Watch out, Mika and Joe! Vacation rental industry powerhouses, Sarah Bradford and Tim Cafferty, have joined forces to launch a podcast series for professional vacation rental managers titled “Sea to Ski with Sarah and T.”
Sarah Bradford is the owner of Winter Park Lodging Company and Steamboat Lodging Company in Colorado, and Tim Cafferty is the president at Sandbridge Blue Realty Services in Virginia and Outer Banks Blue Realty Services in North Carolina. The two met in Chicago for a peer group meeting and hit it off right away.
During one of their chats, Sarah told Tim about her new preoccupation with podcasts and how they help her pass the time on her drive to work. Bradford was lamenting the fact there was no podcast specifically for professional vacation rental managers. While there are a few podcasts that address vacation rentals, the industry has not seen a one developed to address the day-to-day challenges of professional property management.
For those who know Tim Cafferty, it is unwise to float an idea by him unless you’re ready to jump on it, so when Sarah suggested they team up to do a podcast for professionals, Tim’s response was, “Why not?”
A month later they were all in, and Bradford and her family traveled to Cafferty’s destination to get the ball rolling.
“We have a lot of similarities, and Sarah’s family traveled to the East Coast and stayed with us this past summer for a few days where we were able to do a deep dive about our companies, our philosophies, and what we want from this show,” said Cafferty.
They named the podcast “Sea to Ski with Sarah and T,” and the show is designed to address real issues that professional rental managers face with concrete takeaways in each episode.
“The first primary objective is to have fun,” he added. “We both agreed that when it stops being fun it is time to jump off the merry-go-round. The second primary objective is to fill a void. We both feel that we are at points of our career where we are giving more than we are getting in terms of going to conferences, and I, for one, talk to a number of newer operators in the industry asking for tips on this or that. This is a way for us to give back and perhaps be a voice for the industry in some small way.”
Cafferty continued, “So far, the response has been humbling. We have heard a lot of nice comments, and people have been very kind to us and receptive. The number of downloads and plays we’ve had on our first couple of episodes has been way beyond any expectation. We also are going to get better every time, so watch out!”
Bradford and Cafferty now have six episodes under their belt and have developed a 30 minute format designed to cover relevant bullet points and illustrations, along with a “not so hot off of the press” news topic regarding something happening in the industry. They are also open to feedback from property managers.
- Episode #1: How Did We Get Here?
- Episode #2: 10 Reasons Why Owners Need YOU
- Episode #3: 4 Strategies to OTA Independence
- Episode #4: 11 Ways to Keep Owners (very) Happy
- Episode #5: 7 Ways to Know The Face of Your Company is Who You Want it to Be
- Episode #6: Making Lemonades out of Lemons at the VRMA conference
Since the two come from very different markets (hence the name “Sea to Ski with Sarah and T”), the diversity in destinations gives the podcast a high-level, unique view for professional rental managers.
“We think our differences are what probably will be the strength of our show with our diversity of markets and how we handle things differently,” said Cafferty. “We are very similar. We went to high school and college in North Carolina, we both have twin children, we both own two vacation rental companies, we use the same software, our business philosophy is similar, we both are awesome skiers, and the list just goes on. But we also have a lot of differences. We’ve already established that on the first couple of episodes, and it is actually the core of episode #3 (how we are handling OTAs so differently). I think that diversity will help us have more of a legitimate sound to our listeners and give them better takeaways.”
Cafferty added, “So often, you hear something from one person that you dismiss because ‘they just don’t understand my market.’ With us, chances are that one of us does indeed understand your market and can give you real life experience of what you might want to do—or what you definitely want to avoid doing.”
The Sea to Ski podcast is educational, but also highly entertaining, and vacation rental managers will “see themselves” in every episode.
“Our banter is genuine,” said Cafferty. “She has to keep me on track, and I have to remind her that she doesn’t know it all…..I do.”
Move over, Morning Joe!