Learn with Get Paid For Your Pad

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline.

Boost Productivity with Legends X

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline.

Success & Share with Legends Mastermind

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline.

Overnight Success World-wide Community

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline.


Discussion – 


Discussion – 



Ep 602

In this episode of “Get Paid for Your Pad,” I, Jasper Ribbers, had the pleasure of hosting Doron Meyassed, the founder and CEO of Plum Guide. Our discussion delved deep into the intricacies and unique approach of Plum Guide, an OTA (Online Travel Agency) catering to a niche market of discerning travelers, typically urban dwellers earning upwards of $150,000 annually, who are passionate about design, culture, and travel.

Doron shared his global upbringing and his entrepreneurial journey before Plum Guide, including his experience with creating online communities for prominent clients like Spotify, Airbnb, and Google. The concept of Plum Guide was born from a unique Airbnb experience in Tel Aviv, prompting Doron to explore the idea of a platform that showcases properties where hosts have invested considerable effort into every detail of the guest experience.

Plum Guide sets itself apart by rigorously vetting properties, accepting only the top 3-5% across three price points: medium, high, and luxury. The platform addresses major pain points for travelers: ensuring consistent quality across homes, helping guests match with the right property, and providing exceptional service. Their service teams include Matchmakers who assist guests in selecting homes and a customer service team for round-the-clock support.
Doron also elaborated on Plum Guide's no exclusivity policy for hosts, their integration with major PMS systems, and their focus on European and North American markets. He further discussed the company's stringent standards for hosts, the importance of transparent guest reviews, and the emphasis on managing expectations to enhance guest experiences.

For hosts interested in joining Plum Guide, the process involves an application through their website or via channel managers, followed by a selective vetting process. Doron highlighted that, on average, homes generate 10-20% of their revenue from Plum in the first year, with potential for growth. He also emphasized their commitment to price parity across platforms to maintain fairness and trust.

Doron encouraged hosts passionate about their craft to reach out to Plum Guide. For those looking to book a unique stay, he recommended exploring Plum Guide's carefully curated selection of homes. Visit www.plumguide.com
to discover more about this distinctive platform that's redefining the standards for vacation rentals.
Listeners, I hope you found this episode insightful and informative. Stay tuned for more enlightening discussions on “Get Paid for Your Pad.”

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!

Grow your short-term rental business OVERNIGHT SUCCESS

Save time & money with these Airbnb tools AIRBNB TOOLS

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Read The Script Here

Jasper Ribbers (00:01.506)
What's up, everybody? Welcome back to Get Paid for Your Pad. Today, our special guest is Doran Meyased, and he is the founder of Plum Guide, which is an OTA for, I would say, I wanna say high-end properties, but Doran, I'll give you an opportunity to tell us all about what Plum Guide is and how we as hosts can list on your platform. So I'm excited to dive into it. Welcome to the show, Doran.

Doron (00:29.034)
Thanks Jasper, thanks for having me.

Jasper Ribbers (00:32.341)
How is it in cold England?

Doron (00:35.358)
It is, as you say, cold and rainy, the leaves are falling off the trees, but it's warm and cozy where I'm at. So I can't complain.

Jasper Ribbers (00:43.769)
All right. That's good. Awesome. Well, why don't you give us a quick background of yourself and the Plum Guide.

Doron (00:53.154)
So I'm Dorin, founder and CEO of Plum Guide. I'm not really sure where I'm from. I grew up all over the world when I was a kid. My parents are originally from Israel. Prior to Plum, I founded a business, a tech business that built online communities for brands. And our clients were Spotify and Airbnb and Google. And then seven years ago or so started Plum Guide.

You know, Plum Guide, we are an OTA, a vacation rental OTA, but we are targeted at a very specific audience, which we call the discerning traveler. If you remove the lingo for that, it really means, you know, urban dwellers typically earning $150,000 a year or more. So we're sort of obsessed by this group. There tend to be design lovers, travel a lot, culture vultures, and we are obsessive around designing the proposition around them.

I'm happy to elaborate about how we think about that, but that is our North Star, creating the ultimate experience for the discerning travel.

Jasper Ribbers (01:54.087)

Jasper Ribbers (01:57.762)
Awesome, I love a very specific guest avatar right there. And tell us a little bit about the history of Plum Guide. Why did you start this company?

Doron (02:01.387)

Doron (02:10.658)
Look, I mean, I used to be a hardcore Airbnb user, kind of fell in love with the vertical and the sector and that way of staying. And funny enough, most business ideas start from a pain point. Mine actually started from a surprisingly good experience. It was staying in a place in Tel Aviv, actually. It was our third or fourth choice because our first few choices got rejected and it looked okay and it turned out to be a masterpiece.

Jasper Ribbers (02:23.11)

Doron (02:40.478)
And that got my curiosity going. You know, are there in the depth of Airbnb, Verbo, what was then Hummer Way, are there a community of hosts who are craftspeople who are thinking about every piece of furniture and art and choice of bedding? And if so, can I find them? And at the time I took a week off work, I went to meet 30 hosts in London, Berlin, or Paris, and Paris, who I thought were these craftspeople.

