Credit cards play a big role in TSL Rentals according to CEO Kyle Biskit. Biskit let us in on the importance of credit, what he’s learned about credit since becoming an entrepreneur and his favorite business cards.
Planning an ultra-special trip to Southern California? If you want to avoid traditional hotels, pricey resorts and potentially sketchy personal homes, another accommodation option is available. In 2016, Kyle Biskit launched TSL Rentals. Headquartered in Los Angeles, TSL Rentals is a luxury vacation rental company that focuses on high style in such glamorous areas as Malibu and Manhattan Beach. Through its website, you can book spectacular mansions, dreamy ocean-front villas and opulent vehicles.
Biskit, who is originally from Detroit, has been an entrepreneur since he was very young. Some of his first endeavors were in real estate investing and organizing events in his native city. These earlier businesses were instrumental in learning how to run a company, as well as good financial management.
“At TSL Rentals, we make sure our guests can experience a top-shelf lifestyle when visiting one of our properties,” says Biskit. “We are truly passionate about living life to the fullest and having incredible experiences, so we try to translate that same feeling to our guests. So this is the perfect business for me because it’s something I embody. It’s not just a way to make money.”
Here’s how Biskit makes sure TSL Rentals is ready for travelers looking for some serious SoCal glamour, and the way he uses a couple of great credit cards to make sure everything runs smoothly.
What was the start of TSL Rentals like for you?
The beginning stages were difficult because, like any new business endeavor, there was a learning curve. At first, I was unaware of what you need to make vacation rentals successful. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when dealing with guests because you have to learn how to deal with a wide variety of personalities. This is a customer service-based business at its core, so you always need to be accessible if there may be an issue.
The most considerable hardships came in just building a good reputation in the industry. Being able to keep going and push through slow points and learning the peaks and valleys of booking seasons throughout the year was also challenging.
Did any surprise expenses catch you off guard?
Yes, I had to learn about maintenance and supplies. In a hospitality-based business, there can be miscellaneous costs at any time because you are dealing with so many people. Things get broken or lost or just worn out, so you are constantly replacing and fixing different things. There is no way to know when that happens, so you always have to be prepared because you want to offer every guest a great experience.
How have you been using credit cards for the business?
I have been using credit cards to take care of the bills associated with the properties for TSL Rentals since we started in 2016. It makes it a lot easier when you have specific credit cards for the business, so everything that gets spent can easily be tracked.
Having multiple properties with multiple bills associated with them can get overwhelming. The credit cards help me stay on top of everything because I am able to put all the recurring monthly payments on auto-pay. It allows me to just make payment to the credit card company once a month as opposed to a number of different payments to different companies.
What types of expenses do you typically charge?
I typically charge most expenses, including linens, dishes, cleaning supplies, different design elements inside the houses and the utility bills for all the homes.
When you have a company like this that constantly requires you to purchase things and keep items fully stocked, it’s easy to forget what you may have bought or spent money on. The credit cards help keep me organized because I can see all the money that has been spent in one place, even if I might lose track of it in my head.
Which credit cards are you using for all this spending?
The main credit cards I use are The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and my Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business. I chose them because I was most familiar with those companies. I already had personal credit cards with them, so it was my first choice when looking for cards for my business.
Credit helps me a lot in my business. It allows me to make multiple payments and combine them into just one payment every month to my credit card company. In an industry like mine, with so many moving parts and a constant need to spend money on different things, it gives me peace of mind to put all my expenses in one place. If I were debt-free and not using my credit cards, my costs would quickly become confusing, and I may miss some things.
Is good credit important to you as a business owner?
Keeping good credit is extremely important because the growth of any business requires capital. You also need good credit to get funds in emergencies for your business. Things can often happen beyond your control, and you may need access to money to keep your business going. Without good credit, it’s challenging to have access to that money immediately, which can be the difference between a business being able to keep going and folding.
Any future plans you can reveal?
I plan for TSL Rentals to keep growing into new markets all around the country. We will be expanding into international markets as well.
What have you learned about using credit cards along the way?
The biggest thing that I’ve learned about borrowing money is responsibility and budgeting. I’ve also learned how to grow a business by putting that money in the right places and generating a return on it. I truly feel like credit cards help with organization and keeping track of finances for the business.
What is your advice to entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
Make sure you are getting into an industry you enjoy and are passionate about. I feel that’s the only thing that can keep you in business because starting any company is complex and will have its own set of challenges. Having passion and enjoying what you do will help you make it through the difficult times, whereas without, you may give up.