Behind the Host with Sarah Weaver

What It’s REALLY Like to Own and Run a Hospitality Business While Travelling


Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 543.

In this podcast episode, Liam welcomes Sarah Weaver, an expert in managing short-term and medium-term rentals as a digital nomad. Sarah is the author of a book on medium-term rentals and provides tips and advice on how hosts can work from afar while still self-managing their rentals. Sarah is currently in Bangkok, Thailand speaking at a conference for location-independent entrepreneurs. She shares how she got into the world of hospitality and how she became an Airbnb host. She explains that she was an avid Airbnb user who wanted to find a job that would allow her to be location-independent. She later wrote it in her journal and 8 days later, she became an Airbnb host. She shares her story and provides tips on how hosts can manage their rentals while traveling.

Here's the video for this episode:

Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Intro
02:40 – How you got into the world of hospitality.
08:01 – What sort of investment?
15:01 – Any tips?
19:37 – What does the journey look like?
26:09 – What do you have to do to attract people for medium term rentals?
32:09 – What kind of tech do you use?
37:05 – Is there any perceptions that changed?
44:38 – What is the one motto or mantra?
46:19 – Outro

Whilst you’re here

Follow Boostly on the following channels to get more tips, tactics and knowledge on how you can increase your direct bookings

Visual – YouTube

Audio – Boostly Podcast




Transcript from the Episode

[00:00:00] Liam: Hey, hey, welcome to another episode of the Behind the Host podcast on the Boostly podcast. So I'm Liam Carolan, the co-host, and today we've got a special guest for you. So today we are joined by Sarah Weaver. Now, I'm not gonna take any of, uh, the sort of introduction away from Sarah. She's gonna introduce herself in a second.

[00:00:19] But today's episode is all about how you can be a, uh, somebody working from afar. So a digital nomad in this case. Able to travel to the places you've always wanted to travel to while still self-managing, uh, a number of short term and mid-term rentals or medium term rentals, which we're gonna dive into.

[00:00:39] Um, Sarah is, uh, is a real expert. She's literally written the book on medium term rentals. So, uh, we're gonna dive into that today. And ultimately you're gonna pick up some actionable tips on how you, as a host can put some of the things that, uh, Sarah's found works for her into action. So, Listening for the next sort of 30 to 40 minutes.

[00:00:59] It's gonna be a [00:01:00] good one today and, uh, I'm so excited to have her here. Before we do, what I'd love to do is to ask you a question. So if you are watching on the Facebook Live, if you say in the comments, just mention, um, Are you a host who would like to work from afar? If you could, you know, if that was, uh, an option for you and if you are a host who would like to do that, what's currently stopping you?

[00:01:23] So if you add those comments in below, um, I'll happily go through and answer any of those and, uh, perhaps Sarah can, uh, can help us with some of the answers as to how we can break through some of those bot bottlenecks as well. So, Sarah, welcome along.

[00:01:38] Sarah: Thank you for having me.

[00:01:40] Liam: So, um, before we get started, I'd love to, first of all, um, for the people on the live.

[00:01:45] I know on the podcast you might not be able to see this, but Sarah stood in front of one of the, uh, the brick walls, which looks like it's one of the, uh, you know, sort of fake backgrounds. But, uh, whereabouts are you in the world right now and, uh, and why?

[00:01:58] Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. So [00:02:00] I am in Bangkok, Thailand. This week.

[00:02:02] I am actually speaking at a conference. It's called the Dynamite Circle, and they are location independent entrepreneurs. Most people are talking about SAS or crypto or building a business, hiring, and I'm here to talk about how I invest in real estate as a perpetual.

[00:02:22] Liam: Amazing. Amazing. So all the way in Bangkok and uh, just for anybody who's watching the live, that is a real wall behind here at the moment.

[00:02:28] Yeah. .

[00:02:29] Sarah: Exactly. Um, yeah, I'm staying at my friend's apartment. He's actually from York. . And so he, uh, lives here with his wife and, and teaches, and I'm here at their apartment.

[00:02:39] Liam: Amazing. Amazing. So let's go back then. So at the moment, uh, you're traveling, you're speaking at conferences, um, you, you are a host yourself, which we're gonna dive into.

[00:02:48] Um, but take us back to how you got into the world of hospitality.

[00:02:53] Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. So before I became an Airbnb host, I was an avid Airbnb user, [00:03:00] so I have been a traveler for a very long time. I first went abroad when I was 19, and I think a light bulb went off. that year, and I thought, okay, I need to find a job where I can be location independent.

