yeah. How long have you been a sort of let’s let’s talk about the podcast first as we started on that.
[00:00:59] Liam: So at first of all, Sally, just, just tell me a little bit about obviously how you got into service accommodation, and then we’ll move on to the podcast.
How did Sally get into Serviced Accommodation?
[00:01:10] Sally: It wasn’t really a planned thing from Leanna. Um, but I’m an artist. It’s what I’ve always done. And then freelanced and that kind of thing. And always like.
[00:01:21] Sally: Places to look nice, you know, inspire people with all this. And we had kids P and I, um, it may have forever now. Um, our kids are grown up now, but when they’re little, I kind of just focused on them. I see. Um, Bits of my freelance work here and there, but, um, mom has been paid. He’s been in corporate it forever and, um, wanted to do some different things.
[00:01:48] Sally: So he looked at doing property. I do a few other things as well, you know, multiple streams as we do. And, um, so he looks at various property strategies, but actually service to convention looked great to me. And there’s more hospitality obviously than a property. Yeah, so I agreed to it and it was kind of my idea.
[00:02:11] Sally: Cause once I get shown something, I get quite carried away. Um, and we did training actually with progressive. So, um, more, more, Hey man. Um, brilliant. Community of people who are very like-minded and, and have a sort of Canada debut attitude. So it’s really inspiring the mindset point of view, as well as, you know, the nuts and bolts of what’s practical.
[00:02:35] Sally: And, um, so we went on that journey. Um, 2016, I think really was when that happened. And then, um, Well, I found that actually the theory was much easier than the practice.
[00:02:54] Sally: Not having any experience. What about people from the word go, you know, even finding the properties. And we went with B holders of apartments, which is brilliant, but forming nice connections or took a while we did mastermind and stuff, and very much believe in training and mentoring you and getting, getting the professional advice.
[00:03:17] Sally: And more and more. In fact, part of hospitable case, I guess, is that we discover it’s an amazing community all over, all over the world. Um, so yeah, we settled on where we are in red headed. Sorry, really? Because it’s a very good, it’s a business center, um, say, uh, main kind of clients are corporate stays workers, that kind of thing.
[00:03:41] Sally: But obviously we’re quite near London too. We’re not obviously, if you don’t know red Haley’s, but we’re south of London. So it’s a really short train ride to London, Victoria, London bridge. And we really know that we’re careful to. It seemed to me criteria and yeah, we’d just have brilliant luck of finding this company so out with who are developers as well.
[00:04:03] Sally: So, um, we just got started with the apartments. So, yeah, well, here we are still, now I’m in one actually, because we’ve got some guests requests for special kind of arrangements for guests coming. So I thought I’d
[00:04:21] Liam: come. Yeah. That’s definitely that people focus side of things. So you mentioned on there and we’ve had a similar journey in terms of the mindset around, you know, doing some training.
How important is Mindset?
[00:04:30] Liam: How important is mindset about getting started for anyone who’s listening and thinking, you know what? I might give hosting a go, how important.
[00:04:39] Sally: I think it’s really key, um, because it’s not necessarily what everybody does. So you don’t have social proof in the people around you. You know, your family, friends, maybe you’ve grown up with, um, of how well it will work.
[00:04:55] Sally: So people worry for you, you know, and you might have setbacks. Um, we had setbacks, it felt like Wilkins through, um, Coke at first. It’s like, oh, will we ever get anywhere? Um, but you just keep pushing and action. If you just keep doing the right things, following sort of process of what to do next, and you have people guiding you encouraging me.
[00:05:17] Sally: I think that really helps. So, uh, do you think. Very good to be in a community of people who know what they’re doing and support you cause otherwise, you know, you might just give up and settle for less and semi don’t want that for people. Um,
[00:05:32] Liam: no it’s having people who are on a similar journey and also like you say, people who are excited to be in the community, people who can share, you can share problems.
[00:05:42] Liam: And, uh, you know, find solutions together. So you’ve obviously you’ve set up your apartments in, in red hill. Uh, you’ve decided, you know, after going down the route of, of training to do service accommodation, you did mention that it’s easier in theory than it is in practice. So again, this, this is so great because honestly, Uh, diving into your business.
