Integrating Can Monkey for Seamless STR Maintenance

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In this podcast episode of the Boostly podcast featuring the STR collab, Mark introduces guest Alex from Can Monkey, who discusses waste management solutions for short-term rental properties.

Alex explains how Can Monkey automates trash management for property hosts by integrating properties into existing operational routes for automated trash disposal.

The service includes a technology platform that allows hosts to monitor and manage trash disposal remotely, ensuring compliance with local regulations and homeowner association rules. Can Monkey's system is designed to streamline trash handling, enhance property cleanliness, and improve satisfaction among guests and neighbors, catering especially to hosts managing between one and twenty properties.

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Timestamps (audio)


Welcome Back

[00:00:00] Mark: Welcome back to another episode of the Boostly podcast and welcome to another episode of the STR collab. Now I couldn't make this session because we were busy. With the book direct virtual summit, we had the fantastic Alex from Can Monkey join Maddie from Mount, uh, and it was an excellent discussion stuff.

[00:00:20] If you want to be part of the STR collab, we come together at least once a month, bringing guest experts from around the industry, specifically helping those hosts who have between one and 20 properties. So if you want to learn more, there is a QR code within this video, but you can scan to our exclusive Facebook group.

[00:00:39] You can go and find out my, it's free. Uh, we're looking to do not only virtual meetings like this one was. Uh, where we meet up at least once a month, but we're also looking to do in-person meetups as well. You've got to be in the group to find out more, but without further ado, let's join Maddie and, uh, Can Monkey.

[00:00:57] And we'll see you in the next one.

Diving into today’s webinar

[00:00:58] Madison: Hey everyone. Thanks so much for joining us. We're going to dive in. And then today's webinar is an educational, uh, Webinar brought to you by Alex from Can Monkey. So he's going to be talking all things, waste management, what happens when you have to take the trash out and you have multiple properties and just everything along those lines, and probably a lot more.

[00:01:16] I didn't even just cover, um, as a reminder, these webinars and just this community we're building are called the STR CoLab. It is brought to you by myself. I'm the CEO and founder of Mount. We have Mark from Boosley who is. Semi offline today because he is running his book direct summit with over 5, 000 attendees.

[00:01:36] Um, Staphy, which we have Ivan today, uh, representing and our newest founding member host GPO. So hopefully we'll be hearing from them shortly as well. So to dive in, just to give you guys some context, if you don't know who I am, I'm Maddie Rifkin. I'm the CEO and founder of Mount. At Mount, we're all about the guest experience.

[00:01:54] And basically what we do is we go partner with local businesses to bring them online, make them experiences. And then you as a host can curate your list of experiences that you want to offer to your guests via us. And you can make some commission from that. I did start my company when I was 12 years old.

[00:02:11] So it's been a journey and a half. Um, we've raised over 4 million for mounts and are building for this nomadic traveller, this adventure traveller, someone who wants to come and have a good time. So we're happy to be in the industry and love what we continue to learn. So that's about me a little bit about Mark Simpson, although everyone seems to know who he is, so I don't even need to introduce him, but he is all about the book, direct movement.

[00:02:35] He's the founder and CEO of Boostly. Uh, if you don't know about BookDirect websites, he's your guy. Um, all about getting you off of Airbnb, the OTAs, and really moving you into your BookDirect strategy and, uh, taking your power back essentially, cause Airbnb should not have that. So he typically is on our webinars as a co-host, but today, uh, not so much.

[00:02:56] So Mark, we miss you, but he'll be back soon. Um, Arthur is also not here today. He's out of the office, but Ivan has joined us from Staphy. So, Ivan, I'll let you take the mic now.

[00:03:07] Ivan: Yeah, sure. Thank you. Uh, of course, sir, Arthur, uh, Brian, uh, Ivan, I'm the program manager at StayFi. Uh, we're also about, all about the, uh, book direct, uh, booking.

[00:03:18] Our mission is to help, uh, all the program managers and hosts build a strong independent brand, uh, that helps drive data bookings, uh, repeat bookings, um, as we call it, break free from OTAs. We do that mainly through, uh, Wi-Fi marketing, um, guest data collection through Wi-Fi. And we also offer, um, marketing and email marketing and text marketing services, uh, to provide a whole range of services.

[00:03:47] Guest journey experience where you can connect to our guests after they've stayed and get them to stay directly with you the next time.

Some new segments

[00:03:56] Madison: Fantastic. Thank you. Awesome. Onto the next. So we added some new segments here. First of all, the STR CoLab, if you guys don't know what this is, this is the community we're building.

[00:04:07] There are three core pillars of our CoLab. We do monthly webinars and we have a Facebook group where kind of our online community lives. We also have launched in-person events. So around the country, if you want to host one, if someone in the CoLab wants to host one, we help support that. And then we also do events at conferences under the STR CoLab name.

