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Tim Rosenthal: 3 Ways to Profit from Airbnb

My special guest is a real estate investor and the specialist in B&B properties, also known as short-term rentals, maybe you've heard of a thing called Airbnb. He has over ten units in his portfolio in terms of short-term rental and is that other forms of real estate investing. He is a fascinating individual. Once you hear his story, you're going to say, "I can do this too." With that said, our guest is Tim Rosenthal. As you figured out by now, this show is all about short-term rentals, B&Bs as we call them. If you've ever stayed in an Airbnb, I'm sure you know the experience. Our show is about how to profit from Airbnb. You don't have to own any real estate in order to be able to profit with B&Bs and that's what our show is about.

If you do own real estate, you want to pay extra close attention as well because we are going to talk about how you can add an income stream. In fact, we're going to talk about the three different ways to make money to profit, to get up and going with Airbnb or other platforms that are out there and we get into automation. How you can automate this process, everything from checking people in, to reviews, to having people clean the property? Here's why this is exciting. In some markets, you can make double or even triple if you were renting out a property on a long-term basis. We talk about that in the show. We also talk about heads in beds. The secret to optimizing and how you can make even more profit by understanding this concept. We get into why challenges are opportunities in disguise. With that said, let's get to it.

Dustin
In 2017, you listed your very first home and, correct me if I say this incorrectly, Tonawanda New York for those that aren't local to Buffalo, it's near Buffalo. You listed that first home on Airbnb
Tim
The seed was planted back in 2016. I was having coffee with another entrepreneur and he's like, "I know some people are doing well with the Airbnb short-term rental model." Many of you reading, when you learn that, you're like, "I don't want to get into it." I did the same thing. 2017 hit and I had a rental that I was ready to do as a long-term rental. I decided to, “Let's put my toe in the water, test it out and see what happens and furnish the place, put it up.” It's like the movie, if you build it, they will come. Put it up there, it's exciting because you don't think you're going to get booked, but then you wake up the next day and you get booked. 
Dustin
You mentioned you had other properties. What did the portfolio look like? If you don't mind, how many long-term or how many deals have you been working on in another form or fashion before you got and went in the short-term? 
Tim
Mostly, I was rehabbing and flipping houses. I had a smaller portfolio of 4 or 5 rentals. This one was a house that I bought to renovate and put a renter in. It needed some work, flooring, paint, kitchen, roof, some electrical updates and things like that. It turned out nice. When you have the long-term tenants come in, it doesn't look like that ever again. That's when that seed that was planted back at that coffee meeting with this other entrepreneur who said, "You should check out the short-term rental Airbnb market." I'm like, "I'm going to do it." I'll put a couch, a TV, a table and some beds in. That's how that looked. When that started to gain some traction is when I also started to notice that this is a thing and there are other ways to do it than owning the property.
Dustin
I want to get into that most certainly because this is applicable to everyone. For those who are reading this, you don't have to own a property in order to benefit. We'll talk about that for sure in the show. Tim, it's extremely risky. You've got 4 or 5 properties and this is geared up to be a long-term rental, but you're like, "I'm going to do Airbnb." What I'm thinking is you rehab this property, now you have to furnish it and you're not going to collect the first month, last month's rent, and so you're putting this thing on the market way upside down. Walk me through how you calmed your fears of like, "I'm going to invest the expense of furnishing and I'm going to get $119 a night." 
Tim
As any entrepreneur, it's about being resourceful. I looked at my man cave and I'm like, "That's a decent couch. That's a nice TV." I emptied out the man cave in the house, took those over there, bought some beds at the local store. They're having those President's Day Sale or some sales going on. I'm like, "I'm getting this stuff at a good cost basis and put it in. If it doesn't work, I’ve got to try it. I’ve got to do it."
Dustin
You get that ten-night listing. Before you got that listing, were you nervous at all? When you put it up on the platform, how long did it take roughly to now get that booking, if you can remember?
