In a twist of fate, Annie Holcombe’s journey in the vacation rental industry began unexpectedly, as she found herself working at a hotel front desk while recovering from knee surgery. Little did she know that this serendipitous turn would ignite a lifelong passion for hospitality. But what challenges did Annie face along the way? And how did she overcome them to become a respected figure in the vacation rental community? Stay tuned as we dive into Annie’s inspiring story of perseverance, mentorship, and the unexpected path that led her to success.

“I think there has been a notion for a long time that you had to be enemies with the person that was running a competitive business, but they’re really not. I mean, they’re your partner in the industry, in the market. You’re both trying to get the same thing to happen for people to come to your destination.” – Annie Holcombe

In this episode, you will be able to:

My special guest is Annie Holcombe

Annie Holcombe is a highly experienced professional in the vacation rental industry, with a remarkable career spanning over 30 years in hospitality. She began her journey working at a branded franchise hotel in Florida before transitioning into sales and eventually finding her niche in vacation rentals. Annie’s expertise in the industry expanded as she worked with a company that managed thousands of units and played a key role in establishing them as the largest management company in their region. Her impressive track record caught the attention of Expedia, where she served as a market manager for the Gulf Coast region, handling vacation rentals and alternative lodging. Annie’s dedication to education and mentorship led her to co-host the “Real Women of Vacation Rentals” podcast, where she shares valuable insights and experiences to support and uplift professionals in the vacation rental industry. With her extensive knowledge and passion for mentorship, Annie is a trusted resource for those seeking growth and success in the field.

Connect with Annie:



The key moments in this episode are:

00:00:08 – Introduction

00:01:27 – Annie’s Background in Hospitality

00:05:49 – Passion for Mentorship

00:09:27 – Women in the Vacation Rental Industry

00:10:07 – Conclusion

00:14:02 – Learning from Others in Your Market

00:15:32 – Putting Yourself Out There

00:16:46 – The Power of Mentorship

00:19:19 – Finding Purpose and Positivity

00:28:10 – The Myth of Passive Income

00:29:01 – Mentors and Mentees

00:30:00 – Building a Network of Experts

00:30:46 – The Power of Helping Others

00:33:05 – What Direct Booking Success means to Annie

Show notes are available at: https://directbookingsuccess.com/podcast/

Follow Jenn on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/directbookingsuccess

Join the Marketing Hub Free Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/marketinghubforholidayrentals

Sign up for the free masterclass – The 4-step framework for a profitable direct booking sales engine: https://directbookingsuccess.com/masterclasswaitlist


00:00:32 - Jenn Boyles

Hello and welcome to another episode of Direct Booking Direct Booking Success Direct Booking Success podcast. I'm Jennn Boyles, your host, and today I have Annie Holcombe with me. Annie is the other half of the Alex and Annie the Real Women of Vacation Rentals podcast and she has been working in the hospitality industry for 30 years. So welcome, Annie.

00:00:52 - Annie Holcombe

Thank you so much for having me, Jenn. It's actually an honor. I've been following you for several years now. I think our LinkedIn world connected everybody. No matter where we live, we all seem like we are in the same neighborhood. So it's great to finally meet you and get a chance to oh, well.

00:01:07 - Jenn Boyles

Thank you very much. I've been following you guys and listening to your podcast. So it's wonderful to have you here today. Now let's start with getting into your background. 30 years. I don't want to date you. I'm not going to ask you how.

00:01:20 - Annie Holcombe

Old you are or anything like that.

00:01:22 - Jenn Boyles

Because I've been around too. But where did you start off? 30 years ago?

