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  • Wed, January 25, 2023 8:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Your opinions are very important to us and we want to make sure they are factored into our decisions. Last year, our Marketing & Communications Committee requested feedback to help direct organizational efforts in the coming years. Joel Selling, Host2Host member, MarCom committee member and host on the Oregon coast, provided excellent organizational and analytical support to this effort. Members can check out his analysis here.

    Members were incentivized to respond with the offer of a free annual membership and we’re proud to announce that Esther Saulle-Simek, was the lucky winner! Thanks to everyone who responded.

  • Wed, December 28, 2022 1:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our 2022 FUN(d) Raising event could only be successful because of the kindness of our community of donors and the happy participants. 

    thank you cardOur sincerest thanks goes to A+W Projects, LLC, Airbnb, Around Portland Tours, A Serious Production, Back to Basics Bookkeeping Service LLC, Becky Burnett, BLOCK ADVISORS, Blue Star Donuts, Boostly, Carlos Rafael Photo, Chris James Cellars, David Boe, Descansa Property Management, Deschutes Brewery, Ensourced, FIX LINENS, Frances Meyers, Grace Vacation Rentals, HostGPO, InnStyle, iTrips, Jill Palamountain, Kim Fitzpatrick, Laura Angyus, Nossa Familia, Oregonshearwater, Pamela Jeanne, Pizza Kat, Portland Bottle Shop, Por Que No?, Proper Insurance, Radious, Ruby Jewel, Slumber Cloud, StayFi, Sweet Haven Rentals,, Tiny Digs Hotel, TouchStay, and Travel Portland.

    people huggingThanks also to folks who gave direct, monetary donations to Host2Host like Adam Windham with Host Financial, Alanna Schroeder, Carlos Camarena, Dabney Tompkins, Joel Selling, Kym Gordon-Cumbo, Linda Elliott, Liz Crowe, Tracie Robinson, and Charity & Maylene Kuahiwinui.

    Special thanks, also, to the FUN team volunteers: Anthony, Becky, Carlos, Charity, David, Debi, Jill, Joel, Laura, Lorinda, Nancy, and Pamela.

  • Wed, December 28, 2022 1:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Submitted by Nancy Stevens, Meetup Committee Member and Host in NW Portland

    Nancy StevensWhat a great time at the Host2Host Fun(d) Raiser to celebrate the close of 2022 and welcome the new year! We had an amazing array of items, valued at over $8,000 – available as raffle or auction items – everything from gift cards, food, tours, and, of course, vacation rental listings from Oregon to Florida! In the end, there were more than 30 very happy winners!

    event participantsHoliday greetings were shared in at least six different languages, and guests learned about holiday drinks such as rumchata and Christmas noggin. 

    The biggest challenge seemed to be extending time for the purchase of raffle tickets. But, eventually, Santa brought a much-desired extension, so everyone was able to make the purchases they wanted. 

    presentsWhile the RallyUp platform required a certain amount of flexibility, by the end of the evening, around $3,500 was raised and a good time was had by all. A few of the big winners were: Heather Goldberg who won three raffle items and two auction items. Diana Gladden, new Host2Host Board Member won a 2-night stay at Whispering Woods in Mt. Hood, graciously donated by fellow Board Member Laura Angyus. Then, we were all happily surprised to receive a special gift for everyone on the call – Alanna Schroeder’s course on starting and optimizing your short-term rental. 

    What a great evening! Thank you to all the donors, sponsors, members, and guests who made this a fun and successful FUN(d) Raiser! Hope to see your smiling face at future Host2Host in-person and online events!

  • Wed, December 28, 2022 1:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Submitted by Charity Kuahiwinui, Host2Host Executive Assistant, Charter Member, former North Portland host & co-founder of Ensourced a STR consulting firm

    Call it what you will, but global financial indicators are projecting a bit of a slump in the coming year. Forecasters predict the United States has a 50/50 chance of avoiding a major financial downturn in the economy for 2023. The rest of the world is showing even less favorable signs and will most likely experience a recession of some sort.

    Economic Uncertainty
    woman looking stressed out at computer screenAs we have observed most recently, during times of uncertainty, job loss, and economic downturn, travel expenditures are one of the first items to be cut from household budgets. Whether or not the R-word comes to fruition, though, it is clear that the short-term rental market has matured. Guests are seeking more from their rental experience than has been offered in the past.

