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Midweek Motivation ENOUGH!

What is "enough" for your vacation rental business?

In this short thread, I'll argue why your ability to answer that question is synonymous with your keys to the vacation rental kingdom.

(And oppositely why, if you can't give an answer, you're missing out on perhaps our industry's greatest sweet spot for independent vacation rental entrepreneurs.)

In Spanish the word is "Bastante." Ya basta!

Or "suficiente." Sufficient: adequate, satisfactory, enough to meet your needs.

"Enough" is not what they teach in business school lectures. In fact, you're supposed to generate MORE than enough -- that's capitalism bro!

But for independent vacation rental pros, Bro, chasing scale can be dangerous: distracting from core capabilities, diluting focus, spreading limited brainpower precariously thin..etc.

What's far safer (and by safer, I mean exponentially increases your chance at enjoying the journey and reaching your goal) is trying to generate Enough.

ACTION

After interviewing a number of IC members over the last few weeks, I've observed some core steps are necessary to plotting your next moves:

1. Profit Goal: Defining what's "enough" with an ambitious YET realistic profit target. This number should complete the phrase: "I'd be totally satisfied if by the end of the year we make ____."
Note: It helps to do this for 1-yr increments because then you can reset.

2. Dream lifestyle elements need to be baked in: the things that make you happy, healthy, proud, creative, productive, fulfilled. Some examples:
  • Go out on boat often LanceS LanceS
  • Bike rides in the afternoon Robin Robin
  • Sunsets with those you love @DEaton
  • Vacation hours/days/weeks @BobG
3. Define "Upper Boundaries": the ceiling or limits of your VR dashboard metrics that are necessary to satisfy your profit goal. Some examples:
  • # of properties in management fleet (to achieve profit goal)
  • % occupancy at a given nightly rate (" ")
  • $ amount per guest in upsells or referrals (" ")
3. Avoid Becoming Victim of Success

If you reach your profit goal WHILE enjoying your dream lifestyle elements, think less about growth beyond your Magic Zone or sweet spot and more about tightening the bolts. Some examples:
  • Tools you can use to make tasks more efficient
  • Listing Site Independence activities that diversify your booking flow
  • Limited Edition activities to increase 5-star reviews, repeat and referral guests
Did I miss anything here? Thoughts?
 
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LanceS

Counselor
Inner Circle
Matt Landau Matt Landau , wow, what a timely post. I've not been on here in a bit.

We were blessed with "no off season" this year. We are currently caught in a self created upward spiral. "It's not a bad thing, yet." We've been identified as the best at what we do in our primary market, and people want to come onboard. Not everyone is a great fit, and we have the luxury of being selective. My personal conundrum is, I WANT MORE! Thankfully Elaine keeps me grounded, or I'd be off trying to figure out how to acquire 10,000 properties. (*I think its a character defect.)

Another aspect is, we are growing our team slowly but steadily. I want better for my team, which means we need to grow. We succeed another season, more people come onboard, we need more staff, I want more for them....and we spiral upward.

So...we establish a ceiling for what we want. What have we done when we reach the ceiling? "Well, we can handle another 25 :) ) We are currently nearing the ceiling again in Virginia, and have focused our growth energy on OCMD, where we have a very hungry team that will accomplish great things.

And now...there is a very attractive growth opportunity just 90 miles south of us. Someone stop me.....
 

LanceS

Counselor
Inner Circle
ROster ROster is a master at this. He left a successful corporate career to start ostergolfhouses.com and has made numerous "stops" in his vacation rental journey. Rick, any prism through which your choices are made? How do you resist the opportunity?
Repeat after me:

"
3. Avoid Becoming Victim of Success

If you reach your profit goal WHILE enjoying your dream lifestyle elements, think less about growth beyond your Magic Zone or sweet spot and more about tightening the bolts. Some examples:
  • Tools you can use to make tasks more efficient
  • Listing Site Independence activities that diversify your booking flow
  • Limited Edition activities to increase 5-star reviews, repeat and referral guests
Did I miss anything here? Thoughts?"

I suppose I need to repeat this into the mirror each morning.

This reminds me of a conference 3-4 years ago, "not in New Orleans" where Matt Landau Matt Landau looked at Elaine and I over a beer and asked how many properties we had listed, followed by how many did we want. ( I think back then the answered for 40 & 150) Anyhow, when I answered the question of how much we wanted to grow, Matt looked at me and said "Why?" Only reason I'm posting this is, it's brought me back to that moment.
 

