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Curate local experiences for your guests with Mount (Ep 607)

In this episode of “Get Paid for Your Pad,” I, Jasper Ribbers, engage in an insightful conversation with Madison Rivkin, founder of Mount. We delve into the concept of Mount, a platform revolutionizing the guest experience in short-term rentals. Focusing on how travelers book experiences, Mount connects local businesses offering diverse activities like brewery tours or rafting trips, making them easily discoverable online.

Madison explains that Mount allows hosts and property managers to curate and offer a personalized list of experiences through their platform, enhancing guest satisfaction. For instance, a host in New York City could recommend an underground foodie tour in Chinatown or a donut tour in West Village. Each host creates a mini marketplace with a unique URL, which they can share with guests through various means, including QR codes in properties. This not only elevates the guest experience but also enables hosts to earn a commission.

I discuss with Madison the distinctiveness of Mount compared to other platforms like Airbnb Experiences and Viator. Mount’s unique selling point is its emphasis on personalization, making it appear as if the recommendations are directly from the host, unlike the more generalized offerings on Airbnb and Viator. Madison also highlights how Mount caters to off-the-beaten-path, local experiences, avoiding the ‘tourist trap' feel of mainstream platforms.

We explore the flexibility of Mount, discussing how hosts with unique local knowledge or resources, like hidden hikes or boats, can create their own experiences. Madison shares that Mount integrates with various property management systems (PMS) and guidebooks, simplifying the process for hosts to incorporate these experiences into their offerings.
Delving into Mount’s future goals, Madison mentions their ambition to embed experiences directly into digital guidebooks and to expand their eco-friendly mission, aiming to reduce tourist waste and promote sustainable tourism practices. Mount encourages the use of local resources and experiences, aligning with the trend of experiential travel, particularly popular among younger generations seeking unique, Instagram-worthy activities.

Madison's journey, from founding Mount as a bike lock company at age 12 to its evolution into a travel experience facilitator, is both fascinating and inspiring. She emphasizes the importance of adapting to market needs and leveraging personal experiences to enhance their platform.
For those interested in using Mount, the sign-up process is straightforward. Hosts can register on rentmount.com, create their mini marketplace, and start offering personalized local experiences to their guests. This integration of unique local experiences not only enhances guest stays but also helps hosts distinguish their offerings in a crowded market.

Listeners can explore Mount further by visiting rentmount.com. The platform's focus on personalized, local experiences and its integration with property management systems makes it a valuable tool for hosts looking to enhance their guests' stays and differentiate themselves in the competitive short-term rental market.

Before we wrap up today's episode, remember to connect with us on Instagram @getpaidforyourpad for exclusive content and behind-the-scenes moments, and don't forget to hit that ‘Subscribe' button on our YouTube channel for even more great content. We appreciate your support, and can't wait to see you on our socials. Stay tuned, and keep being awesome!

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Read The Script Here

Jasper Ribbers (00:01.152)
Welcome back to Get Paid for Your Pad. I am really looking forward to this episode because my special guest today is Madison Rivkin. She is the founder of Mount. And I actually don't know what Mount is and that's why I'm excited. I'm excited to learn about it. We did not prepare and prep anything for this podcast. So we're just meeting each other and we're gonna talk about Mount. We're gonna talk about short-term rentals. We'll talk about hosting. So Madison, welcome to the show.

Madi Rifkin (00:29.078)
Thank you for having me. Yes, this is gonna be a good one. Just like right off the cuff.

Jasper Ribbers (00:32.972)
Right off the cuff, that's right. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, so tell us about mount. What is mount?

Madi Rifkin (00:38.57)
Yeah, happy to mount is in the guest experience space of short term rentals. So we're hyper focused on

the way travelers book, which in our opinion has been changing over the last year, year and a half, where they're starting with what they wanna do and then finding a place that helps facilitate that experience. And so at Mount, we basically are the experience facilitators. So we'll connect with pretty much every local business out there that's providing some sort of experience, whether that be a brewery tour, a rafting trip, it could be anything. We bring them all online, make them discoverable.

host property manager, curate their list of experiences through our platform, and then offer that to their guests. So when your guest asks you, what should I do? Where should I go? I came to see the Northern Lights. Can you help me with that? You actually have right at your fingertips all of the options you can send them.