    Do what you can to meet those changing expectations and capitalize on your assets.

    Departure Duties
    person washing dishes with spongeAirbnb has acknowledged that guests are tired of the onerous list of check-out responsibilities being asked of them. While departure rules vary wildly, hosts with the highest guest satisfaction seem to ask the least of their guests.

    Do what you can to set your cleaning crew up for success, then trust them to take care of the things that matter. If you need to increase your cleaning fee to make the duties match the time it takes to complete them, guests seem happier to pay a larger amount with very little required of them at check-out.

    Hands-On or Off
    Let’s face it, there are as many different types of travelers as there are hosts eager to welcome them. Some people get really excited about engaging with their host and look forward to intimate conversations, learning the ins and outs of a new environment from their local guide, and building friendships to last a lifetime. Then there’s the introverted folks who, as VRBO has emphasized in their ad campaigns, prefer to enjoy their rental all to themselves without a host "snooping around".

    Be honest with yourself about your hosting style and define your approach clearly in the listing description. Let potential guests know what to expect from their stay. No doubt there’s a guest who will click with your style.

    Making Memories
    photos and buttons on a journalGuests are not just looking for a place to stay, they are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. What’s trendy and eye-catching will undoubtedly grab the attention of an eager traveler when they are searching through lists of potential places to stay.

    Furthermore, in times of economic uncertainty, folks tend to gravitate to staying at places closer to home where they can make new memories with the people they love. Find a way to set your rental apart from others in the area, then take professional photos that capture this vibe effectively. Make good use of the captions on photos to provide listing-scrollers with a strong sense of the memories they will make. Get them excited about staying with you!

    Like everything else, periods of economic downturn have a beginning, a middle, and most definitely an end. Count on it. In the meantime, take measures to maximize your opportunity for ongoing hosting success.

  • Wed, December 28, 2022 12:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    We are so thankful for the kind and generous contributions of those Board Members whose terms are ending in 2022, including: Alanna Schroeder, Angela Dorsey-Kockler, David Boe, Linda Elliott, and Rob Hertert.people seated around a table with their computers

    New members joining in 2023 include Diana Gladden, Kate Simer, and Kim Fitzpatrick. Elected to serve a two-year term, they will join Anthony Rallo, Becky Burnett, Dabney Tompkins, Laura Angyus, and Ryan Tigner on the Board of Directors next year.

    Hearty THANKS to the new and departing members!

  • Wed, December 28, 2022 12:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Richard Sima recently contributed an interesting article to The Washington Post called, “Showing gratitude is good for all of us, so why don’t we give thanks more?“ Based on a 2018 study by Amit Kumar, professor of marketing and psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, the study was published in Psychological Science

    Researchers found that saying “thanks” can make a world of difference. It builds stronger social bonds helping us feel more connected to other people. And, in this often challenging world full of angst and obligation, isn’t that what really matters? 

    thank you cardSome folks are hesitant to express gratitude out of fear of judgment or imperfection, so what helps is taking the first step. Don’t overthink it. Just say, “Thanks”.

    So, to the folks who have been hanging with us in 2022, we just want to say “Thank You”. Thank you for being awesome contributors to our community, for building something out of nothing, for keeping each other in your thoughts, and for helping when and where you can. 

    You are appreciated. That’s right, YOU. We look forward to connecting with you in a brand new year and are sending you love and light!

  • Tue, November 29, 2022 10:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Submitted by Nancy Stevens, Meetup Committee Member and Host in NW Portland

    nancy stevensWho knew that tax experts could be informative and entertaining? We had plenty of both when we were Talking Taxes with the Experts on November 9th.

    The expert panelists helping us navigate the complex world of taxes at the November meetup were Eve Davis with In or Out Tax Services, Jaydra Perfetti with Paper Investigator, Pam Knudsen with Avalara, and Stephanie Solomon with Block Advisors. (Stephanie is a meetup pro! She has attended EVERY ONE of our tax meetups for the past eight years! Thank you Stephanie!

    eve davis in or out tax servicejaydra perfetti paper investigatorpamela knudsen avalarastephanie solomon block advisors

    Two of the presenters even offered discounts to Host2Host members who are new clients: Block Advisors and In or Out Tax Services! Just mention that you are a member of Host2Host when you reach out to them.