Matt Landau

Ambassador
Staff member
Repeat after me:

"
3. Avoid Becoming Victim of Success

If you reach your profit goal WHILE enjoying your dream lifestyle elements, think less about growth beyond your Magic Zone or sweet spot and more about tightening the bolts. Some examples:
  • Tools you can use to make tasks more efficient
  • Listing Site Independence activities that diversify your booking flow
  • Limited Edition activities to increase 5-star reviews, repeat and referral guests
Did I miss anything here? Thoughts?"

I suppose I need to repeat this into the mirror each morning.

This reminds me of a conference 3-4 years ago, "not in New Orleans" where Matt Landau Matt Landau looked at Elaine and I over a beer and asked how many properties we had listed, followed by how many did we want. ( I think back then the answered for 40 & 150) Anyhow, when I answered the question of how much we wanted to grow, Matt looked at me and said "Why?" Only reason I'm posting this is, it's brought me back to that moment.
I am a firm believer that people like you and Elaine can achieve pretty much anything they want. So it really just boils down to exactly what you want and how to reach now :)
 

ROster

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Yellow Jersey
Wing Fighter
After 20 years in the corporate world, working 12 hour days and “accumulating symbols of success”, I had a very clear vision of what I wanted my priorities to be. Freedom to pursue my dreams, create my life on my own terms, and keep things in “balance”. I wanted to spend quality time with my wife and kids, but I also wanted to make a good living.

That was 14 years ago, and I still make my decisions on growth opportunities using those principles. I avoid anything that would lure me back to being super stressed and working too many hours.
Perhaps my goals would be different if I were younger, but I am blessed and grateful that I have been able to stay the course.
 

Matt Landau

Ambassador
Staff member
After 20 years in the corporate world, working 12 hour days and “accumulating symbols of success”, I had a very clear vision of what I wanted my priorities to be. Freedom to pursue my dreams, create my life on my own terms, and keep things in “balance”. I wanted to spend quality time with my wife and kids, but I also wanted to make a good living.

That was 14 years ago, and I still make my decisions on growth opportunities using those principles. I avoid anything that would lure me back to being super stressed and working too many hours.
Perhaps my goals would be different if I were younger, but I am blessed and grateful that I have been able to stay the course.
This might be my favorite post in the inner circle of all time. 💜
 

BrookeP

Counselor
Inner Circle
Vintory
After 20 years in the corporate world, working 12 hour days and “accumulating symbols of success”, I had a very clear vision of what I wanted my priorities to be. Freedom to pursue my dreams, create my life on my own terms, and keep things in “balance”. I wanted to spend quality time with my wife and kids, but I also wanted to make a good living.

That was 14 years ago, and I still make my decisions on growth opportunities using those principles. I avoid anything that would lure me back to being super stressed and working too many hours.
Perhaps my goals would be different if I were younger, but I am blessed and grateful that I have been able to stay the course.
Well said Rick!
 

Robin

Counselor
Inner Circle
Growth for the sake of growth means nothing. It's important to check your direction and be sure that you are doing something for the right reasons. Growth is hard, can be stressful but could also be rewarding. You should be profitable, and it is very important to make sure that this is one of your outcomes, but you should also have other reasons for wanting to grow your business and to be sure that you don't leave the sweet spot without knowing what you are doing.
 

Eric Thibodeaux

Counselor
Inner Circle
How much is enough has been a topic we discuss within our real estate investment group, which I have been a part of for 13 years. The answer for everyone is different, but I have found many like to look at the financial aspect. More is not better, Better is Better. So many aspects of family, life, health, freedom all come to mind.

I agree with all of these aspects, but I find am drawn to the challenge. Without challenge, how do we grow, or live life? Challenges come in all shapes, sizes and aspects. Growing our property management company from an idea, to implementing (despite COVID and Hurricane Sally & the other one I can't remember) to a vision we have changes each year and keeps me striving. Creating Safer VR's to improve the safety and loss prevention in the Vacation Rental industry is another great challenge for me. All of which I am working on each day, and struggling with what to shed to pursue the challenges that make me feel alive and work to my purpose.

No upper boundaries for me. I set 90 day goals for our teams to achieve and reset again for the next 90 days. Working toward a vision, and stopping every now and then to reflect on accomplishments.

I look forward to the challenges of growth to achieve those inner goals, become financially independent, creating freedom for my family and I, and knowing I AM making a difference. Good questions to reflect on.
 

