Taking Over an Old-School Vacation Rental Business in Rural Germany (Ep428)

Taking Over an Old-School Vacation Rental Business in Rural Germany (Ep428)

We’ve talked at length in recent weeks about the opportunity to take over old-school vacation rental businesses and improve the guest experience.

But how, exactly, does a traditional short-term rental business operate? What upgrades can you implement right away to provide guests with a five-star experience?

Niels Becker is the Airbnb host behind Living in History, a hospitality brand based in rural Germany. And he’s in the process of taking over a business stuck in the 1960’s. (The previous operator’s marketing efforts were limited to a roadside sign boasting amenities like hot water and showers in the units!)

On this episode of Get Paid for Your Pad, Niels joins me to discuss the upgrades he is making in the vacation rental business he’s taking over, explaining why the previous host only operated in the summer and how he plans to attract tourists year-round.

Niels shares how his rural STR business benefitted from the popularity of secondary markets in the pandemic, describing how guests from urban areas want to spend time in nature and young people are exploring close to home.

Listen in for Niels’ insight on scaling an Airbnb business without losing the personal touch and get an inside look at what it’s really like to take over an old-school STR business in a secondary market.

Topics Covered

The traditional short-term rental business model in rural Mosel

  • No vision for business, few systems in place
  • Marketing limited to sign on road
  • Operate in summer only (during wine harvest)
  • Furnished with bare necessities

How Niels plans to attract tourists to his units year-round

  • Offer experience of slipping into another world
  • Market nearby hot springs as featured amenity

How the pandemic affected Niels’ vacation rental business

  • Benefit from rise in popularity of secondary markets
  • Average daily rate skyrocketed in past year

Why Niels’ guest avatar was different than he expected

  • Young people explore close to home with pandemic
  • Guests from urban areas want to spend time in nature

How Niels is upgrading the STR business he’s taking over

  • Market units on OTAs and implement dynamic pricing
  • Turn storage areas into additional bedrooms
  • Fix up and redecorate, replace some furniture
  • Add basic amenities (e.g.: microwave, dishwasher)

What Niels is doing to scale without losing the personal touch

  • Already use PMS system, automated messaging
  • Outsource personal communication to one employee
  • Give cleaners budget to buy seasonal details

Connect with Niels

Living in History


Niels on Get Paid for Your Pad EP198




STR Legends Mastermind

Legends X 90-Day STR Accelerator

Email jasper@getpaidforyourpad.com


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