[00:06:02] Liam: I know on your podcast, uh, you know, sort of service combination secrets, you’re often looking at other hosts, I’m loving getting behind your business and, uh, and find out a bit more about that. What aspects would you say is something to consider when getting started and what sort of things did your was easier in theory than they were in practice?
[00:06:21] Liam: Would you say?
[00:06:23] Sally: Well, I think you have to really decide at the beginning what you want to have the. That’s the elements of what you’re doing and your vision for what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. I think that’s really key. I think if you just kind of think, oh, I’ll get a property and people come and stay, it’s a bit too random.
[00:06:42] Sally: So I think any day a plan, um, you know, what’s the outcome that you want? Um, not. Monthly cashflow, which is quite often what, you know, short term rentals or makes you fall in. It’s good revenue, but there’s a lot of work behind it. And so you have to think about what kind of lifestyle do you want to have as well?
[00:07:03] Sally: Yeah. It may be, he wants to get involved in short-term rentals, but it might be that you want to have it managed by somebody else, not set it up yourself. Or if you do set it up yourself, you will most likely want to outsource a lot of it. So our cleaning team has been here. The smelling done an amazing job.
[00:07:21] Sally: Um, my niece downtown, if you try and do everything yourself, you’ll have a really, really busy job, but long hours, seven days a week. And of course the customer, you know, the, the guests come with us, so you could hear from them at any point. So, uh, we did training to make sure MIGA, um, via is on board to help with our systems.
[00:07:44] Sally: And that was after being offered money for buy here. And now we’ve got a great team who cover a lot of the hours and they brilliant and, uh, I wouldn’t want to do it without them, for sure. So
[00:07:55] Liam: team is so important, isn’t it team has just as one thing, which we see Rick. Lo what is an island and they need, you know, you need good people around you a hundred percent.
Where did the idea for a podcast come from?
[00:08:06] Liam: So if we fast forward a bit to you’ve set up your, your service accommodations, obviously you’ve set up your business and you’re launched you’re, you’ve put the theory into practice. Where did the idea for the podcast come from?
[00:08:19] Sally: We be it, um, various trainings or property meetings and things like that.
[00:08:25] Sally: Pete and I, and we’d be telling people’s stories of things. Oh, you know, this happens and that happens. And, um, It just seems a natural progression because people sort of said, that’s really interesting. You know, they were saying this would be really useful for other people starting out. And I guess, because I discovered there was so many parts to.
[00:08:47] Sally: You know, service to combination as we were running it. Um, I thought, wow, it would be helpful for other people. And also there were some podcasts out there at the time. I kind of found it, um, good to for my progression and accountability and just to kind of get things off my chest a little bit as well. So it’s very much about documentation of what was happening at our properties, what we were coming up against.
[00:09:12] Sally: Um, You know, I wasn’t saying I was an expert out there, not by any means. It’s just, I’m a couple of steps ahead of other people. Uh, so various people who I met at progressive in fact, like Dylan’s in HR, he’s the one who said you don’t have to be, um, far beyond somebody else you’re helping. If you’re just two steps ahead, you can actually probably help them more because you’ve got more of a shared reality of what you’re doing.
[00:09:37] Sally: Um, the same with people, two steps ahead of us, you know, Encountering things. Um, I don’t know, six months or a year, but of time of us. And so it was like, ah, so we could do that. Next is just sharing solutions really and inspiring each other. That yes, we can do this. It’s
[00:09:54] Liam: okay. That’s one of the things which, you know, you hit the nail on the head that you don’t need somebody, who’s got a hundred properties ahead of you.
[00:10:01] Liam: You just need somebody who is, who have gone through that same experience before you have and how they dealt with it and the lessons they learned. And I know we talked about it on your podcast, Sally, about I was driving around and I think it was one of the late night shops at BNM to solve one of my units.
[00:10:15] Liam: And I had your podcast. I think he was talking about like terms and conditions and how you deal with, you know, getting those signed. And I can remember thinking this is really helping me. It wasn’t just the information, but it’s knowing other people are going through the same thing. So, um, and just knowing that there are people in the industry to reach out to.
