Jasper Ribbers CEO & CO-Founder of “Get Paid for Your Pad“, STR Legends, and Overnight Success sat down for a interview with us to tell our members some tips from his book and how he got started in the short term rental industry. His extensive background in STR’s will help you save time and get more bookings using Airbnb tools!
You are the CEO and CO-Founder of “Get Paid for Your Pad”, how did you get started in the short-term rental business and when did it go from a passion to a business?
I started in 2012. I was running it out of my apartment in Amsterdam, on long-term and I did not really like that for three reasons. Number one, I could not access my own property when I wanted to stay in it and I was traveling at the time. Number two, in Holland, it is very hard to get people out of your property. So once you have a long-term renter in there, you kind of lose control over the property. Number three is the long-term rental rates were pretty low compared to the price of a house. So, I started with that one listing and I wrote a book because I noticed a lot of people needed help. People back then didn’t really understand how to use Airbnb and since it was my only income, I really focused on optimizing my listings and figured out how to play Airbnb. Asking myself, how do I get the most bookings, create a good guest experience, get the five star reviews and all of that. That’s how I wrote the book which became the podcast. It really gradually went from a passion to a business. I started helping other hosts, helping them create their listings and manage listings and because of the book, people started seeing me as the expert. So I realized there was an opportunity for me to build a business around it.
Nearing episode 400, you were one of the first podcasts in the space – why did you decide to start a Podcast?
After I published the book, I was looking for a way to promote it and at the time podcasting was really up and coming. So I thought by doing a podcast and interviewing similar Airbnb hosts, I could promote the book. That’s really why I started it. Plus I love talking to other hosts as well, it is really fun!
Can you tell our members the basics of what you cover on your podcast, Get Paid for Your Pad?
In the beginning, I was really focused on sharing the stories of other Airbnb hosts and over time I started doing it a bit differently. I would choose a topic, find an expert on that topic and then interview that person on the topic. Get Paid For Your Pad is essentially for people that want to get started with Airbnb, but it’s grown into a podcast that covers a wide array of topics all related to short-term rentals.
Get Paid for Your Pad is also a book, who is the ideal person who should pick that up and read it and what can they take away from it?
There’s two avatars for the book. Number one is the person who is new to Airbnb and they want to create an Airbnb listing. They just want to start off in a great way and build the foundation. The second avatar is the person who’s already on Airbnb, but hasn’t really spent the time to optimize their listing and the whole guest experience in order to maximize their profits.
You are one of the only vacation rental podcasts that has an international audience, what do you find are a few of the most interesting differences between the STR industry in different countries?
That’s a good question. I’d say the number one thing is the market is just a bit more sophisticated and evolved in certain countries versus other countries. For example, I have a listing in Colombia and in Colombia there are very few high-end places. Typically the quality of the listings are not as good on Airbnb. So you can find really affordable Airbnb’s. The way that people think about short-term rentals is they think more in terms of renting out a space versus creating an experience. So I think that’s the main difference that I see from some of the more mature markets versus the more developing markets.
In addition to helping investors, you have your own vacation rentals as well, can you send us a link to your favorite listing? What do you love about it?
I would say my listing in Columbia is my favorite one because I love the neighborhoods where I have my listing and it’s off the beaten path. It’s in Cali, Colombia and not a lot of people know about that place. I think it’s really cool to have a listing in a place that most people don’t really know about yet.
What is something you wish you could have told yourself when you first started investing or a mistake you would have warned yourself to avoid?
I had invested in three different units, one in Colombia, one in Thailand and one in the Philippines. The reason I invested in three different countries was because I wanted to diversify and spread my risk so that if one country doesn’t go well, then I have the other two. The whole idea was if 2 out of 3 units are running really well, then that’s going to provide me with the income to support myself. Now, what I didn’t foresee was I didn’t diversify in terms of traveler type. It’s all international tourists, so I didn’t foresee that international travel was going to come to a halt [because of COVID]. I guess that’s the one thing that I overlooked because all of my units were essentially targeted towards international travelers. So, if something happens to the airline industry or people stop traveling, then I would have a problem, which is what happened.
What’s the craziest hosting story that’s ever happened to you (good or bad)?
Well, I’d say the craziest thing for me was after hosting about a hundred groups I hadn’t had a single person who was really unhappy. I mean of course stuff happens every now and then, but I’ve never had somebody who was not satisfied. That is until one time somebody checked into my apartment in Amsterdam and the next morning I got an email saying that they were leaving because they thought the place was unacceptable. They said it wasn’t advertised accurately and they threatened to contact Airbnb and have me removed from the website. So I felt that was kind of crazy because for somebody to threaten to have me removed from Airbnb after I had over a hundred almost solely five-star reviews, I thought that was kinda crazy. So it taught me that no matter how good of a job you’re trying to do, there is always going to be one person that’s not happy.
What is the biggest problem you see in the STR industry today? What do you think can be done to fix it?
I like to think in terms of challenges versus problems. I think the biggest challenge in the STR industry today is COVID because it has changed the landscape; It is the reason why travel has changed. The things that people need have changed as well. I think a lot of operators and hosts haven’t really adjusted the way they market their listings and the way they create their experience.
Where can our members find out more about you?
Overnightsuccess.IO is the company, our overarching umbrella. We have all of our brands under that link such as, Get Paid For Your Pad, the STR Legends Masterminds, STR Profit Academy, and much more. So that’s really the best place for people to go, overnightsuccess.io.