[00:03:14] And that's what I called it. Um, a few years later, I even wrote it in my journal. I want to be location independent, and eight days later I got a job where I could live anywhere. And so for five, about five and a half, I worked for a US-based company, but worked remotely. And so that was my first kind of experience being a digital nomad.

[00:03:37] Um, really practicing this whole life of being able to wake up at any time and, and answer calls or, um, the technology needed to run a business from anywhere in the world. That's how I got into it. Then about, gosh, maybe two years into being location independent, I read a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad, which a lot of real [00:04:00] estate investors read, and I realized that I was never going to be wealthy by just having a job.

[00:04:07] The way that the United States system works, it's just there's not a good pension plan, there's no health insurance, and it's really. Stack away cash unless you do what's called geo arbitrage. So I lived in South America for, uh, a little over a year, and I just saved my money and during that time I bought a property.

[00:04:29] The, the United States does a lot of things wrong, but one of the things that, uh, I think we do right, is we make it home ownership possible. So I was only making 52,000. US dollars a year, and I was able to buy two properties within two years and turn them into investment properties.

[00:04:49] That's amazing. That's amazing.

[00:04:50] And just going back to where you've, you've just written that down to saying, Hey, I want to be, you know, location independent. Was that the term you used? Yes. Yeah. Um, [00:05:00] do you think that if you hadn't have written that down, you wouldn't have searched for that job? That sounds like that was an intentional kind of, uh, you know, and, and a lot of people, Say, you know, you've got to write down your goals.

[00:05:11] How, how important was that for you?

[00:05:14] Oh, Liam, I'm so glad you're asking this because, um, I call it manifesting. I know a lot of people call it that. And it was interesting. I was talking about manifesting not very long ago, um, at a conference and someone was like, okay, but what is it? And so I do wanna break it down.

[00:05:29] I think manifesting is g getting really clear on what you. and simply writing it down, it's making a manifestation or even a, an a, uh, a declaration even that this is what I want. And I think eventually I, it would've happened. I think writing it down isn't necessarily like mutually exclusive with it happening, but I do think that it happened as quickly as it.

[00:05:57] because I wrote it down. And what happens when you [00:06:00] write it down, and I actually do it differently now. So as I said, I wrote, I want to be location independent. Now I write everything down, either in the presence or the present, or the past tense. So for example, I wanted to write a book and I wrote, . I wrote a book and I wrote that sentence in my journal and then this is gonna sound really woowoo, so bear with me, you guys.

[00:06:22] But then I go as far as imagining it's happened and then giving gratitude. So whether you're religious or you wanna thank the universe, I thank the universe for like giving me the opportunity to write a book. And then you feel what it feels like to. Become location independent or write a book or own an Airbnb or have the man of your dreams, whatever you're, you're manifesting, you actually imagine it happening.

[00:06:48] You, you do a visual, a visualization and yeah, I think it really, really, really works. Um, I think a lot of my accomplishments and my success ties back to my [00:07:00] intention of writing it down and manifest.

[00:07:02] Liam: I love that. I love that. And, um, you know, that's, they say that's what pro-athletes do a lot of the time is they, you know, envision themselves either having succeeded or succeeding.

[00:07:11] Uh, there's a great book, I can't remember the name of it, by David Goggins, who talks about this, about how visualization is just so important and how your, you can use your mind to, uh, help you, you know, whether or not it's chemically or who knows. But it's one of those things where if you start to.

[00:07:30] Believe, and to put your mind, put yourself into that place where you've already done it, you're much more likely to succeed because whether or not it's increasing your skillset or just your belief, um, or characteristics, depending on, on what it is, something's changing within yourself to make yourself, uh, get that goal, um, or, or bring that goal to fruition, which is amazing.

[00:07:51] So, um, I had to dive in there as soon as you said that that was written down. I know we've, uh, we've gone off track, so, with your, your two investments that you, um, [00:08:00] uh, that you got there. What, what sort of investments were they, were they long-term? Were they, were they short-term rental? What sort of, um, Uh, investments and, and where were you working?

[00:08:09] Just mention again, where, where were you working at the time? Yeah.

[00:08:12] Sarah: I worked for a company called Pro r e a staffing, and we helped real estate agents grow their business. So we were recruiting and staffing agency. And my boss at the time, she was well ahead of her time. She was using Skype. Way before we lived on Zoom and she was doing Skype interviews as early as 20 11, 20 12.

