For this edition of Meet Frontdesk, we spoke with Ben Hill, Distribution Manager. Ben started at Frontdesk in June of 2021 as a Distribution Specialist and has since been promoted for owning it and having a growth mindset. When he’s not working, you can find Ben traveling or spending time outdoors. He often spends his weekends making an impromptu road trip and loves to spend as much time as possible in the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina in the summers rafting, hiking, and camping.
Tell me about your role and what you do here at Frontdesk?
I’m the manager for the Distribution Department of Marketing at Frontdesk. My team is responsible for creating all of the listings for new units; collecting all of the pictures and information about the building, doing research on the neighborhood and transportation options, and putting together the public face of our business on our direct site and all of the other platforms. We also create all of the individual Scout pages for our guests, working with our team members on the ground to provide a smooth check-in and check-out experience for our guests.
Additionally, we handle all of the maintenance for the product mentioned above: everything from move outs and photo reshoots to policy changes/updates, Scout instruction changes, amenity removals/additions, parking/towing warnings, construction updates, and every single other little thing you can think of that might need to be included (and about a million others you might not think of!) Sometimes these updates are to a few units and sometimes they’re to the entire 700+unit portfolio. Our computer mice probably have a couple hundred thousand miles on them!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Having a direct impact on our guest experience! It may sound like I’m a glutton for punishment, but I do miss the relationships I used to build one-on-one with my customers in my previous sales roles. Helping to mold the way our Scout instructions are created and having a hand in making those first impressions is a great way for those of us behind the scenes to make our guests feel welcome!
What were you doing before Frontdesk and what brought you here?
Prior to Frontdesk, I had a long career in retail management, working in everything from mattresses and shoe stores to kids and luxury apparel. A few years before the pandemic, I left that industry to start my own business being an online retailer and, while initially something I wanted to pursue, 2020 put a nail in that one pretty quick. 20 years of no weekends off and working 50-60 hour weeks wasn’t something I wanted to go back to, so I started exploring remote gigs where I could use my experiences and happened to see a post from an old high school buddy, Jenn Mason-Cammorato, about this awesome STR company she worked for…
What has been your biggest learning experience since starting at Frontdesk?
The average person has absolutely no way to even BEGIN to comprehend the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes of an STR organization!!!
What advice would you give to others in your role?
Organization, organization, organization. Sync those calendars, set those reminders, flag and notate and all that jazz – things go a mile a minute around here and it’s easy to let something go in one ear and out the other!
What surprised you about working at Frontdesk?
I was genuinely concerned about what it would be like to work for a company where most everyone worked remotely. I have been most surprised by the overwhelming amount of teamwork I’ve witnessed in my short time with the company and am inspired by watching everyone get all of this work done from so many different places!
What is your favorite Frontdesk city?
I live in one! Atlanta has been home to me for 7 years now and I’ve fallen in love with this crazy place. Despite being a huge, sprawling metropolis, the city has more trees than a lot of places I’ve lived. Visitors to the city have to check out the Beltline – a repurposed railroad track that encircles the city that is now a bike/pedestrian path winding past the area’s coolest new breweries, art galleries, restaurants, and outdoor events. Try to stick to walking and using the train though – most people would rather cut their arm off 127 Hours style than spend more than 5 minutes on the 18-lane-wide nightmare that is I-75/85.
Bucket list place to visit?
Japan! I’ve always been fascinated by the history, culture, and architecture of the region and while there are still plenty of other places on my list, this one’s right at the top. My partner and I are currently in the early stages of planning a train tour of the country sometime later next year!