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How we increased RevPAR 30% for Del Carmen Hospitality (Ep 623)

Ep 623

Jairo Osorno, founder of Del Carmen Hospitality, shares his journey in the short rental business, from starting with a single unit to managing 51 listings. He discusses the challenges of the master leasing model, the impact of COVID-19, and the importance of revenue management. Jasper Ribbers, host of Get Paid for Your Pad, explores the evolution of the short rental industry and the strategies for success in the current market.

The conversation covers revenue management strategies for short-term rental properties, focusing on pricing, booking windows, and operational optimization. It also delves into the importance of marketing, distribution, and the role of virtual assistants in property management. The discussion provides valuable insights for hosts and operators looking to maximize revenue and streamline operations in the short-term rental market.

Takeaways

Jairo Osorno's journey from a single unit to managing 51 listings
Challenges and changes in the short rental industry over the past decade
The impact of COVID-19 on the master leasing model and revenue management
The importance of operational support and family involvement in the business
Strategies for success in the current short rental market Short booking windows can lead to last-minute bookings at lower prices, impacting revenue.
Changing pricing strategies and leveraging early bird promotions can drive bookings further in advance.
Completing Airbnb listings with detailed information and optimizing categories can improve search visibility and conversion rates.
In-house operations and standardized amenities can provide flexibility and efficiency in property management.
Hiring virtual assistants with industry experience and attention to detail can support operational tasks and guest communication.

Grow your short-term rental business OVERNIGHT SUCCESS

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Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.


Chapters

00:00 The Journey of Del Carmen Hospitality: From Single Unit to 51 Listings
04:45 Challenges and Changes in the Short Rental Industry
11:29 Navigating Market Challenges: The Impact of COVID-19 and Revenue Management
25:35 Maximizing Revenue in Short-Term Rentals: Pricing Strategies and Booking Windows
35:37 Optimizing Operations and Marketing for Short-Term Rental Properties
42:20 The Role of Virtual Assistants in Property Management

Read The Script Here

Jasper Ribbers (00:00.846)
What's up everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Get Paid for Your Pad. Today I have my friend, Jairo Asorno on the show. He is the founder of Del Carmen Hospitality, a short rental company out of Miami. He's been in the space for 10 years. He's got over 7 ,500 reviews on Airbnb, which is pretty amazing. And Jairo is one of our first revenue management clients. So we're going to…

share some results, we're gonna share some learning lessons, and of course we're gonna share Jairo's story. So Jairo, welcome to the show.

Jairo Osorno (00:36.472)
Hey Jasper, thanks, happy to be here.

Jasper Ribbers (00:38.958)
Yeah, good to see you, man. It's funny because I was just staying in one of your units in Miami. My wife actually has a lot of family in Miami and Orlando, and we had a lot of birthdays to celebrate. So we were actually on that side of the country for two weeks, and I had the pleasure to actually stay with Hiro in one of his units. And we went for lunch and it was a lot of fun. So yeah, but it's hot. Man, I forgot how hot it is in Miami. It's so crazy.

Jairo Osorno (01:06.392)
Especially this year. Yeah, yeah, it's hotter than ever. I think we're breaking some records this year and it was nice to see you. It was nice to have lunch. We're still waiting for our five -star review from you. I know it's coming.

Jasper Ribbers (01:16.686)
Of course. Hey, I just checked out yesterday. Yeah, it's crazy how hot it is in Miami. It really made me appreciate the climate here in Southern California. Every time I walked outside, it was like walking into like a hot, like some sort of like wet sauna or like a hot oven or something.

Jairo Osorno (01:33.752)
Take a soda, yeah.

I'm jealous, man, I'm jealous. It's exactly like that, but I'm used to it. Born and raised in Miami, so it's home.

Jasper Ribbers (01:43.822)
Yeah. Awesome, man. Well, let's start. Let's talk about Del Carmen Hospitality. I know you you've been in the business for 10 years. Like, how did you how did you get into it?

Jairo Osorno (01:52.984)
Yeah, so, I mean, historically, my mother and my grandmother in our family home where I was raised, they always kind of had a unit put aside where they were rent long term just for extra income to help pay for some expenses and some bills. And I guess that's, you know, the foundation for the idea. Because as they were doing that, I was still living at home and the year was about 2014. I was young, maybe about 23 or 24 years old still living with them.

to go into college. I remember getting a college loan to buy books and instead of buying books, I asked my mother and my grandmother who owned the home if I can subdivide another portion of the home and try this new thing I was hearing, which was Airbnb, I kept hearing about it. Didn't know much about it, but thought it'd be a cool way to earn some extra income. They allowed me to do that. So I used that money to build out that small unit and started hosting. And it went.

Well, it went very well. So much so that it was earning more money than the long -term units that they were doing. So as time progressed, the long -term units also were converted into Airbnb units. And again, doing this from our home, and we saw an opportunity. And around that time, some of my friends were also getting into real estate. One of my closest friends, if not my best friend, purchased his first multi -family building.

And he actually offered me the opportunity to master lease his building once he saw what we were doing with Airbnb at the house. And we took that step, master leases building six units. So it was arbitrage. And, you know, the year must be maybe about 2015 now and things were very, very good in Miami as far as competition. There wasn't much competition, not the competition that we're seeing today.