And at the end of that, I came to the conclusion that there was a big opportunity for Plum Guide to create a company that elevated the people who put all this effort into that experience and match them with guests who are willing to pay for that as well. So that's how it all got started. It evolved over time, of course. Today, we have a clear view, which is our audience at Discerning Traveler has three big pain points. They are one.

Jasper Ribbers (03:22.107)

Doron (03:35.886)
getting very quickly to know that every home has a consistent quality. The way, as you know, 95% of homes on the main platforms have four and a half stars or more. You've got 80,000 homes in Paris, something like that in London. It's a nightmare to try to pick the right ones. We open a market and aim to vet every single home available in that market.

within 12 months and accept the top 3 to 5 percent of homes at three price points at a medium high and luxury price points The homes have to pass all these tests And and that's how we get through the kind of the hit-and-miss nature of the space The second big pain point that we observe is the kind of helping people match them with the right home for them As you know, you know homes as someone who's done a lot of work in the hotel space homes are a nightmare I mean you can have a

you know, $5 million home in LA, a $10 million home in LA. And, you know, the floorboards are creaky in one room. The wifi doesn't work very well in another room. And the elevator is scary. Probably that's less relevant in LA. But, you know, we put a lot of effort into surfacing that negative information to guests. We have a section called the home truths. We tell the guests everything that's bad about the home. We go through a lot of effort to get all that negativity and put it out there.

We try to get floor plans for every home. And the final pain point is service to the touch of a button. So we have a service layer. There's two service teams. There's this team called Matchmakers. So about a third of our bookings go through this matchmaking team. Guests get in touch with them and say, help me choose a home in the Greek islands. Or they help them choose a home. And we have a customer service team if anything goes wrong.

and the host or property manager isn't able to help, they're available 24-7, they jump in and get involved. You probably asked for a shorter answer, but that's the kind of what the pain points we identify and what makes us different.

Jasper Ribbers (05:33.873)

Jasper Ribbers (05:37.027)
Thank you.

Jasper Ribbers (05:40.578)
Right. Well, you actually answered my next question because, you know, I can imagine that, you know, you're vetting all the homes. You're only choosing the free to 5% of the top homes. Obviously, you look at the design, you look at the quality of the home. But then my question was going to be, OK, I can see how you can cultivate that. But then in the end of the day, like you're depending on the host for the customer service and for creating that experience, right? And the communication with the guests.

I was curious, how do you maintain a high level of customer service when you're dependent on each individual host? So maybe you can elaborate a little bit more on that point.

Doron (06:23.178)
Yeah, look, I mean, one of the things that we vet in every host before they're accepted into Plum is the quality of the service. And I can elaborate more on how we do that. We use a mix of AI tools that we've built. We sometimes do physical in-person visits. We look at, this is all automated, but the speed of the response rates, sentiment analysis, and all the reviews written on the home. So it's a big, big thing that we look at.

then we don't always get it right. So we have a rule on Plum, you know, two negative NPS scores on a house and it's removed. We remove a fair few homes. We don't always see that ahead of time. And one of the things that I think help us and that we do very differently is, you know, we are feedback form from guests. You know, one of the things we found is that guests, especially if

Jasper Ribbers (06:59.622)

Doron (07:16.918)
they're dealing with a very personable individual, are very reluctant to be negative in feedback. So our feedback goes to the guest and says, this is anonymous, it will be anonymized once we have three feedbacks for this home. Tell us three things you like about the home, three things you don't like about the home. What kind of guests would like staying here? What kind of guests would hate staying here? And we get very detailed and nuanced feedback and we kind of explain, we're all about.

Jasper Ribbers (07:22.402)

Doron (07:44.89)
the Michelin Guide of Homes and so that really helps us to identify places where it's under delivering. It's not as perfect as if we control the end-to-end experience of course, but we're trying to get pretty damn close to it.

Jasper Ribbers (07:58.79)
Mm-hmm. So when people list their home on your platform, are they only allowed to list on your platform, or do you allow them to list on other platforms as well?

Doron (08:09.858)
They're allowed to list anywhere they like, no exclusivity at all. About 10% of our homes are exclusive, but almost none started that way. They started by listing in many places, we became their main source of revenue, and then they moved so, but now they can list them.

Jasper Ribbers (08:19.462)

Jasper Ribbers (08:25.398)
Right. And are you integrated with most of the bigger PMS systems?

Doron (08:32.31)
We are, so we're integrated with 20 channel managers and PMSs, Vantio, BookingPal, Rentals United. I'm just throwing some names out there that come to mind. We're constantly doing new integration, Guesty, we're constantly doing new integrations. But yes, we are, we are, we're the big ones.

Jasper Ribbers (08:56.855)
Mm hmm. Is the is the focus worldwide or is it is most I know you guys are you started in the UK and in Europe, but I see you also have a lot of homes in the in the states as well.

