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Giving guests more with Madison Rifkin of Mount
Episode 3720th March 2023 • Direct Booking Success Podcast • Jenn Boyles
00:00:00 00:29:38

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What if you could create more revenue while increasing your guests’ experience?

That's precisely what me and Madison Rifkin of Mount discuss in this episode of the Direct Booking Success Podcast.

Madison is a young entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in innovation working towards creating better experiences for guests and travellers worldwide. Madison also explains how using Mount can drive more direct bookings to your short-term rental.

We talk about:

  • Where Mount started
  • Not giving up, generating funds and patenting the ideas
  • The Mount system
  • Hospitality vs. upselling
  • Helping guests have more experiences
  • What insurance is needed
  • How the Mount app   works
  • Generating more direct bookings with the Mount community
  • What direct booking success means to Madi






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Jenn: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Direct Booking Success Podcast. Today I am speaking with Madi Rifkin of Mount.

Madi: Welcome Madi hi, Jenn

. Thanks for having me.

Jenn: Oh, it's a pleasure. Let's start by telling everybody

Madi: who you are. Yes. Hello everyone. I am the c e o and Co-founder of Mount. I guess I, you know, I grew up an entrepreneur and have been ever been one ever since, and now have found myself in this amazing hospitality, short-term rental sector, that is all about travel and where can you go next.


Jenn: tell us, maybe you can tell us a snippet of what Mount is, and then let's get into why you founded this. So can you give us a snippet of what's your, your, your elevator pitch for.

Madi: I can, I'll give you a, a, a, a little window into what it is. Mount is really a software platform that can take anything you own other than the house.

And we turn it into a rentable amenity for travelers. So when a traveler shows up, they basically open up our app and can see everything they could possibly rent in destination from the locals. So that way you travel with just a backpack and then you, you got everything at your fingertips when you. It's

Jenn: so exciting.

It really, really is exciting. So, okay, so you said you're an entrepreneur from an early age. How did you, how, why Mount, how did you get into this? Why did you start it?

Madi: You know, Mount for me started very differently. It did not look like this. the original name was Mount Walks, and Mount was a bike lock company.

So that's, that's how it all started and it really came. This crazy experience I had when I was 12 years old. crazy experience, but also I was very lucky and fortunate in that my middle school, I was, I think I was in fifth grade, had an invention program, kind of similar to Shark Tank expect, except you spent the whole year building your product and then it led up to a Shark Tank style pitch.

And so that sounds so cool. Very cool. I didn't even honestly know what I had until like years later. And I was like, okay, not every kid got to go through that program. That was like a me type of situation. and so yeah, honestly I did that program and I, that's where I created my bike lock, my first one ever.

And it was really on the premise that I grew up in Denver, Colorado, and I was biking everywhere, but. , I was very forgetful, honestly, still am to this day, . And the bike lock would never end up with me. And I was like, it's just so frustrating. Why can't I literally just make it part of the bike frame so it's there cuz it, you know, every bike needs a lock, right?

so that's what I did. I created a retracting bike lock. It was like a six foot cable. It retracted in and out, put it on the bike. It stayed permanently there. so there, when you need it in there, when you don't. . and I think by going through that program, it was, I learned so much as a 12 year old. I, I ended up winning, the program and I won a patent for my invention, so they funded me going through the patent process.

So I also got a few patents also at that age . That is so

Jenn: cool. Oh my goodness. And what happened to it? Has it actually, somebody made it into product.

Madi: Yeah, so I did I got the patents for it and then took a hiatus or whatever you wanna call it. Cause I had to go to high school. You know, I wanted to be a normal student.

Jenn: had to actually finish these the school years.

Madi: Yeah, exactly. Had some other crazy experiences in high school that I think helped shaped me as a, a leader in entrepreneur. But, when I got to college, I studied entrepreneurship. I was at Northeastern University and you know, in our classes they had you building business plans and models.

