Book by Owner has been your on the ground team for resort property maintenance since 2003. They seek to help you create great guest experiences while saving you money and protecting your investment by providing a host of on-site services for your vacation rental property. As the demand for vacation rentals continues to grow, BBO continues to open franchise locations to better serve you, including our newest location, BBO Arizona.
I recently talked with Mike Cushing about Book by Owner’s new Arizona location.
Interviewer: Mike, tell me a little about yourself and how you got started with Book by Owner.
Mike: My wife Kerry and I originally founded Book by Owner in 2003 in Dillon, CO. That was and is ski resort country, with a large number of resort properties. With the growth of internet-based vacation rental listing services like VRBO and Airbnb, we saw an opportunity to provide resort property management for those property owners who lived some distance away from their properties. The owners could easily handle the booking process themselves over the internet. What they couldn’t handle was property management, including cleaning, inspections, maintenance, and dealing with guests in person.
Interviewer: That’s a great idea, Mike. And it appears you were successful.
Mike: Yes, we were very successful. As the business grew we began offering franchise locations in 2009. We opened several franchises in and around the local CO ski country, and Kerry and I continued to manage day-to-day operations supporting our franchisees.
From Owner/Manager to Franchise Operator at BBO Arizona
Interviewer: Your story has an interesting twist. Tell us about it.
Mike: Yes, it does. Kerry and I love the mountains, but with our daughter leaving for college, we were ready for a warmer climate and a return to our true passion for property management. So, in 2016 we sold the majority of BBO franchising to current owner Bill Scott. We remain actively involved with BBO as active board members and help with franchising however we can.
Interviewer: And now, you are back where you started, managing a new franchise location. Tell us more about that.
Mike: We opened the first BBO Arizona franchise in Phoenix on October 1, 2017. Arizona is home to warmer climes, plus mountainous ski country, so the potential is there to manage a vast number of rental properties, as well as expand with new franchise locations. We are seeking to open new franchises in Flagstaff, Tucson, and Sedona in the next year or two.
Interviewer: How many properties are currently under management through the BBO Arizona franchise in Phoenix?
Mike: We just opened in October, so currently we only manage five properties, but we have several owners interested in coming onboard. We are predicting to have 15 to 20 properties under management within the next year and anticipate growing 100% year over year.
Interviewer: Just how many properties can a local BBO franchise effectively manage?
Mike: There is really no limit to how many properties each franchise location can manage. When looking for possible franchise locations, we require a minimum of 5000 rental homes available in the area. That provides plenty of opportunities for a franchise to be successful.
What Can Book by Owner Do for You?
Interviewer: What does BBO do differently than other property management companies?
Mike: We developed a fee-based business model that provides fixed costs for our owners. This way, the more they book, the more they make. This is very different from traditional property managers who take a percentage of the rental income. In that model, the more you make, the more you pay. We also do not rely on our service partners, such as housekeepers and handymen, to inspect properties before and after each guest. Our franchise owners or their direct employees perform each inspection, which is customized to the property. Once the inspection is completed, a customized report is submitted onsite and emailed instantly to the owner, sharing photos and details about the condition of their property.
Interviewer: What is the biggest benefit to contracting a property management company for your vacation rental?
Mike: Hiring a professional to help you manage your vacation rental eliminates enormous headaches. This industry has experienced explosive growth in recent years and travelers’ expectations are higher than ever. With easy options for booking online, they now expect a perfect place, with hotel-like service. Most owners live great distances from their rental properties, and it is impossible for them to provide effective management and personalized guest service. We enable them to do that.
Interviewer: How vital is excellent guest service in this industry?
Mike: Guest service is crucial to the success of any vacation rental. Great guest service leads to great reviews, and travelers read those reviews when choosing a vacation rental. Great reviews attract new guests and maintain repeat business; a single bad review can significantly impact the ability to book a property and cost an owner much more than what they invest in effective property management.
Interviewer: What would you say to property owners in Arizona seeking to rent their property?
Mike: At BBO Arizona we have flexible and affordable options for property owners seeking to rent short-term. If they want to do their own marketing and booking, we can help them create their advertising and get their properties rental-ready. If they don’t have the time or desire to do the marketing and booking, we can connect them to a booking partner we have who can assist them with those processes. Every property is unique, with unique needs. We can tailor a package to provide what they need for a surprisingly affordable price.
Interviewer: Mike, how can property owners in and around the Phoenix, Arizona area contact you at BBO Arizona?
Contact BBO Today!
Are you interested in renting out your property yourself on VRBO or AirBnB, but still need someone local to take care of the home and guests? Book by Owner (BBO) pioneered fee-based resort property management and continues to be the industry leader. With BBO you have professional, reliable management services available to you and your guests 24/7/365 without the costly commissions of traditional property management programs. Contact BBO and get started today!