This is a traveling week for Michelle and it's also our first "Best of" Episode!
Listen and somewhere in the middle of this podcast, you'll hear Michelle give you a secret word to collect a special FREE GIFT on next week's all-new episode. Thanks for being a loyal listener. God Bless You! Go and grow!
01) Emergency Contact Card (Contact Information Sent by Email, Text, and Posted Clearly)
02) Fire Extinguisher (Right by the Stove)
03) First Aid Kit
04) Smoke Detector
05) Carbon Monoxide Detector
06) Super-Fast Wifi (Password Sent by Email, Text, and Posted Clearly)
07) Comfortable Mattress (Consumer Reports #2 Rated is only about $500-$700)
08) Smart Television (Plus Cable, if High End)
09) Bluetooth Speakers
10) Charging Stations
11) Smart Locks for Easy Entry (For You as much as Guests)
12) Climate Control Directions (Keep Your Guests Comfy)
13) Coffee, Coffee Maker, Filters, and Cream/Sugar
14) Hair Dryer
15) Iron and Ironing Board
16) Washer and Dryer (a MUST for Long Stays or Active Locations)
17) House Rules, Contact Information, Check-in, and Check-out Times Clearly Posted
18) High-Quality WHITE Sheets and Towels
19) Spare Sets of Sheets and Towels
20) A Local Guidebook with Restaurants, Bars, Things to See & Do
21) Water (Especially in Warmer Climates)
22) Luggage Rack
Above All… Guests want a CLEAN environment. DO NOT CUT CORNERS when it comes to Cleaning!!
Use a PROFESSIONAL CLEANING CREW as soon as you possibly can, no exceptions!
Get This Episode's Show Notes in a pdf form...
[00:01] Over the last two centuries, nearly 90 percent of the world's millionaires have created their wealth through real estate. Here to tell you how you can ride this wave with less risk and less capital while creating greater income, is your host, best selling author and Speaker, Michelle Russell.
[00:21] Hi, this is Michelle, the Master of Money Mindset, and you are listening to the Short Term Rental Revenue Podcast...
and in today's episode, we're going to be talking about...
Speaker 2: (00:30)
the 23 things you must have for your short term rental. These are things you must have for your guests, not necessarily for you, it's just going to make your guests more comfortable. We've got another episode coming up with things that you must have for you, nice gadgets and Gizmos aplenty but in this podcast it's the 23 things you must have your short term rental and 23 is like one of those numbers. I had to write a book one time with the 23 financial keys and somebody gave me a number and said, come up with 23 and I was like 23 what are freaking odd? One number up, like there's seven 10 12 you know like a dozen things or something.
Speaker 2: (01:14)
Where in the heck did they get 23 and so now it's like one of my favorite things to do. I'm like, can I come up with 23 of them? Can I come up with 23 ways to do this? Or 23 things I have to fix or 23 yes, so 23 is become my goto number. 23 things that you must have for your short term rental, but before I get started, of course I'm going to tell you all about audible because audible is sponsoring our show and you can go get your free book from audible and a 30 day trial of audible APP and membership by going to audible trial.com forward slash s t r revenue and you can get your free book and download and also the 30 day trial. And I'm telling you, man, this was the month that my audible has been going crazy because packing, unpacking, traveling up to Toronto, back down all of this, I've finished like three bucks, but I'm not going to share all the books with you because a couple of them were guilty pleasures, not like shades of grey, 50 shades of grey, guilty pleasures, but guilty pleasures like political books, Ben Shapiro's new book and a couple of others.
Speaker 2: (02:27)
I love politics and so you know, those are my guilty pleasures. Listening to political books and I listened to a couple of really great ones and I was super excited and I also listened to a book that was a gift to me from Amy Mclaren and that was a good buck and I actually, I think I'll bring that up next time. This week. The book that I wanted to mention to you guys really does come from one of our listeners. One of my listeners messaged dream and I'm not going to share their, because they were kind of embarrassed and I told them, please don't be embarrassed, but here's the deal. A lot of people are not good with money when they first get started and they're wondering how to dig themselves out of, you know, just, I would say the hole that we did when we're young, let's be honest here, when we're young, we're not the best with money.
Speaker 2: (03:19)
Our parents, you know, a lot of parents don't teach us how to use money correctly or save money or they do, they even know how to spend money wisely and correctly. And so we kind of just kind of stumble our way along. And that is exactly what my husband and I did. We met when we were very young. We were both in high school and you know, at 16 and 17 respectively, you're not, you're not the best with money. Right. But we worked, I worked and he worked. We both had jobs. Kevin went to college right away and got his bachelor's of science and then later on he like right after that, and he went to optometry school and became an eye doctor. And I, in the meantime, I went to school and then I dropped out to finish putting him through school and decided I would go back later, you know, having kids and stuff.
Speaker 2: (04:14)
But I would work two and three jobs to put him through school so that we wouldn't have a lot of student loans. That didn't work out too well because Kevin decided to pick all private colleges and universities. So the tuition that we paid was outrageous. It was really outrageous. And I'm sure it's even more outrageous now, but when we finished school, even pain for a lot of it, we had $100,000 between the two of us in student loans and that's a lot of student loans back in the day. It was a lot of money. And the first house with that we bought, once he graduated, he got a job and right away he was making, I forget, 60 or 80,000 a year. It was a lot of money into us. It was probably three to five times what I was making. Uh, you know, putting him through school.
