Sasha Herman

Behind the Host with Sasha Herman

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 471. In this podcast I'm going to be talking with Sasha Herman, a hospitable host based in Luton, UK who started her property business during the pandemic and has since grown it to 6 properties.

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Here's the audio for this episode:


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Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Introduction
01:40 – A little about Sasha’s business and her properties
05:57 – How important was getting educated to Sashas success?
08:56 – How does it feel to be a hospitable host?
15:02 – What’s a good way to vet guests?
23:38 – Does Sasha have a team?
26:02 – Sasha’s top tip for hosts starting out
30:09 – A little more about Sasha

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Audio – Boostly Podcast




Transcript from the Episode

[00:00:00] Liam: Okay, so welcome to another episode of behind the host podcast. And, uh, today we've got Sasha Herman, uh, who's from half chair in the UK. She's the CEO and founder of Jess wood properties. Sasha is a travel and property specialist, a mentor, a TV presenter, and a best selling offer to boot. So she's featured on sky TV.

[00:00:23] Liam: Cruise ship guest expert. She's worked in a thriving career as an award-winning sales executive selling globally recognized jewelry brands. And today we're lucky enough to have her on she's gonna be, uh, sharing her business and, uh, how she got started when COVID hit and brought the cruise industry to a grinding halt at the time, just before we, uh, bring Sasha on and introduce her, I just wanted to shout out Nikki Hutchman who.

[00:00:50] Liam: Is part of the hospitality community and also part of boost Lee community or team Boostly, it's now called, who has opened her third rental unit over in Spain. They've had a couple of tough years over in Spain with COVID as as many people have. And, uh, she's opened her third unit welcomed our guests and, uh, things are going well for her.

[00:01:10] Liam: So a big shout out to her. If you haven't already come and joined the hospitality community on Facebook and, uh, share your wins every Wednesday. And you might get a shout out on the podcast. So thank you for joining me, uh, Sasha and, uh, yeah. Welcome along.

[00:01:25] Sasha: Thank you, Liam. It's a pleasure to be here. I'm honored.

[00:01:28] Liam: Cool. Cool. So let's get started, uh, by you explaining a bit about your business, uh, where your properties are, how many properties you've got and the, the sort of model that you use to operate them.

A little about Sasha’s business and her properties

[00:01:40] Sasha: Okay. So yeah, I'm based in Harper shit in the UK. Um, I operate about 40 minutes outside of where I live in a place called Luton.

[00:01:48] Sasha: Um, I've got six properties. That I do rent to rent on and I've just started managing as well. Uh, generally my market is, uh, the contractor market. So it's a very kind of business orientated town where I get a lot of contractors and people that are kind of working, um, business guests. Primarily we do have leisure guests as well, but I started obviously during COVID when all the hotels were closed and everything.

[00:02:14] Sasha: So that was the market I was looking to attract initially because, um, The hotels were closed and contractors were still working at that time and had nowhere to stay. So I kind of saw niche in the industry, um, decided to, you know, go out on a whim and, um, set up a property business in the middle of a pandemic.

[00:02:34] Sasha: cool.

[00:02:35] Liam: Very brave, very brave. And, uh, One of the reasons we, uh, are so excited about this was talking about some of, first of all the transferable skills from your previous careers coming into hospitality, um, the, the bravery of the move into hospitality at the time you did it as well, because a lot of people were getting out at that time.

[00:02:54] Liam: Yeah. And also because the people listening, uh, I really think they can learn something about those transferable skills, but also. About the mindset when, when going into it as well. So, um, what made you, uh, going back to 2020, what, what made you make that switch?

[00:03:11] Sasha: Okay, well, um, Obviously in 2020, kind of everything had come to a standstill.

[00:03:17] Sasha: And my background is actually in entertainment. So I've spent well, many, many years working as an entertainer abroad and on cruise ships. And I've done a lot of hosting on stage, um, and on camera. And I'm used to being in front of people. I'm used to talking to people. Um, I learned and became a very confident person doing this kind of industry.

[00:03:41] Sasha: Got about 10 years with regards to working abroad and on cruise ships. So I had very interpersonal skills. I was very, um, well, I am very good with people. I'm good at building relationships. So when I guess the pandemic hit. Um, obviously I couldn't do cruise ships anymore. I came home for other reasons as well and TV presenting.

[00:04:04] Sasha: There wasn't a great deal happening either because people weren't going into studios and things like that. The virtual side came later. But at that point I'd already decided that I was gonna set up the business. Um, because I thought, okay, you know, I can talk to agents. I can talk to landlords. I, I didn't have that problem.

[00:04:23] Sasha: And I'd stayed in some amazing hotels over the time I'd been working abroad. I was lucky enough to be put up in hotels, luxury hotels. So I knew. What guests look for when they go away, like, and what I would be looking for from a long term perspective as well, if I was staying away for a couple of weeks or three months or six months.

