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Wil Slickers Overcomes Homeowner Fears With “Avengers Team” of Operto + NoiseAware

The founder of the Hospitality.FM media network knew a thing or two about making guests happy. But could he convince homeowners to entrust him with complete management of their most valuable assets?

NoiseAware Case Study - La Quinta pilot program

The Challenge:

Denver-based hospitality podcaster and former hotel GM Wil Slickers knew he had a an idea with huge potential: Take his knowledge of hotel operations—including “all the flaws in terms of labor, in terms of check-in bottlenecks, and so many other things”—and use it to launch a vacation-rentals company. 

He’d already had some experience taking over management of his parents’ property, which had previously been a long-term lease, but was having a terrible time with late-paying tenants and property damage. By transforming the property into a short-term rental, standardizing amenities, presenting great photos and initiating revenue-management practices, he grew the property’s revenue by 73%. He also had launched Slick Talk: The Hospitality Podcast, which featured travel and hospitality moguls and disruptors, and was starting to generate real revenue. 


Slickers had grown his first property’s revenue by


by showing great photos and implementing revenue management

But how was he going to convince other owners he could work similar magic for them, with no brand or real business track record? 

Hotel-Style Hospitality Meets Vacation Rentals

Slickers was ready to get out of the hotel business, and “do hospitality better.” The idea was to run his new vacation-rental business with hotel-level professionalism, be able to manage property operations remotely, and provide guests with unforgettable experiences. There was only one problem: Convincing homeowners to hand over their precious properties to a brand-new management company with no brand recognition and no proven history of success. And doing so against a background of massive VR property-management consolidation and a shrinking property inventory.

Solution NoiseAware Case Study - La Quinta pilot program

The Solution:

Before he and business partner Adam Knight could present their value proposition of professionalism, profitability and personal service to homeowners, and grow his inventory beyond just one or two properties, they had to streamline operations. Fortunately for Slickers, a previous VR project he’d worked on had introduced him to automation software Operto Guest Technologies. There was also the fact that he’d had Operto CEO Steve Davis on his podcast several times. “I knew Steve, and I knew their product was good,” Slickers says. 

Implementing Operto immediately allowed Slickers to automate entry, access and guest messaging at his properties. But to keep homeowners happy and win over new acquisitions, Slickers also needed a way to protect the homes he managed against in-stay problems such as noise, parties and property damage. Though he’d been vaguely aware of party-prevention devices for short-term rentals, after taking a deeper dive into them, “I was hesitant about what data they collect, how they collect data, how is the device powered, where does it go?” he says. 

He’d seen an Instagram post about NoiseAware from a colleague and friend, who was involved in both short-term rentals and small boutique hotels. “He’d done the same things with his properties—gotten smart locks, gotten rid of the front desk, created a sense of overall guest experience. And he’d installed NoiseAware,” Slickers says. “I knew I needed it, too.” 

“I can tell my owners, ‘Not only do we have insurance, but we also have guest screening, we have noise detection, and we have access control, which shows us who is on the property and when. We have multiple layers of protection for your property.” 

-Wil Slickers, Co-Founder, Recreation Vacation Rentals

Ultimately, he says, his reasons for choosing NoiseAware were clear and simple: “It’s not battery operated. It measures decibel levels. It’s privacy safe. I felt way more comfortable with the accuracy of the product, and with the NoiseAware team. And I knew that anyone I was bringing on to the business could easily be comfortable with installing NoiseAware devices and knowing what they were doing.” Add that to the fact that NoiseAware can be managed through Operto’s dashboard, without multiple logins or passwords—“I just have one spot to go to, it makes everything easier”—and Slickers was sold.

Now that he had pre-stay messaging, property operations and in-stay protection covered, Slickers was ready to make his big pitch to potential acquisitions. When wary owners questioned, “‘You tell me you have insurance, which is great. But how do I know there’s not going to be a party? How do I know the guests aren’t going piss off my neighbors? How do I know I’m not going to get a cease and desist letter from the city?’”
Slickers could show them exactly how. “I could tell them, ‘Not only do we have insurance, but we also have guest screening, we have noise detection, and we have access control, which shows us who is on the property and when. We have multiple layers of protection for your property.’”

Results NoiseAware Case Study - La Quinta pilot program

The Results:

By implementing Operto, NoiseAware and VR insurance provider Safely—“I call them my Avengers team, because they’re the best of the best”—Slickers was able to streamline management functions and provide potential clients with real peace of mind. 


from 1 property to 8 properties in just

1 year

His company, Recreation Vacation Rentals, which has only been in business since February 2021, was able to scale its portfolio from one property to eight properties signed, with six currently active, in a single year.

With its automation integrations, Recreation Vacation Rentals was also able to expand beyond its original Washington-state footprint into the Florida vacation-rental market, where Slickers has recently acquired an additional property.

And, best of all, Slickers and his lean team did all of this while saving money: “Yes, we’re spending dollars per month for these services. But that is so minimal compared to the cost of the labor hours it would take us to do these things manually. We’ve saved so much in operations costs,” he says. 

And one more bonus: Unlike larger vacation-rental-management conglomerates, which typically don’t interact with neighbors and long-term residents, Slickers can and regularly does talk to neighbors who are concerned about having a vacation rental in their midst. “‘We’ve got professional tools like NoiseAware in place to make your life easy, and not intrude on your day to day,’” he explains to them. “We can show neighbors: ‘We’ve got our owners, we’ve got our guests…and we’ve got your back, too.’”