The Path to Profit: From Airbnb to Real Estate Enterprise With Rock Thomas
If you’re an aspiring property investor but are not ready to buy, you might think you should wait. With the right strategy, however, you can start investing now. We spoke with Montreal-based investor Arvin “Rock” Thomas, who shared his investment wisdom about an opportunity waiting in plain sight.
About Rock Thomas
Rock Thomas has built a real estate enterprise that earns over one billion dollars yearly. He has steadily grown the business despite economic and personal challenges. As a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner and champion of motivational thought, Rock models a remarkable level of self-discipline.
Start in real estate without purchasing property.
Rock stumbled into a lucrative answer to this conundrum when renting out his house while traveling. To his surprise, people paid up to $1,000 per night to stay in his residence located in a ski area. He soon realized Airbnb was a path to profiting from real estate you don’t own.
Unlike multifamily or apartment investing, a short-term rental venture doesn’t require a steep initial investment. The key is to find a residential property in a desirable location. Then, you lease the property from a willing owner and manage the rental as a business.
Your upfront costs include the lease and furnishing the unit. Expect ongoing expenses for utilities and maintenance. Unless you can manage it yourself, you’ll want to budget for cleaning and repair experts.
If Airbnb is potentially so lucrative, why isn’t everyone doing it? Rock stresses the importance of treating it as a business and employing strategy and humility.
To succeed, you want to mind these steps:
- Find owners willing to let you sublease.
- Do your homework on the market.
- Partner with more experienced investors.
- Master your mind.
Get owners on board.
How do you convince a property owner to let you lease the unit for your short-term rental business? Rock notes you should expect to knock on many doors and refine your pitch as you go. Your primary selling point is that the arrangement benefits owners.
As the lessee, you’ll keep the unit in top condition and curate all occupants. You’ll handle normal wear and tear, turnover, and minor repairs without disturbing the landlord. The landlord gains a stress-free experience with guaranteed rent and pristine property.
To successfully woo owners, focus on extracting lessons learned from each encounter. What went well, and what fell flat? You’ll improve your transactions by objectively evaluating them and committing to improving.
Do your homework.
Rock emphasizes that success means doing your homework on properties and having a team and system in place. As with any property, location is critical. Units close to public transportation, colleges, and hospitals will attract renters. Unless you have trusted local partners, start near your home so you can manage the rental in person.
You’ll also want to consider the timing. Long weekends are the most popular, and you may struggle to fill the middle of the week. However, urban properties close to employment and tourist spots can draw steady customers.
Know your data.
To know what you’re taking on financially, you need to run the numbers. Rock and his team analyze opportunities using a sophisticated system not available to most people. The system helps set daily prices based on fluctuating demand. If you’re considering a property, the software can provide projection data to help you decide.
What if you’re crunching your own data? Rock recommends checking similar listings neighboring your property’s location. Enter different date ranges and other variables to evaluate price and demand. You may be tempted to price low to get a renter, but you could leave hundreds or even thousands on the table by not educating yourself first.
Partner with experience.
Rock learned this pricing lesson firsthand, along with the importance of mentorship, when beginning investing. He rented his house for $300 per night to an eager renter and passed on the investing course his friend was teaching. The actual nightly value was $600 to $1,000, so Rock left far more money on the table than the cost of the course.
Rock’s takeaway? Invest in learning from experts, and you’ll make fewer mistakes and escalate your game.
If you’re not handy with maintenance and repair, you’ll want a dependable maintenance expert on call. Handling minor repairs promptly is essential to an excellent tenant experience and fast unit turnover.
Consider how you’ll address common issues such as renters locking themselves out in the middle of the night. For example, remote-controlled keyless entry lets you unlock the front door or garage from wherever you are. In addition, make sure your renters can quickly reach you at any time for home emergencies.
Mind your headspace.
As a successful business owner dedicated to personal development, Rock has some candid words of wisdom for the rest of us. Growing up on a farm taught him resourcefulness, a fierce work ethic, and the value of a morning routine.
He notes that many people expend far more energy wishing for different circumstances than doing anything about them. So instead of having gratitude for what the universe has provided, people send the message that its bounty isn’t good enough. As a result, they miss opportunities and live joylessly.
If you aren’t doing so already, stick with a beneficial morning routine to propel the day’s success. For example, Rock starts his day with pushups to remind himself that his mind controls his body.
The bottom line is that to improve your professional performance, first control your mind. As a new investor, you want to start with good data and self-management basics. This way, you’ll prime your short-term rental venture for long-term success.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.