[00:08:33] Um, she, like me, is an avid traveler and so when she interviewed me for the job, we spent more time talking about travel than we did my qualifications. And for those of you listening and, and don't know, not very many Americans travel, especially travel at the extent that I do. And so definitely I kind of found.

[00:08:53] two peas and a pod with that boss. So to answer your question about the properties, I bought a single [00:09:00] family home, um, and turned it into a long-term rental. And then two years later I bought a duplex or a a two unit, and I turned that into a long-term rental. And that was my first experience of owning property from afar.

[00:09:15] So I bought these properties and almost immediately bought a one-way ticket to Europe. Used my 90 days that they allow me to hang out in Europe, and then from there, ended up moving to Argentina down in South America and was doing all of my deal analysis and property management from.

[00:09:34] Liam: Wow. So not even being close to the, the areas as well.

[00:09:37] Oh, no, . Yeah. And we're talking thousands of miles, not just a, a few hundred. So when was your first, um, experience? A lot of our guests are gonna be hospitality owners. Uh, when was your first experience of hosting people on a, a short term or even a midterm? Um, uh, how many years into the sort of real estate investing journey did, uh, short term rental and midterm [00:10:00] medium term rental, uh, come.

[00:10:02] Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. So in 2017, I bought that single family, and then in 2021, that's when I really got serious about real estate investing. When we're talking about manifesting, I started identifying myself as a real estate investor. I started hanging out with real estate investors and that year, I bought a fourplex or a four unit, a duplex, a duplex, and a fourplex all within 92 days of each other.

[00:10:28] Wow. And so, yeah, I scaled really quickly that year and that first fourplex, I turned two of the four units into furnace rentals. And put them on Airbnb. I had them as a short-term rental, meaning they were renting for two to three nights. But really quickly I discovered that the city that I was in, Omaha, Nebraska, which for those of you that don't know, that's like a tiny 400,000 person town in middle of America.

[00:10:58] Not normally what you think of when you [00:11:00] think of. Hotspot destination for an Airbnb. So to my surprise, the Airbnb did really well. Like there were a lot of people wanting to stay there in the summer. And then what I had thought, or my preconceived notions about Nebraska, which is who the heck goes to Nebraska, um, became true in the fall.

[00:11:20] And so that is when I switched from short-term rental to medium-term rental, and I started renting for 30 days, or. Amazing.

[00:11:29] Liam: So with you going into this, this market which you've analyzed from Argentina, um, you've got these units quite quickly. Um, before we dive into the midterm, uh, medium term rental, which I definitely want to get into, what challenges.

[00:11:46] Did it present for yourself, being from afar? Was there any challenges or was it all smooth sailing from, from afar? Cause I think that's one of the things which I always look at and think, well, you know, as, as a host, and I'm sure people listening will feel the same, that if I was [00:12:00] looking at market, which I'm not able to go to within a few hours drive, um, that, that would worry me.

[00:12:06] Is, is there any challenges or any, um, any kind of mindset shift that needs to happen for, for myself and for hosts to be able to do? .

[00:12:16] Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. So what happened for me was I actually lived in New Zealand by the time I 2021 hit, um, right before Covid, um, as the United States shut their borders to Europe.

[00:12:29] my jaw hit the floor and I thought, oh no. The next country I go to, I'm gonna be trapped in. And so as a digital nomad, I can live anywhere in the world. I might as well pick the best country. Um, don't you love, we like live veno in a world where we can Google, you know, best headphones to buy Best microphone, best Thai restaurant for dinner.

[00:12:52] But you can't necessarily Google like best country to live in because everyone's gonna have a different opinion. Right. For, for [00:13:00] Covid or right before the pandemic hit, I wrote in my journal, um, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia. Um, for context, I was living in Bali, but I was in Malaysia for the weekend doing a visa run, and I just panicked and I thought, okay, if, if I get stuck in a.

[00:13:18] Um, I, I wanna be stuck in a really great country, so I fled to New Zealand. I bought a one way ticket, um, on a visitor visa, and four days later, they shut their borders. and then the world just kind of started to go crazy as everyone knows. And, um, we don't talk about covid cuz everyone experienced it differently.

[00:13:38] But what that meant for me as an investor was I was on an island in the Pacific Ocean on literally the other side of the world. Mani, um, analyzing deals from 8,000 miles. So for me it wasn't necessarily this like huge mindset shift. It was [00:14:00] I would have to give up my life in New Zealand. if I can't get over the worry of analyzing from afar.