Pitching and I was like, okay, this is all theoretical work. Like if I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna make it real. so I brought back the bike lock and I was like, I have a patent. Let's see what I can do with this. and that's when Mount Locks was officially created while I was a, a college student. Got a few engineers on my side.

I also learned a fair about fair amount of engineering and we stood up a supply chain in China and we were building blocks . No way. Yeah, it was a crazy time.

Jenn: That's just, I'm so envious of having, first having the opportunity to do something like that in middle school, but then to also have that opportunity to study being an entrepreneur at university in college, you know?

Most of us, I think, come into this by like hard knocks, you know, .

Madi: Exactly. It's funny too, because when I tell people I studied entrepreneurship, they're like, that was not a major when I went to school. exactly, exactly. And now even after I graduated, like I only graduated a year and a half, two years ago, but, there's crazy majors now that I'm like, shoot, I, I wish I had done that one.

That would sound fun.

Jenn: like, what, what would it.

Madi: I think there's like a, I mean I'm gonna butcher these names, but like experiential marketing, like I don't even really know what that means, but like I would do that .

Jenn: That sounds, yeah, it sounds cool. It sounds like you're going towards, anyways, it sounds like what Mount is, you know?

Yeah. I'm like that is what we are, . Yeah, that's ex So you're already doing it. . So what happens? So let's go back to these bike logs. I wanna find out what happens. So you've got a supply chain going in college and you are manufacturing. . Yes.

Madi: And because I knew basically nothing of how to set up a supply chain or how to do any of this, I would basically go on LinkedIn, and just leverage the fact that I was a college student and message anyone I could that would talk to me and be like, how do I do this?

Can you help me? And so that's actually how I found myself in the, it's called the micro mobility industry, which is the scooters. So it's like, you know them as bird, lime tier, Uber, Lyft, but the little scooters you can ride around. , right. I found myself in that industry because I was talking to people about how they were building the scooters in China and you know, did they need locks?

I was just trying to find a place for our lock, and as it turned out, none of the scooters were built with locks in the beginning, but they were leaving them in the middle of the city. I'm like, that is quite backwards. Like you do need a way to like keep these locks . Yeah. and so I had a hunch. I was like, I think these people might need my lock.

So I think I was a sophomore in college. I booked a flight to California, showed up with the lock in hand. and went to a few of the scooter companies offices when they were like five person companies. They were very much startups as well. And I was like, look, you guys, I think you're gonna need this lock.

Like I just have a hunch, city governments are gonna start requiring it. You wanna get ahead of this, you know, let's, let's make sure you're doing this right. And it was the correct hunch. so. Me as this sophomore in college ended up working with these scooter companies for the next year and a half, two years.

Watched them become unicorns. These companies became huge overnight, and kind of found a place for our lock, at least for the time being. . but then, you know, as it does, it all came cr crumbling down and we had to rebuild ourselves and .

Jenn: And is that because of the pandemic or Yeah,

Madi: it was, it was partly because of the pandemic and then partly because building a hardware startup company is virtually impossible.

Like very much props to anyone who's done that because getting funding to build this hardware is a very much chicken and egg problem. I mean, we needed to. A few thousand locks. But in order to do that, you need a few hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce the tooling, to produce the locks, and then be able to sell them.

And it's this very backwards problem that has never been solved. So , right? Needless to say, didn't really get funding. What I did was I won a ton of different college university competitions to fund mount up until this point. But it just wasn't going. You know, you can kind of get to the point where you're like, all right, the lock was not it.

let's pivot and see where we go. This was also the middle of the pandemic. So scooter companies were hit hard, no one was traveling, and as it turned out, the people that were riding the scooters were travelers. That's why they were hit so hard. and I was like, all right, what can I do now? I didn't wanna quit.

I was like, I have too much invested. I about, I think I had 15 scooters and locks left, and I'm like, let's do something with. So I contacted a few Airbnb hosts that were living in Colorado. Cause that's where I was quarantining. And I was like, hi, you don't know me, but I have some scooters. Can I put them at your property?