    This meetup has become a regular event for us because significant changes occur in the tax laws every year. Some of the topics discussed by the experts included quarterly occupancy taxes, income reporting, the difference between a contractor vs an employee, payroll taxes, the pros and cons of front loading expenses, Schedule C vs Schedule E requirements, and the Residential Clean Energy Credit (which has increased this year!)

    One of the more challenging topics covered was where you file when you live in one state and have an short-term rental in another – the short answer is that you must file in both states if income is earned.
    As usual, we had a lively, interactive discussion among the participants. And sound advice was offered by the experts including:

    • Good records are a gift you give to your future self!

    • Keep square footage for each property for reporting purposes.

    hand with magnifying glass reviewing symbols while writing in a notebookDid we mention that the session was entertaining too? We learned that there are three kinds of accountants – those that can count and those that can’t! (haha, get it?!) and why did Sherlock Holmes get audited? He had too many deductions. 

    This session is so popular we’ve already scheduled our tax meetup for 2023! It'll be November 9th at 5:00 pm! Save the date!

    Host2Host members who missed the event can watch a recording on our website.

  • Wed, October 26, 2022 10:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Submitted by Host2Host Member Renee Moog, a Host in SE Portland

    Renee MoogHaving dipped my toe back into hosting recently after sitting it out for the last two years - the recent meetup, Re-Opening Your STR, was very timely and rich in hosting tidbits. A panel of active hosts/volunteer members fielded a discussion on topics relevant right now to those like me that are noticing post-pandemic changes such as types of guests, lengths of stays, and even how the economic and social woes we are all experiencing are affecting the general mood of guests. 

    Airbnb Services:  We learned more about current Airbnb services like “Pro-page" status & AirCover and shared strategies and tools to set positive and realistic expectations for guests whose opinions of Portland have been influenced by the sensationalist news coverage or the hyped showcase Airbnb properties seen in the media.

    Person cleaning a table top wearing a blue gloveCleanings for Longer Term Guests: Most hosts reported having longer-term guests of two weeks to 3 months who are working from STR’s rather than tourists coming for long weekends. This indeed was my recent experience, and I asked the group for ideas on how to handle cleaning and cleaning fees when guests were staying longer and settling in more. We discussed updating house rules to let guests know there would be interim cleaning and discussed options of whether to charge extra or just absorb the extra cleaning cost in exchange for longer occupancy rates.

    Resource Sharing:  Experienced hosts presented some creative signage to coach guests on the nuances of writing appropriate reviews and treating their Airbnb like the cherished home that it is. This type of sharing of ideas, experiences, resources, and coping strategies is why being a member of Host2host is so attractive to me. I was reminded though, that it is only one small piece of the organization’s mission. President Dabney Tomkins addressed the need for membership dues and volunteer hours to support not only the regular programming but also the important work of relationship building with the City of Portland and other stakeholders in the STR community.

    We ended the night with the exciting news of in-person meet ups on the horizon…. I look forward to even more sharing of ideas and hosting tidbits!

    Host2Host members can watch the meetup recording on our website.

  • Wed, October 26, 2022 10:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    People looking up at tons of cameras on a buildingIt can be tempting to install security cameras to ensure a rental is securely maintained and appropriately treated by guests. However, before doing so, make sure you fully understand the limits, state statutes, and best practices guidelines. Don't accidentally create serious liability or a violation of privacy claim.
    Proper InsuranceIn its blog, Airbnb Security Cameras & Surveillance is a Bad Look for the Vacation Rental Industry, Host2Host business affiliate, Proper Insurance explains how to add cameras without introducing the risk of costly liability. Chock full of industry guidelines and links to regulations and even lawsuits, you’re sure to find the article interesting if you are considering the installation of a surveillance system or even just wondering if what you have in place is compliant.

    Make sure you understand the pros and cons before it’s too late!

  • Wed, October 26, 2022 10:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Michelle BoyleHost2Host member, Michelle “MJ” Boyle is a patented inventor, Hostess of the Tiny House Podcast, founder and creator of My Tiny House Village, Oregon Teardrop Rentals, and My Tiny Creekside Retreat. Recently she was interviewed by industry thought leader Matt Landau on his podcast, Unlocked. Unlocked Podcast Logo

    Together they explore the rushes and reversals inherent in Homerunning… from hitting a niche market at just the right time to the very real adversities that can shut you down.

    Tune in for loads of validation and thoughtful reflection on Michelle’s truly special tiny house community.

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