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 into making a profit on their rentals, they focus on the hosts and the people. The two understand that the philosophy may not seem groundbreaking, but “there are plenty of gurus in the space promising incredible profits by automating just about everything in the short-term rental space.” And that’s not always the answer.
Back to the roots of hospitality
Thank you for visiting is bringing short term rental back to its roots: hospitality. The two met at a Columbus City Council meeting in 2018 when they were fighting for their right to host homes through the Airbnb Platform responsibly. With their podcast, they are teaching others a balance between automation and human interaction. “We believe in bringing safety to the forefront of short-term rental operations. And we know the power behind beautifully furnished and designed rental space,” said Karakaian. They believe that if you build a solid business foundation 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 in their small businesses. “We preach safe hosting practices. We are impacting lives and entrepreneurs around the world. And one of my favorite pieces of advice I give our listeners and members is to remember to stay curious, try new solutions to old problems, always be ready to pivot and try a new path. You never know what an exciting journey it may take you on!” says Grant as he shares his advice with future entrepreneurs.
creating thanks for visiting
Sarah became a successful businesswoman by discovering her interest and finding a passion for the online space, the sharing economy, and small business. “When the opportunity arose to start and operate a small short-term rental portfolio, I jumped at it! I fell in love with how much my small business impacted travelers from around the world and from my hometown. She 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, to dance, to music, I never stopped trying new things that piqued my interest,” Grant said. I tapped into that curiosity in my adult life and tried out various industries after college. I never stressed about sticking to a strict plan and always tried to welcome new opportunities with open arms.
Karakaian found himself on a different path, initially wanting to become a performer. Developing a tough 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 be alert and open to creative solutions. It would be helpful if you learned to trust experts who can help you adapt, grow and navigate today. You have to introduce yourself and greet every situation with the ultimate goal.” in mind Karakaian believes that everything he has done in his life has contributed to the start of Thanks for Visiting.
Tips for short-term renters
The two believe that the best advice they can share with future short-term renters, whether it’s a primary or secondary earner, is to treat the job like a business from the start. You must develop your digital real estate and not depend on tools like Airbnb to be in charge of your property. Be flexible! You will be working with all kinds of people when making short term rentals and you will have to navigate their idiosyncrasies with ease. Also, always remember to host from the heart and put the people you serve before profit.
Grant and Karakaian hope that Thanks for Visiting will be the trusted resource for any short-term rental host within the next five to ten years. From hopeful hosts to large-scale operators, Thanks for Visiting will serve the host community and bring to the forefront useful products, innovative technology and constant reminders that it’s about helping humans with a safe and thoughtful place to stay.