[00:14:07] And so it was either get over it or get on a plane and basically give up the life that I had in New Zealand for, for those of you that probably don't, that you probably all know, but New Zealand had like zero cases of Covid. We were completely free, the borders were shut, and there was a flight to LA every day so I could leave.

[00:14:28] I wasn't actually trapped. . Mm-hmm. . I could leave, but I couldn't come. It was a one-way ticket out. Like if you left, you couldn't come back. And so it was really kind of this really cool thing that happened because it forced me to be okay with long, long distance investing.

[00:14:47] Liam: That's really cool because we, like you say, you had a choice there and, and by deciding, you know, this one, I definitely don't want, so I'm gonna have to get through this, this mindset, uh, mindset shift and to, to be able to be [00:15:00] okay with it, which is amazing.

[00:15:01] So, Once you've decided on that, on that mindset shift, is there any, um, any tips or any, how, how did you do it, I guess is the question? How did you manage for from afar with these new places?

[00:15:14] Sarah: Yeah, it's really cool. Like when your back is up against a wall, you can figure out anything. . And so, um, when it came to analyzing markets, I had a criteria.

[00:15:24] I wanted population growth, job growth, wage growth, meaning I wanted more people moving there. I wanted them making more money and they, I wanted them to keep their job so that I could continue to house them. Then I needed a, a market where the price was a certain price point. You know, I wasn't, I was still making less than 60,000 US dollars a year, so I couldn't.

[00:15:44] an $800,000 house. So that limited the, the types of markets that I could invest in. Then. , you have to have people sending you deals because I couldn't knock on doors or I could have cold called and made a bunch of [00:16:00] calls, but I really needed what I call boots on the ground. And so then that led me down a search to find an investor friendly agent.

[00:16:08] Then I needed that investor friendly agent to send me deals. And so what started out as looking at nine different. Really led to me looking at two markets, which were two markets. One, I had never been to Des Moines, Iowa, and the other was Omaha, Nebraska. Uh, but for anyone that's ever like visited their, their auntie for Christmas, you, you don't like, Toured the town.

[00:16:33] I wasn't like super familiar with Omaha, Nebraska. I had just been to my aunt's house in the suburbs and so again, I wasn't really familiar. I had never been to that part of the town before. Um, and those are the two markets that I ended up investing in.

[00:16:46] Liam: Do you know one of those things that you've mentioned there, which just so important for everybody listening, whether wherever, not the uk, US worldwide, wherever they are, is.

[00:16:55] And this is, even if they're based locally, is just analyzing that market [00:17:00] is and treating it like a business instead of, many times when we talk to hosts, they're just going, well, I like going on holiday to, you know, I like going on vacation to this place. And that's where they think of. But actually you see itself is it's actually looking at a place where, you know, there is an investment happening where the population is growing, where there's something going on where, you know, Your money is probably gonna be safer there because it's a growing, growing market and then finding the right person to help you.

[00:17:28] Yeah. You know, which even if you were local, you'd still need somebody to, uh, well, presumably you'd need somebody to help you with the investing as well, but it's, it's finding the right person or pupil to, to assist. Um, which is amazing. It sounds like there, there was somebody successful in, uh, uh, Nebraska who helped you.

[00:17:46] Sarah: Absolutely. And you touched on something that I think is so important and it's that you are investing in real estate. You're not investing in lifestyle. if I want to own, let's say a beach, I just recently went to [00:18:00] Hawaii. Um, went to Maui for the first time. It's funny, as a backpacker, I never understood the appeal of Hawaii because it's so expensive.

[00:18:07] I'm like, why wouldn't you go to the Caribbean or Southeast Asia? But then I realized, Oh, like I could actually just move to Hawaii. There's no visa. It's a United States territory and now a state. And so I realized that. I was like, oh, maybe I do wanna own an Airbnb in Maui. That is a lifestyle investment.

[00:18:27] The amount of cash flow that I'm gonna get from Maui. is going to be less than what I'm getting in properties in the Midwest as far as cash on cash return. And so I encourage the listeners to instead thinking about where would I like to own property? It's, it's really kind of looking at the timeline. So where do I need to own property?

[00:18:49] to build up my cash reserves or have really good cash on cash return. And then later in life you can invest in an investment property. At least that's how I had to [00:19:00] invest. There might be listeners in here who just have a bunch of money and in that case, like go buy the houses in Hawaii, like all power to you.