And things kind of just grew from there. Every opportunity that I would see that I can potentially do a master lease on a multifamily building, I would do. And actually this friend who leased me the first building, he's a real estate agent. So every time he'd be in the market and see an opportunity that might fit my portfolio, he'd present it to me. And he's pretty much been my exclusive broker since that time. He just brings me buildings.

Jairo Osorno (04:19.48)
And if they're a good fit, we onboard them and we put them into the portfolio. During that time also, we've been lucky enough to make some money and purchase some buildings. So right now it's 51 listings. Of the 51, we own nine of the listings we own. And the other ones are mass released through the Arbitrage model.

Jasper Ribbers (04:45.326)
Gotcha. And so we're now, we're in 2015, you see the opportunity, you're adding some additional buildings. What's changed since then? Because that's like almost 10 years ago, right? Like what's that journey been for you?

Jairo Osorno (04:56.328)
Okay. Yeah. Yeah. So it's, it's, you know, what's, what's, I guess the biggest change is the competition and the lease prices on, on master leasing buildings. my, I mean, I know rents have gone up across the board in the United States, but Miami in particular, I think I've seen some of the biggest increases in the nation. I've seen our leases.

you know, between 2019 and 2023, triple. Yeah. And we don't see the same increases in our revenue. So the margins in that business started to become very squeezed. So as that starts to happen, you have to figure out how to run your business more and more efficiently, how to potentially bring in more revenue and things of that nature. So it's really forced us to become a lot more lean.

Jasper Ribbers (05:31.534)
Wow.

Jairo Osorno (05:55.16)
And really pay attention to the things that make a difference as far as bringing in revenue or cutting out expenses So the biggest change is just that it's not as easy as it used to be at the beginning I remember just onboarding buildings and you know, you're making money not much thought have to go into it

Jasper Ribbers (06:12.142)
I know, when you're talking about tripling rent, my first thought that came to my head was like, man, you must have been just crushing it. It used to mean making so much money.

Jairo Osorno (06:20.76)
Yeah, yeah. But, you know, I wish that was the case forever. Eventually, you know, things change and you have to change with the market.

Jasper Ribbers (06:31.15)
Yeah. Yeah. Well, we'll, we'll talk more about like the revenue side and how we've been working together in the last couple of months. But before we dive into that, like, tell us a little bit more about your model. So like when you, when you master lease this building, multifamily, like six, eight, 10 units, right. what's your process? Like, do you go in there and furnish all the units and how long are the leases? can you walk us through that process?

Jairo Osorno (06:56.888)
Sure, yeah. I mean, so really every building that we've been able to master lease, it's been really relationship driven. So my partner who brings me to these buildings, he either already has a relationship with these people or I through my real estate network have a relationship with these people. So there's already initial trust there and knowing of who we are with each other very randomly or maybe ever. I don't think we've ever had a random.

prospect for a master lease building. It's always been kind of somebody that you know or know of. So that relationship part has always been important as far as getting the foot in the door and having those initial discussions. So once we're able to negotiate a deal on what the per unit cost is going to be per month, considering that we take on a lot of the expenses like water, electricity, utilities, pest control, maintenance on the building,

for the most part, you know, anything under $500 we take on. And landscaping, things of that nature, all those expenses we take. We model that in our models, and if we see that there's a potential to make some profit in this building, then we'll start discussing a lease and putting the terms into the lease that we can both be happy with. Typically, we're doing three -year leases with options to renew. Once that's negotiated upon and executed on,

We negotiate some free time so that we can furnish and onboard these buildings. As you know, that takes time. The process that I've, so I break down the onboarding in two phases. There's the infrastructure that you need to run this type of business. And then there's the furniture and decorations. Infrastructure for us over the years has developed, we've developed kind of like an infrastructure plan that we model.

and that we duplicate across buildings. Things like automated locks, camera systems, access points for internet. Those are things that we would consider infrastructure. We use a lot of gig economy services like Upwork. I'll find a designer. So there's one particular designer that I like working with. She's out of Serbia. And she'll have me take pictures and videos of the space and we'll measure out the space and we'll give her an idea.

Jairo Osorno (09:22.744)
for what we want to do with the space. For example, you stayed in one of our buildings in Little Havana, and we tried to model and decorate that space and influence the decorations on Havana architecture and interior design. So we'll send her a lot of reference pieces that we find on Pinterest or on the internet and say, look, this is kind of the angle that we want to take. And she'll actually develop computer models and renderings of spaces. And we'll work on those renderings together until we're happy with the look.

and she'll take it a step further and actually provide links for the furniture. So now once we have this in hand, we can go to, not really a contractor, but maybe your handy people and say this is what we're trying to execute so they'll paint in the same way or they'll find baseboards or do all of the finishes that you would need to achieve that look. And at the same time, we're purchasing the furniture and just consolidating everything in a public storage and as things arrive.

We'll bring them over to the building and have the handy people put them together and set them up.

Jasper Ribbers (10:26.55)
How long does that process typically take?

Jairo Osorno (10:32.312)
From beginning to I mean so from from from having the plans approved and starting the purchasing from that point to finishing I'd say good Good month and a half for per building month to month and a half

Jasper Ribbers (10:43.874)
Yeah. And then you negotiate that you're not paying rent during that time.

