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Welcome to Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat, Serial Entrepreneur Secrets Revealed. Today, we’re talking all about Airbnbs. Airbnb startups. And we’re talking with the founder of GetawayGoGo. A last minute vacation rental startup concept. And this individual is a serial entrepreneur. He is someone we can learn an awful lot about on this show because we love to learn from serial entrepreneurs.

So if you don’t know this and you’re listening to this in podcast, uh, we actually run a live show every Friday at 2 o’clock Eastern. And it’s with a live audience and you can come on stage. You can ask questions. Of our guest speakers or of the panel, uh, or you can also share your experiences. The community of Clubhouse is absolutely phenomenal.

The community of Startup Club is amazing. It’s the, it’s the reason why Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat, the book that we launched in October, became a number one bestseller on Amazon in 13 separate categories. And, uh, we’re, we’re about to announce Michele, uh, who’ll be joining us in a second. We’re about to announce that, uh, it also has been chosen as one of the three finalists for the Benjamin Franklin Independent Book Publishers Award.

And that’s something that we just heard about a couple days ago. It’s gonna come out, by the time you hear this in podcast, it will have already been out for a couple weeks, but But those who are on stage or those who are alive, you’re getting this a little bit ahead of the head of the announcement that Forbes books will be publishing next week about the book, Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat.

All right, Bradley, I’m so excited we have you here today. You are a serial entrepreneur, and I don’t even know which way we should go here. Like, because I know a lot of our listeners want to understand about how do I get into the Airbnb business? And but the same time, I’m like, A kid in a candy shop. I really want to talk to you about your serial entrepreneur career and about your concept, get away, go, go.

So maybe we can. You know, maybe we can push that to the last 15 minutes of the, of the show and maybe talk early on about just, you know, what’s it take to launch a successful Airbnb. What do you think? Yeah, well, it’s so great to be here, Colin. I mean, what a privilege to be invited on the show. And, um, uh, I, I’ll tell you that I thought your book was also like, I was a kid in a candy shop because all the things that you did and the processes, it actually comforted me in a lot of ways because I thought, here is somebody that I can relate with.

There’s not everybody that I, you know, just walk along the street, people you meet that kind of go down this road. Uh, it’s a challenging road, but a fun road of being an entrepreneur and, uh, to have read your book was just so fun. And I think it’s, I think it’s interesting that. You know, entrepreneurs like to read about other entrepreneurs, um, either for, you know, the same reasons that I do.

Cause I just, I like to, I like to hear stories, uh, of success and, and, and whatever, but I, uh, I just have to say that, um, it was, it was really fun reading your book and, and, uh, um, I read it actually about one and a half times, so, yeah, and, and, you know, entrepreneurship is a trade, it’s a trade like any other trade and we need to continue to sharpen.

That like sharpen the sword. We need to always make it better. And we do that by learning. Let me tell you this, uh, Bradley, when you write your Airbnb book, we will read it back to back. I’ll tell you why, because we have 13 Airbnbs, uh, as a company called escape club that runs in our incubator. Uh, we’ve done a lot of, we’ve done a lot of really smart things and we’ve done a lot of stupid things.

Well, you know, and that’s, and that’s just part of being an entrepreneur, right? So, all right. So just jumping in on as far as like, uh, uh, starting a vacation rental business. And, and I think that, you know, first of all, I mean, we, I had a vacation rental property management company called beachside vacation rentals.

We also had a midterm, uh, property company. Company called OC Furnished Rentals, and that was for 30 day or more rentals. So we had, I had two of those companies for 10 years and we ended up selling those so I could build getaway go go, but Through the process, I’ve actually counseled quite a few people.

We’ve managed a lot of properties, um, including our own. We have five vacation rentals ourself, um, my wife and I, and there’s a lot of people. Um, and it happens every week, even now, even though I, after I’ve sold those companies several years ago, I have people calling me and asking me, you know, what should I buy this property?

What do you think about vacation rentals and, you know, getting into vacation rental market? I mean, there’s several things that you first have to ask yourself, number one is, uh, if you’re just on your first vacation, rental property, first furnished rental is, is it allowed? Is it allowed in your area? You know, uh, is there demand?

Is there demand in your area for a, for furnished rentals? And you just kind of start with that. And then of course, then you. You say, well, okay, what property are people looking for? What is, uh, you know, what, what are the prices? What’s the return on investment? All those just basic, right. Um, property investor questions that you would, that you would start with.

I had a friend who called his, and he was asking me about, Um, and I advised him based on their, you know, capability and their, and their, uh, uh, you know, risk, you know, assessing their risk and everything else, um, and how much work they wanted to do. They weren’t a good fit. So not everybody’s a good fit. It sounds like a good idea.

Wow. We’re, you know, these guys are making incredible money and whatnot, but you know, it, you’re owning a property. You are furnishing this property. You, you know, you need to decorate it appropriately and you can’t just get, you know, Yard sale furniture and put this in there and people are just going to rent it.

I mean, there’s a lot of competition that’s out there right now. You need to understand your return on investment on what that really is. I mean, I think a lot of times, you know, the, the whole concept of, of the, of the E myth, right. You know, people are good at a certain thing. Well, I, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m really good at this and that, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into.

You know, being a business owner or, you know, owning a business. So, you know, I think before, before jumping in to, um, you know, just saying, well, vacation rounds sound really good. You know, this whole Airbnb thing is making a lot of money, really evaluating the things that I was saying and other things that people are listening, you know, that are talking about online before you.

You know, before you jump. So I would say that’s, that’s the very start. Yeah. And I think you’re onto something there. Like you really need to figure out your why. Uh, and also, uh, there is a unique formula for every business. Yeah. There’s a unique strategy and you touched upon a few areas here. So let’s kind of break that down.

A couple of things. Welcome Michele, our co host. She is our co host on StartScale. Thanks for speaking. Serial entrepreneur secrets revealed. Michele is a co owner in one of the Airbnbs, Bradley, as well. So this is very, like you, like this topic is a really, really cool topic. It’s really relevant for us.