Tim
It was 3 to 5 days. It wasn't too long. The anticipation is up there and the excitement. The whole thing with the industry with Airbnb and short-term rentals is to be able to do it through the app. Putting it up there on the app and then the app makes this cool sound when you get a booking to hear that and you're like, "Was that a question or a booking?" It will make the sound if someone asks how far is it from Niagara Falls and things like that. I'm like, "That was a booking," and there it was. 
Dustin
You mentioned Niagara Falls. It's Buffalo. If people don't know, Buffalo gets ridiculously cold. It's definitely not an Austin, a San Diego or Orlando. For the person thinking then saying, "Tim, this is great, but I live in Omaha or suburbia, America. Is this viable for me in my market?" What do you say to that person? 
Tim
It most definitely is. The best example is myself with Buffalo in New York to seeing that. People are putting jackets, hoodies on and gloves. Niagara Falls is a big attraction and people are coming back to visit family during the year in the summer. A lot of people like Buffalo in the summer months. They want to come back for the summer months. The Buffalo bills play. They call it the bills mafia. The fans that come in get crazy and stay at the places. It does help keep it booked year-round. We're talking about people coming in in regards to work. I had a booking for 30 days. They're coming in to do some actual line work on telephone poles or something. That's great. The rural ones are beautiful. 
Dustin
It blows me away how people move around the country for work like these linesmen or whatever. They're coming in there to fix the power lines and the nurse that's there for ten days doing whatever she's doing. I, myself, have an Airbnb or short-term rental in Tampa, Florida. We've had all people come through and I'm fascinated. You would never know unless you owned one. People need a supply of these. Why do you think people choose to stay at your property or any Airbnb versus go to hotel? 
Tim
It's the experience. At the end of the day, a lot of travelers want that experience of being a local. Even though they're not a local, they're visiting from out of town. They want to see what it is like to live in Buffalo and experience the neighborhood and then also to the amenities of having the kitchen, being able to have the family and have their separate rooms versus if they did it in a hotel space. Everybody is staying there, looking at each other in the same room. People can retire to different rooms and then they can cook and do that and then experience what it is like. What if I lived in Buffalo? What would it be like? 
Dustin
I don't know if I'll be going there in the wintertime to have that experience. Before we get into the strategies of how you can do this, whether you own a property or don't, how did you come up with the $119? My thought might've been, “I'm going to go low. I'm going to get some reviews. I'm going to get some cash rolling.”
Tim
I did a little research and there are some websites out there that you can get data from. Being in Tonawanda, New York, there wasn't a lot of data to support that $119. I did the equation in regards to I can sleep six people. Those same six people if they went to a hotel, they're getting two rooms and those rooms are $200 or $150 a night. They're paying $300 to $400. I did my quick little equation as $119 sounds pretty reasonable. Almost half of what it will be if it was $150 a night. They're getting half off and it's economical. That's the equation because the data that was out there at that time, it was supporting a lower number and I’m like, “Otherwise, I will not do it.” There weren't enough units or Airbnbs in the area to say people are making $120, $150, $200 a night. 
Dustin
Three Ways To Profit From Airbnb
That's the entrepreneurial/investor way. If you don't have things to look at, using common sense, which is like, “What are the other options available?” You get a hotel, it's going to cost this, it's a bargain and the experience is a lot different than the hotel. There are tools out there that do it. Let's get into the three different ways because I want to make sure if someone reading says, "Tim, this is great but I'm a renter right now. I don't own a property. I couldn't rent out the room because of my agreement." Talk about the ways that you shared with us. I'm excited because you did a WealthFit Intensive with us, which walks people through over 30 days how to get started with a B&B business. Let's start first with those three different ways someone can profit with B&Bs.