[00:19:07] But I have a feeling a lot of people are getting into investing because they need the cash flow. Mm-hmm. . And so start thinking about where can I. And then you can use that money and you could go vacation anywhere in the world. . Yeah,

[00:19:20] Liam: absolutely. I love it. I love it. Assess, demand. Um, uh, we will dive into some tech and, and to see what you're using in a mi a minute as well.

[00:19:28] But, so you've got your places, uh, you know, you've got your first, uh, was, well I say first places. You've got a lot of places within a short period of time. What does the journey look like at the moment? How many, uh, long-term, short-term, medium term properties do you, do you look after or manage at the moment?

[00:19:46] Yeah. And do you manage or do you, do you have some.

[00:19:49] Sarah: So I own 19 units in four states. There are eight buildings. Um, there's one single family, the rest are all duplexes or four plexes. So [00:20:00] it's 19 apartment units and nine of them are furnished. and 10 of them are long-term, so half of my portfolio's long-term rentals and half of my portfolio are furnished.

[00:20:11] Mm-hmm. , they're all functioning right now because it's fall. They're all functioning as medium-term rentals. And then in the summer I kind of play with what I call this hybrid model where I'll switch some of them to short-term rental capitalize on the higher average night stay, and then I'll switch them back to medium term rental.

[00:20:31] and yes, I self-manage all of them. I wanna be really clear that I don't necessarily recommend self-managing. If you are listening to this and you are a high income earner, don't apply for another job and become a self-manager, go ahead and hire that out. But for me, self-managing meant keeping more money in my pocket and giving me the ability to quit my job.

[00:20:56] Liam: That's cool. That's cool. And you, you've kind of touched on something there, which is the, [00:21:00] it is a job to, to manage, you know, self-managing isn't something that can be done completely passively. There is some, um, there is some work involved in it, isn't it? But then you reap the rewards from it, which is, which is cool.

[00:21:11] So, Mid, uh, medium term rentals you mentioned because it's fall, a lot of them have gone to, uh, medium term and, and long term. Uh, for the people listening both on the podcast and on the live. What, what is medium term rental?

[00:21:26] Sarah: Yeah, so medium term is similar to a short term rental. It is a furnace rental. What differentiates short and medium is the nightly stay.

[00:21:35] So a short-term rental is gonna be two to three nights maybe a week. It's really interesting. Half of all Airbnb bookings are now a week or longer. , which I think is really interesting. Um, but then you have 24% of all bookings on Airbnb are 28 days or longer. Um, 28 Day Stay wasn't a great title for our book.

[00:21:58] Um, so we named it 30 [00:22:00] Day Stay. Um, and so I'm always thinking of medium term rentals as 30 days or more. My typical tenant stays 91 days on average, and they're all sorts of different tenants. .

[00:22:14] Liam: So with that, I mean, short-term rental, I think a lot of people listening in will know short-term rental. Yeah.

[00:22:19] There's a lot of, uh, hospitality owners will be thinking Airbnb, people stand for a weekend, a week, you know, few weeks on vacation, that sort of thing. Um, long-term of course is, is pupil who are using it as a family home, but that mid medium term, and here in the UK we often say midterm as well. So I use those terms interchangeably.

[00:22:38] Um, wh who is it who's staying for that period of time? And. .

[00:22:43] Sarah: Yes. Um, all different reasons. So a lot of my tenants, um, again, I'm, they're all in the us. A lot of my tenants are traveling nurses. Mm-hmm. , there's this really cool concept where nurses can get 13 week contracts and they typically make four to five times as much money [00:23:00] as a regular contract nurse.

[00:23:02] And so I'm housing a lot of nurses. My properties are near hospital complexes. That's who I target. But not all medium term tenants are nurses. Some of them are construction workers, seasonal workers. We're seeing a lot more like Amazon warehouse workers moving to NE to a town near an Amazon warehouse, cuz the pay is better and they need a furnish rental during that time cuz they're seasonal.

[00:23:28] I've also housed people who need a furnish rental because they're looking for their next home and maybe they sold their previous home, or they're new to a town. I've housed a couple while they renovated their kitchen. I've also gotten a panic message from a divorcee who was like, I need to move in tomorrow.

[00:23:49] Liam: And that, I mean, what I love about this is we are talking about people who are traveling while working and you're hosting them while traveling, while working, and the whole thing is, is [00:24:00] self-perpetuating. Because I imagine that you are staying medium term in some of the places that you're staying in. Is that correct?