Jairo Osorno (10:49.752)
Yeah, so we try to, we do our best to get as much, we run at the beginning so that we have time to do these things and they understand and they know not only do we need to do this, but we need to take pictures and set up the listings and start marketing the space as well.

Jasper Ribbers (11:01.998)
Right. Yeah. Yeah. So you've been doing this for 10 years now and you know, the master leasing model was very popular. You know, back in like 2015, all the way up to like a couple of years ago, pretty, pretty much like COVID kind of gave that model a bit of a, a bad reputation because so many companies went out of business, right? Cause people were stuck with leases and now the demand, you know, was gone. So like looking back, like if, if somebody were,

If somebody were to ask you right now, like, Hey, you know, would you recommend I start a similar type of business? And, and if so, what would be like your, your advice to, to that person?

Jairo Osorno (11:40.728)
I would recommend it, but you have to be very careful with what you just said. I actually, you know, was very lucky during COVID because South Florida was one of the few places that that didn't close for very long and remained open for most of the time. And if it wasn't for that, I'd probably be in the same boat as these other guys were. Also, because of the relationships we have with the landlords, we were able to not pay rent for a couple of months or pay limited amounts of rent until…

things stabilize and then we repaid everybody on the back end. So those relationships, I would say if you're gonna go into a master lease model, the relationship with the landlord is probably the most important thing. There should be trust between you guys. There should be some kind of relationship that pre -exists just so that they know that you're working in good faith and you can expect them to work in good faith. So if these type of things do occur, you can work through them.

Jasper Ribbers (12:36.27)
Mm -hmm.

Jairo Osorno (12:39.096)
Try to run your numbers on the front end before signing any long -term lease. That's very important. Build models on Excel or on Sheets, models where you can see if you're going to be profitable or not, and where you can factor in your increases over the next couple of years or few years, depending on the term of your lease. And just make sure that there is enough money there where you're not going to be in trouble after you sign that lease. That's it.

Jasper Ribbers (13:03.79)
Mm hmm. Yeah, because I remember when when I got into Airbnb and you as well in 2014, I used to think that, you know, if you can't make like two or three X versus long versus the lease.

And those opportunities were there. They were, they were all over the place. Right. So it's like, if people would ask me like, Hey, well, you know, what kind of margin would you want to make if you do like an arbitrage and I'd be like, two free acts, you know, right now that's, I don't know if that's even possible anymore. Right.

Jairo Osorno (13:34.488)
I mean, not for us, not even close. We're happy if we get 15 % net margins on a P &L model. So, if 15 % net profits, 20 % net profits based off of revenues, that for us is a pretty successful mass release in today's market.

Jasper Ribbers (13:42.062)
Yeah.

Jasper Ribbers (13:52.558)
Right. Yeah. Which is, you know, which is, you know, for you, I mean, you've been doing this for 10 years. Obviously you've got a ton of experience, you've fine tuned your business and everything, your operations. but for somebody new to get into this, you know, with, with no experience, like trying to go for that, like 15, 20 % margin, that must be, I don't know. That's pretty, that sounds like a pretty daunting thing to do.

Jairo Osorno (14:16.12)
stuff. Yeah, because you need some volume for that to make sense.

Jasper Ribbers (14:19.95)
Mm -hmm. Yeah, 100%. All right, well, let's talk about, now that we're talking about money and revenues and margins and stuff, let's talk about the revenue management side. So you, I think you came to us early January, right? To see if we could work together, right? Like what was the reason that you wanted to work with us on the revenue management?

Jairo Osorno (14:38.36)
Right.

Jairo Osorno (14:46.392)
You know, so our relationship from a revenue management perspective started with the revenue management consulting at the beginning. And it was kind of just to explore what we can be doing better. That's how this started for us. And as we had those weekly calls and those meetings, we realized that there was a lot more to revenue management that meets DI, especially for us. For us, historically, it was kind of just like set it and forget it on Price Labs.

Jasper Ribbers (14:54.542)
Mm -hmm.

Jairo Osorno (15:16.024)
We look at it whenever we could and didn't really know how to optimize. But as you were teaching us things, we realized that it takes a lot more time than you probably would think to optimize your revenue. And when we got to the end of that consulting period, we said, hey, we think it'll be a good idea if Jasper and his team actually took this on.

And the numbers made sense. I mean, at the end of the day, you know, we're all in this because it's a business. We love it, of course, but it is a business and it needs to make money and decisions that we make have to yield. And you helped us see that, you know, based on how or the extra income that we can expect taking away your fee, we're still going to be making more money than we would have if we did this alone. And that's really just that's the bottom line for us. It's working with you and doing it together is going to make us more money.

Not to mention the relationship is good and we know that we're in good hands because you guys are industry experts. You're not somebody building a course or trying to sell something that they don't actually do themselves. And that was another point of the appreciation that was important to us.

Jasper Ribbers (16:18.766)
Yeah.

And yeah, just to recap that, like we started consulting with you in January and we did that for three months. And then in April we took over the revenue management. But why did you come to us in the first place for the consulting side?

Jairo Osorno (16:42.392)
Well, because we saw a big change in the market. 2021, 2022 were very hot, easy to make money those years. 2023, not so much. And we saw that on the P &L. Continuing into 2024, we were expecting the same thing. So we really needed to change something. We knew we needed to change something if we wanted our numbers to be where they needed to be. And that's really the catalyst for…

for going into the consulting in the first place.