Doron (09:11.11)
Yeah, so we have a total of about 40,000 homes, 34,000 or so are in Europe. And then the rest are mostly North America. There's a few bits and bobs in other places, but yes. And our focus has been European. It's disproportionately so still for the next 12 months, but we are growing our supply in the US. We're growing our demand in the US. And I should say our biggest guest.

audience are American customers. So almost half the revenue of the business is people coming from the US into Europe or within the US.

Jasper Ribbers (09:42.758)

Jasper Ribbers (09:49.078)
Right. Yeah. And by the way, just out of curiosity, like, how did you guys come up with the name? Plum Guide.

Doron (09:57.523)
The original, I mean, it has like many connotations that appeal to us. The original name of the company was meant to be PLU Ampersand M. So to mean people like you and me. And it was based on the idea that you want to get recommendations of where to stay, not from the wisdom of crowds or the averages, but from people like you and me. It then turned out you can't have an Ampersand in the URL. So

And then of course, we, you know, the plum in old architecture, a plum was, what do you call them now? They're called spirit levels. You know a spirit level? What it is? It's like the thing that you use to measure that the wall is straight. So in the olden days, to measure that a wall was straight, they would throw a plum on a rope. It was a piece of lead.

Jasper Ribbers (10:44.095)

Doron (10:49.79)
and it would tell you that the wall was straight and it was all around kind of this OCD, making sure that everything's right and stuff like that. So, you know, that's where Plum came from. And initially when the business started, we saw ourselves as a guide. You know, the idea was the mission and guide of homes. You know, quickly we learned you can't make money just as a media company. You wanna make money on transactions as well. But that's the idea. So it was kind of like Plum Guide. It's how it all came together.

Jasper Ribbers (11:04.774)

Jasper Ribbers (11:17.754)
Have you have you heard of Michelin keys the Michelin key for hotels?

Doron (11:25.078)
No, Michelin keys? I have not, no.

Jasper Ribbers (11:28.418)
I mean, I just learned about it literally like a few days ago. Uh, me and my business partner, we, uh, we were at a restaurant, uh, and we were talking to, uh, talking to the owner of the restaurant and, and he told us that there's a, there's this new thing called the Michelin key. It's like, it's basically. My understanding is it's, it's kind of like a Michelin, the Michelin stars that you have for restaurants, but then like for hotels. So I was just curious.

Doron (11:54.354)
Interesting. No, I haven't heard that. And you know, I'm a big fan of what Michelin, that's interesting. I'll check it out of what those guys are doing. I think in many ways, you know, they are sort of creating the trip advisor for the discerning customer. And if you go on michelinguide.com today, it looks very different to what it might look like five years ago when you have

the Michelin-starred restaurants, which you can book, but you also have the tablet hotels as part of that, and they're very selective about curating hotels. So I'm really interested to hear about that. I'll check it out.

Jasper Ribbers (12:27.926)
Yeah, yeah, no, it looks like they are launching it in 2014. But yeah, I thought it was really interesting. And it kind of, I mean, this is for hotels, but it's, I feel like almost like it's, you guys are kind of doing for short-term rentals what they're doing for hotels, it almost feels like so.

Doron (12:48.67)
Yeah, I think, you know, I think generally, like, I think you can notice this. I think Peter Diamantis, the guy who did Singularity University talks about it. But as, as a, when an industry begins, the focus tends to be on like reducing costs, you know, like in the old days, you know, cameras, it was all about reducing the cost of film and then the cost reaches in effect zero or very low. And then it becomes all about curation, Instagram, you know, helping people find them. And I think there is so much.

amazing choice now. That the biggest pain point from where we stand, you know, you have to deliver the good experience, but from where we stand is how do you help people find the place that's going to help them have the most incredible experience?

Jasper Ribbers (13:34.999)
Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah, I can, I can definitely relate to it because I, you know, I'm a vivid traveler myself and I was just looking at, uh, Joshua Tree, uh, for February, which February is not a very popular time to go to Joshua Tree, but the people that we're traveling with, uh, they really like cold weather.

And, uh, and they really like desert. So I was like, all right, well, you know, if you, if you guys want to go to Joshua tree, it'd be cold and, and it won't be very busy there. So, you know, I go, I go on Airbnb and there's literally like, there's hundreds of homes available. And to your point is like, you know, there's so many options and they're all pretty similar as well. Like a lot of them have, you know, a halt up and, and the barbecue grill. And, you know, so it's like,

Yeah. How do you choose between all these different homes and you end up spending a lot of time. So I like the, I like the service that, that you guys have, like, cause I've, if I, if I could, if I could just pay somebody like, you know, a hundred dollars and say, Hey, you know, spent like two hours and find me like the best home. This is what we're looking for. So I don't have to sit there on my laptop for like, you know, three hours trying to figure out.

where to stay and communicate with the group. And so it's a bit of a process when there's a lot of choice.

Doron (14:57.854)
That's lovely to hear. I'd like to say that's exactly what we're up to, helping people find their best options and then matching them with the best one within the short list, if you like.

Jasper Ribbers (15:11.354)
So let's talk a little bit about the process for a host to start using PlumGuides, right? Let's say I have a beautiful home that's kind of in line with the other homes that you have on the platform. How do I sign up?