Speaker 2: (05:03)
So right away we were super excited. We're going to get a new car, Dah, Dah, Dah. I mean, new house. And so we moved to Arizona when he passed the boards in Arizona. We moved to Arizona and we bought a house immediately buying that house, we doubled our student loans, we doubled our debt with our first, you know, purchase. Hello. And then of course when you buy a new house, what do you have to buy? You have to buy all the window shades and blinds and oh my gosh, all the appliances and everything that goes with it when you buy a new house. So we were getting all those credit card applications in the mail because he had just graduated. So it's like, hey, come sign up for a visa, come sign up for an American Express. And I think right away, and this is now, you've got to remember, this is back in the 80s and oh my gosh, think about that guys.
Speaker 2: (05:59)
Back in the 80s we racked up about $26,000 in credit card debt. And probably the first several years, not of our marriage, but the first several years of him being an eye doctor thinking that, you know, we could pay it off, but we didn't realize what the amount of the student loans would be, how much we were going to be paying back in student loans. So our student loan payments, even though they were a very low percentage rate, they were actually pretty high. We were paying four or $500 a month in our student loans and that was probably more than half of our mortgage, if not in a close to what our full mortgage was on our house back then. And we had a lot of credit card debt. We had a lot of learning to do. So we had to take the reins and just, you know, cut back on everything and pay everything off and just get adamant about setting up a budget and following a budget.
Speaker 2: (06:56)
Now you know, most people hate the word budget. Budget is like a four letter word that isn't, I actually wrote a, an article about that one time, but it's not, here's the deal guys. You know, it's just like a diet. Everyone has a diet and everyone is on a diet, but your diet may be restricting food or restricting sugar or something, or your diet could just be a really bad diet. You know, you're all on a diet so everyone has a budget. But most people don't realize that, you know, sometimes they allowed their budget to just be, you know, Willy Nilly and they just go off spending whatever they make, never looking at their checkbook, never balancing it, never, you know, making sure that it just kind of just spending the money, putting it in the ATM and going, Oh please God, please God, please God, let it go through.
Speaker 2: (07:49)
Let's go through. And honestly, we lived like that for a little while going, I hope this goes through, man. I hope this goes through. So it took a long time to learn that, but there was this really great book because you know, I write about money and I write about money a lot. And especially with the prosperity process. So I've read through a bunch of financial books and I have a bunch of favorites, but there was this new book that I absolutely loved and I zoomed through it because the author, she was just hilarious and she did swear a few times. So if you're a super, well I don't know if you're like super, you know Christian and you don't like swearing. I don't know why you're listening to my show because a few words slipped out in my show. So let's be real honest here.
Speaker 2: (08:35)
Sometimes I might have a problem with saying a few words that are maybe a little risque, right? But anyways, this book did that too. And I had to laugh because there was some shit that you, you know, Shit that you needed and it was like never effing do this. And Oh my gosh, the book was amazing. So that's the book I'm going to recommend for you today if you are having challenges figuring out how to start a budget. It's not the easiest thing, but you get to do it. And you have to remember what I loved about this book, there was a quote in there and I believe it was in the beginning of the book and it says, saving money isn't about depriving yourself. It's about deciding that you love your future self as much as you love you today. And I was like, wow, that's freaking amazing because that's the truth.
Speaker 2: (09:30)
That's all budgeting is, is making sure you take care of yourself in the future as well as you do today. So sometimes you know, especially now think about this just in short term, if you're ever, and you've ever saved up for a vacation, let's say you wanted to go to Disney world or Disneyland or on a cruise or someplace really special and you set aside that money, sometimes you may have given up something in order to save for that money. So you said, okay, in order for me to go on this cruise, I'm going to have to save, you know, $20 a week, let's say. And so you deprived yourself of something that you usually had. Maybe it was cups of coffee or maybe it was going out once a week or twice a week, whatever it was. You deprive yourself of those, you know, spending that money so that you could have something in the near future.
Speaker 2: (10:26)
Now you're doing the same thing. When you budget, you're doing the same exact thing you're saying, I'm going to hold off going, you know, being super extravagant now so that I can retire with peace of mind. And so you're just thinking about you in the future and you're putting that money away. You're putting at least 10% towards savings, 10% towards your retirement. I always say 30% but a lot of people do you know 20% but 30% is my ideal goal to put away if I can. And you're doing that for your future self. You're taking care of your future self. Don't beat yourself up right now if you haven't been great with money in the past, because not all of us have, I don't know anybody who hasn't gone through some type of struggle. I mean, think of all the most popular people out there in the world of money.
Speaker 2: (11:21)
They've all had some sort of struggle. Even Dave Ramsey, I mean he is the go to guy, right? And he had to file bankruptcy because of his losses and real estate, and then he straightened it out and figured out a wave. The thing is sometimes struggle is necessary for us to learn these lessons and don't, you know, don't, don't, don't beat yourself up because we've all been there. So this week's book, the Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan is absolutely fantastic for that. You are going to love it. And if you're giving it on audible, it's amazing because I believe it's her who does it. I'm, I'm pretty darn sure it is. It's a woman who does it and she's extremely entertaining and that'll make you laugh. So I recommend getting the financial diet for those of you who have had struggles, and I'm pretty darn sure it's not just one of you.
