Sitting in the Tongass National Forest is the luxury short term rental, The Windfall. Morgan and Konrad, may be newer to the STR game, but they pack a mighty punch with their expert interior design, sleek amenities and surplus of linens. The Windfall hosts were able to furnish and stock their unit from the ground up using HostGPO’s discount programs on West Elm, Standard Textile, RugsUSA, and Public Goods. Having recently filled out our Member Spotlight, these hosts gave insight into how they got started, an amazing pro-tip all hosts must read and how HostGPO helped them streamline the process of starting their STR.
How many years have you been in the short term rental industry and how did you get started?
Less than one! We opened our home to our first guests on June 13, 2021. In late 2019, early 2020, we started shopping for a home with an attached apartment that we could convert to a vacation rental. After losing out on a few bidding wars, purchasing what we now lovingly call The Windfall was truly kismet.
What do you find most rewarding about your career?
Juneau, Alaska is situated in the Tongass National Forest, which is our nation’s largest national forest. Located in Alaska’s Inside Passage, Juneau is bordered by ocean and mountains that rise into glacial ice fields, so it has a huge summer tourism industry. Our guests have mostly been multi-generational families celebrating life events or checking Alaska off their bucket list. What we love most and is most rewarding about sharing our home with guests is being able to provide a warm, comforting, and secluded space for them to relax at the end of a busy day of hiking, fishing, whale watching, or whatever they’ve been doing on their Alaskan vacation.
What is your favorite rental property you have and why do you love it?
The Windfall (@windfallhosts on Instagram), of course! We love it because it’s our first vacation rental and also because it’s a home we truly enjoyed living in while working to make it guest-ready.
What’s the craziest story you have from hosting?
We haven’t been hosting guests long enough yet to have a crazy story. But, one couple that stayed with us recently told us a crazy and amazing international love story of how they met and fell in love 30+ years ago. We love that stuff.
What’s one “pro-tip” you’d be willing to pass on to the community?
A lot of vacation rentals we’ve stayed at have entry level or dorm room quality knives and kitchen utensils, so I usually pack my chefs knives and honing steel. We both love a nice espresso in the morning, so we even take our Nespresso on the road. We don’t want our guests to have to do that, and we’ve tried to anticipate our guests’ every need by stocking the kitchen with high-quality tools. Your guests should envy and truly enjoy whats in those drawers and cupboards, not wish they would’ve packed their own.
What’s the most recent item that you can remember that you’ve ordered from HostGPO?
We took care of our big furniture and linen purchases ahead of opening. Our house has mostly West Elm furniture, Standard Textile linens, RugsUSA area rugs, and Public Goods amenities. Lately our HostGPO purchases have been little things that we might have missed with the big orders, like a salt mill, hamper baskets, and pillow inserts from West Elm.
What would you tell others about whether to join HostGPO?
We had to 100% furnish and supply our vacation rental from the ground up. We couldn’t have done it without HostGPO.