Jasper Ribbers (17:14.606)
Yeah, because I remember on one of our first calls, we actually went through QuickBooks, right? And we looked at the P &L. And this is the thing with the master leasing model, right? It can be very, very profitable. But if the rents are going up and the market's slowing down, that profit can quickly disappear, right? And then making an extra like 10%, 20%, 30%, that could mean the difference between…

making a healthy profit for yourself and for your business, or just breaking even and not making anything versus the management model. Yeah, if your income, if your top line revenue that you generate for your clients, if that goes down 20%, your income goes down 20%. But for mass leasing, or if you own your own units, that 20 % decrease could just mean the difference between making no money or making good profit, right? Let's say if your top line is like,

Jairo Osorno (18:08.408)
Right.

Jasper Ribbers (18:10.702)
your top line is probably going to be around the one and a half or so this year, right? Like if that, if your leases and all your expenses are like 1 .2, then it's like, we're making free 100K. But now if your revenue goes down 20%, now suddenly make zero, right? So it's such a high, it's such a leveraged game that you're playing in that model, right?

Jairo Osorno (18:31.32)
Exactly, exactly.

Jasper Ribbers (18:34.51)
So, well, let's dive into kind of like what have the results been, but more importantly, like how do we get to those results, right? Because there's a lot of learning lessons, I think, in the five months or so that we've been working together. So let me ask you at first, and I have a lot of things that I could share, obviously, on my side. But from what you've seen, what were some of the biggest learning lessons or?

changes that we've made since we started working together.

Jairo Osorno (19:08.376)
I mean, so it's not just purely numbers. So a lot of the things that we learned with you was we actually reviewed our listings and realized that there was a lot more that we can be doing that we weren't doing that will help us generate more revenue. For example, our pictures weren't great, our listing titles, our descriptions, we had no captions in our photos, the orders of our photos, things of that nature that can easily be tweaked.

that can make a difference on the amount of revenue that you earn every month. So having that advice for us was invaluable and we've been executing on that. So it's not very simple for us because we have 51 listings, 20 or 30 photos per listing and it's a lot of work. But it's something that we've noticed that when we made those changes, along with the work that you've been doing on your side, we're seeing increases in revenue.

Jasper Ribbers (20:01.23)
Yeah. Yeah. And a lot of people seem to think that revenue management is just setting a base price in price labs, right? And as you mentioned, there's a lot more that goes.

Jairo Osorno (20:10.328)
That's what it was for us for many years. That's what we did for many, many years. Just set the base, set it, forget it, and good luck.

Jasper Ribbers (20:17.358)
Yeah. And to your point, like that worked in 2016, 17, 18, and it might even work. It worked in 2021, depending on what market you were in in 2022. But those days are now officially over, I think. You know, there might be a few places around the world where that's still the case, but yeah, I mean, revenue management is really, it's not just the pricing, right? It's the entire business that supports the revenue management. There's only so much that you can do with looking at the

data and like setting prices, changing prices and chasing your settings, your minimum night stays and like, you know, the discounts and whatnot. But then the end of the day, like there's all the other departments play into it. Right. So, and that's why, you know, our, our surface, our RPM re we call it revenue and pricing management. If you're not familiar with our service, by the way, you can listen to the podcast that I did with Eric, a couple of days ago for a detailed description of like what, what the service entails, but.

One of the important parts is that we meet every single week, obviously, to review the results, but also to talk about all those other departments. Like, what can we do operationally to support the revenue management side? One of the things that I'm really happy that you guys took action on was hiring a virtual assistant, right? Because I remember when we started,

like there was a lot of things that you guys weren't doing like responding to reviews and like I, every time I logged into your Airbnb account, I saw those reservation requests and I'm like, Jairo, you gotta respond fast.

Jairo Osorno (21:47.)
Yeah, yeah, it's always very embarrassing getting on those calls on Wednesday just knowing that Jasper's gonna call us out on all these things that we're not doing. So, yeah, that kind of caused us to move on that VAs and you were able to also support some or provide some support on job description advice that we use to generate our job descriptions and post that online and find the right person and get them going. And my mom, thanks you very much because she was the one that was handling all of the guest communications.

She no longer has to do that, so she's very happy.

Jasper Ribbers (22:20.654)
Yeah, and one thing that's actually really cool about your business is that you're actually, you're a family -run business, right? You work with your mom and your sister.

Jairo Osorno (22:28.024)
Yeah, yeah. So my mother's name is Maria del Carmen and the business name is derived from that. So that's Del Carmen Hospitality. She's the operations boots on the ground. My sister's everything clerical and financial related. My mom has a staff cleaning staff that reports to her and she also manages the handy people. But yeah, it's a family business and happy for that.

Jasper Ribbers (22:50.574)
Mm -hmm.