00:01:27 - Annie Holcombe

Yeah. So I was born into hospitality, literally. No, I actually started out at a front desk. I had moved to Florida and I was going to school and I ended up having to have some reconstructive knee surgery. I'd been a gymnast, had some stuff that I needed to take care of and needed to get a job and get laid back on my feet and pay my parents back for letting me crash at their house for several years. And so I started working out or working out, working as a front desk at a branded franchise hotel. It was a group that was local to the Panama City Beach market. They had all the franchise properties in the area and worked there for several months. And the owner of the property came to me one day and she said, you're so wasted at the front desk, you don't belong here. And I didn't know what that meant. I thought she was going to fire me. She said, you need to be in the sales department. So I moved to the sales department and got into sales. And I worked through the sales realm for several years. Handling in the hotel world is the smurf. So it was like the social, military, educational, fraternal, all the religious stuff. I did that for several years and then Lanes did at a company in the market that had bought out a resort. They bought a resort that was the largest had. They had 60 plus thousand square feet of meeting space, 600 guest rooms, and they needed somebody who kind of had the understanding of the larger conferences and larger conventions that we could bring to the market. So went to them and they ultimately decided a couple of years into their operation that they wanted to get into vacation rentals. So they tore half the resort down and they built a condominium. They brought in a gentleman from Myrtle Beach who had kind of been in Myrtle Beach when they went through sort of their reclaiming of the beach and becoming a big vacation rental destination. And he said, we can do all the same stuff we've done to Myrtle Beach on a grander scale and we're going to do it all with this company and I need you to be part of it. And I said, Great, what does that mean? He said, I have no idea. I know what I need you to do. I know where I need to get to, but I have no idea how to tell you to get there. And it was like that was very intriguing to me. So I kind of forged ahead and decided that okay, he wanted to be the largest management company on the beach. Didn't know what that looked like. I'd only worked at hotels so all I had was hotel experience. Started talking with developers to builders, going to job sites where they were building condominiums to find out who was taking care of it, who was going to be managing it, who were the owners that were buying into these things, getting to be friends with the realtors. So after several years of that, our condo came out of the ground at the property I was at. And I had worked networked up and down the beach and we ultimately had around 3000 units under management for HOA Condominium Association management and then for rental management we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 to 1800, give or take every year. And that was where I kind of found the love for vacation rentals. And I've been in that, that was in the 99, 2000 era. So I was doing that. Ended up arguing with my market manager from Expedia about how they didn't understand vacation rentals on a regular basis. And they had a job that came open and they said, well maybe you should probably take this job or at least go for it. So, long story short, I applied for the job, interviewed for several months, got the job as a market manager for Expedia. I handled the Gulf Coast. So Panama City beach all the way to Gulf Shores, Alabama. So the big part of the Panhandle, largest vacation rental destination outside of Orlando, kind of in the southeast and so did that and then was with Expedia for four and a half years. Spent the last two years on their key accounts team managing what at the time was deemed alternative lodging. So vacation rentals were in that bucket. And I learned a lot about how the rest of the country operated and then where all the shortcomings were and kind of where the little nooks and crAnnies of business were and the companies that were doing it right and the companies that weren't left expedia shortly after they bought home away and moved out to Channel Management. So I worked for Channel Management and then last year the channel manager I was working for was sold. And so I'm back with an Ota now, but doing the podcast in between all of that and really focused on education within vacation rentals. And the topic that we're going to talk about today, the one that I'm most passionate about is mentorship and what that means for our business. That's right.

00:05:49 - Jenn Boyles

And I love that you're here today because we are going to talk about something that is dear to me as well, this topic and why I contacted you to come on today to talk about mentorship. But I love that you can say 1999. You were learning about vacation rentals that's pre OTAs, that's pre Airbnb. And there's so many people in this sector now that think that the world began when Airbnb started. Right?

00:06:18 - Annie Holcombe


00:06:19 - Jenn Boyles

And it's a great reminder that this industry has been around, hospitality has been around forever. You can go back to the dawn of time for hospitality and vacation rentals being part of that. So it's really great that you are here to talk today now, mentorship. The landscape of vacation rentals I think is very dynamic and I think that the idea and people talking about mentorship is sort of gaining traction now. Do you have a specific moment that maybe you realize the crucial role that mentorship can play in the growth of property managers and owners?

