How Garrett and Stephanie Grew Their Rental Property Management Business

How these siblings grew their rental property management business

Garrett Ham and Stephanie Byrnes are a brother-sister team that has grown a real estate property management company to seven figures. In this interview, Garrett shares the company’s interesting origin story, how they’ve grown, and what they’ve learned along the way.

👇 Key Takeaways

  • Weekender Management began as a personal problem
  • Word-of-mouth advertising, resulting from excellent service, has been key to growth
  • Garrett and Stephanie also use pay-per-click advertising, with great results
  • Pivoting and moving on from failed ideas has allowed the business to grow


Business Name: Weekender Management, Inc.
Website URL:
Founders: Garrett Ham and Stephanie Byrnes
Business Location: Bentonville, Arkansas, USA
Year Started: 2021
Number of Employees/Contractors/Freelancers: 6

How much revenue and profit does the business generate?

Top-line revenue is around $1.8 million. We don’t disclose bottom-line figures. 

Tell us about yourself and your business.

My name is Garrett Ham. I’m the Principal Broker and CEO of Weekender Management, Inc., a real estate property management company specializing in short-term rentals. I hold degrees from Ouachita Baptist University, the University of Arkansas, and Yale University.

My career prior to founding Weekender has spanned various roles, from working at Walmart’s home office in its real estate department to serving as a JAG officer in both the United States Air Force and the United States Army. In addition to working at Weekender, I also serve as an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas, teaching at both the School of Law and the School of Engineering. I also operate a stand-alone law firm to serve real estate investors. 

In 2021, alongside my co-founder, Stephanie Byrnes, a former educator with expertise in hospitality and design, we launched Weekender Management to cater to the growing demand for high-quality short-term rental experiences in Northwest Arkansas.

Stephanie’s design acumen and my focus on compliance and financials complement one another, allowing us to provide unparalleled service to our clients. Our goal is to provide exceptional management services that enhance property value and guest satisfaction.

Weekender Management website

How does your business make money?

Weekender Management primarily generates revenue through the management of short-term rental properties, offering a comprehensive suite of services to property owners. Our business model is centered around providing end-to-end management solutions that encompass property listing, guest communication, cleaning, maintenance, and overall property optimization to maximize occupancy rates and rental income.

This helps us to maximize revenue. We make money by taking a percentage of the revenue earned, meaning we only make money when our clients make money. Through a subsidiary company, we also invest directly in real estate ourselves. 

What was your inspiration for starting the business?

Weekender Management’s founding came about more by accident than according to any particular plan. I had been investing in real estate for several years, but I didn’t invest in my first short-term rental until 2021.

I was living in Connecticut at the time, so I needed to find a property manager, as the home was located in Arkansas. When a few local property managers refused to take my property, I asked my sister (Stephanie) to help me until I could move back to Arkansas. 

Of course, Stephanie did a great job, which prompted other people to ask us for assistance with their short-term rentals. Weekender grew out of that. What began as a solution to a personal problem evolved into the business we have today

How much money did you invest to start the business?

I invested about $40,000 of my own money to start this business in addition to providing the first property we managed. 

Garrett and Stephanie
Photo courtesy of Garrett Ham and Stephanie Byrnes

How did you find your first few clients or customers?

We found our first few clients through social media and personal contacts that Stephanie had. After we had acquired a few properties, we began to advertise using Google Ads, and we acquired several more from there. 

Tell us about your first year in business.

We were making money from the beginning, but not enough to pay ourselves a salary. We were working pretty much nonstop to build the business without taking a salary for the first eighteen months or so.

Our focus during that time was to acquire clients and perfect our processes. A lot of our time was spent just conducting the day-to-day operations of the business–answering guest questions, managing listings, etc.–as we hadn’t hired any help at that time. It would be more than a year before we could afford to hire.

It was an exhausting time when there was a lot of work for little reward, but it was also a lot of fun to see this thing we started begin to grow. 

What strategies did you use to grow the business?

To grow Weekender Management, we focused on exceptional client service and targeted advertising. 

1. Exceptional Client Service: Our foundational strategy is rooted in serving our clients exceptionally well. We believe in going above and beyond to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations. This commitment to excellence has not only helped us retain clients but has also turned them into advocates for our services. Our best clients often come from referrals from other satisfied clients. By focusing on delivering high-quality service, we’ve created a cycle of positive word-of-mouth that has been instrumental in our growth.

2. Targeted Advertising: Alongside our commitment to service, we’ve leveraged targeted advertising to reach new clients. Google Ads has been a particularly effective tool in this regard. By carefully crafting our advertising campaigns and targeting them towards individuals and businesses seeking short-term rental management solutions, we’ve been able to attract a steady stream of new clients. This approach has allowed us to expand our reach and build our client base in a cost-effective manner.

Tell us about your team.

In addition to Stephanie and me, we have one full-time employee who helps us with the day-to-day running of the business. She answers guest communications and helps ensure that everything with our operations runs smoothly. We’re exceptionally lucky to have found her. We also use virtual assistants to help us with guest communications outside of business hours. 

We own a subsidiary cleaning company that manages the cleaning of our properties between guests. That company has one full-time employee (who is also a co-owner) and 28 independent contractors. 

What are your future plans for the business?

We have recently expanded into real estate acquisition in addition to real estate management through a subsidiary. We plan to expand further into this area of the business over the next couple of years. We are also currently looking to expand into Missouri and hope to expand into additional states over the next few years. 

What are some of your favorite books, blogs, podcasts, or YouTube channels?

The obvious answers are anything from Bigger Pockets and Get Paid For Your Pad. However, I find that being widely read on a variety of topics is beneficial. While real estate and business books are particularly valuable for our work, I am often able to acquire lessons about business, people, psychology, and a variety of other topics that I am able to apply to business as well. (The Bible and other religious texts, for instance, provide a lot of assistance when dealing with particularly difficult guests.)

What was the turning point when you knew your business was successful?

When I get there, I’ll let you know. Even when things are going particularly well, I also see where we could improve and how far we have to go. A successful business one year can be a failed business the next. We’re constantly cognizant of that fact and view our business accordingly. 

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

The biggest challenge we’ve had to overcome is getting to a point where we felt like we had enough money to pay ourselves. We still take very little out of the business for ourselves, as there’s this constant uncertainty as to whether we will eventually need that money for something else.

Owning a business requires us to grow comfortable with uncertainty. There’s no guarantee that next month’s revenue will match this month’s revenue. Living with that uncertainty versus the predictability of a fixed paycheck requires a serious adjustment.  

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

Don’t bind yourself to your first idea. We started this business with the intention of meeting what we saw as a very particular market need: providing management services to part-time Airbnb hosts.

Most other property managers refused to accept homes that were not available for rent full-time. We thought we could make a name for ourselves by focusing on serving snowbirds and other property owners who only wanted to rent out their property part-time. (We called these people “Weekender hosts,” which is how we got our name.) 

We quickly found out this was not a sustainable practice and shifted our strategy accordingly. Likewise, we did a lot of rental arbitrage when we first got started, which we also abandoned. If we had refused to let go of these initial ideas–which, at the time, we thought were great–we would not have been able to grow the way that we have. 

What is your favorite quote?

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

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