Justin, a global business traveller, trusts Houst, to manage his fabulous ‘House of Art’ in the heart of Miami while he is travelling around the globe. The long-term rental market was not an option as Justin still needed to use his home when he was back in Miami, but his career meant that his Brickell home was often left unoccupied.
Airbnb and short-term rentals are welcomed in Justin’s building so there was a fantastic opportunity to take a slice out of the $204 million pie of Airbnb bookings in Miami in 2018*. The only issue for Justin was how to manage all the bookings. Everything from guest vetting and communication, check-ins, scheduling cleans and maintenance, as well as linen deliveries, were all too much hassle while Justin was out of town.
To solve this problem, Justin discovered Houst, got in touch and learnt about our bespoke technology which enables us to manage over 4000 homes on Airbnb around the world. Nowadays, while Justin is away, the Houst team manage all bookings, vet all guests, handle key exchanges, organize housekeeping and provide 24/7 guest support. This is all included and all for a lower management fee than the competition.
Since beginning his relationship with Houst, Justin’s home has welcomed many happy Airbnb guests. We sat down and spoke with him to find out more about his journey with Houst. In Justin’s words, “I hope that this testimonial is one that can save many homeowners countless hours of research and headaches.”
What made you decide to Airbnb your home?
I recently made a significant move from New York to Miami, and perhaps I was fortunate in that it was a very successful move. I knew I would like it here, but I've grown to love everything about Miami. Which is hard because I'm frequently pulled away as I spend quite a bit of my time in other parts of the world. While this may sound glamorous, there's always a price! In my case, it means leaving the City of Miami, my community and my friends for long stretches at a time. So why use Airbnb to share my peaceful, retreat in the sky? It may sound corny, but it comforts me immensely to know that my lovely home is in good hands while I am away, and being tended to by honest travelers, inspired couples, or traveling business people such as myself. "Pass it on", a great mentor of mine once said. I believe I am doing just that, and I'm very grateful to be contributing to Airbnb as a new up-and-comer, with Superhost status in my sights! How cool!
Did you manage listing your property yourself before you found Houst?
No, I leave certain tasks to the professionals. If you want to fly somewhere, trust a Professional Pilot. If you require surgery, trust a Medical Professional. If you want your property managed right, trust Houst!
Why did you first start using Houst? What problems did it solve for you?
In my professional life, I am fortunate to be quite familiar with organized vetting processes, which will hopefully aid in determining "the winning pick". When it came to looking for help in managing my property, I expected the process to be long and arduous... after all, these are the folks that are going to be looking after my home! My retreat! The truth is, my search did not last long once I landed on Houst, and I hope that this testimonial is one that can save many homeowners countless hours of research and headaches. My first contact at Houst was a lovely young lady by the name of Georgia. She talked like me, she thought like me, and I literally told her, "you've sold me, just take my credit card number!" She laughed and assured me that Houst operates not in a traditional sense where quantity is what drives revenue. She assured me that the focus would be on obtaining the highest caliber of vetted guests that first and foremost, take care of my home! That in and of itself will consistently yield five star reviews. That's the magic sauce of Houst.
What has been the best thing about working with Houst?
That's an easy one. My Account Managers. During my onboarding process I was fortunate to be paired up with Gary Clark, a true visionary and the man responsible for launching Houst in Miami! He taught me a tremendous amount, and allowed me to stay actively engaged as it's in my nature to be involved in things that I care about. Gary and I built something wonderful together, and while I was sad to see him depart back to the UK Office, Houst swiftly sent the City of Miami a Rock Star by the name of Ollie Norton.
Who is your Account Manager at Houst? Are there any examples of ways they’ve been particularly helpful?
I am grateful to announce that Ollie Norton is my Account Manager. He has hardly yet dug his feet into the sands of our world class beaches in Miami and he's already knocking down all the pins. I first reached out to Ollie to offer him a simple 'Welcome' to Miami and, well... we talked for 45 minutes! We discussed everything from his background to mine... to the unique selling point of my home, "The Miami House of Art" and our recent five star reviews. But there is one very generous act that Ollie did on behalf of one of our guests that, he modestly never brought up but it was not lost on me. We were hosting a lovely couple --- a young man and his fiancé ---from Brazil. On that particular Saturday, our guests accidentally locked themselves out of the home and, because they are in a new city in a different country, they experience feelings of concern, anxiety and nervousness. All without any of my involvement, Ollie came to the rescue and left his home on his day off, to go to the Office and retrieve the spare set. He then spoke with the Guest to determine the most convenient location for our guests to pick up the keys. I'll say that again --- Ollie prioritized our guests' conveniences over his, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Oh and by the way, they referenced this story in their five star review!
Have you done anything special with the extra income you've made from home sharing?
Opening your home to guests certainly is a two-fold benefit; as it allows you to share this very special place with travelers from all walks of life with terrific stories and adventures that lie ahead. Of course, it is a swell day when you wake up and see that your bank account has grown as a result! I have been putting a lot of the net income from my travels, well, back into traveling! I have enjoyed booking myself and my girlfriend as guests at homes that span far and wide, and I sort of see it as a great circle that reinvests in itself: it starts by cultivating great relationships and experiences for my guests, and I try to "pass it on" and put it back into the "ecosystem" of home sharing!
What are your favourite places near your home? Where would you recommend to your guests?
My home is located in Brickell, Miami... truly one of the most fascinating cities I've ever traveled to (and that's my job!). The energy in Brickell is electric, as it is surrounded by towering financial centers, trendy cafes, clubs, luxury condo complexes, a multi-billion dollar state of the art outdoor shopping and dining mall... all while boasting the best attributes that Miami has to offer: endless sunshine and laid-back attitudes.
Some of my favorite spots are located really close to home, such as "Aficionados" and "The Arketekt" which are literally steps from our building! Whether it's a big game you feel like watching on their projection screen, or a game of pool you'd like to challenge your date to... it's a just an all around terrific jumping off point. Afterwords, take a short walk to Mary Brickell Village, and you can't go wrong with the countless restaurants, bars, and coffee shops there! I highly recommend checking out "Perricone's Marketplace & Cafe". There is typically no availability on the weekends, so I'd suggest making a reservation early for their beautiful dining room, or what we tend to do, is go to the bar located on the outside of the restaurant (you'll find it!). They serve the full menu there. Ask for the "zucchini/portabello mushroom/cheese appetizer". It's truly... transcendent! Walk off some of those calories at the Brickell City Center! There are a number of great galleries, shops, and if you've left room for desert... yup, you guessed it! More restaurants and bars :)
And finally... what would any list be, if not for the mandatory "Pro-Traveler Tip"!?
The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. It's an impact-fully gorgeous, circa-1914 mansion turned museum with formal gardens, sculptures and grottos.
Thanks for reading and you're welcome anytime!
Check out Justin’s property on Instagram and read the 5-star reviews on Airbnb.
To learn more about how Houst can manage your home in Miami, check our website at www.Houst.com/miami. To speak to someone in the Miami office, call: 305-985-4326
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