[00:24:06] Sarah: Yeah, Liam, I'm so glad that you brought that up because yes, I am a medium term rental investor and I'm a medium term rental user, and so I would like my accountant to somehow make it so that everywhere I stay is a business expense, but I haven't quite figured that out yet. But yes, I, I've been using Airbnbs for years and often I am a medium term tenant.

[00:24:29] I like to stay somewhere. For example, I moved to Meine Colombia in South America, and I lived there for six weeks. So I technically was a medium term tenant, and those are the types of people that I serve. Digital nomads are becoming way more common. Um, worldwide, there's 36 million. Digital nomads, 11 million of them live in the United States, and 76% of those prefer [00:25:00] to work in the us.

[00:25:01] So that means we have, let's call it 7 million digital nomads in the US who want to live in the us. I think a lot of their jobs actually require them because of security purposes. And so we have 7 million digital nomads just in the US alone who want to work remotely. So that's another like pocket that you can serve.

[00:25:22] I don't think they're necessarily gonna flock to Oman, Nebraska. I should probably pick a cooler destination if I'm gonna serve digital nomas. Um, but you never. I have served a digital nomad. Her mom lives in Omaha, and so she lived in San Francisco. Um, things with Covid were kind of weird and restrictions were really, um, different in San Francisco than Omaha.

[00:25:44] And so she rented my place for a month and worked from Omaha to be close to her mom.

[00:25:50] Liam: That's really cool. And just having that, um, just having those options. Knowing that you can go long-term, mid-term, short-term, [00:26:00] you know, you, you've really got a lot of options there. What is it that makes the places more attractive?

[00:26:06] You know, you, you mentioned they're furnished, um, properties. Is there anything in particular you have to do to attract, uh, people for medium term rentals? And an another sort of attachment to that is where do you find people, you know, where do you advertise to to get people?

[00:26:23] Sarah: Absolutely. If you are thinking about having a furnished rental, short or medium term, I urge you, you have to have a professional photographer.

[00:26:32] Mm-hmm. . So it sounds really simple. It's kind of a no-brainer for a lot of us, but that really differentiates you from the other listings. So you have to have a professional photographer. and then spend the money on some of the things that make your unit pop. So examples are great throw pillows or coffee table books, anything that adds texture and layering.

[00:26:52] Not only does it photograph well, but it's aesthetically pleasing and. where I list helps me stand out. [00:27:00] So Airbnb is full of beautiful listings. You know, some great interior designers have flood the market. Some beautiful listings are on Airbnb, and I do list on Airbnb with a 28 day minimum. Mm-hmm. . I also list on a website called furnished

[00:27:17] and I don't mean to sound rude when I say this, but the listings on furnish finder are nowhere near as aesthetically pleasing as they are on Airbnb, meaning the competition just isn't there. So it's really easy for my units to stand out when it's in a sea of, you know, unprofessional photos, darkly lit, terribly decorated.

[00:27:40] My units.

[00:27:42] Liam: That sounds amazing. And uh, for anybody listening of Furnish Finder, unfortunately we don't have here in the uk, but I know that is such a, a good option for the US and there's something like, what about a hundred dollars for a for to list for a year, something like that, isn't it?

[00:27:55] Sarah: Exactly. It's $99 and then every listing after that is even cheaper.[00:28:00]

[00:28:00] And so I'm just kind of holding my breath. We shouldn't talk. Oh, yes. That's very expensive. Yeah, that's, we don't wanna, we don't want them to catch on that they should raise their prices . Exactly.

[00:28:08] Liam: Worst kept secret, saying how good it is. And then they, they go, hang on, we could up our price. Um, but yeah, I

[00:28:13] Sarah: will, I will, I will poo poo on them a little bit though.

[00:28:16] Their user experience is really bad and so I hope that the CEO's listening, um, improve your user experience before you raise.

[00:28:25] Liam: Uh, awesome, awesome. Fingers crossed, . Um, yeah, across here in the UK we've got something called open rent, which is more for longer term, but certainly places where short term hosts can, uh, list to try and get longer contracts.

[00:28:39] Um, certainly people who are working in the area, um, but for contract basis and that side of things, which is really cool. So, and there's two,

[00:28:47] Sarah: there's two types of people that I forgot to mention, um, that you can also. so you can house people who, um, are doing an insurance claim. So in the United States, we love insurance and we love suing [00:29:00] people.