Jasper Ribbers (01:35.28)
Awesome, so if I'm a host and I'm using your platform, then I would just send them a link to your website or how would that work?

Madi Rifkin (01:44.438)
Yeah, so basically you would create a, we called a mini marketplace on our software.

And that mini marketplace has your curated list of recommendations for your specific market. So let's say you're in New York City and you want to offer your guests an underground foodie tour of Chinatown and find the best dumplings there are or like a donut tour of West Village, you know, whatever it may be. That's in there. And that page has a unique URL. And so that's what you share with your guests. So you can put that in your guest messaging, you can put it in a QR code and put it in the physical property, however you want to get it to them.

basically would be like, oh my gosh, these are my host's local recommendations. They trust them a lot more because they're coming from you. And they start booking. And then when they book and pay, you guys actually get 10% of all that revenue.

Jasper Ribbers (02:32.768)
So it's almost like, you know, on Amazon, you can have your own little Amazon shop.

Madi Rifkin (02:38.166)
Yeah, absolutely. That's actually a good comparison.

Jasper Ribbers (02:41.036)
Yeah, interesting, very interesting. So a couple of things come to mind. Number one is there's some other platforms that do a similar thing, right? A Viator comes to mind. Of course we have Airbnb experiences. Now we can't create our own little shop inside of Airbnb experiences or our curated list, I should guess, I should say, where I don't think we can get commissions on that.

I think Viator has a similar, similar functionality. How are you guys different from Airbnb experiences and then Viator?

Madi Rifkin (03:15.446)
Yeah, I mean, I think you summed it up perfectly on the Airbnb experiences front is that you as a host and property manager really don't you don't get anything from that. And there's no way to make it look like your personalized recommendations. So I'd say that's a big shortcoming with that Airbnb experience platform.

Viator is really interesting because yes, you can get a, I would call it like an affiliate link almost to that experience, but everything is still branded Viator. And what we've noticed from the traveler perspective is that they are avoiding TripAdvisor, Viator, Booking.com because they look at those as tourist traps. And they're like, those are the big people who came to Rome to set up a tourism empire. They just want my money and it's not really local.

And so they're still going to ask you what to do and where to go. And I actually, for the listeners on here, I would be curious to know if you're getting any bookings from your Viator referral link. I would say no, probably not. So that's where we come into play. It's like we make it hyper personalized. It looks like you and your brand, your voice, your recommendations. And then the good thing too is if we don't have what you want to offer, or we're just simply not in a market where you are,

Jasper Ribbers (04:09.007)

Madi Rifkin (04:22.898)
you can actually give us your personalized wish list of all the local vendors you wanna work with in your area, and we'll bring them online. So now you can start offering those as well. So it really does become very hyper-personalized.

Jasper Ribbers (04:35.496)
Hmm. Yeah, that's a good point. Um, I mean, I was recently in Valle de Guadalupe, which is the wine region in Mexico, just across the border here in San Diego. And, uh, I remember thinking about like, what, what are we going to do? Right. We were there for like four days. I looked at TripAdvisor and you're right. Like TripAdvisor, it's just, it's almost like, uh, it's not really like, what are the coolest things to do? It's more like. What?

are the most famous things to do, right? Like what does every single tourist go and do here, right? Versus like what's something like really cool to do. So I guess you're right. Like I look at TripAdvisor just to get an idea of like what's out there, but then I don't trust really like just because it's the number one thing to do in TripAdvisor, that doesn't mean I wanna go and do that, right? Exactly, it might actually be the opposite. Actually, I might wanna avoid the top 10 things on TripAdvisor.

Madi Rifkin (05:26.474)
Yeah, exactly. It's like I've stopped. No, it might be.

Madi Rifkin (05:33.758)
Yeah, exactly. I mean, I stopped trusting even like Google reviews and the stars just because I've ended up at places that are five star reviewed and then it's a total crap show, you know, it's like not even good. So it's really hard to know.

Jasper Ribbers (05:43.66)
Yeah, 100%. And you can put Google reviews without actually doing the activity as well. You can game, that system is like so easy to game, right?

Madi Rifkin (05:51.55)
You absolutely can. Yeah, totally. No, you like really hate a business and you're just going to tank their reviews.