Speaker 2: (12:21)
Okay. I'm pretty sure that when one person is brave enough to send me a message, I gave them some really specific goals to do. And really specific exercises to help them along because guys, we've all been there. The only reason I'm ahead of you right now is because I struggled earlier. Most likely I'm older than you. So I went through that and then I got through it and that's why I'm here helping you because that's what you do. You pay it forward, right? You, you know, you learn how to get through something by getting through it. So just know you're not alone. There's other people out there who are going through the same learning curve as you are and having the same struggles and a lot of times we trip and fall and we might stumble. Just learn little techniques that help you when you're shopping or you go out.
Speaker 2: (13:17)
I mean, you know, a lot of times I always say, you know, until you can keep control of those credit cards, cut them up. But I don't cancel my credit cards. I'm, you know, Dave Ramsey has a thing where he's like, oh, cancel your credit cards. I never cancel my credit cards. And I'll tell you why. Because I use my credit cards all the time. I use my credit cards for everything, different cards for different things and I pay them off at the end of every month. And actually there's a few cards right now that are helping me out because I had a fix and flip that I was doing with a friend that kind of went over budget and we're using my credit cards and my credit cards are actually a pretty low percentage than borrowing the money on a short term loan. So instead of paying a ginormous amount and sometimes get this, like the appliances we got, we put on our best buy card and they had a promotion going on.
Speaker 2: (14:10)
So you get six months free interest free on that card. So I'm not paying any interest. It's like free money for six months and we know we're flipping that property. So there's sometimes cards are good. I love getting travel miles. I have a Starbucks card and I love getting free Starbucks. Oh my gosh. So I mean there's great, great reasons to have this. When I took my trip last year to Hawaii, that was free. Thank you southwest. I mean you can travel if you use your cards wisely. Now, if you're not good at that and you know [inaudible], then keep those cards home, cut them up until you get good. Just bring cash with you and only the you want to spend. You know, if you walk into a store and you're like, okay, I know I don't want to spend more than 120 bucks, don't bring more than 120 bucks.
Speaker 2: (15:00)
That's the deal, so you'll hesitate and spending cash. That's a really great way to learn how to spend less, because we always, always spend more when we're using our credit cards, so read the financial diet, you know, if it's something that really resonates with you and you feel like you could use a little bit of help creating your own budget and budgeting routines, it's really cool too. Just so you know guys, that when you do get an audible book, a lot of times there are handouts or printouts that come along with the audible books, especially the type of books like budgets and things that deal with numbers or routines or checklists. There's going to be something that you have to look at. So in this book, the financial diet, there are printouts that come with it and when you buy an audible book, it will have the downloads right there for you and you can just print them up.
Speaker 2: (15:58)
They're usually in a pdf form or sometimes they might be a link on somebody whose website and there's a specific secret link that you can go to and download all this information. Sometimes there's even extra chapters of books and things like that on an audible account. So I love using audible. Now let's see. Let's get right to the meat and potatoes of this. The 23 things you must have, right? So for safety and security, we're going to start with five things that you must have just for safety and security for your guests. And the first thing is an emergency contact card. This is all the contact information that you have about you and about, you know, if there was a fire or an emergency and you needed a hospital call nine one one depending on where you are, what country you're in, right? This is contact information and you can send this several different ways and actually I recommend you send it all those different ways, so send it by email, send it by text message and also have it clearly posted in your house rules book and make sure it's posted in different places, you know, maybe by the stove or something speaking by the stove.
Speaker 2: (17:17)
Number two is a fire extinguisher. We keep a fire extinguisher right by the stove. It's mandatory now if you don't have a room by your stove, you can keep it under the sink but put a little note there that lets them know there's a fire extinguisher her right under the sink so that they know that there's something that can put out fires for all the bad cooks out there. I'm like all the bad cooks need the fire extinguisher. There's also a first aid kit. We keep a first aid kit on site for every single property that we have. Most of the time when you walk into our properties, the first aid kits are right above the refrigerator because usually there's a cabinet above the refrigerator that the super high up and nobody uses. That's a good place to keep the first aid kit, but the information about that is also in your house rule book, right?
Speaker 2: (18:08)
So write in red on that first page. All of these things are listed, you know, you'll find a fire extinguisher right by the stove or right under the sink, wherever you put it, right? You'll find the first aid kit right above the refrigerator in the cabinet, and you'll also notice that there is smoke detectors in every single room as well as carbon monoxide detectors. So those five things are your safety things that your safety items that you must have. You must have those in your property also per guest comfort number six is super fast Wifi. Oh my gosh, you would not believe the number of people in this day and age who don't have or offer Wifi and their properties. Why wouldn't you? It is absolutely the most crucial thing that anybody needs when they travel. Nowadays, and a lot of times there's a lot of people who actually take a picture of the Wifi speed and posted in their books or alongside all their pictures, you know, inside their property.
Speaker 2: (19:14)
I think that's so cool because then you can see how fast the internet speed is. And I love that. When I travel, as I just did to Canada, I needed Wifi. I had to have wifi every single day. Everything I do, my, all my businesses, my entire life is on line. And if I don't have Wifi, I'm totally screwed. I can't go find the nearest Starbucks in the middle of some country with one Starbucks, you know, in 40 miles or whatever. It's nearly impossible. So you have to make sure that you offer things like Wifi and make sure it's the fastest that you can provide. And also make sure guys that you send people the Password, do the same thing with the password, put it on that safety security thing. You know, here's your, your emergency information. Here's where the fire extinguisher is and the first aid kit, and by the way, the Wifi password is x, y, Z. Right, so you want to have that there.
