Featured in BlueStone Press; Slices of paradise
Manage This Home pairs luxurious getaway spots with five-star service
So what do you get when you put consummate hospitality pros together with the splendid second homes of the Hudson Valley and Catskills, blend smoothly, and aim at the vacation rental market? You get Manage This Home, a soup-to-nuts service that aims to elevate the region’s hospitality game to peak magnificence.
Erika Sampaio’s passion for hospitality was honed in New York City, where she worked for Hilton Hotels and managed executive stay apartments. When she and her business partner, Goura Rivera – a world traveler with a passion for architecture, design and real estate – bought a second home in Kerhonkson, it wasn’t long before they realized the area had something special. The farm-fresh foods, mountain adventures and rail trails through stunning backdrops delighted them and their friends.
The pair had begun their collaboration with an East Village boutique property and then moved on to run a midtown apartment business that specialized in hosting international travelers, making 6,000 families from 150 countries at home in the Big Apple. When Covid-19 shut down international travel, it was time for a plan B – and Sampaio took a close look at the evolving Airbnb piece of the Hudson Valley hospitality puzzle.
Tourism professionals have been saying for years that the region’s economy suffers from a shortage of guest rooms, particularly upscale accommodations, and could support more. And Sampaio was a big fan of the short-term rental model, finding it her own favorite way to travel. Many second-home owners who wanted to host lacked the time and know-how to make it work. Sampaio decided that beyond just providing a five-star experience at her own Airbnb, she would offer fellow hosts the opportunity to polish their offerings to a gleam.
Manage This Home offers both Airbnb and property management services tailored to meet a property owner’s needs and those of their guests, too, from getting ready (they’ll order and install top-of-the-line furnishings and amenities, passing along their bulk discounts, and then install and stage these for your professional photo shoot) to advertising, marketing, payment processing and customer service on the Airbnb website and on the ground. Distant hosts don’t have to worry about dealing with a long list of worries, from plumbing disasters on up to obtaining the perfect local beverage and fresh flowers, with Manage This Home in charge.
The result is a blend of high-end hotel grade service with the charm of staying in a local home, with enhanced peace of mind on all sides of the equation. The concierge side of the service makes sure every whim and need – babysitter? bike rental? spa day? – is arranged for, no matter what.
“We did lose power one of the days for about six hours due to extremely strong winds in the area, but the house is packed with lights, flashlights, extra batteries and tons of candles,” recalls a guest of an eventful visit.
“Erika stayed in touch with us and kept us updated. Made sure we had what we needed and offered to help in any way she could.”
Sampaio laughs. “Yes, that’s happened three times,” she says. “What are you going to do? But the thing to do when something is beyond your control is to over-communicate and let people know you are doing all you can to keep them comfortable. When people know they are heard and seen and taken care of in the more challenging moments, they’ll be back.”
Sampaio emphasizes that she is not encouraging anyone to turn otherwise affordable housing into short-term rental space. “We just started onboarding properties last month, and the maximum we will probably deal with this year is 10 – and they will be carefully curated luxury homes and unique properties,” she says. “We hire local talent, shop locally for every possible need, employ local tradespeople and direct our guests to the local businesses. This is never going to be a volume business; you couldn’t do it right if you tried to do it large-scale.”
But at a comfortable scale – and if there’s one thing Sampaio understands, it’s comfort – hosts can have the benefit of a worry-free renting experience enhanced by white-glove standards. “There are companies out there who’ll handle your ads and client contacts and then send in a cleaning service for you – one they may never have met in person,” she says. “We’re offering a completely different level of custom service, and it appeals to people with homes and furnishings they cherish but only use part of the time and want to rent out.
“But no one should go into this expecting an effortless passive income stream. Hospitality is a demanding, rewarding business – you have to love it to do it right.”
For more information, visit managethishome.com or call 929-418-9519.
See the article "Slices of paradise"
Written by Anne Pyburn Craig, BSP Reporter, published on March 22, 2021 on Blue Stone Press