The Easiest way to connect with corporate clients

The Easiest Way to Connect with Corporate Clients

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 588.

In this episode of the Boostly podcast, co-host Liam Carlin interviews Vivian Yip, a short-term rental host from Austin, Texas.

Vivian talks about her transition from short-term to mid-term rentals and how she is setting up a corporate rentals website with the help of Boostly as her tech support.

Vivian shares her passion for hospitality and how she got into the business when she was just 17 years old.

She talks about the changes she made to her properties to accommodate mid-term stays and why she would have allowed pets in hindsight.

Vivian also shares her biggest successes in the business, including selling her short-term rental property and reinvesting the money into a distressed duplex in the city of Austin.

The episode concludes with a discussion about the challenges of running a hospitality business during the pandemic and how mid-term rentals have been affected.

Here's the video for this episode:

Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Intro
00:36 – Vivian Intro
01:21 – How did you get into hospitality
04:49 – What was the biggest challenge along the way
06:46 – How has having a good brand and niche helped your business
09:38 – Outro

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Transcript from the Episode

Intro

[00:00:00] Liam: Hello and welcome to the latest episode of the Boostly podcast. This is the podcast that gives hosts the tools, the tactics, and indeed the training, and of course, the confidence so you can go out there to get more direct bookings. My name is Liam Carlan. I'm Mark Simpson's co-host, and today we are going behind the host, uh, we've got Vivian Yip, and she is a interesting host who is trying out a really cool new feature.

[00:00:26] For the websites, but also who's got a great backstory to share as well. So welcome along Vivian. Thank you for being here.

[00:00:32] Vivian: Thanks, Liam. I'm very excited to be here with Boostly podcast.

[00:00:36] Liam: If you wanted to give yourself an introduction, uh, where your business is in the world and what sort of business model that you run.

Vivian Intro

[00:00:43] Vivian: Sure. I live in Austin, Texas. And I have been focused in the midterm rental space now since 2020, and we are starting something very new and exciting here along with Boostly as our tech support. And we're starting a corporate rentals website where we can, uh, offer, you know, connect. People that offer midterm stays, like super hosts on Airbnb and connect them with insurance contracts, relocation specialists, and just offering this really cool membership program to come on board and, um, you know, do, uh, Do the midterm stays.

How did you get into hospitality

[00:01:21] Liam: How did you get into hospitality in the first place? How did all this come

[00:01:25] Vivian: about? Well, this goes back to when I was 17 years old and I'm 43 now, but I got a job at a hotel when I was living in Hong Kong, and that was my first taste of hospitality. And ever since I was 17, I've just loved hospitality. But over time, you know, The idea of trying to buy a hotel just baffled me, like, how do you even come up with the money for that?

[00:01:49] So, you know, along comes Airbnb and I think the model is great for someone that is interested in both real estate and hospitality. So I bought my first property in the northern suburbs of Austin back in 2019. It was a distressed property, putting my magic on it, and flipped it into this gorgeous Airbnb.

[00:02:11] And we did really great with it. Loved hospitality still. Um, unfortunately the pandemic hit and put my business to a halt, and that's when I changed into the midterm model and learned that it's actually a thing. Was

[00:02:25] Liam: there anything, or any aspects of your properties that that had to change to suit the more people who weren't coming for leisure, but.

[00:02:34] I guess what I'm asking is, did the amenities, were the amenities different, the needs for the midday instead of the short-term stay?

[00:02:42] Vivian: Luckily for me, because I was, I already considered myself a professional, short-term rental host. I put a lot of thoughtfulness in the property already, and I didn't have a lot of gimmicks, like pool tables or anything like that, so I didn't really have to change much.

[00:02:57] But if I had to redo it again, I think I would definitely have put better beds in it. Uh, I probably would not have spent money on a disco ball. I had a disco ball, um, hanging from the ceiling, just, you know, as a fun, cute amenity and, um, I think I would've allowed pets. Why the

[00:03:18] Liam: pets have of interest, just to dive into that.

[00:03:20] Well,

[00:03:21] Vivian: you know, a lot of the people that come into midterm stays are usually impacted by insurance, or they have, they're relocating as a family. And you know, when you come to a place like Austin, almost everybody has an animal, right? Either a cat or a dog. And I think it's a super dog friendly place. So I would say, you know, a lot of my bookings or a lot of the families that come do come with their, their fur friends, their fur family.

[00:03:47] What

[00:03:47] Liam: has been the biggest success so far in the business? Ooh, the

[00:03:52] Vivian: biggest, there's probably a few. The first wow moment was, uh, selling my round rock, short-term rental. Um, I quit my job because I lost all my hair from stress, so I needed to sell that property so that I had something to fall back on. And what surprised me was that I reinvested that money.

[00:04:12] Funny enough, I sold it, but then I ended up reinvesting it because I had a chance to, um, I reinvested all that money into a duplex, and it was in the city of Austin. Which is, you know, obviously the values are higher, but it was again, a distressed property that I was able to renovate and make it nice and pretty again.

[00:04:32] And what really surprised me about that was I love small multi-family because even if one side's not rented, the other side is still paying for it. And in a midterm model that can be very lucrative. So that was definitely a good surprise for me.

What was the biggest challenge along the way

[00:04:49] Liam: What was the biggest challenge along the way so far? Uh,

[00:04:53] Vivian: let me think.

