Well, readers, you may remember back in the fall we had an AHA! moment on Airbnb’s being able to help bridge an income gap for us so we could go on the road. We do operate a lot of rental property, but we see those investments for our retirement years, so we do not take income from them. The idea came from our journey to find our son a place to live at college. After finding the perfect place, we had to troubleshoot the need to make his unit a short term rental so that it wouldn’t sit empty for nine months. As we learned more about airbnb’s we realized this was a bigger puzzle piece that just fell into place.
I am pleased to report, we now have 3 operating airbnb’s. We opened the first one the week of Thanksgiving, 2020. They have exceeded my performance expectations. Today is March 23 and we have already had $6,200 in bookings this month. Of course it’s not all profit, but less than half is expenses. We have also reduced our household expenses, and that savings will become more significant when we are in the RV full time. Yes, even with our son in college! I should also give him some credit because he has gotten more scholarships than anticipated and we now should have little to no tuition to cover. (GO EDDIE!!!)
We have found that we have about a $6,000 investment every time we open a new unit. That cost is mostly furniture. However, the smaller things add up – such as outfitting the kitchen, linens, putting in a modem, and keypad locks we can operate and get notifications from remotely. The last unit we saved about $3,000 because we are getting rid of furnishings and decor at home in preparation for selling our house. Why use a storage unit or take a fraction of what it would be worth in a sale? We had stumbled on the highest use of our “junk”!
We have paid for each unit with cash so far. As you have already learned, we don’t always love doing things with our own money. (Read Rich Dad, Poor Dad!) However, we wanted to get in fast and debt free with the first few. Moving forward, under this model, we could start opening one roughly every six or seven months, allowing the investment to be repaid on each one before moving to the next. We believe we would like to own about a dozen of these since the profits of several of them would just go to paying taxes.
Right now we are not looking at becoming tycoons, though the potential would be there I suppose. The tipping point of running too many would turn this model away from being pretty passive income to having full time jobs again. Not interested!
We also have recently decided to take a short pause on opening new ones as we have many things going on with getting our house ready to sell, purging our stuff, the activities surrounding our son’s final senior activities (and enjoying the time we have left with him), projects on the RV, and so forth. It’s a good place to be sitting though, between what we earn on our listings and our reduced monthly expenses, we have succeeded in allowing me to leave my job and feel comfortable.
Ed will continue to work for a short time until we can get more Airbnb’s open. He is a consultant and has been working remotely already for the last 10 years so in theory he should be able to work from anywhere as long as we cover ourselves well for internet. I did not have that as an option due to my role with the company I have been with. While he works, it will allow me to take care of our practical/domestic needs, travel planning, blogging, and running interference on the airbnbs.