Have you ever wondered what a Superhost is doing that you’re not? This week Jasper in joined by world famous Superhost Mina from Shanghai. Mina is famous because she is currently featured on Airbnb’s Website. You can find her here, (2nd picture down).
Mina has been a Superhost for nine straight quarters, so it’s clear that she’s doing something right and she is more than willing to share her tips for becoming and staying a Superhost on Airbnb.
Mina’s start with Airbnb
Mina’s current Airbnb situation
Tips for becoming, and remaining, an Airbnb Superhost
Mina’ Airbnb plans going forward
Email: [email protected]
This episode is sponsored by Hostfully.com!
Welcome to “Get Paid For Your Pad,” the definitive show on AirBnB hosting. Featuring the best advice on how to maximize profits from your AirBnB listing as well as real life experiences from AirBnB hosts all over the world. Welcome.
Music Lyrics: “Get paid for your pad, get paid for your pad, get paid for your pad. Get paid for your pad, get paid for your pad, get paid for your pad.
Jasper: This episode is brought to you by Hostfully, a company that helps you make beautiful guidebooks for your listing. Make your own at Hostfully.com/pad and as a special for Get Paid For Your Pad listeners, you get a free guidebook consultation after you make your guidebook.
Jasper: Welcome everyone to episode one hundred and fifteen of Get Paid For Your Pad, and first of all I want to wish everybody a happy new year, I hope you had a great party and I hope that you will have a very successful 2017 when it comes to AirBnB hosting but also when it comes to everything else in your life.
Today I have a very special guest, a very famous guest, and she lives in shanghai and her name is Mina, so Mina, welcome to the show.
Mina: Hello everybody, thanks Jasper for inviting me to the show. I wish everybody a happy new year and hope everybody can have a fulfilled, successful happy new year. Everything will come true, every wishes will come true.
Jasper: Awesome, and just to be clear we are recording this the day before Christmas and Mina is about to have a great party in shanghai. We were just video chatting ab it before we were recording this and she’s has a nice Christmas decoration on her hat, it looks very cool. What are you- What kind of party do you have, Mina?
Mina: Just a friends gathering, we are going to celebrate Christmas eve together and have some friends, they are cooking, preparing the foods for everybody so I don’t know what to expect but I think it’s going to be awesome.
Jasper: That’s great, that’s great, and now you don’t have to cook because you know, you have an excuse because you have to talk to me.
Mina: Yeah, thank you.
Jasper: But let me first explain to everybody why you are so famous. Well, if you go through AirBnB.com/trust then you will get to a page and about- If you scroll down a little bit, you’ll see a picture of Mina and it says “We make it easy to get to know hosts like Mina.” There’s a picture of you, and I think you are actually cooking in the picture.
Mina: Yes. I used- When I just start AirBnB I prepare a welcome dinner for all my guests, it’s free. Everybody loves me.
Jasper: That’s great. Well we’re going to talk a lot about that because Mina has been a superhost for nine quarters in a row and you told me you’re the only person in china who has been a superhost for nine quarters in a row, so that is pretty amazing.
Mina: Yeah, thanks.
Jasper: And that’s because you make all your guests very happy as you’ve told me and of course we all want to know how do you do that? So one of the things you do is you prepare a welcome dinner for you’re guests.
Jasper: So you must be a good cook?
Mina: Yeah, when I [inaudible 00:03:45] Nestle, all my clients are five star hotels’ chefs so they teach me how to cook.
Jasper: Ah, that’s very useful.
Jasper: So do you- Let’s talk about your listing. Do you rent out an entire place or do you rent out a room?
Mina: I have different listings. Some I rented out as entire home and some I rented out as private room.
Jasper: Oh okay. But when you rent out an entire home, do you cook your guests dinner in that house or do you invite them somewhere else?
Mina: Usually I don’t cook now, but if my guests request I can do that for them. Right now most of my guests prefer to have some private time if they travel as a group.
Jasper: Oh okay.
Speaker 6: Right.
Jasper: Got it.
Jasper: So what else do you do, how did you manage to get such great reviews? Mina just showed me an email she got from AirBnB, she has gotten 87 percent five star reviews over 125 trips over the last few years, and you started hosting when?
Mina: August 2013.
Jasper: August 2013.
Mina: October. im sorry, October.
Jasper: October 2013.