[00:04:53] The biggest challenge really, uh, just trying to navigate around the market saturation here in Austin. There's a lot of Airbnb listings here, so you've really have to find a way to differentiate yourself in this business, which now we have six midterm rentals and I've developed a brand to help differentiate our properties from the rest of them out there.

[00:05:16] You know, with the midterm stay, our amenities are a bit different than short-term rentals. Some people in the short-term rental space might not really care about the kind of beds they offer, and they might a buy a a $300, one of those rollup beds that ship from Amazon. Whereas we really focus on nice beds.

[00:05:34] You know, we have $2,400 mattresses in our, in our units. Mm-hmm. Right, so that that sleep and luxury sleep experience is important to our guests. So I wanna differentiate that with a brand. So that's, you know, the, you can see behind me, um, Hestia is the Greek goddess of hospitality. So you'll see those on our listings that, you know, when you see that you can recognize that that is the midterm brand.

[00:05:57] Liam: How do you find the locations that work for, for short term rentals or for midterm rentals?

[00:06:03] Vivian: So I think that midterm rentals work really well in urban markets. Um, just like in real estate, if you're a real estate investor, the, for me, the, the, the golden rule of location, location, location still stands. I know it's extremely cliche, but when you're close to those major highways, you're close to major employers, you're close to good schools, and you're close to, um, you know, hospitals.

[00:06:28] Those four key factors can really help you in becoming a successful midterm rental because that's why people, Stay in midterm rentals. They, they work at hospitals or they work at, uh, big companies and they're relocating. You know, it's just that, that, that rules just really worked out for us.

How has having a good brand and niche helped your business

[00:06:46] Liam: How has having that good brand and nicheing down helped your business, and what advice would you want to give them?

[00:06:55] Vivian: Hmm. I think just, you know, if you have more than one property, try to deliver. A consistent stay. A consistent stay that resonates with what your values are, and that will help you in developing what your brand is about. So for me, I really like modern, sort of mid-century modern looks. I love live plants, really big, beautiful couches, luxury beds, uh, you know, things like that.

[00:07:23] So that's what, that's what my brand is about. So if you have a brand that's really into maybe the big maximalism kind of properties with lots of art and lots of throw blankets, you know, then develop a brand around that. And that way when they see your name and your brand and that listing, they know that's exactly what they're gonna get.

[00:07:43] So definitely pick something that's, you know, close to you that you're passionate about.

[00:07:48] Liam: What would you say is the sort of key pieces of tech you use, whether we name one or two, and then we'll deep dive into, uh, into the, the website as well, which me eager to do well

[00:07:58] Vivian: with, uh, six of my own properties and managing several others.

[00:08:02] The saving grace for me is having a p m S system. And, you know, I looked at four major pmms players when I was trying to move off, you know, the Airbnb platform. And I was frustrated that I was managing communications from Airbnb and VRBO and having to log into different accounts and whatnot. Um, a P M S system was definitely something that really, uh, you know, kept my sanity.

[00:08:27] So I ended up choosing owner rez. And Owner Rez has been great for me because in the midterm rental space, you wanna make sure that you are. Um, covered from a legal standpoint and one of the great things about Owner Re is that when they, when the guest books either on VRBO or on Airbnb or even direct, they are led down, um, a Valley of Legal agreements, right?

[00:08:52] There's one legal agreement that they have to sign, and that's a legal agreement between the guest and my property and me. In addition, they upload their ID as part of the access as part of the. The agreement that way, you know, even though the booking came from Airbnb, they're still having to do those things.

[00:09:12] And I own, uh, a rental agreement and I can now verify the ID myself to make sure that that matches the rental agreement. So that's been a really important part. Um, when you go into midterm stays, you wanna make sure you're very careful with who you're booking to. Um, you wanna, you know, ensure that the person that's staying in your property is actually representing.

[00:09:31] Um, the ID representative of the ID that you get cuz you don't want to get into squatting issues or tenant tenant eviction problems.

Outro

[00:09:38] Liam: Thank you so much, Vivian, for, for joining us today and thank you too. If you're listening in on the Boostly podcast or watching on the YouTube channel, I know there's a lot of places you can put your attention and I really appreciate you spending that attention with Lee.

[00:09:51] I hope you've picked up some, uh, great tips today. I certainly have the thoughts around flexi stays and midterm stays is so important. Finding a right p m s, which will allow you to take. Contract from a guest, you know, when you need it done. And also this new tool, this new scraper tool on the Boostly websites, which is amazing.

[00:10:10] I'm excited to see where this goes. The fact that you can then charge subscriptions, all ads, splits these revenue streams as a host and hospitality business owner where you can get extra revenue coming in and become the key person of influence in your market, which is cool. So Vivian, that's uh, that's it for me.

[00:10:27] Is there any closing comments, anything I missed or any last shares? Um,

[00:10:33] Vivian: not really, but you know, just bring me support and follow us on, on Instagram and um, hopefully if you come and visit Austin, you can come and be my

[00:10:41] Liam: guest. Awesome. I'm gonna give you a follow as soon as we finish this episode and, um, yeah, I'll look forward to seeing some of the properties on there.

[00:10:49] Thanks again to today, Vivian and, uh, Bye having a blast. Gonna get it on the Bruce

[00:10:56] Vivian: Lee podcast, Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard and the tea is loose leaf. Picking up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.

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