Understanding Your Target Customer Avatar To Perfect Your Niche

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In this podcast, host Liam discusses vacation rental strategies with Alysia Clements, co-owner of ColoradoFurnishedRentals.com. 

They offer pet-friendly, fully furnished properties for those relocating to Colorado. Key success factors include property diversity and pet-friendly amenities. Alysia recommends efficient systems, TurnoverB&B for cleaners, PriceLabs for pricing, and Awning.com for property analysis.

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[00:00:00] Liam: So one of the things that we like to talk about is understanding your guest avatar. And there's no better way to do that than to walk in their shoes, to go through what they're doing. And this is what we're going to be talking about on today's podcast. It is understanding your target avatar.

[00:00:17] And, uh, really niching or niching down depending on if you're US or, um, European. And, uh, to do that, we've got a special guest with us, uh, today who we're going to go behind the host today on the Boostly podcast and really dive into her business and how she successfully understands her niche and the guests and what they need, um, when they come to stay in her properties.

[00:00:41] So if this is the first time you've listened to the Boosley podcast, this is the podcast that gives hosts the tools, the tactics, the training, and most importantly, the confidence to go out there and get more direct bookends. My name's Liam Carolan. I'm Mark Simpson's co-host. And today we have Alicia Clements.

[00:00:58] Uh, she's from Colorado furnished rentals. com. She's the co-owner and I'm eager to find out really how she Niches down into, into our guests and, um, yeah, some of them, the journey that she's gone on. So welcome along. How are you doing?

[00:01:14] Alysia: I'm doing great. Thanks for having me on.

[00:01:17] Liam: So first question, can you introduce your business?

[00:01:20] And, um, Let us know why, why you have Colorado furnished rentals. How did this idea come about?

A bit about Colorado Furnished Rentals

[00:01:29] Alysia: Yeah. So we started Colorado furnished rentals about three years ago, and we focus on people who are relocating to Colorado. So our client avatar is people who are moving to the area and we provide the service where they can stay in one of our beautifully furnished rentals.

[00:01:46] They, we usually specialize in three beds, two baths, fully, um. We are in the backyard and we're pet-friendly. So if they have dogs or things like that, they can stay there and they can try before they buy or live like a local and stay in one of our properties. Try out one of the cities. See if they like it before they, you know, decide to buy or sign a lease or anything like that.

[00:02:06] And it came from. A necessity that we needed back when my family moved to Colorado about eight years ago, this service wasn't provided back then. And so it was either signing a one-year lease or staying in a really expensive hotel, which for a family of four with two dogs was just not ideal very cramped. And so, um, We ended up having to buy a camper and stay in a camper.

[00:02:34] It was only supposed to be for three months and ended up being 18 months just because we couldn't compete in the housing market at the time. We couldn't bring 50, 000 cash over asking, which is what the market was demanding back then.

Are your properties based in one city or spread out  

[00:02:45] Liam: Are all your properties based in like one city or are they spread out?

[00:02:48] How does, how does this work for your business?

[00:02:51] Alysia: Yeah, so we strategically spread them out all over northern Colorado. So we have some down Fort Collins up to Denver and even some, um, a little bit past Denver, like the Southern Denver area. And we put them, so we have 30 properties and we put them in different cities.

[00:03:07] So people can decide like, you know, living in Fort Collins is a lot different than living in downtown Denver or even Boulder. And so there's Or maybe you want to try out a small town. So there's Birthday Colorado. We have a few there. And so there's just so many, like, it's all in Colorado, but there's so many different experiences and just kind of, it's nice to have them spread out so that people can like stay in downtown Denver for a month.

[00:03:32] They can try out Boulder for a month. You know, they can see which area suits their lifestyle the best.

[00:03:38] Liam: What amenities attract your ideal guests? What would you say? What, what is the reason that they're booking with you as opposed to, uh, other, other properties?

[00:03:47] Alysia: So we focus on all of our properties three bedrooms, two baths.

[00:03:51] They have, you know, a fully stocked kitchen. And then we make sure that there's a fully fenced-in backyard and we're pet friendly. So, you know, a lot of times our ideal clients are families or couples who are moving to the area. They have pets, you know, there's not a lot of rentals out there that are pet friendly, and so that's kind of our niche because we have two dogs.

