Creating a “Home Away From Home” with Kristen and Michael

Published June 30, 2023

Over the past two years, Kristen and I have learned a great deal about short-term rentals. When we started, we had little idea of what to expect beyond the stories we heard from family, friends, and online sources. But like any new venture, the only way to truly learn is by diving in headfirst, and that’s exactly what we did. In the summer of 2021, we dedicated ourselves to renovating our first home in California’s high desert to turn it into a vacation home. We documented the entire process on our YouTube channel, sharing the ups and downs as we went. Along with practical lessons on guest expectations and equipping the kitchen for renting, the most rewarding discovery was the positive impact our vacation home had on people’s lives, including our own. Since the day we launched our listing, we’ve been fortunate enough to cover all expenses without using our own funds, all while building equity in the challenging California housing market and earning some extra income each month.

We quickly realized the importance of catering to the specific market where our vacation rental is located, which in our case is the Joshua Tree area of California. This peaceful location attracts people who want to escape the city, ‘ unplug’ and enjoy a bit of stargazing. So, we decided to create a cozy and romantic atmosphere in our rental. We also learned that not everyone knows their way around a new house, so we made sure to label things, saving both us and our guests time and hassle. Additionally, we discovered that many short-term rental guests enjoy the experience of cooking with their loved ones. That’s why we stocked our kitchen with all the essentials we would want: quality pots, pans and utensils, organic spices galore, a blender, Keurig coffee maker, and a French Press (for the coffee snobs).

When it comes to helping other hosts achieve their short-term rental goals, our main priority is to show that anyone can do it with the right attitude, dedication, and care. Working with Christina and Malachi was a breeze because their hearts were in the right place. Just like in any business, guests can feel when a listing is created with love and attention to detail. Christina and Malachi genuinely loved the area and were excited to share that experience with others. Their chosen property had stunning views, perfect for capturing attractive listing photos, and ample open space for guests to enjoy the starry nights or soak up the desert sun. They also had a great sense of style that matched the vibe of the area and the aesthetic that guests seek when visiting the desert. This brings us to an important tip we always emphasize: understand your audience and give them what they want while staying true to yourself and your home!

Our journey is far from over, but our mission remains simple: to highlight the great potential of owning a vacation home as a solid investment that anyone can achieve with the right mindset, commitment, and love. We are excited to assist this amazing couple in reaching their short-term rental goals while having some fun along the way!

Check out Kristen and Michael’s VRBO Listing “Seventh Ray House” here
Check out Christina and Malachi’s VRBO Listing “StarBreaker Ranch” here.