fbpx

Vacation Rental Management Conference: How vacation rental managers can convince homeowners to accept change

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

This article is part of our Rental Scale-Up vacation rental management conference series. This is an extract from our April 2020 conference: “Get Your Business Through the COVID-19 Crisis By Discovering How Local Property Managers Resist the Global Coronavirus Epidemic.”

Vacation Rental Management Conference: Honti Management’s Adel Honti

Adel Honti manages 30 short-term rentals in Budapest, Hungary. As a paragliding world cup winner, she is trained in facing fear, evaluating consequences, and taking fast actions. She will share with you how came up with her plan to enable her business to survive through low revenues in the coming months. Watch her explain why she’s embracing longer stays while keeping them under 90 days, how she cut costs to stay lean, and how she’s convinced her homeowners to follow her new property management tactics. Bonus: Adel will offer free 30 -minute consultations to some of the conference attendees.

Vacation Rental Management Conference: Video From The 2020 Local Property Manager Conference

  • Adel wears two hats as a paragliding athlete and a property manager. She sees a lot of overlap between her two focus areas, like always trying to maximize performance and minimize risk.
  • Navigating today’s uncertain circumstances in her property management business isn’t that different from encountering some turbulence when she’s gliding through the air. She has learned that panicking is the worst thing to do in these situations; instead, calming down and figuring out a solution is the best way to solve a problem.
  • Adel’s professional background is in law (she worked as an international tax lawyer previously), but about 10 years ago she started a tour operator business with some friends in Budapest and invested all of her profits into real estate.
  • She started listing properties on Airbnb with the help of her siblings, who worked for big hotel chains, and her parents, who also invested in some properties.
  • They enjoy some friendly competition within the family, always trying to see who’s property is performing better. They have approximately 30 properties in their portfolio right now, which includes several that have other owners.
  • Adel is currently trying to diversify her business and book not only short-term stays, but also mid-term reservations (up to 90 days) until tourism bounces back. She is confident that tourism will return to a normal level soon, just as we saw after 9/11 and past epidemics, since people have a short memory for threats and fear.
  • She gathered a lot of data and proposed two solutions for the property owners that she works with: either change business models entirely and try to sign long-term leases, or focus on the mid-term market now while remaining available for future short-term stays when the tourism market is back. If an owner secures a 1-year lease now, for example, then they will effectively sacrifice any shorter reservations they could book in the fall or winter or whenever people are traveling again.
    • Adel predicts that urban markets will recover after rural markets.
    • Another reason to focus on the mid-term stay segment is that there is so much inventory available for long-term rentals that the prices are very low right now.
  • In Hungary, the laws allow for rentals with a maximum of 90 days without needing a lease.
  • In addition to Airbnb, Adel is listing properties on sites that cater to the mid- to long-term segment, like Flatsy and some local sites in Hungary.
    • Airbnb has reduced the service fee (the one that guests pay) for long-term stays from around 15% to closer to 10%.
    • It’s important to speak with other property managers in your local area to find out which localized sites you should list your properties on, in addition to the big players like Airbnb.
  • Hotels can legally stay open in Hungary, but many have chosen to close since there is very little demand.
  • Many restaurants are still open for delivery only, even Michelin-starred restaurants, which shows how important it is to be adaptable and able to make quick decisions.
    • By remaining open, the restaurants can keep their staff employed. Staff are your best asset, as Adel says.
  • Adel’s property management outsources their cleaning services, but she has an agreement with the owner of the cleaning company that says she will only pay if she receives 4- and 5-star reviews. This arrangement has helped her ensure quality at her properties.
    • Plus, by outsourcing the cleaning aspect of her business, she can channel her energy into other aspects of property management. Her goal is to be the best property manager, not the best housekeeping manager.
  • Staff salaries are her biggest expense, but in these tough times she said she will cut costs in all other areas before reducing her staff’s salaries. So far, she hasn’t had to reduce salaries at all. Another big expense is software, which includes automated messaging tools and dynamic pricing tools, and she has been reducing those costs. The government has also reduced the amount of tax that businesses need to pay, which has helped her overall financial situation.
  • Adel made an emergency financial plan that calculated her income and expenses based on a reduction of income. This way, she can predict how her business will perform in the long term if she experiences a drop in income. She has reduced her costs to be 40% of what they were previously, which allows her business to stay steady even with a dramatic reduction in income.
    • She also keeps an emergency fund that will cover all of her operational expenses for 3 months, even with no income.
  • She implemented this strategy in her personal life too, taking inventory of her personal spending and selling things around the house that she didn’t need.
  • Regarding taxes, Adel says she plans for the worst and is happy if things are better than expected. She is saving money that she estimates she will owe in tax for this year, but there is a chance that the government will reduce or erase tax burdens for businesses due to the coronavirus situation.
    • Once you know the worst case scenario and accept it, then you can find solutions to avoid that outcome.
  • During this downtime, she’s focusing on fixing issues at her properties and adding amenities so her properties can be in great condition when tourism returns.
  • In addition to property management, Adel does some general business consulting, drawing on her experience in digital marketing and strategy. She recommends keeping a positive mindset and overcoming fear.
  • She is also going to offer a new online Airbnb experience in which she shares strategies for building mental toughness and how to handle your emotions, tying these strategies to business.