But it’s also an interesting business because you can actually run your day job and actually do this on the side. And I sort of like that. It’s one of those businesses that, especially if you get a management company, That you can do on your side. But my first question to you, so let’s talk, let’s break down the formula just a little bit here.

Location. Let’s like, you know, some locations work and some don’t. Can you talk a little bit about that? And then maybe Michele, you can share your experiences. Yeah, sure. And, and, and really, I mean, it’s really interesting is that, is that the, uh, and when I, when I say like, and when you’re saying like some locations work and some don’t, then you have to think about the mindset of the traveler.

Okay. So, and, and what is their reason for coming into town? So if they’re coming in, like I’m in, I’m in Southern California, San Clemente, California, where a little beach town that is kind of wedged between San Diego County and, um, the rest of Orange County. And, and our business beach side vacation rentals, we serviced from long beach, which is South LA County.

And then all the way through all the beach towns and Huntington beach, Laguna beach, all the famous, you know, Newport beach and down into San Diego. And, and the reason that we chose That area, and I’ll just go through my mindset was that it was very popular. Right? So either you’re going to, you’re going to go, it has, what does it have?

It has the beach. So, and I know that people want to go to the beach. It’s a high demand area. If I’m going to build a business, then I want to build a business where there’s a lot of demand. I’m from a little town in central California called Turlock. And. And, uh, and it’s just a small town, you know, in this, in the central valley.

Well, the demand is going to be, if I decided, well, I was going to buy a property there while they’re cheaper there. Uh, and I could, you know, put furnished rental there and service people that are, you know, coming into town to visit friends and relatives and that sort of thing, well, my price point is going to be a certain number and my demand is going to be a certain number, not, not a lot of people.

You know, coming to Turlock, but there’s a lot of people coming to San Clemente and a lot of people coming to Newport beach and Laguna beach and all those different areas. And so if you want to maximize your investment, then you always want to look at, well, where’s the most demand. Okay. So that, that, uh, if you’re, and then also, for instance, if you’re going to put the properties that are closer to the beach, like walking distance to the beach are different than the properties that are, uh, drive to the beach, even in San Clemente.

So, okay, people are going to come to San Clemente, beautiful beach town, but they have to get in their car and they’re driving, you know, 15, 10 minutes down to the beach where you’re going to get a different price point. You’re going to get a different kind of a customer that is, that is there. And that’s what you, that’s what you have to think about.

So, you know, obviously the whole real estate idea of location, location, location is. is really important when you’re making, when you’re making that investment. So, and then if you’re in a bad part of town, like, wow, this is a, you know, inexpensive house and, you know, in this, uh, or apartment in this area, but it’s not a great part of town either because of, you know, being far or it’s on a hill or it’s just in a rough neighbor, you know, part of town.

Well, that’s, you know, that’s not going to be a great place. You know, location either right by a freeway, um, you know, busy, a busy street or, you know, next to, uh, you know, next to a waste processing plant or something like that. Right. So, you know, there’s, there’s good locations and there’s, there’s, you know, not great locations, but there’s all kinds of reasons why people come to town.

Right. That’s what we like to say. Well, why, why are people coming to town? Why, why are they coming here? And then identifying who your customer is, is, is really important. You know, is it, is it out of towners? Uh, is it people like with our OC furnished rentals? It was mostly insurance, uh, insurance issues like a fire or a flood or people are moving in town because they’re transitioning from one job to another, or they are, um, you know, they’re doing remodeling their house.

Uh, and so they need a place to live while their house is being remodeled. Well, the 30 day or more furnished rentals, uh, that, that’s a great, that’s a great fit for them. And because it’s 30 days or more, you don’t have a lot of the short term restrictions as well. You can build an amazing midterm rental business in an area that does not allow short term rentals, but you can, you know, you can increase your revenue 50 to, To a hundred percent just because you have it furnished and you know who your customer is.

Michele, did you want to, uh, add to the location conversation before we move on to? Yeah, I, I, I, we totally agree with you. Um, but one thing that I think we’ve also found is, you know, amenities because the way that Airbnb specifically does their algorithm. And plus, if people are looking at properties side by side.

You know, we know a photos like really, really good photos, um, really make a huge difference. I think that’s across the platform, um, across the board. I, I used to actually work at rent. com and we did a lot of A B testing and analytics. And we also found easily three X. Your conversion rate, if you had really good photos, uh, it shocks me some of the bad photos that people will post.

And then one thing we’re finding is really having a full menu of amenities and actually Airbnb publishes list of here are the things that you should have. I’m also kind of always amazed that people don’t put that, take the time. On their listings to put things that they’ve been told will help the Airbnb perform So i’m interested in your thoughts on that as well Bradley.

Oh, absolutely. I mean, there’s a lot of reasons why when you look at the best performing, the best performing properties versus the properties that are kind of a lot of times left at the last minute. Um, it, it, professional photos is my number one recommendation. And when we were it. Doing the vacation rental property management.

And like I said, we still have five properties. So we make sure that our, our photos are professional and we make sure that, you know, we analyze and studied my backgrounds in marketing, market research, cetera. So when we first jumped into this. Uh, 15 years ago, then I looked at what are the top hotels doing?

What are the top performing properties that, you know, and we were watching a lot of fixer upper and chip and Joanne, what are they doing? And so we, you know, really looked at like, we created a formula based off of, uh, based off of those things like current. Current, um, style. So professional photos absolutely have to have professional photos.

There’s no excuse for that white duvet and sheets on the beds. Like when you see a property that has like, maybe like color on the, on the beds, I mean, hotels don’t do that. We didn’t do that. And all a hundred percent of our, you know, all the properties we managed were dead, like white duvet sheets on the beds, big pillows, did the whole thing, just make it look like a hotel bed.

Uh, and then, you know, I mean, there’s all kinds of. There’s all kinds of advice, man. I have dozens of things I could say. Again, I sense the book coming, because there’s so much, I don’t know if we have too much time to cover this, but uh, what you’re saying there, every Airbnb we have has a Western Heavenly bed with um, Western Heavenly mattresses, uh, bedding, all white, and pillowcases and all that stuff, and nice pillows.