Doron (15:30.334)
Yeah, it's pretty straightforward. There's one of two ways. You go into Plum Guide website on the top right hand corner on mobile or on desktop. You can click become a host and you can submit an application there. And the other option is on lots of the channel managers, you'll be able to activate the connection. What's different with Plum is that then begins a vetting process at our end.

So we will go through a process to vet all the homes. We run our criteria through it. And then we come back and say, you may have 20 homes, but we would like to onboard these four. Which is the kind of the both what people love and also find frustrating on the supply side that we tend to take a small proportion of the home that anyone has. And that's it. I would caution bear with us. We have a huge waiting list at the moment.

So we have some pretty big cues, but we communicate on where everything is in the process and so on.

Jasper Ribbers (16:29.935)
Mm-hmm. You mentioned that there's a lot of hosts that are actually getting the majority of their bookings through Plum Guide, right? Is that typical? What can we expect? Or does it take a certain amount of time before we get traction on the platform?

Doron (16:45.922)
Look, we're super open about this stuff. So the average home in its first year gets, by the end of the first year, is doing 10 to 20% of their revenue on Plum. And so obviously you have that within lots of variations, markets where we're very strong, it could be much higher, markets where we're not properly launched or whatever, it could be much lower, but that's what you'd expect from the first year. Typically there's sort of three and a half reasons hosts like Plum.

Jasper Ribbers (16:56.547)

Doron (17:11.99)
There's that, okay, you got me more bookings, great. Let's say we're on average 15% of your bookings after the first year and then it grows. But the second reason which I think really matters is not just more bookings, but more profitable bookings. So I'll give you one example. If you take the cohort of homes that are available on Plum and Airbnb, the ones that are available on both platforms, for the same homes, our average length of stay is two and a half times longer on Plum than Airbnb for the same.

And as you know, if you're having to check in the guests, check them out, clean, deal with any complaints, which are usually on the first 48 hours, taking up average length of stay from let's say four days to 10 days makes a huge difference to the gross profit that one makes on the stay. And that is one of the main reasons actually hosts end up wanting to go exclusive or partial exclusivity where they open the calendar first on Plum, try to fill it with our bigger bookings.

And the third reason that hosts tend to like the experience is better guests, especially the people where there's more emotional connection to the home. It's someone's actual home. So they like the idea that someone was into design and thoughtful and careful about the stuff that's staying there. I kind of say three and a half reasons because our individual hosts, so the people who have one home or up to 10, what we call manypreneurs,

tend to also love the brand element to it. We spend north of $10 million a year just advertising the Plum Guide idea. So if you see a home with a Plum stamp, it means that it's one of the best homes in Lisbon or Palm Springs or Joshua Tree. And so the kind of more smaller independent hosts tend to like the halo that provides and we do a lot of that marketing.

in markets, especially as we launch. And by the way, I always put those stamps on Verbo sometimes and Airbnb and yeah.

Jasper Ribbers (19:09.254)
Mm-hmm. So is it?

Jasper Ribbers (19:15.346)

Jasper Ribbers (19:21.421)
Do you see hosts trying to leave some hints on other platforms for people to actually go to Plum Guide and create the booking there, like a lot of people do with direct bookings?

Doron (19:34.99)
Well, look, I think we see hosts definitely, I believe the main motivation for putting the stamp on other places is to help them increase their bookings on that platform. I'm sure it hopefully generates some guests to come and learn about Plum Guide. But of course we see people also on Plum pushing for direct. I know it's a topic you guys and everyone's always very interested in. I have my views on it. I think it can often be a…

Doron (20:05.41)
I don't think this is a Dutch expression. Someone once said it to me, it's like pissing in your pants to stay warm, you know? It feels good for about five seconds, but then it's not so good. I think that I'm happy to elaborate more how we see that, but yeah.

Jasper Ribbers (20:10.539)

Jasper Ribbers (20:21.21)
Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it surprises me sometimes how some listings get away with the amount of clues they're leaving. I mean, to me, it only seems fair that you guys are spending a lot of dollars on marketing. So if you find the customer on your platform, they should really just book there, right? But yeah, I'm surprised sometimes you see

you see a listing and it's almost like screaming like, hey, don't book here, but find our direct booking site. And I'm always surprised that those listings aren't taken down. But

Doron (20:58.33)
I mean, I'm also amazed actually, and I'd be really interested to know, especially Airbnb where they've really kind of allowed it quite openly how they think about it. I can tell you for us, we have this thing called the pop index, it ranks how far up a home appears on the search results. And really, if you're on the first page, maybe two pages, you get lots of bookings, if you're not, you don't.

And one of the biggest things that will reduce the pop index score is if the conversion of a home from message to host or when to check out to confirm booking is very low, which is usually a signal for us that the home either looks great, but someone's people are not interested or someone's moving them off platform or the communication is putting them off. So I can, I can imagine.

Jasper Ribbers (21:38.871)

Jasper Ribbers (21:47.558)

Doron (21:51.358)
I've had conversations like that with hosts before who were like, when we started, you were an amazing channel for us. All this happened and now we barely get any bookings and we look at the data and we're like, oh, the pop index is really low. Why? And there's a conversion from talk to host to list to booking was amazing and tank to zero. And then you look into it and that's, I don't know if other platforms do that, but if you were on Plum and you did that a lot, what would end up organically happening over two or three months is that they would just not get many views, the homes.