[00:04:27] So there might be a fun one coming towards the end of the year at Verma International. We'll have to wait and hear what that one is, but if you want to be part of the CoLab, go ahead and scan this QR code because it'll allow you to join the Facebook group where you can see all our previous recordings because we do monthly educational webinars on Various topics that you need to become a better host and level up your, your listings and your properties and the full work.

[00:04:50] So if you do want to join the Facebook group, that's what you can do here. Um, other than that. A few news tidbits because this is really interesting stuff happening this week. If you didn't notice, Marriott Homes and Villas, uh, launched and tested a new generative AI search tool. So their travellers can now input stuff and it'll spit out, uh, search results based on this AI tool.

[00:05:14] They beat Airbnb to the punch on this one. So Airbnb has not launched its AI tool, although it did acquire a very large AI business recently. Um, so you know, first. I think segment where Airbnb is not the first to do it. So, um, interesting competition on the landscape. And then additionally, there's kind of a bigger bucket item, but Florida is cracking down, or at least trying to crack down on Airbnb and just the regulation of short-term rentals.

[00:05:40] There's a bill in the house that has the potential to change the vacation property, uh, regulations across the entire state. So it would put it at a state level instead of a county level, something to just be aware of. If you aren't in Florida, that's great. Fine as well. But I put this on here because if you're not involved in your local advocacy group, or even through rent responsibly, this would be your time to do that because better to be driving the policy than being in the backseat and having to deal with the changes that come.

[00:06:08] And I know Alex knows this well, having been in Arizona where they are quite strict these days, but you know, better to be on the advocacy side of it and fight for it than not. So I thought I'd throw that in here. Awesome. Well, some upcoming events in case you want to meet in person. A few of us will probably be at these.

[00:06:28] We have the VRMA Spring Forum, the CanStays Rental Alliance Conference. We have some events in the UK if you happen to be across the pond. And then, uh, the Northwest Vacation Rental Conference as well in Boise, Idaho. Alex, I don't know if I missed any events that you guys are going to.

[00:06:43] Alex: No, those are the VRMA and the Northwest one I'm going to be attending, but I don't think anything else that I know of in April besides those.

[00:06:51] Madison: Yes. So you, if you can't tell April's going to be a busy month for all of us, had to pick and choose. Well, without further ado, this is where I introduce you to Alex. Shapiro, the founder and CEO of Can Monkey. I put a little catchy title on here, but I bet he's talking about even cooler things. What do you do about garbage day?

About Can Monkey

[00:07:09] Um, Alex, I'm going to turn it over to you because I believe you have a presentation and this is supposed to be educational. So for those on the webinar, if you want to put in questions, put them in the Q and A, if you have funny things to say, put them in the comments, we can troll Alex a little, uh, and just have a good time as we talk about waste management solutions and honestly just learn what this is all about.

[00:07:28] Alex: Uh, we were established in 2018, and a lot of people even ask, what is CanMonkey? Uh, CanMonkey, we automate trash day. Very simple. Uh, that tedious task that comes up every week. Taking the trash can to the curb the day before pickup, returning it after it's getting emptied by the city, back to its original location, and recycling cans.

[00:07:49] That's what we take care of. It's there to never miss trash day, to avoid cans getting overflowing with extra trash, not get in trouble with HOAs, keeping your neighbours happy. It's an essential service for vacation home properties, which we found. It's not what we started as. We started as homeowners, but we realized the niche in the short-term rental industry, management companies that have 10, 20, and 100 properties.

[00:08:12] This gets hard. Um, and people don't have a system or solution for it. And if they do, what we've found is sometimes it's 50 to 75 per cent at best. And what we created on the back end is a platform that is our technology, our proprietary technology, where essentially a homeowner, an Airbnb, a property management company can put their properties on our platform, go into our website, and that property automatically gets put into an operational route that is already existing.

[00:08:37] That property will go on to a route, okay. If we, if it is next to a property that we already have, it's even better for us. And we just start servicing it from there on out, uh, every month until someone cancels it. We're a monthly subscription. We're not trying to hold anyone hostage with contracts. We just try to keep this, um, as easy as possible.

[00:08:56] We know that sometimes properties come and go, uh, with different management companies and we're not trying to hold anyone hostage, but essentially the property comes on to our platform, get it into a route. and the can runners take it to the curb and back. Very simple. Uh, nothing complicated about it.

[00:09:12] And what, but the technology in the back end helps us make sure that we're dotting our eyes and crossing our T's, making sure it's getting done. Why CanMonkey? Uh, we know now since we've been around for five, almost six years, that other companies are doing what we do now. Uh, it's not very hard taking cans to the curb and back.