Jasper Ribbers (22:55.886)
Yeah, I mean, that's invaluable, right? It's like freeing up the time. And we'll go a little deeper into the operations and how that VA is supporting the revenue management through the operations. But let me share some results real quick, right? So in…

Our REVPAR, which if you're not unfamiliar with REVPAR, it stands for Revenue Per Available Room. It's really the best KPI or the best metric that we have in the industry to look at our results. And the reason is that REVPAR combines occupancy with ADR, but also the amount of time that a unit is available. So if we just look at revenue, that's not a good metric because what if the owner occupied the…

the unit for like a week or let's say it was closed for maintenance for like a week or so. And ref bar really take that takes that into account by calculating the average amount of money that you made per day. So if the month has 30 days, then you just divide the total revenue by 30 and that's how you get to your ref bar. so April, April and May, you know, our ref bar was up about 27 % compared to last year.

the market was, and we always adjust for markets when we evaluate, right? Because if we're taking over a portfolio and we're like, hey, we did 20 % better at Refpar, but then if the entire market is up 20%, then we really didn't do any better than last year, right? So we always adjust our numbers for how the market did. So, you know, Refpar, 30%, that's pretty…

I'm pretty excited about that because I remember when we first started working together, I told you like, okay, I think we can, we could probably do like at least 10, 15, maybe 20, maybe 25. So just seeing that 30 % rep per hour increase is pretty exciting. And then just to kind of give an idea of like the additional revenue that's being created, I just calculated it just for April and May that results in like almost 50 ,000 of additional.

Jasper Ribbers (25:06.094)
revenue, which in your case, because, because you're a master leasing and you're not, you know, doing management, that's actually money goes straight into your pocket. Right. And I calculate that that's a five point, five point six four ROI actually on the fee that you're, that you're paying us. And I think one of the biggest reasons that we've been able to increase it so much has to do with the booking window. cause one of the things I noticed when we started working together, I was like, your booking window is extremely short, right? It was like,

literally like last year, 2023, the booking window was 7 .8 days, which is like just over a week, which is very short. And obviously Miami is a, it's a, you know, it's a downtown, it's a city market. So the, the booking window is always going to be short, especially for the units that you have, right? You have the, they're all studios and one bedroom. So it's definitely typical to have that short booking window.

But the challenge with such a short booking window is that you're always like booking at these last minute prices, right? And so I think one of the biggest ways that we've been able to achieve this result is by changing our pricing strategy and get more bookings further in advance through different things. We're using like the early bird promotion Airbnb, but we're also, we're also using Airbnb custom promotions and a few other strategies to really drive bookings further out.

Jairo Osorno (26:24.184)
Thank you.

Jasper Ribbers (26:30.542)
and I just calculated that the booking window has increased from 7 .8 to 16 .06 for April, June. So like the booking window pretty much doubled, which means that we're booking a lot more units at higher prices further in advance than having to heavily discount last minute, right? Cause we all know last minute, like if you, if you're still scrambling for bookings a couple of days in advance, like we're going to have to be very competitive in price to get those bookings at that point. Right. So.

I think that's really one of the biggest drivers. And for everybody out there who's listening, if you're in a situation too where you're just getting all these last minute bookings and you're struggling to get bookings further out, then I think that's a really important focus. When the times were good, everyone was putting those massive premiums, those future premiums. And that's difficult these days. It's better to just…

It's better to offer like a small discount and get people to book further in advance these days, especially in the competitive markets.

So that's, I think that's a big, that was one of the big changes, but let's talk about some specific improvements that we, or changes that we made. Like, what, let me ask you, like, what on the pricing side, like what, from your perspective, what were some of the biggest changes that we've made?

Jairo Osorno (27:53.496)
I mean, it's all these nuances. There are so many things that you guys are doing that we weren't even thinking about. Like you mentioned the yearly bird specials and the way those are executed. They take a lot of work to actually do. But it's a combination of all those little things that when stacked make a difference to the revenue. If you don't have the time like us to actually execute those things, it's…

Jasper Ribbers (28:15.534)
Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Jairo Osorno (28:22.072)
That's why the service is so valuable.

Jasper Ribbers (28:25.774)
Yeah. And I think that's one thing that everybody has to really realize. I think if you want to maximize your revenue, you have to look at it every single day. You know, like I spend about an hour per day per portfolio to look at, look at the pacing and look at all the occupancy for all the units, right? And literally looking at like what bookings are every single booking that comes in. You should, as a revenue manager, you should look at every single booking that comes in.

Because every single booking has some information, right? So it's really, really important to look at that every single day. And again, a couple of years ago, that wasn't necessarily, but in today's climate, it's just, there's no other way around it. It's just something that somebody on the team, especially if you're a larger operator like yourself, somebody on the team has to have the full focus on revenue management, right? If you love doing it yourself, then it could be yourself, but…

There's gotta be somebody who has a full focus on it. But I made some notes of just kind of like sharing some concrete changes that we made. So number one, I mentioned like the Airbnb customer promotions. A lot of hosts are not using these and we can do a whole podcast on Airbnb custom promotions, how they work, how to apply them, because it's pretty tricky.

But we won't go too much into detail because we'll be talking for like two hours. But if you're not leveraging Airbnb custom promotions, and Airbnb is a big channel for you, then I highly, highly recommend check out those custom promotions because this year, people are really looking for discounts. People want to get a deal. And so having that call out,

on the Airbnb listing where it says like book now and get 20 % off, 25 % off, having the strike through, having that extra line item on the price breakdown on Airbnb can really help your conversion on the Airbnb listing. And if you play it right, a lot of times you actually don't have to give a real discount because Airbnb uses a historic price point to determine the price of your custom promotion.