Vacation Rental Management Conference: Full Conversation Between Adel Honti And Thibault Masson

Thibault:

Dear Rental Scale-Up members, I’m now joined by Adel. She’s in Hungary right now and she will be talking with us today about her business hunting management. Uh, she will be, uh, describing us, not only her activity, uh, with different properties, portfolio properties, uh, in her home country as well. She will be very, uh, giving you tips that you can apply for your own business right now. Um, she has an amazing background. She’s a world cup winner and private gliding female worker winner for paragliding. So it’s, it’s an amazing background. It’s amazing background as well because it means that, um, uh, I think w we chatted a bit, uh, another day and she read, told me that she may not be the best at sports or things like this, but she’s really good at dealing with fear. And what was very interesting was you’re going to see this, today’s can be very interesting as well, is that she, when the crisis hit, she was able to see, okay, let’s focus on what the actions that need to be taken now.

Thibault:

And let’s cut with a plan plenty September. So we covering this, we’ll be covering, uh, how business was like before the crisis, what is like now, how she adapted her business, uh, cutting costs, uh, going to longterm stays, um, negotiating with the homeowners. That’s a very interesting point here and as well, something a bit great because Adele is the kind of entrepreneur who is always willing to try out things. Uh, she’s doing two things right now, checked you registered as a host, providing all that experiences in Airbnb, in checks. He tried at one herself as a guest and it was, so she’s actually also starting helping other protein managers with online consulting. So we’d be touching upon that as well. And without further ado, Adele, hello. How are you?

Adel:

Hi. Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s really an honor.

Thibault:

Well, it’s a pleasure to have you and that looks like a fantastic, fantastic place behind you. Where are you right now?

Adel:

Uh, I’m in my living room and the, it’s so sunny that I tried to close down the window, but still there is a quite much sun coming in, so the weather is just so perfect in Hungary. At the moment

Thibault:

and did that is, I get it right from your background because you have this, you have this I think at least double hat if not more, but you are both. I champion you actually you were training for a big championship. I was supposed to happen now and the same time you have this, um, property management business. So can you tell us about bit of both?

Adel:

Yes, of course. Uh, well the good thing about being active in sport and racing all the time is that older methodology, what we learn in sports psychology, it can super easily just be transformed into business cycle that there’s just one kind of culture. There’s just one kind of human. So if you train yourself to maximize your performance and uh, and on the other hand, uh, assess risk in a correct manner, then you know, situation what we are all going through right now, it’s not much different than going into crazy turbulence Boulez in the air. When I’m flying over a Ridge and I can get into the interest situations where I need to, uh, uh, you know, assess very quickly. Is this a real danger? Am I, am I in, in a, in a possible situation where I might lose my life? And if so, panicking is the worst option, what I can do because if I’m panicking, I’m not solving it. So, uh, thanks God. I’ve been doing it actively for so many years because after a very quick a panic, which hit me as well, I’m human, I was able to use my normal methods, uh, to call myself down and get on track of trying to find solutions.

Thibault:

And so your, your, your business is a haunting management. Can you maybe go, going to what you usually do? I mean, I think associate’s, a family business. It’s also very interesting story. So we curious to hear more about this.

Adel:

Yes, of course. So, uh, I have a degree in law, but, uh, after a short period of practicing tax law, international tax law, I joined my friends and we established, uh, incoming tour agency in Budapest, Hungary. And that’s what I had, uh, done for over 10 years. And all the money, what I made, all the, the, you know, the return of my investments. I, uh, I invested it in real estate and that’s how I started, uh, with Airbnb. That’s how I met this new business model. And this fascinated me immediately. And at that time, my brother and sister both worked for B quarter chain. So they were super interested about it because it was so close to home for them. And I immediately realized that, uh, uh, it’s actually, it can be a possible second business for me and I can involve my family. My parents also got on board, they also invested in properties in Budapest.

Adel:

So that’s how we started with my appropriately with my parents’ property. And then very quickly mouth to mouth. That’s the worst. That’s the best kind of marketing there is. We got clients very fast. Um, our reputation spread and we call it 20 management because it’s all the hauntings. You know, it’s my, my, my brother and my sister and my parents are also involved every weekend, every Sunday when we come together, you know, you can never have a dinner with our house. When we don’t have at least a couple of minutes how it’s going and who’s, who’s, whose property is performing better. My father’s or my mother’s, you know, they love each other, but they are quite competitive. So they always ask us, is it my, my flats Adele? Is it my fat? Which goes better. That’s very sweet.

