The Optimism Bias: “It will never happen to me”
Sarah and Annette have found that many managers are caught in the “optimism bias”, the thought that no one believes that an accident could happen at their property - a thought many have until it happens. Accidents are rare in the vacation rental industry, but the reality is that they can happen at any moment. Before taking Breezeway’s Safety Course, Sarah and Annette admit they were caught in the bias as well.
When Sarah and Annette started hosting, like many managers and owners, they listed their properties on OTA platforms where they checked off boxes to confirm that they had working smoke detectors, CO2 detectors, and fire extinguishers at their homes. With this being the standard set by the industry, this is typically where safety begins and ends for some managers. After taking Breezeway’s Safety Course however, Sarah and Annette quickly realized that those requirements are the bare minimum.
“We want our industry to be known for the hospitality we bring to guests, how we make their day with a personalized gift at check-in, how we were able to quickly adapt to contactless experiences during Covid, and all of the other positive aspects we bring to communities – not the accidents that get media coverage.”
A Mindset Shift: Professionalizing Vacation Rental Safety
In taking the Breezeway Safety Course and learning from Justin, Sarah and Annette had a complete shift in how they were approaching their business. They started thinking of their company as a commercial business, and in all other commercial industries safety is the number one priority.
With their new understanding, Sarah and Annette took it upon themselves to use Breezeway’s Safety Certification to help fill the gaps in typical standards to secure their properties. Since they were already managing their properties through Breezeway’s Operations Platform, implementing safety into their processes was an easy addition. Nestrs established preventative maintenance processes through customized cleaning and inspection checklists that occur after every turn, and on a monthly recurring basis to account for guest wear and tear. It’s important to think about how items at your property can become unsafe overtime, like knives going dull, lint building up in the dryer vent, or railings becoming loose, etc. Sarah and Annette have taken their program even one step further by incorporating safety measures into their contracts with owners. Now, when Nestrs onboards a new client into their portfolio, it’s a non-negotiable to have that property safety certified and remedy any issues before they sign on.
“The course taught us safety, but it also helped us communicate it with other people in a way that makes them care about it too. When you tell owners that these safety measures protect their homes and their assets that they put so much time and money into, then they feel more compelled to do it.”
Establishing Confidence in Property Safety
Now, Sarah and Annette are some of Breezeway’s best safety advocates - and they really walk the talk. They are leading the way in modeling vacation rental safety for the rest of the industry and have even taken it upon themselves to partake in a series of safety training videos with Justin Ford. Sarah and Annette understand that by sharing their passion for safety, other managers have the opportunity to learn and apply safety protocols which will ultimately better the entire industry and improve standards.
“Taking Breezeway’s Safety Course gave me confidence, and having that confidence let me speak about it to other people and not be afraid to share my knowledge. That’s something that owners and managers need, and we don't have that education right now, we don't have that kind of training as property managers or homeowners.” -Sarah
“Knowledge is power, and this safety course is really powerful. The more we care about safety, and the more we bring it to the forefront with things like Breezeway’s Safety Certification, the stronger our industry will be all around. The byproduct of that is guests get to enjoy their vacations and owners have houses that stay intact.” -Annette