Tim
The first way is what we talked about. I own the house, I renovated, I was going to keep it as a rental anyhow and I wanted to see that revenue that it would come from, from a short-term rental. That's way the number one. I had to have financing and money in place. That may not be an option for everybody. The next way if someone said, "I'm a renter," I'm a renter as well. I use the model where I'll rent from a landlord or an apartment building, I'll rent the space, I'll furnish it and I'll have in the agreement of that lease that I'm able to put it up on short-term rental sites such as Airbnb and others. That's one of my most favorite models is you're able to now control of property without owning it and getting significant cashflow and also that cash-on-cash return is greater if you're looking at it in regards to you can furnish a two-bedroom place. If you want to talk numbers, it’s $3,500 to $4,000. If you have a man cave, you can do it even cheaper and then your first month's rent. You could be all-in to a place for $5,000. Generally, it will net you $1,000 a month. That's what I'm seeing in those regards and types of numbers, that's Buffalo numbers. Other areas may be a bit higher. That would be a good goal to shoot for if you're looking at that where you're a tenant, you control the property, furnish it, building owner or landlord is on board with that.
Dustin
You're talking about an option. You're optioning that property. You're not going to buy it, but you're taking control of it. Why would somebody want to do that? Why wouldn't that landlord do it themselves? Why would they want Tim involved in this transaction?
Tim
A lot of times, those landlords want monthly long-term checks, more of stability for them. They don't also want to deal with guests checking in, checking out and managing cleaners which I've found you can automate a lot of that. It's very minimal work on yourself once you have that all automated. Take it to the next level, say an 80-unit apartment building and they have some vacancies because there are better options around town. People are going to the newer, better apartment buildings. They're seeing those vacancies. Those larger apartment buildings are going to refinance or their terms of their mortgages need a certain occupancy rate whether that be with Joe renter or Tim, the Airbnb host. As long as they're getting their monthly rent, they're good with that occupancy rising, it helps them. They like it as well.
I will share this. I've had the leasing agent at one of my buildings. She's like, "If you want more, you're the best tenant. You don't complain like the other long-term tenants." It's a built-in, another level of property management because if there's an issue that comes up, I have my maintenance people go out there and take care of it instantly versus taxing the building maintenance people. If they can't get to it for a day, what kind of experience is that for my guests? I have staffing that can do it immediately and I'm not taxing any of their staffing for the toilet issue or whatever.
Dustin
I hadn't considered that because you're right, if you're renting, you have the ability to call someone in for maintenance to come in and yet the value is you're bringing your own crew to the table and tackling it a lot. I see why they love you. 
Tim
It's clean after each day. Long-term tenants, depending on how cleanly they are, someone's there for a year, they can be a dirty person on organizing and just not care. These units have to be presentable for a guest to come in and be wowed. That's not good business if it's dirty on crap unit. 
Dustin
I can imagine right now people are saying, "Tim, this sounds great. You're doing this." What does the landlord say about the revolving door of people coming in and out of the building? I'm sure you get this from a time or two. What about the young college kids or the riffraff or insert troublemaker scenario here? What do they say about that? How do you control that?
Tim
I'm not going to say that I haven't had incidences or guests that have been problematic and it has been few. What it has done for me is made me a better host where I can screen the guests. If it is a local guest, I will pick up the phone right away and have that conversation, "You live in Buffalo, why are you staying in Buffalo?" I'll let them give me a story. If it doesn't fit, you can tell. You get that sense that they're going to be problem guests. You address that and say, "You understand that there are no parties. Keeping noise to a minimum is key. There are other long-term people in the building." That squashes it right there.
I'm always seeing buildings because it's been better to go into a building and pick up leases all under one roof for operational. All my cleaners and maintenance go to one place versus five different places across town. A couple of things that have happened is Universal Studios reached out to me from my Airbnb profile and said, "We like your space. We're coming to town to film a movie and we'd like to shoot in your space." It's definitely a broad exposure to that building. Universal Studios is the one that’s going to use my space for a part of the shot for a movie. They're also going to use one of the vacant apartments from the building. It's brought exposure and it's bringing the excitement into the building that may have not had that option before. 
Dustin
I'm still blown away. You've got movie and traveling nurses. It's crazy.
Tim
The people that use this platform love it. The people you meet had professional athletes get signed in the middle of the season as, "I need a short-term stay. It's the middle of the season. I got signed. I don't want to be in a hotel," and things like that. You get the regular travelers that are coming in for whatever event like visiting family, other unfortunate like funeral or those types of things. The buildings love it. 
