VRWS Leadership Interview of the Day

In approaching the 10th edition of the Vacation Rental World Summit, we’re releasing a series of interviews to leaders, key players and highly motivated people in our industry whose companies make a deep impact in our space and will be present at VRWS.

The aim is to get you some insight into these leaders and the company they founded, manage or work for, as well as getting some behind the scenes on their thinking, their motivation and their drive.



Queen of Guest Experience at Touch Stay

Describe your career in the vacation rental industry and how you reached your current position in the company.

Eight months pregnant and lounging at the water park, I signed the contract for my first purpose-built vacation rental. The next day I listed the dirt lot on Vrbo.

At that time it was 1 of 12 homes that slept 14 or more people, and of those 12 homes, my family owned half of them. 

Since that leap in 2007, I’ve:

  • bought a bank where one can legally launder
  • grown to 2 boutique management companies
  • purpose-built another 5 of my own vacation rentals

But wait, there’s more! 

  • wrote two books about vacation rental photography
  • began speaking at industry conferences, including the first VRWS in 2013
  • consulted for HomeAway
  • co-created the VR Mastered Boot Camp event

Then Andy McNulty, co-founder of Touch Stay slid into my inbox one cold morning in January 2018, at a time in my life when I was bootstrapping to provide for my family as a single mom of three young sons.

I’m quite a horrible employee, so being asked to join the Touch Stay team as myself, in a role that I could create, to work with the team versus for a team, gave me the opportunity to grow to where I am today: the Queen of Guest Experience.

Oh, and still founder/owner of both boutique management companies, working daily in the trenches, knowing and understanding the challenges hosts and managers face each day.

In your opinion, what are the main current challenges in the vacation rental industry, and how do you think your company can help overcome them?

Challenge 1: Matching guest expectations and then exceeding the expectations to the level of unreasonable hospitality

“Unmatched expectations are the death of marriages, friendships, businesses, movies, and five star reviews.” – Me

Touch Stay digital guidebooks is an ideal method of communication to:

  • set the guest expectations with important information about the property
  • communicate those expectations through text, images, and video
  • exceed expectations by revealing insider information on the local area

Challenge 2: Building a brand and an identity as a professional vacation rental company

Touch Stay digital guidebooks is an extension of you as a company, as a host, and as a brand. You can fully white label your Touch Stay digital guidebook to represent you: 

  • your colours
  • your photos
  • your videos
  • your local recommendations
  • your brand voice

Most importantly, your Touch Stay digital guidebook contains all the information your guest needs to know about their stay, the property, and the local area. Communicating what the guest needs and when they need it lifts you to the next level. 

Challenge 3: Automating with a human touch

Answer your guest questions before they even ask. It’s magic, but it’s not a secret. Your Touch Stay digital guidebook plus our Memo communication feature allows you to create a communication flow timed right before your guest asks a question.

It’s as though you know your guest and have anticipated their needs, because you have. Using the template resources that Touch Stay provides to all users in tandem with your knowledge of your guests and your area, you become a true rock star.

What are your expectations for the 2023 edition of VRWS in Barcelona, and what makes you particularly interested in attending this specific edition?


The kind of fireworks that happens when people of like mind come together face-to-face: their eyes light up with the recognition of a soul who understands the hardships and joys of vacation rentals, their hearts begin to beat faster with the happiness of the lifelong connections that are created, and their spirits are rejuvenated with the balm of knowing they are no longer alone.

The delight in finding your tribe of industry people is refreshing. A tribe to encourage you, support you, and cheer with you. In essence, I have very high expectations for the 2023 edition.

I’m quite thrilled to be attending the 10th anniversary event and especially so as a speaker. I spoke at the very first event when it was virtual, and it is an honour to be on stage again for this special anniversary edition of the Vacation Rental World Summit.

Could you provide a brief preview of what attendees can expect from your participation during the Vacation Rental World Summit?

Broken dishwashers. Coconut cream pie. Magic fairy dust. And a bit of Five Seconds of Summer.

My session with Kate Stinchcombe-Gillies will show you how to HACK your guests with the right tools. (Not an axe, that’s horrible and no way to be hospitable!)

We’ll bring the data and the stories to demonstrate how you can save time, earn more money, and increase your guests’ love for you:

  • remove the noise from your guest communications
  • create a process around, and for, your guests
  • give guests what they want, when they want it (while staying sane and in the black)
  • have guests eating out of your hand and spending more

Boost your bookings. Multiple your gains. “Have fun, don’t die.”

You’ll have the opportunity to meet Tyann directly at VRWS in Barcelona

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