Speaker 2: (20:16)
You want to have it emailed to them, you want to text it to them and you also want to post it clearly in your book and next to the television if you can, right? Because guys, people are going to need it and it's like the number one question that you will get. People will text you in the middle of the night asking for the Wifi password so you really want to have that there. Also you want to have a comfortable mattress and in this day and age there is absolutely reason why you can't have a comfortable mattress if you're just getting started and you put a crappy old mattress on there, that is going to be one of the first things you upgrade is your crappy old mattress. You want to get rid of it and believe it or not, consumer reports grades, mattresses every single year and right now Casper is one of those mattresses that comes in, a box all rolled up and you unroll it and then it fills with air and then you've got this great comfortable mattress.
Speaker 2: (21:16)
Get this. There are a number two, the number one mattress is like 3,200 bucks, but the number two mattress, the number two mattress being most comfortable and the best mattress to get this second best one is a Casper mattress that costs between five and $700. Now don't tell me you can't afford that because that's like Costco price. Okay, so you can afford a Casper mattress and you can afford for your people to be so comfortable that they never want to leave your room. Comfort is really important. And one of my favorite places to stay when I go to Vegas, believe it or not, there's not a lot of legal airbnbs around Vegas. So I always stay at the hotels. My favorite, favorite place is the Bellagio. Love the Blasio. And when I stay I always get a fountain view room so I can watch the fountains and put on the little channel and listen to the music and watch the fountain go off all the time.
Speaker 2: (22:14)
But the beds there are amazing. The sheets and the beds and the pillows. Oh my gosh, you just want to lay in bed like forever and never ever get up. I mean, it's so comfortable. I love the Bellagio. Now last few times I've gone, I have to admit I stayed at the New York, New York, but why do you think I stayed there? Hockey, of course, because I was going to the night's games and the New York, New York is very close. And guess what? There are mattresses. We're pretty comfortable, not as comfortable as the Blasio, but come on for the price of the Bellagio compared hopefully they were very, very comfortable. So just know that the more comfortable it is, the more people are going to love it. I mean, what do you remember about the places you stay? You remember your most favorite things or the worst nightmare of your life, right?
Speaker 2: (23:08)
So make your place the most favorite place to stay and spend a little bit more on a very comfortable mattress. Also, number eight is having a smart television. We've talked about this before. It's absolutely crucial in this day and age that you either have cable that you offer people and that's pretty expensive guys. That can be a couple hundred dollars a month, but if you don't have it, the next best thing is going to be a smart television. Why? Because they can just sign up and turn on their Netflix account or turn on their Amazon prime account and they can watch whatever they want to watch and you don't have to pay the few hundred dollars a month. Now if you have a high end property, then you're going to need cable, high end properties. You need a smart TV and cable. You should have both because your high end, but if you're not, don't worry about it.
Speaker 2: (24:05)
A smart TV we'll do and as smart TV is awesome because they can sign on to their own account, which brings me to the next thing, which is a Bluetooth speaker set. Honestly guys, this is so cool. I've stayed at a bunch of BNBS that have Bluetooth speaker systems and I just connect my phone via Usb or via Bluetooth and I can play my own music from my music list. So it doesn't matter if I have Amazon prime music or I can use my iTunes account or whatever, whatever music system you use, Pandora or Spotify doesn't matter. You can just hook it up there and you can play your own music list. And it's absolutely awesome because I do that at home when I'm doing things. I listened to my audible books, right? Or I listened to music and it makes people feel more at home and they absolutely love it.
Speaker 2: (25:02)
So it's definitely a perk that people enjoy and that they comment on. I noticed that people comment on it all the time. All you have to do is make sure you put little stickies under things that you don't want people to steal, make it hard for them. And it also makes it so there's like a little white bar underneath. We're all your sticky things are. So your cleaning crew can notice if something's not there when you leave, which means the next thing, number 10 is a charging station. We have charging stations all over our properties. We have one in the bedroom by the beds. We have one in the bathroom and we usually have one over by the television set. And the reason why is people need to charge their items. They need to charge their iPhone, they need to charge their batteries, they need to charge their laptop computers and their iPads.
Speaker 2: (25:54)
People need charging stations and it's one of the things that they forget all the time and a lot of times they leave them at your property, little chargers and everything, but if they've got these lying around, they love it. People are so grateful for it. And again, you just get a double sticky pad. Those three m pads that are kind of Foamy, they stick on both sides and you stick it to the table that it's on. And if somebody takes it, they'll notice it. Your guys will notice it. We paint little, a little white bar there and that's where the sticky pad goes. And when something's gone awry, they see a little white dot on black furniture where something is usually stuck. When your team notices something stuck, you know it's missing. Don't always be afraid that something's going to go missing or that you're spending too much and people will steal it.
Speaker 2: (26:43)
You're going to know, you're going to notice you walk in, you can make it one of those things make it obvious like, oh like you know what, like your dad's garage, have you ever been in a man's garage where they have those peg boards and then they've taken every tool that they owned an outlined it like you know like chalking around a dead body. It's like this is where the hammer was and now the hammer is no longer there. You know it's missing. You can do basically the same thing for your speakers and for your charging stations. Anything that you don't want taken here, your home hubs and things like that. Just put a little mark there in paint and then stick your, you know, your little three m stickies on there. It'll cover the pain so they won't know what's under there. But if somebody took it, what do you see?
