2021, week 43
Ted Cote, Bozeman, Montana 🇺🇸

 

Host of the week

This week let’s meet Ted 😊

Ted and Ann Marie Cote are originally from Southern California and live since 2016 in Bozeman, Montana. They love being outdoors, traveling, enjoying great food, and being with good friends. They have been hosting since 2018 and are superhosts. Ted and Ann Marie own 7 properties and manage 9 overall.

Let’s hear their story! 🔊

 

So, Ted tell us, how long have you been hosting for? How and why did you start? How many properties do you manage?

We bought our first short-term rental property in 2018. We’ve been hosting since 2018. We realized the potential for STR income and wanted to find the perfect property that would not have any restrictions. We now have 9 listings in and around Bozeman. We are big fans of Airbnb and Vrbo and as guests, we know what we loved about particular listings.

 

Are you an owner or a manager? Is this a part-time or full-time occupation for you?

We own 7 of the 9 listings and manage two for close friends. This is not a full-time job for me but is getting close. My primary job is working remotely as the VP of Marketing for a company based in Houston, Texas. For Ann Marie, my wife, it has become essentially a full-time job. She takes pride in maintaining our superhost and premium partner status on the different platforms. In order to do this, she pays very close attention to the small details – and people do notice. Our listings are truly fully-equipped so that people can unplug, relax and experience the beauty of Montana.

 

What is the best thing about hosting, and what are the biggest problems you face?

The best thing about hosting is delivering amazing experiences for our guests. We make every effort to surprise and delight every guest. The positive reviews we receive are the best thing. The biggest challenge is finding reliable cleaners to help us turn the properties in between guests with tight check-in windows. Our community has a labor shortage and we have had to get creative to recruit good people.

 

What is one thing you wish you knew when you started hosting?

As you build a portfolio of properties, it can become stressful when you are managing all of the properties without hiring a management service. It makes it difficult to leave town or go on vacation without worry. We’ve learned to give clear checkout instructions prior to departure. This fast-tracks the cleaning turnaround.

 

What is the most important advice/tip you would give someone interested in becoming a short-term rental host?

Research carefully what areas within your market that allow full-time short-term rentals without limitations. Subscribe to tools like Syncbnb to avoid double-bookings and reduce time looking at multiple dashboards from different platforms. We give each and every guest a welcome card, a nice bottle of wine, and a bag of locally-made caramels. We always check in with the guests shortly after they’ve arrived confirming that they got in ok and everything is good. Find a good commercial or local laundry service for cleaning all of your linens. It’s worth the expense and ask for a volume discount and you’ll probably get it.

 

Besides Syncbnb, are there any tools, devices, or software (eg. Remote keylocks, cameras, local guide apps, power meters, etc) you use? What is your experience with them?

We have Ring cameras for monitoring the exterior front entrances of our properties. This allows us to confirm when someone has checked in or checked out. It also can flag guests who try to sneak in extra people or pets into your property. We have wireless coded locks (Schlage) that allow contact-less entry and we can create unique access codes for each and every booking through an app called Key. The codes expire according to our input.

 

Which channels do you list on? How much has your revenue increased since listing on multiple channels?

We have our listings on Airbnb, Vrbo, TripAdvisor, and Bookings.com. Our occupancy rates average over 70% year-round and they are higher in the summer months. The revenue from the listings is approaching $40,000USD per month.

 

Besides listing on multiple channels, what other things can a host do to increase his/her bookings and revenue?

You can set up a direct website to your listings and leave business or postcards at your properties that encourage guests to visit again or they can refer friends or family to your properties. You can also advertise by targeting nearby markets on Facebook.

 

You can find out more about Ted’s properties here:

 

Here are some photos to give you a better vision of  Ted’s property (click for larger versions) 🧐

 

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