One Couple's Journey of hosting guests and travelling the World

One Couple’s Journey Of Hosting Guests And Travelling The World

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 587.

In this Boostly podcast episode, the hosts welcome Alyssa and Al Sedighravesh from Rather Be Properties, who share their experience of traveling while running their business.

Alyssa had a background in five-star hospitality, while Al had experience in residential real estate and finance.

The couple started flipping properties locally in Southern California with Al's brother and sister-in-law.

They were successful but eventually realized they could use their skills and experience to build a business that would allow them to travel and work remotely.

They started Rather Be Properties and currently manage four properties, some located on the west coast and others in the mountains.

Alyssa's hospitality background helped them to build a brand with high-quality service and develop standard operating procedures to train their staff.

Al's experience in finance and real estate helped them to raise capital and invest in properties.

The couple shares tips on how to create a business that allows you to travel while managing your properties, such as delegating tasks, hiring a property manager, and using technology to automate processes.

Here's the video for this episode:

Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Intro
01:34 – Al & Elissa Intro
03:15 – A bit about the properties
05:20 – How long until you got your second, third and fourth
06:57 – A talk through the system
10:27 – 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: Hello and welcome to a new episode of the Behind the Host podcast on the Boostly podcast. My name's Liam. I'm the co-host and we've got a special guest on today, or special guests I should say. Uh, today is really exciting because these guests are are hosts who have managed to do the, what many of us hosts will find impossible is to travel while hosting the business.

[00:00:22] And, uh, you know, they're traveling with their young family and seeing some awesome sites and that side of thing. So today, For the next sort of 20, 30 minutes, listen in and really discover from another host how you can pick up tips and things that you can do in your business and in your hospitality. Uh, sort of, uh, Places and in the properties, things that you can do to allow you to have that freedom to travel while you're hosting.

[00:00:46] So this is gonna be a really cool, uh, time and a really cool sort of podcast. So I'm excited, uh, I've been looking forward to this for a little while. So I'm gonna introduce to you Alyssa and Al Sedighravesh from Rather Be Properties. They've got four properties, I believe at the moment, but they may correct me on that in just a second.

[00:01:05] Um, And they're sort of based, I, not just in one location, but actually, uh, some in west coast, some up in the mountains. And, uh, we're gonna dive into their business and see what tips they can share with us. So welcome a along Alyssa and, and Al. Thank you. Thanks for having us. Cool. So let's get started.

[00:01:22] First of all, uh, for the pupil listening in and on the YouTube as well, what, uh, how did you get started in hospitality? Where did this, the hospitality bug begin? Hello. Listen, how that one?

Al & Elissa Intro

[00:01:34] Elissa: Yeah, so I worked for a resort in Australia, uh, the one and only, uh, I worked in a days bar in a resort, and then kind of, oh, I've always been in Fivestar hospitality for at least 10 to 12 years.

[00:01:51] I worked in that industry and loved it, but after having my first daughter who's almost five, I stopped working and became a stay-at-home mom, and then we've kind of dived back into in the last

[00:02:03] Liam: year-ish. Nice, nice. So hospitality allowed you to, you know, sort of, uh, work from home while you're, while you're sort of still got an income, is that right?

[00:02:13] Yeah.

[00:02:13] Al: Yep. She's a little bit modest too. I'll add, she worked at, i, I would say the top resort in all of Australia. Um, and. We have an interesting backstory, which we won't have time for on this call, but Alyssa and I met in Dubai about eight and a half years ago. Um, and she was contracted to the Atlantics Resort in Dubai to help manage that spot and to train a lot of their staff.

[00:02:35] So her background is heavily in five star hospitality with guests, with, um, guest interactions with wild service five star service, but also in. SOPs building standard operating procedures and training staff, um, which has been huge for us to be able to scale our business and as you'd mentioned, be able to work remote.

[00:02:54] Liam: You know, that is such a good background, just in general, but we often talk about what transferable skills from previous careers. But that is, you know, that is the, the number one thing isn't it, is recognizing how to host and how to have, uh, a good brand and that side of things, which is definitely, um, transferred to your, your places at the moment.