[00:10:31] Liam: So that was really, really amazing. And one of the things I always think is. You know, having a community around you. I mean, that’s part of the reason why, uh, you know, loosely, we’ve got obviously the hospitality community that anyone can join for free, but obviously the boots Lee academy, which is where you can go in there and there’s posts, you know, yourself is in now, I’m in there who have gone through various experiences.
[00:10:55] Liam: And, um, you know, we can share our knowledge with, with people and coach them along currently.
[00:11:00] Sally: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, if anyone asks the question, so I’ve got quite an active WhatsApp group know it’s completely free, just loads of people enjoyed it and I’ll ask anything. Um, sometimes people are really experienced and they can help other people, or they might come up across, you know, come across something, especially during the pandemic.
[00:11:20] Sally: Obviously there’s quite a lot of what do we do? Um, kind of moments, um, but new people as well. And I’ve got a Facebook group as well, that kind of links in with the podcast. I think the court cost was good in that if people needed some guidance for look down, especially I was Jane, lots of aquacise there’s all the different guidelines came in and it was like really hard to understand some of them, but others were fine.
[00:11:45] Sally: Um, so I think it’s really good to just help each other. And also, um, because of all the mines. Learning books, um, you know, audio books and everything I’m listening to. It’s like the more you learn, um, so share with people the better you understand it yourself, and you can kind of tip that out and learn more.
[00:12:04] Sally: So it kind of builds really.
[00:12:07] Liam: It pushes yourself to that next level. Doesn’t it. You, you, you feel the duty to, uh, you know, find out about the answers and help others, uh, spend time. Yeah.
[00:12:20] Sally: I’ve always felt quite compelled to answer question. I don’t know what it is. I might not always know the answer. So I’ll find out, I don’t always know everything obviously, but it’s useful to find out what people need.
[00:12:33] Sally: Um, and obviously guests need all sorts of things. You really don’t know what they’re going to need next. So yeah, different situations crop up. You can share when people are staying, um, you know, we can help each other.
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[00:14:35] Liam: I don’t think there’s another industry like hospitality, which has so many different, uh, you know, sort of moving plates to, to keep track of, you know, from the guest side too, if you’ve got, you know, if you’re doing rental arbitrage or rent to rent that side of things, there’s so many different things to consider.
[00:14:50] Liam: And of course, like you mentioned the guidelines, I mean, during the pandemic, all of the grants and all that stuff, all that information changed almost weekly. So having people like yourself who were sharing it on podcasts or in Facebook groups, It’s just so important. People reach out and join these groups because you never know, one little bit of information could save your making a mistake or save your hundreds of pounds or push your business forward.
[00:15:11] Liam: So that’s amazing. And of course, that brings us nicely on to, you know, sort of one of the new projects, which we’re both involved in, which is the hospitable hosts project, where we’re both writing a chapter. Of, uh, you know, 40 hosts from across the world from people like Julie, George in Australia to Tia castle in, in sort of Canada, you know, there’s, there’s so many different people across the world who are in that book.
What does it mean to you to be a hospitable host?
[00:15:35] Liam: Um, tell me a bit of, um, you know, a bit about what got you involved in this awesome project and, um, you know, how you, uh, what, what it is, what it means to you to be a hospitable host.
[00:15:48] Sally: Okay. So the project, this is quite an interesting one because I think it was one of the first times I’d been out to public events last.
[00:15:57] Sally: Um, yeah. Was it last year? So
[00:16:01] Liam: that’s just a blur. The entire two years just feels about five minutes and 10 years at the same time.
[00:16:07] Sally: So I met Jody and I think I might, you as well for short stay,
[00:16:13] Liam: you know, I had COVID I was that one person who didn’t turn up because I had COVID my business partner went Donette us, uh, for this contest when
[00:16:22] Sally: I’m so sorry.
[00:16:25] Sally: Um, yeah, so I, I met Jody anyway. I do know that she was talking to me about her book projects and. You know, we just got chatting and things and of course, Mo was there. Um, He gets everywhere. Yeah. Not citizen everywhere. Good for him. So we would just texting about it then, but I think I invited her to join a WhatsApp group.