00:07:04 - Annie Holcombe

I have two kinds of pivotal moments within my career that I think set me up for this particular topic. When I was in the hotel business, there was a lady that I worked with that was 28 years ahead of me in her career and knew everybody and everything. And instead of looking at the opportunity to share her knowledge, she tried to squash my enthusiasm and it was very much like, you don't need to know this, you're too young, and really pushed me aside and it was very frustrating. And then we had a boss that came in and said to me, this is not the way it should work. You should really have senior leaders that want to make you better and help you be stronger. So this person isn't going to be around much longer and don't worry about it, it'll work out for you in the end. But that was the moment when I said, if I ever get to a point in my career where I feel like I have enough knowledge to be able to share with somebody, I want to pay it forward or pay it backwards or however you want to look at it. I wanted to be there to give that version of me in their twenties, that assistance, that sounding board, that somebody who was going to tell me my ideas were great or they were stupid, or we could modify them, whatever it was. So I got to know about COVID was when all this really happened, and I think we were all in a position of sink or swim. It was like we all had to just fend for ourselves, kind of figure out what our next thing is going to be, because we just didn't know. I mean, nobody knew what the world was going to look like post COVID, let alone what it was going to look like a week into COVID. And I found a voice in me and a desire to kind of be a better version of myself. And I started looking for those people that were going to help me do that. And I could name 1520 people right off the bat that were just in various aspects, whether they knew it or not, were very helpful when I reached out to them. And I think it took that to force me to know that it's okay to go ask for that help. It's okay to seek it out. You don't have to have somebody come to you and say, hey, I'd like to mentor you. You just go to these people and over time that relationship develops. So those two pieces kind of fit together. And as I worked through doing the podcast with Alex and doing things where I kind of again found my voice, I realized that there's a platform there that I could use through the podcast, through the relationships that I built. And it was time to get other women that were in the business that were probably feeling some of the same things I felt, whether it be imposter syndrome or just feeling like they were. Again, we're in an industry where we don't see each other a lot because we're very much embedded in our markets, or where the destinations that people work in, I think the suppliers get out more, but as far as the managers, they really don't. And a lot of the women coming up in those businesses don't get an opportunity to engage with somebody at another level or in another market unless there's a program. So this is kind of where this all came from. And Heather Bayer and I had talked about it, what does that look like? And that's kind of, again, why you reached out to me, how this has all come about. And we just came off the heels of the women's conference by the time this aired. And we're doing a mentor mentee matching at the conference. And that's going to last three to four months for each mentor. But I think those two moments just really made me carry the one with me for a long time and I still carry it with me, but just understanding that I had to go out and seek and find and it was hard. How do I make it a little easier for somebody else?

00:10:38 - Jenn Boyles

Yeah, I love the idea of the matchmaker mentee mentor situation that you'll be doing at the Vacation Rental Women's Summit. I think that is a really great idea and that it's going to go on for a few months. It's not just for a couple of days because it's hard like you touched on. We are working very independently. We're siloed basically in our own offices, our own homes, some of us in our own teams. And it's looking beyond that. And I think that our sector is predominantly male driven however it's women mainly in this sector and we face specific challenges, don't we, as women as the whole?

00:11:29 - Annie Holcombe

Yeah, I think it was a stat that was I think at the last women's summit, there were some people on stage, and I don't remember exactly the number, but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of around 65% of the people in vacation reynold industry were women, yet they held less than 3% of sort of that c suite. VP levels, the senior level roles within the industry. And that's not to say that's a bad thing because we're a lot of family run businesses, there's not a lot of big corporations sitting in it. So it is a little different. But I think how do we create the opportunities? I look at the STR side of the business, we talked about this off camera, the short term rental side of the business. That seems to be different from vacation rentals. It's really not. But there's been a big movement within that to just elevate people to get into the business, get one unit, get started and they don't care whether you're male or female. I think that vacation rentals are just something that's like they're generally homegrown businesses, they're small markets. Again, it's family run, it's not a big corporation. So it's just more based on, I think, tradition than it is any purposeful intent of not having women. It's just that I think that women didn't know until recently that that was an opportunity for them to have that business and to be a leader within an industry. If you didn't have it, you don't have to have a degree to work in vacation rentals. You don't have to be a specialist. I mean certainly it helps with business or whatever, but it's a business that anybody can do if they have the drive and the willpower.

00:13:03 - Jenn Boyles

Yeah, you learn on the job, don't you?

00:13:05 - Annie Holcombe

Yeah, absolutely.

00:13:06 - Jenn Boyles

And mentorship is a real big part of that if you want to maybe go a bit quicker. And I think as women, rightly or.

00:13:14 - Annie Holcombe

Wrongly, we're not going to get in.

00:13:16 - Jenn Boyles

A whole gender debate. But a lot of life falls on a woman's shoulders with the family and the home life and stuff and then a business on top of that, it's a lot. And going out and finding a mentor that can help you over those bumps, I think is a really great way to sort of navigate hurdles, break through barriers, and I think do you have any tips? Like, we're not all going to be at the vacation rentals, the Women's Vacation Rental Summit, which happened just last week by the time this airs. But are there other ways you think that maybe women who want to be mentored, how do you think they could really get into it or get started?

