27 Mar Personality Plus: Building a Career in the Vacation Rental Marketplace
In the last few years, we’ve seen a boom in the share economy. People trying to earn extra income have turned to apps like Uber and Lyft to drive on their own schedule with their own cars. Young people looking to make an extra buck have started offering up their time to run errands on sites like TaskRabbit. Until recently, homeowners were the only ones able to make use of sites like Airbnb to rent out their homes for extra money. Now, with The HOST, hospitality professionals can benefit from the vacation rental industry even if they don’t own a home. Eric, a New Orleans hospitality professional in the hotel industry, also works as a guest concierge for travelers renting private homes through The HOST. Talk to him for just a few minutes, and you’ll want him to be your life concierge!
While Eric has the maturity of a seasoned veteran in the hospitality industry, he’s actually fairly young. He started out as a bellman at 19 years old, and has worked his way throughout guest services as New Orleans area hotels for the last 8 years. A host ambassador, who worked for a woman renting out her property in the French Quarter through The HOST, began to recognize Eric for his work at a local boutique hotel, and asked him to be a part of her team.
Eric says he thinks of his private guest concierge work as “helping a friend out. When people visit, they might not have any friends here. They need [someone] who works in the industry and knows the city.” Eric texts his guests before their flight or car arrives, sorts out their parking options, and gets the house ready for their arrival. When they get in, they’re greeted with warmth and a smile. He credits the hospitality industry to being one that appreciates a personality like his.
For people looking to get into this business, he says it’s best suited to those who are a jack-of-all-trades. He equally applies lessons he learned growing up in New Orleans and skills he’s learned in the hospitality industry. As for the rewards, no one who talks to Eric would say he doesn’t seem like a very satisfied man, radiating self-possession and confidence. He says meeting people from all over the world has taught him a lot and broadened his perspective. As for his hometown, he couldn’t be more proud to be a representative of his community, “when tourists come, they see how the city works and how we interact with each other, it opens them up, and makes them feel good.” Southern hospitality, at its finest.
While Eric works at a hotel and in the private sector with The HOST, people can get involved even if they don’t have a full-time job in the hospitality industry. The HOST supports locals with the right attitude and professionalism who are just getting started. By connecting with homeowners and building a network on The HOST through referrals, they can become guest concierges as well.