Spotlight

Connect With The Brands You Need For Your STR

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 517. In this podcast episode I will be talking with Ally Goltz the head of growth at Minoan.

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Here's the audio for this episode:

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Timestamps (audio)

 
00:00 Intro
01:30 Ally intro
05:25 Where do we fill the properties from?
11:54 Many hosts look at one thing setting up
15:39 It's very difficult to keep consistency
20:25 Where is Minoan currently available?
24:27 Quickfire Questions
26:56 Outro  

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Transcript from the Episode

[00:00:00] Liam: We are back with another exciting guest on the Boostly Spotlight series. This is the mini series, which features on the Boostly Podcast, and we shine the spotlight on businesses, products, and people, uh, services that can help you either save time, save money, or just reduce hassle within your hospitality business.

[00:00:18] And these are things which you just need to know about. So this is why we love, uh, this, uh, miniseries on the Boostly Podcast. So, My name, as you may already know, is Liam Caran and I'm the cohost. Today we are joined by Ali Goltz, the head of growth at Min Minoan. . Sorry. Um, yeah, so, uh, minnow. Is featured in the Book Direct Blueprint and it marks, uh, that's Mark's new book, which is coming up out in December, 2022.

[00:00:49] So depending on when you're listening to this podcast or watching it on YouTube, uh, you may want to go and check that out at Boostly.co.uk/blueprint. And depending [00:01:00] on when you're checking it out, you may be able to audit on there or sign up for the pre-order, which is really. So as we settle in and find out more about Manoan, uh, and how it can help you, uh, we're gonna dive in and say hello to Allie.

[00:01:14] So Allie, welcome along.

[00:01:16] Ally: Hi Liam. Thank you so much for having me. I'm thrilled to be here.

[00:01:20] Liam: I'm really excited to, uh, to dive into this today and, uh, thank you so much for, for coming along. So, as head of Growth at Minoan, um, let's start by you explaining how a little bit of history of yourself, Ali, and how you got started with, with Mann.

[00:01:38] Ally: Sure, yeah. Happy to give some, some background. Um, prior to joining Manoan, um, I've spent my, like, the entirety of my career, uh, leading sales teams, uh, in digital advertising and, uh, like just previously spent the last seven years at Google, um, which is obviously a [00:02:00] big giant in that space. Um, you know what brought me to Manen?

[00:02:05] Uh, mark, who is the founder of Manen, I believe he'll be on the podcast as well. Is a really dear friend of mine and from university and he, you know, found a manoan a couple years ago. Told me about the idea. And ever since I've just been, I've just loved the concept of the business. Um, and when he approached me for this role in particular, It was just the perfect intersection for me of everything that I loved about retail and e-commerce, everything that I love personally about travel and hospitality.

[00:02:42] Um, and then a little touch of, you know, design and, uh, curation. And so it was a no brainer at that point to come and join the team, and I'm thrilled that I did. It's been, uh, an amazing journey so far. Doing, you know, companies growing really [00:03:00] quickly. And so, uh, it was a, it was a great decision.

[00:03:04] Liam: Hey, it sounds like a good decision.

[00:03:05] And, uh, for the people listening in, there's gonna be people hosts from all over the world who may not have heard of Minoan. And, um, can you briefly explain what Manoan is and, and how it can help host?

[00:03:20] Ally: Yeah. Um, Manoan can help in a couple ways. Um, so I'll dive into that. But essentially, I like to say that Manoan is the go to place for furnishing your rental space.

[00:03:32] Uh, so what we've done as a company is we've gone out and we've negotiated discounts on over 200 different brands. Um, to essentially outfit your space and your property. So everything from furniture to linens, mattresses, appliances for the kitchen, um, you know, all the way down to the soaps and shampoos that are in the bathroom in your space, you can buy through Manoan at a really steep discount.[00:04:00]

[00:04:00] The reason that we're able to do that is because we also like these properties up and can make them shopable to guests. Meaning that if, you know a guest is staying at your property and they abso they have the best night's sleep of their life and they're like, oh my God, what is this mattress? I need this for my house.