[00:04:44] Sasha: So when the opportunity arose, I mean, obviously I've got myself educated first. I just thought, okay, well, Now is a great time for me to provide, uh, an opportunity for people that are needing somewhere to stay. Um, and I wanted, I didn't want just kind of your average house. I wanted to make a luxury, um, because even though, you know, contractors are still people that got families and they want nice luxury places as well.

[00:05:10] Sasha: So that's what I already started to focus on is to kind of make my properties more luxurious. Um, and the transition, I guess it was quite easy from. The the skills I had with regards to, um, being a host and presenting and being in front of hundreds of people at a time. But obviously I didn't, I, it was the knowledge that I still needed to, to make that transition.

[00:05:34] Sasha: And that's what I made sure I had first. Before I decided to set up the business, obviously I didn't just think. Right. Let's set up club business, you know, I'm not doing anything else. I'm sitting in my garden, sun bathing. What should I do?

[00:05:47] Liam: That sounds good though.

[00:05:49] Sasha: Yeah, I did. I got myself educated beforehand and I chose what I thought would be the right time to set up the

[00:05:56] Liam: business.

How important was getting educated to Sashas success?

[00:05:57] Liam: Yeah. And how important would you say? Cause there'll be people listening. Who's thinking, you know, I've stayed in a few places and I'd love to get into that space because they've got an understanding a bit like yourself, of, of traveling and, uh, staying in different properties around the world. How important was it getting educated to your success?

[00:06:17] Liam: Oh,

[00:06:17] Sasha: God. So it is so important. I wouldn't, I wouldn't have been able to do what I do now. If I hadn't, if I hadn't of got educated, it's like, when you start a new job, you don't just go in and you expect to know everything that you're doing. You know, you've got people that train you, managers and directors, and they teach you what you're doing.

[00:06:33] Sasha: It's exactly the same when you are running or starting your own business. I mean, I never planned this. Wasn't in my plans. to set up a, a hospitality property business. It, that was never in my plans. Um, It just kind came out of necessity, which is, you know, that's kind of what I talk about in the book as well, but, um, yeah, it's really important.

[00:06:54] Sasha: You, you have to know what you're doing. You have to kind of, you have to be educated and, and know how to, how to run things, not just set it up, but how to. How to start, how to talk to agents and landlords and how to set up the property from the furnishing aspect and get teams in. Yeah. It's so important.

[00:07:14] Sasha: You definitely need to be educated in what you're doing. No matter what it is. And

[00:07:18] Liam: what would you say was your biggest, uh, learning curve over the, uh, time that you've been doing this? Oh, of this?

[00:07:24] Sasha: Ooh, my biggest learning curve is, um, always to back myself. Like don't, don't give up when things are hard, which they were in the beginning, it, it wasn't easy, you know, getting viewings with agents in, in the middle of a pandemic, but it was, it was easier in, in the sense that it wasn't so crazy busy and, and agents were kind of less.

[00:07:48] Sasha: Stressed and more, more, um, open to talking about things. And I think when you're first starting out and you don't have a great deal of knowledge and you haven't got your first property yet, you can be very kind of get imposter syndrome and be like, oh my God, like, I don't really know what I'm doing. I don't have the experience.

[00:08:05] Sasha: How is anyone gonna trust me? Why would anyone give me a property? You really need to back yourself? And my biggest learning curve is, is just to keep going, just keep being consistent, keep doing what I was doing every day and believing in myself, believing I had the capabilities to do what was needed to get where I wanted to be.

[00:08:25] Liam: I think that'll resonate with a lot of people listening because you know, determination and consistency together is a potent mixer for success. And, uh, yeah, that's certainly why. I mean, we've known each other from, uh, a few years. Yeah. They've been in the communities and, and things like that. And, uh, it's great to see, uh, how things have grown during that time.

[00:08:46] Liam: And you touched on the book there as well, that you're now, uh, part of a book called hospitable hosts. Yeah. Um, and you're now bestselling co-author so how does that feel? Yeah, it would seem

How does it feel to be a hospitable host?

[00:08:56] Sasha: so , um, it's an amazing feeling. Like, again, it was not something that I'd planned on doing, being in the book, but when opportunities arise, you know, you, you say yes and you work out the how later and, um, You know, obviously being in a book like this with incredible authors and yourself included, Liam, can't forget you

[00:09:18] Sasha: Um, yeah, it was just an opportunity that I couldn't say no to. And at the time I didn't really know. What to expect from the book or what I really wanted to get from being in the book. I just knew it was an opportunity that I needed to take. And I would like to think that I could give a lot of value to people that were new in the business or have just started out, um, To listen to someone like myself, that was just a normal person, nothing special that started off, you know, brand new, not knowing really what I was doing, but got myself educated.

