Giving this a second try as I think it’s fair to have an accurate portrayal of who I am and why I am here. Yes, I made a mistake with my first post by including a link to a laundry survey that 90% of readers would have missed because it was just a link at the bottom of my post but the OneBox software blew it up and turned it into the only thing you could see in my post. I own that, it wasn’t my intention and I did read and review not just the community rules, but also lots of other posts about product and tool recommendations before making my first post and I thought it conformed (until the onebox thing, which you can’t see until you actually post)
I’m a passionate Airbnb host here in Milwaukee, WI, USA. Fair warning, I drink the Airbnb kool-aid and am a huge fan of their approach to hospitality. I also believe that the COVID-19 pandemic will be the tipping point that pushes Airbnb to the top of the overnight travel ranking. I think it reshapes the marketplace in a way that is very favorable to small time hosts who aren’t so over-leveraged that they can survive the insane reversals in revenues in the new world created by the pandemic. From Stay Alfred to the property manager with 50 units and a staff of employees, those models are severely challenged moving forward which shifts the power back to Airbnb as the marketplace and individual hosts as the providers. A rare example of a rapidly consolidating industry suddenly going back to its roots but at scale.
I stumbled into hosting 4 years ago when I relocated to Milwaukee from San Francisco but was traveling over 150 nights a year. I listed my new home in Milwaukee and after a few months I found myself spending more time in Milwaukee than I originally envisioned but was homeless because my place was nearly sold out for the entire summer! After wearing out my welcome at my girlfriend’s place I got an apartment across the street and went to work improving my listing and turning it into a full-time Airbnb. When my tenant in the other half of the duplex moved out a year later I converted that into an Airbnb as well and at the same time I rented the house 2 doors down and turned it into an Airbnb as well which eventually afforded me the opportunity to purchase it from the landlord.
Slowly Airbnb has consumed more and more of my life. I always had dreams of being en entrepreneur and after 4 years I woke up one day and realized I was already doing it with Airbnb!
Thus, I was emboldened and In January this year I quit my awful corporate job to start a cleaning company to support my amazing house cleaning team who have become a part of my family. It’s a worker owned collective that exists to support and empower women with no formal business training and who were forced to work in the grey economy. My goal with that business is to perfect the model then open source all the documents, licenses, and structure so that similar groups can spring up around the country and more people (especially immigrant women) can take control of their finances and be better able to participate in the formal economy while providing essential services at fair wages.
At the same time in January I also founded a start-up linen service for Airbnb hosts that eliminates laundry for hosts. Milwaukee was named as Airbnb’s top destination for 2020 after 800%+ reservation growth from 2018-2019. I was suddenly facing huge competition from both new hosts and the big companies moving into town (Sonder, Stay Alfred, etc.). I have a great relationship with the city council and they kept asking me to meet with new hosts to informally help them become great neighbors. Laundry and cleaning popped up in every single conversation, so I took the gamble and rolling with it!
Fire and flag away!