[00:16:49] Sally: So she did, but her Sterling stays and everything. And I thought, well, it sounds quite good, but you know how you kind of forget about these things and then bless her. She kept asking me and I must admit the more I heard about all the people who were taking cards. Um, it’s always really well-known people from across the world and everything.
[00:17:08] Sally: Um, you know, I’m just in retail. So I kind of a little bit, you
[00:17:15] Liam: can put in red hill on the map, Sally, you’ve done, you know, now I didn’t know where red hill is until you came along. So yeah, you are.
[00:17:25] Sally: I don’t know, I just had a busy year personally and things, and I just thought, you know, it’s time to do it, but it was only night. We ended up February and I’d forgotten that the deadline was, she said really glad to take apart the deadline in two days time or something. So it’s like, okay, I better write something.
[00:17:46] Sally: Um, And relate the different things I could have shared, but being a host, I think, I don’t know. I come from the heart and I just really like to care for people and make sure they’re okay. So yeah, it’s really hard to select what to choose for the chapter, but, um, I’m desperate to read everybody else’s as well.
[00:18:11] Sally: Uh, but I just really love hosting people and giving them a great state. And sometimes it’s the really happy reasons, you know, people are staying for a week or something maybe longer. Cause they’re traveling with their family, maybe going to the lungs and, and stuff. Other times it might be like, you know, months of working here and we just make sure the right county and they love it.
[00:18:32] Sally: Um, you know, and they got places to park, even though there isn’t any parking. So that’s like, sort of become a magician at this point.
[00:18:42] Sally: And then they go all the different channels. They want to see sports and everything, um, and just chat to them. So some guests I do speak to, um, quite often, even though we got the VA’s just cause they like to have a chat, so that’s fine. Um, and it’s really nice. You find out all sorts of things. Um, then, then other people are here because we’ve got a hospital quite nearby.
[00:19:06] Sally: Well, nice things like having babies and family and traveling and other people have so several things. So you have all the whole spectrum of life, really. Um, you know, I just really liked to have compassion for people because you don’t know what’s going on with somebody. Sometimes people are a bit grumpy and I like to think, well, I have no idea why that is because they probably have something going on in their life.
[00:19:29] Sally: So it’s really just to care for people and make sure they’re okay. There’s
[00:19:34] Liam: two things which has come evident. Obviously one looking behind the hosts and seeing, I mean, it was talking to Pamela Holt from, uh, near lake Michigan the other day. And she said a similar sort of thing. You’ve kind of got to have that innate caring, wanting to look after people.
[00:19:50] Liam: That’s something that we see in hosts, you know, across the, across the world and certainly something which I’m looking forward to seeing the evidence within the book when it comes out. So obviously the book is, is launching in. And, you know, it’s one of those things where the stories will be so varied and it, like you say, people will be staying for different reasons.
[00:20:08] Liam: Some people in the book, uh, coaches, Mike Simpson’s in their duty. George is in the, and you’ve got amazing people from across the industry who are putting their stories together. I know their stories from, you know, how people start hosting their worst guests, their best guests saving somebody’s life is in there.
[00:20:24] Liam: There’s all these different things. And. Uh, you, you really, um, you know, reminded me that being that adaptable person is so important as a host to just be adaptable. Like, like you you’ve had these situations and to be, um, positive and optimistic about it as well. You know, like if, if, you know, to, to be able to jump in and know that you’ll be able to, to host and care for these people in, in the various different ways.
[00:20:48] Liam: So that’s really cool. That’s really cool.
[00:20:51] Sally: That’s good. And maybe also to people, obviously you don’t always meet people, but a lot of it’s remote, but quite often you do. Um, if, when I say it all the time, um, yeah, so it’s, it’s really fascinating. So along may continue and I think that’s just going to be amazing to.
[00:21:13] Sally: I don’t know, hear about all the different vacations people are apart from anything else, we can all go and stay and all these wonderful parts of the world. But yeah, just to hear how they, um, encounter different situations. Maybe I don’t know who they’ve had staying funny. I mean, funny things, not real time.