Jasper Ribbers (22:19.102)
Yeah. No, I think it probably works the same on a lot of prep terms. I mean, the interesting thing is that I think some hosts, what they don't realize is that yes, it's nice to get a dire booking, but also like you lose momentum on the platform, right? To be successful on the platform and get a lot of bookings, it's kind of like an all or nothing type of deal. You either get a lot of momentum, you get good conversion, and you keep getting those, the stream of bookings.

But if you lose a certain amount of momentum, you could also just be buried on page 15 and suddenly the booking flow completely stops. So yeah, I don't think it's always in your favor to try and just get as many direct bookings as possible. It depends on your strategy, your brands, and such. But I think this.

Doron (22:56.479)
Yeah, absolutely.

Doron (23:08.874)
I mean, I get it, you know, that the margins are so tight and if you're managing the home, you know, having an extra 15% or whatever it may be on the booking is a big deal. The temptation is very big. I really do get it. I think that just the longer term payoff is, you know, you end up suffering because of it. But I don't know how Airbnb do it.

Jasper Ribbers (23:22.571)

Jasper Ribbers (23:30.19)
So apart from all this that we already discussed, what are some differences and similarities between, let's say, Airbnb and the Plum Guide, as far as the reviews, how you vet the guest, is there the same air cover, like the insurance? What are some differences and similarities between the two platforms?

Doron (23:58.395)
Look, top of my head, I mean, it's similar in that we are a marketplace. So you're contracting with an owner and finding a place on there. The big difference is you know, if it's on Plum Guide, it's one of the top. The way we think of it is by review scores, the top 10% of homes across the full market. So we open a market, we create a database of all the homes in the market, Verbo, One Fine Stay, 25 platforms. So you know it's one of the top 10%.

It's always thoughtful design. It's always impeccably clean and well-maintained. Always very fast and attentive hosts. The quality of bed and the bedding is always good. The kitchen is properly stocked. There's always a connecting living space that's super important for us. You know, if it's a house for six people, there's a space that six people can get lost in conversation. And I could go on. So you kind of know that you remove the hit and miss.

And that sinking feeling when you open a place and then you open the kitchen cupboard and there's sort of six people but there's two wine glasses and there's like four water cut glasses and you know that kind of and if you know that if anything goes wrong you speak to someone who's really into it. So that's the really the single biggest difference. And then this I mean I'm going back to the things I said but the second one is you can always speak to someone. You know I'll give you an example. The day you check in on Plum you get a text message from Plum.

It says, you know, your host in the management company, are these people, you know, if you need anything, contact them. But remember, Plum is meant to award the top three percent of homes, we say, in any market, if you are not satisfied with anything, reply to this WhatsApp or this text, and we immediately spring to action. So we're sort of there in the background. And we try to be brutally honest about the home. You know, we write the listings of a home.

Jasper Ribbers (25:44.051)

Doron (25:54.794)
that some hosts love, some hosts absolutely hate, which I really get why. But our listings are written like critical listings. So we will say, you know, we almost didn't accept this home because it's a bit soulless, but you know, for this part of town at this price, it's unbelievable and you're in the most incredible neighborhood and you know, so we can allow ourselves to write listings that put off certain people.

that say this is a terrible place for families. If you've got kids, you'll hate it here. It's noisy and, you know, where often if you're the owner, you can't be as brutal about it. So in short, I think that the similarities is you book homes, you know, it's a marketplace. And with all the highs and lows of that, that the strength is there's a real quality standard guaranteed, there's a real openness about what's negative, and there's a human at the touch of a button.

Jasper Ribbers (26:55.842)
What about the communication? Is the communication still between the guest and the host?

Doron (27:02.398)
It is. So once the book, yes, it is once a booking is made, like again, we're always there in the background, but it is between the guest and the host. Yeah.

Jasper Ribbers (27:08.082)
Mm-hmm. Yeah. Got it. Okay. Yeah. I'm actually looking at, uh, I'm looking at Joshua Tree right now. Um, and I was thinking, Oh, you know, let me, uh, let me check out Joshua Tree and Plume Guide. Maybe there's just 10 homes. So it's easy to choose for me. Did you guys actually have 400 homes?

Doron (27:23.182)
I think that's a 12.

I think we have a lot. Joshua Tree and Palm Springs are both interesting places because there is a lot of incredible supply. They stand unique in that, I think. A lot of the quality of the supply is very good there. Do I say this? I would say that if every market around the world looked like Joshua Tree, the incremental value Plum brings to a customer would be lower.

Jasper Ribbers (27:55.095)

Doron (27:55.946)
Because generally the quality of the stock is much higher, there's less variability, there's less cheating in my view that goes on in the market by people buying units and making one look amazing and the other ones don't have all the beautiful plants and all of that. There's less of that goes on.

