Hi, I’m Megan McCrea, founder and Chief Creator at The Hospitality Creator. In addition to The Hospitality Creator, I own and self- manage five vacation rental properties in Nashville and volunteer as President of the Nashville Short Term Rental Association (NASTRA). In short, I live and breathe short term rentals. Scroll down a bit for more about me and my story. But first, let’s talk about you!
Vacation rental owners and managers come to me for help with:
Many people land in vacation rentals almost by accident, which is one of the things I love most about this industry. It is a leap of faith to get started and it isn’t always easy. Unfortunately, learning on the fly can cost you time and money while resulting in bad guest experiences.
When we work together, we’ll create a strategy that jumpstarts or restarts your vacation rental business into something that works for you—your home, your area and your preferred hosting style.
Do I have to live/have properties in Nashville to work with The Hospitality Creator?
No! Though I got my start helping fellow Nashvillians style and market their properties, I can work with anyone, almost anywhere.
What if I’ve been a vacation rental owner/ manager for a while?
Perfect. While my services are great for those just starting out, I also love working with seasoned vacation rentalists who seek a fresh perspective or want to make sure they’re doing everything they can to succeed.
Born and raised in a small town in Florida, it wasn’t until my 20s that I began to travel extensively. In the media industry at the time, my work took me all over the US and to international destinations including Australia, Mexico, Germany and Canada. Despite being all over the globe, one place called to me the most: Nashville.
In 2013, I convinced my husband that Nashville was a place we could call home. We uprooted our lives in Florida and headed north. Before long, Nashville became the “it city” and every distant cousin and long-lost friend wanted to come visit. I loved (and still love!) showing my friends and family our new city, the real Nashville way.
With my newfound love of hosting, and having been on the other side as a guest for so long, I started wondering what it would be like to welcome guests beyond just immediate friends and family. During this same time, I also had the “decorating itch” but couldn’t justify completely redecorating our own home for the 5th time in 3 years! We figured one way to achieve both was to purchase and restore a 1920s home in East Nashville specifically for vacation rental guests. With that Southbound Stays was born.
At first I thought remodeling a nearly 100 year-old home was challenging. I soon learned that was just the beginning. Several months (and a lot of wasted time and money) later, I had an “aha moment.” I simply needed to do what I’d taught other types of businesses to do throughout my 19 year media career: define my audience, differentiate my home to appeal to that audience, and deliver on my promises for a great guest experience. This shift catapulted my rental and my portfolio grew to four traditional vacation rentals and one extended-stay (30-90 days) rental.
Running vacation rentals was never in my life plan – I, too, was an accidental host. However, it has turned out to be my calling. It has given me a way to combine my passion for media and data, my knack for well-designed spaces and a love of connecting with people all into one.
While growing my rental portfolio, I started volunteering for our local short term rental association, nastra and in an odd series of events, soon became the group’s president. This amazing group of people not only introduced me to advocacy and the importance of standing up for your rights, but also consistently reminds me why I love hosting: the connection.
The connection that travel brings. The connection to our community. The connection to people.
In June, 2018, I left my full-time role as a Senior Vice President at one of the largest media companies in the US while staying on part-time as a consultant. This allows me the flexibility to prioritize my family and all things vacation rentals- including the Hospitality Creator.
XO – Megan
Ps- If you’d like to check out our Nashville Vacation Homes, you can visit our website or connect with us on social media.