Speaker 2: (27:36)
The big x or the big outline that's missing and you know that something's gone. So make sure you do that. And don't be afraid because you'll notice it and you'll notice it right away. If it does go missing most like a, it's not going to go missing. Most people are very good about just taking what's theirs. Okay, so don't be, don't be afraid, just be a good host. Provide these wonderful things. I, you know, I love, I love providing things that people don't think of. Now number 11 is pretty obvious. It's a smart lock system and that's just for easy entry and it's as much for you as it is for your guest. Here's the deal this week, believe it or not, I made one of those classic mistakes of taking the key and this is how it happened. I stayed in this lovely little bnb in the city of Ann caster and stayed there throughout the week when I was going to my seminar and attending the mastermind.
Speaker 2: (28:37)
But when that was finished, I was invited to the city of Toronto by a friend. So I decided to leave a few days early. I took my rental car and drove it to the Toronto airport and dropped it off early. And when I did, I noticed that the key for the BNB was on the key chain. Oh my gosh. It's like the number one rule, but why? Because everywhere I've ever stayed, there's either a key card at hotels, right? Or there's a key lock and I use my phone. That's the first time I had to use a key in. Oh my gosh. And like forever, I don't use keys anymore. I don't even use keys on my car. I just had the car key clipped on my purse and push a button that says start. Right? I mean, it's like, I don't even use keys. So it's really, really strange to have to use one.
Speaker 2: (29:29)
So what I did was there, I was at the airport and when I saw it, when I was turning in my keys to hertz for the car, I just took the key off, ran to the Marriott. Um, and because I stay at the Marriott's a lot, so I just went to the concierge. I need bubble wrap. I need a novela Lope and I just mailed it from there in Canada back to the owners. But Oh my gosh, keys are a huge problem. You should never ever have that problem. Why? Because there are e-logs. E-Logs are a necessity nowadays and you can use apps, you can hook your apps and connect your apps to airbnb. AIRBNB can set the codes and send the codes to the guests for you. I mean it's just, it's way too darn easy to lose keys. It's way too easy to forget keys and that just costs money for you and for your guests.
Speaker 2: (30:25)
It just causes problems down the line. Get rid of the keys guys. It's a challenge. Don't do it. And you know you can do that. Like I said, it's smart locks. There's much for you as they are for your guests. Super easy for your guests to get in and out. You can set their check in time, you can set their checkout time, the dates on it, everything. You know when you're cleaning crew comes in and when they leave, everything is set an automated with that. And you have a record and a log of everybody going in and out of your property. There is no reason to use keys anymore. Come on, baby. It's almost 2020. You need to get rid of the keys. All right? Number 12 is climate control directions. There is nothing more frustrating than going into a property and not knowing how to cool it or heat it.
Speaker 2: (31:16)
If it's summer and it's hotter than an oven in there, you need directions on how to put the air back on and you needed to go on quickly. And the same thing in the winter. If you get in there and it's an icebox and you're freezing your butt off, you want to know how to heat that place. So there better be directions. They better be easy to find. So you've got to have clear directions in a very conspicuous place and they better be, uh, let's figure out a way to say they better be almost childproof. So like anybody can understand them. And I think I've told this story before, but it bears repeating. We had a young woman who stayed at one of our bnbs in Arizona and in Arizona we have something called swamp coolers. Swamp coolers are for places that don't have very much humidity and they basically take and they cool the air off using water and blowing that through and stuff.
Speaker 2: (32:21)
They work really good where there's not a lot of humidity. They are going to be like an air conditioning system and keep your, your place really, really cool in the summertime and the very hot dry desert. It works really well to have these swamp coolers. They don't work so well when the monsoon season starts in September and stuff because there's way too much humidity already in the air so it doesn't cool it down as much, but they work really well in the middle of summer when it's super hot. Now they have a separate on off system and usually there's like some kind of plate with a knob on it, just irregular click, click, click Knob, like a black knob on on ours. And they're different than the thermostat. The thermostat controls the heat. So in the winter you turn the thermostat on and it says heat and you just click a button on and the set the temperature just like you would probably anywhere in the u s or probably across, you know, all of North America.
Speaker 2: (33:24)
It's relatively easy. But this young woman had never seen it before, so she turned on the heat and it was winter and she turned on the heat. But then she also turned on what said vent to her and that was the swamp cooler. So basically she turned on the air conditioning at the same time, she turned on the heat and she was wondering why it was blowing cold air. So when she called us to tell us that the heater was broken, she said something about event, right. And she tried to explain to us and we said, wait a second, there's nothing that says vent. Are you looking as silver plate with a black knob on it? Because that's a swamp cooler that should be off. You don't want that on at all. You just want to be dealing with the Thermostat, which is the heater.
Speaker 2: (34:13)
If you touch the silver plate and the black knobs where it says vent, you're actually turning nones something that's similar to an air conditioner. So she swore up and down, no, that wasn't correct. So we sent our maintenance guy out and by that time she had figured it out. She had turned off the swamp cooler and had just the thermostat on. But for some reason she did it again in the morning. She decided she was a little too cold, so she turned the heater on and then thinking that the vent was, you know, kind of like controlling the error event when you have your car turning it on high, like having the blower blow it out faster and harder would make it blow out faster, harder heat. It was actually blowing out the AC. And so she called again and we tried to walk her through it.
