Sean & Brad Greiner

The co-founders of Open Air Homes, a high-end rental company based in Southern California, are all about attention to detail, whether it’s the interior and exterior design of their properties, the locally created artwork on the walls, or the eco-friendly touches.

Sean and Brad Greiner started out working together, managing a rental property that Brad flipped in the Hollywood Hills, but then the brothers went their separate ways for a few years, each launching his own property management company. With the birth of Sean’s son, Ziggy, they saw the perfect opportunity to merge their companies and build a family brand, with the fringe benefit of more flexibility to spend time with their families. After six years, Open Air continues to flourish, with a team of six, and a growing number of properties divided into beach, hill, and desert locations.

We met Sean and Brad at two Open Air Homes properties, Venice Oasis, in Venice Beach, and a second property currently in construction in partnership with architect David Hertz. We talked about creating memorable experiences, the importance of guest feedback, and Southern CA’s casual dress code.

What can guests expect at an Open Air Homes property that they might not experience elsewhere?

Brad: We designed the first home for ourselves, not as a rental property. When we decided to move out and turn it into a short-term rental, we left it exactly as is. An Open Air property has everything you could possibly need to enjoy your vacation. We’ve thought of everything so that you can relax and spend your time enjoying our beautiful Southern CA weather.

A big difference between a hotel experience and a rental home experience is that a home gives you access to a private, outdoor space.  At Open Air, we also focus on the design of our outdoor spaces, so that our guests can choose to soak up the CA sun, send emails under an umbrella, or enjoy an outdoor BBQ with their family. These moments are what pull guests away from the traditional experiences offered from a hotel, and have them coming back to stay with us consistently.

Sean: At Open Air Homes, we are also committed to doing our part in protecting the environment. From the little impacts, like avoiding wasteful Keurig coffee machines in our homes, to the bigger impacts, such as having a fleet of Teslas available to rent, and encouraging all of our homeowners to install solar. We are also working with a local farm to deliver complimentary weekly seasonal organic fruit and vegetable boxes to our guests.

Left to right: Sean is pictured wearing the Tobler long-sleeve shirt; Brad is wearing the Montauk jacket in navy, and the Cadler polo in denim.
Who is your typical renter, and who is your typical homeowner?

Brad: Our typical renter comes to LA two to three times a year for a mixture of pleasure and business. They stay an average of five days. Our first homeowner started out as an Airbnb guest of ours. They rented a couple of our properties and loved the experience. When they decided to buy in LA, they asked us to manage the property for them. That was the true launch of Open Air, and from that moment we’ve had countless other guests become homeowners and clients.

Since starting out, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned about running your own business?

Brad: The most important thing I’ve learned about running a hospitality business is to take any feedback from guests very seriously, and in every case make a change based on their feedback. We grew this company organically for the past six years by focusing on keeping our customers happy and learning what else we can provide to make their stay both memorable and comfortable. It has allowed us to work out the kinks that many short-term rental property management companies face, and grow our business while always providing incredible customer service.

Sean: Communication and flexibility are key to our success. We have guests and homeowners from around the world with many different personalities, tastes, and preferences. Being able to clearly communicate and accommodate our guests and homeowners so that everyone feels comfortable and happy is what sets us apart.

What are the benefits of working with your brother, and what do you each bring to the business?

Brad: Sean started his career in the very high end, luxury division of Luxury Retreats, and I have been doing more mid-range, well-designed, comfortable yet typically more affordable homes.  I learn a lot from him in how to work with homeowners and guests at this higher end price point, and I see from Sean how this business is really about forming strong, solid working relationships with our homeowners and guests.

There are a ton of start-up companies that have raised huge amounts of capital that are nothing more than middle men—they book guests in homes and take huge commissions, yet will leave the homeowners with all the work in managing the rental. I have learned from Sean that this is a relationship business more than anything, and that we never want to be those middlemen. We are proud of our role in providing a true, full service to our homeowners, and understand that this path leads to a slower growth rate, but one that is sustainable.

Sean: Brad and I bring different views and perspectives to the table. Brad has a keen eye for detail and design. He has really helped me in looking at the bigger picture and long-term success of the company. As is true with all brothers, we don’t always initially agree on everything but after talking it through we always come to the right decision and solution for the long-term success of the company. I value Brad’s entrepreneurial mindset. He’s always thinking ahead about how we can push the boundaries and brand forward.

What do you usually wear to work?

Brad: Southern CA lifestyle is pretty casual! Desert boots, black pants, and a casual linen or cotton dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up is the perfect wardrobe for the multitude of tasks I have on a daily basis: from looking at real estate, to meetings at Soho House, to discussing management and design with homeowners, to getting my hands dirty, and helping with demo day on a project.

Sean: I try not to make my work outfit too complicated and save the mental energy for later in the day. I usually pair a plain short- or long-sleeve shirt with black jeans and boots. I believe good style should be effortless by wearing a consistent fit and fabric.

Brad, you've been wearing the Caro shirt (we currently sell a long-sleeve version), Montauk jacket, and Cadler polo. Sean, you opted for the Caruth short-sleeve shirt, and the Tobler long-sleeve shirt. Can you each tell us what you think

Brad: The Caro shirt looks professional enough that people will take me seriously when looking at property for sale, but it also fits right in at happy hour with friends. The Montauk jacket is a perfect lightweight zip up to keep me warm on my morning beach bike ride to the gym. The Montauk isn’t bulky, so it fits easily in my gym bag, and I can have it with me all day. This shade of Cadler makes my eye color pop, so this is one of those shirts I would wear on days when I want more attention.

Sean: The Caruth short-sleeve shirt is something that I could pair with dark jeans and wear day in and out. It is perfect for those warm LA summer days, as it looks casual and sharp, but more importantly it fits well and is breathable. The Tobler long-sleeve shirt is perfect for meetings with homeowners over lunch or dinner, or even meeting up with friends after work.

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