Does anyone here have experience with Vodyssey? They are an online course on optimizing short term rentals. It seems like a comprehensive course, but expensive. Interested in any feedback. Thanks.
Why do you need to do a course?
What are your concerns?
You might want to start by buying this 2021 book by the guy who runs Vodyssey, Shawn Moore, for $20 or listening to his free Vacation Rental Revolution podcast or this book before investing $4,800 in the Vodyssey program.
I listened to Shawn Moore’s podcast #75, Analyzing Income Potential on a Short-term Rental. I liked his systematic and analytic approach.
Then I listened to his 25 minute video on the vodyssey website. The approach is comprehensive, analytic and implementation-oriented. They have access to data via airdna (and others), tools to analyze prospective properties, tools to build a website and get business other than from just Airbnb and VRBO. → I’m unclear on how much analytical work you would be expected to do vs what they might do for or with you.
I came away with a very positive impression. I don’t know how substantial the $4,800 fee is relative to the investment you’re considering but it sounds like they’re providing a lot of value. If I were you, though, I would want to understand how much of the $4,800 is for education and how much it is for access to tools like calculators, data and web-building [and how long you’d have that access] and how much it is for ‘service’ like someone there analyzing a prospective property or building a website.
I would be asking whether $4,800 is just the ‘start’ of the fees, whether typical clients find themselves hiring vodyssey for follow-on services, what those services might be and their prices. I’m not suggesting that such follow-on services are problematic, just that I’d want to go forward with my eyes open.
I have an impression – but I could be wrong on this – that the properties that might best suit their approach are expensive. I say that because they talk about creating a ‘fairy tale experience.’ The home I co-host for is a nice home and we offer a very comfortable and attentive experience but it’s no way a fairy tale experience. For that I think you’d need to buy a very different property, which I think is going to be expensive. I could be mistaken on this impression. It’s something you could discuss with them. Or it might be a non-issue for you because you’re planning to invest in a very upscale property. Or, it could be a non-issue if my thinking that ‘fairy tale’ experience means ‘expensive’ is misguided.
I do think I’d start with listening to some of the podcasts, and reading his book. They offer a call to see if there’s a match in your needs with what they offer. The more educated you are before that call the better situated you’ll be to make the decision of whether you want to hire them.
They do say that their services are not just for the would-be Host looking to buy a property but also a current Host looking to better increase the value of their existing property. I don’t know whether the $4,800 fee would reflect that different scope (hope so!).
I hope you keep in touch with us as you consider vodyssey and even more so if you work with them. It would be helpful to Hosts to better understand what they offer and how it’s helped you. Thank you for asking this question, so I could learn a little about vodyssey.
Where did you guys get that number ($4800) from?
I saw it here: Vodyssey Review -Is This Real Estate Course Legit Or A Scam?
Looks like the price fluctuates.
I was told 9800. I guess the price does fluctuate.
Like @Debthecat I am wondering why you need a course. Does this mean that you have no experience at all in the hospitality industry?
I’d advise that you spend a few hours - preferably more - reading here.
Bear in mind that on the internet it says that this guy has been involved in vacation rentals since 2006. Yes, you can gain experience in that time but many of us here have been involved in the hospitality industry for much longer than that.
And we give our advice … free.
I can’t believe anyone is stupid enough to pay these self-proclaimed ‘experts’ this sort of money. Interesting how they never link to their own listings in their PR so you can see how many they have and what sort of ratings and reviews they have.
If you are going into STR business or in your case providing co-hosting services for owners it’s easy enough to do your own market research on whether a business concept is viable and lots of free tutorials and advice on Airbnb and other groups and forums such as this one.
That’s a ridiculous amount of money. What sort of areas do you think you need advice and support around that aren’t available for free on Airbnb or host related groups.
Well, I’ve seen posts here from people who have not run the most basic numbers. Or don’t realize the potential for regulatory risks, or even the idea that future demand and costs can change.