Jasper: Right, so you’ve been hosting for over two years?
Mina: More than two years, around three years I guess.
Jasper: Oh yeah, you’re right. I guess my uh- I just woke up, so my calculation skills are a little subpar at the moment.
Mina: It’s okay.
Jasper: Sorry about that. Three years indeed. That’s a long time, you must have been one of the first people- Were you one of the first people in china to rent out an AirBnB?
Mina: Yeah, im one of those early birds.
Jasper: How did you find out about AirBnB?
Mina: I once met a friend at a [inaudible 00:05:40] and he’s from California and he told me about AirBnB. At that time I planned to move to a new apartment, I was searching for a new apartment, then I found out it’s a great idea if I rent out a room on AirBnB it may cover all my rent and I can live in a nice apartment in the city center. So that’s why I want to start AirBnB and it changed my life entirely afterwards.
Jasper: Very cool.
Jasper: Is there any revelation with regards to AirBnB in Shanghai at all?
Mina: No, AirBnB china company just established a regency and I found there are more and more regulations but now it’s very- There are not many strict regulations now. We haven’t heard anything from AirBnB that we cannot do anything yet.
Jasper: Right, and when you rented out your first AirBnB, you say you were renting it long term. Did your landlord- Was he okay or was she okay with it?
Mina: Actually they didn’t know.
Jasper: You didn’t tell them, huh?
Mina: Yeah, because I was inside as well, so I think it’s okay.
Jasper: Yep. No, I mean, it’s okay. I was just curious because some people tell their landlords and some people don’t.
Mina: No, I would tell my landlord. Because in the beginning, nobody- No, even my friends who received a higher education overseas, many of them, they didn’t know AirBnB at that time and most of my landlords they are very- They are a little bit old and so they are not as modern or fashionable and so it’s easier to just tell them im going to live inside, otherwise it would make them feel confused.
Jasper: Ah, okay right. I got it. How many listings are you looking after now? Are these all listings that you rent out yourself or are they also places that are owned by other people who you help to manage their units?
Mina: Both. Right now I have three locations. I once had more than seven locations, but now I only- I just narrowed down because I wanted to adjust my strategy and my business model in the future. So now I only have three locations and two I rent them from the owner and sublease on AirBnB and one villa I help the owner to manage on AirBnB.
Jasper: Oh okay, I see, I see. What about the place where you live yourself?
Mina: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jasper: Do you rent that one out on AirBnB when you’re traveling?
Mina: I just moved to a new apartment and it’s a two bedroom apartment. I would take one and the other one I [inaudible 00:08:32] list it on AirBnB, just one room. So my guests would stay with me.
Jasper: Got it, got it. So Mina you’ve been a superhost for nine quarters, you know that’s a great accomplishment and you must be doing a lot of things right and im sure everybody wants to learn from you so can you tell us- Can you explain us, can you give us the secrets of how to do such a good job, how to be such a good host that you get such good reviews.
Mina: Sure. There are three things I want to focus on and the first one is always think ahead from your guest, be considerate on everything detail oriented. Like once my guests book their reservation I will reply their message immediately and then I will tell them, I will send them a trekking guide three days prior to their arrival day and I will provide everything they need in the pdf, every information they need to make them feel that they are secured. That’s the first thing, think ahead and be considerate.
The second one is always speak with your guests, because some listings I don’t live there so I hope my guests know that I will always be around whenever they need me. Make them feel they are secure and someone always will be there to take care of them.
Third, it’s very important to interact with your guests. If they want my help, I will help them immediately and if they want to hang out with me I will find time to hang out with them. If they need anything I’ll just do my best to help them. I think those are the secrets stories I have.
Mina: Thank you.
Jasper: How do you know if guests want to hang out with you or not? Can you tell or do you ask them?
Mina: I will tell them- Because all my listings are very cLose to my home and I would share my schedules to them and I would also tell them if they want to hang out with me they can invite me whenever they want and that I would find time for them.
Jasper: Right, and do you have a full-time job?
Mina: Yes, I have a full-time job.
Jasper: How do you combine that, because I imagine that if you’re working all day then how can you make time for your guests?
Mina: I think the first, the most important thing is make sure everything is taken care of before my guests arrive. Like I have many kind of sweet notes at apartments to guide a guest how to use the apartments. Also I would check the property every time before the guests arrive so everything with the apartment is okay.