Jasper Ribbers (06:00.04)
Yeah, I mean, there's companies out there that do that, I'm sure. So yeah, it makes sense, you know, because we were in Mexico and in the end of the day, we just asked the people that work at the hotel, right? We just asked them like, hey, what restaurants would you recommend? There's like 100 wineries out there. And so I looked up a lot of wineries and to your point.

Madi Rifkin (06:13.75)
Yeah, you're concierge.

Jasper Ribbers (06:24.724)
It's hard to get a really good understanding from the Google reviews, because also it's a system for the masses, right? And what the masses enjoy and what the masses will vote for is not necessarily what we enjoy. So yeah, it's very hard to get a good understanding of, what are the really cool things to do in this area, right? So I think that makes a lot of sense. And I also think that, to your point, people are more looking.

for unique experiences. We see that in the short-term rental space. People are more looking for unique experiences as a place to stay. And so it makes sense that they're also looking for more unique things to do in the area. And people really seek that connection with the locals. And really that off the beaten track, like off the beaten path, that unique little thing that nobody else knows about, right, may also make you kind of feel special. You find like that.

awesome thing to do that nobody else knows. And you can kind of like laugh of all the, all the tourists that are using Trumpet Fizer and they, you know, they, they go to all the boring stuff. And then we found like the really cool things to do.

Madi Rifkin (07:32.874)
Yeah, absolutely. No, it's a really good way to sum it up. And I think what we've been noticing too is just that for property managers, hosts, oversupply is a real issue right now of properties. And how do you set yourself apart? How do you differentiate? And we found that this is actually a great answer. Iceland is a great example of there's properties and short-term rentals everywhere there. And how do you differentiate? The property I ended up staying at told me.

in the photos and the listing title, like come here to see the Northern Lights. And that's totally why I went. I was like, yeah, that is what I wanna do. And so I didn't book it based on like reviews or even who the host was. I booked it purely because he told me I could see the Northern Lights.

Jasper Ribbers (08:04.776)

Jasper Ribbers (08:14.392)
Right. Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. My wife wants to see the Northern Lights too. So maybe later after the podcast, you can send me that link.

Madi Rifkin (08:21.426)
Oh my God, I will. It was like the best Airbnb I've ever stayed in actually. They had like a wood burning hot tub. So you had to light your own fire for a few hours to make it warm. They had a sauna. It was awesome.

Jasper Ribbers (08:34.112)
So I'm going to dig a little bit more into the platform. Can anybody go in your platform and create a created list and share that with people, or is it really focused on hosts?

Madi Rifkin (08:47.838)
I mean, yeah, technically anyone could because it's a free tool. And we do call, it's funny you had mentioned earlier concierges, because that's what we call you guys. We call you a concierge because you're curating your recommendations and getting those out there.

We found that the best use case for concierge typically is a short-term rental host, boutique hotel host. It doesn't matter as long as you're in the hospitality industry. We actually have influencers using Mount's tool, concierge tool, so their following can basically book what they're doing. So I think, yeah, a few use cases. But we've definitely rooted ourselves in hospitality and travel.

Jasper Ribbers (09:17.064)

Jasper Ribbers (09:24.285)
Mm-hmm. And what's your own background? Like, how'd you come up with this idea?

Madi Rifkin (09:28.818)
Oh my gosh, yeah, my founding story is a twist and turns. I mean, I started the business when I was 12. So it's been 12, 13 years now.

Yeah, so I started it when I was 12, got a patent for the original idea. So Mount was not in the short term rental space, not even in software. It was a bike lock company. So I invented that when I was 12, got a patent for it. Uh, and then we just kept pivoting and changing over the course of the next few years studied entrepreneurship at Northeastern. Um, and because it was a lock company, it ended up becoming a scooter lock. Was in like the realm of bird and lime and Uber and Lyft with all those scooters that you would just find everywhere. That's obnoxious.

like things just lying on the streets. And then I always believed that if you had put scooters at Airbnb properties or hotels or whatever it was, it would have operated a lot better because they weren't just randomly in places. And so during the pandemic, I tested that theory. And that's kind of when we stumbled upon this real problem between the Airbnb host and the traveler in that the host needed more out of their guests simply because they couldn't get enough bookings.

really derailed everything. And the traveler was showing up and wanting a lot from the host. You know, they wanted those local recommendations. They wanted more than just a place to stay. And so that's when Mount really found our niche of like, we can play in between this relationship and just make it a lot easier for both parties involved. And each party can see the value of what we're doing. So once we made that switch about a year ago, we've been cruising ever since.