[00:09:49] Sasha: And I wanted to give those nuggets of wisdom and to help people that might be looking to do a similar thing. And I, I hope I've done that in the book.

[00:09:57] Liam: Yeah, definitely have. I mean, it's a great, great chapter in the book. And, uh, for anybody listening, please go and check out WW dot hospitable and, uh, have a, you know, purchase the book, all the proceeds go to, uh, children's charities.

[00:10:11] Liam: And, uh, it's a really good cause. And there's a lot of stuff in there which will inspire, motivate, um, and particularly your, your chapter, uh, Sasha, because it was, you know, there's a lot about your, your family in there and, and what, the reason you really. Got started. So yeah. Um, a really good share. So definitely people should, should go and check that out.

[00:10:31] Liam: Yeah,

[00:10:31] Sasha: it was. And there's, um, I mean, I got inspired by being in as well by list, by reading all the other author author story. Um, you know, I think it's, it's like a, it's a Bible for hosts now for anyone that's already a host or is looking to be a host. This is like the book to read, to learn. So much about from beginning to taking you through the journey, to, to dealing with guests, to bringing in teams, to working with different softwares.

[00:10:57] Sasha: There's, there's something from every one of these 40 authors that will make anybody's business successful. I believe,

[00:11:05] Liam: I think so. I think so, too. And, uh, so let's dive more into your, uh, your units. How many units have you got at the. Six six units. Wow. Yeah. And, uh, those units, how did it start off? Did it go, you know, sort of from one to two or did it suddenly, suddenly go up to six?

[00:11:20] Liam: How did it,

[00:11:22] Sasha: no, I actually started quite slowly because obviously I knew, and it was, uh, a funny, old time, so I didn't really know what to expect. I just knew what I wanted to get from it. And so I started with one property and I managed it all myself as I still do now. Um, and I wanted to kind of get the nuts and bolts and get the foundations in place of how the business is run.

[00:11:43] Sasha: Um, because I know a lot of people that, you know, they'll, they'll get a property, maybe take a few shortcuts and just think I just wanna be completely hands off and I'll hand it over straight away. Don't really know the nuts and bolts of the business or the foundations or the time and energy it takes to do it themselves.

[00:11:59] Sasha: So how on earth are they gonna know if who they're handing over to is gonna do a good job if they don't know it themselves? So that's what I wanted to do in the first year is really get to grip with. What running the business actually entails and how much of my time and my energy and my mental capacity.

[00:12:16] Sasha: Um, and my sanity is gonna take . Um, so after the first year, once I realized. Actually I'm pretty good at this. You know, I've got a nice client base coming in. I'm really good with guests and kind of getting a feel for automating everything. I thought now's the time for me to get another property, but also it was due to the demand as well.

[00:12:37] Sasha: I was getting a lot of, um, larger bookings. That were looking to stay with me, but I only had one property that could fit four people. So I was helping other operators out and giving the business elsewhere. And I thought this makes no sense. I need to get more properties for myself. So when I realized the demand was there, that's when I thought, okay, Sasha, let's.

[00:12:56] Sasha: Let's have a look and, and get something more. And I wanted say it bigger this time because I wanted to accommodate a large group. So my next property was a, um, it was actually a refurb from a three bed townhouse to a five bed fully on suite property that we made really luxurious space, um, that sleeps 10 people.

[00:13:15] Liam: And that switch from you, you see in the demand, growth is such an I. Point for people listening is that you, you assess the demand, first of all, realize what was in demand and then you've gone out and, and added that to your portfolio. And how is the, what was the learnings that you learned from having the bigger unit versus the first unit?

[00:13:36] Sasha: Oh, okay. I found the first units were getting, cuz they were a bit smaller. They were in demand a lot more, especially with, um, contractors and people working that amount of people, um, always wanted to stay with the bigger ones. It was a little bit slower at first. And I found I needed to look at two different types of markets because I found that I had contractors and business guests during the week.

[00:13:58] Sasha: But then because it was a large house, um, There was obviously the leisure market as well, that were looking to stay with friends and had weddings in the area and things like that. And that was a little bit scary because even though I wanted a bigger house and I wanted to accommodate more people, the thought of having 10 people in the property at one time was actually quite scary at first.

[00:14:20] Sasha: Um, so I had to kind of get over that quite quickly and think, okay, you know, you're providing accommodation for larger groups. You need to expect larger groups to want to come. Um, Yeah. And it was fine. After a while I realized I had to be very careful with who I let into the property, obviously, because we do still vet the guests and make sure, find out why they're coming to the area.