Speaker 2: (35:05)
So she left us this horrible review basically at the end of this whole thing, because she said the heater was broken, the heater was not broken. We just could not explain it in a way that she could understand and she wasn't patient enough to allow our maintenance guy to explain it to her because she knew what she was doing. You know, she was like, I know how to do this, but not being from the south west in thinking that you know how to do it is not the same as really knowing how to do it. You asleep because they were competing. She was, she was blowing cold air as well as hot air. So you need your heating and cooling systems to have instructions that everyone can understand as much as possible. Okay, so you know, we've, we've actually put signs next to it now that says don't use this.
Speaker 2: (35:58)
This is only for the very, very hot months. If it's not 115 outside, you're not going to use this. You know, it's like we basically joke about it, but it's, it's really relative because people don't understand it and they don't know about it and we assume that people know. Because you know, it's like, well it doesn't take a brain surgeon to know how to use this because we were brought up that way. So, I mean, we've been using it for 30 some years so we understand it. But somebody who's new to it, they don't, they don't understand it. Somebody, you know from Nova Scotia, we've had guests come in from Nova Scotia and you know, some of them catch on really quickly and some don't. So you really have to make sure that your instructions for heating and cooling your place are very clear. Okay? Just make sure that they're crystal clear so that their child childproof we're going to say childproof.
Speaker 2: (36:56)
Okay, but number 13 oh, and this is it. You're going to hear me do one thing right here. Listen, that's me drinking of Foamy Cup of Java. Yes, that's it, baby. You need coffee. You need a coffee maker, you need filters. If you have a coffee maker that needs filters, you need sugar and cream. You need to make people people in the morning because some of us are not people until we've had a coffee. We need coffee, so make us people again because we wake up little monsters and we need coffee to make us humans and that is only the nice and polite thing to do. Make us human again, but giving us a coffee that is a must you guys, especially in North America, especially in America, you really have to have coffee. Some places maybe up in Canada you might want to have tea or London fog or something as I learned up there, but here in the states it's coffee and we like our coffee and we've got to have it every single morning.
Speaker 2: (38:09)
You need to offer it to us because we're not going to be happy without it. Number 14 hairdryer, holy cow. Can't believe the number of places that don't have hairdryers. Guys, this is a $9 item for the love of God and all that is holy. Get a freaking hairdryer. You should have one. There's no reason not to have one. No one packs some anymore because everywhere you go, they have them. If you're the one place that doesn't, you're going to get a bad review about a stupid $9 item. Get a hairdryer. And speaking of hairdryers, what else do you think? Iron and ironing boards. Oh my gosh. Not to say that there's anything wrong with not having one, but make sure you have it available. It wasn't in the unit that I rented this week and I was at a business meeting, so all my blouses came with me.
Speaker 2: (39:03)
I wear blouses and so I had to iron them every morning. The first morning. Now is there. I assumed that it would be in the closet where they usually are, and guess what? It wasn't there. So I messaged the owners and they didn't get my message until later. So I wore a sweater the first day. I would have preferred to wear a blouse. Guys, you need an iron and ironing board, especially if you have business travelers. Business travelers don't wear tee shirts. You know we wear blouses and shirts and things that have to be ironed because they've been packed away in our suitcase and they got all wrinkled and we're not happy about it either. But we need an iron and ironing board. So make sure you have one. Number 16 a washer and dryer. It's a must for long stays. Okay. Or if you're in an active location.
Speaker 2: (39:57)
So if you're by the beach and you have like a lot of little kids, even if they're only going to be there a few days, make sure you have a washer and dryer available. And I know a lot of people don't think this is true, but it is. I only stay at places with washers and dryers and not is not a lie. It's one of the first things I look for. Does this place have a Washer and dryer? Every time I stay. Now my properties in Florida, every single one of them has a washer and dryer. Every single one of them there is not one that doesn't because people get, people get dirty. Even if you're there for four days, if you're there for four days with kids, kids mess stuff up, man, they get chocolate on things or whatever. Hot dogs and mustard, you don't want that stuff sitting on there.
Speaker 2: (40:47)
You want to make sure you get it out. So you have to make sure that you have washers and dryers available. It's a must, especially if anyone stain for you know, five days or longer. They need to have that, that ability to wash and dry their clothes. They can't bring their whole closet if they're staying for five days, you know, things get dirty and you're going to have to replace them. I only pack three or four days worth of clothes ever and so I need a washer and dryer. That is the maximum amount. I take a small bag, take advice from one who knows, take twice the cash and half the clothes. That's what you do and that's how I travel. I don't take a lot. I have a very small bag that I bring with me, but I know that every place I stay has washer and dryer and I'm going to be able to do a little load.
Speaker 2: (41:40)
So that's what you need to have. That's what you need to offer your guests house rules. That's number 17 now your house rules should have things like your contact information. If they need to get ahold of you and you don't live there, it should have checking information, check out information, the time's right and it should be really clear, clearly posted somewhere, either in a book and placed right on a table or right on the back of the door. Now some people don't like to place their signs anywhere in their property and I totally get that. When you have really high end properties, you don't want your place to look like a hotel with a bunch of signs that are laminated all over the walls. I totally, totally get that, but it still needs to be an obvious place where somebody could open a drawer and find it or somebody could, you know, look for something.
