Every day, around the world, millions of people stay in other people's homes using the Airbnb hosting platform. Debi Hertert listens for great stories that come from these social interactions and shares them with you.
Listen in, as we hear the human side of hosting your home.
Hosts of Color Series: Kevin Rhea
Debi interviews Kevin Rhea, a black host who explains some of the issues we can learn from, having to do with discrimination, fear, and lack of knowledge.
Debi and Rob vs the Pandemic
Debi and Rob talk about the pandemic and how it has affected their lives.
FabStayz and Drag Queen take over Portland!
We had an AWESOME photo shoot in Portland, Oregon directed by FabStayz founder Robert Geller, featuring airline flight attendant Danny Lee Cabrero as drag queen “Liquor Mini”, named after the little booze bottles on planes. It could not have been more fun! Robert was working on a publicity campaign for FabStayz and wanted it to be fun and attention getting. It worked! Danny visited 10 locations dressed in flight attendant drag, and photographer Carlos Camarena caught it all. The greater Portland area, with its supportive trade organization Host2Host, is the principal launch city for FabStayz. The PR campaign is soon to be released!
Some highlights of the day: Michelle Boyle’s Tiny House Village in Sherwood, where Danny was definitely larger than life.
Nectar, a friendly marijuana dispensary
Blue Star Donut shop in Multnomah Village, where Danny’s blue dress was a color match and the donuts were delicious
Danny doesn’t drink but still made a splash at the Sasquatch Brew Pub in Hillsdale
Olympia Provisions Melty & Meaty food truck at Pioneer Courthouse Square
Travel Portland’s Visitors Center
Powell’s City of Books - the largest independent bookstore in the World!
Sunset was at the eTukride at the end of the Tillikum bridge
FabStayz’ mission is serving LGBTQ travelers by connecting them with hosts whom Robert terms “Fab Allies” All hosts list on his platform with the specific understanding of acceptance for all and fostering welcoming inclusive accommodations. FabStayz travelers know ahead of time that they do not need to explain or justify or do anything but enjoy being on vacation. When Debi asked Robert and Danny if they’ve ever been discriminated against during travels, Robert gave a nuanced answer that is helpful to understanding the issue. He also mentioned the site “Destination Pride” that gives travelers an acceptance measure of a city they are considering visiting.
As FabStayz continues to evolve Watch for the addition of bed & breakfasts, inns and properties such amenities of spas and wedding facilities. Poised for continued growth FabStayz has been featured in over 40 articles, blog posts, tv podcast appearance.
Not to be missed is the FabStayz demo video starring drag flight attendants Danny aka Liquor Mini and Esme Russell filmed on location at Tampa International Airport. Totally campy and so much fun! The demo video features launch destination: greater Portland, Oregon. You can also read about FabStayz press coverage.
Making your listing more inclusive: Robert invites listeners to look at his listing and consider “stealing” his first few lines that include his pronouns (just tells prospective guests that you are aware of pronouns as an important issue) and include an image of a poster or welcome mat with accepting language. He correctly notes that most guests don’t read everything in our listings, so put it in as a picture!
Robert and Danny met each other through a “chance” discussion that Robert had with his hairdresser, and everything just clicked. In addition to Danny’s work as a flight attendant, in his fun but important side gig as “Liquor Mini”, he has helped raise over $500,000 for the Wings Foundation to support flight attendants in need. He is now also the Resort Director for Vacaya, an international LGBTQ travel agency that leases entire cruise ships and resorts. In that job Danny gets to show the world the charismatic leader he really is!