00:13:59 - Annie Holcombe

Well, I think the first thing is just identify what your need is. What is it that you want to learn, if you want to learn more about your business. There's people within your market generally that you could partner with. And I think there has been a notion for a long time that you had to be enemies with the person that was running a competitive business, but they're really not. I mean, they're your partner in the industry, in the market. You're both trying to get the same thing to happen for people to come to your destination. Ultimately, you want them to choose you over your competitor, but you're driving for the same goal. So I would say get to know the people in your market, participate in your destination marketing organization, your chamber of commerce, join those organizations. But on a broader scope, obviously now, being a member of VRMA, there's a lot of educational offerings there. LinkedIn has just become amber Hurdle calls it the water cooler of vacation rentals, and it truly is. I mean, the networking that gets done for vacation rentals on LinkedIn, I've never seen anything like it. It's like Facebook, but it's not. With the exception of maybe a few circumstances, everybody's real positive, everybody wants to share. And so just ask, I think just putting that question out there. I know I've done things where I'm just like, I don't know what this particular project I'm doing looks like, or I need feedback, or I need guidance, or just input, and I'll throw it out there and people strangers are willing to offer their feedback. And I think that that's the great thing about it is it's just like people want to be engaged with each other regardless of where we're at. And it's really fun to go to the shows when you haven't met somebody. Like all through COVID, we'd been talking to people, had zoom calls, and you go and you finally meet somebody one time a year and you feel like you've known them for 20 years. But the biggest thing is just put yourself out there. I mean, that's one thing. You can't sit there and assume that life is going to come to you. You have to go to it, make it happen.

00:15:54 - Jenn Boyles

Yes, definitely. And I think that's how we get through our businesses here. But we're a hospitable bunch. We're in hospitality. Our backbone is hospitality, and I think we want more positivity. I think it's really impressive that you see all this positivity on LinkedIn. I think this is really great because sometimes social media can go into the not so great territory, but it's really combating what you found earlier in your career when you had a senior manager who was really a put down on you. And we need more of that positivity. And I think that's where the role of a mentorship can really transform someone's life. If you're somebody who is a manager and you're continuously putting down people's ideas, they're going to stop bringing you those ideas. But if someone is there to sort of lift people up and I'll tell you a story. I was in London, and this was in the spring, and I was sitting at dinner with my daughter, so of course there's no major conversation going on. And I'm listening to other people around me, and these two girls were sitting. I'm going to say girls, they were in their 20s. They're sitting beside me. And one of the girls was going on about work and how horrible all the women are that she works with, and it just sounded like a horrible situation, caddy and everything. And I think this is what happens sometimes when we are young and we come into this sort of female vibe, this female energy that it takes us a while, I think, as women, to grow into ourselves, to realize that we need to be lifting each other up. And it's collaboration over competition. And I love what you're doing with the mentorship. What do you think this comes out of? Do you think it's maybe just age and wisdom that we sort of start to get into more lifting each other up rather than tear each other down?