I wanna see what happens. And there were some amazing, innovative ones that said yes, really? So I'm like ,

Jenn: because that one come out of left field, wouldn't it?

Madi: That call? Yeah, they're like, I guess I pitched it as like, Hey, I'm gonna put these scooters here. You'll capture all the revenue. I have an insurance policy, so you don't have to deal with any of that.

And I'll come and manage and do the maintenance on the scooters. Like, you know, you just get free scooters. . Yeah. So there were a few that said yes, even though they didn't have much occupancy, cuz again, no one was really traveling. but as it turned out, the travelers that were staying at these properties love the scooters.

They're like, one, it's clean cause duh, covid, it's, you know, I'm the only one using it. And the, the. Love this new revenue stream. They're like, wow, I'm making a lot more money from this guest that's staying with me, as opposed to just crying over the fact that I've lost all my bookings cuz no one's traveling,

so that's kind of when it clicked and then these hosts came back to us and they're like, Maddie, it doesn't have to be scooters. Like it could be, I just need a software that can help me with upselling amenity offerings, like make me function more like a hotel. and I was like, that's brilliant. We have that software.

I just happen to have scooters. It doesn't have to be scooters, . Right. So our original host were the ones that gave us the idea was not us . Yeah. We can't ca claim credit.

Jenn: No, but, but you know. It was your entrepreneurial spirit that started the whole process. You know, had you not gone to them with a scooter, then they would not have come back to you and said, look, we could do this with so many more things, you know?

Oh, it's just, it's so inspiring. It really, really is. I'm so glad that we're speaking today. Well, thank you. So then what happened? So you've pivoted, you've thought, okay, what other things can we look at? And I guess we're starting to come outta the pandemic a bit, so bit more guests coming in.

Madi: Yeah, this was right around the first time we thought the pandemic was over.

Oh, right. and I, I was, so we had this idea now, and this was an idea we could communicate to people, just your average Joe. And they got it. They're like, oh, okay. I can come to an Airbnb or a short-term rental and I can rent stuff like that Makes sense and I wanna rent. And so, This is right around the time, we got into a startup accelerator, which was super helpful because me and my co-founder were young, we're, he's still in college.

I just graduated. We're like, we don't really know what we're doing. Let's get some experts around the table to help us grow. And so, Unique about this startup accelerator. It was in Hawaii of all places, so Oh

Jenn: my goodness. This story gets even better. , .

Madi: It does. I'm like, I had just graduated, like I had just walked the stage and I found out I got into this program and it makes , it allows us to go live in Hawaii for three months.

All expenses paid, and work on mount with these other amazing startups. And I'm like thinking to myself, well, if all house fails, I will have gotten to live in Hawaii. So like let's do it .

Jenn: Yeah. I'll come home with a tan .

Madi: Exactly. So me and my co-founder, we jump on a plane, we land in Hawaii. I had rented site unseen, they called it a bunga.

Because, you know, we didn't have much money and the program paid for a little, but like we still wanted to save some. So stayed in this bungalow. I remember arriving with my mom because she helped me move everything. And we both just look at each other and we don't really say anything, but we're like, Ooh, might have made a mistake on the cost saving efforts,

and she was like, contemplating like, am I about to leave my daughter here by herself? Like, I don't know about this. but no, it all worked out. But I just, that was a funny one. We looked at ourselves and we were like, let's go get some dinner and definitely get drunk tonight cause . Right. And we'll not be telling my dad about what is happening,


Jenn: right. So that's great though. So you're in Hawaii for a few months, you've got experts around you helping you mold this raw

Madi: business idea. Exactly. And it was what we needed cuz Rash, Rashab and I, he's my co-founder, we're living. Essentially it was a short-term rental, although we were there for three months, and we were mount's customers, like we came with pretty much nothing and we needed to find a car, which luckily his friend let us borrow.

And then we were trying to have all these fun experiences while also building a company. So there was one day we wanted to go to the beach. He wanted to go kayaking. I, I decided to stay on the beach, but we ended up with a kayak for over 24 hours strapped to the roof of the car because we couldn't return it.