[00:04:21] Or while those lemons were incredible, um, I love the plates in the kitchen. Anything that they want that's in the home, they can actually purchase it, um, via a beautiful website that we create for you. Um, check out. And by the time they get back from their vacation, it can be at their doorstep. So what's cool is that no one's gonna save you money up front on the furniture or anything that you're putting in your rental.

[00:04:47] And then on the back end, you're earning a commission back on anything in your space that sells. So it saves you that money up front and it also is like a recurring revenue stream for your.

[00:04:58] Liam: I love that and it [00:05:00] sounds like it's something which just all hosts is just a natural Yes. We need that. Because one of the things, and I know this is mentioned in in the chapter in the book, which I've been lucky enough to, to get sneak preview on, is how.

[00:05:13] There's many areas which, uh, hosts have kind of got down to a t. You know, we know how to do the numbers on properties or we know how to, uh, you know, market the property or list it. But the one thing that we often struggle with as hosts is, Where do we fill the properties from? You know, where do we get the furniture from?

[00:05:32] And often it is a, um, you know, a time sensitive issue. We want to get the listings live quite quickly. And also we are shopping about on various websites, various delivery times, and things like that. I don't think, for me as a host, when I was setting up my, um, first few units that I'd really thought potentially I could even have, you know, get, first of all, save money.

[00:05:54] You know, I was paying retail at the time. But then second of all, um, to be able to [00:06:00] use the purchasing that I'm doing to, to advertise to guests, which is just a, a genius aspect of it. So, um, How does it help? You mentioned obviously how it helps host. How does it help guests and their experience?

[00:06:15] Ally: Yeah, I mean, we have found that this is a real differentiator for guests staying in the space.

[00:06:21] Um, you know, the, the Shopability side of Manoan was really what started the company to begin with, you know, You know, mark walked into a short term rental here in the States and he and his wife had a real life experience where they were like, wow, you know, we love the bedding, and look at how they set up the kitchen.

[00:06:45] This is so cool. And they left their vacation and they reached back out to the host and they said, Hey, you know, we absolutely loved the products in the space. We wanna bring home a little piece of vacation with us. Can you send us, you know, the links to where you purchase? [00:07:00] And upon doing that, realized, man, these aren't even affiliate links.

[00:07:05] Like this host isn't even capitalizing on the incredible moments that she created in the space. And so, again, I think, you know, listen, souvenirs are fun. Um, and, but guests really wanna walk away with something memorable. I think we all have experienced that when we're in, you know, when you're traveling, it's just this, um, I don't know, you're just picking up on different moments of inspiration and it's really easy to fall in love with the space that you're in when you're traveling.

[00:07:38] And so why not bring some of that home with you? You know? Um, I've certainly had have those moments when I'm staying at either a boutique hotel or a short-term rental. Where, you know, it's like, I don't wanna get the hoodie in downtown, or I don't wanna get just a magnet for my fridge. I wanna, you know, when I use [00:08:00] my shampoo every morning, I want it to bring me back to when I was relaxed on vacation.

[00:08:05] Um, and so, yeah, we found that guests have really, it's a differentiator for properties. Um, and guests really love the ability to take a, a piece of their trip home.

[00:08:16] Liam: I love that. And I know there's many hosts including me, who's literally, as you tell me that story, I'm kicking myself. Cause I've had exactly that situation and there's probably many hosts who are watching this or or listening in who have had that situation where I've not even capitalized on the affiliate links, sending bedding, you know, sort of recommendations.

[00:08:35] Yeah.

[00:08:35] Ally: I mean, listen, it's a lot of work. You know, it's a lot of work to set up those affiliate links and then, Um, you know, you're, you're a hospitality business. You wanna focus your time and energy on hosting, um, you know, not on worrying about shipping out products or creating a big storefront. And so again, we've just taken the heavy lifting off of you so that when you do get those requests from guests, you can capitalize on [00:09:00] those rich moments without having to do a lot of the.

[00:09:03] Liam: That's really cool. And I love the fact that it really does help the guest experience because of course of hosts we're after good quality reviews and that thing that differentiates us will help towards that. So if we're using Minnow and then, you know, potentially we're gonna get higher reviews because people just like how cool that service is.