[00:29:00] And so if your house is flooded or burned down or becomes unlivable, you can claim through your insurance and they will place you in a new. home. And so we saw a lot of that happening with the wildfires in California. There was terrible wire wildfires that went through Boulder, Colorado, and all of those families then needed to be placed in a home, likely furnished.

[00:29:25] And so if you're an investor and you get in with these insurance companies, you can oftentimes get four to five times as much as you would other.

[00:29:34] Liam: That's amazing. And I mean, I love, uh, diving into media term rentals, but there's just so much, uh, more I want to talk about as well. So, um, when working from afar, is there anyone, do, do you need a power team?

[00:29:47] Is there any, have you got like, some most, most valuable players, MVPs, you know, like who are on your team who help you to do this while you're, you know, sort of

[00:29:56] Sarah: travel? Yes, your cleaner is your [00:30:00] nvp. I mean, they are your eyes and ears for every turnover. They are your connector. And so your cleaner is so, so important, and you're probably gonna fire them eventually.

[00:30:14] So you should have not one cleaner, but you should have. Four or five cleaners because something will happen. Unfortunately, I've gone through a lot of cleaners and what's really interesting, Liam, is I'm actually a daughter of a cleaning lady, so my mom cleans houses. She used to clean construction homes, like brand new builds before they moved in, but when 2008, the housing crash, she had to stop doing that and start cleaning regular residential homes.

[00:30:40] And so I actually spent my childhood helping my mom in the. Cleaning people's houses, and so it's really cool to come full circle and realize that I now employ cleaners. They often have families. I've even met some of their kids and looking at their son, you know, he's like [00:31:00] has his phone in one hand and a rag in the other.

[00:31:02] I'm like, kid, I've been there. Like that was me when I was your age. And my mom as well as my grandfather, they told me they were like, Work with your head, not your hands. Yeah. And so it's really cool to come full circle and employ cleaners considering that I'm a daughter of a

[00:31:21] Liam: cleaner. I like that. I like that story arc.

[00:31:23] That's . It's, um, for, for me, my, my uncle, he owns a cleaning business, which I worked for when I was a teenager, and that is just one of those things where the, the reason he always says is that, look, there'll always be a need for cleaning. You'll never be short of work for, for, for being a cleaner. He said there won't be, you know, is manual work, but there'll always be work.

[00:31:43] But one of the things which allows you to do is when you've seen it firsthand is understand that it is, you know, there, there is some work involved. You know, isn't necessarily, is it repetitive? Yes. But is it easy? Not, not all the time. And that's one of the things where being able to put yourself in your cleaner's shoes [00:32:00] and, and understanding, uh, that is so important.

[00:32:02] So, um, yeah, that's really cool. Um, so we briefly touched on tech earlier on, uh, what kind of tech do you use in your business, which helps you to manage from, from afar? And, um, particularly going back to the, the question before is, do you use some to analyze deals from afar?

[00:32:23] Sarah: Yes, great question. So my tech stack includes a, I, we already mentioned Airbnb and Furnish Finder.

[00:32:29] Um, so Airbnb is a booking site, but Furnish finder's just a listing site. So then you're gonna need to take those leads or tenants off of the site and move them to something where they're gonna accept payment. As well as house their lease. So I use a company called Ave. It's a v a i and that is a property management software.

[00:32:52] Um, their competitor would be I use them as well. And, and so some of my units are on one and some of my units are on the other. and [00:33:00] so that, that's my tech tech stack when it comes to that. Then now that I have nine furnished rentals, I wanted to make automated messaging easier, communicating with my cleaner, easier.

[00:33:12] So I use a site called Hospitable. Um, I actually believe they're based in Europe. I think they're based in the Netherlands, and so I use that for my furnish. And then I have a veil for my long-term rentals. And then another piece of technology that I don't think people talk about enough in the short-term rental space is your task management software.

[00:33:33] So something like, Trello, Asana. I prefer Asana, but that is, absolutely essential because you're doing the same thing over and over again Every time a a, a tenant leaves, in my case, you know, they're only leaving four times a year. Mm-hmm. cuz you're housing them on average for 90 days. And so why not make a checklist?

[00:33:54] So I love Asana because it makes making templates really easy and then it made [00:34:00] hiring really easy. So something that I've done in. Gosh, eight, eight months is, I've started to hire, so I have a full-time virtual assistant in the Philippines and I have a full-time executive assistant in the United States, and they now both property manage my properties so that I'm not the one messaging guests every day.

[00:34:22] It's them.

