During this new series Meet the Hosts, I will be interviewing hosts and service providers in the STR industry to learn more about their stories, tips, and some fun facts! I have met so many extraordinary people through this journey that I can't help it but want to share it with you all.
My first guest is Jamie from The Cabin Host. I met her through Instagram and I quickly became interested in her work because she saw an opportunity and went for it - and that’s my kind of people!
But don’t take my word for it, I’m sure you’ll love her as much once you learn her story. Ready to meet her? Let’s dive in!
What's the story behind The Cabin Host?
We purchased our cabin in Shaver Lake, CA in 2014. We did not go into it thinking we would rent it out. As our kids became more involved with their sports and school it was more difficult to make it up, even on the weekends. My background is not property management, but I felt I had enough customer service experience to take on renting and managing on our own. Does not hurt that my husband is super handy.
Our experience has been all positive. We have been renting for the last 5 years and I now co-host for 6 other cabins. Seeing a need for quality boutique-style property management prompted me to ask a few neighbors if they might like some help hosting their cabins. Co-hosting has become my full-time job and I love it! Feeling extremely lucky to have parlayed hosting into co-hosting and now designing STR logos and welcome posters for the STR community!
When did you realize that you had a good business idea? What was that "aha" moment that motivated you to create Welcome Posters?
Hosting 7 cabins provided me with insight on what guests really need and appreciate. I found myself answering the same questions over and over about the area even though I had already mentioned these in both the welcome email and our guestbooks. I soon realized that people are busy and this information can get lost quickly or is not presented interestingly enough.
The solution was to create a pretty welcome poster for each of the cabins I host that would welcome guests like an on-site concierge and included the answers to the most frequently asked questions, such as: What is the WiFi password? What is your favorite restaurant? What are the best outdoor activities? After I designed the first one and hung it in my cabin, a guest mentioned it in a review. It was then that I realized that it is not just Shaver Lake and the cabins I host that need these, but hosts everywhere should have one!
Tell us about your process of creating a Welcome Poster for a new client.
Once an order is placed through my Etsy Shop, I reach out to the client either by phone or email to ask if they have any specific ideas for their poster. Some clients are unsure about what design they want. That is totally fine, in this case I take a look at their listing on Airbnb and play off the location and colors they have used in their decor. I typically present 4-6 different ideas as a jumping-off point and we work to perfect the design from there.
What is the most satisfying part of creating the Welcome Poster?
It is such a fun process for both myself and the client. I am over-joyed to have found a way to help other hosts market their short-term rentals. I am soaking up so much info about different vacation destinations and BnB's. Satisfaction comes from seeing how happy hosts are about the final product and seeing them hung in their STR's. Clients will share images and videos of their posters with me on IG. I then have another opportunity to share those posts which brings even more eyes to their rental.
5 things about you:
1. Favorite book: I am embarrassed to admit I have not picked up a book for pleasure in a LONG time. The past ten years I have only read books about business. I just purchased, Cassandra Speaks, when women are the storytellers, the human story changes. It is very interesting so far... think about that: what if women had been the storytellers of the past? How different the culture would be.
Do you understand now why I admire Jamie so much? Ok, back to the questions.
2. Favorite season: Spring is my favorite season. I love when the dark days of winter give way to warming temperatures and greener outdoor spaces. The weather is still cool enough to enjoy outdoor activities. We live in the valley so summers are HOT. I love the feeling of "spring cleaning" offering the chance of renewal that you need after a long, cold winter.
3. A place you're dying to visit: Italy. I would love to pay homage to my great grandparents and visit Calabria where my family migrated from. I want to eat my way through Italy!
4. A song you would be singing out loud in karaoke: Haha..I am way too shy to sing karaoke, but love to watch it! I am creative and love music, but not musically inclined at all! If you have ever seen, My Best Friends Wedding with Cameron Diaz singing karaoke that would be ME! If forced, I would probably do something fun by an old school female hip hop group, like No Scrubs by TLC.
OK, I feel old. Just as I felt when someone called Britney Spears "retro".
5. Favorite Airbnb rental (the one you're dreaming to stay in): Gosh... having just been introduced to so many amazing hosts and Airbnb rentals the list is growing quickly! My dream is to stay in heart of Venice, Italy! I have been saving different apartment-style stays along the canal like this one:
I mean, who wouldn’t?! I just added this to my ever-growing list.
Meeting Jamie and watching her business grow has been such a joy! Coming up with an idea of a beautiful and fun solution to improve guests' experience, and also to relieve hosts from answering the same questions countless times, proves that opportunities are there for those willing to find them and do the work.