Jasper Ribbers (28:13.578)
A couple of things I notice is I see that a lot of places have the cleaning and the surface fee included and the taxes included in the price. Is that generally the case?

Doron (28:25.162)
Yeah, everything is included from the search all the way through to the booking. Our view is always to try to simplify everything as much as possible. And a bit like booking a hotel, I know in the US we often get told you're just, you know, you're making your life harder because most people have the taxes at the last phase, of course, but we just want to make it as simple as possible.

Jasper Ribbers (28:34.979)

Jasper Ribbers (28:47.323)
And then also you have an option to pay half now and the rest later. That's something that Airbnb does offer, which I think a guest, a lot of guests would really appreciate because sometimes it feels, feels a bit strange. Like let's say you book an Airbnb like six months in advance, right. And you're paying now, but then the host is getting the money like a day after check-in, right.

Doron (29:08.234)
Yeah, yeah, I think I think different now people are introducing options around that. But yes, we've it's been a while that we allow that and we allow it depends on the size of the booking and what dates you put in. But but to do it in line more or less with a cancellation policy.

Jasper Ribbers (29:23.798)
Right. That makes sense. So when it comes to the listing, so if I sign up for Plung Guide, I basically I sent you guys the photos, and then you guys put together the entire listing. Is that how it works?

Doron (29:39.37)
Yeah, exactly. You know, let's say you went on our site, you submitted your own website on there or your listings on Verbo or wherever maybe we will then come back and say here we like these for we've already put the listings together. And you get the final Yes, I'm happy for it to go live or you can send a message and say, Hey, I'm happy with it. But I hate that you called my home something or other or that you said this about the home and then and then it depends what happens. But

But we really focused a lot on making it seamless for adding a home.

Jasper Ribbers (30:16.362)
Right. And how does the service fee work? Is it similar to Airbnb where the host pays like a 15% commission to the OTA?

Doron (30:28.594)
More or less, yes. So again, they set the standard. So we kind of model down in the early days, you've got a 3% plus 12%, which is becoming less and less of it, or more a fee, which tends to be around 16% of every booking. And it's deducted, you put the payout that you want, and then we add the fee on.

Jasper Ribbers (30:50.179)
Well, I'm excited to check it out.

Doron (30:50.81)
And of course, you can choose to sync your prices to, I mean, if you're using a channel manager, it's all synced. If you can also choose to sync it to one of the main platforms if you just don't want other platforms.

Jasper Ribbers (31:01.802)
Right. Yeah. Okay. Um, and then last question, like, let's say, let's say, uh, I list on Plum Guide, but I'm also an Airbnb, right. And knowing that on Plum Guide, you know, the guests might be in a position to pay a higher price. Like, would I, would I be able to, or do you guys allow for, uh, different prices on different platforms?

Doron (31:25.866)
We do not. And I say it like that because it's a kind of it's a constant debate internally. So we ask that there is price parity and that we just don't want to be known as the… and it's true, the guest is often wanting to spend more and they'll often in places that offer add-on services, chefs and the like, they will book way more things in those places, but we cannot be allowed to be known that as a platform. And so…

Jasper Ribbers (31:35.349)

Doron (31:52.95)
We're pretty strict on it. And it's one of the things we check and affect the pop index that I was mentioning it. We'll if we know we spot it all the time. So we'll get in touch with the host and say we've spotted this difference. You know, we can't make you change it, but will you change it, of course? And if not, the pop index gets affected. But yeah, unfortunately, we have to be strict.

Jasper Ribbers (31:58.304)

Jasper Ribbers (32:10.32)
Mm-hmm. Yep.

Yeah, no, that makes sense. It makes sense. You don't want to be known as the platform that has the same homes as not a platform, but it's just a higher price point, right? And that's not your favorite.

Doron (32:26.046)
Exactly. And exactly. And it's a tricky thing about marketplace. You have two customers, we have the guests. And also in the end, you know, like, in the end, then the host if you are someone who has whatever 510 100 incredible homes, I mean, you are everything to us, you know, this is it's golden, it's so rare. And if you're someone who has to have all these amazing homes, and you care about everything and you bad trip if someone has a bad stay and you ask for feedback, I mean,

We will do anything to make you happy. So once we find someone like that, and so the temptation then to go be 10% more expensive on Plum is huge because you know, we'll become your favorite platform, but we're sticking to our guns on it. But yeah, it's a frustrating.

Jasper Ribbers (33:08.228)

Well, it's, you know, another interesting topic is, is in the tricky topic. And I'm sure for you too, is, uh, how, you know, you're wearing two, two hats, right? You have the hosts and you have the guests and you got to keep both groups happy. Now I'm sure you're aware that, you know, I would say most, the majority of hosts feel that Airbnb tends to favor the guest. Um, is, is that, how, how do you manage that, that relationship with the host and the guests at the same time?