Jasper Ribbers (11:04.708)
Wow, that's so interesting. You guys started as a bike lock company and now you're doing something completely different that reminds me of a… Do you know Nokia? I'm sure you know Nokia. Do you know how they started? So apparently they started as a tire manufacturer.

Madi Rifkin (11:17.362)
I do, yeah. No.

Madi Rifkin (11:26.447)
Whoa. Yeah, that's different than what they do now.

Jasper Ribbers (11:30.777)
Yeah, no, that's awesome. I remember reading this book. Have you read this book? It's a book about startups. I think the author is Eric Rice. Does it ring a bell or not?

Madi Rifkin (11:43.754)
I don't know, I read a fair amount of startup books, so there's a chance I have.

Jasper Ribbers (11:48.08)
I think it's called the lean, the lean startup or something like that. Yeah. So I remember reading that and

Madi Rifkin (11:50.554)
Oh, yeah, the Lean Startup, yep, yep.

Jasper Ribbers (11:58.344)
He talks about the importance of an MVP, a minimum value product, and testing it out to see if there's actually demand for it. Are we actually solving a real problem that people have? Or are we just enarmored with our Jane Genie's idea? I feel like a lot of entrepreneurs get very confident and enamored with their…

genius like hole in the market type idea. Right. And they kind of forget that we actually don't know if anybody is actually looking for it for your product. Right. So yeah, very interesting, very interesting. And by the way, like, how do you invent something when you're 12 years old? I mean, when I was 12 years, I was playing computer games.

Madi Rifkin (12:27.903)
Oh, absolutely.

Madi Rifkin (12:44.02)
Yeah, I think I was a very interesting 12 year old. I think for sure my parents were like, what is going on? But my, I think it was middle school or elementary school, whatever, however you classify that. Basically had an invention program. So you could go before school.

spend some time with these teachers. And basically it was a program where you were supposed to invent something like that was the whole premise. And then at the end of it, at the end of the school year, you got to pitch shark tank style to some judges that they pulled. And that's how I, so I won the competition and I got a fully funded patent. So that's actually how I financed that. Cause otherwise that would have been really unreasonable as a 12 year old to go get a patent. But I attribute a lot to the school because like without that program, I don't think I would have been an inventor just on my own. Well, maybe who knows?


Jasper Ribbers (13:35.348)
Have you ever heard of the youngest Ferrari owner in the world? So this is really, really funny. If you Google on YouTube, that doesn't really make sense to Google on YouTube. I guess if you search on YouTube for a

Madi Rifkin (13:40.223)

Jasper Ribbers (13:54.884)
12 year old owns Free Ferraris. It's really, really funny. There's this kit in England. And well, he's a little older now because this is like 10 years ago. But there's basically like, there's this really young kit in England and he invented like some sort of app, right? Like 10 years ago when the apps or the app space was growing very, very fast, he invented an app and sold it to like Microsoft or something.

or Google, I can't remember, but he, he basically made like $10 million or something like that. And he was like 12 years old and he lost Ferrari. So he bought free Ferraris. And so they, they filmed him. He is at this like Ferrari meetup in somewhere in England. And this kid is just, you know, he has these free Ferraris and you know, he knows everything about the car. He's not allowed to drive it. He's only allowed to drive on track.

But it's just a hilarious video. Like I highly recommend everybody, if you want to have a laugh, uh, Google search on YouTube youngest Ferrari owner. Uh, and this kid, like his, his dad is being interviewed as well. And, uh, you know, he, the kid gave his dad a Ferrari basically. He was like, Hey pops, you know, I got free Ferraris. And he talks about it. Like it's the normal thing in the world. He's like, Oh, I got one to go for the groceries or got one, you know, kind of go on the tracks and one, you know, for the Sunday afternoon. And it's just like,

Madi Rifkin (14:59.65)
There you go.

Jasper Ribbers (15:17.204)
What's this kid talking about?