[00:14:41] Sasha: I don't allow parties or anything like that. Um, so yeah, it was a bit of a learning curve going from just being able to accommodate four people to 10 people. I had to be a bit more vigilant. Should we say .

[00:14:52] Liam: That's cool. That's cool. And for, for people, um, you know, sort of who tuning in, if, if they wanted to know how to vet, cuz I'd have the same worry about hosting big groups.

What’s a good way to vet guests?

[00:15:02] Liam: Yeah. How do you, how do, how is a good way to vet guests

[00:15:06] Sasha: to be fair? I, within obviously the OTAs and things like that, I'll ask, um, questions. If they inquire, I'll find out why they're looking to come, come to the area, I'll kind of dig a bit deeper. Obviously, you know, some people do lie to you and you know, you just, you just never know you can vet people to the cows county home, but you never really know how people's behavior are going to be once they're there.

[00:15:29] Sasha: So, but I'll always make sure that I take ID. I take a form of payment. I make sure I've got a good SU um, Security damage deposit in place as well. And sometimes it's just intuition. It's just having that sense of character. Sometimes I'll just say no to people. If, if I don't get a, a good feeling or something flags, and I think that's not, that's not quite right.

[00:15:52] Sasha: I'm not comfortable about that. Then I'll just say, no, IS's down to me who stays and who doesn't at the end of the day. Yeah,

[00:15:58] Liam: absolutely. It's uh, having that gut feeling is, is important. So. Looking at the tech, you mentioned you take ID. What tech do you use within your business and, uh, which part, uh, which bit's your favorite?

[00:16:10] Sasha: Okay. So I don't use a great deal of tech. I like to be quite, um, personable with people. So I'll get on the phone and talk to them. Um, I just find it's a nicer way to connect, but the three things I do use that I use all the time. And the one thing I think really is important for me personally, to, to be able to work remotely and just to be able to run the business as a business owner is I like to do everything for my phone.

[00:16:35] Sasha: I very rarely use my laptop. So any tech I do use it will need to be very sufficient and mobile friendly. Um, I've got a really good channel manager that I use SMU, which I've been using. From the very beginning and it's very easy to automate emails and put links in and things like that to online checking forms or I can collect data.

[00:16:56] Sasha: Um, so I use smoo primarily for most of the business, most of the automating messaging, all that sort of thing. Um, I use pricing software, like price labs. So keep an eye on the rates and things like that. And again, all on my phone. Um, and I use QuickBooks for accounting and for invoicing, if I'm doing direct bookings.

[00:17:18] Sasha: Um, but I think probably one of the biggest things that I've started with just mainly for credibility, but I'm building up now, which I think should be one of your biggest. Pieces of tech or software in any hospitality business is my website. Mm-hmm because ultimately it's about getting direct booking.

[00:17:36] Sasha: So, you know, you're not giving all your profits away. Um, and that's what I'm currently working on. Improving. Is is the yeah. Booking direct website. So people can just, and it's a more seamless process as well for people. When I find some of the struggles people have sometimes with some of the OTAs, the website is just a much more easier and convenient way for people to book.

[00:17:59] Sasha: And obviously they get a better rate as well. So yeah, I'd say my website, my channel managers, smoo QuickBooks, which is a really nice, easy interface and price labs. They're kind of my three or four main tech.

[00:18:13] Liam: I love the, uh, I love the point of the direct booking website as well. Cuz as you know at Boley, uh, we're all about direct bookings and uh, ultimately you can put your own stamp on your website.

[00:18:24] Liam: You can, you know, you can decide who you host and you can put your own personality on. So guests kind of know. You know, who they're staying with, the type of place they're staying before they come along. Whereas a lot of the online, uh, travel agents are very, uh, they're very, they're not very personable.

[00:18:41] Liam: You know, they especially like for instance, they, they, they even prepare your. Description for it. Yeah, exactly. It's crazy that you haven't got control over that. So having your direct book and website is, is just so important. So

[00:18:53] Sasha: yeah, cause like you said, you can put your own stamp on it. It's all about what you wanna make it.

[00:18:58] Sasha: You can put about yourself and, and know how you started and, and people will buy from people they know I can trust. And if you've got a picture of yourself and they can kind of see your story and that you are professional entity, you know, they're gonna, they're gonna buy from you. They're gonna book with you.

[00:19:13] Sasha: Um, yeah, I think. It's definitely, definitely having a website is the number one thing in a hospitality business.

[00:19:19] Liam: That's cool. And if anybody is listening, of course, feel free to drop us a message is, uh, that's exactly. We are number one website agency for hospitality in the world. Boostly is so feel free to drop some message if you're listening.

[00:19:31] Liam: Yeah. And either website. So what has been your, uh, favorite thing about being a host so far? Is there any guests which are memorable or any moments which were just like wow. Moments in the.

