Even if you’ve never considered operating a vacation rental home, if you plan on selling your existing home this year, it may interest you now – at least temporarily. Phoenix is currently enjoying a robust housing market, but even “robust” can have its highs and lows. Historically, more homes in the Phoenix area are sold in the spring and summer months than in the fall or winter. Moxie Girl founder, Amanda Thomas, believes that if your home has been on the market for a while, but hasn’t sold by October, temporarily converting it to a vacation rental home while it remains on the market may make a lot of sense.
The idea of temporarily operating the home as a vacation rental makes even more sense if the home you have on the market is considered “luxury.” Instead of sitting vacant while still requiring regular maintenance to keep the home tour-ready, your home could be bringing you income instead of just expense allowing you a bump in cash flow!
“Fall and winter months here in Phoenix are booming in terms of vacation rental home bookings, but sales of luxury homes are less during those months than the rest of the year,” says Amanda, “so it may be much more profitable to put off your sales listing for a few months and let the income from temporarily operating the home as a vacation rental cover the expenses you’d be incurring anyway, even if the home sat empty.” Bonus: Having regular guest activity on your property can also help deter break-ins, as well as help you keep an eye on home systems that could malfunction and go unnoticed on a vacant property.
Moxie Girl has previously explained the benefits of continuing to operate your vacation rental home through our brutal summer months, vs. “shutting it down.” You can easily apply some of this information to the subject of temporarily operating your for-sale home as a vacation rental vs. leaving it vacant while it sits on a slower market. Pay special attention to Myth #3 in our blog “Summer Vacation Rental- Moxie Girl Debunks the Myths.”
We’ve also got some useful information about setting up a vacation rental home in the best and most efficient way! Check out these blogs:
In an attempt to crack down on short term rental properties acting as “party houses” Governor Doug Ducey recently signed HB2672 into law which affects the licensing and reporting requirements necessary to operate a vacation rental anywhere in the State of Arizona. Get the details HERE!
From vacation rental home conversions to regular, between-guest care of established vacation rental, Moxie Girl has vast experience in the Phoenix area vacation rental home industry! CLICK HERE to see how Moxie Girl can become your vacation rental specialist!
We are always looking to add the newest member to our Moxie Girl team, too! Moxie Girls (and Boys!) enjoy flexible scheduling and physically active work in a fun, supportive environment, with plenty of opportunity for growth! CLICK HERE to introduce yourself and learn more about becoming a Moxie!
We hope you enjoyed our feature on Moxie Girl founder, Amanda Thomas, last week. International Women’s Day may have come and gone but we’re still celebrating over here! Last year we introduced you to Going GreenHouse, Moxie Girl’s personal recommendation for your residential cleaning needs. Since we’re still feeling the girl power though, we thought it might be fun to have April, founder of Going GreenHouse to share some of her insights and experiences (so far) as a female business owner.
The Challenges of Being a Boss Lady
Being a business owner presents a bundle of challenges and a female business owner will experience all of them – and more. April says one of her biggest challenges is participating in networking groups. While the premise of these groups is to help you grow your business and make helpful connections, “Some networking groups are still ‘good ol’ boys clubs’ and I have trouble fitting in,” says April.
“It’s also been a challenge for me to recognize what and who I’m comfortable or uncomfortable with in business, and adjust accordingly,’ April says. Effectively setting boundaries and standards can be difficult, but it’s actually much easier in the long run than compromising your integrity or trying to do business with people or in situations that just aren’t cutting it.
Leadership and Tough Decisions
“I do think I’m a born leader, but some aspects of leadership are not natural to me – such as setting boundaries and making uncomfortable decisions,” says April, echoing the voices of many women in business today. Many of us find it difficult to stifle our nurturing, people-pleasing tendencies – even when it’s necessary to do so in order for business to be at its best.
Without revealing details, April admits that she’s had to make at least one tough decision in the past. “It was best for the company but it did some damage to an important personal relationship for a time. Thankfully, everything has worked out personally,” says April.
Help Along the Way
As women in business we are often reluctant to reach out for help because we fear being perceived as weak. But in fact most successful upstart businesses – regardless of ownership gender – can certainly benefit from the experiences of others. April says she’s “sought guidance and camaraderie from many – and definitely a few key people at certain times” noting that she’s had one “coach” on-going for about 5 years, and others she’s spent a year or so with along the way.
Balance is Everything
“Any uncommitted time I have, I tend to fill up with work-related tasks,” says April, adding that she also enjoys hanging out with family, watching Project Runway and, of course, getting some much-needed sleep. “I built my business to suit my lifestyle, 100%. It just took 5 years to get it that way!”
Congratulations on all your accomplishments to date, April! Moxie Girl wishes you all the best on your continuing journey!
How Can We Help?
By choosing Going GreenHouse for your residential cleaning needs and Moxie Girl to care for your Phoenix-area vacation rental home care, you can be assured you’re receiving top-notch service while supporting a local, female-owned businesses. Both Going GreenHouse and Moxie Girl take great pride in our reputations and our teams. Click a link and find out how we can help!