Like there were all these just crazy experiences where, . Wow. If we had head mount, our lives would've been easier, . Right.

Jenn: Got it, got it. So as you're trying to build this business, you're realizing there's gotta be a huge, need for it because you're already seeing it in your own

Madi: traveling. Exactly. And I mean, while we were there too, we were talking to nomadic traveler after nomadic traveler, cuz that again was becoming very popular cause of covid.

and the same reoccurring statement kept coming. We would tell them what we did and they're like, wow, I wish this existed right now because I could read five things today. . Yeah. you know, and then we're hearing the same thing from the hosting side as well, where it's like, I do need more revenue and diverse streams.

I've wanted to offer these types of upsells where it's a kayak, a paddleboard, a scooter, a bike, but there's a few reasons why I haven't. One big insurance. It's a big reason why no one does it. The second is, how do I collect payment? Am I gonna ask for their Venmo? Am I gonna ask for cash? How do I know if they're using?

Maybe it's an honor, trust system. so we kind of just, I think, came in at the market at the right time with the answers to these problems and solved it from both angles. Like the travelers were wanting it. The hosts were wanting it. We came in to kind of connect everyone. ,

Jenn: and where is this? Or I, it seems to me like there might be a fine line between what we would, as an owner manager would provide, for free and what we would want to upsell and.

I'm just worried anybody listening might be going, yes, but we're in the hospitality industry. We need to give amenities to our guests. We don't want them to have to unlock the linen for their bed, you know, to upsell that. So what do you, what's your answer about that? About sort of the fine line between the, what we can offer for free in a hospitality, sense, and what we should be looking at, maybe upsell.

Madi: Fantastic question. I mean, this is, I think one that will be kind of an education piece I think this year. as we get into more upselling, hopefully the conferences will start talking about this and there'll be more education just out there. But I think the line really revolves around if your guest is coming and they're actively seeking out something and paying for it already, they're just not doing it with.

you that's where the line is. Like people are coming to your property. What are they asking you? Are they asking you, Hey, do you know a good local shop where I can rent a bike? is there a private shop around? Got it. Kayaks, paddleboards. So it's more of that stuff. We're not changing the user behavior of like thinking about what they should be buying because they're already doing it.

We're just making it way more convenient. So instead of, you know, a good example actually is, a cabin in the woods. for us it would be like upstate new. , York those places are so remote that if you want to go buy firewood, it's a 30 minute drive. Wow. Yeah. And people do that cuz you need firewood and the, the host property is not supplying it as of right now.

But think about if you're a host, if you were to supply it, your guests would a hundred percent pay for that because you've now cut out an hour of drive time. So it's, you know, how do you make their life more conveniant without nickel and dimeing them. We, we don't wanna do that. We're more about let's connect travelers with locals and have these amazing experiences.

Mm-hmm. , if you wanna upsell something, I think that doesn't really create an experience. , then maybe you should not be selling it. . Yes. Well, and

Jenn: that's it. That's what I was kind of getting to is like, you know, we talk about amenities all the time that we have in our properties and we don't wanna get into the nickel and diamond just what you said and saying, oh, you want to use the fridge?

Oh, that's an extra five pounds or $5. You know, something like that. one. Yeah, I can get it. That it's, you know, it's the experiences and I loved how you said, It's what They're already going out to rent. They're just paying somebody else to do it. Exactly.

Madi: So yeah, I mean that's like the classic answer for us is what are they paying for?

You should be getting a piece of that. but I think too, It's unfortunate the way the term amenity has been taken in our industry within hospitality, because people think of amenities now as like little shampoo bottles. And I'm like, yeah, that's not an amenity. That should just be included. and maybe it's the way you put search functions and, and little check boxes on the listings.

Like that's the OTAs problem. They, they ruin the language, but I mean, we've been calling it upselling amenities, but maybe what mounts is just experiences and that's kind of how you, you sell it.