Jasper Ribbers (30:45.326)
which is something that a lot of hosts are not aware of. So it could be the case that let's say you want to charge like 200 bucks for Saturday night, it's possible that you go on Airbnb at like a 20 or 30 % discount and you'll still be at that $200 price point. So it's definitely a little bit of a tricky game that requires a lot of management, but it's very powerful if you apply it correctly. Number two is the early bird discount on Airbnb.

it's very, very powerful, because that really helps you extend that booking window. if you, if you have an early bearer discount, the Airbnb is going to show your listings to more people when they're looking, to book further out. Next is, you know, one thing that I do is a lot of, a lot of, I think a lot of operators are pricing too flat, which means that, you know, in your market, there's a lot of demand on the weekends, but there's not a lot of demand on the weekdays.

Right. And if we only get booked on the weekends, which is I think for June right now, it's like very slow Miami, right? I was looking at your data from last year and last year, like you didn't have a lot of weekday bookings. Like most of the bookings were on the weekends and we only booked the weekends. That's a problem because, because then like our occupancy drops so low. Like I think last year, June, it was for you, it was like 36 or so.

And we just were losing momentum. Airbnb is kind of like an all or nothing game, right? We have to constantly be booked. We have to really drive that occupancy at least 60, preferably 70 to 80 % in order to get that momentum going and being able to charge the higher prices on the weekends. So what we did was we actually added a premium to the weekend nights and we lowered the weekdays a little bit so that we weren't as…

flat as the market and therefore we were able to drive a lot of currency during the week. Lastly, what's really, really important, what I think a lot of hosts miss is we have to look into the future. We have to know what's going to happen. Obviously we can't predict the future, but there's so many tools in Pricelabs and other pricing tools where you can see how are bookings looking for the next week or for the next month compared to last year.

Jasper Ribbers (33:08.494)
Cause if you recognize that there's weakness and you can see, you can literally see this for every single day. if there's weakness, then you know that you're going to have to be competitive early on to get the bookings. But if you see that the markets looks very strong, then you can keep the prices higher. Right. So we always have to look, look at the pacing and look at the, how many bookings are, how many, how much occupancy is on the books compared to last year on the same day. Right. And what was the final occupancy? so those are kind of like.

There's a lot more and we could talk for two hours about this, but I think those are the most important things that people have to apply in order to really maximize their revenue.

Jairo Osorno (33:50.968)
And who's got the time? That's really, that's our, that's how we saw it. There's a lot of nuance in doing that. So you need not to only have the expertise, but you need to have the time to be able to do all that. And that was a big driving factor. yeah, and if you enjoy it even better, because the time, you won't feel the time.

Jasper Ribbers (34:06.125)
Well, and you need to enjoy it.

Jasper Ribbers (34:13.038)
Yeah, no, cause that's the thing. Like, you know, it's hard, it's hard to do this stuff if you're not, if, if numbers and graphs is not your thing, then you're kind of like, you know, swimming against, against the stream and it's, it's tough. It's tough. You know, I, I happen to be like a massive nerd and I love looking at numbers and graphs. And that's pretty much all I do these days. Cause we've got like six, seven portfolios now. So like,

Jairo Osorno (34:25.496)
It's just noise.

Jasper Ribbers (34:40.622)
pretty much my whole day I'm just staring at price laps and which yeah, I love it. But yeah, like it's tricky, right? Because if that's not your thing and to spend like an hour or maybe like an hour and a half a day looking at these numbers, if that's not what you enjoy doing, then it's just really difficult to do something well if you're not having fun with it.

Jairo Osorno (34:44.152)
but you're happy as can be.

Jasper Ribbers (35:08.75)
Let's talk about some other departments, right? Because we mentioned how it's not just about the pricing, right? We really got to look at our operations, at our marketing, distribution. It all plays into the revenue maximizing strategy, right? So you mentioned the marketing side. This is something that I see a lot now in the portfolios that we manage. There are so many Airbnb listings. There's 7 million or 8 million or something now.

In order to show up on the top few pages, our listings really have to be dialed in. We have to fill out all the different sections, like the amenities, adding detail to the amenities, the captions, the descriptions, obviously the photos, but also our Airbnb profile. Everything needs to be complete. We can't miss any information. We really have to dial in our listings 100 % because Airbnb doesn't like it.

when you don't have any captions because they Airbnb knows that those captions will help drive conversions. Right. So we, as a host, we have to play that game. We have to play Airbnb's game. Otherwise we're, you know, we're not going to show up in the search results. So I've noticed that especially this year, like there's, there's a lot of, a lot of, you know, students in our, in our, in our revenue management course and our clients who have beautiful homes, but they're

because the Airbnb listings are like 80 % finished and not 100 % finished, they're still struggling. So I think that's, and we've been working on your listings for a while now. We've created a database, because there's a lot. There's a lot that goes into it.

Jairo Osorno (36:51.288)
We've been doing it for since January and we're still working on it. Currently we're editing all of the pictures and that's a daunting task. Luckily we were able to find some good help online and we've got a gentleman who's doing a great job and he's about 10 % in.