[00:09:22] And I know, um, that you mentioned, or that was mentioned in the book, It's quite an immersive experience from the guest's point of view. So, um, can you talk me through how it's immersive for the guest?

[00:09:35] Ally: Yeah, I mean, we are big believers. Listen, you know, people don't wanna get sold to when they're on vacation, you know, so we are big on what we call, not nas, carrying the space.

[00:09:47] You know, we don't want there to be. QR codes on every product around the home, or big flashy signs that are like, you know, buy here and buy this now. Um, and [00:10:00] so what we've, what we've built is it's a very elegant and curated experience. Um, again, the website is just, you know, I'll, I'll send it over so that you can include it in the notes, but, um, it's just a really beautiful.

[00:10:16] Landing page essentially. And again, it's um, it, it's a elevated shopping experience for guests that's not super flashy. You know, Liam, you were saying, um, how does it help the guests? I mean, candidly, even if a guest is not. Shopping at the property, right? Even if they're not taking advantage, or maybe the host just decides that they don't want their property to be shoppable quite yet, that's totally fine.

[00:10:45] Host can still use us for buying furniture at a discount that's already enhancing the guest experience because maybe the sofa that you would've bought at, you know, the secondhand store or maybe skipped on the [00:11:00] quality. You're able to purchase a higher quality item because of the discounts that we offer.

[00:11:06] So you can make sure that you're outfitting the home with high quality products, with really, you know, well-designed products. Like all of the brands that we work with, um, they're not, you know, I stray away from saying high end because they're not, you know, super expensive, but they're high quality. Like we make sure that, you know, the products that we're bringing on board that then, Um, giving discounts to hosts are something that we would put in our own homes, you know, and so again, I think it just overall the furniture, um, can elevate that guest experience in a nice way, even if the property doesn't end up being shoppable.

[00:11:47] Liam: I like that because one of the things which you, you've mentioned there, you know, switching it back towards the host side of things is that many hosts, unfortunately just look at one thing when setting up. And that is just the cost for Yeah. [00:12:00] Up these units. And they're often just trying to get the, you know, the, the lowest price, the second hand items or, or things like that.

[00:12:07] But that's one of the things which, um, how, how widespread do you think the problem is for hosts, um, skimping out on furniture and actually doing themselves a disservice by having a lower nightly rate? Because they could have just got that little bit more if they'd have gone through, uh, you know, service like man.

[00:12:28] Ally: Yeah, I mean, listen, setting up a property is expensive. Um, and I, you know, we don't take that lightly. We know that, you know, you probably just went through the process of maybe purchasing the home and now it's like, oh my gosh, this is a big space that I have to pour more money into. But what we've seen is that it really does pay off.

[00:12:48] And everything that you just said about, you know, the nightly rate we found, Not only can you charge more per night based on the amenities in your [00:13:00] home, the quality of the products or the furniture, the mattresses, the linens, et cetera, it's going to go back into your reviews, right? The last thing you want is, you know, the host was great, but the mattress was so uncomfortable.

[00:13:14] Or, you know, the linens were ripped or stained. Um, so again, it goes into, you can charge. You'll get better reviews. So then you're also able to continue to charge more. And the other thing is like, you know, we always say buy nice or buy twice. Mm-hmm. . And that's what a lot of hosts, I think Miss, you know, totally understand when you're setting up a property, it's a big investment, but it's exactly that.

[00:13:40] It's an investment in your business. And the tough reality is that if you skimp out or you know, you try to buy really cheap product. What ends up happening is that you just have to buy them time and time again because they break or they don't hold up. They're not, you know, those linens are not hospitality grade, so they're [00:14:00] not used to going through different wash cycles, you know, three times a week.

[00:14:06] Um, and so, you know, I, I truly believe that that investment upfront will pay dividends in terms of, you know, a cash flow for, for the.

[00:14:17] Liam: Yeah, there's all been times where, you know, I've stayed in places where I can see, you know, the stuff is the b and m table for 12, 12 pounds, you know, like the, uh, you know, the very basic brands and things like that.

