Anette Grant and Sarah Karakaian bring new meaning to the short-term rental industry with their company, Thanks For Visiting. Instead of putting their efforts towards making a profit on their rentals, they focus on the hosts and the people. The two understand that the philosophy might not sound innovative, but “there are a lot of gurus in the space promising insane profits by automating nearly everything in the short-term rental space.” And that isn’t always the answer.
Back to Hospitality Roots
Thanks for Visiting is taking short-term rental back to its roots: hospitality. The two met at a Columbus City Council meeting in 2018 when fighting for their right to host homes via the Airbnb Platform responsibly. With their podcast, they are teaching others a balance of automation and human interaction. “We believe in bringing safety to the forefront of short-term rental operations. And we know the power behind a beautifully furnished and designed rental space,” said Karakaian. They belive that if a solid business foundation is built for any short-term rental, profits are inevitable, and the sustainability of your business is essentially guaranteed.
Thanks for Visiting helps hosts learn creative ways to innovate their small businesses. “We preach safe hosting practices. We are impacting lives and entrepreneurs from all over the world. And one of my favorite pieces of advice I give our listeners and members is remembering to stay curious —try out new solutions to old problems —always be ready to pivot and try out a new path. You never know what exciting journey it might lead you on!” Grant says while sharing her advice with future entrepreneurs.
Creating Thanks for Visiting
Sarah’s become a successful businesswoman by discovering her interest and finding a passion for online space, sharing economy, and small businesses. “When an opportunity to start and operate a small short-term rental portfolio came about, I ran with it! I fell in love with how much my little business impacted travelers from around the world and my hometown. I was hooked,” she said.
And Annette enjoys the constant innovation that comes with this business. “Growing up I kept dabbling in different activities: from sports, dance, and music I never stopped trying new things that piqued my interest,” said Grant.” I harnessed that curiosity into my adult life and tried out several industries after college. I never stressed about sticking to a strict plan and I always tried to greet new opportunities with open arms
Karakaian found herself on a different path, initially wanting to become a performer. Developing a thick skin and learning how to market herself for each audition, she compiled those skills to bring into the business. “It’s all the same for business,” she said. “Every day is different. You have to stay on your toes and be open to creative solutions. It would help if you learned how to rely on experts who can help you adapt and grow and navigate the day today. You have to show up and greet every situation with the end goal in mind. ” Karakaian believes that everything she’s done in her life has contributed to the start of Thanks for Visiting.
Advice for Short-Term Renters
The two believe the best advice they can share with future short-term renters, whether it be a primary or secondary means of income, is to treat the job like a business from the beginning. You should develop your digital real estate and not rely on tools like Airbnb to be in charge of your property. Be flexible! You will work with all sorts of people when running short-term rentals and have to navigate their idiosyncrasies with ease. Also, always remember to host with your heart and put the people you serve before profits.
Grant and Karakaian hope that Thanks for Visiting will be the trusted go-to resource for any short-term rental Host within the next five to ten years. From host-hopeful to large-scale operator, Thanks for Visiting will serve the hosting community and bring to the helpful forefront products, innovative technology, and constant reminders that it’s about helping humans with a thoughtful, safe place to stay.