Dustin
I definitely want to go into more but I want to give people that little taste. We mentioned three. You own the property, you rent it, and you go and take control of the property whether it's a long-term renter and you're doing that landlord or you use your strategy which is this building strategy, getting multiple units in one location. What's the third way to profit using this? 
Tim
The third way would be, let's play out the example. You go to that landlord who owns a single-family house, he put it up and he wants to rent it on a long-term basis. You go ahead, you approach them, and show them the numbers of what they can make on a short-term rental site like Airbnb and get them excited about it but they don't want to learn the Airbnb model. They don't want to learn how to accept guests. You say, "No problem. I'll do it for you. My cost will be negotiable, but you're looking at 30% even up to 50% of the revenue." It's a win-win for that owner in regards to they're getting increased rents. They're not doing anything more other than there are negotiations on, "We're going to furnish it." There's a little bit of upfront cost but not crazy. You're able now to automate your systems with the cleaners, guests and maintenance and collect 20% of the revenue with no money. 
Dustin
You can put together a deal like this in all forms or fashion. Let's say I don't have a lot of funds to get started, like this idea which you tell me that we’ll get a 0% credit card and put all the furniture on that and then start profiting. If I'm not feeling so gutsy to do that, I can now go approach empty units or house and go to the person that's trying to rent it out. It's been sitting forever and say, "Based on my research and what I've found, I'm hungry and motivated. I have a track record,” if you've done it already. “I'm willing to do this by partnering with you. Here's what it looks like." This way, they would upfront the cost on furniture if they needed to furnish it. You're getting a lesser fee because there's more risk on them. Is that correct? 
Tim
Absolutely. You can get started. The best thing about entrepreneurs being resourceful. You can put it on credit cards, get a listing up, and running on your own. However, why don't you go out and cohost with another landlord or apartment building, take that revenue, and then segue it into your own place that you potentially may own or rent so you can profit? We're going to go this way too. If you go into a landlord and you say, "I'm looking to rent from you. What I'm going to do is furnish the place and then I'm going to advertise it for short-term stays on Airbnb." He's like, "I don't know. I don't want to do that.” You can waterfall into, "Would you like to double or triple the revenue you're currently making on the same space?" "I'd like that. Sure." "How about I show you how we can do that and we can be partners in that business model?" Why wouldn't they for the same space to double or triple? That's what the numbers show. We can walk through that number quick. If you're going to rent a place for $1,200 a month, it's $40 a day. You're not going to rent it on Airbnb site for $40 a day. We said $120. There's triple right there. You have some additional expense there, but you can see where you're at least double and going in to potentially triple what that revenue would be. 
Dustin
Tim, I shared this with you. We started off with we built a house or rehabbed the house, lived in it and then we had a mother-in-law suit. We’re like, "This will be fun." My wife led this and so she threw it up on Airbnb. It blew me away that in the wintertime in St. Petersburg, Florida, you can make almost triple the amount versus if you put us a long-term renter in there. There are costs on it but triple. You don't need to keep that thing occupied 100% if you're making triple the amount of what a long-term rent would get. You can have low price in the summertime which is more of a dead season where we were. I want to share with people that you have this opportunity to make more than what you see long-term. That's the value that a person can bring to a landlord or to somebody that needs help renting out a place. 
Tim
I'm glad you saw that. You can set your own goal. You need to be at 100% occupancy or if you're like, "What if I hit a 50% occupancy, but I hit my goal. I'm not looking to have a ton of guest. I just want enough guest to supplement income." Whatever that looks like for you so you don't have to turn it into 100%, 70% or 50% occupancy unit, whatever is fitting your goal in that business model.
Dustin
Starting A Side Hustle
Tim, we talk a lot about side hustles and other forms of income here at the Get WealthFit Show. Where do you recommend someone starts? Let's say they have a property that they own. You have the mindset, "Why don't you start with a room and then go on a vacation for a week and try to rent it out?" How do you get people to dip their toe in the water to say this is real and a legitimate opportunity? 