[00:21:31] Sally: It’s just hilarious.
[00:21:36] Liam: You know, is there any guests that stick out in your mind where you’d say that was so random, any guests that you’ve had, which stayed in your. So red hill apartments, which you can think.
[00:21:47] Sally: Yeah, that’s probably why I mentioned that’s the
[00:21:51] Liam: trouble. Online’s instantly go to that. Oh, I can’t say that on a podcast or I can’t say that on a, on a sort of, one of the night of.
[00:22:02] Sally: Um,
[00:22:03] Liam: being prepared, isn’t it is the story be prepared for absolutely anything and some things which you’ve may not be able to say publicly it’s would just the nature of the game. Do you know what I mean? That is the nature of the game.
[00:22:14] Sally: I dunno. I mean, so many people, I just lovely. Um, and you know, people worry about who they’re going to have to stay and what it’s going to be like.
[00:22:24] Sally: But, um, most of the time it’s just brilliant fun. Helping people getting to know them. And, um, so many people find it really quite hard to choose an example, but funny things that happen, I guess. And is that sometimes you, although we do a lot of guest due diligence, sometimes somebody slips through the net who maybe isn’t staying for a holiday and they’re working in a certain profession, this profession.
[00:22:54] Sally: So once I was here and some days they, the previous week we’d realized what happened, but they pumped up. It’s fine. Way. And I think it’s really sad. It happens. I might be, um, beating about the Bush a bit too much, but then anyway, hopefully, you know what I’m talking about. And so there’s going, or is it the door when I was actually here?
[00:23:12] Sally: Um, cause I had a zoom and I thought he meant he wanted to stay. Cause he was saying, oh yeah, I want to be. To say. Okay, great. I said that’s really quite odd though, because we advertise online and, um, you know, what I can do though, is take the details and, um, the team consults out the booking checkout availability and everything.
[00:23:35] Liam: A number of God, you’ve got a team for this.
[00:23:43] Sally: Um, he said he was working the area, so just tap it. And then I said, okay. So I took his details and then I said, so how long do you want to stay for? And he said it was about an hour,
[00:23:55] Liam: uh, the oldest signs. When did, when did it drop? Are you like, oh God, this isn’t. And how did you deal with that? How did you.
[00:24:07] Sally: That’s why you’re here. I’m so sorry. What we do is rent a minimum of two days, but people who want to come and stay in work or the gas you have in a timely and instead of embarrassed, but I was,
[00:24:22] Liam: I can imagine, I can imagine that’s a story. That’s a story that you can tell. And he probably can’t to be honest.
[00:24:28] Liam: Yeah.
[00:24:29] Sally: And the funniest thing was, I said, oh, I’m not normally here. Don’t know, the penny dropped with me when you said, oh yes, I saw this girl. I think she has Brazilian. And I thought, oh, maybe it was that previous guest. And so he probably thought I was the, um,
[00:24:45] Liam: Yeah. You know what? That’s just be prepared for anything in, in, you know, short-term rental.
[00:24:51] Liam: It happens, unfortunately it doesn’t, it is something which happens, but yeah, that’s, I’ve not had anything similar to that. So do you know what another skill which I picked up on is just being really good with communication. Being able to communicate with people from landlords to, you know, guests who it here for leisure guests.
[00:25:10] Liam: Like you say, who may maybe here at the hospital for various reasons, and then dealing with people, you know, sometimes quite sternly. If you’ve got guests who, which you haven’t looked after your place and that side of things, you kind of need to have that very. Uh, ability to communicate on all those levels.
[00:25:23] Liam: So,
[00:25:24] Sally: yeah, but, um, well it’s that we once had to call the police, but we won’t go into that.
[00:25:33] Liam: Another story. One thing I’d love to dive into, obviously we we’ve, obviously you’ve got the podcast, you’ve got your service accommodation units, and obviously we’ve, we’ve covered the book, but I’d love to know what tools that you use within your business that you couldn’t do with.
