Network is your networth

Network is your Networth

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 583.

In this Boostly podcast episode, Liam Carolan speaks with Buck Cumbo from Sea Mountain Vacations about how networking and building connections in the hospitality industry opens doors for business success.

Buck shares how he started his vacation rental management business with the co-hosting model, which helped him refine the necessary systems and processes needed to build a strong foundation to scale upon.

Buck's business is remotely based in Nashville, Tennessee, and all his 11 properties are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

He states that all his units are renovated and furnished up to his standard to bring the guest experience to a high level.

Buck's advice to individuals who want to get into co-hosting is to pitch themselves to potential clients and build connections.

He credits his success to saying yes to opportunities and figuring things out along the way.

The episode concludes with Buck's thoughts on how hospitality businesses should build their own unique brand and not copy others in the industry.

Here's the video for this episode:

Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Intro
01:23 – Kelvin Intro
11:05 – A lot of new listings coming
20:51 – Look at the compettion
29:42 – Make sure your captions are updated
44:05 – Vector Maps
51:33 – Outro

Whilst you’re here

Follow Boostly on the following channels to get more tips, tactics and knowledge on how you can increase your direct bookings

Visual – YouTube

Audio – Boostly Podcast





Transcript from the Episode


[00:00:00] Liam: Hey everybody. Welcome to the new episode of the Boostly podcast. It's the podcast that gives you the tactics, the tools, the trainings, and most importantly, the confidence on how you can go out there and get more threat bookings. So today we are going behind the host, uh, my name's Liam Caroline, and we're gonna behind the host with Buck Combo and he is from Sea Mountain Vacations.

[00:00:21] Uh, if you want to go and check them out before we get started, you can do so by going to. See mountain Um, go and check out his awesome branding. He's now got a bustly website, which we're gonna talk about as well. And, uh, today's episode is all about how just. Networking and building connections.

[00:00:40] Saying yes, and figuring out along the way really helps you, uh, in the hospitality industry and how having those connections really opens up those doors in general. So, and, uh, Buck's got a great story, which he's, he's gonna share with us. So welcome along Buck. Thank you for joining us today.

[00:00:57] Buck: Yeah, Liam, thanks for having me, man.

[00:00:58] Super, super excited.


[00:01:00] Liam: So, uh, tell us a bit about your business and where you are in the.

Buck Intro

[00:01:04] Buck: Yeah, so I'm currently based out of Nashville, Tennessee. Um, I run the business remotely. All of our properties are in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Um, I've lived there the past 15 years or so, and kind of just, I, I moved here to, uh, chase my, my beautiful wife now.

[00:01:23] Um, she's a songwriter out. And we kind of, we, we bought a property and, you know, it kind of just forced us to, to figure it out, you know, build the right systems and processes to, to be able to scale upon. And we had really good success with that property and we decided we would take on a few more. So it's been a, been an exciting journey over the past, past few months.

[00:01:45] That's cool.

[00:01:45] Liam: How many units do you currently look after and, and what sort of model do you use? Yeah,

[00:01:49] Buck: so, so right now we have 11 units that are live. Um, we have. I'd like to say another 30 or so that are being renovated. So we're holding our, our homeowners to a very high standard to kind of ensure that that guest satisfaction's met.

[00:02:06] So typically when we take on a new homeowner, we're gonna ask 'em to renovate their property and refurnish it kind of up to our standard to again, bring that, that guest experience to a really, a really high point. You know, that's, that's very important to us. Um, we started out with the co-hosting model, kind of wanted to.

[00:02:24] Get our, our feet under us and, and figure out this, this whole, this whole hosting thing, you know, and, and get all the kinks worked out before we started taking on other clients. So, I think, uh, this, this past summer we, we had four and we're up to 46 now. Um, just within about four or five months. It's been been a crazy journey.

How did you learn what you needed to know

[00:02:45] Liam: We had, uh, bill Faith on, uh, recently and, and he was saying, you know, the right way to do this if you want to get started is to start with that co-hosting model. So how did, absolutely. How did, how did you learn what you needed to know from that co-hosting and what kind of doors did that?

[00:03:02] Buck: Yeah, so it, again, it, it, it helped me refine the systems and processes I needed to, to build a strong foundation to scale upon.

[00:03:10] Um, it was extremely helpful just, you know, taking a few properties under the belt before, before I took any real management clients and, and just utilizing that to, to build everything out, whether it be the, the guest messaging, the templates, um, knowing. The issues that might arise and kind of having systems in place to address 'em.

[00:03:31] It was extremely helpful starting with that model initially. Um, and then, then graduating to the management model

[00:03:39] Liam: and just to jump in. So if, how did you do that initially? How, um, if somebody was sitting there, you know, just kind, do you know what I'd love to get in co-hosting, but what steps did you take to to really, you know, meet these, these hosts, um, to become their co.

[00:03:55] Buck: Yeah. Um, I mean, you, you really just gotta be initially good at selling yourself, you know? Um, fortunately my wife and I had bought a property, and that was kind of our trial run, and we worked out all the kinks from there and had really good success. So pitching, pitching myself to other investors to like, Hey, let me, let me co-host your property was a little bit easier because I had built that, that foundation first with, with my personal property.

[00:04:21] Um, But I, I, I think one, one of the biggest things that helped was initially after the, uh, the short-term Rental Wealth conference, uh, mark spoke and they got me fired up. So I think I had two listings at the time, and I like, reached out to you guys. I was like, Hey, let's, let's build a, let's build a site.