Suppose that someone were going to invest, say, $500K on a property. Then $4,800 might not be so much to invest to get educated right away (not have to filter the wheat from the chaff advice if you have confidence in the teacher) AND have access to tools/data and individualized coaching (if indeed these are part of the program). It’s just 1% of the investment in that situation.
I looked at one of the guests he had on one of his podcasst. That guest was tied to a site where I saw daily rates in the four figures. I don’t know if that guest and associated site is representative of his target market.
Vodyssey is very numbers oriented – which I like. They say they have advanced tools and a professional version of airDNA that, presumably, the ‘student’ has access to. So they have data sources too, and maybe not just the ‘professional’ version of AirDNA. On the tools side, I’m pretty good at Excel but many people aren’t and might appreciate the calculators that Vodyssey has (though again I don’t know if all this is ‘included’ in the price). For all I know their tools are far superior to what I could easily do in Excel. I don’t know – that would be worth asking about.
Vodyssey is not just about the numbers; Shawn mentioned the ‘art of fulfillment’ and the ‘fairy tale’ experience. I think that’s valuable because running an STR is not just about the numbers. SO I got a sense that he knows what he’s talking about.
I have raised the subject of AirDNA here on this forum and no one commented on it. So, much as there is a lot of expertise here, I read much more the general (and not really very helpful guidance) of ‘knowing your market’ rather than the nitty-gritty of how to do that, though @JJD has certainly shared some nitty gritty on how she evaluates the competition. While I very much appreciated those posts it felt overwhelming to me and a very manual, tedious process. Plus Vodyssey’s scope is much broader than understanding competitive prices.
I haven’t read here posts that talk about going into a marketplace from scratch and identifying a property to buy in that market and how to get management in place and develop a strategy to implement a ‘fairy tale’ experience for your target market. He says he gets into these decisions and in a way far more specific than I’ve seen anyone here lay out. I’m not being critical of the forum; it would be a lot of work to lay out what to do step by step in a way that’s actionable, not just general.
A prospective Host could probably learn a lot from his $20 book and from his free podcasts. I did get a little impatient with how much he talked about what he was going to talk about, rather than getting to the point. But I think it’s a worthwhile place to start. That Host can visit our forum too. It’s not either/or.
So I don’t think it’s stupid to hire Vodyssey. I would have many questions, some of which I raised here but it could worth exploring for some prospective Hosts. In my opinion it really depends on your situation, how fast you want to get started, how much you already know (knowledge) and your skills (quantitative, marketing, investment) and how much you’re planning to invest.
So I’ll give you an example of one thing he said they do that struck me as smart and something I don’t know I could easily do. I assume you need AirDNA to do this.
He says you go in a market and look at one- bedroom, two- bedroom one bath, two bedroom two bath, three bedroom, etc. properties. He said it’s important not to take the average nightly prices and occupancy rates but to look at the actual distribution over the last three years. Then they ‘run the numbers’ to where there might be opportunities in that marketplace. For his financial analysis he likes to assume that you won’t do better than the 50th percentile (to be conservative, which I like) though he of course wants to do much better.
That sounds like a lot of number crunching. Again, I don’t know if all the data is from AirDNA. I think the devil is in the details in things like ‘looking at the distribution’ and ‘running the numbers’ (my phrase, not his). So if his firm really has that expertise and is providing those tools, maybe someone looking over your shoulder as you do your analysis, as part of the price that could be worthwhile for some would-be investors, in my opinion. [I don’t have a dog in this fight (not that we’re fighting, just a figure of speech (an awful one at that.))]
Although they said their program is both for the person who is looking to buy a property and also the person who already has one, they talked mire about that prospective investor.
If the fee were the same I would think it harder to justify for the person who already owns the property.
My point is not that it’s not useful to have a guide for starting up an STR business but that the majority of information through these ‘STR experts’ expensive courses and video’s is available for free online.
And some of them aren’t accurate in their advice .
For example in its start up guide Airbnb reminds would be hosts to check for local regulations . There are lots of free resources and templates on the benefits of doing market research on supply and demand and putting together profit and loss spreadsheets.
