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[00:00:00] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Real Estate Syndication Show. Whether you are a seasoned investor or building a new real estate business, this is the show for you. Whitney Sewell talks to top experts in the business. Our goal is to help you master real estate syndication.
And now your host, Whitney Sewell.
[0:00:24.1] WS: This is your daily Real Estate Syndication show. I’m your host Whitney Sewell. Today, our guest is Holly Lynn. Thanks for being on the show Holly.
[0:00:32.6] HL: Thanks for having me.
[0:00:33.7] WS: Holly is known in the industry circles as the queen of capital and is responsible for connecting people with the right resources so they can achieve success. In addition to running several chapters of her Bay Area Multifamily also known as BAMF group.
She is a full-time investor and landlord as well as a super hostess on Airbnb. She is a self-taught deal maker who has always had a keen business sense. She works with investors and syndicators across the board who are looking for a real estate investment that produce passive income streams.
Holly, thank you again very much for your time and being willing to share your expertise with the listeners but tell them a little bit more about who you are and where you’re located and let’s dive in to some of the specialties that you have that can help us in this business?
[0:01:23.6] HL: I mainly live in the Bay Area but I travel a lot so I’m all over the place and then my network that I built my actual contact base are all over. They’re global. You know, it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from, connecting is the biggest thing because that’s always been my biggest strength. Connecting with people and connecting people to people. You can’t lose with that.
[0:01:46.9] WS: You know, before we were recording too, you and I were talking about and actually, we talked about earlier or before the show, about you specifically focusing on your talent about Airbnb and h ow we can use that in a multifamily space. You just recently helped somebody in this specific niche and multifamily, use Airbnb and I’d love to hear more about that situation or scenario so we can learn to apply Airbnb in our multi family business as well.
[0:02:12.5] HL: Absolutely. I actually got a new client down in the east coast, he’s located in New York and he reached out to me, asking me about the people in his building. He owns a 15 unit and they are – people are renting out his units to Airbnb them themselves.
He reached out to me to ask me about how I think that would go. I helped them run the numbers and discover that. So now what he’s doing is we are Airbnbing or I would say short term renting the bigger units over in his building. And so that has become a thing where people are not buying just for the longer-term tenant anymore.
[0:02:56.5] WS: So, he had tenants that were Airbnbing – like they would lease our unit from him or so for a year and they would Airbnb it. And then it hit him that, “Maybe I should be doing this.”
[0:03:05.2] HL: Yes.
[0:03:05.3] WS: Right? How did he find you? You’re all the way across the country. How did he know to connect with you?
[0:03:11.0] HL: I’m all over the place. I’ve been on a lot of shows. I’ve been on live TV. They’ve been branding me for several years now so I’m not totally sure to be honest with you. I don’t usually ask people anymore like where they found me, some people just Google me and then some things like many things like this where you know, you and I are friends.
Say for instance, like something you’re great at. I get calls and emails all the time of somebody asking me, “Well, you know, this is what I need.” And if it’s something you know, I’m unable to do, I’m like “Okay. Whitney.” It’s a no brainer. I’m doing that every day.
[0:03:50.0] WS: Yeah.
[0:03:51.1] HL: Most of my day is filled with people contacting me and I’m either helping them myself or filling it or know who – that’s how I’m not totally sure how he found me exactly. But he did.
[0:04:04.7] WS: Yeah, that’s great. Can you break down a little bit about his process or those units a little bit. What was his plan?
[0:04:12.2] HL: Sure, what we did is he called me, told me you know, his scenario and I said, “Well, sure. Firs thing we want to see is in your area, how legal it is. What’s going on? Or you know, do we need to find a different route?” And he said, “No. They’re already doing it. There’s already tenants doing that they’re actually leasing, long term leasing so that they can short term and make money.” I went, “Great. Well why don’t we get ahead of the game?”
I went and looked up his number sand stuff. And then we decided which contacts he needed of mine. What contacts he has down there to actually stage put it together, you know, stuff like that. furnish the place. And you know, me, and my team book and you know, clean, take care of it and stuff like that.
Between both of our contacts, we made it happen.
[0:05:00.6] WS: Yeah, I would imagine like making sure it’s legal is pretty important. Like let’s start with that, right?
[0:05:05.9] HL: Yeah. Right.
[0:05:06.5] WS: Don’t go down this road and figure out we’re trying to do something that’s illegal. How would we know that? Where do we find that?
[0:05:12.4] HL: It’s the easiest thing, you can actually go online and wherever it is, look up, you know, something as simple as city ordinances or if you were going to go to Arizona, you can simply look up Airbnb laws in Arizona.
