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FabStayz LGBTQ listing site, with Robert Geller

Hosting Your Home - Airbnb host stories

Release Date: 04/21/2019

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Debi Hertert of the Hosting Your Home podcast talks with FabStayz LGBTQ Listing Site founder Robert Geller, about his exciting, new STR platform. Robert has 10 years of experience with his gay travel company "Outings and Adventures".  Through his personal Airbnb hosting experience and Airbnb travel, he saw a real need for a travel platform that would be respectful and safe specifically for LGBTQ travelers.  He's inviting hosts to register, with the agreement that those hosts will be allies of LGBTQ travelers and make them feel welcome.  Robert listed some impressive statistics for the volume of LGBTQ travel that are included below in the show notes.

Robert expects the platform to be fully launched by June, 2019 in time for Gay Pride and the large amount of travel that goes with it.  Hosts are invited to register at FabStayz.com during the beta version. FabStayz has a process for incorporating  Airbnb listings into the FabStayz platform.  Hosts pay a subscription price to FabStayz to be listed and attract bookings.

 

2:00 -  6:00  Robert talks about his gay travel company startup that followed a corporate job layoff in 2008.  He started the company “Outings and Adventures” initially to offer activities for the LGBTQ community outside of a bar.  They did paddle boarding, kayaking, tree climbing, sushi cooking etc. It morphed into the travel company and now they do things like a riverboat bike tour on the Moselle river!.  He is also an Airbnb superhost and traveler.  With “air quotes”, Robert said the first “adventure” wasn’t very adventuresome.  It was attending the very first showing of the movie Sex in the City. He could only get 10 tickets, but those first 9 email addresses have grown into a travel company with 8,000 email addresses and 10,000 Facebook likes.

6:00 - 20:00 What was the origin of FabStayz? His experiences as a gay Airbnb host showed him the need for a hosting/traveling environment that is safe for both parties. His description of these experiences are compelling.  He saw an opportunity to elevate the experience of the guest and host for LGBTQ travel. He knows that many LGBTQ travelers wait with anxiety to learn how the host might respond to an exploratory email such as “my partner and I”...waiting and wondering and worrying. Robert doesn’t want this to be the way it is.  FabStayz is an LGBTQ brand, not a gay brand. Often a gay brand is hyper-sexualized, and FabStayz is not. Imagery, language etc on the platform speaks to everyone in the community, fun and uplifting. FabStayz is aligning with visitor bureaus and the LGBTQ chambers of commerce all over the country and are being well received.

20:00 - 25:00 An “Ally”  is defined on the FabStayz website as a person who helps this cause.  Debi mentions that crossing cultural gaps is difficult. Not everyone knows what to say or how to reach out.  She asked about an educational component. Robert also points out that this is an opportunity for hosts to differentiate themselves to market to this community.  He stated that LGBTQ travel accounts for $200 billion spent per year, 77% of the LGBTQ community have valid passports; and often travel to a Pride event outside their home community and stay an average of 4 days.

25:00 - 29:30 So how does FabStayz actually work?  Robert describes how in beta, people can go to FabStayz.com and register there.  The site hasn’t even launched yet but has support from the LGBTQ community of every ethnicity.  Every "acronym" and ethnicity is represented on his staff, helping making decisions.  What happens when you register? You are asked which platforms you are listed on, with Airbnb being the preferred platform to begin with. They discussed the possibility of direct bookings, as well as VRBO.   

29:30 -32:00  When are you going to launch?  Robert feels like they are just weeks away.  Beta 2 is even more beautiful than Beta 1. For sure, Robert wants his FabStayz LGBTQ listing site to be fully launched by June, 2019 which is Pride month.  It will be a great story to share around the world!

LINKS:

www.FabStayz.com