[00:19:44] Sasha: My favorite thing about being a host, I think is when I finally closed on my second property with the landlord, I'd spent months talking to him and helping him with deciding what to do with the property to make it as profitable as possible.

[00:20:01] Sasha: Um, but he had lots of other agents coming to him, offering him higher rates and this and that. , but I felt I was the only person that stayed in touch that would go every couple of weeks to the property that would help him in any way I could. And, and I just built that relationship with him, which I don't think the other people did.

[00:20:19] Sasha: And then when he finally said he wanted to work with me, I was just like, amazing. Wow, this is incredible. Like, I've just helped him turn. He literally just bought the house. Um, he didn't know what to do with it. He knew he wanted to rent it and get a good income. So I basically spent a good couple of hours with him.

[00:20:36] Sasha: Last January telling him, you know, what he can do and put on sweets in and, and just how to make it a more profitable and, um, desirable place for people to stay. And I would've been gutted if I'd have done all that and then he'd have gone with somebody else after all the work that I put in with him, but I've built a great relationship with him.

[00:20:56] Sasha: Um, so yeah, I think getting my second property was a, a, a huge win for me. Um, but also. Interacting with my guests on a daily basis. Like I am a very personable person, so I will call the bookings manager will call and see how they're getting on. And yeah, I do. I do interact. I send WhatsApp business messages as well.

[00:21:17] Sasha: That's kind of my first interaction. Um, but yeah, I like being, um, the backbone and I like being part of the actual business. I don't kind of automate everything. I still like to know my guests and, and my clients as it.

[00:21:32] Liam: It's it's one of those things where making people feel at ease as, as you do, SAS, is, is such a skill.

[00:21:37] Liam: And being able to do that with guests, you know, by doing a quick voice message on WhatsApp or, or, you know, messaging them across on, uh, or giving 'em a phone call, you know, there's nothing more personable than that. And actually making them feel welcome, understanding the reason that they come to stay and, uh, really given that top hosting experience, you know, that that is really cool.

[00:21:58] Liam: So I think.

[00:22:00] Sasha: That's probably the way that I've interacted with my guests. I haven't sent any emails. Like I've done any email marketing, probably something I should do, but I found sending a little WhatsApp voice note or giving them a call is way more, um, Productive, um, and works so much better. And that's probably one of the main reasons that I've got the majority of my direct bookings and I've managed to retain clients that have booked for three days on Airbnb and stayed six months with me direct is because of how I interact with them is because they'll hear my voice rather than get an email.

[00:22:36] Sasha: Uh, and it's different things for different people, but that's me. I know that I'm good. People and building relationships with people. And I just find it's just a much more personable way to retain your clients.

[00:22:49] Liam: Yeah. 100% when every like big stream hotel is sending across emails, which very formal when you've got to people staying with you and you can just message them and, and, you know, sort of befriend them really then.

[00:23:01] Liam: Yeah. Uh, it makes such a big difference. Doesn't it? And then they'll always. People forget what you said, what you did, but they remember how you made 'em feel. And if you make them feel welcome, then, uh, this it's one of those, uh, one of those, and

[00:23:13] Sasha: when you get amazing reviews from guests have genuinely had an amazing time.

[00:23:18] Sasha: Um, the majority would be about me as a host, as opposed to the house itself. Mm-hmm and obviously, you know, it's important that the house is clean and they love the house, but. When people mention me as a host and that's what really like, I, I love that. I'm like, great. I've done. If people remember me, I've done a great job.

Does Sasha have a team?

[00:23:38] Liam: That's cool. That's cool. And you mentioned, uh, that's just you, is it still just yourself or do you have a team in place now? Um, as you, I

[00:23:45] Sasha: started to build a small team of people now after six properties, after two years and six properties, I did, I have started to build a team. Um, I, I have a business partner now who was kind of with me from the beginning.

[00:23:57] Sasha: When it came to helping with viewings and things. And, and now he's at my financial guru, does all my finances and things like that. So he's amazing. Um, but I've also started to bring in VAs as well. For those that not dunno the term virtual assistance, um, to teach them the standard operating procedures and the.

[00:24:14] Sasha: The operations side of the business, um, because I don't wanna be a slave to the business. I do want my own time back, which is what I'm getting now. Mm-hmm um, but it is important to kind of teach people how the business runs so you can have that time out. And that's what I'm slowly doing. I've got amazing cleaners cleaners for anybody that's, you know, just starting out or is on their journey.

[00:24:36] Sasha: Cleaners are like your gold dust. They are the people that you, that you cherish that you look after because they look, they will look after you and finding a good cleaning team is like imperative in this business. Um, so yeah, I've got a good cleaning team. I've got really good maintenance team. Um, and like I said, I'm just bringing on some VAs to help within the business because it's not something you can do yourself, like forevermore, you have to, you have to delegate and bring other people in to help run as well.