00:17:57 - Annie Holcombe

Yeah, I think for sure that people say you get to a certain point in your life where you just don't care. Like, your meter gives a hoop meter. If it's broken, you're just like, I just want to do what makes me feel good. But I think that I've always tried to be on the sunnier side of things. There have been times in my life for sure that I've been very negative, but I do think it does come with age, and it does come with the acknowledgment that you can't control every facet of your life, and sometimes you just gotta roll with it. And I'm a real big believer just over probably the last ten years of that kind of manifestation of, like, you become what you are, you give what you get. And I had read a book years ago by Deepak Chopra, and I went through this period where I was reading all of his stuff, and some of it was way too deep for me to quite understand, but he explained this simple theory that all humans are born to be hospitable. We're all born to be very kind and loving and warm. Some people not so much, some people more than others, but in the basic premise, we're all born that way, but we each are given a bucket at birth and we are to go around and fill up the buckets with kindness and grace and hospitality. And eventually, when your bucket fills up, Jenn, I'm sitting with you. It flows back to me. And so that resonated with me and has stuck with me through all the ups and downs, the people that know me well, we had a really major hurricane that came through my market or where I live, by town in 2018, and then the year after that, it was COVID. And then I lost my job in between that. And there's all these things that kind of happened and it was like, you can either let it consume you or you could just try to make the best of it. So during after the hurricane, I found the cause and I worked on this cause and it was a simple thing, getting bins to people that needed the box up their homes and salvaging whatever they could. And I had bins coming from Canada and all over the US, but it gave me purpose. And so that purpose kind of has stuck with me. So through COVID, it was kind of the same thing as, like, what is my purpose going to be now? So my purpose during COVID became like, how do I make me a better person? How do I become better now? Not to say that I didn't become lazy and gained 20 pounds, because I did do that, but professionally, I definitely became more confident. I became more engaged with people, more willing to put myself out there and not afraid to share my voice, not afraid to share an ID, not afraid to raise my hand and ask a question where I'd spent probably the first 25, 30 years of my life. Always fearful in a meeting, not wanting to speak up, afraid to be the dumb one. Definitely had been. Felt like I didn't want to be heard or wasn't going to be heard when I was in my 20s because I was too young. And I was told that by this woman that I referenced. So I think that just finding a purpose and finding a meaning for yourself to focus on, mine just became trying to be positive. I'm never going to be the smartest person in the room ever. Not going to happen unless there's nobody else in the room. And then maybe, but I can be the nicest or I can try to be the nicest. And so I've just always erred on that side. And so I've been put down on LinkedIn for being nice and saying that that's just up front. But, I mean, people that know me know that's just I don't like the negativity, I don't like the cattiness. And I think for women it has no purpose to be that way. If you are with somebody that is negative, they're toxic and you don't need them in your life and you don't need them in your space and remove them however that happens, whether you go find another job or you just compartmentalize that aspect of your life.

00:21:49 - Jenn Boyles

And I love that idea we're talking about with the buckets is that you fill them up and then they overflow to the next person that you're with. And when you're talking about a terrible time, the pandemic and the hurricane job, it sounded like your bucket got a hole, basically, and then you found that cause to fill the hole and then that bucket started going back up again. So I love that sort of analogy. And it's thinking about the relationship with mentees and mentors. We can think about all the things that a mentee gets out of it. But what does a mentor get out of the relationship?

00:22:26 - Annie Holcombe

I think the mentor gets as much, if not more than a mentee gets. I mean, a mentee a lot of times is looking for sometimes it's validation, sometimes it's guidance. And I think that a mentor is getting the same thing in return. They're getting validation that everything that they've been through is valuable, that all the knowledge that they have is valuable and wanted. They're getting the confirmation that the guidance that they're offering is good, but in the same respect, they're getting feedback on some of the things that maybe they are providing. So I think it's not a one way relationship. So to say that a mentee gets more, I absolutely think that a mentor gets as much, if not more out of it. And the one thing I will say that I've learned in this group that I'm working with, we've talked about this, is that you don't have to have a mentor that's above you. You can have a mentor that's below you in terms of your rank in organizations. But also it doesn't mean that you have to have somebody that's your age. Alex and I are like an unlikely pair because we're 1516 years apart. But we are like sisters in that we have similar traits and things that we like. And where I compliment her, she compliments me in the reverse. So I think seeking out all types of people, but the people that you would like to be like, what you want people to see you grab those personality traits and bring them to you. So a mentor is learning and gaining just as much as a mentee is. And that's how everybody should go into that. Is that you're going to give as much as you're going to get?

00:24:03 - Jenn Boyles

Yes, definitely. And I think that both for the mentor and the mentee, that it doesn't have to be one person. If you're someone who's looking for a mentor, there might be different aspects of someone else's business and the life qualities that you want to bring into your business and your life. And the same for the mentor, it can be the opposite thing. The mentee could be mentoring the mentor about something as well. And I think that's what you're getting to when you're talking about it going both ways. I have a program where I mentor people in the program, and there's lots of different programs out there in this business that are mentorship programs. That's why we don't use that word for them, because you're giving your experience and you're helping them through this situation. Now what do you think about this sector evolving so quickly, adapting technology? I can't imagine what's going to happen in the next year that we're going to see with AI coming in, it's going to be crazy. But what do you envision for the role of mentorship? How do you see it sort of evolving or what would you like to see evolving it into in the vacation rental sector?