Thibault:

So is it a competitive genes in a DNA or something right now?

Adel:

You know, a very friendly manner?

Thibault:

Yes. Yes. Alright. Interesting. And so how many properties do you have now and maybe in who are, so there’s your properties, but so these properties that are owned by other people with a different profile, I think,

Adel:

uh, we have within the family, we have about five properties, but we also do run properties for other owners. So altogether we have 30 plus property. The number is shifting. We have now new properties coming on board, which is very surprising because, uh, you know, at the beginning who was the pandemic, I felt that we are just going to lose clients and not gain them. But as soon after I realized that every rule, what was out there, even a longterm market was just a, uh, overridden, you know, so many. So many property owners realize that their tenants called them and ask for half price or they were unable to pay. So, uh, some of some of the tenants moved out and properties became empty. And how do you rent for long term when there is a moratorium? You cannot Epic some, someone who is not paying you, you know, you need to find someone else. It’s very hard now to do the background check. So we got clients because they called us and asked us for recommendation and our, our, our knowledge about the industry, what to do, how long it will last, all these questions, you know, how should I, what strategy should I use? So that’s what we are doing now, trying to diversify and moving also from the short term to a midterm and longterm market.

Thibault:

So maybe let’s, let’s go into, uh, the length of States. It’s a good same way in. And I think, um, you, you, what you can bring to homeowners right now is the ability to get bookings that are longer stays, right? So, and we’re talking, I think what stays at up to 90 days, right? This, it was the idea is like, because our regulation tenant, Lowe’s, what’s your, what’s your, what’s your take on that and what we’ll use to recommendation generally speaking for people who think yes, yes, have to move into longer stays as well.

Adel:

Okay. So, uh, how I started this, I, uh, told all my clients, all the property owners that, listen, this is a strategical, uh, you know, crossroad, you have to make a decision whether you believe in the short term, uh, you believe in tourism, that it will bounce back, uh, or not. And I don’t want to tell you what to do, but I can tell you all the information I have gathered and the, I do believe that the reason we’ll be back at six was back after the mayors, or, sorry, spawn dammit, or, or, or epidemics or after nine 11, it was back, uh, very rapidly, within a couple of months. Um, the occupancy rates were back. I’m not talking about the revenue per available room, you know, because price is dropped, but occupancy was getting healthy a very short period of time. So it seems like the people do have a short memory when it comes to threat or fear.

Adel:

And that’s what I told them. I gathered a lot of data and statistics and I try to show them, you know, what the information is right now, what we have and told them you need to decide because if you want to switch to longterm, you know we can do that. But if you do believe that we did a couple of months, maybe by September, October in Hungary, occupancy rates, we will reach the occupancy rates of last year. Maybe the income will not be there, maybe 50% 60% in best case scenarios. But if you do believe that this is a scenario for us, then I do not recommend to switch to longterm and signed a contract for a year right now because all the hard work, what we have put into optimizing your listing and building up your search ranking, it will be lost if you close your calendar. Now, eh, this is one thing, the marketing, you know that we have to be, uh, early.

Adel:

We have to be there. When it starts to be held back, you have to target the domestic tourist as soon as possible. It gets some people to come. Uh, we are in the urban market, so it will happen later. Uh, probably the vacation renters in the Lake sides and, and outside of the city and hidden places like forest, you know, these, these places already now have bookings because people just want quarantine outside of city in a safe place. So those markets are not heat as hard. However, urban markets, we’ll come back a little bit later. They start with domestic tourists and then, you know, foreigners, we come and we have to be there right at the beginning. So I told them that. I also told them that at the moment there is a moratorium on eviction, which means that if you are a longterm tenant, uh, your landlord cannot evict you if you cannot pay your rent.

Adel:

And that is a huge risk for us. So if I legally enter a lease and agreement, then we have this risk, which is high. Now, even if I do all the, all the, the background check, you know, if I called the previous landlord and ask for a reference, I asked the previous landlord whether these, uh, tenants paid every single time [inaudible] if they made any damages. It’s a good thing to know. However, however, even if I ask now three months bank statements and I ask an employment contract, everything can be written over tomorrow. If this person gets fired, then things we change. So when we talk about business development, then we talk about two things. One is, is a, is getting more income and the other is, uh, is not just cutting costs, but, uh, lowering risk. And that’s very important, the risk factor. And right now with longterm, it’s quite risky and it’s riskier than ever, you know, or before.