[00:14:29] And you can see it in photos all the time. When we, uh, assess an area, we look at the competition, and of course, one of the things how you can stand out is by having nice furniture and. I, I, I said we got started on this, this call that I've recently gone down to London. Uh, the hotel that I picked out was because of the nicer quality of, of, uh, furniture and interior compared to the other one.

[00:14:52] You know, I was happy to pay a bit more on the basis of, you know, it just looked nicer. It felt nicer, and it was a little bit more unique. So, [00:15:00] uh, it's just so important.

[00:15:02] Ally: Yeah, I mean, it's that, it's that idea of, you know, we all judge books. By the cover, unfortunately, and the pictures, uh, are so important when you're listing or you're marketing a property.

[00:15:16] And to your point, the ability to make it stand out with design, um, and, and nice quality stuff, it really does make a difference.

[00:15:24] Liam: And one of the things as well is, is the consistency. I tend to find, uh, especially for, uh, short term rental hosts, maybe not so much with, uh, sort of motel owners or bed and breakfast, uh, type places, but certainly for short term rental.

[00:15:38] It's very difficult to, um, keep the consistency across each unit. And that's one of the things is, is gonna be important for guest experience. If they've stayed in one and they go to another and it's completely different experience, they might be a bit shocked. Whereas presumably by using, uh, minoan and, you know, you can really, you've got the same [00:16:00] suppliers, you've got an idea of of the cost and that side of things.

[00:16:02] It, it can really help.

[00:16:04] Ally: Yeah, you create kind of that brand standard for yourself, you know, um, whether it's across your own portfolio or you know, just the rooms within your rental alone. Yeah, it's very important that you maintain that consistency for guests, and I think that we make it really easy for you to do that.

[00:16:26] You know, you mentioned earlier when you're setting up a property, you're shopping from several different places. Typically, you know, you're getting mattresses from here, linens from here, your sofa from here. What ends up happening is that if those items do need to be. It's like, oh crap, I don't even remember where I bought that or when I bought it.

[00:16:49] You know, with Manoan, again, you're able to shop from all of these different vendors, but you check out in one place, so you don't have to manage [00:17:00] things on a Google spreadsheet. Uh, you don't need to sift back through your emails. All you would have to do is log right back into manoan, search by the property name and say, okay, you know, this is the property.

[00:17:11] Oh, right. I need to. That armchair, well, here it is and check out and it's on its way to you again. Um, so yeah, not only does it create that brand standard, but it makes it really easy. Uh, if you do need to set up a new property or you do need to replace something, everything's right there for you.

[00:17:31] Liam: Hey, I imagine you're saving a lot of, um, hassle when it comes down to people doing their taxes to be able to log into work.

[00:17:37] Yes. Yes. Yeah. One of the things I remember on my first property, literally, I mean, I had a bag of receipts, it was that bad. So, um, yeah, definitely. Um, I'm sure there's a lot of people listening in who can, uh, who can relate to that. So one of the questions, or there's two questions, um, off the back of, of what we've been talking about.

[00:17:55] Uh, the first one, As a host for me, what, what is involved, you know, [00:18:00] how much, um, I guess how much time or effort do I need to put in, um, uh, to, to really market these, you know, these items which have, um, which I've purchased.

[00:18:12] Ally: Yeah. Um, well, I guess it's twofold. Um, it's very easy to use Manen or to sign up to be a manen member.

[00:18:20] Uh, it's also completely free, so there's no membership fee for you. Um, the Join us Flow, uh, on our website takes a total of maybe a minute and a half. I think we've timed it down to the second. And it's a really, you know, pretty easy application process. We obviously review it just so that we know that, um, you know, these people are in fact hosts and then we'll go in and approve on the Shopable side, you know, the legwork is really on our team.

[00:18:50] If you've purchased products through Manoan, it's really easy for us to pipe those products right into the, the website and the experience [00:19:00] again, all of which we build for you. Mm-hmm. , um, you know, we will send you the nice signs that say, you know, see something you like. Uh, you'll have a custom QR code, a custom website link.