Happy International Women’s Day! The theme of this years celebration is #Balance for Better and we ask ourselves how we can help forge a more gender-balanced world. Unfortunately it’s rare to find a woman who hasn’t known the frustration of being seen as “lesser than” by men in the business world. Ever receive a compliment on your work, such as “You sure know a lot about running a company…for a girl”? Ugh. Yes – more gender balance would definitely be better!
Moxie Girl founder, Amanda Thomas, knows well that bias against women – especially women business owners – still exists. I recently had a chance to sit down with Amanda and chat about her background and the experiences that have helped shape the woman she is today.
An Earthy Beginning
The youngest of 3 sisters, Amanda grew up on her family’s farm where a solid work ethic and strong morals prevailed. “My grandparents had a neighboring farm and I spent a lot of time with my grandma, who’s now 98 years old. She was one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever known,” says Amanda, also noting that her grandparents labored in exchange for land ownership rather than money, initially, in order to build their own farm.
Amanda chuckles remembering her earliest entrepreneurial endeavor – selling candies to the workers on her grandparents farm when she was a kid. Sure, that business went by the wayside, but Amanda’s enthusiasm for business ownership grew with her into adulthood.
Back-Handed Compliments and Micro-Aggression
Founding Moxie Girl at the age of 27, Amanda quickly grew tired of the comments and behaviors she saw in her male counterparts. “I’d go to networking events and be talking to people – mostly men, of course – explaining my company and thinking I’m getting somewhere…And then I’d realize I was just being chatted up because I’m an attractive female,” Amanda says. “Even more annoying were some of the comments I’d get from men when they’d find out that my business was REALLY a business. Things like ‘Oh, wow! You have employees?’ There was definitely a different standard of acceptance in business, depending on your gender.”
“Bossy” to “Boss Lady”
Growing up, Amanda says her family often referred to her as “bossy.” She did – and still does – like to direct things. “I’m still ‘bossy’ I suppose, but I’ve learned how to be bossy in a way that works for my business and my team. Amanda knows that in many situations, it’s more important to trust that a job gets done to satisfaction than it is to waste time fretting about the method. “I truly want my team members to be able to effectively work things through on their own, but I also want them to feel secure in asking for help or advice when they need it.”
A Big Decision
Regardless of gender, business owners are continually faced with important decisions. Amanda says the biggest decision she’s made recently was to shift the focus of Moxie Girl from “household assistants” to “vacation rental specialists.”
“The business had grown to a comfortable level and I was happy with the way things were going but the booming vacation rental industry here in the Valley really presented an opportunity to fill a new niche. Internally, I wrestled with shifting our focus, but I’m sure I made the right move,” says Amanda. As proof, Moxie Girl has roughly doubled in size since concentrating on vacation rental properties only, servicing approximately 110 vacation rental homes throughout the Metro-Phoenix area.
Balance is Everything
Oh, did I mention Amanda has been managing all this on top of having a husband and a toddler-age son? With the past year devoted to the directional change and growth of her business, sometimes Amanda’s lifestyle has had to change – at least temporarily – to make it all work. I asked Amanda if she felt that owning her own business was “worth it” and the resounding answer was “Yes!” followed by “Most days.”
While owning a business can certainly be stressful, Amanda says she feels more secure knowing her business is hers. “Ultimately, it’s my business and I have the power to adjust things to counter shifting balances if needed.”
When I asked Amanda what she likes to do with any “uncommitted” time on her calendar, not surprisingly, her answer was “Nap!” For Amanda naps are a re-charge and allow her to be more productive and effective in the rest of her busy life. “I’m actually working on securing more ‘uncommitted’ time that I can commit to napping!” says Amanda.
Words of Wisdom
Amanda’s advice to aspiring business women? “LISTEN – a lot! And say ‘yes’ to whatever you think you can do.” Amanda actually began Moxie Girl Household Assistants in response to what she was hearing and seeing during her time spent as a nanny and in working in the fitness industry. “I could see the effects that ‘not enough help’ was having on couples and families. Instead of focusing on their common dreams, relationships and goals, I saw a lot of finger-pointing and blame, “ says Amanda.
Through listening and making numerous mental notes, Amanda clearly saw ways she could help. She imagined offering support by way of providing assistance in all the “little things” around a home which can add up and spark resentment between partners and family members – and Moxie Girl was born! Yay!
Enjoy Your Day!
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We all know we should, but most of us don’t make enough time to relax on a regular basis. Thank goodness it’s National Relaxation Day! You have the day off, right? Hmmm…we don’t either. But Moxie Girl has compiled a selection of inexpensive to FREE ways to help you add a little relaxation into EVERY day! Many of our suggestions also go well together, so why not try a “pairing”?
Start With a Relaxing Cup of Green Tea
Green tea has long been known for its antioxidant qualities and other health benefits, but did you know it can actually help you relax? Green tea leaves contain an amino acid called L-theanine, which increases dopamine levels in your brain, promoting a state of calm awareness. If you’re serious about reaping all the health benefits green tea is said to provide experts recommend drinking it hot, but Moxie Girl knows iced green tea is more refreshing – and just as relaxing – on a warm summer day!