Madi Rifkin (15:19.358)
Yeah, what? I guess, you know, lesson in how to spend your money, perhaps, and yeah, good for him. Good market timing on the app situation, you know? Never know when you're going to time a market right with inventions. Oh, man, zero at the moment, but I might have to link with this kid and combine resources.

Jasper Ribbers (15:31.046)
So how many friars do you own?

Jasper Ribbers (15:39.294)
Yeah, team up. Yeah, he might be your age, actually, because I think this is like 10 years ago that he was like 12 years old. So yeah, some similarities there. Anyway, we'll talk about funny stuff all day. But yeah, let's get back on track here.

Madi Rifkin (15:45.526)
Sounds about right, yeah. I was thinking, I was doing the math, I'm like, hmm.

Jasper Ribbers (16:01.244)
Tell me a little bit more about how the market, like are you guys worldwide? Are you guys US only? Like how far are you into the journey with your platform?

Madi Rifkin (16:10.862)
Oh yeah, it's a good question. We are worldwide at the moment. Like we can go anywhere. What we find though is because, and I would actually specifically say Airbnb did a lot of this market expansion where they are encouraging hosts to come on from different areas that don't support tourism at the moment. So we find a lot of markets Mount isn't in. That's great, we're definitely built for that. Because what we want you to do is sign on, create your free account.

and tell us who we should be working with in your market. You probably know it better than us anyways. So who are the local businesses you wanna bring online? How can we help support that? It's gonna make you look like a hero because now you're giving all the business to these local businesses, that you're making them discoverable, bringing more tourism to your area. Like it's just a win-win for everyone involved. So I would encourage wherever you are in the world, absolutely sign up and get your market online.

Jasper Ribbers (17:02.34)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, I guess there's also an opportunity for us hosts, not just to create that curated list of experiences, but we could also potentially be create an experience on the platform as well, right?

Madi Rifkin (17:15.774)
Oh, absolutely. I would say that's not like a very common use case, but we do have hosts that have like secret talents or know the market so well that they're like, I know this hidden hike I wanna take my guests on. A lot of use cases like that. There are select use cases too, where the host has a boat or something they wanna add on to the property, where they're willing to take on that liability and risk. So I mean, that happens too. It just is very dependent on who you are as a host and what you wanna offer.

Jasper Ribbers (17:46.153)
Mm-hmm. So from the supplier perspective, does the platform work similar to Airbnb experiences, where basically the provider, the person that provides the experience, creates the experience, lists it at a price? Are there reviews? Is it similar to how Airbnb experiences work?

Madi Rifkin (18:07.754)
Yeah, I'd say fairly similar. I think the difference for us is we can connect to any software that vendor is using, which is semi-common in the industry of experiences. Like they will use, similar to if you guys use a property management system, that experience provider is going to use the equivalent for them.

So we connect to all of those. So there's a chance that they already have a booking software, their price is set, and Mount has just connected into that to make it possible for you guys to be able to sell it. And then there's other use cases where that operator or that experience provider is truly pen and paper. Like they will take a booking over the phone or a walk-in and cash. And so in that use case, they have to come on to our software. Similar to Airbnb experiences, you get your calendar, you get your availability, set your price, make it all bookable.

Jasper Ribbers (18:43.091)

Madi Rifkin (18:55.207)
So yeah, whatever use case it ends up being, it just is bookable online. We track all of that, collect the revenue for you guys, and pass it on.

Jasper Ribbers (19:03.58)
Got it, okay. And I noticed on your site, you guys also integrate with some of the PMSs in the short-term rental space, right? I saw Gasti on there, so Host Away. How does that integration work?

Madi Rifkin (19:15.966)
We do. It's a very light integration simply because there's not a lot you need to push and pull via an API for our software to work. It's just simply that link that you copy and paste and put it wherever you want. I'd say if you use Guesty or HostAway or whatever PMS you're using, you should update your automated messaging to include that unique link so when your guest checks in, like, hey, if you want my list of personalized local recommendations, here's the link, remind them again, guests are forgetful.

But in terms of needing like a deep integration where you have to go set something up in your PMS, like really that is not something Mount needs or has, like you don't have to do any of that. And yeah, we work with like the guidebook companies as well because we find those to be useful, embed your experiences there. And so Connect being a great example. And yeah, Touchday another good example.

