How I First got Started in Airbnb…
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How did I get started with Airbnb? Is there specific experience or previous training that’s necessary to succeed with Airbnb property management?
A lot of people are curious about how I got started with Airbnb, and if I had lots of experience managing properties, or sales experience, or data analysis. Many people want to know what kind of previous experience is necessary in order to really succeed with Airbnb. While obviously, I did have some previous career experience, none of it was with Airbnb, hospitality, or data analysis. When I started up with Airbnb, I didn’t have any special skills. I ended up trying out different strategies and refining and adapting them until I started seeing more success.
So I’d like to give you a bit more information about my journey and how I got where I am. If you want a more in-depth story, you can check that out in the free training linked below, and goes into a more step-by-step process of what I did to start my business and succeed. So basically, when I started with Airbnb, I was just coming off a failed business venture. That was a totally different business, where I was dropshipping watches from China. I had designed and manufactured them to start up my own watch business, which long story short, did not succeed, and left me with a big pile of debt.
That really sucked, and I did not handle it well. So I went to Thailand with a one-way ticket to figure out what I was going to do and where I was going to go, brainstorming ideas on how to get back into a business because I knew I didn’t want to go back to the 9-5 corporate life. I was trying to come up with an idea for a business without being able to use any startup capital, and find something that would provide consistency. Because with my previous business venture, it was up and down between generating lots of revenues and having high sales, and then the downs where I had too much inventory that was costing me money.
So with that, I started managing properties, and I ended up stumbling upon Airbnb. At the time, I was actually staying at an Airbnb in Thailand, and I thought to myself, “someone could probably help these property owners manage their properties and make more money.” So I started looking into different business models, one being rental arbitrage. Now, it was and still is a popular model, but it wasn’t one I really agreed with. It’s renting a property out for a 12-month lease, then flipping it on Airbnb in the hopes that you make more than you’re paying for the rental and can turn a profit. But you need money to invest in first and last month’s rent, furnishing the property, and then there’s the added risk of having a down month and being on the hook for the costs of the property.
So I thought about traditional property management companies, and how they manage a property for a percentage fee. I sat down, fleshed out what I thought would be a good business model, and went back to Canada and got started. It didn’t happen immediately and needed some refining, but I met with some property owners, and figured it out eventually and was able to present a win-win opportunity for them.
I started with a friend of mine who had a condo in the city he lived in during the week, and property out of town where he stayed on the weekends. So I offered to list his city condo for a 10% fee to learn and get the hang of it. And after a while, I was able to get 20% fee, since all the revenue he was making on the condo was extra to him. I had to figure out a lot of things through trial and error, missing opportunities, and making costly mistakes. Eventually, I was able to streamline the systems and figure out how to give the property owners and the guests the best value and service while making money. Then we were consistently in the top 5% of properties in Toronto out of over 14,000 listings, meaning that we were making lots of money on every property and our property owners were also making more money on their properties. They would stick with us, and start referring us to friends so we would grow our business even more.
Through streamlining of the systems, I was able to not be tied into any of the day to day operations, building systems to automate and manage themselves, and this process took around a year, year and a half to get dialed in. If you want more information on how I did it, or how you can do it too with no previous experience or investment capital, take a look at the free training.
What's up guys, my name is James and in today's video, I want to talk to you about how I first got started and share my story about how I first got started managing properties on Airbnb. Now a lot of people ask me how I got started. And if I had a bunch of experience and a lot of people wonder, Well, do you need sales experience? Or do you need experience with data analysis or with short term rental accommodations with real estate, what kind of a background allows you to be successful managing properties on Airbnb.
And while I did have obviously some previous career experience, it wasn't in the fields of Airbnb, or hotel hospitality, it wasn't in data analysis, I don't really have any exceptional special skills. When it comes to starting this business up for myself, what I did is I got started using a couple of strategies that didn't really work all that well to begin with, and then I kept on refining them. And so I want to share a little bit about my journey so that hopefully you can learn something from it. Now, before we get started, I really, really, really would appreciate if you would just take a quick second and hit the like button there. If you just hit that like button, it helps you tremendously with YouTube's algorithm. So if you wouldn't mind just taking a second to hit the little thumbs up button, give this video like I really, really appreciate that.
Now, that aside, let's go ahead and I want to start out from the very, very beginning. Now, I talked about this more in the free training that I've linked down below. So if you want the full in depth story, then and you want more about the exact steps I took in order to build the business to be successful that you can check that out in the description down below. But basically, when I first got started, I was actually had just failed another business that I started. And that business was in a totally separate space, I was actually drop shipping watches from China. And I had manufactured them I specifically designed these watches, I tried to start my own watch business.
Long story short, it left me in a really big pile of debt. And that sucked a lot. And to be honest, I didn't handle it that well. And I basically just tried to run away from my problems by going and flying over to Thailand. With the last bit of money that I had available on my credit card, I bought a one way ticket over to Thailand, and I flew there not really knowing what I was going to do with my life. Now, it was around that time that I started finally kind of brainstorming exactly how I could get back into business because I didn't want to go back to a dreaded nine to five job. And I was kind of trying to wrap my brain around how I could start a business when I was getting completely in debt. And I wasn't able to have any startup capital whatsoever. And so then I could do that would provide consistency.