Jenn: Yeah, I, I think, I think there might be something in that for sure, because it is the experiences. I know that when I've stayed in places and there's been bicycles available there for me to use, I've used them, you know?

but also I would think if I was somewhere and, you know, I saw a bicycle shop, I'd be like, well, you know, I have to go there and rent it and figure out, and, you know, it kind of puts you off. But if it's right there, it's making it so. For that guest. And yeah, it's another

Madi: revenue stream. And imagine too, if that bike came with all these local recommendations of like, what should I do on my bike?

Which is something you as the host would also supply. so now you truly as a traveler can find these local hidden gems, which otherwise you probably wouldn't find. so that way you are traveling like a local and you're getting that experience. .

Jenn: Mm-hmm. . Oh, I love it. I just, I absolutely love it. I, you know, you already know you're onto a winner, but, yeah, it's great.

Now before anybody listening gets too excited, right now you're just operating in the States.

Madi: Yes, the States is our first test market. But for anyone listening, if you are really intrigued about what we're doing, You can signify your interest in wanting to bring Mount to wherever you are, by going on our website and, creating a free account with us.

Put in your information, put in your location, and that way we can know where we're getting a lot of demand and we'll come open up that area, for you. And, you know, there might be a product on the horizon that will allow us to go globally sooner, but, I can't talk about that one yet. , right.

Jenn: Okay. Okay.

So there's a nugget there. There's, yeah, it might be just coming, but yeah, if we can signal our, our interests, then you know where you're going to, to open up next, that would be great because I can see, I can see it being used worldwide. I don't see any, any downsides.

Madi: No. I mean, I personally would use this worldwide.

I remember. A time I was backpacking through Europe and I happened to be in Amsterdam and I couldn't shake that stigma of being this like dumb lost American Taurus. Like I just look lost when I walk, so it does not work. But, my host had two bikes because everyone bikes in Amsterdam. And I was like, yeah, I will hop on that.

And immediately when I did, I actually felt like a local, I started getting treated like a local. People were like, oh, have you been here? Have you been here? and it brought me so much closer to that travel experience that I remember it actually a lot. than other travels I've had. And

Jenn: I wonder if that place that you stayed in, like, I'm thinking of the insurance, this insurance piece, right.

I wonder if they actually had insurance for those bikes.

Madi: Sadly, I don't think so. So this is the other education piece that is a hundred percent missing from our industry is that. . I think there's a, a misconception when it comes to your property insurance, even to what like Airbnb's platform insurance offers you or even these other third party insurance policy companies are trying to offer you in that.

If you ask them, Hey, will you cover my kayak? Will you cover my bike? They say, yes, but they aren't giving you the details and the details are you're covered if that thing stays on your property, which is never the case. A bike is not staying on your property if someone's using it. So the I. Point at which your guest takes that bike and leaves your property, you're not covered anymore because your guest could hurt themselves.

They could run into someone else, they could run into a car. Like there's a lot of unknowns. And that's a big gray area where that insurance is not gonna kick in, nor will Airbnb's platform insurance. Like there's just no coverage there. So that's the education piece we're really trying to do is like, Hey, by working with Mount, we've custom billed a policy that covers all those use cases so that you don't have to worry, you don't even have to pay extra for the insurance.

It's included , right? So that's the other word I'm trying to get out there. Tell us.

Jenn: Yeah. Yeah. So tell us how it actually

Madi: works. So Mount itself is very easy. We have two sides. that service either the host or the traveler. The side for the host, property manager, is a management portal. So you create your account for free, you put in your locations, and then you basically go in and create amenities.

We have pre-populated ones, so you can kind of choose based on your property. So let's say you're listing, you're putting in your listing that is a beach vacation rental property. You'll wanna add beach equipment, bikes, you know, maybe some other fun stuff. list us all as amenities. And then the last step actually is to order our QR code, g p s Tracker.