I’m sure this guy has made money in STRs, probably by selling seminars and courses. These “Trump University” schemes never end well for the purchaser.
He claims over 1,000 ‘members’; not sure if they are monthly subscribers, or maybe places he ‘consults’ with, but for me, a very small airbnb, the info provided would be either very obvious (“look at the local listings and see what they are charging for someplace similar to yours”) or irrelevant (“make sure your listings have consistency over the ‘brand’ so that any of your listings work together, like hotels”).
You do not need a market course like this to see your local area - airbnb.com is free to browse - and you really need an accountant to discuss your own tax situation (for example) or cost/benefit.
I agree. I don’t see this service applicable to me nor to @BayBreeze if Jeremy is just looking to improve his listing.
But if I had decided that I am in the market to buy an STR and could invest, say, $500K+ I’d consider Vodyssey (and whatever its competition is).
Maybe I’d start with AirDNA for my market research. Yes, I can look at Airbnb.com but that’s not going to give me three years of data on nightly rates and occupancy rates, AND the distribution of those rates by type of property (1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 2 bath, etc and perhaps other factors like # of reviews and amenities and ?).
So there’s a lot I could do on my own, but it would take a lot of time (both actual hours and elapsed time) and when it comes to marketing I’m a novice, so I’d be starting from scratch there. It would be much easier to have an experienced coach at my side from day one.
So I just don’t feel it’s accurate for me to simply rule out an organization like Vodyssey without knowing more about Vodyssey and more about the objectives, knowledge, skills, timetable and budget for the person considering Vodyssey.
Everyone is different, of course, but I wouldn’t invest such a large sum in a business in an occupation for which I needed a course.
If I wanted to learn about the hospitality industry I would work for someone else first, then invest a smaller amount and use the best real estate agent, lawyer and accountant that I could afford.
I know that not everyone feels the same way but I’d like to dip my toe in the water first to see if the industry would definitely be for me.
I just looked at Vodyssey’s 'case studies.
These are stunning and clearly EXPENSIVE properties!
The least expensive one was $550K, after which they put in $125K to renovate.
I’m guessing that these investors put a high value on their time, on elapsed time and used to paying for professional advice, not DIY types, and many willing to make investments of almost a million dollars. No one wants to throw away $4,800 but I could imagine how these investors might feel that they received good value for that $4,800.
Paying $4,800 to Vodyssey might not be a smart investment for me, @Rolf, @Helsi, @BayBreeze but I don’t know enough to rule it our for anyone, or think such an investor was ‘stupid,’ unwise or a student at Trump University.
Just to remind you, our former President said that Trump University was a ‘noble endeavor,’ with an ‘altruistic’ aim, that it was ‘all about’ education.
He wasn’t even going to keep the money (like his income as president that was said to be donated to charity but we know at least one year it wasn’t – 2020, the year his charitable donations were $0); if he made money on Trump University he would give that to charity.
So I know there’s been a lot of fake news about Trump University, the 2020 election too but I hope this does not tarnish 45’s legacy as one of the really great educators in the humanity’s history of education – more than Socrates, Plato, John Dewey, Sal Khan. Combined. Just listening to the man you hear the educated, nuanced, erudite voice of an educator.
I don’t know if your comment could be construed to knock the legacy of 45 as the great, great educator he was. And all this was prophesied in Isaiah 45.
You’ve gotta be kidding. For a course on running and marketing an STR? Even if it’s “only” $4800, that’s still ridiculous. While doing one’s research is definitely important, it’s not rocket science or brain surgery. This guy must be laughing all the way to the bank or lying about his membership.
There are plenty of videos out there that are free, or less than $100 for str seminars which tell you pretty much all you’d need to know.
And if anyone tries to tell you that strs are easy money, they are lying.
Although he has a lot of 5 star reviews on his book, here is a 1* review:
“This is pretty much your standard timeshare programme, with all the same issues.”