Tim
I was talking to an entrepreneur. She had two-bedroom and I think it was in the Carolinas, Charlotte area. I don't know exactly. We were talking Airbnb and stuff. I said, "I'm doing well with my units. Why don't you test it out?" She had a spare room. She tried it. I called her and I said, "How's it going?" "Great. I made $1,700 on my first month." I said, "What kind of bed did you put in the room?" She said, "Bed? I put an air mattress." When I talked with her, she's buying a five-bedroom house to do this. Obviously, she didn't make all that from the one-bedroom she's renting out. It started to prove to her and give her the confidence to say, "This is a thing. If I'm making $1,700 on this one-bedroom in my two-bedroom apartment and it was in Charlotte. What could I do if I purchased the house?" Some of the scenes in this industry when you want to grow is heads in bed. More heads in beds is going to increase your revenue because you can start to see if you could sleep 10 to 12 people, you can be at a $500 or $600 a night at 30% occupancy and make $70,000 to $80,000 place. That's very doable. 
Dustin
Heads in bed, I like that. Something that hit me is it's very easy to look at something and say, "Who can afford $500 to $600 to buy heads in beds?" It's maybe the bachelorette party. Hopefully, I don't get too crazy. A family in town for a family reunion or a band is in town. They don't want to stay at a hotel or whatever. When you say it that way, it's like, "Does that make sense?" The kicker here is, how many nights at $500 or $600 a night do you need to keep it occupied to make the mortgage payment, to make the rent payment, or to split with a partner if you're partnering up with the landlord on this? 
Tim
It starts to be a couple of things. If you’ve got twelve people traveling, it's very affordable. Even if it was a little bit more costly, it's the experience that they're looking for in a space that they may not be able to enter. Say they wanted to stay in this mansion in Beverly Hills. It was a crazy dollar amount but this was their family vacation that they save for. It was a little bit more expensive but that experience still was more. What if it was ten people and we're going to put $1,000 each? What could that buy you in an experience in a different space that you might not be able to have access to?
Dustin
Without giving away the trade secrets or feel free to give away as many as you can. This is a podcast format. The amount of detail that you can get here is a little tricky. Let's say I don't own a property. I want to cash in on this opportunity that is Airbnb. I don't own a property so I can't rent out a room. I signed a lease already and I'm a renter. There are stipulations on those things like, "I can't do it." Where do you recommend someone start in this situation but they want to get involved?
Tim
They're a renter. Their lease states that they can't do it in their space? 
Dustin
I don't want to put you in a box here but the first thing that one person should do is take a look at that lease that you signed and see if there's any flexibility. 
Tim
Definitely look at that flexibility. I can't speak for a ton of markets but there are certain markets like at Nashville. I was talking to another investor down there where some apartment buildings will allow that in their lease. Here's the thing. I own an 80-unit apartment building and I want a renter to come to my space. If I can offer an amenity that says I allow you to short-term rent your space when you're traveling, that's an amenity that didn't cost me anything. All it is is on paper. For that building owner, I offered an amenity that might fill up my building greater than, “They have a pool, they have this, that's costing me some money.” Now I can add an amenity that may bring people in. Whether they do it or not, people like the ability to say, "I never want to Airbnb my space. If I wanted to, I could. That’s better than not being able.” They like the freedom." Read the lease. In some markets I do see where that is an amenity ad to be able to do that. If it is a strict no-no on your current lease and things of that nature, then it's going to be out depending on your resources, income and things like that. Can you go out and rent from a building and put the addendum in?
That's in training of how to do this above board where you tell the landlord, "I'm going to rent from you. However, I'm going to add an addendum that allows me to sublet it essentially." That's a place to start if you have a little bit of money. If you have no money, then your play is to do the cohost or you're partnering a building or a landlord. You're going to take 20% to 50% of the profit on that deal. You're going to shoot for a sweet spot, 30%. 50% would be you're putting a little bit more skin in the game. If you're a great negotiator and you can get 50% with skin in the game, meaning like, "I'm going to give you 50%, you have to throw some of the furnishings in yourself." You can do a 30% no furnishing and that's a great way to start. Think if the revenue is $3,000 a month for that building or that unit, you're making $600 a month. What if you had two of those? An extra $1,200 a month, how many would you have? Say it's $3,000 a month on the revenue on that. 