[00:19:13] Really the marketing of that site is up to you. Um, you know, obviously you get out of it what you're putting in. So, you know, the hosts that we see that have the highest conversions on the Shopable side, we know are marketing that website effectively. Um, and so that means, you know, including it maybe in their welcome email.

[00:19:35] Again, including the little sign right next to you know, the guest book upon check in, um, making sure that it's in follow up emails, um, and also including it on your direct booking site. Uh, you know, we have a lot of, um, Hosts that have these beautiful websites for their properties. Um, and underneath, you know, their menu bar just have, uh, the [00:20:00] minnow and shop embedded right there.

[00:20:02] Um, so that, again, if a host leaves, and even if it's, or if a guest leaves and even months later they wanna go back, they can easily shop.

[00:20:11] Liam: It sounds like there's, there's not ever so much hassle involved in, in getting it set up. One of the, uh, things which we, we do have to mention, obviously at the moment, um, our listeners are based in the us, Mexico, uk, but worldwide.

[00:20:25] Where is Minoan currently available and is their plans to roll out further?

[00:20:30] Ally: Yeah, it's an important thing to mention. Um, so right now Manoan is strictly us. But there are a hundred percent plans for expansion, hopefully in the near future. Fingers crossed.

[00:20:44] Liam: That's cool. There's, um, I know there's gonna be a lot of people eager, uh, for, from the knowing, especially across here in the uk.

[00:20:50] Ally: Yeah. Oh, I'm just as eager, so We'll, uh, . Um, no promises, but, um, yeah, it's definitely, uh, part of.

[00:20:59] Liam: That's cool. [00:21:00] And to what extent, um, does the furniture list cover? So when setting up a unit, a lot of the time, you know, we are diving into, you know, the pizza, uh, the, um, yeah, the, um, peeler, you know, all, all of the basic stuff.

[00:21:15] But obviously we're talking beds, we're talking, uh, mattresses, we're talking sofas, I presume. Um, what's the range that, that manoan cover? It

[00:21:25] Ally: really covers just about everything. Um, truly there's, you know, we have, again, we have over 200 brand partners at this point. Um, there's little to nothing that you need for your rental from big furniture items, again, all the way down to small or decor or lamps, pictures, you know, all those little details that really.

[00:21:50] We have brands for, for everyone, um, and for anything that you would need. And I think the other thing to note, It doesn't need to just be when [00:22:00] you're setting up the property. I mean, obviously if you're setting up a property from scratch, absolutely use Manoan. Right? We talked about how big of an investment that is.

[00:22:10] Um, so that's a no brainer. But I always, you know, I. Tell hosts that maybe they find out about us and they're like, oh, I just, I just did this. I just furnished. It's like, well, things are gonna, are bound to break, or you wanna replace it, or you wanna, you know, add that additional touch in a couple months again, um, there's no, you know, Minimum number of things that you need to buy.

[00:22:35] So I always tell people, you know, definitely check us out. Sign up. Look at the brands you may surprise yourself with. You know, the brands that we carry, and a product that you might need.

[00:22:47] Liam: And that's cool because most people get the hospitality bug and they don't just have one sort of short term rental.

[00:22:53] Exactly. You know, they, they tend to have a second, so at least they know about you after listening to this and uh, you know, especially for the [00:23:00] second and, and third and so on. So, um, yeah, I feel I've really got to understand what Manoan is. I mean, you know, it's about saving money and time when you're setting.

[00:23:10] Having that system in place is taking that system, but then also improving the guest experience. And then, you know, as, as the cherry on top is you make an income from something which never would've done before. So it seems like a, uh, a no brainer to me. Is there anything else I've missed or anything else I should have covered there?

[00:23:29] Man,

[00:23:30] Ally: I feel like we have, we have covered a lot. Um, we've covered a lot of ground, uh, just in the, you know, couple minutes that we've been chatting. Um, no, the only other thing that I will add, um, about Manoan is that, you know, we are very hungry for hosts. Feedback. You know, we, we love hearing from customers what excites their guests or what they love about the product, or candidly, you know, [00:24:00] things that they want to be tweaked or changed.