Uh, it’s absolutely important. You know, I can’t tell you how many times, uh, my wife and I have gone to an Airbnb And it’s been a horror show. One time, like you go there and there was like, please do not touch the meat in the freezer, right? Another time it was, um, uh, the air conditioning was not working properly.

And then we, but we in the same place, we wanted to get propane for the barbecue, but we had to go get it ourselves. And another time the mattresses were so hard and bad. We just like, we couldn’t handle this anymore. See, we love airbnbs because they have the experience that you know, you have a kitchen you can have it’s more room You got usually some activities and hotels rooms can also be very depressing But at least they’re clean and they have good mattresses and whatnot But we know what if you could combine the both both of them and that you know That’s the concept that we did for our airbnbs I will add to location.

I know we skipped through that pretty quickly But I will add that in our and i’m curious what your thought about this is so strategically buying properties that work for airbnb You And I had a friend who bought a property in Fort Lauderdale, and we have AirBnBs in Fort Lauderdale and North Captiva. I had a friend who bought an AirBnB in Fort Lauderdale, it didn’t work out very well.

And in his case, he bought in a really nice neighborhood, residential, you know, a really nice school district, A rated, and by the way, you pay for that, right? And my AirBnBs were in, you know, they were in a decent neighborhood, but close to very urban. You know, closer to the downtown where people can walk to the mall or or even the beach if they want to and and, um, they tended to be a little bit.

The school district was not good, right? So we were able to get the properties at a much lower rate than the sort of high end neighborhood. And so we came with up with a philosophy either close to the beach or close to the city center. What are your thoughts on that? Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, I mean, cause that’s the big, that’s the big draw is that, uh, for instance, uh, we have, uh, we have a triplex in Newport beach and kids can walk right to the beach and, um, without their parents because it’s just, it’s so close and there’s no road in front of it.

Well, One road there, you know, like three properties away is the main road Balboa Boulevard that’s going down It’s very fast and and this is a you know, we’re not talking about like you have to drive to the beach you still have to drive to the beach, but you have to cross a busy road and the properties that are Walkable without that, that road, um, are infinitely

more popular, uh, better, uh, better rent, um, as well. So yeah, I completely agree. You want to be near where people are at. I’m a huge fan of that. We’re always looking at those kinds of advantages as part of the formula. And then since Michele brought up the listing, are there any other tips you might have for the listing?

I mean, we have one little hack that we do where We actually buy units beside them, beside each other. And, and, and correct me if I’m wrong, because we could be screwing up something here too, because you might have a different perspective. So, um, but we’ve gone like really far. We have one, they’re not developed yet, but we have one place has four properties beside each other.

But in any case, the idea is that we get multiple listings, right? So if you have two properties beside each other, you can actually have three listings on Airbnb. And that will give you more exposure because you can rent all of the listings. It’s, let’s say a seven bedroom compound or whatever, or you can rent a three bedroom or you can rent a four bedroom.

Um, and sometimes if you have a duplex or triplex, which we do have beside each other, then we can, we have one situation. We have a duplex and a triplex right beside each other. And I think we have seven listings on Airbnb just for that, that those, those two, two, two buildings. Um, That’s just one little hack, you know, but do you have any other ideas or thoughts around?

Well, you know, listen, we talked about photos already. Um, You know, is there anything else you might be able to add? Yeah, sure We do the same thing with uh with our triplex You have it basically it’s a fourth listing which has all three of them as well And we used to do that with our multi properties as well.

I mean, I think that there’s you know uh, I think you really want it from a You’re going to want to continually Yield prices. So, I mean, I know we’re talking about amenities and Michele talked about amenities, having all the amenities that are there. You got to have all those. It’s hotel quality. You got to have to rethink kind of your strategy when it comes to the vacation rentals.

What’s the experience you want people to have? You can add, you know, the toys, you know, the surfboard and The boogie boards and the beach chairs and all, and the umbrellas and that sort of thing. And then add like a fire pit in the back and, and jacuzzi. I just saw a study that was out there. I believe it was by air DNA that, that they looked at multi year study on which, uh, um, which amenities actually added to the average daily rate, your ADR.

And it was hot tubs. Uh, hot tubs was one and then the, uh, as the, as the top. And then the, the, the one that people thought, Oh, this one’s going to add value. It was like a gym, you know, like a home gym, which had no, which had no effect on price. So adding a hot tub, which is what, which is something that we would recommend, um, a lot of times as well.

Okay. Okay. This is going to be a sore point for Michele. Cause she knows. I am so obsessed with hot tubs and adding hot tubs and I keep saying we gotta add a hot tub and she’s like you don’t need a hot tub it’s North Captiva. It gets pretty cold for three months a year in North Captiva. You know, um, Michele, you keep pushing me back, pushing back on that one with me, but here we have a study.

Number one. Well, you know, now that I know the data, I just figured Colin likes a hot tub. So now that I know the data, Bradley, like I’d love to hear the other items too. Cause this is actually, you know, It’s about the facts, right? Before you move on to the hot tub, cause like we had this one little debate with the hot tub.

Okay. Do you have it like fill up every time somebody goes in? Do you know what I’m saying? Or is it treated? Like, I don’t know. It sounds like we’re down in the weeds. Oh, not typically. I mean, we’ll have the, you know, we have a regular pool service so that people are coming, you know, several times a week and they’ll, you know, come and, you know, monitor the hot tub.

And now that may kind of gross people out. But I think that the. You know, there is some maintenance, some extra maintenance that goes along with that, but you can also charge a hot tub maintenance fee and, uh, along with every single booking. So we were charging like 50. Oh my gosh. It’s so funny you say that.

Cause I stayed at an Airbnb recently and they said, do you want to heat the pool and do you want the hot tub? And it was a 50 charge. Oh, that’s funny. Well, we, we actually just didn’t give a choice of, you Of the, um, of the heating or not, um, because that just seems silly to me. It’s just like, well, this is the hot tub maintenance fee and then, you know, it just covers any kind of, uh, any kind of maintenance that we need to do, whether we need to drain the pool, uh, or we needed to, you know, do an extra cleaning or whatever it is.