[0:05:28.0] WS: It’s going to be that easy? Okay. That’s good, it’s not always –
[0:05:31.5] HL: Here’s the thing, you’re right. Absolutely. Because I believe in loopholes sometimes so take for instance, some people where they’ve been to where Airbnb is not, what about that? What do you do, right? You have to figure out what is the next best thing? Is Airbnb the only short-term rental platform that exist? You know, knowing those kind of things comes in handy.
But I like your subject on people, it used to be the thing where people buy apartment buildings to have a lot of leases going on and that’s – I want to say the new thing but in the last few years, a lot of people have been buying them, I would. Just to do short term rentals.
[0:06:13.6] WS: Okay.
[0:06:14.2] HL: There’s a lot of them in one place.
[0:06:16.3] WS: That client specifically that had thee 15-unit, do you remember like what kind of income increase is it going to be like per unit for him to take it from an annual lease to an Airbnb?
[0:06:27.1] HL: Okay.
[0:06:28.0] WS: Or maybe a monthly basis would be easier. Whatever, if you remember.
[0:06:31.8] HL: Great question. The first thing is we figure out what the client’s actual goal is and then we go from there, it’s really that simple. We look up in the area, you know, what their goal would be to rent it out, you know, for a long term. And then expenses going from there and then we see, “Well, what can we get per night and what’s the difference?” It’s an easy formula.
[0:06:57.9] WS: Is there a place where we can kind of see what the average Airbnb rental is or comparable. Or I mean, would we just go to Airbnb.com like we were going to stay there or would it be that simple?
[0:07:08.8] HL: You definitely could. You could do that too. Mine, there’s a lot of different ways. I do it now just because sometimes I take for instance, if they don’t have the answer that I want. Or say for instance, I want more than – if Airbnb say, something shows for $89 a night and I want more than that, then I’m going to have to go to the contacts that I know to go to. Like say for instance if it’s traveling nurses, okay? If it’s traveling nurses or something like that. There’s traveling nurses everywhere, you know? These are all the things to know and say, Airbnb isn’t allowed but there’s a lot of things like that. There’s alternatives.
[0:07:51.1] WS: Okay. You mentioned like staging the unit and you know, furnishing it like tell me what does that entail and what should we expect?
[0:07:58.4] HL: Sure, staging and furnishing is really – sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s not you know, straight up. But it just depends so the first thing I figure out, if it’s long distance from me, see if the person may have contacts there. And if not, I fly out and you know, get things going and so sometimes, you know, I’ll bring a couple of my teammates with me and then sometimes I don’t, you know? I can go out there and hold things together pretty fast.
I’ll go out and literally find people who are other resources and you know, somebody’s always helping. There’s help all over the place which I really like. That’s all a part of spending so long in that working and you know and all I need to usually do is reach out to a couple of people and everybody’s willing to help.
[0:08:42.9] WS: How nice should the unit be? I know we can probably be comparable and properties and things like that but how do we know?
[0:08:50.4] HL: Okay, I’m going to say I love that you asked that question and I wish that more people cared about that. Some people actually don’t care about the updateness of their unit, that is quite important. Yes, you can take something that is not remodeled or not new or updated, you know, and rent it out, your better numbers are going to be from things that are nicer.
To me, personally, it depends on if it’s in the Midwest, you know? It depends on if it’s in Ohio. It really depends on where it is because believe it or not, some places – New York, say for instance. New York has this thing where all of the units are pretty small anyway and if you’re getting units that are updated, then yeah, the landlord really does care, you know?
Because New York is New York. It’s a good time and so you know, people are in and out, some live there but it’s not the biggest place for remodeling and stuff like that. There are other places like Pennsylvania, there are other places to outside of there that are more homey and cozy.
But for my own brand personally, I would prefer something like newer or nicer.
[0:10:02.6] WS: You know, I think majority of listeners are going to have multifamily properties and a lot of them are going to be a hundred to 200 units at a time and you know, as we’re thinking about you know, okay. Starting an Airbnb system or how many units should we look at beginning with?
[0:10:17.6] HL: That is completely up to the person. Are you saying like buying a building? Like buying –
[0:10:24.4] WS: I meant like, should we start with say one unit, let’s see how it goes or three units or you know. How do we know how many units we should start with?
[0:10:33.5] HL: You know what, it really depends on what you can take on. Short term rental market, there is a flow to it. There is also, unless you’re really involved, say for instance like your network is high which is what I offer. You know, traveling nurses, there’s people who do construction. You know, you get in with all the people that are say, for the refineries, people. When you network like that, what happens is if you have a flow, the amount of Airbnb’s you have are going to be awesome.
Versus like if you’re used to the old school, where they’re doing longer term, you may want to start with one and see how it goes. It really depends who you are. And you know, as I’m chatting with people, I figure that one out pretty quick.