Speaker 2: (42:39)
That would be one of the first obvious places that they looked and you could have the signs in there. So signs inside cabinets, inside the cabinet, doors, inside drawers inside the bottom, cabinets inside the closets. So it's not on the outside taking away from your decor, but it's definitely there and easily found. Okay? Make sure you have that. Now you also want to have, and this is coming from somebody who loves clean, but this is imperative. White means clean. Guys, and we've talked about this before. I know lots of people want to argue and you can argue all day long. I'm telling you the reason why you see white sheets when you go to hotels is because white means clean white sheets and white towels mean clean sheets and clean towels. You can not have colored sheets on your bed and you cannot have colored towels in your bathroom.
Speaker 2: (43:39)
You must have white get over it. I know you want to be all decorative. Make sure your throws that go over the beds, have color. Make sure your pillows have those splashes of color. You can put pictures and rooms that will bring in color, but your towels and your sheets should be white and they should be quality high end sheets and towels. You want them soft. You want them nice. You don't want the scratchy cheap stuff, okay? You want great high quality towels and sheets. It's important. It's imperative. Make sure you have them and you also want to have a spare set of sheets and towels. There's a few reasons why. Let's think about it, especially if you have kids. I hate to tell you, but how many times if you're a parent, you know what I'm talking. How many times have you woken up with a warm feeling next to you?
Speaker 2: (44:35)
You're like, great, somebody is peeing on me. I've had my kids what? The bed next to me and it's terrible, but when you're on vacation, they're scared to sleep alone is a little climb in bed with you. It's something new and they might wet the bed and you need a change of sheets. You really do, and you also need to have access to extra towels. Things get dirty. Something could happen, okay? You want to make sure that you have those and if you have towels, make sure that you have tells specifically for makeup or you have makeup pads. We put makeup pads and, and these little glass containers, while they're probably acrylic containers to be honest, but they look like they're glass, but they have little pads in there for women to remove their makeup. And we also have a sign there that says please don't ruin our towels, will have to charge you for them if they ruined the town, the white towels, putting makeup on them.
Speaker 2: (45:33)
But you should have makeup towels and you can, you can get black makeup towels on Amazon. I've seen them and they even say makeup. I think they're really cute. But honestly I don't like them for one reason because it confuses the shit out of my cleaning group. My cleaning crew bleaches almost everything. Right. And they're the ones who do the laundry and they're the ones who go through all of that. To have one black towel to wash for them is incredibly weird. And it would have to be washed by itself, not with bleached items. Correct. So it makes it hard for them. So it's easier for me to offer makeup pads in little packages in a little acrylic holder in the bathroom. So that's really important because you don't want people ruining your nice white towels, right? White towels and white sheets really say they use, I mean you can tell right away if they're clean or not.
Speaker 2: (46:31)
And people love that. People love knowing that it's a very clean place. Number 20 is a local guidebook with restaurants, bars, things to do and see, right? That is crucial. Guys is becoming more and more crucial and critical to have things like that. It wasn't so big in the beginning, but now people are actually putting a lot of preparation into their books and their house books and they're absolutely beautiful and they have a ton of information and sometimes they have it were other people who are staying with them can share and add to it and it's, it makes it almost like gamification where it makes it fun for people to add to it and they feel as if they're a part of a community of some type. So it's really great to have, but do your books up as best as you can. You know, like when you're first getting started, obviously you've got a ton of stuff on your mind, but you can actually hire someone.
Speaker 2: (47:33)
You can actually hire a Va. Remember how we were talking about hiring virtual assistants. You can hire a VA to do this work for you because you don't need to live in a city to find out all about that city. You can hire a virtual assistant and they can go in and for instance, they can look up the city of Toronto, find the best eats, looking through a bunch of articles about food and looking through Yelp or finding a review page so they can find restaurants for you. They can find things to do for you. They can find this site and grocery stores that are close by so you can hire somebody to do that for you. But make your guide book, you know, your own personal guidebook, especially as you possibly can. Put a lot of pictures in there too because people dig pictures, they really dig pictures.
Speaker 2: (48:23)
I don't get it, but they do. I'm like one of those people going up. There's too many pictures in this book. I don't want it. And other people are the opposite. Oh look at all the pictures. It's like, so you want to hit all of us, you want to hit the explanations for the people who like to read and the pictures for people who don't just put stars next to them, they're like, Ooh, this is a good place. Stars and pictures. Yay. All right. And one other thing you should have, and I think this is really important nowadays, is you should have some type of water for people because especially in the desert out here, water bottles are great and we have pictures with filters on them, but we also offer people water bottles that they can carry around town with them that they can fill up and carry them around and fill up later on or somewhere else too.
Speaker 2: (49:14)
And the reason why is people get super dehydrated in the desert and they don't realize it. But the crazy thing is when I travel, no matter where I am, I drink a lot of water because I drink a lot of water home. I drink a lot of water wherever else I'm at. So I noticed that more and more people are realizing the importance of drinking water. You really want to offer water or a water pitcher with a filter inside of it or water bottles, whatever. You want to make sure that you have some kind of water, specially if you're in a warmer climate. Okay. Also, you want to make sure that you have a luggage rack. People love luggage racks. I know for like 20 bucks on Amazon, you can get a luggage rack and they're amazing. I don't like to unpack my bags. I know this sounds really stupid, but I don't fully unpack my bags.
