What started as a sad story for Morgan Page has turned into a fulfilling career.
About a decade ago, Morgan’s father found himself retired and bored. To keep himself busy, he started to manage a few properties on Cedar Creek Lake in Texas. As it often goes with property managers, he started by managing properties for other owners and soon invested in his own homes.
When Morgan’s father’s health started to decline, the paperwork started piling up and Morgan stepped in to help.
“Of course, because he was such a good dad, he wouldn’t let me do it for free,” Morgan recalled. “He taught me what he did and why he did it."
When her father passed away, Morgan realized that short-term rentals sparked a joy in her that she hadn’t found in other lines of work. She continued to manage the properties, running a short-term rental business part-time while continuing her life in Fort Worth. When Morgan’s mom passed away just a year later, Morgan inherited five properties in the Cedar Creek Lake area and realized she had fallen into a new career.
Morgan moved to Cedar Creek Lake (partly to care for her grandmother), and started working from home before working from home was cool.
“All was going well, except I realized I wasn’t organized and I realized I couldn’t spell,” Morgan said, laughing. “Both of those things are important for short-term rentals, so I knew I needed to find a way to streamline my processes.”
Morgan turned to Wix to build a website for her rental properties and discovered a management system called Futurestay that would integrate seamlessly with her existing business, Cedar Creek Lake Getaways.
“It’s been almost three years and it’s been a really beautiful partnership where Futurestay and I have grown at the same time,” she said. “I’ve looked at a lot of platforms, but Futurestay worked best for pulling my world together into one place.”
With the help of the Futurestay Operating System, Morgan has transformed her short-term rental business into an efficient operation with more than 20 properties – a world of difference from the five properties powered by boxes of paperwork that she was once maintaining.
“Futurestay has fit into my business model and I’ve never felt the pressure to change. I’ve never wanted to grow outside of this lake or become the next major management company with 100 properties,” Morgan said. “Futurestay has streamlined my business without making me change the way I operate it.”
Morgan has never had any desire to handle the payment processing aspect of property management, which makes Futurestay’s payment and booking automation among her favorite features of the platform. That means that instead of tracking down credit card payments and charging balances herself, Morgan can spend time connecting with her team.
Morgan enjoys the chance to sit down with her full-time handyman as he enjoys his morning orange juice and banana. She said that kind of connection with her 40 employees wouldn’t be possible without Futurestay’s automations streamlining her core business functions.
With Futurestay’s Smart Connections handling her listings, automating guest communications and processing payments, Morgan can also focus on providing the best guest experience possible.
“My top piece of advice for other property managers is that you have to come at it as a guest,” she said. “Think of things from their perspective. A lot of people are getting into short-term rentals for the money, not for the experience. If you’re doing it only for financial motivation, you will fail.”
Morgan tries to never forget about the little touches – the mini bottles of shampoo or the free coffee – that show guests that their experience is important.
“I’m not saying that all my houses are 5-star Hiltons, but they’re cleaned, they’re stocked and they’re priced appropriately,” she said. “I had one guest ask me, ‘Are sheets provided?’ And that made me shocked and angry, because it means they had visited a rental that didn’t provide sheets.”
Creating a special guest experience is worth the extra energy to Morgan.
“Knowing that we’re helping people create lifelong memories, it keeps me going.”