Jay and Cassie Helms in South Carolina.
  • Cassie and Jay Helms started renting their primary residence on Airbnb in July.
  • This generated over $ 41,000 in revenue and approximately $ 25,000 in profit over the six months.
  • The couple say they plan to acquire more rental properties on the platform.

Jay and Cassie Helms love to travel. But earlier this year, when Cassie suggested that Jay rent their home in Gulf Breeze, Fla. On Airbnb and hit the road with their kids, he hesitated.

“She says, ‘I think we can get $ 400 to $ 500 a night for our house,'” Jay told Insider in a phone interview Wednesday. “I’m like ‘You must be crazy. Show me the data.'”

The couple are not new to real estate – they say they amassed 116 units after they started building their portfolio in 2014. Jay was therefore skeptical about the possibility of making that kind of income using it. Airbnb compared to renting housing for the month.

Finally, Jay began to embrace the idea after asking local cleaners for their thoughts on what their home could rent on Airbnb, and after reading up on the CEO of the company. Brian chesky say that it would take millions of additional hosts to answer the question.

“I think we’re probably going to have a high-class problem where there are likely to be more guests coming to Airbnb than we have hosts for, because… we think there is going to be a rebound in travel to coming that is unlike anything we’ve ever seen, “Chesky told CNBC in April.

So, starting in July, the couple listed their home on the site and cruised the country – first staying in Airbnbs and hotels, then finally buying an RV – visiting states like Tennessee. , New York, Maine, South Carolina and Vermont.

By renting their home for around $ 400 to $ 500 per night, they’ve made over $ 41,500 in the past six months, according to their Airbnb tax return, which they shared with Insider.

Their monthly expenses for the home, after the mortgage payment and maintenance costs, are about $ 2,770, Jay said. That puts their spending for six months at around $ 16,620, potentially earning them profits of up to $ 25,000 over that time.

They used their excess cash flow to fund their trips, Jay said.

The Helms family in Central Park in New York.
The Helms family in Central Park in New York.

A new look at real estate investing

Cassie, 36, and Jay, 42, said they are looking to rent future properties on Airbnb, given the amount of excess cash flow they have generated by renting their own home.

He also said he believes the hospitality industry will shift in favor of Airbnb.

“With everything going on with COVID… I think the hospitality industry, especially the hospitality industry, is going to be hugely disrupted,” Jay said. “Now you can get an entire house for what you would spend on a hotel room per night.”

Jay said the couple are expected to be approved shortly for an equity line of credit on their Florida home for $ 100,000, which will allow them to buy more homes.

The couple have used this strategy in the past to start building their portfolio. It’s a version of the BRRRR method: buy, rehabilitate, lease, refinance, repeat. By refinancing a mortgage on a home – or tapping into a revolving equity line of credit – investors can use cash to increase their portfolios and ask tenants to repay the loan. Or, as Jay puts it, “using houses to buy houses”. Of course, like other strategies, this method comes with its own set of risks.

A tip for newcomers

Asked what advice they would give to those looking to get started with accommodation on Airbnb, Jay joked, “Listen to your wife.”

Cassie, who led the project, recommended find a good cleaner who can maintain your home to your standards.

This allowed them to rent the property remotely with the peace of mind that it was adequately monitored. It also allows them to attract guests again in the future, she said.

The couple said they pass cleaning fees on to guests, as is the norm on Airbnb. They said they interviewed three or four different cleaning companies before choosing one.

“We want people to show up and feel at home, but also really like it and want to come back and feel comfortable,” Cassie said. “So it really comes down to a good cleaning company and making sure they take pride in what they do and leave it the way you want them to. “


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