Meet The Experts: Industry Insights with Mimi, Inhaven's Engagement Expert

Meet The Experts: Industry Insights with Mimi, Inhaven's Engagement Expert

Welcome to the first interview of our "Meet The Experts" series, where we dive into the lives and insights of the people behind Inhaven, a company transforming the vacation rental industry. Our first guest is Mimi, the Engagement Expert at Inhaven. She plays a pivotal role in shaping how hosts and property managers interact with Inhaven's innovative platform. In this interview, Mimi shares her journey with Inhaven, offering a glimpse into the daily dynamics of her job and how it influences both her professional and personal perspectives on travel and accommodation. Join us as we explore how Mimi and her team at Inhaven are redefining standards in the vacation rental market, making every stay unique yet reliably wonderful.

INTERVIEWER: Hey Mimi, thanks for joining us today! It's great to have you here to kick off our 'Meet The Experts' series. How’s everything going on your end?

MIMI: Hi there! Everything’s going great, thanks. I’m really excited to chat with you and share a bit about what we do at Inhaven.

INTERVIEWER: Awesome, it’s great to hear from someone as involved as you are. To start off, maybe you can tell us how working at Inhaven has changed what you value and what you’re looking for when you're booking a vacation rental for yourself?

MIMI: I’ve definitely started paying more attention to having a reliable experience. When I'm at a vacation rental, I want it to feel tailored to me, but I also don’t want to totally abandon my daily routines. I’m all about efficiency and quality—like having a well-stocked place that’s safe and lets me keep up my usual routine. Some people hear 'standardized' and think it means everything's the same, kind of like hotels, right? Everything's predictable there, which is reliable, sure. But with vacation rentals, they’re totally different. Guests expect more—they want the essentials, plus a little something extra. Standardization doesn’t mean everything has to be cookie-cutter. As a traveler, I’ve become way pickier. Now, I even check the labels on towels and ingredients in shampoos. It really makes a difference in my stay.

Working with Inhaven also has me thinking about the vacation rental space from the perspective of the host too. It’s got me thinking about how to make it work for everyone. This is a common question for anyone involved with vacation rentals—whether you’re renting a space, managing one, or just living that nomadic life. It's important to recognize that the same solutions won’t work for everyone. What's wonderful about Inhaven is its flexibility. Unlike a one-size-fits-all approach, we curate a list of amenities and items tailored specifically to individual spaces and the unique needs of the guests. I really think the ability to customize is a huge plus. It boosts what hosts and property managers can do, especially since they're already so focused on the details. With our platform, they can take their service to the next level. This just makes the whole guest experience way better.

INTERVIEWER: So, just doing some active listening, it sounds like what you're saying is that working with Inhaven has kind of helped you to realize that the Inhaven product experts have figured out an efficient way to fill a space within a given budget and do a great job with that, such that the guests and the hosts feel like they're having a quality experience regardless of what type of listing they might be looking into. It's like a reliable experience that Inhaven is able to help professional property managers provide to their guests. Is that kind of what you’re saying?

MIMI: Yeah, I’ve started to notice that just because something works well in one place, doesn’t mean it’ll work everywhere. But there’s always a way to make a space feel better, you know? I think the mistake people make with standardizing is thinking everything has to be the same everywhere. But that’s not really the case. Standardizing doesn’t mean you have to give up being unique.

INTERVIEWER: I think that's a really good way of putting it. So what you're saying is that Inhaven product experts have a way of customizing the experience such that it works for individual stays, regardless of where you might find them, or what a guest’s specific needs might be. If you need it, they've got it. And it'll fit your expectations.

MIMI: Totally. When I started with Inhaven, it made me think about my own experiences too. Like, the word "standardizing" can sound super boring, right? It reminds you of hotels where every room is exactly the same, which is pretty much the opposite of what vacation rentals are all about. Most people choose vacation rentals because they’re looking for something unique, but they still expect quality, efficiency, safety, and easy access to everything they need. So, standardizing doesn’t have to mean making everything uniform. It's more about ensuring that no matter how unique each place is, the quality and the essentials are always there.

INTERVIEWER: Before you started working with Inhaven, what was your initial impression of Airbnb-style vacation rentals? Like, when you first decided to go ahead and try a vacation rental, what was your take on that experience?