[00:24:03] Um, we're growing, uh, and we wanna make it a really positive experience for both hosts and guests and just enhance, you know, the hospitality industry. Um, and so, Definitely please check us out, um, and, and keep the feedback coming.

[00:24:20] Liam: Awesome. And we're gonna be sharing the, uh, you know, how to check out in a second.

[00:24:24] But before we do, as we reach towards the end of these podcasts, we love to do a couple of quick fire questions. These are just a bit of fun to find out a little bit more. Oh boy. Okay. So, um, the answer can be as short, as long as you'd like, but there's just a few questions to, uh, to really dive into. So, Question number one, if you could have coffee with any historical figure, who would you choose and why?

[00:24:44] Um,

[00:24:45] Ally: I think, honestly, I would love to have, I always wanted to be, um, a TV broadcaster. Um, and I always loved Oprah, and I think the opportunities to sit down with Oprah would be very fun. So that's my answer. .

[00:24:59] Liam: [00:25:00] She's very, very inspirational and a great answer. Um, is there any books that the listeners should check out?

[00:25:06] Ones that you recommend, um, you know, to, to people to go and check out

[00:25:12] Ally: books to check out? Um, I would say the new book coming out by Mark Simpson. Uh, and the knowing, uh, yes, exactly the plug, which should be coming out in December. So that's the book that

[00:25:30] Liam: I. Awesome. Thank you for that. Um, if you want 10 million on the lottery tomorrow, what would you first spend it on,

[00:25:39] Ally: man, after being in this industry?

[00:25:41] I would spend it on a short term rental property. . Nice. Um, I would, I would invest it. Um, yeah, I really believe, um, that like this is the future of hospitality. So if I won the lottery, that's absolutely the first thing I.

[00:25:56] Liam: I think there's, there's, this is such a growing industry, isn't it? There's so much [00:26:00] excitement around it and, uh, who doesn't love finding new places to go away to?

[00:26:04] So that's really cool. And lastly, um, who inspires you or has been a source of inspiration for you? Oh, this is

[00:26:13] Ally: probably a cliche answer to, in, in some regards, but I would, I would say that my mother has been a huge inspiration in my life. She was, you know, a, a working mom, um, for the entirety of my life.

[00:26:33] And I just was always, um, I always really admired how she balanced, you know, motherhood and her career. Um, she was a phenomenal, uh, salesperson. Um, so I would say that she's been an inspiration for me both obviously professionally and, and person.

[00:26:52] Liam: What a nice way to, uh, to bring things to a close Allie. And, uh, it's been so exciting.

[00:26:56] First of all, find out about your journey from, you know, sort of, [00:27:00] uh, at Google and then to head of growth at Minoan, and then just find out about the product itself. And, uh, yeah, it's been really fun, uh, today. So thank you so much for, for coming on to, uh, the Lee Podcast. Obviously the important question is how can the people listening get in touch with.

[00:27:17] Ally: Yeah, well definitely, um, versus the website, www.manenexperience.com. Um, or check us out on Instagram at Manen experience. Um, and we have a blog that's fantastic. Um, but all of that lives on our website.

[00:27:35] Liam: Awesome. Awesome. And just for one more time, for the people listening and watching on YouTube, obviously the Manoan chapter is in the book Direct blueprint, which, uh, Mark Simpson has got the team of, uh, he calls you guys the Avengers, which is the, the people that every host needs to have, um, to really succeed in hospitality, especially with direct bookings and to add those extra.

[00:27:57] Revenue streams as well. [00:28:00] So, and for that you can go to Boostly.co.uk/blueprint and uh, go and check out on there. So we've reached the end all. Um, is there anything that we've missed or any final thoughts at all?

[00:28:12] Ally: No. William, thank you so much for having me. Definitely check out Manoan, check out the, Um, I know we are extremely proud, uh, to be in the company of such phenomenal authors and, uh, yeah, can't wait to, can't wait to hear what people think about it.

[00:28:29] Thank you

[00:28:29] Liam: so much, Allie, and uh, yeah. Bye for now. Bye for now. Having a blast can get out on the Bruce Lee podcast. Bruce Lee led Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the tees loose leaf, making up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.

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