But, and then we would also with the, with pools is that we would charge a heating fee for the pools. Uh, but it wasn’t, it wasn’t like a choice. Like, Oh, do you want the pool heated? Well, no, this is a pool heating fee, you know, up to this, up to this degree. In fact, fees are an incredible way to, you know, make, Actually, extra money, people are used to paying fees and whatever.

I mean, we’ve seen the statistics on the whole fees aspect. If you’re ever going to like the vacation rental manager association conferences, VRMA, um, the, the people who’ve been doing this for 50 years, uh, have been, you know, doing, doing the fees or like a, like a, um, uh, what would you call it? Like a, a, a damage waiver fee.

So instead of like, here’s, here’s another trick too. You guys probably already do this, but instead of having a damage deposit, which is like 500 or a thousand dollars, whatever people were charging, you know, back in the day, and some people still are, um, is that we would charge a damage fee and a damage waiver.

So if anything happened in the house. You know, it could be like 2, 500 worth of damage. They scratched the floors or broke something, you know, really big, you know, their, their a hundred dollars or whatever they put in to the fee. It, um, you know, it paid for that. And you didn’t have to worry about that. And there was no, you know, emotional bank account with a draw that you had with the customer experience.

And the, the owner knew that the property was going to be. Taking care of and the, and the traveler knew, you know, have you ever tried to get money from Airbnb or VRBO from, as from a property owner side or from a traveler side, it’s hit and miss. Sometimes you get the money and sometimes you have to fight for it, pictures, everything else.

And it’s, you know, it’s very difficult. So that’s a great hack. I mean, and we found out. That we self funded our, uh, our damage waiver fees and, and we were literally had to cash that account out at the end of each year. And that account was like a hundred to 150, 000. Anyway, that. No, I like that. And Airbnb has that insurance fee built in, correct?

They into their, into their service fee, most likely. Yeah. And, and any thoughts on, um, this, when we first started out, we had multiple platforms. And by the way, I, I love the, the, the, um, your concept. Thank you. Get away, go, go. Um, monetize, uh, our properties that are not, if someone hasn’t rented in the last 30 days or whatever, before it goes live, that we pop it onto that service at a discounted rate.

I think that’s a great concept. We’re going to talk a little bit more about that later, but what about, what about, what is your thought on having multiple like Airbnb, VRBO, Expedia. And try to break it into multiple because one company, uh, one, um, the guard management company prefers just to do Airbnb because they say if you try to break it to too many, you’ll lose the heuristics.

So a live show here, dog barking and background, but you lose the, the. The search there, the, you don’t get as much search juice. Well, let’s look at the big companies. So the big companies like Vacasa and, um, and the, and the others that are, that are out there, the big property management companies, you know, you look at inner home and, and aways and Sykes cottages, those are all in Europe.

Um, and the other companies that are out there, they’re on 15 plus platforms. They’re not just holding onto Airbnb because they don’t want to build their business around, you know, around one platform. I mean, just today I saw an announcement about something that Airbnb was limiting, like during weather events that they would automatically refund the money in an extreme weather event or something else, regardless of the property manager’s cancellation policy.

So you guys have to worry about Florida a lot, man. I’ll have to, you know, You know here in California, but but the the guests can trigger that and they’ll trigger it automatically So you’re you know, if you’re building your business around one company and their That their algorithm could change Um, you know tomorrow they I mean I’ve heard of people just being Deplatformed for for what a reason not being able to get there on there.

So the big companies don’t do it So when we had our vacation rental property management company, we had a book direct strategy. We had sure we had Airbnb that we’re just kind of starting with property managers back then. VRBO, we had flip key at the time, which is really is not very functional anymore.

And we try and get on multiple platforms in business. You call that incremental. Revenue, right? And that is when you can, when you can increase revenue, uh, in areas that maybe some other area, you know, wouldn’t be able to do to do that. I haven’t seen it hurt. Uh, I mean, my properties are super full and we’re on multiple platforms.

I recommend multiple platforms. And as long as you have a PMS, like a property management system that can handle. You know, sending out the calendars and the pricing data, then, uh, you know, super efficiently, you’re just going to your, in your reservation system as does it automatically. That is super easy.

You can go into, uh, Colin, I have a question. So do you, What, what are you, are you running all these properties through as a company, like as a brand? Yeah. I mean, our brand is escape club. Uh, I will say though, we haven’t really launched the brand yet. We’re actually in the process of doing that. Um, we’re, um, but the, you can actually book direct at stay vantage.

com. They’re the management company that we use and pretty much dedicated to us, but they have some other properties. Thanks. We have a very unique formula and they have a unique formula. We’re working together. And, and if you follow that formula, You know, they’re going to expand their business. Uh, we’ll expand our business potentially outside of their areas as well.

Um, so we have a couple of brands are stay Vantage and when I say stay Vantage, S T A Y V A N A G E. com. And you can check out all the properties there. I mean, they, you know, they do a phenomenal job and the reviews are insane. Like we’re talking the best of the best. How important are reviews in this business?

Oh, incredibly important, important because it’s the, you know, your eyes, your eyes look at the photos, you read through the description, but I think we as highly trained shoppers also know that, you know, what we read and what we see is not always the truth and it may also be, um, you know, the properties, the photos may be older, like right when the property was first, was first, uh, You know, remodeled like 10 years ago.

And now, you know, now what is it like? So those reviews, just like any reviews, keep people accountable and accountability is incredibly important. Um, when it comes to, when it comes to, uh, any kind of an experience where there’s a hotel or a vacation rental or a product that you’re buying on Amazon or whatever else, you know, those reviews are, you know, Our accountability, right?

Absolutely. You know, I, I don’t care what business it is. It’s really reviews are absolutely critical. Uh, and you know, for, even for the book, start scale, exit, repeat, you know, we have a, uh, a 4. 8 on Amazon, 4. 6 on Goodreads, and that’s one of the highest in the industries and people wouldn’t be buying the book unless we had good reviews, right?