[00:25:06] Liam: Exactly. Just giving you that time back is so important. Cuz as you get more properties, you've got more guests. Um, and it's important that you stay on that most, um, the, the bits you like, but also the bits you're best at. So if that you who's still messaging and talking to your guests or welcoming them, but the standard operating procedures are in place to, to allow everything else to continue.

[00:25:26] Liam: Then that's really cool. Yeah.

[00:25:28] Sasha: And that's one thing I realized as well. When you were saying about your wow factor, it just kind of, um, occurred to me talking about having time. I think one of my biggest wow factors was when I, I think I woke up one morning and all my properties were booked. They'd all been paid for.

[00:25:42] Sasha: And I was like, great, what do I do today? Then? I can go for lunch. I can, you know, I can work on the business, but my time is my own mm-hmm . And as long as I use it in the most productive way, that's a huge part of, of doing this job is to, is to create your time back and do the things that you love doing.

Sasha’s top tip for hosts starting out

[00:26:02] Liam: It's the whole reason why we started. We, we don't start it to become a slave to the business. Do we? And, uh, unfortunately you do see many hosts, um, you know, who, who do find themselves in that position, but building a team around you, getting your good people around you is, is just so important. So what would be your top tip for new hosts or for hosts starting out?

[00:26:23] Sasha: Okay. So for new hosts, um, for, for people that are starting out, I would say, make sure you get educated. If you are brand new, get yourself educated, don't take shortcuts. Um, and make sure you always use a professional photographer because some people will just be like, oh yeah, I take a couple of pictures on my phone, which you know is great, but taking.

[00:26:46] Sasha: Professional focus is probably the biggest investment you can do in this hospitality business. Cause it's all about your properties and what they look like and drawing the right people into them. So get yourself educated, know what you're doing. Um, yeah. Get professional photographer. Don't take shortcuts.

[00:27:02] Sasha: That will be for people that are just maybe starting for people that already in the industry maybe been in it just a little, just start it kind of recently you need to think of yourself from the guest perspective. like always put yourself in the guest shoes and make things as easy as possible for them as convenient as possible for them, with regards to the, the whole booking process all the way through to the stay.

[00:27:27] Sasha: Um, and make sure you're always accessible as well. Like there's, there's a lot of hosts out there that they'll bring people in and then you just don't hear from them. Like they, they dunno how to get hold of their host or how to get help. And even if it's not yourself, make sure your team are available, um, to help with anything that needs helping.

[00:27:43] Sasha: So put yourself in your guest shoes at all times, and look at your business from your guests perspective to, to have the most successful business you can.

[00:27:53] Liam: That's such a great tip because often we forget cuz we're busy hospitality owners, you know, we forget that actually there's a person on the end of this service who, uh, may experience a different service depending on what route they've come from.

[00:28:05] Liam: Airbnb or direct. And it's really putting ourselves in those people's shoes. Every step of

[00:28:10] Sasha: the especially people are coming from abroad and they may. Be used to the type of lockbox that you have every, every day. And your contractors are used to, you know, uh, or may not be used to filling in a checking form.

[00:28:22] Sasha: Like it's just really important that you think, how would I feel if I was in that position and I was struggling and finding it a challenge, you'd just get frustrated and, and move on to something else. Um, I had, I remember I had a guest rang me when I was on holiday, uh, at like 10 30 at. Because they were struggling with, with something.

[00:28:42] Sasha: And initially I was like, oh my God, like it's 10 day at night, but then I thought, well, they're struggling with something. They need someone to help 'em with, with it. And, you know, I helped them, I'm sitting on my balcony. So it wouldn't

[00:28:54] Liam: well, it's, it's one of those things, it's it is, uh, Taking the responsibility O of, of making sure they're sorted out.

[00:29:00] Liam: Isn't it. So, yeah, definitely.

[00:29:03] Sasha: And sometimes it's gotta do what you gotta do.

[00:29:05] Liam: so, so now, uh, years later, six units later, what would you go back and tell yourself? Um, if you could give yourself any bit of advice, uh, just before you, you got into the industry. Oh, what

[00:29:18] Sasha: would I tell myself? Um, I guess, like I said before is just to always back myself, believe that I can do it.

[00:29:28] Sasha: Don't give up. Um, do obviously do lots of research as well, which I don't think I'd have done anything differently to what I did because you don't know what you don't know. So when I think back to what I did, I feel like I did the right process. For where I was at the time. Um, so when it comes to giving advice to, you know, people that are just starting, just like I said, just believe that you can do what you wanna do and don't let other people put you down and, and tell you, you can't do it.

[00:29:59] Sasha: And things like that, just because you are new because you are your biggest investment, you know what you're capable of. So you have to strive to make that happen no matter.