[00:04:40] Um, and Boley got a site built and that helped build a tremendous amount of rapport with, uh, co-hosting clients. So just having that, that forward facing site. It, it helped tremendously being able to, um, convince these, these homeowners to, to know that I'm legit, you know, so that was extremely helpful.

[00:05:01] Liam: That's amazing. And do you know what, again, we've not spoken about this obviously before the call. I know I did ask how's the website going? But you've made a really important point and, and one which I found as well. I'm a host myself, and, uh, by having a good quality website, and obviously in this case, we've both got Boostly websites naturally, as, as I work for Boostly now and, and yourself as a client.

[00:05:22] The, the, the benefit of having that website is that they suddenly go, hang on, you've got a professional website. Geared up for direct bookings, which 90% of people aren't necessarily geared up for direct bookings. And that just puts you as the kind of industry leader in, in your particular local location.

For the people listening

[00:05:39] So, um, that's a really awesome point and thank you, uh, buck for sharing that. That's, uh, that's awesome. Yeah, absolutely. What would you say for the people listening and the things, um, which they'd have to consider differently with management to your own first unit, was there anything which you look back and go, ah, there was perception I had about manage.

[00:05:58] Which, you know, has changed over time or, or something that people would be aware of or need to be aware of?

[00:06:04] Buck: Um, you know, it's, it's really not that, that different, you know, than managing your own unit. You just have to put yourselves in the, uh, the homeowner's shoes, you know, and, and be able to provide them with, whether it be reports or different services to maximize their experience as a.

[00:06:25] Um, you know, we're, we're trying to make this as hands off for these investors as we can. Um, and that's been extremely helpful for them and, and us, you know, but having that, that foundation built out with our own property, again, just kind of helped lead the, the path into that.

[00:06:42] Liam: That's cool and, and setting them expectations.

[00:06:44] Cause I've seen some of your properties, obviously on your website, which, which I encourage everyone else to, to go to, uh, seaview, sorry, sea mountain and go and check out your properties because they, they're beautiful. And that's one of the things where when you're then managing other peoples, you've gotta say, Hey, you know, I need you to be at this, this standard, which, you know, by being at this standard, I can then get you this sort of income.

What challenges have you had along the way?

[00:07:06] And we'll then most importantly, get good reviews, which then brings more people and the cycle continues, which obviously you're doing very well there, which is cool. What, what challenges have you had along the way so far? Buck?

[00:07:19] Buck: You know, the, one of the biggest challenges has been, uh, imposter syndrome, you know, kind of.

[00:07:25] Getting to the point where I'm at now and just being like, okay, well am I, am I worthy of this? You know, is, is this me that overcoming that has been one of the biggest struggles, you know, and trying to step outta my comfort zone and, and do things like this. Um, very, very inter introverted guy. So just, you know, uh, just comes back to the imposter syndrome.

[00:07:47] Everything else has been easily worked through as far as the hosting journey is concerned, you know, You learned from trial and error. Let's talk about your

[00:07:55] Liam: tech within the business. Mm-hmm. What topics of tech do you love to use on a day-to-day basis? Does

[00:08:01] Buck: my, does my Boostly website count? It definitely

[00:08:03] Liam: does.

[00:08:04] Yeah. You can give that a mention. Thank you.

[00:08:06] Buck: Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. Uh, so beyond that, uh, integrating the, the Slay Smart Locks has been really, really cool. Just again, working remote, you know, just having. We got, uh, it connected to hospitable. So when somebody, when somebody books, it sets the, the code for the last four digits to their phone number, you know, and we just have somebody kind of roll in and outta there just to, to check that all that's.

[00:08:31] In line and that just that smooth check-in process. Guests absolutely love it. Um, beyond that, like, uh, we utilize Rank Breeze to track our rankings, and that's been extremely helpful and it's been a huge selling point being like, Hey, all of our properties are on page one. Um, so that's been really cool.

[00:08:50] And I mean, really we're just, we're implementing new softwares and technologies every day, just trying to innovate and stay ahead of the game. Each step of the way, we're, we're figuring out something new that we like, or something that we're gonna take away and, and replace with something else. It's definitely been exciting.

[00:09:06] That's my favorite part has been the, the tech side of things.

[00:09:10] Liam: It is exciting. And this, with hospitality, there's so many new tech as well. I mean, all, all PMSs are pretty new. Did you mention a PMs? There was, do you use a PMs currently?

[00:09:19] Buck: Yeah. So, uh, currently we're working with gei, um, but transitioning into working with LM P.

[00:09:27] Um, yeah, they have a really robust system that we're excited to start using.

[00:09:31] Liam: This is the exciting thing about, like I say, hospitality is that things. Are so new. PMSs in general are so new, dynamic pricing. Softwares still relatively new. You know, that there's, there's all these tech and they're all coming together and it's, it's the most exciting space, hospitality tech because all these things didn't exist 10 years ago.


[00:09:50] So what are they gonna look like in 10 years time? You know, it's, it's really gonna be amazing. So thank you so much for spending your time with us to. Buck today, and thank you too. If you're listening in, either on the Live or on the Boley podcast, uh, come and join us on the Hospitality community on Facebook.

[00:10:05] If you want to keep the conversation going with us or ask myself or Mark Simpson any questions, um, you can find out just by going to group searches and search hospitality community and we'll pop up as the top group there. Thank you again for listening. Uh, we'll see you on the next one. That's, uh, bye from me and uh, bye for Buck.

[00:10:23] Having a blast. Gonna get it on the Bruce Lee podcast. Bruce Lee led Bruce Lee

[00:10:27] Buck: cuz it's so hard on the tea. Is loose leaf picking up those rhymes? Don't write it, just do it loosely.

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