The, the Airbnb are, are, are even just almost more like, On steroids, right? Like if you, you know, if you don’t have a 4. 9 or higher to me, it’s like, Oh, that’s not good. I mean, that, that to me is the cutoff mentally almost, even when I’m looking at Airbnbs, I know that seems like a little, maybe a little too extreme, but I’m not going to book an Airbnb.

That’s got a 4. or probably even a 4. 8. And is that too far ago? My off? Basia or you know, I think that there’s um, you know when when our experience is vacation rental property managers that you run across when you’re dealing with the general public and you you have all kinds of personalities and characters and everything else and and and uh, so I I think that Um, you know, there were people that tried to blackmail us.

Basically, you’ve got to give me this free night. You know, I’m going to give you a bad review. We had that all the time. We had a great relationship with VRBO that we built at the time. Um, where, you know, if that started to happen, then we would just call them up and just say, Hey, look, this is what’s happening.

And they would discount that. But I think that when you look at like a 4. 6, someone may say, Oh, Well, you know, it was a beautiful occasion, blah, blah, blah, but the weather was really bad and then they’ll mark it down and you go, what, wait a minute, you marked, you marked my property down because the weather was bad.

And, um, and so that happened. So I think that sure, I, I, people actually do read, read reviews and. Um, but here, what I was going to, what I was going to say is that getting good reviews is really a function is, is not accidental. There’s a lot of work that goes into that, you know, before a person arrives, because if you think about kind of that customer experience before they arrive, you’re giving them a lot of information about what happened, you know, what’s going, what they can expect.

Then they, uh, they experience the property, they’re there, the very. Hour that they’re there, we give them a call or there’s a, uh, you know, an automatic message that goes out and says, Hey, are you, you know, how’s everything going? And is there anything that you need? What else? What can we do for you? And then, you know, before they check out reminding them, you wouldn’t, I mean, you wouldn’t believe how many people, uh, forget that they have to check out on the day that they actually have to check out.

Oh, I have to check out today. What? And so you show up and there’s cleaners and everything else. So, you know, in order to minimize that, we. Send out message the night before and the morning of and then with um, you know What what else they need and then sign up for facebook, you know You know for dreaming for the future etc.

And then when they when they leave Uh, they actually leave the, we give them a day to think about, you know, to travel. Then we’ll send another note that would say, you know, we would love to hear your thoughts about the property. And then we would, um, you know, encourage them to leave a review. And then, um, it, so, I mean, it takes work, you know, there’s work to like that customer experience that’s there.

It takes, it takes proactive, uh, thinking on how you’re actually going to get a good review. Right. You don’t want to just leave it to chance. Absolutely. And by the way, so if you’re in the audience right now and you have an Airbnb and you have a story, just raise your hand. Come on stage. It’s Good Friday.

We’d love to. We’d love to hear from you. And if you have a question for Bradley, this is your opportunity to raise your hand and come on stage and ask a question. You may be running an Airbnb and have a question or you may want to share your formula and get his advice because I’m going to do that right now.

So we have these six development lots on North Captiva and we’ve got five live homes on North Captiva right now. And, uh, we’ve been trying to figure out our formula. At the beginning I said we did a lot of things right, and we did a lot of things not so right. And now we’re in the process of designing and building purpose built vacation rentals.

So one thing about this island you should know is about 60 to 70 percent of the homes are vacation rentals. It’s an island with no roads. You go to the island, there’s 300 homes on it right now. And, uh, and, and we’re actually working with a, uh, manufacturer who, uh, the company can manufacture homes off the island, bring on, build a home, and then a contractor comes in and six months later the home’s constructed.

So we figured out how to do it quickly. And by the way, our last four projects took over two years. To complete. We did have a hurricane in the middle of all that. Um, but one of the so here’s here’s here. So we’re sort of breaking down the formula. Uh, we’re looking at, uh, making a four bedroom homes, uh, with each bedroom except for the kids room, uh, each bedroom will have its own restroom, uh, with a shower and, you know, toilet stuff, and there’ll be small closets because what we discovered on this particular island is that Is there’s nowhere to go.

It’s a nature island. It’s not like there’s no clubs, you know, you don’t need to you know Bring dresses and jackets and things like that So like one of the places I have right now on a beach house Which I pinned at the top there on the link at the top there That place has a walk in closet in the master bedroom and i’m like, this is ridiculous.

Nobody uses it Let’s kill this put in a master tub and and uh and deck that out and shrink the closet down dramatically You Uh, in fact in that house in the house i’m talking about right now The one site it’s called sunset escape dot club If you put that in url, you could see it and that goes to the airbnb listing But in that in that house, we have two bedrooms with no closets at all and no one complains and we have a 4.

95 star over 40 reviews on this property and so we’ve come up with this formula of Okay, every house has to have the following bedroom You A king size. Oh, all the beds have to be king size. Weston Heavenly beds. We like to use Weston Heavenly, but they have to be king size A restroom attached except for the kids room kids room has to have bunk rooms bunk beds Maybe four beds, whatever it is.

We like to get four beds into a kid’s room. Uh, we have to have a pool Uh, because that generates a lot more income for this particular island. It’s extremely important to have the pool uh, and and then and then Uh anything else Michele am I missing in our little formula that we sort of come up with?

You Well, I mean, we’re, you know, again, like Colin said, there’s really not amenities on the island, so it’s, we think it’s critically important that each one is, it’s like a little mini boutique hotel, Bradley. Oh, and if, yeah, a good one is the infinity infinity game board. So let me finish. All right. Let me finish.

I’m getting excited. So there’s lots of, you know, beautiful. Things to keep yourself entertained. There’s TVs in every room. We put bikes and there’s golf carts. Cause I think Colin said, you can’t drive a car. It’s all golf carts, like lots of ways for people to be entertained, but also all the cooking items that someone might have.

And, uh, one thing that our property managers have done because they have young children, I personally wouldn’t have thought of this and there’s everything for families of all ages. So it’s really fully outfitted top to bottom. Yeah, I’m looking at this property, it’s beautiful. It’s uh, you have all the formulas there.