00:25:23 - Annie Holcombe

I would like to see less showmanship. There's some mentors, and they don't call themselves mentors, but there are some people that are in the business that everything is flashy and it's showy and know, get rich quick again. If you got rich quickly, great. That's not the reality for the rest of us. I love one of my favorite people in the business, Lauren Madewell. She's with Ante Vellum's cabin. Reynolds in Gatlinburg. She's just one of the most genuine people you'll ever meet. And she commented to somebody about the area of the short term rentals people saying like, oh, this is passive income. You can buy a home, put it on airbnb and let it do its thing. And so she said, Passive my assets. That's not possible. And anybody that's in the business understands that. But I think just the dishonesty that's kind of it's not dishonesty. That's not the right word. I just think the flashy showmanship of it and not showing the truth behind the scenes. You're going to be working seven days a week when you're in vacation rentals, you're working seven days a week. A lot of times, especially in season, you're working late hours, you're wearing multiple hats. And Annie and Sarah, they have the thanks for visiting the podcast. And they are two of my favorite people because genuinely they're not afraid to be seen mopping the floor. They're not afraid to show you. It's not all glamorous. And so I think that I would like to see more of that and less of the flashy, let's get on stage and have 1000 people in an audience cheering me on kind of thing. That's not, to me, mentoring people again. It's showmanship and there's a place for that, but it's not what I deem mentoring. Yeah, no, it's sort of feeding the.

00:27:14 - Jenn Boyles

Ego rather than mentorship. Yes, I totally agree. And I think that you might be interested in that. You might be attracted by it at the beginning, but. I think a lot of people start to see through that flashiness as they're not being substance and it is a hard know we've all been there scrubbing toilets making know I do have to tell you about Lord because when I heard about her saying passive my assive, I was right on to LinkedIn to get in touch with her and said, you have to come on the podcast. So she's going to be on I think because I'm like that is the best phrase ever.

00:28:00 - Annie Holcombe

She should need to get a shirt made for it. I should buy her a hat or something.

00:28:06 - Jenn Boyles

Yeah, well that's it because it's not a passive thing. The only thing that would be passive is if you invested and then you did absolutely nothing. Somebody else did everything with your money the only way it could be and even in that you would think that.

00:28:22 - Annie Holcombe

You'D want to be checking out to.

00:28:23 - Jenn Boyles

Make sure your money is okay, there is nothing and then there's some people are starting to say semi passive. Well come off it.

00:28:33 - Annie Holcombe

Is hard work.

00:28:34 - Jenn Boyles

And I think that's the role of having some mentor or mentors in your life that you can go to when you have a question. I know I have those people in my life and actually just thinking of someone right now, I've never thought of them as a mentor. But of course when I have a question about that sort of topic or that sort of subject, I have different people that I go to and under.

00:28:59 - Annie Holcombe

You need to know your life. Absolutely. And I think that that's the other thing too is that you don't have to identify it as a mentor mentee relationship. If you go to anybody for a regular touch base or they're a subject matter expert, they're mentoring you, they're giving you feedback, they're providing you their time and their knowledge to access. So they're mentoring you whether it's been an established relationship or not. So I think again trying to say that it has to be this defined agreed upon structure that might scare people away because as a mentor you're like I don't have the time to do it. And then the mentee is like, well I don't have the time to do the homework that they're going to give me. It just depends how you want the relationship to be. But I think that's just it. It's likely you're going to have five or ten people at any given time. If you go again, I have about 15 to 20 people that I know. That very specific topic that if I go to I probably have three people that are generalists that I can go to and they can go here's where you need to go. But generally they're speaking. There's somebody within a discipline that I know like oh, they are the person that I trust to help me navigate through this.

00:30:06 - Jenn Boyles

Yeah. And I think yeah, you've hit the nail on the head there. It doesn't have to be this formal relationship. I am a mentor, you are mentee, or whatever, but I think, yeah, pulling out those characteristics and people that you want to have in your life, I think that's what it comes down to. And I think that if you have questions, look for somebody in your network. Start by using LinkedIn. Look for somebody in your company. You work with others so you can ask those questions. And once you're on the other side of things, if somebody comes to you with those questions, take the time to answer them. And answer them with grace and kindness, even if you're really busy. It's like when our children come to us and we're like up here.

00:30:57 - Annie Holcombe

In our eyeballs, right?

00:30:59 - Jenn Boyles

And they're wanting to know something, and.

00:31:01 - Annie Holcombe

You'Re just like, oh, please, just leave me alone.

00:31:03 - Jenn Boyles

I've got to get this done. It's nice. You have to take a deep breath, take a step back and say, right, I have a couple of minutes for you. Let's talk that through. And I think it's the same with when someone's coming to you with questions, is to remember, just take that breath and see what you can do to help. And I think that's how we will build up each other in this industry.