[0:11:19.4] WS: What about the systems that we have to have in place to actually operate an Airbnb?
[0:11:24.8] HL: Absolutely. My goodness, there is the management. There is the housekeeping, there is the maintenance. There are the 24-hour questions. yeah, there’s so many things and then there’s the person who is on the other line which me usually, when something goes wrong, fighting for your money because people like to do things to get refunds and stuff like that. and that’s one of the places I come in really handy. but yeah, it’s quite an ordeal.
[0:11:53.2] WS: You know, management of something like that, we can hire somebody like yourself, right? You’ll manage it for us even though we’re in other state, you can manage it from where you are?
[0:12:01.8] HL: Yeah.
[0:12:02.4] WS: Okay. Housekeeping and maintenance, would our maintenance, will be able to just take over the – I mean, I would imagine the maintenance of Airbnb, if it’s part of our multifamily property, we’re just going to be swallowed by our current maintenance staff, right?
[0:12:19.5] HL: Say that again?
[0:12:20.0] WS: Our current maintenance staff would still probably take care of all the maintenance of these Airbnb units.
[0:12:24.0] HL: Yeah. They can, sure.
[0:12:25.8] WS: What about the housekeeping, you know? How do we find people like that if we can’t afford to hire somebody like yourself, how do we find people that’s going to help us keep up with all this housekeeping?
[0:12:36.9] HL: There are just creative ways to do that, you know, take for example, I or somebody else can interview– you know. Housekeepers are everywhere. The system has become old. The short-term rental system is not new anymore, you know? There’s actually the people that I have that do housekeeping currently, they have been doing ‘short-term renting.’
There is the years or the age or the days whatever you want to call it of the fulltime housekeeper come in and I noticed that it has died down a bit. You know quite a few people come to me actually wanting work to clean and stuff like that. So, it is not a new thing, it is not hard to find. Now whether they are good or do what you like or what the guest like that is a whole other story.
[0:13:27.3] WS: So, you mentioned 24-hour questions, how does that work?
[0:13:31.7] HL: Oh, my goodness. So people just have questions and some of them are nitpicky. You know imagine yourself being a guest or you know, any guest of any kind of hotel industry kind of thing. You know sometimes there is questions they need to know how to turn on the stereo, they are wondering why the fax machine doesn’t work. They want to know what is wrong with the internet. They want to know why there’s a speck of dust on the floor.
They want to know why the dishwasher, you know what is going on with the dishwasher. You know there is so many different things. The TV is doing that and you know the getting on location, what is going on, so there is a literally the phone and the questions can be around the clock and so you know, it is up to answer.
[0:14:23.2] WS: So, do we have to just be like ready to answer that at any time? I mean how important is it that we are answering those right away?
[0:14:31.3] HL: It is really important to be honest with you. It is very important. And I guess to each his own but to me, it is important because I like some of the things that I care. And again, so many of the things that we are talking about dealing with the right system, it’s systemized. So, these are things that take for instance straight out. Somebody coming on and saying that they want to get into there is a lot of people that come to me and say, “Hey, they want to get into Airbnb.”
Or their short-term rental market. Like they want to get in and what I highly suggest is however they want to figure it out they’re going to take that route. A lot of them go to a class or something like that and I just say, “Hey when you’re pulling your hair out come to me. I am here for you.”
[0:15:21.2] WS: What about just the high turnover? I mean just lots of turnover, right? And is this going to be a problem with our say neighboring tenants?
[0:15:30.1] HL: You know what? So that is a great question. It has been and then there’s ways to handle that. So, I will give you an example. As far as the turnover, the amazing thing about using the system is the maintenance. So literally people have handed me their keys and when they come back to get their property, you know whenever they end the service, it is actually in better shape than they left it with me. And so that is due to maintenance and getting in their constantly when something is broken it is fixed right away. And generally, at the guest’s expense because the guest is the one who comes in and you know breaks whatever it is. So, when we replace it, you just invoice the app and it gets taken care off, it is a great system.
Now as far as the other side of you know all of it, it is definitely a handful. It is definitely a handful.
[0:16:25.3] WS: Yeah. I can just imagine like tenants not liking being next to an Airbnb that’s coming in and out often or lots of turnover. But I could see too where we may have 30 buildings in one property and really isolating this to a few units in one building or something like that. So, it is not randomly and in numerous different places but also what about the ratings? The ratings are pretty important, right? I know when we travelled numerous times we’d stay at Airbnb’s.
And we’ve picked some that we thought were going to be really good and we get there and they are not so great. I mean like cockroaches everywhere. Or you know just numerous things like, “Wait a minute, you know the pictures did not accurately described this, you know?” So, you know how do we get good ratings because I know they are important but how do we also have to make sure they’re accurate?