You have the bike. Um, you have the bikes you have the Um, you have the boards obviously, it’s not a surfing beach because you’re on the gulf Um, so you have the stand up boards Um, I would say that part of our formula was also Because I think it’s interesting Why don’t you have a bathroom for the kids room?

There actually is maybe that particular house there actually is Oh, what we’re saying is when we develop the homes the bathroom Is Can be like a main washroom because obviously every time you add a bathroom it increases cost dramatically Right, but couples always want their own bathroom Um kids can can you can have kids and they can go out and use the main washroom It can be part of the you know, that can be where the tub is or whatever.

But the idea is that um You don’t have to have a bathroom In the kids room. Well, I don’t know. Maybe we’re wrong. Yeah. I mean, I, I would do that. I mean, and the, the kids room would have the one bath, uh, typically like all the other adult rooms, he wouldn’t do a bath. Um, but we always made sure part of our formula formula was also when we were remodeling properties, we did 30 remodels and, um, uh, we would always make sure there was at least one bath, um, that was adjoined to a room that would have, uh, or near the room or in the hall, whatever that would be the kids.

The kids bathroom and, um, and that was, that was always, that was always good. So we, we like to have, if there’s a room for, if you’re doing a purpose built, built a house, then for sure, bathroom connected to every single bedroom. Um, we started doing that with our own, uh, vacation properties as well. And, um, Yeah, just as many things you can you can get to entertain people a little welcome kit We always like to have little welcome guests like a welcome gift for people as well and And then you know if all your properties are looking similar like say you were talking about four properties that are that were the you Know next to each other Then typically what we would recommend for something like that is, is a, is like a, a homogenous look, but a variation on the theme.

Um, because that way


sorry, Bradley, we’re doing a live show here. John. Something went wrong with your speaker there. Okay. So we can bring you back up, stage, up on stage, John, if you like, but we just gotta make certain you’re not, um, you get your speaker off. All right. We got a couple people who, who want to come on right now.

And uh, hopefully we can do this correctly. Sean, do you have a cue? Okay, so, what did I, uh, can I say something? So, we’re not gonna do that. Um, if you do come on stage, just please wait. We will call upon you. Eon, we see you’re on stage. We will get to you in a minute, but you can’t just start, just, just jump into it.

Okay. Um, Bradley, sorry about that. Oh no, that that’s okay. No, I mean, think it was a great idea. So, I mean, having, you know, thinking again like a hotel and these guys have spent billions of dollars and thinking about all of this and, and why recreate the wheel. So. The if you have three, four properties together, um, or let’s say you’re building a brand, like say you’re building a vacation rental, you know, maybe there’s people in the audience that want to build a property management company.

You’re super good at this. You have all these properties and, um, and, and you, you love, you know, You know, administration, you love sales, you have accounting, all the different things you have and you have all the people in place, you know, building a business. Of course, that’s a, that’s a whole nother thing.

You know, you, you can even build a business would not own any property. So let’s say you’re like, wow, okay, you know, I, I, I want to get in the vacation rental business, but I don’t really have the resources to put 20 percent down on this property or whatever else. Well, you can, you can leverage other people’s properties.

Say if you’re, I guess, again, good at marketing, good at coordinating teams, all these sorts of things. Um, then you can actually build an amazing thriving business around vacation rentals without actually owning anything. Any of them. And so you’re leveraging other people’s money, uh, you know, their million dollar property or whatever it is.

And, and then, and then you can make, you know, 20%, 15%, 30%, depending on the market that you’re at. Um, uh, it just by, by doing that and you build a brand and, uh, and you can continue to grow. So I just wanted to throw that out there too. You don’t have to have your own property. It’s kind of like Colin or myself, but you can actually build a Uh, you can build an Airbnb VR, you know, vacation rental business, uh, without, without any money to put down.

Yeah. No, that’s an interesting concept. I have a question. Go ahead, Michele. Okay. Yeah. I, I think I know where you’re going calm, but I’m thinking about legal, um, you know, this is something that I feel like we haven’t solidified on. Do you put every property in a separate court? I’m curious your thoughts on this.

Bradley. Yeah. Um, well, for our clients, I mean, most of our clients had one to three properties and we definitely recommended that they put them in separate corporations and they have commercial, you know, style insurance, uh, for specifically for vacation rentals. Uh, you need to, if you have vacation rentals and your, and your insurance company doesn’t know that they’re vacation rentals, uh, you know, then you’re going to want to let them know.

And even if it costs a little bit more, you can go with foremost insurance, which is one of farmers, um, sub brands and the USA now does it. There’s lots of other companies that understand this market now, but you want to make sure that that’s happening. So from a legal perspective, or as far as like, you know, your own protection, then you want to make sure that, um, your insurance company knows that, um, as far as what was the legal, the other part of the legal question, Michele.

No, I think you got it. So you’re separating, separating them out into different corporations. You’re doing accounting probably the same way as well, right? Yes, for sure. Yep. It’s got to be, got to be separate. Yep. Well, I mean, as far as like, not each property, like not each property would have its own QuickBooks account, but like, say for your 13 properties, I mean, I would probably put them all into one corporation, um, and then, you know, have one QuickBooks account that is dealing with each one of those, even though they’re broken up.

Yeah, that is actually pretty much kind of how we’re doing it. Yeah. So have you sold, I’m kind of shifting here because we are talking with Colin who wrote start, scale, exit, repeat. It’s something I’m very interested in is, you know, potentially selling some of these properties after they get built up or maybe they’re not a performer.

Like, have you had experience or what are your thoughts on how you go about that? What is a good time to sell and kind of how you price? Well, I always like to sell when the things are the most valuable. So, you know, once I, and I think that we always as entrepreneurs should always be thinking when we start a business, what is the exit plan from the very beginning?

So every, all the businesses I’ve had from my skateboard company business to my it service company. to my multiple property management companies and other companies that I’ve built, you always think like, well, what is the exit in mind? So, you know, what, what does that look like? So when you buy the property, you have to think, you have to be thinking, um, what, you know, is this can, um, am I making money on the buy?