[00:09:28] You don't need much except a body. CanMonkey. And a car to get you to those locations, but what we have found is that when we invested our money into our technology, it helped us create, uh, more, uh, transparency. I like to call it trash parency, but more transparency for our clients. We have a client dashboard that you receive for your one property or a hundred properties.

[00:09:48] You can see them all, uh, in one location. You can see when we were at your property, uh, when we took the can to the curb when we took it back. And if you have any other, you know, notes that come up, say you put a gate on the code, the client has access to go in there and change things. Some of our clients have padlocks on the locks.

[00:10:06] Sometimes they change every quarter or whatnot. They can go in there and update all the information. Um, they have a guest coming with an animal. They can let us know that an animal is staying there to give us a heads up, but we give our clients the ability to Um, update their account because each property is different and that gives us the information.

[00:10:23] We're really good instruction takers Um, that's what we tell people if the cans are on the side of the gate with the gate lock Um, you know, let us know that what's all that information so we can take the can to the curb, uh efficiently Like I said, we take photos. That's different from other companies that we provide these for you.

[00:10:39] We're not trying to hide anything. We get calls from people because maybe a client got a call from a guest or got a call from a housekeeper saying that the cans are full and that you guys never took the cans out last week. Well, if they didn't want to look in the dashboard themselves, we have that information too.

[00:10:53] So we can show them, hey, the property, this is your property. We did get the cans off the curb and back, you know, is this all correct? Oh yeah, like why is it still full? Did you have someone check out afterwards? You know, maybe. Um, you know, cleaners came in after we were done and maybe they filled it up after.

[00:11:07] So this kind of helps us kind of come up with some different scenarios because, at the end of the day, these properties for the most part are now public. They're not private. And sometimes some neighbours know it's an Airbnb and sometimes they throw their trash in those cans or maybe, um, like I said, the cleaner came after we brought an empty can back and then they filled up the can.

[00:11:27] With trash after they clean the property. So there are always moving parts in these properties, but we make sure that keep everything documented when we are at the property to make sure that we're doing an efficient job, also showing that the cans are back at the location that they need to be, uh, on the right day.

[00:11:42] Uh, if there are any issues at the property, you would get an issue and you get a real-time notification. And this example right here, uh, this property, we brought the cans back and the client put a, uh,

[00:11:54] Ivan: For us, just a heads up. I think we're still seeing the first slide.

[00:11:58] Alex: Oh, you're still in the first slide?

[00:12:00] Ivan: Yeah.

[00:12:01] Alex: Oh my gosh. I'm, I'm over here looking at all these different things right now and you guys are still in the first one. Um, oh my jeez.

[00:12:09] Madison: I think you can go on to the Canva tab and scroll from there, that should work.

[00:12:15] Alex: Right here?

[00:12:17] Madison: Yeah, now you're good.

[00:12:18] Alex: Okay, so now you can see all this? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, that works.

[00:12:23] KMonkey. Okay. Okay, what is KMonkey? Thank you for that Ivan. What is KMonkey? Automate trash day, our platform, homeowners, Airbnb, and property managers put them on our platform or application, that property automatically gets put on a route where we take the cans to the curb on the day before and then return them after they're emptied.

[00:12:45] Here's a client dashboard, an example of what it looks like. Here's your property address. Uh, you can see, uh, the, the days that we were at the property, taking the cans to the curb and take the cans back. There are timestamp notifications right there. Photos of the cans at the curb and back. If there is an issue, you get a real-time notification sent to your email or get sent to your, uh, text message.

[00:13:08] It said this example right here. We brought these cans back and they put a padlock on the gate that we didn't know. So we let them know. Hey, we can't get in behind the gate. We left the cans right here. Can you get the property manager? Can you make sure that these get behind the gate now because we can't do it?

[00:13:23] So making sure that we have open lines of communication and showing the photos is key to making sure that even though we're doing a simple task of taking the cans off the curb and back different idiosyncrasies come up. So we're making sure that yeah. We're protected on all ends and make sure that they know as well what's going on on their property.

[00:13:37] Because sometimes, um, these hosts and owners don't even live in the right state or don't live in the state. They're managing it from another state, and they're using us for their eyes and ears on these properties and making sure that everything is getting done efficiently. Um, and so They use their guests and cleaners, uh, instead of a monkey.

[00:13:53] And what we found is that 50 to 75 per cent at best, you know, sometimes the cleaners are there on the day to take the cans to the curb, but who's going back the next day, taking the can back, or you ask the guests to do it, but they forget to do it and now you're left with the trash that's overflowing and you get that removed and it's just going to cost you even more money calling 1 800 JUMP REMOVAL or a local junk company to come and remove all that trash for you than it would have been just having can monkey service it every week for you, making sure that it was done.