[00:25:51] Liam: That’s somebody listening to this, obviously, uh, looking to pick up tips of what they could apply to their business. What tools do you use either every day or something, which you go, do you know what that has changed? The way I run my business and the so important. Okay.
What tools does Sally use daily?
[00:26:05] Sally: So definitely a channel manager. Um, we used to have quite a simple one, but now we use a bit more of a sophisticated wine, um, which has brands harmonics on.
[00:26:16] Sally: Um, so that’s really cool. It’s more of a property management system as well. Um, but I sauna, um, LinkedIn of our systems too. And because I think it’s really important to delegate. We’ve actually got a bit of a suite of systems. Um, my husband’s still writes amazing spreadsheets, which are bespoke and do all sorts of things.
[00:26:38] Sally: I’m a good tester. Cause I. Spreadsheets really well, you can make them really right about,
[00:26:43] Liam: so if anybody listening to me, just spreadsheet test is send it, send it to Sally she’ll.
[00:26:48] Sally: Um, but yeah, so it’s not one and anything that you use . We use try like voids a lot, but we kind of probably, that’s probably going on back by in a bit.
[00:26:59] Sally: If you like things, a visual Trello’s a really good alternative to, so on of a song was amazing just for sharing what’s happening in your business with other people, updating messaging each other, and. Say that in conjunction with our channel manager, we definitely not be without, um, we do use a few other tools like slack for quick communication and stuff like that.
[00:27:24] Sally: And our team, um, have a voice system that they use. So they make phone calls and everything. So I don’t have to answer the phone all the time. And, um,
[00:27:39] Sally: yeah. Um, if somebody has asked me last night, actually, you know,
[00:27:47] Liam: one of the worst things you outsource is to try and, uh, try and get that to your team. If you’ve got a team, obviously in place, isn’t it. So,
[00:27:54] Sally: yeah. And then obviously when needed, um, I’m really happy to speak to people, whether it’s gas or. Cool for agents or other types of agent or anybody, you know, um, to do with property or the business.
[00:28:07] Sally: Um, it’s just, if you’re doing that all day, you can’t focus on, you know, improving things and grabbing the business. So I think it’s been important to have that support. And also it means that if you’ve got a system in place, you get. A predictable experience. They can have a lovely time. Um, they often want to come back so they know it’s going to be the same.
[00:28:27] Sally: It’s not going to be a radically different thing going on because people like to be reassured and have a bit of certainty. Don’t they? So all those kinds of things with our systems, I think.
Consistency is important
[00:28:39] Liam: Do you know, that reminds me of a story of, um, I think this was read in one of the books, one of the famous books, like rich dad, poor dad.
[00:28:46] Liam: One of those I have to, I have to remember which one it is, but they were talking about, um, when they went for a haircut once and, uh, you know, the, the first time they went there, they get served a cup of tea. The second time they go there, they get served a glass of wine. The third time they don’t get anything at all.
[00:28:59] Liam: And they stopped going back because of the inconsistencies with what they didn’t know what to expect. And it’s just one thing we see in the big hotels game. That you can pretty much book any one of them in any location and you kind of know what you’re going to get every single time. And building that trust with guests is so important for us as, as hosts of our, you know, short-term rental units is so important that we get that consistency.
[00:29:24] Liam: Right. So they know that when they’ve put, once they know they’ll get again and not be disappointed or, or, you know, sort of confused by our offering. So yeah, that’s so important to have that.
[00:29:40] Sally: I think it’s really good. Um, if we can develop that trust and people can rely on us. Some people rely completely on online travel agents. And then I obviously you and Mount Simpson, a huge advocates of getting direct bookings, but some people are actually quite scared a bit, but obviously the lockdown experience taught us all that it’s much better to diversify and we get loads of direct bookings.
[00:30:07] Sally: And I think if you. Can’t build that trust and can’t give a consistent service. People are going to struggle to keep staying with you online. So I think it’s really important to try and focus on that and, um, be there. So every which way you can be there for your guests when they need to need you, but we’ll say provide the same or improve the service you give.
[00:30:30] Sally: Cause obviously if they would like something else, then. You can help them with that as well. Cause we ain’t here to help them. Yeah. I’m not doing
[00:30:39] Liam: this special, special requests like today.
