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Founders Story

What led you to start this business?
I love traveling. Always have. And when I travel, what I enjoy most are experiencing new places — the flavors, the sites, the things that work well, the things that don’t. I’ve also always been truly passionate about real estate. The Outbounds offered me an opportunity to start a company where these two interests dovetail into a real business. My background in short-term rentals started out a few years ago when I became a host on Airbnb using a bedroom in my apartment in Brooklyn. This inspired me to look into purchasing a property upstate where I could explore that role a bit more freely. I got lucky when I found what became my historic farmhouse in Hunter, and that was after A LOT of searching through the Catskills Mountains. I had chosen that area because I always liked the mountains, and wanted a place that was still drivable from the city. When the pandemic started and I left my Wall Street office and my NYC apartment to stay at the farmhouse in Hunter to live and work, the model for the Outbounds began. I was living, working and still had the ability to go on hikes and enjoy other outdoor experiences.

What else can you share about yourself?
I have been driven and lucky enough to be able to explore many different interests and pursue varied business endeavors. I first majored in farm sciences in Brazil, and then in Fine Arts at UMass in Boston, and have worked in the food industry, in real estate, construction (both commercial and residential), management consulting and technology services. I had worked in, founded and sold a few startups by the time I was 30, and I have learned that there are some business fundamentals that are true for companies of any size or industry. Company culture, streamline systems that can handle complex tasks and most important, excellent communication and customer service are the best recipe for success. Everything else can be negotiable, but these fundamentals are paramount.

How do you define success for this business? For yourself?
Success for The Outbounds is measured not just in occupancy rates, but in guest satisfaction. The travel experience is what inspired the conception of the business. It’s what drives it forward, making me and my team think of ways to continue to push ourselves to offer a customized experience that takes care of all the little details that makes a stay comfortable and memorable — in a good way, of course. So demand and guest satisfaction go hand in hand and are the markers of success for The Outbounds. For myself, success is measured in how I have influenced people and companies to move forward. Seeing people I have mentored thrive, taking whatever knowledge and skills they’ve learned with me as a foundation and a stepping stone is truly the most gratifying and inspiring part of my career. For me, a legacy isn’t how many condos you own but how many people you’ve impacted for the better.

What makes a property a good fit for the Outbounds? What are the red flags to watch out for?
We look for properties that have something unique about them but have that homey feel about them. We want our guests to be comfortable and have access to amenities and sites within reach of the space they are staying in. The idea is to offer an enhanced experience that will make their stay memorable.
We conduct a three-stage vetting process on any property that is being added to our inventory. Once a property is selected we also meet with the owners to make sure mutual expectations are set; we think of property owners as business partners, so we work together to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership.
And we take our guest's safety and comfort very seriously, so any space that doesn’t meet all of our criteria would raise a red flag and wouldn’t be added to The Outbounds’ listing.

What has surprised you the most about this business?
The feedback we are getting from local business owners, and from realtors has been amazing. It is a pleasant surprise to see how excited they get about the concept behind The Outbounds, how it benefits the local business and brings an entirely new demographic to the areas where we operate. Sure, I love our business and what we are doing, but to see the genuine enthusiasm from others is truly delightful.

What has been your biggest challenge with the Outbounds?
Because we don’t operate in urban areas we have a smaller, more limited pool of resources to pick from, and we have a very high standard to which we need every employee and contractor to adhere to. So growing our team is a much more time-consuming process than with a traditional business in a city like New York for example.
Although this has been a tremendous challenge, we know it pays off because it allows us to offer a superior level of service and quality to our guests, and it sets us apart from the competition.

Has running the Outbounds changed you at all?
I have learned that I can thrive in different environments, and I can adapt how I approach and try to solve a problem in different ways. Nowadays I am on location, working directly with people, and driving a lot, so it is quite different than sitting on my Wall Street office in front of my computer and on the phone all day, but I am just as productive, and happier and more motivated. I know that I am at my best when I am busy and mentally challenged, working outside my comfort zone. Conquering new challenges gives me the biggest satisfaction.

What advice would you provide to new entrepreneurs?
I’ve had a few great mentors over the years, and the best advice I was given, when starting my first business was “if you do something, something will happen; if you do nothing, nothing will happen”. It taught me the power of perseverance and that every action taken towards building and growing your business will yield results. I started my construction business during the housing market crash, so I had to adapt and be flexible, and it did take a lot of extra effort to get the business off the ground. But by staying focused and determined, and taking every opportunity I could, things started to happen; within two years I had grown my business, hired a few employees, and secured contracts with some pretty big companies and institutions in Boston.

Locations

Swim in the Catskills
More about Catskills
Sail In Connecticut
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Ski in Upstate New York
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