A little more about Sasha

[00:30:09] Liam: I love it. I love it. So we always finish these with some quickfire. Just fun questions. Mm-hmm so what was your most recent impulse by

[00:30:18] Sasha: oh God impulse by.

[00:30:20] Sasha: What did I buy? That was impulsive. maybe a holiday. Oh, nice. Where about like two weeks ago after the book was published, it I'd set up a few properties and I thought, well, I need a little bit of time. And, um, within. Deciding I wanted to go on holiday. I booked it like two days before. Nice. Whereabouts are you going?

[00:30:40] Sasha: I went to Maller. I went to actually a nice place in the mountains in Miha. Nice. Nice. Some for some time out. It was lovely. Yeah. I guess that would say that would be my impulse by .

[00:30:52] Liam: Like it that's, that's not a bad impulse by a holiday. so once, once, so, uh, what's one food that you would never want to give up food.

[00:30:59] Liam: One food. Yeah. That you'd never want to give. Forms.

[00:31:02] Sasha: It has to be seafood. Oh, nice. I love, love, love seafood. No matter where I go with whatever country, whatever restaurant I, I have to have seafood in some form. I couldn't, I couldn't give that up. I love

[00:31:14] Liam: it. Is that from, uh, years on the cruisers, getting to sample seafood from all over the

[00:31:18] Sasha: world.

[00:31:19] Sasha: Quite possibly Alaska might have had something to do with it. getting the best crab in the world and yeah, Portugal, like I've been to some incredible places and I've had sampled some amazing seafood. So I wouldn't wanna give that luxury up.

[00:31:34] Liam: um, I couldn't not ask. This is your TV presenter, and what's your favorite TV show?

[00:31:39] Liam: Oh,

[00:31:40] Sasha: uh, a place in the sun

[00:31:41] Liam: place in the sun. Nice. Yeah. So would we, would, would it be nice to see you on place in the sun? Would you like

[00:31:48] Sasha: to be a presenter? I would love to be on that show and, and ironically enough, that is kind of where my journey started. Mm-hmm um, with watching a place in the sun, um, with my mom when, when she was sick and I kind of talk about it more in book, but it was, um, at a point where.

[00:32:04] Sasha: Um, she was very, very ill and I knew that at this point, she wasn't gonna be able to. Get up again, or experience going for a walk or the sun. And she wasn't gonna be able to go to Spain with me. Like we used to do when I came back from ships and a place in the sun was like her favorite program. And I used to sit with her next to her line bed.

[00:32:23] Sasha: And like, I was just heartbroken cuz I just knew the position she was in. And she'd say to me, Sasha, like why are you on this program? You should be presenting on this program. I was like, yeah, I know one. But um, I dunno anything about property. She was like, well you need to go and learn don't. So that's what that's, what started it?

[00:32:40] Sasha: That was catalyst. I thought, well, yeah. Okay. You're right. I do need to go and learn because I, I had the presenting skills. I had the travel skills and I actually, at that point, Looked up all the presenters. Cause I thought sometimes with the presenter, you don't really need to know about it. You just read a script and you need to have an idea and just be very confident with what you are, um, presenting.

[00:33:00] Sasha: But when I actually looked into it, all the presenters were property invested. They'd done something in property. So I was like, oh crap. Well, I really need to actually learn something. Um, and that's what started it. Kind of my mom, like my mom's kind of last wish for me was to get myself on that program as a presenter.

[00:33:18] Sasha: So I that's where I started my education was, um, learning all about property. Um, so yeah, now I'm a little bit closer.

[00:33:27] Liam: Thank you so much for sharing that with us, cuz you know, is it's an amazing, um, catalyst, but also I could see you being a presenter on there. That would be amazing. So if anybody listening knows the production team definitely get in touch with, with Sasha and that is an inspirational story.

[00:33:42] Liam: Um, and speaking of which our last question is who inspires you?

[00:33:46] Sasha: Oh God. So many people inspire me. I tell you one of the first people that comes to mind who does inspire me. The man himself, Mark Simpson.

[00:33:55] Liam: Oh, awesome. He'll be happy. He'll probably, he's probably watching this. So, uh,

[00:33:58] Sasha: he'll happy. He so much, not just for my business, but for the hundreds and thousands of people of businesses, he's helped just with the little Tibit.

[00:34:07] Sasha: He gives the value he gives each and every day, his challenges, his book, direct playbook. He's so inspiring. And he started just like the rest of us with his, um, GRA and, you know, just one house and, and then realized there was a market for helping people. And now look what he's achieved. So yeah, I'd say Mark Simpson.