Dustin
Expanding From Airbnb
Tim, one of the things I like to say, whether it's related to real estate or business is put yourself in the environment. What I mean by that is you learn so much by interacting with people and being behind the scenes. One of the ideas I thought of is you're in a place that you're right now, you're getting started, you feel a little intimidated by going and trying to negotiate with people, putting a contract together, and presenting a deal. This idea popped in my head. I wanted to get you to flush it out and get your thoughts on it. What about going on the platform Airbnb and reaching out to people that have Airbnbs and saying, "What are you doing to keep your place clean? What are you doing to manage it?" Trying to get your foot in the door because I'm sure there are people doing this themselves and they're trying to manage it. They're not as far along as you are. They're tired of the headache and trying to get yourself in the door by offering to clean. I'm not saying this is the long-term solution, but it gets you off the couch, so to say. It gets you in the environment and you have the opportunity to manage someone else's and that shows you the game. What's your thought there? Is it a waste of time?
Tim
No, I like it. You're reading my mind there because here's the thing. Airbnb is huge and it's not going away. It's going to stay. What do you need? You need good cleaners. You need cleaners that are going to take responsibility and do a good job. That position isn't so sought after, but if you can go out there and crush it. I'm working with some cleaners that I'm thinking about this with too, I would definitely give them a piece of that revenue to take off some of that additional management from myself. In operational side of Airbnb or your short-term rentals, your cleaners are the first in the door. They're going to see the issues and problems. If that breaks down, it goes down through the whole chain of your business. For one if they come in, they don't do a good job, you get a complaint, your reviews suffer and then now, your revenue suffers because you have bad reviews. If they forget to put the key back, the guest comes in and there's no key, that's an issue. It's taxing all parts of your business so you can get good cleaners. Are you saying, is it a good idea? 
Dustin
I just need to get your foot in the door and my heart goes out to those that are, "Tim, I'm getting started in the thought of doing certain things.” I get it. Get yourself in that environment. What I would say is quickly from there, then put together a deal like you have mentioned where you option and definitely check in your state, but you're taking control of that property on the up and up. You're letting the landlord know, you're able to get into this business, and grow without owning the real estate which blows my mind.
Tim
That's a great way to put it too. Putting yourself in the mindset that you're doing a benefit to the industry into that building, they're having some vacancies. They want those units filled so you're doing them with benefit versus them doing a benefit to you to say, "I'll allow you to do this in my building." Think about it. You're picking up 1 or 2 leases in that building that would otherwise be vacant. You're doing solid to their bottom line too as well. It’s a win-win. 
Dustin
People would ask this that have been in the game are now starting to understand this. What's the insurance conversation around this? Do we need to be insured? Is this a special type of business license? How does that play into this?
Tim
Have an insurance for all steps in that. I can name if you want to share my insurance. It's called Proper Insurance. It’s the insurance that I've used from the beginning. I shopped it around and I felt that they were the number one in the industry in that regard. You'd be surprised how affordable it is in regards to the rental part of it where you're renting and then subletting it. For me, it's about $500 a year. It's right to be covered in that regard. If you're on the Airbnb platform on that insurance that there's $1 million post policy. 
Dustin
One of the things that I like is Airbnb is incredibly powerful. We’re giving a lot of love to Airbnb, but there are other short-term rental platforms out there. As an entrepreneur and as a wise person in general, the worst number in business is one. If you rely on one thing to bring you guests and income, it’s a very shaky business model because the internet could break or something could happen. You get some bad reviews and your listing gets buried. One of the things I appreciate about what you shared with me is you're going out and you're proactively establishing relationships with businesses and saying, "If you ever need a place for your employees or your contractors to stay, give me a call." You're not waiting for these things to fall in your lap, which is cool. As you start to evolve, if you want to shore up that risk. Talk a little bit about how you go about that. Who are some of the industries that you contact too and who do you even talk to pitch people like, "I’ve got a place to stay?"