Jasper Ribbers (20:08.464)
Right. Got it. Yeah, that was actually going to be my next question, because we use the Hostly Guidebooks, right? And inside of the Hostly Guidebooks, we can add those Viator activities. They're already curated inside of the guidebook. And so we don't have to send our guests to another outside platform. We have all those activities inside of our Hostly Guidebook. So can we curate the list from inside of our Hostly Guidebook as well?

Madi Rifkin (20:37.258)
Right now it would just be the link that you're putting in the guidebook and it would take them to that external page. Next year is where we want to get to where it's embedded in the guidebook so they'll see the experience can book it within the guidebook and do all that. Yeah, that is on our roadmap for sure and is coming.

Jasper Ribbers (20:47.965)
Mm-hmm. Yep.

Jasper Ribbers (20:54.544)
Got it. What are some of the most popular activities on the platform?

Madi Rifkin (21:00.702)
It definitely is dependent on the market, but I'd say if you're in a more urban market, so larger city.

places that are considered foodie towns, like that stuff actually is truly popular. Like in Chicago, we have a donut tour that someone curated. So they'll take you to the four hidden donut spots of Chicago and teach you all about how it's made and all of that stuff. So that's incredibly popular. In Denver, there's a lot of brewery tours that are popular. Nashville is a whole game of itself where you have all these bachelorettes and bachelors coming. So like different types of experiences there. Maybe they want a whole rentable beer wagon

Jasper Ribbers (21:16.436)

Madi Rifkin (21:38.464)
ride to different breweries, like all that stuff. And then more rural areas, it definitely is like farm tours, wineries, breweries, again. Really, whatever is hyper local and unique to your market is where an experience can be found. And that's why people are coming. They're not just coming to stay at your house. So we like to see very creative things come across as recommendations, because it makes our platform even more interesting.

Jasper Ribbers (21:55.545)

Jasper Ribbers (21:59.633)

Jasper Ribbers (22:04.262)

Jasper Ribbers (22:07.82)
Do people also curate experiences like, for example, just like a dinner, a dinner party or something at somebody's house or like a little wine tasting or something like that?

Madi Rifkin (22:19.062)
Yeah, wine tastings, absolutely. For the dinners, it's more of like a tasting menu or a special sit down with a private chef who's cooking right at the counter.

Like as long as you can pass it off as an experience. I think where the restaurants get a little muddled is reservations. Like that is not an experience, that is just something that happens. So that won't be found on our platform. But like an Omakase spot in New York where you sit at a 12 person counter and the sushi chef is making it right there. Yeah, that's an experience. So that can be found on the platform.

Jasper Ribbers (22:50.6)
Mm-hmm. Right. Because you also have experience platforms that specialize in food, right? Like Eat With is one that comes to mind.

Madi Rifkin (22:57.322)
Yes, Talk is another. Yeah, we honestly have been trying to partner with a few of those companies as well because they have great inventory. And we look at Mount as a marketing channel more than anything to get into kind of this really un-aggregated market of tourist travelers, hosts, and Mount has been the aggregator.

Jasper Ribbers (23:08.553)

Jasper Ribbers (23:17.416)
So for the hosts who are listening now, if they want to start using mount, what's the process? What's the signup process? How much time does it take? Can you give a bit more detail on that?

Madi Rifkin (23:29.942)
Yeah, absolutely. It's a great question. So we made it as easy as possible. So you go onto our website, which is rentmount.com, and sign up as a concierge. So to sign up, you just put in your phone number, then you have your account. That's how we authenticate. And then from there, you just click Create a Mini Marketplace, and you put in your city and state or country. And then…

We will tell you if we have density already. It'll show you it's like 15 experiences, 35 experiences. If we already have it set up, just click Create and your marketplace is ready and you can start selling to your guests tomorrow. If it comes back with we don't have density, just click the Refer button and that's where you can add in your wish list of vendors you want Mount to go out, contact, contract with, and bring them on the platform.

Jasper Ribbers (24:04.22)

Jasper Ribbers (24:13.545)
Mm-hmm. I also noticed there's an eco-friendly aspect to the brand. Can you touch on that?