[00:30:44] Liam: You know, it’s talking about the trust and that I know there’s some, uh, credit is across the industry. People like I prac are amazing to help build trust with guests and certainly get more people move across from booking.com Airbnb on to trust the host and book direct. But the key thing you’ve mentioned, it’s actually just having a personal.
[00:31:03] Liam: Kind of service, where, where people can talk to you, you know, they can, um, you know, through experience and referrals, you’re going to get more and more people trust you. And the more we do that with our guests across the. The more, there’ll be more confident book with people direct if they’ve had a good experience with one of us.
[00:31:20] Liam: So by us all raising our game and making sure we’re delivering on our, on our words, making sure our places are clean. It’s kind of helping everyone. You know what I mean?
[00:31:27] Sally: that’s what definitely, definitely. Yeah, for sure. I think a great way to buy so guests can register their bookings for their peace of mind.
[00:31:37] Sally: If they want to do that and we advertise that, but yeah, you do have to deliver on it obviously and be there. But I think it’s brilliant thing that I practice exist because people can see exactly who you are. All, you know, you’ve got your incorporation of your company who runs it, the bio, um, images of your property and you go, um, you know, bank account for your business and all of that.
[00:32:02] Sally: So they can check you out rather than finding you online and discovering. Um, the property doesn’t exist or something like that, which can happen obviously through booking.com and Airbnb as well.
[00:32:13] Liam: So exactly nobody, nobody wants to feel uneasy about booking through someone and, and with services like I practice, it just makes it so much easier to, to see there’s a third party accredited party involved too, who can verify the, the, you know, the host.
What does the future hold?
[00:32:29] Liam: So it is. So, what does the future hold for yourself, Sally for Helms would service departments, you know, what w what does the future look like?
[00:32:39] Sally: Oh, great is exciting. So obviously, um, the lockdowns commending, we’re getting busy. Again, people are traveling, more people are working away. Um, I think it’s been a little bit slow at the beginning of the year, but we’re gaining momentum.
[00:32:56] Sally: So, um, into. Um, and, um, get houses as well because apartments are brilliant, but I think houses are great, um, for, you know, breach of gas with certain numbers of guests. So that would be a thing that we’re doing. And I also want to. Um, do you a bit more now community. So, because networking wasn’t really possible.
[00:33:19] Sally: I did quite a lot of online networking, so I’m getting much more into a business community and what we can do in the area, um, you know, challenge, school, things that we can do as well. Um, you know, sustainability and everything is a really big thing. So when research and really how to improve all of those things, cause you know, we try and be green.
[00:33:41] Sally: I wouldn’t say. Uh, I can’t claim to be completely, I don’t think we need to do a bit of an audit of that kind of thing. I think it’s really important. Cause you know, it’s our planet. We need to look after it,
[00:33:53] Liam: but to people. Yes. So looking for now, aren’t they? And do you know, that’s amazing reach naps to the business communities and if you’re, are you talking about in your local area as well?
[00:34:02] Liam: Yes. And that, yeah, it’s something that, again, we see from hosts, if you get more involved in the community, who are they going to recommend when, you know, when they’ve got people coming to the area? Well, they’re going to recommend, you know, yourself and your, your business. So, um, that it feels good to help out the local community, which is all.
[00:34:19] Liam: Funding your business. Do you know what I mean? This is a given you get sort of thing from it. So
[00:34:25] Sally: definitely I felt such developments in leisure areas in Metro. That’s going to have a new light cinema and lenses stuff going on, and we’re friendly with all my counselors, bouncing some braces. They have difficulties with that kind of thing.
[00:34:41] Sally: Um, but you know, we’re fully compliant. Find all of that kind of thing important. So the counselor really supportive here actually, and they sponsor different events and things for businesses. So I go to those as well as, you know, local business networking, that’s separate. Um, so I think it’s really good to just get on board with lots of people and people in a area.