Tim
That's a great point there in regards to one is the tough number to have because if that platform goes down, where are you going to get your guests? It's a great place to start. As you start to grow, you want to form other relationships or platforms. What I've found for most posts and they basically set up on a couple of platforms and they wait for those guests to come. To be proactive, think about who's in your market, what hospital is around you, what employers are around you that you could reach out to their HR department. I have the ability to do this because they have a direct booking site so I can take the booking and it's directly to me the other platforms, Airbnb or Vrbo. They don't get a cut and track to me. If you're not set up that way, think about that as you grow. I can send out a quote or they can go to my site and book. Locally, I've reached out to Roswell Hospital, which is a big cancer institute in Buffalo. For one, for patients, residents that come in and things of that nature. Other employers, 43 North, an employer in the area. I reached out to Tesla. I had some Tesla. It's not a huge employer, but they do have the solar city in around Buffalo. I had some of their engineers look at my space to rent and things like that. Letting people know what you have and reaching out. Once you get the guests, we always want to keep them as guests because then now we can rebook them.
Dustin
Building Your Portfolio Of Short-Term Rentals
In building your portfolio of the short-term rental properties, what would you say has been the biggest challenge? What's something that people might not expect when they get into this misery? What's something that you've faced in this arena? 
Tim
I love challenges. It's exposing a weakness in your business as you start out. I'll share, one of the weaknesses that came up was I had an unfortunate cancellation. It was an oops on my end and Airbnb never want to err. In that platform, if you cancel it, it hurts your listings. It had something come up where that had to happen and that hurt my booking flow. I learned like, "Wow." To your point, I'm exposed to if I'm not getting majority of my bookings, I still am, but then I started to think that I need to be more out there in regards to connecting with employers to get direct bookings. One of the people that I was able to connect with too is placing people from fire damaged homes. We're in San Diego now and we have a snow season. You see have the fire season and I don't wish this on anybody but, but there are people that do get displaced and insurance companies will pay for furnished housing and it's a good number. 
Dustin
Corporate housing too. That's been around for a while as another play. I want to bring this up because in some cities, it's outlawed. When I go and visit the boys down in Hawaii in Kailua and I'm not sure if it's Kailua. In some parts of Hawaii, they've outlawed Airbnbs or short-term rentals. How do you know and what's your thought on that? 
Tim
It's always going to be scrutinized and it's going to continue to be that way. I think across the industry where it's going to be not challenging to operate but it's going to more professionalize the industry. We all can imagine that the one looks at this is, “I'm going to start hosting on Airbnb.” They're not a responsible host. They don't manage the property correctly so that gives everybody bad names. Fair regulation is good and we always have to be in a stance of being a part of that regulation. Reach out to your common council; see what the regulation is looking like. Buffalo rolled out some regulation and as it was rolling out, I was in the councilman's quarters and in each of the districts, at the meetings expressing like, "This is what the market is looking for. Let's not be that market that doesn't have it." Their regulation is permitting $250 permit and some inspections. It's not too hard in that regard. You want to operate legally. It's unfortunate that Hawaii has that but I also heard that dig into what is that regulation? Don't quote me on this but I'll throw it out there. I've heard that the property can be utilized as a short-term rental if it's listed for sale. 
Dustin
I've heard that too. 
Tim
We all hear these soundbites on the news or on the internet and dig in. What does that look like? Is it just the permitting process or is there something that you have to fit into that box to be able to operate? 
Dustin
Automating Your Process
The other thing too is sometimes you hear a soundbite, you don't get the whole thing. For 30-day rentals it's not, and it's okay that you get the thumbs up on that. It's like, "If you live there then run the math. What does it look if you only did that? If you charged X price, how many bookings per year do you need to cashflow that?" It's very spot on. One thing I completely forgot to ask, it's the most attractive part of the conversation is this automation. You've got some interesting tips. You talked about the whole cleaning thing. I imagine you're not over there cleaning the property. Talk about automation.