00:31:26 - Annie Holcombe

Absolutely. And it's just the little things that matter. I mean, I've encountered more situations where people will come back and say, I just appreciated it so much that you were able to answer this. Just something very simple and you don't know it. And I think once you hear it enough, you realize it makes you feel good to be able to help somebody. But I tell my son, you just don't know what's going on behind people. So there's a phrase in the south and it's blessed your heart. And so it's one of those ones that could be used as a term of endearment. It can be used as, I don't know how this person gets out of their house without tripping over their own feet. It can be used in multiple ways, just depending on the tone or the subject matter. But it always reminds me that you just don't know what the person on the other side is going through. So try, like you said, handle it with grace. If you don't have the time, say, look, I can't get to it right now, but let's put ten minutes on the calendar over here. Just make time for people, because again, you're paying it forward. You're filling up your bucket, you're filling up their bucket. And if everybody's got full buckets of gracious grace and gratitude, then eventually the world's a better place.

00:32:35 - Jenn Boyles

That's it. I think we've just fixed it.

00:32:37 - Annie Holcombe

I think we have words to write.

00:32:39 - Jenn Boyles

Well, there you peace.

00:32:40 - Annie Holcombe

I'm going to go talk to the UN and we'll take care of it all.

00:32:43 - Jenn Boyles

All to do with buckets.

00:32:45 - Annie Holcombe

Okay. Yeah. If you just give everybody a bucket yeah.

00:32:49 - Jenn Boyles

And if it springs a leak, well, then this is what you do.

00:32:51 - Annie Holcombe

I think that's brilliant.

00:32:53 - Jenn Boyles

All right. Now, I really appreciate you coming on Annie and talking about this because it's something that is dear to my heart and it's about collaboration now, competition. I think that that just makes such sense. And us coming together as a community, it's already a great hospitable community and we can even do more with it. Now, before you go, I have to ask you. Now, this is going to seem slightly off topic from what we've been talking about, but when we're talking about mentorship and whatnot, I can see that in the Direct Booking Direct Booking Success space, there's a lot of room for this and help people learn what to do and where to do it. I've got people that come to me all the time and say, I don't know where to start with step one and working your way through. So can I ask you, what does Direct Booking Direct Booking Success Direct Booking Success mean to you?

00:33:51 - Annie Holcombe

Oh, my gosh, that's such a big question. And having been in property management before, I know that there's just a drive. It's Direct Booking Direct Booking Success. Direct Booking Direct Booking Success. DirectBook. But you have to understand your market and you have to understand so I think the Direct Booking Success looks like someone or something that you understand that it doesn't happen overnight. It's not one channel airbnb, whatever it is, that's not Direct Booking Success. Direct Booking Success is that you understand the dynamics of your market and that you understand what your guests want and you're not trying to give them something that they're not interested in. So I had a gentleman that I worked for that used to say all the time, you have to be what the market wants you to be, not what you are not. Tell the market what you want it to be. And so I think that Direct Booking Success looks like someone who understands that they can't control it. It's going to change. And you have to constantly be learning. You have to have a mentor. You have to get out there and pay attention and look at the data and not let someone somewhere else tell you how to run your business. You just have to be engaged in the business.

00:34:56 - Jenn Boyles


00:34:56 - Annie Holcombe

Not sure if that answered it.

00:34:58 - Jenn Boyles

Oh, it definitely, definitely did.

00:35:00 - Annie Holcombe


00:35:00 - Jenn Boyles

Definitely did.

00:35:01 - Annie Holcombe

So I'm going to put your LinkedIn.

00:35:03 - Jenn Boyles

Link in the show notes so people can find you. I'm going to put the Alex and Annie podcast website link in the show notes as well, so I'm sure that everyone listening is listening to your podcast as well as The Real Women of Vacation Rentals. I love that title. So thank you, Annie, so much for coming on today.

00:35:26 - Annie Holcombe

Jenn, thank you very much. I appreciate it. And if you have the time, I hope you'll join our mentor group and make yourself available. I think it would be wonderful to have you and your knowledge. And now that you're kind of in our time zone and not in the European time zone, it will be much easier to work with.

00:35:43 - Jenn Boyles

Oh, that'd be wonderful. I appreciate that. I'd love to do that. Thanks, Annie.

00:35:48 - Annie Holcombe


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