Matt Landau

Ambassador
Staff member
How much is enough has been a topic we discuss within our real estate investment group, which I have been a part of for 13 years. The answer for everyone is different, but I have found many like to look at the financial aspect. More is not better, Better is Better. So many aspects of family, life, health, freedom all come to mind.

I agree with all of these aspects, but I find am drawn to the challenge. Without challenge, how do we grow, or live life? Challenges come in all shapes, sizes and aspects. Growing our property management company from an idea, to implementing (despite COVID and Hurricane Sally & the other one I can't remember) to a vision we have changes each year and keeps me striving. Creating Safer VR's to improve the safety and loss prevention in the Vacation Rental industry is another great challenge for me. All of which I am working on each day, and struggling with what to shed to pursue the challenges that make me feel alive and work to my purpose.

No upper boundaries for me. I set 90 day goals for our teams to achieve and reset again for the next 90 days. Working toward a vision, and stopping every now and then to reflect on accomplishments.

I look forward to the challenges of growth to achieve those inner goals, become financially independent, creating freedom for my family and I, and knowing I AM making a difference. Good questions to reflect on.
Eric, such a thoughtful perspective. I very much admire the pragmatism that goes into your work.
 

ToonTownRob

Envoy
Inner Circle
After 20 years in the corporate world, working 12 hour days and “accumulating symbols of success”, I had a very clear vision of what I wanted my priorities to be. Freedom to pursue my dreams, create my life on my own terms, and keep things in “balance”. I wanted to spend quality time with my wife and kids, but I also wanted to make a good living.

That was 14 years ago, and I still make my decisions on growth opportunities using those principles. I avoid anything that would lure me back to being super stressed and working too many hours.
Perhaps my goals would be different if I were younger, but I am blessed and grateful that I have been able to stay the course.

It's all well and good to be critical of your previous existence... but perspective should always be maintained. If you hadn't lived that life, would you have had the resources, the financial ability, to start out on the path you are on now?

Lots of people want the things that you wanted fourteen years ago. But are they in a position to do anything about it, or actually acquire them?

What if you hadn't been able to afford to get into the vacation rental game? Or to do so in such a unique, and thus strong, way that allows you to make a living from it?

I suspect there are many people who would have loved your previous existence compared to their own present one. Even if for no other reason than it can become a stepping stone to something better, as you have turned it into.
 

ROster

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Yellow Jersey
Wing Fighter
It's all well and good to be critical of your previous existence... but perspective should always be maintained. If you hadn't lived that life, would you have had the resources, the financial ability, to start out on the path you are on now?

Lots of people want the things that you wanted fourteen years ago. But are they in a position to do anything about it, or actually acquire them?

What if you hadn't been able to afford to get into the vacation rental game? Or to do so in such a unique, and thus strong, way that allows you to make a living from it?

I suspect there are many people who would have loved your previous existence compared to their own present one. Even if for no other reason than it can become a stepping stone to something better, as you have turned it into.
"It's all well and good to be critical of your previous existence...but perspective should always be maintained"

ToonTownRob ToonTownRob I didn't criticize my prevoius existence, I said after 20 years my priorities changed.
 

Craig

Envoy
Inner Circle
After 20 years in the corporate world, working 12 hour days and “accumulating symbols of success”, I had a very clear vision of what I wanted my priorities to be. Freedom to pursue my dreams, create my life on my own terms, and keep things in “balance”. I wanted to spend quality time with my wife and kids, but I also wanted to make a good living.

That was 14 years ago, and I still make my decisions on growth opportunities using those principles. I avoid anything that would lure me back to being super stressed and working too many hours.
Perhaps my goals would be different if I were younger, but I am blessed and grateful that I have been able to stay the course.
I also spent 20 years in the corporate world - left 18 months ago. The thought of ever going back keeps me motivated to succeed!
 

HeatherB

Counselor
Inner Circle
I have copied and pasted these action items into a document for me to review as often as I need to. We too have found that after taking the risk of opening a new asset management company (STR management) right in the middle of the pandemic that we haven't had an off-season at all, and we have grown our inventory by 50% with new owners contacting us regularly to see if we can bring them into our program. In the last few weeks, it has become necessary for me and my partner to reassess what it is that we really want, slow things down, and figure out what does the future of StayLuxe look like to each of us. We've even brought in an outside consultant to help us nail down the specifics so we can focus on these action items in meaningful ways to ensure the success of not only the business but our personal lives as well. Love this! Thanks for sharing!
 
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