The big challenge that I had with my other business I tried to start up was that it was totally up and down some months, I'd have a lot of sales, when I first launched, I had a lot of sales. And then otherwise I would have none and I had to buy a bunch of inventory. So if that inventory sat that was costing me money. And so there's just a lot of different moving parts that allowed the that basically made it so the business was constantly moving up and down and up and down, up and down. It was very unpredictable. I wanted a business model that would provide me with some real consistency month to month that I could rely on and then I wouldn't have the potential for losing money.
Because that was something that I just honestly Personally, I had a lot of fear around at that point, because I had already lost so much. And I was so heavily in debt at that point. Early on in my life, I didn't want to take any additional risk in the space of, you know, losing my investment losing my money. And so basically, I got started managing properties. After I started really diving into that I thought, Okay, what is a business that I could start that's going to meet these criteria. And I first stumbled upon Airbnb, just by happenstance, I was actually staying at an Airbnb in Thailand.
And I was thinking to myself, well, you know, someone could probably help these people to manage their properties and know how successful properties can be on Airbnb. I knew how much I was paying for the property every night. And I thought, Well, hey, there's got to be some way to tap into this whole Airbnb marketplace without actually owning the properties to start digging into it started looking around seeing what I could find. And I saw that there was rental arbitrage was a pretty popular model, it still is right now even not one that's overly successful, not one that that I really agreed with, but a popular model.
Nonetheless, you basically what you do is you would rent a property for a 12 month lease contract, you would ideally tell the property owner that you were going to list it on Airbnb and get that amended into your lease agreement. And then you'd flip the property onto Airbnb in the hopes that on Airbnb, you could bring in more money than what you were paying in rent and earn a profit that way. And that's really great if you have some money to lose. But if you don't have money to invest into first month's rent last month's rent furnishing the entire property, and then the amount of risk that comes along with that because obviously you can have a down month, you know, if your property doesn't do too hot, you can end up being on the hook for hundreds or thousands of dollars.
So you don't mind taking that risk and you have that money to spare, then rental arbitrage can work out but that wasn't my situation. So I started thinking about I started thinking Well, how do you traditional property management companies work? Well, they just manage it for a percentage fee. So started looking at that. And I started looking at the whole model and kind of crafting it out. And I basically went back to Canada after I had sat down, I'd really fleshed out what I thought was a really good business model for this. So I went back to Canada, I basically met with a couple of property owners, and I was fortunate enough that I really kind of nailed it on the head. Now, it didn't happen overnight, it took me some refining, I did fail flat on my face for the first couple of meetings.
But after a while, it kind of figured it out and figured out what property owners actually cared about and what was really valuable to them. When I was able to present things in such a way that it was a real win win for them. That was the probably the biggest key that I learned along the way was that in order to be successful in any business, you need to make sure that the opportunity, the offer that you have is an opportunity for the people that you work with for your clients, it has to be a win win, it has to be that when you win as a business is when your client wins by working with you. Otherwise, it's not really going to lend itself to lead to longevity. Sure, you can make a quick buck by selling someone something that isn't really that beneficial to them. But in my opinion, that's not a long term way to run a business.
If you want a business that's going to last long term, you have to be providing real and exceptional value to every single customer that you work with. And so after I kind of nailed that, and I focused that in and I got a an offer that really resonated, I started meeting with property owners and I basically my first ever property that I actually brought on under management was actually a friend of mine who lived in a place outside of the city during the weekends. And then on the weekdays, he worked downtown, so he would live downtown his condo. So he agreed that during the weekends, I could rent his place that was downtown in the city that he wasn't going to be living in.
And then I would exchange that for a 10 or 20% management fee. And so I basically started managing it for him at first just giving cutting him a really great deal. I said, Well, I just want to learn, I just want to get started. And so I'll cut you a deal and just do it for 10%. But after I get the hang of things would you be okay, if I if I increase up to 20% He said, You know what, James? Sure, this is all free money to me anyway. So you can charge 20% no problem, if you want to get started at 10% give yourself a little bit of a playground to play around in no problem at all, just let me know, that was really cool. I really, really am grateful to him, he helped me out a lot with getting the business started and off the ground.
And so with that, because at that time, there was no training, there weren't YouTube channels like this one. That's largely why I wanted to create this YouTube channel, why I've created the training programs that I have was because you know, figuring everything out through trial and error worked, but took a really long time and I missed out on a lot of opportunity, I made a lot of costly mistakes that I could have otherwise avoided, had I just been able to learn from someone who had already done it. So at that time, I was just kind of doing everything by trial and error. So I started out with this one property, and slowly started growing and taking on more properties and kind of figuring things out as I went.