[00:35:05] Sally: We can work together to provide extra services for our guests as well. So it’s all kind of improving what we do and, you know, making it more. Available, um, different locations as well. So
[00:35:17] Liam: a rising tide floats all the ships, doesn’t it. A rising tide will, will do that. So what I’d like to do is obviously it’s been awesome.
A little more about Sally
[00:35:23] Liam: I’d just like a couple of fun questions just at the end here, these quickfire questions, but your score as long answers as you like. Um, I phone or Android, Sally, I find, yeah, that’s a tech scared Android or.
[00:35:44] Liam: Sorry, Android or Facebook, Instagram or Facebook. Sorry.
[00:35:48] Sally: He confused me that
[00:35:51] Liam: Instagram. Awesome. And what is the one app you use on your phone all the time? You know, every day?
[00:36:00] Sally: Uh, well, slack, I guess, to talk to my team.
[00:36:09] Liam: And lastly, we’re all about travel. So where would you recommend, you know, where, where should people go and see, and where is your favorite travel desk?
[00:36:18] Sally: Oh, well, apart from my telling, man,
[00:36:21] Liam: that’s on the map. I know that he’s on the first circle around it. I will travel there.
[00:36:27] Sally: Oh, sorry. In the tiny, I really love places like Kobo. There’s nothing like that. Feeling of velvety, some span between you toes. Um, and I don’t know anywhere in Italy, like completely like.
[00:36:45] Sally: Um, yeah, I’m escaping to vain in may, so that’s exciting.
[00:36:49] Liam: Nice travel will open up again. Isn’t it. It’s nice to be able to look forward to that and yeah, just to close on, I know you’ve been in the boosts Lee academy, um, you know, for, for quite a while now, haven’t you heard? I think similar time to me, we, we joined the boost, the academy, which is obviously Mark’s training academy.
[00:37:07] Liam: How have, how has it helped you during that time?
[00:37:11] Sally: Oh, I’ve done campaigns that he does and, you know, open, he gets lots more people joining at days, but it’s amazing to have all these different ideas. And it makes me recently I did the one with polar Anderson about Instagram. That was brilliant because, well, my school and Aaron’s to bounce them off.
[00:37:33] Sally: Yeah, we were in their early twenties. I haven’t got around to learning it in detail, but Paul opened my eyes. So all those kinds of things, it’s brilliant. And I will say just all the, um, Facebook, how and support for everybody. I really loved that too. So yeah, I mean, that’s so much because marketing is obviously really important social media.
[00:37:56] Sally: Um, we all need to use, but use it in a. Strategic way to answer.
[00:38:05] Liam: It’s being the producer of it, isn’t it not the consumer of it, but producing posts and having a strategy on there is so important. And we actually had Paul on the podcast recently, and he’s just a hive of information also in the book as well as an so, and also, uh, absolutely amazing. Well, Sally, it today has been absolutely amazing.
[00:38:26] Liam: I mean, I’ve picked up so many, you know, communication, making sure that you’re, uh, you know, sort of identifying your guests. Uh, making sure that you’re reaching out in your communities and that sort of things. There’s so many tips that people can pick up from today, from yourself. If people want more information, you mentioned you got the Facebook group and obviously the podcast, how can people find these things?
[00:38:48] Sally: Uh, so there’s a link tree dot Sally Cambra, which has got like everything. Um, but the podcast is service serviced, accommodation secrets. You can search the up on iTunes. Um, I think that’s probably the best way.
[00:39:07] Liam: Awesome. And if people want to get in touch, can I do so on social media or anything that, is that just going through the link
[00:39:11] Sally: tree?
[00:39:12] Sally: So at sunny Kemba, Instagram, our company’s films with their Helms with service department. So it’s, Helen’s which essay. So either of those babies is all
[00:39:21] Liam: good. Awesome. Awesome. Well, you’ve put it on the map. People are to be flocking to red hill now and getting in touch and, uh, yeah, look forward to. You know, we’ve got the book launch coming up in may, so I’m sure I’m going to see you there.
[00:39:35] Liam: Thanks again for today, Sally. It’s been really interesting and really enjoyed it.
[00:39:39] Sally: Oh, thanks so much, man. It’s been really good to speak with me. Thank you for having me on.
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