Well, Aren’t You Sweet?
Honey…The only food made by insects and consumed by humans (unless you can think of another!) We already knew honey to be a tasty natural sweetener, but honey can also help with relaxation. As it turns out, honey contains the amino acid tryptophan – that same thing in turkey that causes a lot of napping after Thanksgiving dinner!
Go Brush Your Hair
Hair-brushing is a long-standing pre-bedtime ritual for many people. Brushing your hair for 10 minutes relaxes the mind while promoting a healthy scalp and shiny hair (and, dang, it feels GREAT!) Simple wire scalp massagers can be purchased at your favorite beauty supply store – and sometimes even the dollar store.
Mmmm…That Smells Relaxing!
It’s a fact: aromas can instantaneously change your mood. So why not change yours for the better by using aromatherapy? Burning a scented candle for 30 minutes just might turn your day from stressful to blissful. Seek out beeswax or soy/vegetable based wax candles containing pure, natural fragrances. For relaxation purposes, Moxie Girl recommends jasmine, rose, valerian, bergamot and lavender scents. (Never leave candles burning unattended – accidental fires are never relaxing!)
Essential oils are a great investment if you plan to add aromatherapy to your daily routine. They may be used in a number of ways. After selecting your favorite essential oil (or combination of oils) it’s easy to make your own massage oil – just add 7 to 10 drops of oil to an ounce of “carrier” oil. A carrier oil will temper the essentials, making it safe to apply directly to your skin. Coconut, avocado and olive oils all make great carriers – choose your favorite. Lightly massage a drop to your temples and wrists and let the relaxing begin! This massage oil may also be added to a nice, warm bath – 98-102 degrees, for 20 minutes is recommended for maximum benefit. No time for a bath? No problem – you can diffuse your mix using a humidifier or cold-air vaporizer. Diffusing for 15 minutes each hour will keep you calm and uplifted throughout the day!
Make your own aromatherapy linen spray by adding 30 – 40 drops of your favorite essential oils to an ounce and half of distilled water in a small spray bottle and shake well. Lightly mist your bath towels and bed linens and enjoy the benefits after your shower and all night long!
The “Most Relaxing Song Ever”
Another mood-altering factor in life is sound. If the ambient sounds of your day have thus far had all the appeal of fingernails on a chalkboard, it’s time to change your tune! With the goal of lowering the listener’s blood pressure, stress levels and heart rate, UK group Marconi Union, worked with sound therapists to utilize a peaceful production landscape filled with dreamy rhythms, melodies and complementary instruments (featuring piano, guitar and electronic samples of natural soundscapes) to create what some have deemed “the most relaxing song ever.”
Chocolate – The Darker the Better
The raw, unprocessed cocoa bean is considered a “super food” by many due to its high concentration of antioxidants – 40 times the antioxidants found in another super food, blueberries. While processing can destroy a large percentage of these antioxidants, a quality dark chocolate still contains enough natural “bliss” agents such as tryptophan and serotonin to bring feelings of happiness and well-being to the forefront of your mood! The higher the cocoa content the less sweet and more beneficial the chocolate, so seek out a dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% more.
A Nice Glass of Wine
There are literally thousands of options when it comes to wine, but which one is best for relaxing? Your favorite, of course! That’s right – while alcohol content and flavor may vary, most wines have the same cozy effect on your brain, so just choose your favorite or maybe try something new. Always stay well-hydrated and drink responsibly!
Color Yourself Relaxed!
It’s taken a few years, but coloring has become a favorite way to relax for many adults. There are a plethora of coloring books to choose from – from meditative mandalas to (very) adult themes. So, find one that appeals to your sensibilities, grab a pack of crayons or colored pencils and get busy. If you’ve never tried coloring as an adult, Moxie Girl bets you’ll be amazed how easily you can forget your stresses and get lost in this activity!
Just about any of the items on this list can be used simultaneously to enhance relaxation. Try enjoying your wine and dark chocolate together! Syrah, ports, and sherries are a few of the most delicious-with-chocolate wines – all in moderation, of course.
Green tea and honey together create a fabulously relaxing beverage, but did you know they are also great for your skin? Try whipping up this super simple and all natural green tea and honey facial mask. Just moisten some green tea leaves (cutting open a tea bag will give you just about the right amount for a treatment) and blend with a little honey until you’ve formed a paste. Spread evenly on your face, avoiding eye areas, and sit back and relax for 15 minutes while the aroma relaxes your mind and the mask moisturizes and clears any redness! Gently wash off with warm water and enjoy the glow. Seal it up, and any unused paste can be saved for spot treatments of problem areas for up to a week.
Need More Time to Relax?
Who DOESN’T? So, why not let Moxie Girl take over some of your less favorite chores? We specialize in vacation rental homes, but we are also experts in residential cleaning and home organization. What can Moxie Girl do for YOU? Call Today for a FREE consultation!