So first of all, make sure they would have a comfortable stay and then if they have questions they can contact me through [inaudible 00:11:41] or email or cars anytime they want. im a salesperson so there is more flexibility with my job. I think that’s another reason I can do this very well.
Jasper: Ah okay, right. So you’re- Because you’re working real-estate, correct?
Mina: Yes, I work in the industry.
Jasper: Ah, okay. So that means that you’re often on the road visiting different places and then you can make- You know, if there’s something that you need to attend to you can just take half an hour or something and then go see your guests.
Jasper: Got it. You mentioned something about writing notes? That sounds interesting, can you talk a little bit more about that?
Mina: Sure. At first I would prepare a house menu to my guests, tell them how to use the air conditioner, TV and the coffee maker, everything in the apartment. Then in many corners I would also provide the wifi information and also where is the shelf and some kind of reminders on the bathroom and whatever that I think they need to know about the property.
Like some of my properties, there were some problems I cannot solve, like there was a smell in the bathroom of one of my property. I know how to deal that problem if my guest know how to use it, so I just put a note in a bathroom so they know it. Just many details about the properties.
Jasper: Are these little post-it notes or do you stick these on the wall?
Mina: Yeah, I stick them on the wall or put them in a photo frame.
Jasper: Oh okay, you put them in a photo frame, all right. Are these hand-written?
Mina: No, I just print them out but with nice photos.
Jasper: You print them out. But with nice photos, right, I see.
Jasper: Okay, very cool.
Hosts, I can’t emphasize how important it is to share recommendations of things to do or eat near your listing beforehand. Your guests won’t have to go through TripAdvisor, foursquare or yelp, they won’t have to scratch their head and think about possible places right in the moment. I have been using Hostfully to create an online and printable guidebook to show my guests my favorite coffee places in Amsterdam. They use my recommendations and im getting fewer questions from my guests as a result.
I have also included screenshots of my guidebook on my AirBnB listing as a way to differentiate my listing from others. Make your own guidebook at Hostfully.com/pad.
By the way, me and Mina, we met at the “AirBnB Open” in Los Angeles last month.
Jasper: The big AirBnB event, how did you like it?
Mina: I love it. I enjoy AirBnB open a lot. It’s my third AirBnB open already.
Jasper: Your third AirBnB open.
Mina: Third, yes. I went to the first one, im so proud of it.
Jasper: You went to the first AirBnB open, that must have been in 2013. Was that in 20-
Mina: 2014. 2014 in San Francisco.
Jasper: Yeah, I went to that one too.
Mina: It’s amazing. Oh really?
Jasper: Yeah, I went to this one.
Mina: I think it’s the best, it’s the best.
Jasper: Yeah it was great. Well, back then it was a little bit smaller and so it was-
Mina: Yeah. Smaller, cLoser.
Jasper: It was a little bit more intimate I guess.
Jasper: The conference, the founders, they would just walk around, you could just grab them and say “Hey, what’s up?” Whereas now there are security guards and they’re only onstage.
Jasper: So it was very different back then. You went to the one in Paris too?
Jasper: Okay. Very cool. Where do you think it’s going to be next year?
Mina: I think it’s going to be Australia.
Jasper: You think it’s going to be Australia, interesting.
Mina: Yeah, last year when we were in Paris many people think it’s going to be in Australia. Melbourne or Sydney, I don’t know, but I do look forward to travel to Australia because I haven’t been there.
Jasper: Okay, yeah. There’s a lot of kangaroos.
Jasper: You know when you go from one place to another instead of taking a taxi you just jump on the back of a kangaroo, it’s very cool.
Jasper: No, not really.
Mina: It’s true? I look forward to that.
Jasper: I’ve only been once. I did see a lot of kangaroos but I don’t know if you can use them as transportation. You know what I heard about the AirBnB open?
Jasper: I don’t know if I’m supposed to share this or not, but hopefully the person that told me isn’t listening, but I heard that they’re going to do it once every two years and they’re going to have smaller local events in the years that they don’t do a big one. So maybe in 2017, and this is just speculation on my behalf, this is not confirmed, but potentially in 2017 they will just have smaller meetings. Maybe they have one in New York and one in London and one in somewhere in Asia, maybe in Shanghai, and to have one in australia but these are smaller ones. Then in 2018 maybe there will be another really big one, or maybe they’ll do another big one in 2017 and then in 2018 they’ll have the smaller events. That’s what I heard.