A bit about the properties

[00:03:15] So, Talk me through where did it go from there? So once you've, uh, decided to do hospitality, how did you get the properties and, and for the people listening, uh, you know, let's know a bit about where the properties are and, and what sort of avatar they serve.

[00:03:31] Al: Sure. Um, do you wanna do that one? So, um, I've had a background in residential real estate for.

[00:03:37] 12, 13 years now. Um, I kind of built my career in residential mortgage lending for the first 12 years, and then about, probably about a year before Covid actually hit, um, my brother, who's also in real estate, and I decided to start flipping properties. So, uh, local to Southern California. So myself, my brother, Fred Alyssa, and my sister-in-law, Johanna.

[00:03:59] Basically started a family flipping business. Alyssa was helping project manage. I was handling all the money with my background in finance, like I was very comfortable with money in raising capital and all that fun stuff. Um, and you know, we started working through that and flipping properties and, you know, we did great, especially through Covid.

[00:04:16] Um, but then it, eventually we got to the point where we realized like, you know, we can make 50 to a hundred thousand dollars on one standalone transaction, but. Wouldn't it be awesome to have passive income so we can eventually break out and be able to go do the things that we want to do on this earth while our kids are still young enough to where they enjoy spending time with us and we are mobile enough to where we can enjoy it too.

[00:04:36] So that was kind of where it started. And then, you know, we had a couple friends around us that were buying short-term rentals. Um, this was back in, uh, probably early 2021. So just beginning of last year, and we kind of started to get the short-term rental bug, right? Like a lot of people started to, it kind of became, started to become mainstream over the last two, three years, especially during Covid, at least in the States.

[00:04:58] Lots of places were locked down, lots of people started to travel locally and go, you know, enjoy short-term rentals, right? Get out of the whole hotel scene and kind of isolate. And then remote workers and all this stuff started to come up. So we started looking at this going, man, I think there's an opportunity here.

[00:05:13] So, We bought our first property last year, um, just over a year ago, and we just, we basically fall in love with the industry.

How long until you got your second, third and fourth

[00:05:20] Liam: With that first one. How did that help, you know, sort of, you know, generate towards your, or get you towards this kind of dream of being able to travel? So as you, you got that first one, how long was it until you got the second, the third, the fourth, um, and uh, what's that sort of journey look back.

[00:05:39] Al: So we launched the first property November of 2021. So we're closing out on our first full 12 month cycle. And I mean, within 30 days of launching it, the revenue was just, it was pretty wild, right? Like the revenue net targets on these short term rentals, I mean, they're doubles sometimes. Two and a half times that you can get on a long-term rental.

[00:05:57] Um, so we launched that first property. We obviously had a couple friends that were doing it, and we were very intrigued about how to set up systems, like I love systems and scaling and staff and leverage and all that fun stuff of building and growing a business. And coupled with Alyssa's just like innate skillset with, with hospitality and standard operating procedures, like we compliment each other well.

[00:06:20] Um, We've had our challenges working together, which we've worked through, but at the end of the day, we feel like we compliment each other well. So we got to the point where that first property hit. We bought the second property and closed on it before the end of 2021. And then, um, third property, we ended up closing about four or five months after.

[00:06:36] So about midway through this year. We just launched that one about two months ago. Um, we just brought on a, uh, I suppose a fourth property. Yeah, we just brought on a fourth property over the last few weeks while we've been out of the country traveling. Um, and then we have our eyes on a fifth one right now.

[00:06:52] That's actually a unique, uh, deal. And if we get, if we have time for that, I'll talk about it. Um,

A talk through the systems

[00:06:57] Liam: talk us through some of those systems or some of the tech that you're using in your business. The other host listening in might go, Hey, that could be something that could help

[00:07:05] Al: us. Um, so we first brought on, so our property management software that we use is Guesty for host.

[00:07:10] So we kind of started off with that. Um, we'll say obviously we lived through the school of hard knocks. Alyssa read a couple of books, um, to start to better understand Knox included. Yeah, your book included, or Mark's book included, I should say. Um, but we, we just kind of got to the point we're like, okay, we're starting to understand the guest interactions, all that fun stuff, but how do we.