Madi Rifkin (24:21.674)
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the ultimate mission and vision of Mount is to get travelers going with just a backpack and then find and rent everything they need in destination from the locals, including experiences. We tried to start there about a year and a half ago and then realized the world was just not ready for that vision. It's gonna take us a bit to get there, but that's where the sustainability aspect of Mount comes in. Like we truly believe tourism should be sustainable. Like right now, tourists produce twice as much waste as a local when they're traveling.

Jasper Ribbers (24:38.767)

Madi Rifkin (24:50.974)
And that's just unacceptable. It's like you're not even living there and you're just leaving the place worse than you found it. Like maybe try recycling a little and being a little more conscious. But the notion of buying and purchasing these single use travel items, stuff you forget, maybe stuff you only need for that trip, is so common that is what is contributing to that.

unsustainable aspect of tourism. So at Mount, we like to say rent it, don't buy it, source it locally if you can, and yeah, make the planet, I guess, a better place than you found it.

Jasper Ribbers (25:13.096)

Jasper Ribbers (25:23.748)
Yeah, the one thing that I always appreciate if I stay somewhere is that they have those refillable bottles for like shampoo and conditioner and like things like that. Cause otherwise like, you know, when you stay at a place and they give you like these tiny little bottles, I always feel like such a waste. And then you run out, you know, within one or two days, you run out of these little bottles and then you have to go to the, right, to the Walmart, whatever, Walgreens, or whatever it is, and you have to get.

more of like you need shampoo, touffes, especially because like if you travel without checking in bags, like you can't bring very much, right? So

Madi Rifkin (25:58.362)
Oh, totally. No, that absolutely happened to me in London last year. I was at a short-term rental and they gave me little shampoo and conditioner bottles. And I was there for like a week and I ran out. And I totally had to go buy the big bottles. And then I ended up throwing away because I couldn't take them home, I had to carry on. Yeah, such a waste. I'm like, you could have just put in big bottles and we would have been fine.

Jasper Ribbers (26:14.036)
Exactly, right? Such a waste.

Jasper Ribbers (26:20.524)
Yeah. That's the first thing. When I, when I bought my latest short term rental in Columbia and Cali, that's the first thing I told the, I told my, the guy who was like, you know, doing the interior design and everything. I told him like the most important thing is I want dispensers, you know, I don't, I don't, I don't want to deal with any of these, these bottles. We have like iron dispensers that they just fill up.

And yeah, it's much more environmentally friendly. I heard that some people I spoke to at the time, some hosts were saying like, well, but some guests might have a hygiene concerns around that, which I thought was a bit strange. That never came to my mind. Is that a concern?

Madi Rifkin (27:08.542)
No, not mine either. You know, it's funny though, I did have that concern when it came to the little bottles because I had checked in at a place and the little bottle was like half used. And I'm like, did they just not realize that they forget to refill it? And then I got me thinking like, are these little bottles just reused or are they thrown away? And then I didn't wanna go down that rabbit hole anymore. So I did something else, but.

Jasper Ribbers (27:14.531)

Jasper Ribbers (27:29.926)
Yeah, it's not really what you want to think about when you're on holiday.

Madi Rifkin (27:33.434)
No, no, not at all. You don't want to be worried about any of that stuff.

Jasper Ribbers (27:40.165)
Is there anything that we haven't touched on that you think is important to mention for people who are interested in using mount?

Madi Rifkin (27:48.458)
I don't think so. I mean, we definitely touched on the experiential side of travel and just that is the way Gen Z and below is starting to travel is like they have their bucket list items, they want to cross them off and keep going. So if you're trying to cater to that new age of travel, it is very experiential. So I would definitely encourage to start thinking about that and how to incorporate it into your business.

Jasper Ribbers (28:02.056)

Jasper Ribbers (28:06.266)

Jasper Ribbers (28:12.497)
What's the age range for Generation Z, by the way? I've kind of lost track there.

Madi Rifkin (28:18.098)
I think it's 1997 is the starting year. The only reason I know that is because that's the year I was born. But I don't know what the cutoff year is, actually. So somewhere in the 2000s.

Jasper Ribbers (28:28.1)
Right. Because there was generation. Yeah, because I'm getting old. So I remember generation X and then there was Y and then there was C and just get lost with all this stuff.