Mina: I heard they are going to do the events one year in the USA, one year outside USA. So next year I think it’s going to be somewhere outside USA.
Jasper: Yeah, so my initial thought was they would do it London because so far they went San Francisco then they went Paris, which is the biggest AirBnB market in Europe, and then they went to Los Angeles. I don’t know why they skipped New York. I think New York is the biggest market in the US but they have a lot of problems there.
Jasper: Then in Europe the second biggest AirBnB market is London so I figured that would be sort of a logical choice.
Mina: I think AirBnB should travel outside of Europe and also the united states and come asia, pacific. APAC. So that’s why I guess it’s going to be in Australia because if it comes to China, many people need to apply a visa and also the language barriers. I think Australia is the best choice for them if they want to move to APAC.
Jasper: APAC, and APAC stands for Asia-Pacific, right?
Jasper: Okay. Just for those who were confused, I wasn’t sure exactly what it meant. Yeah okay, that’s very cool. What are your plans for AirBnB, are you going to expand, are you going to do more listings or are you just going to do the three that you have right now?
Mina: I think I will stay at my current scale for a while. I have three locations now and they are ten rooms and I’m happy with the current scale because if I have more listings, I have more guests at one time, I have less time to spend my time with my guests and get to know more about them. So I prefer now- I want to spend more time and get to know more about my guests. So I may not expand-
Jasper: Right, you want to keep the operation small so you have time to spend time with each individual guest and that’s one of the things that you think is very important to be a great host, right?
Mina: im happy with my current full-time job.
Jasper: That’s very cool. That’s very cool. Well, thank you so much for joining me on this podcast, it was a pleasure to interview you and congratulations with all your accomplishments in AirBnB.
Mina: Thanks, you too. It’s my pleasure to share my expertise.
Jasper: Absolutely, and for all the listeners I have a quick announcement, because I am very happy to announce that from starting 2017, so this week, I will launch two podcast episodes every week. So instead of the regular episode on Monday, im also going to do an episode that I will publish on Thursdays. In those episodes I’ll be discussing the news that came out around AirBnB, so all the different things that are going on in the AirBnb world and I will be discussing this news with- Either with experts or I’ll be talking to one of the team members of Hostfully, you know, the app that you can use to provide really awesome guidebooks and also the sponsor of this podcast episode.
So each week I will talk with a different team member and we’ll go through all the different headlines so that you can stay updated on what’s going on in the world of AirBnB. So every Thursday you can listen to the podcast episode, it will be about thirty minutes or so and that way you will always be updated. The episodes on Monday will still the same, it’s either going to be me interviewing a host or somebody who does something in the AirBnB ecosystem or it’ll just be me talking by myself. Sometimes I feel like I have a lot of stuff to say so then I just sit at the table and I put my microphone up and I talk by myself.
So I’m pretty excited about this, I hope you like it and if you have any feedback, always welcome to hear it. Just send me an email at [email protected], and then again I want to wish you an awesome 2017 with lots of success. It will be a big year for me because if you haven’t heard it yet, I’m in the process of selling my house and reinvesting the money in several smaller, or cheaper apartments, should I say, all around the world. I’m looking at Colombia, im looking at Chile, im looking at Vietnam. Me and mina were actually talking about Vietnam, you think Vietnam is a great place to invest, right?
Mina: Yes, I think it’s going to be a popular markets in the world.
Jasper: Right, I think so too. They just opened up the real-estate market there recently so you can expect a lot of foreign income to flow in in the next few years so you kind of want to be ahead of that.
Jasper: My plan is to be ahead of the curve and scoop something up quickly before it goes crazy and it turns into a new shanghai.
Mina: Yeah, in ten years it’s going to be the next Shanghai.
Jasper: It’s going to be the next Shanghai, right. Okay, awesome. Well, Mina, thanks a lot and everybody who’s listening, thanks for listening and we’ll see you- Well on Thursday there’s going to be another episode so hopefully we’ll see you then.
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Music Lyrics: “Get paid for your pad, get paid for your pad, get paid for your pad. Get paid for your pad, get paid for you pad, get paid for your pad.”