Jasper Ribbers (37:11.278)
Yeah, yeah, no, it's the pictures, but then also it's, you know, all the stuff that we worked on is, for example, the categories, right? This is something that I think not a lot of people know, but a lot of times, like the Airbnb categories are kind of random. I'm sure if you're listening to this, I'm sure it is my sound familiar, but like some of our listings in Idlewild for FreeWild, we were in the desert category, but then we weren't in the cabins category, which in Idlewild, it's mountains. There's no desert.

But the reason that Airbnb thought that we were in the desert is because we're so close to Palm Springs. So the algorithm that they use, like it's just off, right? And like, and that was the case for some of your listings too, right? Where it's like the categories just didn't really make sense.

Jairo Osorno (37:52.088)
Yeah, they would say beach when the certain listing wasn't even close to the beach. Or national park, I think, was what we were getting. We were getting national park in some of them and we don't have any parks close by.

Jasper Ribbers (38:03.246)
Yeah. Yeah. And I think it's something that a lot of most people don't notice, but there's a way to suggest to Airbnb what categories you want to be in. And there's also a way to suggest to Airbnb that they delete certain categories that are not accurate. And it's really important to show up in the right categories because people use those categories when they, when they search Airbnb. So if you have not, gone through this process, then what I would recommend is, go to,

Elevate .translated .com slash categories. Okay, this is a link that you can find on the Airbnb website as well if you search for it. So if you search Airbnb, if you Google Airbnb categories, you'll be able to find this link on that page, but it's Elevate .translated .com slash categories. If you type that into a URL, you can log in with your Airbnb in the login details, and then you'll be able to literally suggest to Airbnb what categories your listing should be in.

And they will respond typically within five days or so. We got our listings for FreeWild. We got all of our listings in the cabins category, which is the most important for us. And we got one of our units in the design category, which is really nice, because if you're in design, you can then add information on who designed your unit. And that will display on the Airbnb listing. So that's pretty neat. But then it's also like,

the wifi speed, for example, right? We can do like a real test, the wifi speed test. That's gonna show up in your listing too. And there's very few hosts who have done that. So there's just so many little details now that where you can optimize these listings. And it's really, really important to do that because if you don't, then you're really falling behind. And like you mentioned, it is a lot of work. And it's also Airbnb is constantly changing things, right?

So we always have to stay updated on like, what's the newest feature? And because Airbnb really gives you an advantage if you're on top of this stuff. And the reality is that most hosts just aren't, right? So we can stand out from the crowd by being constantly updated and just making sure everything is dialed in.

Jairo Osorno (40:14.584)
Yeah, it was a lot of work. I remember having to go to each one of the listings and it's 51 of them and do that that Wi -Fi test.

Jasper Ribbers (40:24.11)
I know right, it probably took you the whole day.

Jairo Osorno (40:28.504)
A few days, I would say.

Jasper Ribbers (40:30.094)
let me see. I've made some auto notes. yeah. So operations, right. like when we started working together, like you mentioned, there was, we, when we get like an inquiry on Airbnb, like we have to respond fast, right? Cause that's a, that's a lead. That's a sales leads essentially. Somebody is interested in our space. Right. So every, every minute that we wait, we might lose that lead. so having somebody to, you know, to, to be there to focus on that.

as well as like, you know, writing the reviews and responding to the reviews. Like that's, that's a lot of work in itself. Right. And you guys, when we started working together, you guys were pretty overwhelmed. I was, I was shocked that you guys didn't have a VA with 51 listings.

Jairo Osorno (41:14.136)
Yeah, now having one, I'm shocked that we didn't either now knowing what's on the other side of having a VA.

Jasper Ribbers (41:22.83)
I know, it feels so good when you're just like, you look and somebody else is doing the work for you.

Jairo Osorno (41:25.496)
Yeah.

Jairo Osorno (41:29.136)
yeah, we're definitely gonna go for a second one soon.

Jasper Ribbers (41:32.206)
Yeah, yeah, it's amazing. And by the way, you hired a virtual assistant in, cause most people hired them in the Philippines, but you ended up hiring somebody in Columbia, right?

Jairo Osorno (41:41.368)
Columbia, right?

Jasper Ribbers (41:43.438)
How's that experience so far?

Jairo Osorno (41:46.392)
So far, very good. We're very happy with her. So time, there's not too big of a time difference between us and them. Also, a lot of our guests are Spanish speakers who come from Latin American countries, so it's good to have somebody who speaks Spanish, for us at least. So that's been a very good plus. But we've been happy, very happy. She's done a good job. She was somebody who had experience in our industry. So we hired well.

Jasper Ribbers (42:01.966)
Mm -hmm.

Jasper Ribbers (42:13.006)
Nice. And can you share like how you find, how did you find your virtual system?

Jairo Osorno (42:18.36)
Sure. So the first thing was defining the job description. You know, really being very detailed on that document and creating a document for a job description. This allows you not only the opportunity to really know what you're looking for and to dial that in, but it also makes it clear of what you're expecting. We added something to ours where we have the person we hire sign the job description so if there's ever any issues in the future we can say, look, this is part of your job description. This is what you sign on your…

on your hire date. So once we have the job description done, I went on to Upwork and started to search people that I felt, or job titles that I felt will have complimentary skill sets to that job description. And I would just go through them. And as I saw people that I thought were a good fit, I would ask them if they'd like to apply for this job. We ended up getting maybe six or seven people that were interested in applying. Then we scheduled interviews with each one of them.