Adel:

Not to mention that all the short term properties, they heat the longterm market. In the last one month. Historically there was normally in healthy Hungarian, Budapest longterm market, there was 10,000 properties and 14,000 short term rentals. Now just imagine all the 14,000, they went to the longterm market to us hotels, which have apartments, not just rules, but they have apartments. They also entered the motor market. We’ve never seen this before ever. This is new. So the prices in longterm agreements, they dropped off. Just drastic. You know, when, when I was consulting people about purchasing property and they were asking me how much money they can make, then I always, I used to tell them that realistically 5% with a longterm rental, uh, it’s, it’s something, it’s achievable right now it’s not. So if you have both appropriately just a couple of months ago and you have, uh, a bank loan for example, and your tenant is paying you have or nothing, then it’s the worst kind of situation you can be in.

Adel:

So what we have decided to do and this scenario is not to enter into a legal agreement, which is the lease, a bus stay on the short term markets. However, in Hungary the laws allow us to rent for maximum three months and we are using these gaps. So we are renting now to tenants for maximum 90 days through a short term rental property sites. I don’t want to make sick name, you know, but we all know that we are using mostly Airbnb at the moment. But uh, you know, other platforms are also available and we are diversifying now. We are entering two sites. We have not been used before. For example Flatsy or or in Hungary there is a longterm advertisement platform, it’s called [inaudible]. So we are, we are entering all these new platforms as well and the weak sign, a short term rental agreements.

Adel:

If tenants books through Airbnb, we don’t need to do that. We don’t need to sign anything because it’s immediately, it’s viewed as a short term agreement by accepting terms and conditions. Plus on Airbnb there is insurance, you know, if the, the tenants make any damages. We do not need to collect them. Each deposit, which is a huge plus for many, many tenants. So they can just book an apartment for a month or two or three, uh, on Airbnb. And Airbnb also has dropped the fees as I noticed, uh, for a short term or sorry, for term space. So stays over 28 days now have, Oh Lord a service fee. Do you know how much it is nowadays? Uh, how I calculate it, it’s close to 10%, but it used to be 15% before, I mean on the side of a, of a tourist or, or somebody who has a digital nomad that wants to say, or we have many families who just returned from abroad. They used to work abroad and their job opportunities, uh, you know, are now finished or on hold. So they returned to their motherland and they need a place to stay. And it’s a compulsory quarantine of 14 days, I guess all over the country. If you, if you cross the border, you need to stay somewhere for minimum 14 days. But in many cases, these families, they chose to stay longer. For a master’s too cause they don’t want to risk the Adderly parents or other family members.

Thibault:

Yeah. I think it’s very interesting what you’re saying because a lot of our different um, um, let’s say I’m looking for the word in English for that, but fellow country persons uh, are stranded abroad. Right. And some point when borders reopen they will have to come back. I was talking to a project manager in Bali. He has a lot of Russians and they can’t come back. It’s very complicated. You have to be some, some emergency list to go back to Russia. So they just think in body for the moment. I am not a French people. I in some countries and they come come back. So it’s tricky but this people have to save current teen. It was also the case in Israel is I know as well when Israelis still travel, which has become a difficult, like there was a whole market for South current training in Israel as well.

Thibault:

But before I go into the actual, because I think these are all the pockets of demand right now. But before I go into it, I want to go back to what you said because it’s very interesting for property managers, right? Because this is where you can see that you know your thing pretty right. It’s, it’s very important as you said, you’re still in the platforms because if you get away using the word God form from Erie, put your listing back in six months from now you’d be losing your search ranking history and or status says premier partner on the go or, or Superhost or even just like the rankings. So I think it’s a very good, uh, actionable and concrete advice to stay on the platform. Even not just don’t pull away just first. Very interesting. I liked it and as well as you said that for everyone know you of course local laws, right?

Thibault:

You, you able to spot that in your market. There’s like a gap of 90 days. So it’s a good way to still do short term rental but on a longer term without getting into the lease leases. So I think it’s the advice, which is of course you knew your market better than anyone else. And that’s also why you so make sure that people who own the markets can share their, their things. Because also what I noted from you is that as well, there are obviously, and there’s obviously I’d be a need for longer stays, but so local platforms, right, that I probably can’t recommend. But again, that’s a people in a market to talk to your property manager friends, they probably just don’t know though those, those platforms. Mmm. So you, you saw, so we talked about pockets of demand on the market, uh, to this people who have to come back, watch to sector and team. But there’s also other people right now who are, who are staying the best, I think.

