It would be easy to imagine that becoming a short term host would mean days filled with interacting with others. To the extravert, that sounds heavenly; to the introvert, perhaps not-so-much.
And while there are days that you may end feeling a bit “peopled out”, there are others that you may not have spoken a word to anyone – or at least not have enjoyed a well-developed, meaningful conversation.
But there are some solid reasons for discovering, reaching out, and developing at least a business-level relationship with at least a few other local STR owners. You may even come up with others, but here are five to get you thinking…
1 – Build your business
Believe it or not, it really does help to “know your competition”. Although, if you really think about it, fellow hosts aren’t really competition. I mean, who could possibly handle all the visitors to your neck of the woods, right? But iron does sharpen iron, and it’s great to get good ideas and inspiration from colleagues. Also, if you’re looking to build a co-hosting business, talking to other hosts may be a source of new business!
2 – Find support
I’ve mentioned before how important it is to find a backup host for when you need to get outta’ Dodge yourself, or if a family emergency happens. This doesn’t have to be a formal arrangement or someone specifically identified as a co-host on your STR account. But it does help to have someone familiar with the process help out your guests on the off-chance a situation arises. Someone I know asked a friend of hers – also an Aribnb host – to serve as a contact person when she needs to be out of town. Granted, it’s not often; but when she needs to get away, her guests are in good hands.
3 – Someone to “talk shop” with
Really, in this business, you may be hard-pressed to find someone who understands why you’d want to pursue a career in hospitality, let alone how to work through some of the struggles you might come up against. Conversely, there are lots of sweet and happy moments with guests that only a fellow host will appreciate and celebrate with you.
4 – Strength in numbers
If the STR business is nothing else…it’s a constantly-changing legal scene these days. It’s imperative to keep up with all the updates and changes that are going on, on both a local and federal level. If you are fortunate enough to find a local meet-up of hosts, all the better. Surely someone will be closely watching and following that aspect of this business. If you don’t know of a local meetup, stretch yourself and start one. Or at the very least, look for an active FB group and get involved.
5 – Accountability
Last, but certainly not least, it’s not a bad idea to have someone to meet with periodically to keep you on track with your goals and plans. Or to bounce problems or challenges off of someone that might some suggestions or experiences that could help you!