[00:34:27] Liam: That's a great answer. And I know we are biased because he's helped both of our businesses grow and obviously we're on the boosty podcast, but he has truly helped so many people. And even this week, um, if you're listening to this on the podcast, obviously I've been a gone, but if you're watching this on the Facebook live, he is doing.

[00:34:43] Liam: Five day challenge at the moment. Yeah. Which is worth getting involved in. So, um, to help people boost their bookings. So thank you so much, Sasha. Um, so if people wanted to get in touch with you, um, is it, I've got your flow page here? Uh, what's the best way to reach out to you? Would it be the flow page?

[00:35:01] Sasha: So, yeah.

[00:35:02] Sasha: Um, you can find me on Instagram, under Sasha Starlight 79, where my flow page will be where there's links to, to book a call with me. If they want anybody wants to work with me, obviously go by the book. Uh, cause it's an incredibly inspiring book. That's all on the flow page. Um, I'm also, you've got the website just with um, on Facebook as well as Sasha Herman.

[00:35:24] Sasha: So there's, there's a few ways people can, can get in contact with me.

[00:35:27] Liam: That's cool. And for anybody listening on the podcast, this Herman, and, uh, that will take you through to all of her links. You got to buy a book and, uh, you, you talked briefly about, uh, you're doing offering one to one mentoring now.

[00:35:44] Sasha: Yeah, well, yeah, because I've done it. I've been doing it for two years now. So not as long as some people, but I've realized that I've learned so much in that time that I've definitely got enough experience and knowledge to help other people that are brand new. That where I was two years ago. Um, I, yeah, so I've started helping people that are brand new to the industry and looking to maybe work with someone that.

[00:36:08] Sasha: Like 10 years ahead of them, someone that they can relate to, which is exactly what I did. When I first started, I, I looked at mentors that were just a couple of years ahead of me. Um, and I thought, okay, if they can do that, I can do that. So, and I've had a lot of people asking me for help and, and how to get into the industry and things.

[00:36:26] Sasha: So that's kind of where that kind of arm came from that wasn't, um, in the plans either, but I like helping people. So that's, um, that's what I started doing now is, is one to

[00:36:36] Liam: one coaching. Sasha. I'm sure after sharing that story, um, you know, that's gonna have inspired people and certainly the story in the book as well, that you're gonna have people reaching out to you in their droves to, um, come and have some training.

[00:36:48] Liam: Cause like you say, it's so important. Just somebody who's just ahead of your, uh, You learn so much more than somebody who's 10 years ahead of yes. So, yeah, cause it

[00:36:55] Sasha: can be demotivated. If you think you, you can't get there. If you work with someone, that's got like a hundred properties and you are just starting out with your education, you think, oh my God, like, how am I ever gonna get to that?

[00:37:06] Sasha: And you compare yourself. Um, whereas you want someone that you can and. Kind of is a role model and that you inspire to be like in, in two years time, um, on a similar level. So that's just kind of where I came from two years ago. So that's what I wanna provide to other people that are now in the position I was in

[00:37:25] Liam: then a hundred percent and what a nice way to end.

[00:37:28] Liam: So thank you again, Sasha. Um, for everybody who's listening, please come and check out the host hospitality community. And, uh, yeah, we look forward to seeing you for the next, uh, behind the host podcast. Did you have any closing comments session?

[00:37:42] Sasha: Um, I would just say, you know, just please make sure you go and buy the book guys because it's really, really inspiring.

[00:37:49] Sasha: Um, for anybody that's in the industry or looking to be in the industry. It's just a great read. It's a Bible to me. Um, and if opportunity, doesn't knock, then build yourself a

[00:38:00] Liam: door. Yeah, certainly. And I've taken a lot away from today in terms of the consistency, the determination, and taken that opportunity, like you say, so.

[00:38:09] Liam: Yeah. Thank you very much Sasha. We'll uh, we'll see you at the next time. Thanks very much. Thanks. Been a pleasure.

[00:38:15] Liam:  Thank you so much for checking out today's podcast episode now, before you head and go anywhere else before you click to the next episode, before you do that, do me one big favor and go check out boostly dot.

[00:38:26] Liam:  Forward slash trust. IRA are the sponsors of all of the boostly content and the reason why I work with them. And the reason why we spread the message of IRA is that when a host or a company is looking to get more into DRA bookings, the main question they have is around trust as in will a guest trust that I'm a true and real business will IRA take care of all of that.

[00:38:49] Liam: And they've got a special offer that is only available to boostly people, but to do that, you need to go to boostly, which is B O O S T L Y dot co dot UK slash trust. You can find out all the information there. You can book in a demo book in a call, and then you'll get your super special offer. It is only available to Boostly peoples.

[00:39:08] Liam: Thank you again for tuning in do go check out IRAK. We'll be back again very shortly with another podcast episode, but until then, we'll see you all very soon. Take care.


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