List of all links mentioned in the podcast: FabStayz LGBTQ listing site
FabStayz 2019 podcast episode with Hosting Your Home
Host2Host, the Portland-centric STR non-profit trade association
Danny Lee Cabrero’s FaceBook page
Portland Photographer Carlos Camarena’s podcast episode with Hosting Your Home
Tiny House Village
Blue Star Donuts in Multnomah Village
Sasquatch Brew Pub in
HYH-52 “The Airbnb Way” with author Joseph Michelli
What company comes to an author’s mind after writing bestsellers about Starbucks, Zappos, Mercedes and Ritz-Carlton? Airbnb! Joseph Michelli became highly interested in the company and authored a book "The Airbnb Way". Joseph identifies the ways in which Airbnb engages with customers and builds brand loyalty. He includes both the view from inside the company and the view from the individual hosts who provide hospitality to millions of travelers each year. “The Airbnb Way” is a unique publication that is overdue - few businesses have been as disruptive as Airbnb and much of their positive impact has been under-reported. Debi Hertert met Joseph virtually in 2018 as Joseph began work on his book. She introduced him to many highly experienced Airbnb hosts, some of whom are included in “The Airbnb Way”. Joseph reciprocated a year later, when the book was finished, by coming to Portland as the featured speaker at the Host2Host event “HostFest 2019”. In addition to being an author, Joseph is a TEDx speaker. A hundred hosts got to enjoy his presentation, and you can get a sense of his thoughtful voice in this podcast interview that took place the day before the event. Host2Host is a non-profit trade association based in Portland, Oregon. It serves the short-term rental hosting community with a goal of speaking with one voice for the community of hosts. Several hosts who are mentioned in the book also appear in HostingYourHome podcasts. One of these is April Brenneman who is featured in one of the very first episodes of the HostingYourHome podcast, "Josh's House in the Trees" You can check out the links below, including one for a trip giveaway to San Francisco that is good through December 16, 2019
Joseph’s business website: www.josephmichelli.com
Book contest through December 16, 2019: This is a trip giveaway to San Francisco, no purchase necessary, at https://www.airbnbway.com
Host2Host "The Voice of the Host" short-term rental website: Host2Host.org
STR Advocacy Done Well - with Mark Rockwell
STR (Short Term Rental) Advocacy interview.
FabStayz LGBTQ listing site, with Robert Geller
Debi Hertert of the Hosting Your Home podcast talks with FabStayz LGBTQ Listing Site founder Robert Geller, about his exciting, new STR platform. Robert has 10 years of experience with his gay travel company "Outings and Adventures". Through his personal Airbnb hosting experience and Airbnb travel, he saw a real need for a travel platform that would be respectful and safe specifically for LGBTQ travelers. He's inviting hosts to register, with the agreement that those hosts will be allies of LGBTQ travelers and make them feel welcome. Robert listed some impressive statistics for the volume of LGBTQ travel that are included below in the show notes. Robert expects the platform to be fully launched by June, 2019 in time for Gay Pride and the large amount of travel that goes with it. Hosts are invited to register at FabStayz.com during the beta version. FabStayz has a process for incorporating Airbnb listings into the FabStayz platform. Hosts pay a subscription price to FabStayz to be listed and attract bookings.
2:00 - 6:00 Robert talks about his gay travel company startup that followed a corporate job layoff in 2008. He started the company “Outings and Adventures” initially to offer activities for the LGBTQ community outside of a bar. They did paddle boarding, kayaking, tree climbing, sushi cooking etc. It morphed into the travel company and now they do things like a riverboat bike tour on the Moselle river!. He is also an Airbnb superhost and traveler. With “air quotes”, Robert said the first “adventure” wasn’t very adventuresome. It was attending the very first showing of the movie Sex in the City. He could only get 10 tickets, but those first 9 email addresses have grown into a travel company with 8,000 email addresses and 10,000 Facebook likes. 6:00 - 20:00 What was the origin of FabStayz? His experiences as a gay Airbnb host showed him the need for a hosting/traveling environment that is safe for both parties. His description of these experiences are compelling. He saw an opportunity to elevate the experience of the guest and host for LGBTQ travel. He knows that many LGBTQ travelers wait with anxiety to learn how the host might respond to an exploratory email such as “my partner and I”...waiting and wondering and worrying. Robert doesn’t want this to be the way it is. FabStayz is an LGBTQ brand, not a gay brand. Often a gay brand is hyper-sexualized, and FabStayz is not. Imagery, language etc on the platform speaks to everyone in the community, fun and uplifting. FabStayz is aligning with visitor bureaus and the LGBTQ chambers of commerce all over the country and are being well received. 20:00 - 25:00 An “Ally” is defined on the FabStayz website as a person who helps this cause. Debi mentions that crossing cultural gaps is difficult. Not everyone knows what to say or how to reach out. She asked about an educational component. Robert also points out that this is an opportunity for hosts to differentiate themselves to market to this community. He stated that LGBTQ travel accounts for $200 billion spent per year, 77% of the LGBTQ community have valid passports; and often travel to a Pride event outside their home community and stay an average of 4 days. 25:00 - 29:30 So how does FabStayz actually work? Robert describes how in beta, people can go to FabStayz.com and register there. The site hasn’t even launched yet but has support from the LGBTQ community of every ethnicity. Every "acronym" and ethnicity is represented on his staff, helping making decisions. What happens when you register? You are asked which platforms you are listed on, with Airbnb being the preferred platform to begin with. They discussed the possibility of direct bookings, as well as VRBO. 29:30 -32:00 When are you going to launch? Robert feels like they are just weeks away