By The Hospitable Team
You are traveling around the world and remotely managing vacation rental properties on three continents. Sounds like a dream? For Jasper Ribbers, Co-founder of Overnight Success, that’s reality. Hear what Jasper and our CEO, Pierre-Camille, had to say about the digital nomad lifestyle and remote hosting in the fourth episode of our Hospitable Hosts podcast. Get ready for some inspirational insights!
Discovering Remote Hosting
Back in 2010, Jasper saw remote hosting as an opportunity to get a temporary break from his day-to-day job in finance. He put up his own apartment on Airbnb and set off to see the world. Soon, Jasper was surprised to see that his two-bedroom flat in Amsterdam was generating double what he initially expected. He put aside the prospects of coming back to the corporate world and turned his attention to these new opportunities.
“I recognized the potential pretty quickly. I noticed that my income went up after I did some more research: I tested some different things with pricing, upgrading my photos, the ways to communicate with guests, and all that. And I didn’t find any good enough information on these topics out there. So, I was like, ‘Okay, well, let me be that Airbnb person.’ So, I wrote a book, Get Paid for Your Pad, to kickstart the business and then I also started a podcast shortly after that.”
As Remote as It Gets
The popularity of short-term rentals only kept growing ever since, but so were the concerns of EU legislators. In 2017, an annual 30-day cap on short-term rentals was introduced in Amsterdam and Jasper had to switch strategies.
“The option was either I go to shady platforms or I just sell my house and buy property elsewhere. So, I decided to take that second option. I sold the flat and then I bought three other apartments in places around the world that I thought were really cool and that they would do really well long term. So, I bought a place in Colombia, the Philippines, and Thailand.”
The Three “Aha” Moments
Jasper gained impressive experience throughout the years that helped him discover the not-so-obvious “aha” moments, as he calls them. The first lesson he learned was to look at the property from the guest’s perspective to identify his needs. The second learning was working with pricing algorithms to maximize profits. Communication became the third and biggest “aha” moment.
“Communication is really important for a good guest experience. You need to send information in a way that guests are actually going to enjoy consuming it. Sending them what they need and when they need it, not just dropping a giant message on their heads. Because the guests are saying, ‘I don’t want to read a book before I check in.’ So, you have to be ready for their questions.”
Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.
That’s why Jasper became one of the first Hospitable users and supporters. But technology hasn’t always been by his side when it comes to guest communication and on-site management. Back in the day, he had to hire a cleaning lady to meet and greet the guests and an online assistant from the Philippines to communicate with the guests during his sleeping hours.
“There are obviously different ways of doing it. And the last way is just doing everything yourself, which is what I’m doing now with the help of technology. Not only in terms of messaging or management. Managing units you have never visited forces you to get creative: going on Google Street View to really understand how to get there, what the street looks like, what the parking situation is, stuff like that.”
Your Personal Remote Hosting Success
Jasper went a long way to figure out all possible solutions to his remote hosting lifestyle. The road to successful hosting included aligning personal goals and income ambitions, going through the hosting experience first-hand, and rationally coming up with the final strategy.
“If you start renting I think it’s a good practice to just live somewhere nearby for a couple of months and do everything yourself to figure out who your guests are. You have to understand the whole surrounding process, too: how to create a listing, how to do the pricing, etc. Only then do you decide how to manage it in the long run, ‘Do I want to do it myself? Do I want to hire a person who’s going to be responsible for my unit? Or do I want to hire a local property management company?’ That’s the main decision you have to make.”
In the past 10 years, we’ve seen a growing competition among hosts and increasing guest expectations. This trend will continue as the short-term rental and vacation rental industry matures at a fast pace. Jasper spotted three main factors fueling the industry growth that you might want to consider.
“First, I think people are going to be looking for unique, I always call it, instagrammable experiences. If somebody walked into this space, would they pull out their phone and take an Instagram story or not? If the answer is no, then you got to do something.”
“Number two, the ecosystem changed and Hospitable is a part of this. There are so many services and technology companies that help you with the hosting process. Those are the things that have really changed the game.”
“Number three, I think that hosts are becoming much more professional and educated. When I started, there was no information out there. Right now, there are tons of books and courses you can take; there’s so much education in the space now.”
Curious to listen to the full episode? Get all the latest industry insights from renowned experts in our Hospitable Hosts podcast!
Vacation rental industry trends, necessary tech and software, direct bookings, and lucrative investments. These are just some of the topics Hospitable CEO Pierre-Camille and Simon Lehmann, CEO & Founder of AJL Atelier, discussed in the third episode of our Hospitable Hosts podcast.
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