Every now and then, we showcase OwnerRez users that show outstanding work. This week, we spoke with Dave and April Bruder from Moonshine Cabins. Their website and operation can be found at moonshinecabins.com or on their Facebook page. Below are the questions we asked and their responses.
Can you tell us a little bit about your history?
Dave: We were frequent visitors to the Smokies and love all that is has to offer and are always ready to head back whether for hiking, viewing wildlife, taking our kids for walks in nearby creeks, go-carting, or just driving through the beautiful Smoky Mountain National Park to enjoy the scenery. A friend’s grandfather had a simple cabin in the area that we visited as adults and brought our children along. The idea of a cabin in the area was appealing and if it could be rented, even better.
As owners, we have also become involved in the resort and have held board positions in the Home Owner's Association to participate in the standards, upkeep, and forward progress to benefit all guests.
What is your background?
Dave: We are both from the mid-west with humble beginnings and never dreamed we would have a thriving VR business.
Is this a side business or your main career?
Dave: Owning and operating VPs is a nice escape from our day jobs; we both have full-time jobs and hope this will allow us to semi-retire earlier than we had planned.
Until that early retirement kicks in, what are the full-time jobs?
Dave: I am a client executive in the tech field and April is a teacher.
Where are you guys from? How far from home are the Smokies?
Dave: We are from South West Ohio about 300 miles from our rental cabins which are in the Smokies in Eastern Tennessee.
If you could boil it down, what 2 or 3 things really drew you to the Smokies?
Dave: Proximity, weather, and activities all drew us in.
What do you love the most about the VR business?
Dave: Challenges, new experiences, new relationships. We have learned more than we ever thought we would about the VR industry.
What do you dislike the most about it?
Dave: The rare disrespectful guests; unplanned/unexpected property issues that disrupt a guest’s stay.
How do you use OwnerRez to manage your business?
Dave: We initially invested in OwnerRez to power #directbookings and enable rental agreement signatures. Now it manages calendars, reviews, bookings, and helps streamline responses. We are in the midst of API integration – Airbnb is completed, and we are waiting on Vrbo, so in addition to #directbookings, OwnerRez will soon enable us to process Vrbo bookings.
There are several OwnerRez users in the Smoky Mountains and at our request, they created a multi-property calendar widget so we could all cross advertise. We have about 40 owners and around 60 properties included and decided to create a basic website as a landing place to advertise in travel groups and other areas. That can be seen at smokymountaincabinsbyowner.com.
What is the most useful feature OwnerRez offers?
Dave: For us, it is a single pane of glass - one place for inbox/responses, calendars, property descriptions/photos, rates, etc.
Thanks, Dave and April! We have a lot coming to that single pane of glass, so stay tuned!
We wish Moonshine Cabins much success in the Smokies as they continue to manage their business and excel in the vacation rental industry!