I hope you’re all welcoming in the New Year! It’s that time when everyone talks about a fresh start, and making new resolutions to give up all sorts of unhealthy habits. That got me thinking: I know that some of you have told us about reaching hosting milestones in the past, but do you set yourself hosting goals?
Maybe you find it easier to take things as they come, or maybe something to aim towards keeps you motivated - 90% occupancy over the high season, or three consecutive stays where guests don’t need any extras perhaps.
Do you set yourself goals in your hosting journey? If so, what are they?
I usually set goals that include upgrading my listings, increasing bookings, and attaining enough earnings so that they pay for all of the expenses of the properties. We started off very strong last year until March. Since then the guesthouse has been closed, but the apartment in Atlanta has been performing quite strongly, because we have been targeting longer-term stays.
Since we made significant renovations at the guesthouse last year, I really want to re-open as soon as possible. With many more people now working remotely, there appears to be a larger a market for longer stays as people are able to live abroad for months at a time.
I think our recovery will be a bit slow going until people regain confidence in traveling far from home. With that in mind, the goal this year will be to stay booked for at least 35% of the time.
This sounds like a sensible goal given the circumstances currently @Debra300. It's really interesting - I've heard that certain Caribbean countries have pivoted to offering incentives to foreigners to come and live on the islands for a year, and work remotely. Sounds very tempting to me, so maybe you can scoop up some long-term guests this way!
I guess your goals for the Atlanta apartment are to keep occupancy as high as possible, given the strong performance?
Currently, I know that both Antigua and Barbuda (https://antiguanomadresidence.com), and Barbados (https://barbadoswelcomestamp.bb) are the two islands that offer remote worker visas. They cost between $1,500-$3,000USD (depending on family size), and are valid for one or two years. Many hosts, and other business owners have made requests to the St. Lucia government to establish a similar program, but no action has taken place. However, I am seeing that people are informally taking up temporary residence on the island by remaining for the duration of a non-visa required stay (six weeks), and then applying for extensions (up to six months). This is actually cheaper than the formal programs on the aforementioned islands. So, St. Lucia is missing out on much needed revenue.
In fact, I have two direct bookings for long-term stays scheduled to start in the next few weeks. One is from the from the UK and the other is from the US. There is a local vacation rental association for hosts, and I frequently see requests from local realtors or individuals seeking long-term stays for people who are relocating, working, studying or vacationing. Since I am new to the group, I don't know if these requests are more, less or the same as pre-COVID.
Hi Katie, Happy New year! The first goal is to get back to where we were before Covid came to town, 2019-2020 was the best year we ever had! Thats less up to us and more up to shots in arms, praying for needle pricks a plenty to end this pandemic so we can be the hosts we loved being again.
Our 2nd goal and one we are well on our way to making happen is to replace our popular 3 seasons 20' tight but comfortable Glamper (sleeps 2) with a much larger 32' posh Glamper that sleeps 4. I sold the little one and bought the biggy caravan a couple months ago and have been repairing the minor blemishes and such, its ready to move into place in May 1st, we are excited to see how it books! Stay well, JR
Happy New Year @Melodie-And-John0! Yeah I think 'recovery' is the first goal on most hosts' lists isn't it - fingers crossed travel will be back on the cards soon 🤞
The glamper sounds great! Any pics of the glam-up? Did you get the original glamper to test the concept, and then decide to upgrade once you had proven that it worked for you?
The old listing is here-
The pics above are the before pics, I havent taken any new ones yet, its all wrapped up for the winter but will show them when Its in place and stylin! The old one was a test and people loved it so it was time to supersize it! JR
PS, anyway you can rotate the images for me @Katie so people dont break their necks?
All rotated for you @Melodie-And-John0 - we wouldn't want people getting a pain in their neck whilst admiring the glamper!
Looks spacious, I bet the guests are going to love it Can't wait to see the pics 🤠
I love your little glamper @Melodie-And-John0! The new supersized version will be great and I'm looking forward to the pictures. I will refrain from offering interior design advice lol, but I have to say I think the three coloring-book pieces hung up above should be framed and incorporated into the new set-up. 🙂
Thanks @Ann72 , Cant wait for Spring to put it into its permanent place and share the final product with everyone including my guests. These pics were taken before I bought the beast and the owners kept them so unfortunately I wont be able to include original owner artwork as part of the decor! One problem with that is the wall spaces are already so busy with windows, trim and accoutrements that artwork inclusion will be challenging (not impossible). luckily the Glamper is surrounded by beautiful mother nature art that is ever changing, the windows will have tons of live 8K+ content to share with our guests when they aren't outside enjoying the fire pit. Be well Ann, JR
Hello JR @Melodie-And-John0
Happy New Year and congrats on your new 32´ posh Glampler.
It is just out of curiousity if you do not mind if I ask...
I wonder why did not you keep the old one, the popular 20´ for 2 people instead of replacing it?
Would not it be good to have a less expensive option for only 2 guests? Would not be profitable to have both, the 20´ and the 32´?
Hello @J-Renato0 , Good question, we missed out on a lot of parents with kids doing college visits and weddings with the 20' and someone in the bed was crawling over their partner sleeping to get to the bathroom at night (not so comfortable). Also, my neighbors could get a little irate if I set up a small trailer park even in the boonies where we live. lastly, its hooked to a small septic system, a 150 year old spring fed hand dug well and grid tied to a 50 amp circuit that all would be stretched to support two even tiny homes. My less expensive smaller option is our Access suite in the main house so not as much need to duplicate that. Thanks for asking, stay well, JR
When you get to my age it doesn't pay to make too many resolutions that you know you won't keep!
So, leaving the hosting aside, I restrict myself to just one........
That's why I get so much fun out of life, the last thing I want to do is.......grow up!
@Robin4, If only I could relive the days when sliding down the banister was fun even (the arse chewing by mom wasn't so much but arse chewings are free) and far less dangerous to life, limb and other important articles than it is today in my more aged selfs body!