[00:04:09] We moved with two dogs. That was one of the reasons why it was so hard for us to move here because no one wanted to lease to us and Airbnb wasn't pet friendly. You know, things like that. So I say being pet friendly, having a fully fenced-in backyard for their dogs, uh, is super, it sets us apart from other Airbnbs for sure.

Advice looking back

[00:04:27] Liam: Looking back, is there anything that you do that you'd go back to yourself, uh, back in the early days and say, Hey, we should have done this instead. What advice would you have for yourself?

[00:04:36] Alysia: Yeah. So we grew pretty fast. So we started our first Airbnb and then had that for about a year. Then we went to three and then in the last 15 months, we went from three to 30.

[00:04:48] So we kind of exploded all of a sudden and we didn't have the systems in place ahead of time before we exploded. So we didn't have automation systems set up. We weren't running like a big business cause we only had three Airbnbs. We didn't have to run like a big business. And then. Once we exploded, because it was kind of, we were trying to expand, but not that fast.

[00:05:09] And so once we exploded, all of our time was spent. Managing the properties, guest communications, fixing things when the properties would break, because when you have 30 properties, something's always breaking, a guest always needs something, and so, um, we got spread thin fast, and we were wearing a lot of hats, there were even times where we were the cleaners for all of these properties like we didn't have a cleaning crew, it was insane, and so, if you're looking to expand, Make sure you have all these systems in place beforehand, because it's a lot harder to put all the, you know, set aside time to put all these systems in place when you're already huge.

[00:05:53] Like, it's really hard, It would have been a lot easier when we had more time freedom to set up all these, you know, systems and processes, and you implement. Or integrate tech and all that stuff. And then, you know, back when we had three properties versus now we have 30 and it's kind of hard to, um, like go back and set all that stuff up.

[00:06:17] So definitely get set up correctly when you first start, don't do it later.

What systems or tech have been successful

[00:06:23] Liam: Um, what systems processes or tech would you say that you utilize the most in your business? What has been successful for you?

[00:06:32] Alysia: So the biggest thing for us was finding reliable cleaners and cleaning crews and someone who will always show up.

[00:06:40] And that was a big problem for us for a long time, actually probably until the last six months. And what changed that for us was turnover B& B. And so we put all of our, we put all of our properties on there, synced all of our calendars, started, I mean, it was a little bit of a hassle to set up because you have to find your cleaners, you know, they send you bids, and then you got to talk with them and try them out, see if they do a good job, but what's nice about it is they come with reviews, so it's kind of like how the Airbnb platform works, you know, your guests come with views, all these cleaners come with reviews.

[00:07:12] So if they don't have five-star reviews, you know, obviously you're not going to hire them for the project and they're trained specifically for Airbnbs because that's their business and what they do. And so once we implemented that, that was amazing because now we don't have to touch it. We don't have to worry about the cleaning schedule.

[00:07:27] Everything is like automated. We can, you know, message, our cleaners right from the app. And they accept projects as they come on and, you know, since the calendars are synced, like it shows when guests are checking out, checking in and, you know, it also has like an area where the cleaners can tell us what supplies are needed.

[00:07:45] If there's any problems, stained sheets, stained rugs, anything like that. And so that saved us so much time. So that was the first one. And then the second one was the price lab. So not having to adjust our prices all the time because we were doing that all manually ourselves. And so then we implemented price labs.

[00:08:01] And, you know, that adjusts the price based on the demand in the area for all 30 of our Airbnbs and that we were so through the winter, we are having a little bit of a slowdown and places weren't booking as much. But as soon as we implemented price labs and they started adjusting the prices more often and more competitive pricing, we started seeing an increase in booking.

[00:08:19] So that. That was great as well. And then awning. com is what we have been using to, like, find where successful properties will be, to kind of analyze the numbers. And because we work with a lot of investors, we help, we specialize in helping investors purchase high-performing Airbnbs. And then we also help them manage it too, once they purchase the property.

[00:08:39] And so we use Awning to analyze all the numbers and show them how, um,

[00:08:45] Liam: Having a blast, gonna get it on the Boostly podcast. Bruce Lee likes Bruce Lee cause it's so hard and the T is loose. Making up those rhymes, don't write it just do it loosely.