[00:14:20] We also help our clients stay compliant with HOA regulations and different city ordinances, kind of what Maddie just alluded to. Some of these states are cracking down on some of those, our industry, and one of the easiest things that we found, and for us, is that a lot of neighbours complain about there, The Airbnb next to them, the trash can at the curb, uh, with the city ordinances and regulations with these HOAs, some of these have to be back at a certain time, the cans, or that can't be at the curb that long.

[00:14:46] And these guests or these neighbours who are not happy with the Airbnb next door, they'll use this as a way to get them in trouble. Um, I remember I had a conversation with a GovOS once, and they showed me an example in Sedona where, uh, the neighbour next door had called Like 200 times in a month complaining about the property that was an Airbnb, that the trash can was out.

[00:15:08] And it was like 601, 603, 605, just kept calling the same day, kept saying, you know, so it wasn't a problem. It's more like a neighbour problem, just calling to complain. But with us, we had that proof knowing that the can is back at a certain time or at the curb where we have already gotten our clients out of these erroneous fines because we're able to show.

[00:15:28] These timestamp photos saying, Hey, actually, your can was back behind the curb or back behind the gate at 555 and getting them out of these, you know, finds making happy neighbours is another reason why can monkey, uh, neighbours like to know that, you know, someone's getting, uh, these cans manage, uh, we've got a lot of clients signed up from us, uh, that are homeowners because the neighbour next door was an Airbnb property and they can see someone coming to their property four times a week, 16 times a month, taking these trash and recycling cans back.

[00:15:58] And they say, Hey, what is that? And then they find out it's CanMonkey and they say, I want that. So neighbours are happy when someone's managing the can, the curb, uh, making sure trash cans are not sitting at the curb way overlong, uh, sometimes days, you know, bringing them back for you. CanMonkey is a monthly subscription.

[00:16:15] Like I said, we're starting at 49 for one trash, one recycling can. Uh, in most of our markets, some markets have trash twice a week. Um, a little bit different, you know, pricing, but we try to keep our pricing as, as, Low as or as close to 49 when we can, um, if you have multiple cans, there could be an extra, uh, extra charge as well for more cans.

[00:16:36] Some of our properties have six trash cans, uh, for recycling cans. They sleep 12, 15 people. Um, so it takes a little bit more time to take those cans to the curb. So we, you know, have to charge a little bit more. But it's still very, uh, competitive in our pricing. We also also offer on-demand trash removal.

[00:16:52] So if any instances, instances like maybe trash gets picked up on Thursday and you have guests checking out on a Sunday with new guests checking in on Monday, you don't want the new guests to see the old guest trash. That's where we would come in and remove all that trash from the property. So the new guests don't see the old guest trash.

[00:17:09] Even though you're three days away from the city coming, um, some of our clients will have this scheduled automatically on all their departure dates, just making sure that they're always clean. Um, everyone runs their properties in business differently, but we will adapt to what our clients would want and, um, imply those solutions for them.

[00:17:28] We also offer can cleaning. Subscriptions, whether it's monthly or quarterly, we found quarterly is more likely for a lot of our clients. They don't need it all the time. So quarterly subscriptions where if your cans are stinky, especially in Florida and Arizona and some of these markets that are hot during the summertime, put trash in there and all the fish or whatever guests put in there, it gets gross.

[00:17:51] And so having another solution to making sure those cans are clean for when guests are at your property, it's just. Helping with the whole aesthetics of everything. Camp Monkey, uh, just got on the Inc. 5000, uh, list for our Southwest region as one of the fastest private growing companies. Um, and we also made the Skift, uh, tech, uh, uh, travel tech company a top 250 as well.

[00:18:12] So we're getting some momentum as a small startup company, uh, getting our name out there, helping individuals or hosts and owners with our solution. And we're honoured to be able to do that and, and keep providing the same service to everyone and, and continue to grow. Currently, we're in over 20 states, um, over 135 cities across the country.

[00:18:33] Um, you can see that we're, we're still not in some, you know, South Dakota, North Dakota. I'm not sure, you know, how big they are in short-term rentals, but we haven't had any interest there. But there are some markets that we have interest in that we're, we're not in yet for us to get into a new market. We need anywhere from 20 to 25 properties.

[00:18:49] To get started, doesn't have to be all with one management company. It could be uh, several management companies. Maybe one has five, one has ten, and one has fifteen properties. With all those combined, you can put a route together and get started within five to seven business days. And, uh, if you don't have anyone like Bluey as, uh, you know, his bingo and Bluey take the cans out for their family.

[00:19:08] If you don't have anyone for that, please, uh, give Cam Monkey a call. And we'd love to see how we can add you on a route that's already operational or get started in a new market. And that's my presentation.

[00:19:20] Mark: Having a blast, gonna get it on the Bruce Lee podcast. Bruce Lee likes Bruce Lee, cause it's so hard and the T is loose leaf.

[00:19:26] Making up those rhymes, don't write it, just do it loosely.