Recently, I sat down with Derek Hurtado for an interview. Derek is a social media influencer and owns a vacation rental company. We talked about his business model, how it works, and much more.
- Hey Derek, what is the basic rundown of the Airbnb Business Model?
Derek: Our model tends to differ from the conventional by providing both a higher ROI and better quality tenants. To build out a luxury brand of vacation rentals, location is key! Our first step involves researching popular markets both on a city level and a zip code level. This allows us to use data from our research to best predict profitable properties. Once we have narrowed in on our location, we investigate which available properties will perform to our standards. We create an analysis of our predicted revenue and compare that to the overall expenses. Did I mention we don’t buy our properties? We are looking for 12-month rental properties where we sign a lease and usually pay a month or two upfront to appease the landlord. After that, we begin furnishing, decorating and stocking the unit to be staged for guests! Then we are ready to go live! As guests arrive and cycle through our property, we have cleaning and guest correspondence semi-automated. This removes the need to ever be on the location of properties and reduces our admin duties to only 10 hours a week!
- Where did you discover the business model, and how did you start?
Derek: Vacation rentals have been around for decades! It is only recently that technology has been booming in this industry. This has allowed a big increase in creating monthly cash flow. As we grow our businesses and long term investments.. cash flow becomes ever more necessary. My business partner had millions of dollars in equity on real estate projects, yet that equity doesn’t pay the bills. This business model initially allows a consistent cash flow for those working on long term projects which is our exact case. As we get into bigger markets like resorts and commercial real resale projects, AirBnB allows us to get our bills paid and cash flow to spend each month!
- What is the ideal rental?
Derek: The biggest fear of new Airbnb hosts are the nightmare guests. About 90% of bad guests can be avoided by the ideal rental and its setup. We look specifically for higher-end rentals that allow us to bring in high-income business guests or families. When you are dealing with higher income guests, they tend to be more respectful and tidy. Even offering a printer in the property will attract business guests. Those are the guests we are trying to build long term relationships with.
- You own a social media agency, Pivotal Point. How have you leveraged social media to grow your rental business?
Derek: A great benefit of building your brand online is to create new connections. Although Airbnb is a completely different industry, human networking and connections are important no matter what space. Being able to leverage my brand, I have made deals and setup potential investors for scaling the rental business. Applying branding strategies to the properties will promote community and clarity on who we serve. Which are high-income business owners and their families.
- What is an ideal rental location?
Derek: Recently most people are afraid to jump in with all these regulations and potential laws banning properties. Truth is that there are only a few cities that are strict on their policies. Just search on Airbnb for a location you are interested in and you can see 1000s of results that show up. Any place that has high traffic for travelers is ideal.
- What are your plans with your business?
Derek: We are going to rapidly scale our AirBnB unit numbers to the 100s soon. As well as build out our new management agency that will take care of the property owner’s units that are suffering. We will take on management for a small fee and improve their revenue, sparing them the time!