Located in Port St. Joe, Florida in a laid back gated community is the Westward Sun; a beach home where one can truly live like a local. Owner Katie Proctor is truly her own boss and using HostGPO’s discount on Pottery Barn contract grade furniture, she has created a unique luxury oasis on Florida’s forgotten coast. They are snow bird and family friendly, with a ramp leading up to their screened-in porch for the easiest of access. Whether guests are looking to spend time at one of the 2 community pools or walk the 2 minutes to the white sugar sand beaches with the best shells, the Westward Sun is the perfect vacation destination.
How many years have you been in the short term rental industry and how did you get started?
My husband and I have been in the business since 2016 when we listed our personal home on AirBnB whenever we traveled. It was a great opportunity because even back then Denver had regulations you could only STR your primary residence and we lived in a high demand urban neighborhood. We’d just throw our personal items in drawers or the garage and take off for ski weekends, going to see family for the holidays or even longer-term (3-6 month) travel opportunities. In 2021 we purchased our first dedicated STR in Port St. Joe, Florida.
What do you find most rewarding about your career?
I’ve been “my own boss” for many years now outside of real estate and I love the flexibility and freedom as a mom of two very young kids (1 and 3). I run an influencer marketing consulting agency and even recently hosted a webinar on how to use influencers in your short-term rental business. I typically work in the food, health and wellness space so this was a very fun crossover of my interests and expertise.
What’s the craziest story you have from hosting?
Going live in the off season at the beach is not for the faint of heart! We closed in October and got a next-day booking while we were still in the property setting up. My husband hustled long into the night to get the finishing touches complete, we had our cleaner in there by 8am and even allowed them an early check-in for an 8 night holiday booking over Thanksgiving.
What’s one “pro-tip” you’d be willing to pass on to the community?
Make connections with your local tourism board as they can be immensely helpful in providing connections and opportunities for your property and your guests.
What’s the most recent item that you can remember that you’ve ordered from HostGPO?
My biggest pet peeve is when properties don’t have dining space for the same number of people they claim to sleep. So while our property is only 2BR we allow up to 6 guests and made sure to have a 6-person table, which stands out from many other similar properties in our community. We purchased a contract grade round table and chairs through Pottery Barn and HostGPO that I absolutely love.
What would you tell others about whether to join HostGPO?
Highly recommend HostGPO for its quality furnishings and connections to other host necessities at prices you’d never be able to find going it alone. Customer service was top notch, even in a time riddled with supple chain concerns.
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