Jackie Helm is brand new to the hospitality industry, but she’s no stranger to business, having successful fencing and home construction companies already under her belt. When Jackie decided to launch her next company with Seattle Guest Prep, she knew it would be important to use the best technologies right out of the gate. We asked Jackie why she chose Properly as the lynchpin of the hospitality business she’s been building from the ground up.
Properly: Hi, Jackie – thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us! We’d love to hear the story behind Seattle Guest Prep.
Jackie: I was operating my own Airbnb as a Superhost, and I struggled to find service providers who could meet my standards for hospitality. I ended up helping a few other people set up their Airbnbs and teaching them how to do the cleaning and staging, and I realized I really enjoyed the work. From there, it was an easy decision to start offering my hospitality services professionally. It’s still early days, but I have a number of clients and several employees already, and I can’t wait to begin growing the business in earnest.
Properly: And you started using Properly quite early on?
Jackie: That’s right. If there’s anything that my business experience has taught me, it’s how valuable it is to start on the right track with the best tools. Checklists are a big thing for me when it comes to preparing vacation rentals, so right at the beginning, I looked for a solution that provided checklist functionality. I came across Properly and attended a live webinar, and I was blown away – Properly does so much more than just checklists. I was delighted to find that such an awesome platform already exists in the hospitality space.
I met Tammi on the webinar, and she was just lovely. She even helped me find some of my earliest clients, who’ve been with me ever since.
Properly: What features of Properly are you finding the most useful?
Jackie: The most useful feature, without a doubt, is checklists. They’re so useful for making sure that nothing gets missed, and everything is staged perfectly. Handling invoicing through Properly is also a great help. I haven’t explored all of the other features yet, but I fully intend to. In fact, one of my clients is keen to improve her use of Properly from the property management end. We’ve agreed that when I next work for her we’ll both experiment with every Properly feature that we can.
Properly: Would you mind telling us a little bit more about your growth plans? How does Properly fit in?
Jackie: Up until now, I’ve been keeping things fairly low-key while I make sure everything is in place. Now that I’m confident that we can handle the work, we’re gearing up for our first major push. We’ve just launched our website, and we’re about to go live with social media promotions. And last but not least, we’re going to start advertising the business through the Properly Marketplace.
By the end of next July, I’m aiming to have about 15-20 employees and operate throughout the entirety of Seattle – and maybe beyond. I’m expecting Properly to play a big role in that growth. Traditionally, I think word-of-mouth has been the best way to build a business in this industry, but Properly offers an alternative. Even if a property manager has never heard of us, they’ll be able to find us through the Marketplace. That’s a big deal.
Properly: That’s great to hear. Last question: what’s your favorite thing about vacation rental hospitality?
Jackie: Building relationships with my clients. When I first started Seattle Guest Prep, I expected that a lot of our work would be one-offs. But that hasn’t been the case at all. Every one of our jobs so far has led to a long-term relationship, and I’m still working with all of my original clients. They’re great people, and I love getting to know them. One of the clients that Tammi connected me with even came to my kid’s birthday party![:]