[0:17:17.3] HL: Okay. So, the one thing is with say for instance with location being in an area where nobody wants it, I actually currently have one. And that is management and making sure that the right guest stay there. That is really what that is so I have to really screen them well and so that is how you avoid those problems.
Now with the ratings and stuff like that. In the case of cockroaches that is a big deal. So that would need to be addressed as far as say for instance on the guest side, I would definitely address that and it is something that the host should want to help with.
I wouldn’t tolerate that. I haven’t – that is the first time I have actually heard of that. But I get it. I know that that is where they come from, you know inside the households so I am not surprised. As far as the actual ratings on your stars, your feedback and stuff like that I am going to go to – this would be more geared towards say for instance people who want actually host and then also people who look at the ratings for somewhere that they want to stay.
The one is for the host, don’t be afraid to get less than five stars. That is a really big deal. I know a lot of people who stress themselves out, get grey hair over their five-star reviews and they used to be more. Until I realized that the power that I guess have are they are able to literally have – you will give them the absolute seven-star treatment. Everything will be glorious and they will still give you three stars. There is nothing you could do. You do your best and keep it moving, honestly. Make your money, you know? Make your money. Just do your best because that’s what we can do.
And as far as the people that are looking at the reviews from a point where they want to book. The best thing to do is read all of them. That’s what I do. I read all of the reviews and another little trick that I do because I’m an avid traveler myself is like say for instance, sometimes I’ll go into the Google search on my phone and I’ll try to like put little things in that resembled the listing that I’m looking at.
I use this for any event that I was actually going to be throwing. I use that and I find the house itself so I go through another way and then I could see the whole area. And sometimes you can see you know, inside pictures and stuff like that. As far as the bugs and stuff like that. If it’s happened, somebody else will put those in the reviews too. I’m sure, half of that.
[0:19:59.9] WS: Yeah, what about if we hire somebody like yourself, is that on like a percentage bases or is that a fixed rate. What should we expect?
[0:20:06.9] HL: Yeah, it is a percentage and what I do is I start out with what your goal is. If your goal, you know, we talk about that, usually the second conversation. And then look at what the area rates are as far as what the longer-term rents would be and then figure out what the happy medium for you is. Like what you cannot do without and then go from there.
[0:20:30.9] WS: Okay. Just a few last questions Holly, before we run out of time. What’s a way that you’ve recently improved your business that we could apply to ours?
[0:20:39.2] HL: Recently improved? My assistant is currently making a training brochure. Like a training booklet, an online one. So that the next assistants that she hires, like sub-assistants can do things way more efficiently. I have a lot of assistants. You know, they help with everything. They’re on 24/7 so that I’m able to say, “Hey. Make this list. Do this. Do that. “I’m like nonstop. I see that that’s really efficient. It’s a tip I’ve actually been sharing with everybody.
[0:21:17.3] WS: How do you manage all the assistants?
[0:21:18.7] HL: She does now. I used to and it was, I wouldn’t say stressful. But it was, it just didn’t make sense. I was doing the wrong job. Now my master assistant actually takes all that on which is a lot, so much better.
[0:21:35.7] WS: Where is she located. Can I ask?
[0:21:37.1] HL: Yeah. She’s in the Philippines.
[0:21:38.2] WS: okay.
[0:21:38.7] HL: Of course.
[0:21:39.9] WS: What’s the one thing that’s contributed to your success?
[0:21:43.1] HL: I’m going to have to go with network. I am like above and beyond, that is like what I am, who I am, what I do. It’s absolutely the network in creating the biggest and most helpful network I possibly can, absolutely. Because there is just no – I hear a lot of people are going for abundance and that’s like where it is, it’s literally like working together to create whatever the end result is and I love it.
[0:22:12.8] WS: How do you like to give back?
[0:22:14.7] HL: I love it when people have a ton of questions for me and I’m able to inspire them to their next step, you know? On one of those – I love it, yeah.
[0:22:28.3] WS: Awesome. Well thank you very much Holly, tell the listeners how they can get in touch with you?
[0:22:33.0] HL: Absolutely. They can go to my website which is my name, hollylynn.com. You can contact me through there and I look forward to connecting with you.
[0:22:48.1] WS: Awesome, thank you very much Holly.
[0:22:49.1] HL: Thank you so much.
[0:22:51.1] WS: Don’t go yet, thank you for listening to today’s episode. I would love it if you would go to iTunes right now and leave a rating and written review. I want to hear your feedback. It makes a big difference in getting the podcast out there. You can also go to the Real Estate Syndication Show on Facebook so you can connect with me and we can also receive feedback and your questions there that you want me to answer on the show.
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[END OF INTERVIEW]
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