Adel:

Yeah. There are digital moments, for example, who have been traveling, you know, and they stayed a couple of months in one city and then they went to the next and now many of them are stuck here actually. Or they just realized going back to Italy where they are from or China or France or Spain. You know, it’s not maybe the best decision because right now in Hungary there is a very low number of sick people still around 1,500 only a pseudo the whole country. So compared to Italy for example, maybe they can enjoy more freedom here because we do have quarantine. But it means that you are advised to stay at home. But if you want to go out grocery shopping or to your workplace or help your elderly parents, then you can and nobody asks you on the streets. You know the police don’t stop you and ask you where are you going? What are you doing? So the city’s empty mostly because people are sensical. They are behaving as we should. But we Ken go out, you know, if we want to. So I sometimes go on a stroll and evening when the city’s quite empty, you know, so we are allowed to do that and, and not facing fines. Sleep nicer. So sore then it’s not the same. Not every country has the same rules.

Thibault:

Yes. And I was thinking out on this point, Adele, is that, for example, I was a, I talked for this series with the [inaudible]. She’s a property manager in Portugal and then she’s seeing that actually hotels and apartment rentals are opening in Portugal. There’s just no demand, but it’s open. What are the rules in Hungary at the moment?

Adel:

Um, they are, they don’t have to be close by low. However, most of the hotels close immediately very fast. A lot of people were let go from, from their jobs and most hotels closed for two months or three months. And they’re using this period to, to renovate, you know, to fix up, uh, the, the, the rooms and make them nicer. Um, but unfortunately a lot of people lost their jobs. Restaurants are closed most, most of the city. So some restaurants are open. And I really like how some are handling this situation because, you know, um, survival of the fittest. It’s never about IQ, it’s never about intelligence. It’s always about your adaptability. You know, how fast you are when you need to react. And there are restaurants, Michelin star restaurants, which she did immediately within a couple of days, they stopped the normal operation and they started to do daily menus, you know, and how’s delivery to keep the staff, you know, because your stuff is one of the most important assets you can.

Adel:

And not every, every company owner looks at them at the same viewpoint. You know, some, some of us think that it’s, it’s something what we need to cut easy and early, you know, just to reduce the costs. I on the other hand, always had this view that the knowledge, what we have and the empathy and, and, and you know, your best assets are, are your employees. Even if you do have everything written down and you can just get someone new, you know, and teach them fast. It’s not the same. And I always, um, invest in, in getting more knowledge. So my team, we constantly go out and learn and train more. So every single member in my team is now, I gave them a sentence to use this period when we have different kind of jobs. Now we work on projects, but on the other hand, every week, the weekly meeting, I ask them, what have you learned in the last week? Like tell me something, you know, what the research have been doing and what you have been reading because I want to know that they are using this time smartly as well, investing to themselves.

Thibault:

Well I think that the home team management has a pretty lean model when it comes to staff and uh, and, um, different tasks. So maybe, so what maybe can you describe it, the, the, the, the business model here in terms of staffing and concretely, what decisions have you had? Have you had to make any tough decision on that side?

Adel:

Um, yeah, we, we do not have our own clinic stuff. Uh, I, I never wanted to, to have my own because I think that’s, that’s one of the riskiest areas because that’s where we get most of the negative comments about. And there’s not much to do about, it’s very hard to motivate people when they are our only even flow oriented, not outflow. You know, normally on the job market you want to hire people who asked first, what do I need to do, what is my, and products, tell me what is my job about? And I freshness about it. If if you click, then I will do my best to deliver and then you can pay me what is do you know this is the people I want to my team and not people who ask how much will you pay first and then [inaudible] second and what things.

Adel:

The job and the, and it’s super tough to find cleaning ladies who have, or clinic staff who have this type of mentality that my overall goal is to clean a property and get a five star review and that’s when I get paid. You know, you could ask someone that I would give you a premium. If you get a five star, you get a four star review, you get your normal salary. But if you get anything less then I don’t pay you [inaudible] then they quit immediately, you know? But you can tell this to accompany owner. So if I work with some other company and they, they have the comedic stuff, you know, instead of job, how they motivate, how they supervise, how they do this, and I can have an agreement with them where I pay them in this methodology, not just that prayer job, what they have done, you know.

Adel:

So I, I never wanted to have my own cleaning company because of this reason that I want to always focus on one thing and be experts in that light. Like in sport I guess guide. I snowboard, I like wakeboarding a lot of things I enjoy but um, you know, there was a period in my life there I had to make a decision, do I want to be mediocre in a lot of different sports or do I become an expert in one? And when it comes to, um, um, performance, then obviously the more hours you put into something, the better you become. So I want to be the best property manager there is and not the cleaning manager and housekeeping manager, but appropriately manager. So all my team, we are working towards that goal. So it was easy for me when it comes to cutting costs because I had to look over, uh, you know, what kind of costs I have in the cost structure, whether it’s a major cost of the asleep.