So this is the only physical piece you need, and this is what allows everything to be rentable. So that G p s tracker is now tied to that amenity you just created and you have to go put that on the physical. , and then that's what your guest is gonna scan to be able to. So that is the one piece. There is like some physical element to this

Jenn: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Because if you're just doing it, you know, go rent it, they'll just take it and leave and

Madi: Exactly. Yeah. So you want your QR code and then the last piece of the puzzle is some sort of lock. you can buy it through us and we'll just send it to you so you don't even have to think about it. You can just put it with a QR code.

You can put it behind a lock door. Anything that has a combination, because when your guest scans that QR code, it's gonna ask them, or no, it'll give them the four digit combination to unlock the that amenity. So that's the last. . It just sounds so

Jenn: clever. It really, really does. . Yeah, and it's anything that, you know, it seems to be anything that the guests would be taking off the property.

That was really where it comes in. Its to its own, you know?

Madi: Yeah, that's, that's its true form. I mean, we've had people ask us like, oh, can I do this on a pool? Can I do this on a podcast studio? a garage, a parking space. And I'm like, that stuff's really interesting. Like go for it. Push the boundaries.

That's how Mount evolves. but not quite what it was meant for .

Jenn: Yeah. Yeah, I got it. And if you show up into a place that has advertised that has a pool for your use, and then you have to pay for it, I think you might have some angry,

Madi: guests. Yeah. No, and I, I mean, it's not like a hotel is asking to charge you daily for pool usage, so why would you, yeah.

You know, it's kind of like, what is your guest expecting? Yeah. a pool would

Jenn: be one of them. . Yeah. However, you might have pool toys or something like that, or, exactly. Or like what you were saying about beach equipment and bikes and scooters. Those just seem so natural to be the

Madi: perfect. Yeah. And I mean the, the nicer of the amenity you can supply, the more money you'll make as well.

So we've had people ask us, and I think this is very creative, they'll put in a base amenity that's free. the, the example they gave me, which I didn't think of until now, is like, let's put in a base grill, but then let's go. Because also he personally wanted to buy this stuff. Let's put in like a green egg smoker.

Let's put in this really fancy high-end grill that. That would wanna use, that would pay extra for it because it's not included. And then also that host uses Mount as a way to pay for that amenity, a way to ensure it. So he also can use it when he wants ,

Jenn: right? Oh, that's clever too. So it's, it's, they've got the basic amenity there, and then they can upsell to a snazzier, fancier, item Got,

And so it's basically an app, isn't it? For guests

Madi: to use? Yeah, for guests, it's an app. people always ask us like, oh my gosh, another app. Why are they gonna wanna download this? Why are they gonna use it? We've seen actually the exact opposite with our travelers because we've created such a community around this nomadic, you know, person that wants to live like a local and travel, they actually are using the app outside of when they're coming to your property as well, because that's how it was.

So they already have it on their phone. They're booking your property because Mount is there. So that's actually a way to increase your utilization, increase your bookings, all that great stuff. . but this traveler is someone that's renting in every aspect of their life. They're living in a small apartment in New York.

They're gonna rent from a short-term rental next door in a, in a New York to get what they need. so it's not like these one-off apps that are specific to short-term rentals where it's like, I will only use this when I come to your property. , right? Mal is kind of used worldwide by pretty much everyone and every aspect of.

And would you

Jenn: have to be staying like that in that scenario that you've got there? They're living in a small apartment, there's, a short-term rental beside them that maybe has bikes or whatever it is. they wouldn't have to necessarily be staying at that place, would they?

Madi: No. And and you have that option as the amenity creator, so you can create a public amenity or a private amenity.

If it's private, it's only for the use of your guests, and it won't show up on our public map if it's public. , anyone using the Mount app could theoretically come and rent it. So it does have to be in a, you know, publicly accessible. so, but up to you. So yeah, you could do either, if you wanna become a professional fleet manager of Mount Amenities, you know, we welcome it, make more money.

We're here for it. . I think

Jenn: it's just brilliant and I can see, many reasons why this would work on both sides. You know, you are coming. From the gas perspective and being something that you would want when you're traveling and staying in different places. But I can also see it from the other side is that we're being able to provide more experiences for our guests, but also getting a bit of a kickback, a bit of an extra revenue stream there.