Madi Rifkin (28:40.17)
Yes, and then there's some people that are really into each generation and what it means for you.

Jasper Ribbers (28:45.552)
But what I do know is, you know, I look at my younger family members who were born in this century. And that's very different the way that they experience things and the way that they find information, right? They look for, like if I travel somewhere, I look on Google Maps. That's probably the first thing I look at, you know? Things like TripAdvisor.

Madi Rifkin (29:09.047)

Jasper Ribbers (29:13.204)
Um, like you mentioned, and you know, if I want to find a restaurant, I might go and Yelp, um, but they go on TikTok. They go and they look at TikTok and Instagram and then they look at the reels and that's how they find their information, right? And it's, I'd noticed that, um, it's, it's all about, it's all about the experience for, for the younger generation, right? Cause they want to share it on, on their social media platforms. And so it's like, at some point I was thinking, you know, when it comes to

Madi Rifkin (29:23.306)

Jasper Ribbers (29:43.04)
It's like, if it's, you have to be Instagrammable, right? There has to be something about the experience that you're providing where your guests is going to arrive and they're going to be like, Oh man, this is cool. I'm going to share this on my Instagram. Right. Especially when we're talking about the younger generations here, but you know, I think, you know, that's the future, right? The younger generation in the future. Do you use TikTok? Cause you're, you're part of that generation.

Madi Rifkin (30:04.358)
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, it's funny you were saying all of that. I'm like, oh, that is where I find all my information.

Jasper Ribbers (30:11.319)
Yeah, I mean, that's what my wife does too. So that's how I know.

Madi Rifkin (30:15.302)
It's such a good way to vet, because everyone's reviewing it in real time. So you get to see what's good, what's not. And instead of someone leaving an angry written review, and you're like, well, I don't know what state of mind they were in when they were making that review. Video format, I think, shows a lot more than text.

Jasper Ribbers (30:22.844)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Jasper Ribbers (30:29.318)

Jasper Ribbers (30:33.632)
Oh, a hundred percent. No, it's true. It's true. Actually on our last trip, that's also how we found a number of places. It's just, my wife found a few places on TikTok and showed me the video. And I was like, okay, yes, that does look cool. As much as I hate TikTok, I gotta admit, there's a use for it.

Madi Rifkin (30:40.685)
I bet.

Madi Rifkin (30:46.103)

Madi Rifkin (30:49.45)
Necessary evil.

Madi Rifkin (30:54.146)
Thought there is.

Jasper Ribbers (30:54.584)
Awesome, awesome. Well, yeah, it was great to hear your story and congratulations on your success. It's very impressive at your age to be doing all this stuff. And just as a reminder for everybody who's listening, if you wanna check out Mount, go to rentmount.com. It is free to use, right? Yep.

Madi Rifkin (31:04.11)
Thank you.

Madi Rifkin (31:18.478)
Correct. Yeah.

Jasper Ribbers (31:21.688)
Um, so go ahead, curate some experiences. I'll definitely, uh, I'll definitely look more into it. I know you already talked to, uh, to Eric, so I'm sure he has, uh, he has some ideas on, uh, what he wants to do with it. Um, and our market is actually probably a really good market for, for your platform because there's, there's not a lot on vi there's not a lot of like major tourists. Attractions, you know what I mean? That's not like the, you know, the one church that you have to, that everybody wants to see, you're like.

You know what I mean? There's not really like those, those super popular highlights more about like, you know, it's different hiking trails and there's like really interesting, some interesting, uh, places to, to visit, but it's not really, there's not like a couple of things that really stand out if you will. So I think our market's probably a really good market for, uh, for using your platform.

Madi Rifkin (32:12.554)
Yeah, absolutely. No, it definitely sounds like it. You'll have to check it out. Let me know what you think.

Jasper Ribbers (32:18.511)
We'll do for sure. Well, thank you so much, Madison. Been a pleasure to have you on the podcast here. Any final thoughts, final words before we wrap it up?

Madi Rifkin (32:27.538)
No, sounds good. I mean, thanks for having me on and letting me share my story.

Jasper Ribbers (32:31.8)
Absolutely, absolutely. Well, appreciate you coming on and to the listeners. Thanks for listening. Go check out rentmount.com. And with that said, we'll see you on the next episode.

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