Tim
There's definitely automation in place and I give that well. One of the cleaners couldn't cover a clean and true entrepreneurship, you've got to make things right. That's not ideal. Anyhow, the way that looks is when a booking comes in at Texas, the cleaner that a booking happened to take it a step further is inside the one app that I like that I've been using is called Properly. What that'll do is you can assign it to your cleaner. They accept it. The clean is going to happen. They get to the property, checkout is at 11:00, they get on site, they click the app and are like, "I'm here." They do the clean and that's all in the app and it has a photo checklist. They have to take a picture of the bedroom as you want it made after they clean it. 
Dustin
It holds them accountable. 
Tim
Instead of having to go out and do spot inspections all the time and it cuts both ways too. In this industry, there are some guests that might come out, they might say, "It was dirty or there weren't enough towels." They're trying to get some price off for their night or whatever. It's also covering your cleaner. If they're like, "Did you put out enough towels?" He's like, "Of course, I did. Here's the picture." The guest was trying to get a little bit of a discount by saying that. We have the photo evidence. When they finish the job, they submit the photos and hit complete. You also now know, I'm going to speak freely, could they game it? The cleaner came in 11:00, they left at 12:30. Could they have not hit complete until 12:30 because they were lollygagging or milking it. I know what it takes to do a two-bedroom on a standard clean. There are those times. It is random works like a mess. With the guests, it was a tough situation. Not a horrible mess but it adds up. If the guest doesn't do the checkout list, which is stripped the bed, throw the garbage out and put the dishes in and start the dishwasher. It’s the small things that help. It helps speed the cleaning process. Most guests definitely get that. There's a checkout process, put the sheets in the hamper, put the garbage in the dumpster on the way out, and you have dishes, tap the dishwasher. Those little things help speed up that turnover. 
Dustin
You gave me a nugget there because I don't think we've ever told a guest to put the sheets over there. 
Tim
How do they know what to do when they leave it? 
Dustin
We have something but not to that level of detail. I definitely get to check that. I love that app because I hate that it's like, he said, she said. Was it the cleaner who you have this ongoing relationship with versus the guest who you're hoping they're going to give you that five-star review? You're in this tricky spot. I love how tech is coming in here and automating this. Do you use those fancy locks?
Tim
I have it on one of my properties. A lot of my properties are the ones that I rent and sublet. I was looking to add those in but the way the doors are made up, it was going to be $500 to retrofit the door with the locks. You want a remote lock, it's called Z technology that ties into your Wi-Fi. You can have a code for each guest. It changes after each day and then your cleaners have a different code. You know when they went in and out too as well. If the guests can't get in for whatever reason, you have access to unlock it for them if some of that happened. I liked the ones that have a key availability too. You'll keep it simple. When we go on vacation, we shut our minds off. The simplest things that you would think like, "Why wouldn't the guests know to get into the house like this?" They're on vacation. They want to have fun. They shut that off. Be mindful that's what you're going to run into. Keeping it simple for them to go in. Most of the time, if they travel like I do, I get in the Uber, I'm like, "How am I getting into this Airbnb?" On the ride over, I'm looking at it. Put yourself in their shoes. You're not wondering, "Why they in aren’t tuned to how to get in?" No, they're on vacation. 
Dustin
Tim, I could keep going for hours especially me having one of these and knowing the inside of it. I encourage people, if you love this interview, read it again. If you want to go deep on this, be sure to check out the
Tim
Tim Rosenthal on Facebook and Instagram. My company is Live Your Dash Vacations. The listings are on the website, Live Your Dash Vacations website. 
Dustin
I’ve got to ask, Live Your Dash. What's the dash? 
Tim
There was a poem that I read at the eulogy back in the day. It was stating that there are two numbers that were associated with your birth date and your death date. The middle is your dash and that's the most important. Live your dashes; this is to live with purpose and passion. Live Your Dash Vacations is having that vacation and no regrets and have fun. That's what the Airbnb and travel is all about. The experience of life, not the day-to-day work and grind. 
Dustin
I say do both but don't grind a whole bunch but work smarter. I couldn't think of a better way to cap off the interview. Thanks for being on the show. Thanks for paying it forward. 
Tim
Thanks for having me. 

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