I just think it's such a great idea. Well, thank you. I

Madi: know, I hopefully we're onto something and in five years, you know, we'll be bigger than Airbnb. . Yes. .

Jenn: Well that would be great. That would be great. I would be there supporting you . Brilliant. so I, well, I would love to see what the next thing is too that you do because you've gone from, you know, middle school doing the lock and now into, into Mount.

I'd love to see with the next, I know, you know, You've got a lot of life left and I would love to see, like I can't wait to see what the next sort of thing that you do and you know, cuz I don't think this will be your only invention.

Madi: No, it'll, yeah, we'll have to keep tabs 10 years later. We'll see what's

Jenn: next,

Yeah, that's it. That'd be great. And you know, we talked about short-term rentals. We've talked about Airbnb, we've talked about how this can,work with whatever, platform you're using for your bookings. but I can see that it is such a bonus for those who are going after the, , you know, something you can showed about in your marketing on your website?

Madi: Yeah, absolutely. So we're big into the direct booking. and we have a few new features launching that will actually direct right towards this, one of them being a place on our website that features properties that have mount amenities, and then having a link to their direct book website so our traveler community can come to our website and find your listing and circumvent the whole OTA process.


Jenn: it. You're turning yourself into a, a listing site. I love it. Yeah.

Madi: Yeah. I mean, not not one where we'd wanna ever take money from that, but just more so we can drive you more bookings. I mean, for us, we wanna show that by implementing Mount you will see a massive increase in occupancy. Yeah.

Jenn: Great. So I've come to the time, I've gotta ask you, what does direct booking success mean to.

Madi: Yeah, so I, I'm a big fan of direct booking. I, now that I know what it is, I try to do it as much as possible. But for me, I think direct booking success means a mass education because I look at myself, I was in the industry and I didn't quite know what direct booking meant. And to me, and I think, you know, that's a bit on the OTAs cuz they've done a good job creating that trust level.

Now where like if you book on, unfortunately Airbnb, you knew do know that they have your back as opposed. going without that and not knowing what's gonna happen. But you know, if we're able to educate the masses and the travelers and the new generations as to the amazing person behind the, the listing and the booking, like it is this person that really cares about your experience and your journey, then I think you are able to drive a lot of, a lot more direct booking.

So that's what it means for me, highlighting our hosts, highlighting the mountain amenities, driving direct bookings. That would be success. hoping I can educate more people on

Jenn: that. Well, thank you Maddie, for coming on today and I can't wait till I see Mount Go worldwide because I know that, you know, there's gonna be a lot of host managers,owners out there that are just thinking, this is a brilliant idea.

Let's get it into our area of the world as well. Absolutely. . . Great. And so can you tell us your website, I'll put your website social links onto the show notes, but for those listening, where can they go and register their interest or

Madi: sign out? Yeah, go to rent and you can do everything you need to there.

Yeah. And join, join the Mount community. Yes. We have a good Facebook group going, where you can learn tips and tricks from other of our amazing hosts and how they're thriving. Message me on LinkedIn. Very active there. If you see me at conferences, come say hi. I'm always wearing blue shoes. , . it's my thing.

Yeah. Nice blue shoe. are they blue?

Jenn: Blue Sue

Madi: shoes like Elvis. I, you know, I wish, no, they, I'm a sneaker junkie, so they're, you know, I got some Nike dunks. I got some, high top ones as well. You know, there's a good mix. Oh, a blue converse, like custom built Converse ones. .

Jenn: There you go. So look for the, look for the girl in the blue shoes.

Sounds good. Well, yeah. Might make me . Yeah. Thanks so much, Madi, for coming on and telling us all about Mount, and I wish you just the best.

Madi: Well, thank you so much, Jenn. It was good being on.

Jenn: Thanks for listening today for my interview with Madi Rifkin of rent I'll be putting her website and all of her social links in the show notes and they can be slash podcast.