Doron (33:41.658)
Look, it's really tricky. We do a handful of things. I would say, by the way, we're also, I think if you'd, if you'd ask, we don't ask the question that way, but if you ask people, do you feel Plum Guide favors the guest or the host more, if you ask host that question, you would find that there's kind of it oscillates in and out of what they would say because we have, we have balances over the period. But I would say that if we are

good at selecting the host who are really passionate about delivering a superior experience. And they operate at the kind of high to mid high end of the market. They will feel that we are exceptionally fair to them and kind of on the side of the host. And if we get people who are not that way inclined, then they will feel like we are deeply unfair. So you know, if it's a common practice, you know, you take a three day booking, then a 10 day one comes, you know.

someone will cancel the three day one. If a host is that kind of host, and that's the business practice, they will think we're always on the side of the guest. And so part of that, we always think it's our job though. So we have this, I don't know if it's still available on the site that we would share with partners as kind of one pager, which is 10 reasons you shouldn't join Plum. And we sort of spell out all the things you will hate about Plum if you join, just because we think that's a key part of it. And if…

And if someone reads that and goes, I don't care, that doesn't bother me. I'm not doing this kind of thing or whatever. So I think that's a very long-winded way of saying, it's a challenge. We also find this push and pull. And I think our job is to make sure that we're very open upfront before hosts invest time in booking about what is okay and not okay on Plum. And I think if we do a good job at that, then the hosts who are right for us join and they feel we're on their side.

Jasper Ribbers (35:07.846)

Jasper Ribbers (35:36.79)
Yeah, no, I think that transparency is really important. I think that's probably one of the reasons that a lot of hosts have some, you know, some beef of Airbnb because there's surprises sometimes, you know, and the communication and transparency isn't always there. So awesome.

Doron (35:53.387)
What's the frustrations that you would say, if we need to wrap up, let's wrap up. I'll ask you afterwards. I was curious on the frustrations that you're hearing, I was expressing, but I'll ask you about afterwards.

Jasper Ribbers (35:58.81)

Jasper Ribbers (36:02.51)
No, no, we can, we can, we can chat about it a little bit. Yeah. I mean, like, you know, a lot of hosts feel that whenever there's a, there's an issue with between the guests and the host that Airbnb tends to decide in favor of the guests. You know, there's, you know, there's, uh, for example, like, let's say you have a cancellation policy, guest cancels, you know, you're, you're as a host, you're eligible for like 50%.

whatever it is and then sometimes air bmule step in and give the guest a full refund anyway, right? So it's things like that. There's a lot of you know, there's a lot of hosts that

Doron (36:37.058)
How interesting. They will override the cancellation policy and say, yeah, we were overrided for X reasons.

Jasper Ribbers (36:45.066)
Yeah, they can based on if they decide it's like extenuating circumstances, but then the question is what are those extenuating circumstances? There's room for interpretation. You're not sure if the guest is honest about the reason for the cancellation. So, you know, there's, and those, what tends to happen is the people that are unhappy, they yell the loudest, right? And then it goes on social media, it comes into Facebook groups,

Doron (37:01.108)

Jasper Ribbers (37:16.76)
It becomes a big deal. So no, but…

Doron (37:20.49)
Yeah, that's interesting. Actually, I hadn't appreciated that was one of the levels of the cancellation policy and overriding that I don't believe that that's something that we do. And if we do, it's a very minor case that I may not be aware of, like some death or some of that. But I And we, you know, we will, we will, we have a pretty big budget for stuff that goes wrong where we decide to step in because it feels like the right thing to do. And it's not right from either end.

I'll give you an example. If a host cancels a booking 48 hours from check-in, our team has the permission to spend 50… So if it was a $10,000 booking, they can spend $15,000 finding them a new home. They have a 50% uplift to buy a new… And in most cases with our hosts, I mean, it happens very rarely, but if something like that happens, it's a genuine emergency. Like something…

Big has happened in the house to see, I mean, it happens very rarely, but if it, and then we take that on. We don't ask the host to pay 50% of the stay and we just feel, that's part of the guarantee of kind of booking plum. But we definitely don't get it right all the time when there's tensions around that.

Jasper Ribbers (38:33.034)

Jasper Ribbers (38:37.579)
Mm-hmm. One last question. What about the review system? Is that similar to how it is on Airbnb? How we rate our guests and rate the host?

Doron (38:47.054)
Interesting. So not exactly. So we don't rate the guests. We do ask for feedback on the home. As I mentioned, the feedback, there isn't public reviews on the home. The feedback comes to us. It's asked in this harsher way. We do share it with a host once there's two or three, usually three anonymized so they can see what people are saying. If…

The highs and lows of doing that is you're not beholden to a guest who may be wanting to… There is a slither of guests at the extreme that can take advantage of the review situation by saying, give me this or you get this bad review. So that's not as big a thing and we want to get to a world where…

Jasper Ribbers (39:33.391)

Doron (39:36.97)
I feel our relationship with reviews as customers is an abusive one. No one likes reading through all of those and you spend hours reading because you're just trying to get that security. So we want to be known that this plump stamp means it's great and we've listed what's not great. So the reviews are anonymized. The great thing about it is you can be held hostage to them. And if you're interested in improving your experience, you get very, very good nuanced feedback, like very detailed.

this thing wasn't great or I felt this could be better. And if you're into that kind of thing and we could do another podcast just on what makes a great stay, that's our kind of ultimate subject of geekery, then I think you'll find it.