Not necessarily making money on the cell. I learned this from an old real estate guy. He’s like, when you’re looking at property, Brad, you think about, uh, you know, how can I make money? The minute I buy this property, I’m making money. And, and that could be because, you know, you need to do a remodel or whatever it is, but you’re always going to add value to the property when you remodel the property.

Typically, if it’s in a good location, let’s just assume that. And then when you, when you’re getting this property, uh, by. Increasing Um, the, you know, the, the highest and best use it’s what we say in real estate, real estate broker as well. So I kind of think this way, um, what is the highest, best use for the property?

If you’re in a beach, like this property that you have here, this five bedroom on the beach, the highest and best use for this property is not like a, you know, a single family house where people go to school. This is like, this is a vacation rental Property, right? That’s the highest and best use. So if you have a property that’s maybe further away, you have to kind of rethink what’s your highest and best use.

And then, so as far as like selling, you know, get, get it to the point where you have lots of reservations and you sell it as a vacation rental at, at, at a much higher, much higher multiple. I mean, the properties I had one of my, my properties in Newport. Um, that was, um, uh, we did, we had to do a refinance on it and it was unbelievable.

The difference between a vacation rental rent, a, just a normal, like, you know, annual rent, uh, and, and just like someone, you know, buying it as a single family. I mean, it was, it was two times more as a vacation rental. So, yeah. And I like what you’re going here. I like the, I like the path you’re going down.

You know, in the book, we talk about two things. If you remember. When it comes to real estate and any business buy well, leverage well, and it’s interesting. You talk about, you don’t even need to sell your business. You could technically buy well, convert it into a, do some renovations, convert it into a rental business, get a higher valuation and to get all of your money back out of that property.

Uh, so that you’re now just making pure profit going forward. Uh, we are in a difficult time. Interest rates are very high right now. Yeah, we’ve been using a company called host financial to help us with the leverage And they’ve been really good really good partners Uh, but you’re still talking at interest rates between seven and eight percent Uh, but what I like about them is they only look at the property.

They don’t look at your entire income portfolio uh, which And they do short term mortgages. So, you know, you’re not getting a 30 year mortgage, you know locked in for five years They’ll do shorter term mortgages as well You And in hopes that the prices will come down and we can get better leverage going forward in the future.

Yeah, it’s a big factor. Yeah, and I like this idea of start, scale, exit, repeat for Airbnb. If you get a formula, and that’s one of the things we’ve been thinking about on this island, where it takes two years to build a home, uh, and, and basically a year to prepare. So you’re really talking three years, which we can bring down to one year.

One year to prepare the lot, you know, through permits and pilings and things like that. And then six to eight months to actually build it, which is the, it’s the key point because that’s when you need the construction loan. We think we got that formula down pack. We think we’ve got the, the, the home down pack.

And, uh, we know that, uh, we can, we have a management company. We can rent it out for a year after it’s launched. You can, you can demonstrate an income. Then we can sell it. And Do that over and over again. In fact that particular island has about 200 building lots remaining So we have pretty good inventory, you know, as long as we can keep buying lots at decent prices Uh, you know, we think we we think we might have an opportunity to start scale exit repeat for airbnb and bradley We should do we should work on a book together.

That sounds great that title. Wouldn’t that be fun? That would be fun. Now. Let’s shift gears here for a minute because we have an opportunity to talk to a serial entrepreneur You You know, somebody who’s done it over and over again, who knows this industry very well, who launched a company called Getaway GoGo.

And it’s a fascinating concept. Can you talk to us about your concepts and how you thought about it and where it’s going and just the, the rollercoaster that you’re going through with this particular startup? Yeah, absolutely. So when, uh, I was a yield manager, marketing manager at my own company, beachside vacation rentals, I realized that there was a, at the, at 14 days before arrival, which is actually almost half of all vacation rental, um, bookings happen within that window of time between 40 and 70 percent depending where you’re at.

And we had some marketing challenges with that. And so I thought, man, I need like a. I need a hotel tonight for vacation rentals, but, but a book direct experience where people are paying the actual price that the vacation rental property management company is offering without like a big service fee, which can be what people don’t know.

It’s up to 20 percent based on the total reservation, including a percentage of the housekeeping, um, that they’re paying. And if I’m trying to lower my prices within, you know, the last 30 days or 14 days before arrival, but then, you know, the, the large travel, Like Airbnb or VRBO, they still have their, their service fee that they’re paid and I’m trying to lower my price.

Well, that’s not helpful. And, and price triggers, it does trigger, um, uh, bookings. And there are people, half the people, they, uh, they make bookings based off of price. And, and if they see a good price. Let’s go. And so the idea was to create this book, direct marketplace where people would get the actual price from the property manager and the traveler would pay no service fee.

And the property manager would just pay a flat 10 per booking. Um, it, it, it, it was like, it was designed the way that, uh, My, you know, I designed it the way a property manager would want to have it and the way a traveler would want to have it. And so anyway, so we embarked to build on, uh, build that company.

So I sold my company beach side vacation rentals to build this company and, um, bootstrap funded it. And we just came out of our beta. Um, you know, uh, MVP last October. So I’d say we’re in our medium viable product right now. We now have 50, 000 properties and 40 plus countries, uh, from over 650 property managers.

And we haven’t publicly launched in the sense of like, you know, big ads or anything like that yet. We’re still doing some final touches. We just finished our, our, our apps, our, uh, From the app store, you know, for your Apple phone and also for Android. So you can, you can just look that up and those getaway go, go, and you can have at your fingertips properties from almost everywhere.

Obviously, you know, Airbnb has 7 million listings. We have 50, 000, but you know, we’re, we’re going to get there. We’re, we’ve just started really. And, um, so you can go there and get a property that is. Uh, is you can see what the discount is. You can search by price. You can’t search by price in your Airbnb. I don’t know if you knew that.