Speaker 2: (50:09)
I unpacked my shirts and blouses and skirts and things that I hang up, but like my, my personal items and stuff stay in my suitcase and I just like to set them on the luggage rack. If you don't have luggage rack, you're missing out. People look for luggage racks. They love luggage. It's 20 bucks. Give a luggage rack. Okay? Amazon has them. They're super easy to put together too, so don't fight it. Accept it. People love luggage racks. Get One, okay. It was like get one. Um, and let's see. Number 23 hangars. Oh my gosh. How many times have you gone into a place and they didn't have hangers? Quite a few. Okay. Especially when we were first starting out with B and B's. You would get to someplace and they would have lovely, lovely closets, walking closets and no flipping hangers. What the heck?
Speaker 2: (51:03)
What am I supposed to hang this up on? Just kind of Tuck it around the bar there. Come on hangers. They're like 10 cents a piece at Walmart. Just like go get some hangers. I can't even believe that people forget that, but they do. Don't forget hangers and do me a favor. Make them all the same color. I know that's stupid, but make them all white or make them all black. I don't care. But having a hodgepodge of all your extra hangers just looks bad. Okay? I like all the hangers to look alike and I knew that stupid and silly, but I like wooden hangers when I go to a nice place, I know that it's a nice place because the hangers are all wooden or I like when I see all white hangers. I don't like a hodgepodge of some wire, some plastic, some pink and green and blue.
Speaker 2: (51:52)
No, I don't want your extra hangers. I want to know that they're designated hangers specifically for that closet. I know that sounds silly and stupid, but that's just because I'm a picky, picky person and I'm going to pick apart your place if you don't have white hangers or all the same color hangers. Okay, so make sure you have hangers. Have you ever done that? Like walking into a place and you see a hodgepodge of hangars? Why does that look untidy? To me it just screams untidy and not clean and I don't understand why, but it does. So it's one of those things that literally just having all the same color, the same size, the same shape, it really makes a difference because it makes it feel more organized. And it actually makes it feel more clean. So it, it really does guys, it does make a big difference.
Speaker 2: (52:45)
So those are the 23 things that you need, but I also want you to remember that above everything else above it, all guests just want a really clean environment. They want to walk in there and know that the place as well taken care of. So don't cut corners on this. Don't try to save money. Don't try to save time between guests and just do those quick five minute cleaning videos. Oh my gosh, those things make me sick online. I'm just like, I'm never seeing that. That person's BNB. You really, really, when it comes to cleaning, I mean you really have to do a job. So I want you guys to use professional cleaning crews as soon as you possibly can. Do not cut corners on this. This is a business. Okay? Make it your business to have the absolute cleanest place for your guests that they could.
Speaker 2: (53:42)
You know, what do they say? Eat off the floors because it's important. This is your business and it needs to be clean. People will be judging you. They will be raiding you and other people will be reading those ratings and if it says that you're dirty, people will pass you by. People will pass you by. So you really need to be above par. You need to go above and beyond and when it comes to cleaning, that is the one place you can shine. Guys, this has been great. I've got so much information to share with you. I just got back from Canada and my mind is just whirling, whirling. I know you guys know about the membership site going up in May and I'm super excited about it. I actually got to spend the week with Amy Mclaren. Stu Mclaren is the go to guy on tribes and membership sites.
Speaker 2: (54:38)
Oh my gosh guys. It's incredible what this man has done. He actually runs the membership sites for people like Dave Ramsey. He's gone in and help them set that stuff up. He's the Goto membership guy, so his wife Amy, who I love, love, love. She runs my women's mastermind group and so several times a year we get together and that's why we were up in Canada for this mastermind. And Amy, I mean the ideas that come out of that group are just phenomenal. So when I say membership, they just go, oh, you have to do this and this and this and this and offer this and this and all the value and all the valuable content that I'm going to have in my membership because I'm close to these people. And the combined intelligence of the women in my mastermind group is phenomenal. I mean, we could save the planet earth if we had to.
Speaker 2: (55:37)
It's so awesome to be with these women every, you know, every few months. And we also get together during the month online and everything. We have our, our mastermind group there, but this one, we actually had physical contact, so lots of hugging and I'm just so excited and I feel so blessed when I got back. My membership site is going to rock and I'm just so excited to be able to offer you guys some really valuable, not just valuable content but valuable communities where we can help you grow your business and grow as a person, help your family, help you, your future. You just like I was talking about with the financial diet book, let's help the future you by getting all your ducks in a row now and sending you on a course. Now, not to say that we're not going to stumble and fall along the way, but we're going to learn a lot and we're going to fail forward like the book fail forward.
Speaker 2: (56:35)
I love that book. The thing is we're constantly moving. Guys were constantly going in the direction of our dreams and it's going to be amazing being surrounded by people just like you and just like me in a group where we can help each other and lift each other up and support each other and help move each other forward so we don't get stuck. So we don't get sad. So we don't get, you know, depressed when there's those little few setbacks. So that we can get ourselves dusted off and right back on track. And I'm so excited about this. I cannot wait. I cannot wait. But I wanted to get these few recordings out for you for April because you know, I'm moving, you know, I'm working on a bunch of stuff and I'm coming back in May strong because that's when the membership site comes out. And you guys, I love you so much. If you have any questions, please send them to my team. I've answered a few since I've been back, but um, like I said, we're going to be working more on the membership site. I'm going to be working more with my other team on that so that we can get that going for me. But whatever I can do to answer your questions, my team can do to answer your questions. We are here for you. We love you. God bless you. Have a great day. Go and grow.
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