[00:07:30] Break away from constantly being married to the phone, mainly Alyssa. Um, as we mentioned, I think we mentioned on the call, we have two daughters. We have a almost five-year-old and we have a three-year-old. And it's really important for us to be present with our daughters. That's one of the things that we hold true in our family, is we want to be the ones to raise them at the end of the day.

[00:07:47] So I've, I've got a hec hectic work schedule at times too, even when I'm working remote. So this is with our girls a lot during the day and, um, we wanted to. Create a business so that we have the leverage where we can still do it. All right? Make additional money, scale the business, be present with our family.

[00:08:01] Go travel. Um, So guess who for hosts. And then we started to plug in different tools to be able to help that, that process. One of them is a smart pricing engine, which we think is super crucial to any short-term rental business. We learned this the hard way. We probably would've cleared another, I'd say minimum of 10, possibly 15% revenue off of our first property in the last 12 months had we had the Smart pricing engine incorporated from day one.

[00:08:25] Um, so we used Price Labs for that. Um, And no bias towards it, but I highly recommend just getting some form of pricing, uh, smart pricing involved. And then there's a couple of tools that Alyssa uses that she absolutely loves. So I'll pass torch over to her.

[00:08:40] Elissa: Um, yeah, my absolute favorite is turn over B M b.

[00:08:43] I could not do anything without that. Just the communication between the check-in checkout and the cleaning. I know the property's being cleaned. Everything's been taken care of and I didn't really have to do much. So the automation there is what? Got our business

[00:09:00] Al: to the next level. Yeah. And that was a recent switch.

[00:09:03] We learned that cuz we had one cleaner on one of our properties who just, he was a nice guy, but he complained a lot. Right. And he charged probably 25 to 30% more than what we found the market was charging. I. Um, so we were kind of put between a rock and a hard place and then were forced to move over to turnover B and B, and it was the best decision that we made on that sector of the business.

[00:09:23] Um, so two things that that did. As Alyssa mentioned, it streamlined the process with cleans, but it also allowed us to take home 30% more revenue on that one property in the cleans per month. So that was huge. Um, we also have smart tech on all of our properties, so everything, pretty much everything we can manage remote.

[00:09:41] Um, Smart locks for the property. So we prefer to use sch is the provider that we use. Um, I got it on the first one worked great. We had it on our primary home, so we just started to scale using that. One of the big things we love about Schlog, and I know Yale and a couple of other, uh, o other providers will offer that now too, but they'll do automatic door codes per guest.

[00:09:59] So all of it's automated. A unique door code is, is generated, sent to the guest, automatic. It expires after they check out of the property. So it's safe, secure, all that fun stuff. Um, in America, we have ring, um, for our, for our, um, security cameras. Security cameras, thank yous for our, for our alarm system and our security cameras.

[00:10:19] So we like to have security cameras around the permit of the property. Um, for safety reasons. Some, you know, I won't go too deep into that, but we do enjoy that.


[00:10:27] Liam: Well, thank you so much for your time, uh, today. I hope, um, hope this has been, uh, fun for you. And did you have any closing comments before we close off the, uh, the podcast?

[00:10:36] Al: Just don't get into, um, I call it mental masturbation. Um, delete that out of the, uh, uh, if I'm not allowed to say that. But don't get into, you can say

[00:10:44] Liam: anything on the Boostly podcast. That's fine.

[00:10:47] Al: Uh, limit the mental masturbation, like you're literally gonna be in a place where you can overanalyze every aspect of this business and never take action.

[00:10:54] Get some books, get some knowledge on it, get into a mastermind group of some sort and just take action. Like, I don't think when we started this, we didn't think we'd be in this position 12 months later. Um, but just take the first step and then the second step and the third and eventually you're gonna have a few properties and of be all gravy.

[00:11:16] Liam: Hmm. Love it. Love it. Thank you very much Al. Thank you very much, Alyssa. We'll speak to again. Thanks ma'am. Bye having a blast. Gonna get it on the Bruce Lee podcast. Bruce Lee led Bruce Lee 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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