Now, at first, I didn't really know what I was doing. So I encountered different issues I had, I remember I had one of my first properties ever it had a big party at the property on one of the first weekends that I was managing it. So total disaster that I actually ended up managing to salvage somehow by going over there and breaking it up. But it almost lost me one of my very first clients Not to mention all the properties that I underpriced because they didn't really know what I was doing. Sometimes I would overpriced them because I didn't know what I was doing on that front as well. Guests that weren't super satisfied, because I just didn't really have the systems down pat to provide a really great guest experience. But over time, I did figure it out.
And then it got to the point where I actually got the business to such a degree, you know, where the offer was so honed in that picking up clients was easy, I had a wait list of clients that wanted to work with me. And it was just really about streamlining the systems at that point to be able to take these clients on very easily and streamline fashion, you know, get the property signed on onboard under management and up and listed and making money as quickly as possible. Because it got to the point where it was actually we had a month long waiting list to start working with us, which isn't really ideal when property owners want to start earning money on their property as quickly as possible.
So we really tightened in our systems there and made it so that we could turn around a property and go from when we first agreed to have it listed with the property owner to actually getting that listing live. We got that timeframe down to about a week. And so that was really great. That was a really, really big step in allowing us to really grow the business. And from there, it just came down to refining all of our systems for actually managing the properties so that number one, they could earn the maximum amount of money possible.
And so we got to the point where we're consistently putting properties in the top five and 10% of all listings in the city of over 15,000 listings in Toronto 14 15,000 listings at the time, we're consistently getting top 5% Top 10% performance on all of our properties right across the board, and some robberies even made it to the top 0.01% we had some top 10 listings and all Toronto out of, again, 14 15,000 listings, so we got performance down, Pat. And that was great because it provided us with a ton of income, right? It meant that we were making more money on every single property. But it also meant that our property owners were making more money on their properties. So they were exceptionally happy.
And that meant that they were going to stick around for a lot longer. And they were really happy to refer us to their friends, which then allowed us to grow and grow and grow even more. The other set of systems we really had to nail down at that point was just around streamlining operations. Because, for me, I really enjoyed different aspects of the business. But I didn't want to be, you know, owning my job, didn't be working want to be working for myself, I wanted to get into this business. So I would have the freedom to work when I want from wherever I want. So I didn't really want to be tied into any of the day to day operations of the business. And so I started kind of building out systems to be able to have cleaners scheduled themselves, have guest communication handled by someone else.
So I wasn't going to have to be online all the time answering guests questions, things like that figured out systems for maintenance, so that if maintenance needed to be done at the properties, it could be done easily by someone else, just figured out systems for all the different day to day activities in the business so that I could really step away from the business and work on the business rather than actually working in the business. Now, all of that took us about a year, year and a half, I would say to really kind of get our systems dialed in. So the process the journey was certainly I'm sharing it with you in 10 minutes.
But it's a really concise and condensed version of what it actually took to make this Vince's access because again, like I mentioned, back when I was getting started, there wasn't really any one or anything that I could learn from, we didn't have courses or YouTubers that really popular and mainstream back then a couple years back, it's only just now kind of started to come up. And that's really again, why I'm sharing this why I've created this channel, why I've created the business that I have helping people to do this, because what I learned along the way was that this is actually a really, really good vehicle, a really, really good business really great model for people to earn a full time income in a really can in a way that's conducive to a really great lifestyle, you can actually live a really great lifestyle.
And you can build this business from just about anywhere in the world without any previous experience without any technical skills, you know, without any hard costs of starting the business off, like so many other businesses have. But there's just a lack of training out there's lack of step by step systems on how to make it work. And I'm no stranger to the fact that most people aren't going to be able to do what I did, and aren't going to want to do what I did and struggle with it for a year, a year and a half going full time all into that just to figure it all out on their own.
So again, if you want to learn the step by steps for me, I've really gone at this from the standpoint of someone who's actually done this, who's made the mistakes, who's gotten the result, I know exactly what hurdles to avoid, you know how to really streamline your process and check out the link down below, there's a link in the description to a free training where I walk you through everything step by step.
And now with our clients, we've gotten to the point where within a couple of weeks of getting started, they can have their first client onboard under management, you know, within two to three weeks of getting started working with us, we can get your first client under management, and we can have your whole system dialed in in a few short months that you're really optimize as much as you possibly can be in this business. You know, we're condensing years worth of experience at this point into a few short weeks and short months to really get the results.
And it all starts with even just a super condensed, you know, two hour long training that I put down in the description below where we walk through everything step by step. And just that training alone is worth like months and months and months of trial and error that went into me figuring out the things that I that I share in that training, it's completely free to join, I highly recommend you check it out if you're interested in getting started managing other people's properties on Airbnb, if you want to earn a full time income doing this if you want to get more freedom in your life to be able to spend your time the way that you want to work from where you want to. I really really highly recommend this business model.
And I of course highly recommend the free training that I put together. I think it'll help you out tremendously and getting to your goals. So just check it out. It's linked down in the description below. And again, if you like this video, if you got value from it, please just give it a quick thumbs up take a quick second to just click that like button. If you're new to the channel here. please consider subscribing as well. We post two new videos every single week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. With all that said I'm going to wrap up the video for today. Thank you so much for sticking around with me until the end here and I'll see you in next video.