MIMI: My first real intro to the whole vacation rental scene was when I was studying abroad, and honestly, I loved it! Airbnb was pretty new back then, and I totally lucked out with where I stayed. My hosts were amazing—they really cared about making my stay great and even helped plan some of my trips. Plus, I was on a tight budget, so I was all about the cheapest options. Looking back, I'm surprised at how good some of those stays were, even on a 'bare minimum' budget.

But if I'm being real, these days I’m a bit more cautious with booking sites. I've seen and heard too many scam stories, which is a total letdown for both travelers and those of us in the industry. Now, being closer to the field and chatting more with hosts, I usually book direct. Dealing with experienced hosts and property managers has definitely led to better experiences lately. Right now, I’m helping organize my best friend’s bachelorette party using an Airbnb listing. I’ve learned to message the host ahead of time for a complete list of what’s in the kitchen so there are no surprises. I mean, travelers already have to plan so much—I only want to book with hosts who are just as detail-oriented to guarantee a great experience.

INTERVIEWER: So, what’s your role at Inhaven like? Do you think we should dive into how you got involved with Inhaven in the first place?

MIMI: I’m the Engagement Expert on our team at Inhaven! Basically, I'm all about social interaction—keeping an eye on how hosts and property managers engage with our brand and resources. If you drop a message in our DMs or comment on our posts, it’s me replying, not some AI robot!

My role involves creating educational content that covers everything from product releases and tests that our experts conduct, to collaborations with brand partners and their products. I also share standardizing tips, industry insights, and ways Inhaven supports, innovates, and tackles inefficiencies in the industry. We really want our hosts and managers to feel backed by real people—because we are real! That’s why I often appear in the content myself. I want people to see me as a colleague they can always turn to for help. I’m constantly relaying to our team what hosts are curious about, especially from social media. There are tons of incredible content creators in this industry, and we love pulling insights from our followers and customers to align with Inhaven’s mission. It’s all about taking a holistic approach and finding new ways to innovate in this space.

Personally, I’ve always been involved with supporting local and midsize businesses. I grew up in a small business family and started my own, so joining Inhaven felt like a perfect fit. We both understand the challenges these business owners face, especially since small businesses are such a vital part of our communities and the broader U.S. economy.

INTERVIEWER: So again, a little bit more active listening on my part. What you're suggesting is that when it comes to all of Inhaven socials, you're kind of the hub of receiving all of that information and conveying it, finding answers, and communicating what Inhaven's position is on a lot of the questions and comments that you receive from the socials.

MIMI: Yeah, my job really revolves around receiving, engaging with, and distributing information. We need to clearly explain what Inhaven offers and share our expertise and insights with anyone in the industry who might find our platform useful, typically as part of their tech stack. Plus, one of the perks of working with a startup like Inhaven is how flexible we can be. We’re always ready to adapt based on what hosts and property managers need to make their lives easier.

INTERVIEWER: Your role seems to involve a lot of product testing. Can you talk about how you handle this part of your job? Specifically, how do you choose the vendors you work with, what makes these vendors stand out, and how do you communicate these choices to your clients?

MIMI: Yeah, so a big part of what I do is teaching people about all the cool stuff we have at Inhaven, but it's also about really listening to what our customers need. We’re not here to just be the middleman. We’re all about figuring out what’s crucial for our hosts and making sure they get that directly through our platform, which handles everything from inventory management to procurement.

When it comes to hosting, it’s more than just setting up a space. There's budgeting, organizing teams, handling housekeeping and maintenance, and making sure everything runs smoothly. I haven’t come across another platform that nails down all these aspects as well as Inhaven. We're always looking to adapt and keep up with what hosts really need.

INTERVIEWER: So what are you up to these days? Right after the morning coffee, how do you start your day and what does it lead to?

MIMI: Oh, boy, my day is packed! The way I describe my job? I’m the eyes and ears of our social platforms, crafting creative content that dives deep into the industry, our products, and the standards we uphold at Inhaven. Our team really prides itself on the integrity behind our choices—we fully back all the vendors and products we select, and I get to share why they're perfect for Inhaven stays.