Adel:

That’s my stuff. And I told them that I would call everything else before I touch your salary. And we still haven’t had the discussion about giving them less, you know, I’m trying to give them more jobs and keep them busy to keep up the morale and the ethics to keep them productive. And that’s my overall goal. And the other costs I have in the company is mostly softwares. I have a lot of different softwares I use for automating messages. Automating that pricing was more pricing. So I have been cutting those methods weekly one by one and uh, and other costs, uh, taxation and the government gave us a lot of help, you know, with paying Texas. So unfortunately, um, we don’t have to pay as much as we had to a previous before. So that was my way of, of approaching this whole situation. After a short panic, realizing that my market is gone and it was within three days from the 14th of March via the 16th or 20th, all our Brookings disappeared as the, as the border was closed, everything was canceled. So only on the Ogus bookings remained, you know, and some may be for July, but may was gone.

Thibault:

So you, you came up with this emergency emergency plan, but this emergency plan, uh, you think has to last you, you made it so it can last until when?

Adel:

Well, I can operate for 14 months this way. So, um, what I have done is, uh, as I said, I first I checked the company, um, company books, how much costs I have, uh, how much income I have. And I tried to predict how much income I will have and maybe I will have 10% of my normal income. In best case scenario, uh, renting properties longterm in this current prices. It’s very, very small, but it keeps my team motivated every time there is new booking for a month. Like today, we also got one, everybody is sending high fives and everybody’s happy. And that’s what I want. So I calculate with nearly zero income and the, and then now my costs are cocked to less than half. Maybe I have 40% of my costs from before. And um, I always had a three months. That’s my basic rule, to have three months of, uh, of operational costs on a separate account no matter what.

Adel:

If something happened, uh, then I need three months to redesign the company. And I was always thinking that maybe the government will just been short term rental in the city and that’s why I need this three months because then I can have a people I can move to longterm market or I can come up with a new strategy. But at the pump that surprised me as well. You know, I was, it was never on my mind this will be the situation. But I had that my there plus second I checked my personal, uh, personal spending, send balances and I have done the exact same. I have got everything, which is not necessary. Everything. I have sold my um, my a brand new paragliding racing year, you know, it was just so shiny. It was in the corner. I just got it. I boated. I won the world cup with it.

Adel:

That was the first comp. I flew with it and then I got qualified as a winner to though super final, which is the, the biggest even there is. And then once I heard that it will be canceled because of the widest immediately within one or two days I put my gear online. I sold it when before it went global and before other pilots realized we are not going to call Pete this whole season. I don’t believe we will. So why do I need a shiny toy in my corner? You know, when I’m not going to touch it. It’s just vanity or emotional connections. I don’t need it. So I sold it and I have the money now. I put it also separately aside also, I stopped paying everything or what I need to pay for government or come on costs or anything. What I know that it’s not going to affect that company. They are not going to go bankrupt. All my partners on paying all my employees, I’m paying, I’m paying everyone who I have a relationship with and it’s built on trust. But the government, uh, the Texas is, we still remain and I see have to pay them. I’m putting them on a separate bank accounts and once this is over with one click, I can forward all this money out. You know, I can pay the common costs, I can pay the Texas, I can pay everybody.

Thibault:

So two, two questions of one remark and one question. Um, again, it’s, it’s, I’m really amazed by your, how you aren’t magic and going into talking about your both company finances and personal finances here. And I don’t know if you know a book called profitability first, but this book profits would be for profitability first. Sorry. It’s fun to produce and it’s exactly describing what you’re saying. Is that basically sort about positivity and they do advise to open a separate bank account with the money for let’s say a winter date. I’m trying to find an expression for bad days like this. So it’s base, it’s something yet you implemented very early. And then a quick, quick, quick question about the Kauffman in taxes. So obviously not of countries, there’s been a, these governments are helping, we’re saying they will postpone paying taxes. Um, what’s this tradition in your own country in? What are you advising people still saying I put the money on the side and then we’ve made the government later. You’re like, well carbon probably forgive this. So what’s your attitude towards govern health?

Adel:

Well, um, I always uh, plan for the worst and be happy if it’s better, you know, but I make all my survival plans in paragliding as well, you know, the worst is that I can die and I definitely want to avoid that. And it’s the same with my accompany. I don’t want it to go bankrupt. This is not why I have spent so much time building it. So I do everything within my power. Thinking of the worst case scenario, how I would avoid that once I have figured it out, I can rest easy because I know worst case scenario is not death. I would just fall on a tree with my partner of lighter or with my company, we are just going to lose one year worth of income. But as long as we are close to zero and I can pay every long keep this stuff or maybe I lose a little bit of money, you know, maybe, I don’t know, are we going to a small minus?