And you’re also going to save. On top of whatever the property manager has just discounted the price, you’re going to save up to 20%, uh, on fees. So that’s kind of the concept. And, um, I’m super excited about it. It’s a lot of fun. I mean, there’s so many different ways to. Kind of think about this and talk about getaway.

Go go. I’m very passionate about it But I’m also very realistic as an entrepreneur. I want to know what people have to say. Is it working? Is it gonna be something that people want? Right? That’s that’s how I’m gonna be able to scale and then that’s how I’m gonna be Able to exit as well. I think the story is absolutely great.

I mean last minute vacation Companies have been around for years and it seems like you sort of focused in on Airbnb First of all, how do you make money that if you’re not Um, they’re the customers not paying a fee and the management company’s not paying. How do you make money? Yeah, the travel the property management company pays ten dollars per booking.

It’s a flat rate of ten dollars per booking. It’s a Success based model and I think that’s a great model, but I would suggest you might pay more charge more than that But let me ask you let me figure that out though ten dollars per booking. What does that mean? So if I want to list it, I only pay ten dollars And then someone could just but how does the credit card work and everything you yeah Yeah, so the way it works is like say a traveler comes to the they come to the website to go to getaway gogo They find your property in captiva and they say oh I want to go there.

It’s open So they make a reservation, but it goes directly to your property manager Your property manager would sign up, uh to connect to us and then um, Uh, you know, this is an advance anyway, they make the payment credit card goes into the into getaway Gogo, just like it would on airbnb or anything else And but the payment goes directly to the property manager as opposed to like a third party like myself And then when that booking is made it triggers a ten dollar booking a ten dollar fee to the property manager to me So I make ten dollars only If the property books, right.

So, right. So there’s no, there’s no subscription. So like I have a property manager, you know, that’s, we’re about to launch that has, um, 22, 000 properties in Europe. Well, they’re not going to want to pay a subscription for their 22, 000 properties for an unproven, you know, marketplace. So we only charge if there’s, you know, if we make a booking, we did our job, right.

But I also wanted to make sure that. You know, some, we have properties that are in our, in our portfolio, uh, when we were property managers, a hundred dollars a night, and we have properties that were a thousand dollars a night. But what I didn’t like is that my thousand dollar night properties, when they were booked on Airbnb or VRBO, um, I, it was a huge fee.

For this for the traveler and for and for me because they would charge me as well um, and but they didn’t do anything different any kind of different marketing or Uh, you know highlighting my expensive property than they did for my hundred dollar night property, but they charged me more. Does that make sense?

So anyway, that was a reason for the flat fee So so but but you’re obviously not paying the credit card fees like the customer pays Someone pays the credit card fees. Yes, it, the, whatever credit card that, uh, processor that the property management company has. Okay, so you’re working with bigger companies because not everyone has.

Their own credit card processing, right? Yes. We only work, uh, getaway, go, go only works with property management companies. So if you’re a property manager that is connected to a property management system, like say you could have one property. I mean, we have property, we have people in getaway, go, go that are using like a host fully or host away or some kind of a, you know, property management system.

And, but they want to really organize, you know, their, you know, Uh, their company with the reservation system. And so they can just select getaway go, go, you know, that way. But we’re working typically with professional property manager, right? Like the one that we work with that, that would be, yeah. So that it’s all automated at a certain point.

Like you can all automate the properties. Like if it’s available 30 days prior, it’ll automatically go on to getaway. Go, go. It automatically does. And you can actually choose, you can choose whether, Hey, I don’t want people coming the day of. Or even the, you know, they can’t book the two days before so you can select that you can say, Yep, I want people can only book within 48 hours, but they can’t book on the same day or 24 hours, you can, they can actually select that as well.

Yeah, I love that. And by the way, I just checked in for one week I went one week left on that beach house in June. It’s 2069 a night, the Airbnb fee is 2, 144 on your service, it would be 10. It would be 0 to the traveler and 10 to the property manager. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, and why wouldn’t anybody want to go to the, uh, uh, go to a book, direct site and pay nothing.

Right. I mean, it, it, it makes, you know, it makes perfect sense, but that’s exactly what they’re doing when they’re going to your property manager’s website and then they’re booking directly with them. Yeah. They’re they’re not paying a service. That’s right. Yeah, right So what we did is, you know, I kind of call it we’re you know, we we’re going direct together Right.

So all these property managers, 650 of them so far in 42 countries are like, yeah, we’re gonna, we’re, we’re going to put all of our properties onto the same site as if we’re, people are booking directly on our website, but it’s the power of a marketplace, uh, with the, with the personalization and the pricing of a book direct, uh, of a book direct experience.

Well, you know what, Bradley, this was an amazing session. Uh, I really believe you are helping us decode what it takes to be a successful Airbnb owner and entrepreneur and your career, your success and where you’re going and sharing with us just where you are at right now is amazing. I know I’m talking to a future unicorn, uh, you know, uh, founder.

So I get, you know, really, really. Really appreciate you coming on and spending time with us right now. You’ve been listening to start scale, exit, repeat, serial launch for our secrets revealed again, if you are listening to this in podcast, you can come on stage on clubhouse on startup club and join us live to ask questions or share your experiences, and we’re going to continue to bring Bradley back and other great speakers, but you’re not going to know about that unless you get on our mailing list.

Our mailing list you can sign up to at www. startup. club. We have a speaker coming on and we’re going to announce the speaker and he is going to drop the price of his e book to 99 cents for 24 hours. Uh, but again, you’re not going to know about it unless you sign up to that mailing list. And we have some other announcements that we’re going to be making around AI and Startup Club AI.

And also around some awards. We talked about earlier that Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat was a finalist in the IBPA, Independent Book Publishing Association, uh, Benjamin Franklin Award. We’re one of three finalists and we’re going to find out on April 26th, whether or not we can crack the number one spots. Uh, for any, for, for independent books published in 2023.

And by the way, Bradley, you really should be thinking about getting a book out there because you know a lot about this space. I think you do extremely well and I’d, you know, I’d love to write the forward or, or, or in some ways participate with that, but thank you very much. That’s amazing. Thank you.

That’s, that’s an incredible compliment coming from you for sure.


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