Jasper Ribbers (40:07.464)

Jasper Ribbers (40:22.37)
Okay. So that's a, that's a very interesting difference between most platforms and Plum Guide that there's no, uh, there's no reviews, right? So I guess the trust, the trust comes from the vetting process that you guys do. So you're kind of taking the vetting process on yourself and so that the guest doesn't have to go through that. Like if I book, if I go book my home in Joshua Tree right now, like I'm just going to assume this, this host is great.

Doron (40:41.23)

Jasper Ribbers (40:51.106)
This how this home is great because otherwise it wouldn't be on your platform.

Doron (40:54.798)
Correct. And if you look, the one thing we do is if you look on the, there's a section called the home truths on the listing. I don't know if it's one that has many, it may not have got many bookings, but in the home truths, when we ask for the feedback from the guest and we said, tell us three things that weren't great, that will get inserted in there. So we are collating a summary of everything that people told us that they didn't think was great. And we'll just tell you, and if that really puts you off,

Jasper Ribbers (41:14.796)

Doron (41:24.883)
you know the sound of crickets is unbearable then you don't book that one.

Jasper Ribbers (41:29.823)
Yeah, I was just looking at that. Actually, I really like that feature because it just sets expectations and it's very transparent. I'm reading, I'm checking out a home right now and it says, due to restrictions in the area, you ask not to use the fireplace or make your own fires. And then it says, previous guests have reported that Wi-Fi and phone signal are extremely limited. Make sure any important emails are sent before you arrive.

I think that's great because we just know that upfront, then it might not be a big deal. Like I probably don't go to Joshua Tree to be in my laptop, right? So maybe I don't care, but it's good to know that, so to have those expectations.

Doron (42:07.128)

Doron (42:12.45)
You know, when we started Plum, we obsessed about what makes the perfect stay and what really matters in the home. And we have this thing called the science behind the perfect stay. And it took us two years to understand that's really half the equation, because the other half is just expectation management. And it sounds so obvious, you know, but it's true. It's like if I brought you to see a movie and I told you nothing about the movie, but it turns out it's a Will Ferrell movie, you know. And before we go in.

Jasper Ribbers (42:30.016)

Doron (42:41.738)
I'm like, this is so inspiring, this movie, like it's going to change how you see love. You know, you're going to think it's awful. And if I'm like, get ready, this is going to be absolute silliness. You know, have a couple of beers and have a laugh. You're going to think it's great. Expectation management is half the game here. And getting good at that. And I think that applies, by the way, if you have your own listing, you know, I, my theory is that if you have a listing on Verbo or Booking or Airbnb and you have a low customer satisfaction.

Jasper Ribbers (42:53.629)

Doron (43:10.778)
I think by rewriting the listing, you can go back up to five out of five. You may find some bookings dropped, but in the long term, you'll win on that.

Jasper Ribbers (43:14.74)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Jasper Ribbers (43:19.702)
Yeah. This reminds me of a podcast that a long time ago with somebody who, uh, who told me to create a great expert experience, guest experience. He said, uh, under promise and over the liver. That always stuck with me. Awesome. Well, um, let's, uh, yeah, we're getting to the end of this podcast. Is there anything you want to, you want to share that we haven't chatted about? I think, I feel like we covered quite a bit.

Doron (43:34.77)
Yeah, exactly right. Yeah, I think that's absolutely right.

Doron (43:48.062)
Yeah, no, that has been great. Thanks for having me. If you are out there, a host who's really passionate about your craft, would love to hear from you. We have 150 criteria for a home, but the only things I think that really matters is if you have a soulful space and you're passionate about the craft, it is highly likely to be a plum home. You know, let us get in touch.

Jasper Ribbers (44:12.662)
Yeah, and if you're looking to stay somewhere in the near future, I would recommend check out Plum Guide because you might want to give that a try versus Airbnb or a different OTA. I'm definitely, I'm convinced, I'm definitely booking a Plum on Joshua Tree. So I'm excited to go through that experience and see how it's different from Airbnb. And well, I'll let you know how it went.

Doron (44:30.219)

Doron (44:39.458)
I'd love to hear that and get your feedback.

Jasper Ribbers (44:42.99)
All right, Doran, thanks so much. Appreciate you taking the time here. Good luck with the platform. And to the listeners, hope you enjoyed this podcast. Check it out, Plum Guide. So it's P-L-U-M, and then just guide.com. And you'll see there's a, yeah, there's a lot of homes on there, 40,000. So you may not, you may haven't heard about this platform, but it's actually a pretty sizable platform with 40,000 homes. So.

Go ahead and check it out. And with that said, we'll see you soon.

Doron (45:17.87)
Thank you very much.

Watch the Episode Here

Join Us in Making a Difference!

Your support is invaluable to us, and we kindly request your assistance in leaving a review on the Get Paid For Your Pad Apple Podcast.

By taking a few moments to share your thoughts, you can help us reach new listeners and make a significant impact. It's a small act of kindness that goes a long way!

To make it even easier for you, we have prepared
step-by-step instructions
on how to leave a review.