I Am Not Your Airbnb Guru
A reader recently sent me a note and it shocked me on the type of advice he received while attending a webinar from an Airbnb “guru”.
Just so you know, I’m not an Airbnb “guru”!
I have skin in this game, so I practice what I preach. I will only write from first-hand encounters of the daily challenges that come from running short-term rental (STR) units.
Most people do not know the subtlety of running a STR business unless they’re currently in one. Much like when you take a business class, you learn antidotes, but those antidotes are far from what happens in real life.
In order to truly gain experience, you’ll need to go out and do it. Practice, practice, and practice. Only then will you learn the nuances.
Not only was the “Guru’s” advice upsetting, but he doesn’t even practice what he preaches. You can’t trust someone who’s got no skin in the game and “made” their money.
Well, let’s look at another example.
Your 2019 resolution. You vowed to lose some fat and gain some lean muscles. And you paid for a seminar on weight loss and muscle gains.
Great! You took the first step, and it’s totally okay to ask for help!
You walk into this seminar packed with people who are equally as anxious and overweight as you. Then from behind the curtains, you see movements.
The moment is finally here! You wiggle your bottom towards the edge of the seat.
Lights, camera, action! The curtains are drawn up.
A FAT guy comes out. He is 50 pounds overweight. Panting and sweating, but confidently, he belches out these words: “Hello, my name is Jay! And I’m here to teach you about weight loss and muscle gains.”
How would you react to his appearance? You know what I’d do?
Pack up my bags and leave the seminar IMMEDIATELY! Then angrily walk over to their office, STORM in and DEMAND to have my money back.
Would you take relationship advice from a guy/girl whose thrice divorced? Would you take financial advice from a homeless person? Would you take medical advice from a custodian?
Well, most of us wouldn’t!
Now, I”m going to break down my reader’s email in this blog post. I have a few points to address, so please bear with me.
Oh, here’s the screenshot of my reader’s email.
First off, Don, if you’re reading this, thank you very much!
This is the type of email that I will respond to if you’re looking for answers. I get dozens of emails like this every day and I rarely respond.
- It’s well thought out.
- It tells me something about what my competitor is doing.
- He’s thankful for my help. And I probably just saved him some cash.
Here are my answers to his questions.
Question #1 – Hosting in an Illegal City
NO FREAKING WAY! I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND IT.
Just because a city is not “enforcing” it doesn’t mean you won’t get caught and fined. There are more chances for you to get into legal troubles with the city/town.
And remember the Airbnb purge in SF? Thousands of listings got taken down overnight… Yeah. Who’s enforcing it, right?
In fact, I recently refunded a student of mine because he told me that “I advised against starting an Airbnb business in NYC in one of my videos.”
And I promptly refunded him. Look, the truth is, regulations are always changing. NYC does not work, but across the pond (New Jersey) can work very well.
SF doesn’t work out, but south San Francisco can work very well. You get the idea…
Question #2 – How do you do landlord outreach?
It’s true. You can’t just flat out ask property owners. Believe me, I tried many times and got a lot of nos.
Most property owners have a negative perception of Airbnb because of all the nightmare stories they read or watch on TV. People tend to remember negative news more than positive.
So the answer is not going to be as straightforward as you’d hoped.
There’s an art in pitching to property owners. And the art is the exact word-for-word template that I (and students) use to increase our chances of getting a “yes.” The template is laid out in a way that proactively helps you to overcome any objections and negative biases.
(If you’re interested in checking it out, I’ve linked it below)
Anyhoo, back to Don.
Yes, thank god you didn’t buy it because he’s using tricks to get you to buy. Don’t get tricked! And definitely, do not listen to outdated advice from a supposed Airbnb “Guru”.