Adel:

That’s fine. So, uh, once I know the worst case scenario and I accept that outcome, I’m happy and I can live with this, then I can calm down and focus on the solutions and break it down. So I want to go here. How do I go there? I need to break it down to tarnish tiny parts. And then I make a plan. I put it into my, uh, my, um, task manager software. I put deadlines it will priority and then everybody knows what to do and the team starts to focus on, on working, working out the solution, you know? And that’s the same with the government help that I count on them, not helping us at all, but they have been already helping us and it’s great. But uh, it’s not such a messy pap. It’s not like they are providing us any lost, you know, income or grants.

Adel:

What they have been doing is reducing sexist, which uh, we are grateful for because you know, it helps. Uh, but on the other hand what they do is allocate a lot of money for marketing the city, marketing the country once this is over. But don’t forget that we are not going to be the only destination sending in the start line in this region. There will be VNR, there will be [inaudible] and so on. Bratislava, so all these central European big cities, you know, we are all going to line up at the same time and go with full gas. We just have to be smarter and better I guess. And that’s what yeah, are doing training, getting ready, uh, with the whole team for that moment where the first tourist can arrive. So we are working on uh, our, our cleaning standards. We are working on um, maintenance.

Adel:

We are trying to fix every issue, which was there ever mentioned by a client. And we put it also on a task manager, you know, program and trying to go one by one over and over and fix, fix all of them. If properties had no washing machine before because it was not needed for short term rental, we buy now. If, uh, if there are any other things like they don’t have an AC, then it’s the best time to set one up and also go forget that many people have no more that busy schedule anymore. For example, painting the property. It was hard to find someone to come with a good price before and now they’re lining up for four jobs, you know, and you can get a better price. Maybe, perhaps.

Thibault:

That’s very smart. Um, before we finish up with, um, own experience here through Airbnb, which is a, so a think optimistic, funny way to finish, uh, you’ve been mentioning, uh, you know, your plans and you’ve been mentioning as well this, uh, task plasmin software. So, obviously you are an organized person and I think you’ve probably able to, uh, go into somebody else’s businesses and look at, well the processes or the money and the rest and look at where you can sort of transfer this knowledge. Right. So am I right to understand that you can, you have, so your dream is kind of online consulting or for consulting, but you’re online nowadays, but consulting for the property managers. So what is it like,

Adel:

uh, well what I see that, uh, and, and you are correct. That’s what we have been. I have been doing, um, as a, as a consultant for many years I’ve been helping out more small businesses in various fields. Also I have a um, uh, certification in online marketing. So I had worked on a political election projects for local mayors and then for a good year I have been managing, I had been managing social media for quite a while. So I did have clients from very different areas and the, when we come to property management, uh, it’s such a simple business model. In some sense. It’s very easy to to look it over, especially because that’s what I have been doing as well for years now. So I see the ins and outs and all the tricks. And what I see now is that if you go through any Facebook forums, then one of the loudest boy is there is this fear, like a massive fear.

Adel:

People are very pessimistic. They are happy to share negative news. And that’s okay. I understand. Because the social and not the antisocial, the social people spread the bad news the fastest. And that’s normal because you are social. You want to avoid other people getting into the same, she told where you are. So you just want to avoid, you don’t just want to give them the news. Like this is where I had dinner and I got food poisoning. Don’t go there. That’s why, uh, in word were two words like mouth to mouth marketing, bad news travel nine times faster than any other type of views. So it’s normal and I understand it. And that gave me the idea that maybe this is the time where I should start consulting in a bigger, massive and more bigger scale. I should offer some of my time for free.

Adel:

You know, what can you do for others? What helps them the best the most and tried to solve a problem in their life. And if I can do that, then maybe in the future they would come back to me and ask me for paid consultations. But in this time when there’s so much uncertainty and so much fear going around, then maybe this is the period where I can start giving back as well. And I have been doing that in my sports career. It is the mentality. I have a deplete for many years that if I want to see a change in my sport, if I want to see more women, for example, participate because we have 8% participation, then we need to do something. And we are now, I’m now also in the very top. So I’m in the top position, the best position where I can make a change.

Adel:

And I’m a support diplomat for Hungary internationally. Attending meetings and working on this as well. So that gave me the idea of maybe in, in my work and my professional, this can be an area where I can also make a change even if I just change one or two people’s lives. That’s great. So I have the, the trial, I have pulled that up into an American Facebook forum, a post that, uh, I’m happy to offer 30 minutes of my time and my expertise to whoever needs have the most, just send me a private message. And it’s surprising how many people reached out and the, you know, all the feedback cycles go to cat, finally ask for us from someone that it’s okay to be afraid. It’s normal. Just calm down and do this, do this. And it’s so easy for me to just look at their listings and give them some ideas what to do. And they were very happy and they were busy Euro. Finally they had something to do and that raises your spirits. And once you have stepped out of this fearful mindset, then you can really focus on solutions and finally start producing something. And I’m going to ask something then, because you posted this offer group. As you know, Greg

Thibault:

telescope has its own Facebook group. I think you, you’re a member of it. That’s how we actually, uh, connected with a group. Uh, would you be willing to make the same offer to people watching?

