Karl Scarlett · Full-Time Property Manager & Owner of Great Dwellings Member since February 2015
Before Airbnb, Karl Scarlett was a full-time network engineer and IT consultant working 80-hour weeks to keep up with the expenses of D.C. and of schooling for his children. He had hopped on the Airbnb train years ago, in search for a long-term tenant in his extra property. It was only after he has secured a few annual leases through Craigslist that he remembered previously opening an Airbnb account, which was still active. When he logged in, he was greeted with hundreds of unanswered inquiries that had accumulated over time. The potential for profitable short-term renting suddenly became obvious, so he decided to make it real.
After some home renovations and a new Airbnb account, Karl began getting guests immediately. But to accommodate everyone, there’s a huge need for availability.
“Day 1, it was overwhelming with the amount of questions being asked and the amount of inquiries to answer, because everyone wants to hold a conversation before they book – but I have a full time job.”
Maintaining a high-rated Airbnb profile requires the host to offer constant communication with and availability to guests, and this almost drove Karl away: “Friends and coworkers were trying to talk me out of hosting by saying, ‘A friend of mine stopped doing it because she spent more time answering questions than anything else’. It exasperates you when you see another question come in, and you realize, ‘Oh no, I’m driving right now’. I always want to respond quickly – and [then] there’s another element of stress because Airbnb is tracking your time.”
This stress is undeniable, but staying active and available are a few of the only ways that Airbnb can reward the best hosts. So, Karl began looking into the profiles of other hosts to gain some insight into how they managed to offer so much of their time to stay highly rated and successful. That’s when he found Guesty on another host’s profile.
He introduced Guesty into his rental business after only a few weeks down the line. One unit quickly turned into three, and Karl decided it was time to launch Great Dwellings, a full-service Airbnb property management company based in DC.
What happened next, changed the game for Karl completely. Within a year, Karl has expanded to ten clients and is currently planning to take on a more managerial role by helping his DC neighbors leverage Airbnb for their own rental businesses. This step professionally is one that Karl credits to the success of his own experience with Airbnb and Guesty alike.
“I signed up with you guys really early, and it made the process way easier, right off the bat. Having many units can be overwhelming and stressful. But you guys are able to vet issues and understand what’s important and urgent, and it’s lowered my stress-level tremendously. I feel like I can offer this service because of Guesty – I would not even consider it an option if you guys didn’t exist.”
From 80-hour work weeks in engineering and consulting, Karl has now shifted to a much lighter workload. Now only spending about 4-5 hours a week tending to guests, Karl can also afford much more time with his kids and building the business.
“Since I’ve been able to use Airbnb, I can sleep better and spend more time with my kids – which is awesome. And I can directly credit Guesty for that. I feel like I could literally put my phone on Do Not Disturb at night so I can comfortably get a full-night’s sleep, even though I have multiple properties with people from all over the world because I know that inquiries are being handled and guests’ questions are being answered.”
With Guesty’s quick and constant communication throughout the guest lifecycle, Karl has noticed a significant increase in bookings.
“I’m booked up months in advance now in all properties. That says a lot to how quickly you guys are responding to the inquiries and following up, which I think is pretty awesome.”
Guest Communication & Satisfaction
“I love the option you guys [offer to communicate in] my name, it is phenomenal. One thing that’s really notable is that I had a guest say that communication with me, which was really with you guys, was the best experience he has ever had on Airbnb. You could tell he truly meant that.”
Because Guesty offers a white labeling solution, all guest interaction can feel personal or even branded. This feature, along with dedicated our receptionists, definitely adds an unmatched level of service. What’s even better than being fully booked is being fully booked with happy and satisfied guests. And Guesty is turning this dream into a reality.
If you’re interested in learning more about property management and discovering the many ways Guesty's platform can help your business, we invite you to a free one-on-one session with one of our experts.