Here is a fun, short talk from just Debi, about the new Host2Host association. It is a natural outgrowth of the Portland, Oregon community of hosts and the result of three years of community building through the 41 monthly Meetups Debi has organized, and the great success of the Portland Area Hosts Facebook group.
Debi mentions in her talk that Portland has been told by Airbnb that we have the highest per-capita ratio of Superhosts in the world. It certainly could be that our community, which tries harder to support than compete, is better for all the communication and has learned to be even better hosts.
Moving to a non-profit trade association allows us to afford a website and some other recurring costs, and do an even better job serving the educational and business connection needs of our community.
A complete transcript is below, followed by some web links. If they don’t show in your podcast show notes, please go to hostingyourhome.com and read them there!
[0:34] Welcome to Hosting Your Home, this is Debi. Thanks for being here.
Our podcasts are usually about hosting experiences. I love to interview local hosts (and host from all over the world) about their experiences and to help tell their stories.
This week is a little different. This week you’ve just got me. I want to tell you about our new nonprofit organization called Host2Host.
[1:04] You may know a little bit about me; I’m going to tell you a little bit more so that you’ll get the full scope of what we’re doing here. My background: my husband and I have some vacation rentals on the Oregon coast, which I have been managing since 2009, as an ‘accidental’ vacation rental manager. I didn’t know what I was doing and was very hungry for information and connection. I found Matt Landau’s Vacation Rental Marketing Group, and learned a lot from the Inner Circle there.
At some point (I believe it’s 2014) Airbnb came to Portland [and Portland began allowing short term rentals as a permitted activity, for the first time]; I had already been renting on Airbnb since 2010, so I was pretty familiar with the platform and their rental philosophy.
After the wonderful exposure with Matt’s group and the Inner Circle, I wanted to connect more with our local hosts. As a result, I created a Meetup Group [through Meetup.com]
This was in 2014 and the Meetup group has since flourished. 300 members at the date of this podcast. At some point we decided to create a Portland Area Host Facebook group, and that group has just gone gangbusters, with 910 members at this date]
[2:40] I have always wanted to have a little conference here in Portland and
after I started the podcast, I was interviewing some of our local hosts, I started asking them questions like: “What do you think? Do you think we could have a conference here? Do you think the people would like it? Do you think that we have the skills and the wisdom here to be able to share who we are and what we do?
Before I knew it, we were organizing a fantastic conference that happened in April 2017. We were blessed with about 15 core committee organizers who have become fixtures in all of our development after the conference. The public response was overwhelmingly positive with around 140 attendees. We had educational breakout sessions and some fantastic speakers, keynotes and vendor support. It was just really, really, really fabulous. After the conference that it was obvious to us that our community wanted more. We started talking about how we could deliver, and if we could deliver.
We reorganized the Host2Host Conference to support a Host2Host nonprofit membership group. [trade association]
[3:56] Next month on February 12, 2018 we’re going to be rolling out our full offering of Host2Host support services and membership to our local community and to the world at large. I want to tell you a little bit about what we have planned for that:
- We will have will have the education piece. You know that’s really important to me, that’s what I do and that’s what I love.
- We will continue with having conferences and vendor fairs, classes, and meetups. Since 2014, we have hosted 41 monthly meetups!
- We will be having workshops.
Our membership consists of people who have come to this business from all kinds of backgrounds. We’ve got professional photographers and lawyers and event planners. You name it, we’ve got it all. It’s very cool to see these people coming forward to share what they know and help us organize into a group that helps to support our community.
Our “Members Only” section will offer a variety of informational articles, such as:
- The importance of Photography
- Why Hire a Bookkeeper.
- Service Animals.
- Anatomy of a Lawsuit (oh my goodness!) and
There are going to be many, many, more as we continue on. We will be we will be adding more as we grow, expanding in areas that I’m sure I can’t foresee.
[5:32] You also may have heard that in Portland we have had some issues with our city government. You also probably know if you’re an Airbnb host or a host on any platform that there are advocacy issues everywhere in the world right now. Part of our energy is focused on advocacy, our own permitting process, politics and policy. In fact just yesterday I was invited to a meeting at City Hall with policy makers. It was was a fabulous experience! We want our local government to hear us as a group.
We don’t need somebody else speaking for us; we want to do our own speaking and be heard and seen for who we are which is, as you know: Members of the community; taxpayers; supporters of local businesses and neighborhoods. There is a there’s a lot of work that can be done around that.
[6:42] We also will have a Business Directory so that we can gather support from our local businesses and from Global businesses. Businesses are invited to include a special offer for members. I anticipate that not only will we have businesses that come to us because they sell to us but there will also be businesses coming to us, because of what we can offer them. We direct our guests with recommendations to our local businesses.
Membership is going to go live next month with a Grand Reveal gala. We will be having that catered and we’ll have what we’re calling fondly the VOTH Hour (Voice Of The Host) featuring a few short inspirational stories from hosts. Following our VOTH hour, a panel discussion will offer information about the organization and we’ll have Questions and Answers.
The Portland Host Community is the focus for the face-to-face kinds of activities that we have. We expect that we will have people from all over the world interested in the online part of what we will be offering and we’re purposely keeping our subscription rates ridiculously low.
[8:15] I thought we should be charging more but honestly we really want to cover expenses. None of us are being paid, we are 100% volunteers, but we have a few expenses in hosting the website and various other things.
- The host membership is $50 a year.
- Small businesses with one to five employees will be $75 a year and
- The larger businesses over 5 employees is $195 a year.
I don’t know of any other other membership group that has such low cost and we want to make it available to everyone. We feel that the education of what we do is what makes our industry better and better and better. I can tell you that Airbnb tells me that our Portland Community per capita has the highest number of superhosts in the world. And I think that’s because of our community and the way we interact with each other.
I hope that you are interested in Host2Host.org and that you will check us out. Our website will go live February 12th and we would be happy to accept your membership.
[9:51] If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m available and I respond.
You’ll find the show notes as always at HostingYourHome.com.
Leave me a message, ask a question, make a comment, offer your skills. Any of the above!
Our next podcast will be back to our normal interview style.
Take care, and have a great week!
Oops I forgot a couple of things!
Our website Host2Host.org – on and after February 12, 2018.
You will get an “under construction” note if you go now.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HostingYourHome/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hostingyourhome/
Highly recommended vacation rental guru: Matt Landau: vrmb.com