Adel:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Whoever is happy to talk about their own business, their own business model or even if they only have one property, then you know, we have zoom, they don’t have to leave their, their houses and they can share with me the information, the listing and I’m very happy to look it over.

Thibault:

That’s great. So what I’m going to do a, so below the video I’ll probably make a link for people to easily connect with you. Um, so to finish it up as well, uh, as we would understand you, uh, you know, not sitting at home waiting, uh, you are trying out new things and you’ve tried out even a new Airbnb online experiences, both as a host and as a guest. Can you tell us a bit more about this to finish it up?

Adel:

Yes, of course. As I have been an avid watcher of all the business news, other, so obviously when a grand Chesky is going online and the and the and putting some use out there, then I’m listening to it. Even if it’s a U S time and it’s the middle of the night. And when he talked about launching the online experiences, I couldn’t go to sleep. I got so excited I was up to Yola at like 6:00 AM and I put together my own experience, but I would be very happy to do. And the before the con dammit, I started to give lectures on mental training, mental toughness and how to conquer fear, how to handle your, your emotions and how to adapt everything into your business. So that’s what I was doing before, mostly for sport people. But it was interesting that entrepreneurs also found it very interesting. And then I was thinking that why not do this, you know, one and a half hour activity where I show them my pictures I have taken from all over the world racing above amazing landscapes.

Adel:

I can put out my gear, I can show them what I, I, how I dress up, how my gear is looking like, and then I can ask them, you know, how you are handling the situation at the moment and what can I do for you? How can I help you? And the my activities being reviewed, the review that the moment, because I was told that every single picture is viewed by a real person and not the computer software. So I can take two, two weeks, three weeks you’ll a, the activity gets accepted. So I’m very, very excited to see, you know, how it goes and, and the to start hosting us an online host and experience. And on the other hand I have checked what they are already online and I’m not a big chef in my own home. I travel a lot and the, I tend to just go lazy and order their food in a, or I socialize and go out for, for dinner with my friends to a restaurant.

Adel:

And now I’m not just a lot of other people that I found myself in the situation. But it would be nice to cook, but I don’t know how, so I signed up onto an online experience where we, uh, baked a Swedish cinnamon rolls together and I have, um, yeah, never done that before or I don’t know when I baked before maybe 15 years, I haven’t been baking, but it was easy. And the best part about it was that it was very interactive. You know, there were people from Canada, a very nice family from the U S there was a tornado watch at the time, so they got cops, Oh, um, their internet connection was broken. Uh, some of you are wondering, you know, why we were baking there, how are they doing, you know, are they under now tornado or is it going to be a, the sort of [inaudible] situation happening. And then we had people from, uh, from Italy and, and the Hungary as well with my sister. We were baking in the background. So it was, it was very nice, you know, but I felt that I moved out. Uh, I was socializing without leaving my extra kitchen, so it was very nice.

Thibault:

That’s, that’s great to hear.

Adel:

That’s what I would like to suggest to other hosts as well, that you have a space, you have an empty space. Now if you haven’t been lucky to rent it, if you have an empty space, then look at it from a different angle. Just step back a little bit and have a look what you have. You do have a kitchen, you have a huge living room and look into your skillset. What do you think, uh, you could, you know, give back and how you could also entertain people if you have any special key or skills. If you do have any hobby, what you really enjoy, then you can now host an online experience in your home or in your kitchen. A lot of people are looking for new cooking experiences and I’m also thinking how nice it would be to cook more Rocco next week. Or I like to try sushi with the Japanese the week after. You know, you can actually every single night do something. I make sangria with Spanish. So if you don’t want an Everage boring evening meal, you know, you can just very easily and cost-effectively log online. And do something with other people.

Thibault:

[inaudible] well, thanks Adele. I think that the do something, it’s really something we take out from this conversation today, right? Do something for your business. Also, talk about personal finances. Even in China, new things going to a longer, longer term stays or becoming a new online experience. Hosts with Airbnb, the, the do something and uh, um, keep gum and it’s normal. It’s normal to fear, but it’s, it’s very nice to take action. I think it sets for three grades. So as I said earlier, we put links below the videos. We can know how to reach out to you, but really thank you for, thank you so much for your time today. Okay,

Adel:

thank you. I really enjoyed it. Same here. Same here. And I do hope to see you in person very soon then. Yeah. Well, we need these open borders and then we can go wherever you want. I don’t see you soon. Thank you so much. Bye. Bye.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Get actionable tips and best practices to boost your rental business

Get our free bi-weekly newsletter, with the best of the Rental Scale-Up content and with opportunities for you to connect with short-term and vacation rental industry peers.