Tampa Takeover

By Director of Operations, Thomas Lane, and Owner Success Manager, Michael Hinton

In kicking off our Tampa takeover, we decided to sit down with both Tom and Mike to gain a bit more insight on the “Champa Bay” One of One experience. Being Florida natives, they each have deep-rooted experience in various hospitality sectors throughout the state. Now, with their team, they are helping to build a market with the success of both our guests and owners in mind. In this piece, they discuss what a day in their life looks like on both the internal and external sides of the business and how a correlated, combined-effort of the two are what sets this growing operation up for success.

- Can you describe what a typical day looks like for you? What are some of the challenges that you face?

Mike: A typical day varies quite a bit between which location I am going to that day. I handle the maintenance, onboarding projects, market research and anything owner-related (Onboarding, Retention, and Relation). I try to schedule my days in a fashion of either being maintenance/onboarding focused for the day or more computer focused getting projects done. Everyday is also focused on the owners, as I’m in constant communication through phone and email with them 24/7.

Tom: Prior to moving to Tampa in May 2022 to oversee this market, I was the Director of Ops in Key West, so some of my work responsibilities still include things that encompass all the units that One of One manages; for example, revenue management, OTA management, and other company-wide projects. I typically start out my day looking over the previous day's reservation report to ensure that we are continuing on a solid booking pace and that nothing looks out of sorts. After that I'll touch base with my team. Mike, Kimmy and Chase are amazing to work with and are always ready to step up and tackle whatever is needed at any given moment. They're all eager to learn, which I love, and I do my best to train them whenever there's an issue that they are not familiar with so they know how to handle similar issues in the future. One challenge is that since we only have four active properties, there's a lot more down time for our GEMs compared to the Key West market. Since one of our main goals is growth, I have the team help out with marketing efforts such as logging prospective owner mailing addresses to mail out marketing flyers to. That work can be monotonous but they’re troopers and do a great job with those tasks regardless. Another challenge is that since we just opened this market earlier this year, One of One has very little name recognition in the area. There is quite a bit of competition, so growing our portfolio will require patience and continued hard work.

- What makes the Tampa market unique? How do you think it differs from the other One or One markets?

Mike: Our market is unique in many ways and is one of the reasons I am so excited to be working out here. We are definitely one of the bigger markets as far as distance from property to property, which can be challenging at times, but also presents a vast amount of potential. We are a mix between vacationing in St. Pete Beach to events and business trips in Tampa, giving us a wide range of guests and owners we get to interact with. I will say the most challenging thing about our market, though, is that, with it being so spread out, it can be hard to get the word out that we are here and are working diligently to find new ways to attack the market in order to enhance our presence.

Tom: The Tampa Bay market is unique due to the fact that it's so much larger compared to the other markets in One of One's portfolio - both geographically and population-wise. I think that gives more of a diverse group of travelers. You have the beautiful beaches along the Pinellas coast that guests flock to, but at the same time you have big-city events like concerts, pro sports games and amusement parks. We also get a hefty business crowd with many of our active properties being so close to downtown Tampa. So, I think it's a healthy mix of traveler's looking to experience a wide variety of activities.

- What time of year is busiest? Why do you think people prefer to visit Tampa during that time?

Mike: December - January
Holidays and Gasparilla
March - July
Spring Break, Summer, and Events

Tom: Similar to Key West, the busiest time of year is late December through March, aka "Snowbird Season."

- When it comes to the owners, how do you go about managing their assets and maintaining a good relationship with them?

Mike: Managing these relationships varies based on each owner. I always start by setting the mode of communication; some prefer texts and phone calls, while others like to strictly communicate via email - I personally prefer phone calls. From there, I keep a strong relationship with each owner by sticking to my word and maintaining constant communication with a quick response time. I never leave my owners unanswered for longer than 24 hours and typically within an hour of them reaching out. I have created trust and a connection that helps the owners feel comfortable and confident in our work. When it comes to managing the assets that are managed very similarly. After we have our initial onboarding presentation, I will continue to do market research and change our projections and rates online to maximize profit. I am also always considering upgrades for units and presenting plans to owners to consider for additions in the future. Monthly I will review the owner statements with each of them going over expenses, profit, and future plans. I have recently assisted in looking up future opportunities for owners as we find profitable homes on the market they may purchase.

Tom: I always remind myself that our owners are placing a huge amount of trust in us to take care of their high-priced assets. This motivates me to ensure we're doing everything we can to maximize profit for them - whether that be optimizing the marketing aspects of a listing, ensuring maintenance issues are resolved in a timely manner, or providing suggestions to an owner on how to make his or her property more appealing. In my opinion, the best way to maintain a positive relationship with an owner is to keep an open line of communication with them and prioritize responsiveness if they ever reach out with questions or concerns. Pushing owner issues to the side or waiting too long to address their concerns is a terrible look. Even if you don't have an answer to a question immediately, you should let them know you've received their message and that you'll get back to them when you have an answer.

- When are you best at your job? What are your goals for the future of the company?

Mike: I feel I am best at being personable and creating strong trusting relationships with my owners, but overall with being a start up and having a small team my best quality to help with my success has been my willingness to get any job done whether it is owner, maintenance, or company focused. I work late nights and some weekends, but I know it will be worth it in the long run for our team's success. We’re also looking to get started on the Tampa City Guide this month. If you both could send over your top 5 spots to eat, drink and explore, we’ll be making our way up there soon to meet you all and shoot content for social and the website.

Tom: I'm best at my job when surrounded by great people and a positive atmosphere. Teamwork makes the dream work and we have amazing teams throughout each market. One of One has done a tremendous job of hiring exceptional, hard-working, and talented people. In the Tampa market - our goal is to add 2-3 properties per month and I feel like we're starting to hit our stride as we've added 4 and have 3 more under contract that are currently being onboarded. I'm very excited about the future of the company as a whole - we are growing fast and will be up there with the biggest and best of them before long.