One thing our team really takes pride in is how we stand behind every vendor and product we choose. We're not just picking stuff at random; we really believe these products are perfect for Inhaven stays. Whether I’m testing out new products, spreading the word about our latest finds, or considering things like the time of year and the unique needs of different stays, it's all about pinpointing exactly what makes a stay exceptional. Like I mentioned before, there isn’t just one way to do things—there are many! So as a content creator, I’m constantly thinking about all these different factors, challenges and possibilities of what each stay could be!

INTERVIEWER: So, it sounds like when Inhaven’s product experts find a great product, your job is to ensure that the clientele really gets why it's so great. Could you explain how you communicate the value of these products and their benefits to a client's vacation rental portfolio?

MIMI: Totally! Just the other day, I made this video that’s a perfect example of what we’re talking about. It was all about product testing, but I focused on just one kitchen accessory. I took a simple vegetable peeler, and I showed how it can totally transform the kitchen experience.

Seriously, it was just a vegetable peeler! But in the video, I demoed making veggie stock, which is something super handy for someone on a work trip wanting to stick to their meal-prep routine. Just using this $10 peeler! Being able to maintain your usual habits while traveling—that’s a real luxury. And trust me, guests really remember those little touches!

INTERVIEWER: Could you share some of the recent products you've tested that really impressed you?

MIMI: Sure, let's take a peek into my props closet! With the seasons changing, I’ve been all about indoor/outdoor-friendly items. I have a nice outdoor space and I try to be outside as much as possible. So, I'm really into this Greendish set—perfect for patio dining or taking along for a lake picnic with friends!

And you know, I also keep an eye out for stuff that's practically indestructible because I’ve got little kids in the family and, well, some friends who can be a bit clumsy! It's tough finding pieces that are durable yet still look good—seriously, never finding that kind of stuff at Target or Amazon. But I found these chic acrylic tumbler glasses at Inhaven that are just perfect for an outdoor happy hour. They’re gorgeous and won’t break the bank. They're a total game-changer for entertaining!

INTERVIEWER: Have you come across any unusual items lately that made people go, 'Wow, that’s pretty cool'?

MIMI: I’ve totally turned into a cleaning product nerd lately—there are just so many awesome options! Inhaven's Cleaning Checklist has really brought out my inner Type-A personality, and my mom would totally be proud. Filming these products for our content channels is actually my favorite part.

We offer a huge variety of products that do more than just clean—they’re also designed with how housekeeping teams work in mind. For instance, I recently tested out the ETI Solutions Drop N Go cleaning kit, and I was blown away by how innovative it was! It really changes the game in cleaning. And it’s not just about the cleaning—the design of the bottle itself is genius. It’s easy to refill. You don’t throw away the bottle; instead, you just drop in a tablet, add water, and you’re set. For housekeeping stock, this is a total game-changer. You can actually calculate how many cleanings you can get from one tablet, which helps in planning your inventory and budget. At Inhaven, we’re all about not just product quality, but also efficiency. It’s really exciting to see innovation starting from such simple changes.

It’s also color-coordinated for different types of cleaners, which is super handy. Like, you don’t have to remember which bottle has the all-purpose cleaner or the window and mirror cleaner. It’s all about making things more efficient, even down to how the product is built. And yeah, we even have options for those who prefer not to work with super harsh chemicals.

INTERVIEWER: Mimi, it’s been wonderful hearing about your experiences and insights. Before we wrap up, is there anything you’d like to add or any final thoughts you’d like to share with our audience?

MIMI: Just that I’m really proud to be a part of Inhaven and to help shape the way people experience vacation rentals. It’s all about making each stay memorable and personalized. Thanks for having me, and I look forward to seeing the rest of the series!

INTERVIEWER: Thank you, Mimi, for taking the time to share your story with us today. We’re looking forward to exploring more of Inhaven with other team members soon. Stay tuned everyone, and make sure to catch our next ‘Meet The Experts’ interview!

MIMI: Can’t wait to see it! Take care!

Stay Tuned for More Expert Insights

Thank you for joining us for this insightful conversation with Mimi in our "Meet The Experts" series. Keep an eye on our "In The Know" blog for more interviews like this, where we'll continue to uncover the stories and expertise of the people who make Inhaven a leader in vacation rental innovations. Don't miss out on the opportunity to gain behind-the-scenes knowledge and tips from our team of experts. Stay tuned, and discover how Inhaven is shaping the future of travel and hospitality—one expert at a time.