Our long list turned into a short list of two and ended up selecting the one that we thought would be the best fit.

Jasper Ribbers (43:27.918)
And that's, did it take a long time to go because on the network there's thousands of thousands of profiles, right? Did it take you some time to, you know, to really make that selection?

Jairo Osorno (43:38.264)
No, not really. I would say from when we started inviting people to interview, about a week and a half, just to schedule everybody and actually do the interviews. We also developed a score sheet, where as we were interviewing them, we would score certain attributes, one to ten, and at the bottom of the sheet, you know, add them up, so it's kind of like a point system. So the ones with the most points were the ones that made it onto our short list. And yeah.

Jasper Ribbers (43:50.862)
Mm -hmm.

Jasper Ribbers (44:06.126)
Right.

Jairo Osorno (44:07.96)
But no, it didn't take very long, under two weeks.

Jasper Ribbers (44:12.11)
Gotcha, yeah. Yeah, and it's such a good bang for your buck, right? To get a virtual assistant, given the amount of the cost versus the amount of additional help that you get for you sometimes is pretty powerful.

Jairo Osorno (44:24.024)
Absolutely.

Jairo Osorno (44:28.088)
100%. Yeah.

Jasper Ribbers (44:29.678)
awesome, man. Well, I appreciate you jumping on here today. gyro, do you have any final words of wisdom? I mean, you've, you've got 7 ,500 reviews, 10 years on Airbnb. Any, any, any words of wisdom to the, to the audience here?

Jairo Osorno (44:46.68)
man, I wish I did. I have words, I'm not necessarily sure that they have any wisdom in them. But I guess, you know, really understand what's working, right? I mean, for us, at least from a scaling perspective, the best advice that I can give you is to keep everything the same or all of the things the same between listings. For example, the type of TVs that we use, all of the remotes are interchangeable, the mini splits that we install, they're all the same.

But a lot of the things that are the same about our units, so that from an operational point of view, you can handle issues a lot more quickly and efficiently. So, yeah.

Jasper Ribbers (45:22.998)
Yeah. Yeah. Getting the operations dialed in that is essential, right? For to get to that skill. And I have to say like one thing that I was very impressed with was your operations actually. Like your ability to do like take those very last minute bookings and do like one night stays and turnovers back to back.

turn our overs, you know, that's, that's something that's also really important, right? Cause in order to maximize the revenue, we don't want to have too many restrict operational restrictions, right? There's a lot of operators who are like, we can't really do too many back to back bookings because then we're getting issues with cleaners and, you know, or maybe we can't do last minute bookings or, you know, all those operational restrictions also play, limit the, the amount of revenue that we can generate. Right? So, I would say that that's one thing that.

you guys have really dialed in is the operations and that really supports the revenue management side. So good job on that.

Jairo Osorno (46:22.584)
Yeah, well thank you. Thank you. Thank you for that compliment. And I think what's allowed us that flexibility is that we kept a lot of those operations in house. So the cleaning staff, they work only for us. We wash all of our linen in a central location. So we're washing about 12 ,000 pounds of linen a month, but it all comes to a central location, gets washed, and then gets distributed back out. So being able to control that in house has given us that flexibility. I think it's when you start working with third parties that…

because of their restrictions, you now have to restrict on your portfolio. Yeah.

Jasper Ribbers (46:53.326)
Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. 100%. Awesome, man. Well, thanks again for joining today. We've been talking for quite a while now. If people are going to visit Miami, where should people go to stay at one of your units?

Jairo Osorno (47:11.992)
Yeah, so just www .stayedellcarmen .com. You can also find us on Instagram with the same handle, at StayedellCarmen.

Jasper Ribbers (47:21.774)
at staydelcarmen on Instagram and then staydelcarmen .com is the website where you can see all 51 of Jiro's listings. So if you go to Miami, I highly recommend it. I just stayed with them over the weekend and it was a very pleasant experience. So good job on that. And yeah, and also if you are listening, if you need help with the revenue management, as we…

Jairo Osorno (47:44.344)
Thank you.

Jasper Ribbers (47:51.63)
Eric and I announced on the last podcast that we did, we now officially have, are open for applications for revenue management. So we can either, we can support you in three different ways. We have the Cashflow Mastery course, which is do it yourself. You learn it and then you go ahead and implement everything. We have a consultancy side where I basically help you set everything up. We do like a weekly call. And then we also have the revenue management service where we just completely take over your revenue management like we did with Hyrule.

And if you are interested in that, you can go to freewildfoundry .com slash RPM. So RPM stands for revenue and pricing management. That's the name of our service. So free wild is a F R E E W Y L D foundry .com slash RPM. Right now we're only taking on portfolios of at least a million dollars. But yeah, if you're interested, if you're, if you have a portfolio that size, if you're slightly lower.

That's fine too. But yeah, reach out to us and we'll be excited to talk to you and see if it's a good fit. So with that said, thanks for listening. Hope this podcast was useful and Hyro, good luck with your business. I know we'll talk to you every week. And I'm looking forward to coming back to Miami when it's a little bit less hot in the future.

Jairo Osorno (49:13.144)
Looking forward to seeing you here again soon, man. Thanks.

Jasper Ribbers (49:17.454)
All right, Jairo, take it easy. And to the listeners, thanks for listening. We'll see you next time.

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