[00:34:24] Liam: That's cool. That's really cool and hospitable, you mentioned there, which we've gotta give a shout to. We've, we've had Matt on here on, on the podcast, on, on Mark's side of things. And, uh, yeah, it is a really useful, useful, uh, messaging service and, and makes things a lot easier and the. Software, which helps you to just manage tasks in general, like, so you use aana, right?

[00:34:46] Um, I've, I've, I'm one of them people who I've, I've tried every single one of those. I've tried, um, you know, I've tried aana, Trello, and I've gone through 'em all. And one of the things I always think we've, with those kind of technologies is sometimes we're [00:35:00] trying to use them because that is what we kind of feel we should.

[00:35:04] But if you're not finding that they're working for you and making things simple and easy, switch to the next one, which is what I've done. And eventually I've landed on one called click up. And, uh, yeah, once you find one that works for you, it just, it, it just works so much better, doesn't it? Just to manage those, those tasks where you can either prioritize or have reminders or lists like you say.

[00:35:24] That's just so I.

[00:35:25] Sarah: Yeah, and I should be really clear that I am not a dot IROs t type of person. Um, I am a visionary for anyone that like subscribes to es uh, e o s or traction or rocket fuel. Like I'm a hundred percent visionary. I don't really care about the details and so I wanna be very clear in case my EA is listening.

[00:35:45] Um, I don't use a sauna . I am terrible at using the task management software. , but my team does, and I can slow down enough at times because I really, one thing as a, as a visionary is I [00:36:00] hate inefficiency. Mm-hmm. . And so I'm not a patient person. It's my only flaw. And I, I, but I love. Efficiency. So I, while I don't like slowing down enough and cross ts, I know the importance and it's the only way to scale, the only way that I can actually sleep through the night.

[00:36:19] Um, cuz trust me, there was a lot of sleepless nights, especially at the beginning. I was like, what if an Airbnb guest message or what if this happens? And there's a lot of worry that goes into all of this. I don't wanna sound nonchalant. . Oh, I lived in New Zealand and I just had to get over it. No, I was still worried, like I was worried.

[00:36:36] What if I buy the wrong deal? What if a plumbing issue happens? Mm-hmm. , what if? What if? What if? But I make sure that I still function even in the fear.

[00:36:46] Liam: It sounds like you've really got your, the, the path laid out and that you know, that despite the, the emotions involved, like say the, the fear, the anxiety, the worry that, you know, you've still gotta get there like a, like a, a [00:37:00] a rickety bridge sort of thing.

[00:37:01] You've still gotta get to the other side no matter what, and you know you will, which, which is amazing. So is there. Any perceptions which have changed over time. So obviously during your journey, you've, you've gone through a lot of, um, you know, well amazing different places to live. Um, investing in four states.

[00:37:20] What has been one perception which has changed over time from when you first set off on this path to what it is now?

[00:37:29] Sarah: Yeah, so I think one thing that I thought at the very beginning was that it was gonna take forever. So like, like I have talked a lot about manifesting and writing in my journal. It's so fun to go back and read because I thought, okay, maybe by 2025.

[00:37:46] all make, I don't know what I thought, 5,000 a month, 8,000 a month. And then because I like dosed rocket fuel on my portfolio in 2021, and I bought a fourplex, duplex, duplex, fourplex, I went [00:38:00] from making a thousand dollars a month in profit. to often making over $10,000 a month in profit. And so the perception that it's gonna take forever, um, is, is definitely the biggest thing that's changed.

[00:38:13] And now my goals are so, so, so much

[00:38:16] Liam: bigger. that reminds me of our, our previous guest mentioned, uh, Tony Robbins quote, which pupil, uh, is it Tony Robbins? Um, the one which is pupil, underestimate what they can do in one year. Uh, sorry. Underestimate what can be done in a decade, but overestimate what can be done in one year.

[00:38:31] And that's just so true, isn't it? And like you say, just by knowing the destination of, of what your aim is, what the goal is, that although you may feel. Looking forward, that is gonna be slow looking back. I mean, that's a whirlwind. I mean, all the different places purchased in a short period of time. Um, you know, within a few years you're, you're, you're free to now do, uh, what you want to do.

[00:38:54] And, uh, yeah. That's amazing.

[00:38:56] Sarah: So, yeah, and, and, and you get a re-identify or like, you [00:39:00] know, um, have a new identity all the time. So I'm at a place now where if I wanted to, I'm in Bangkok, right? So if I wanted, Stop what I'm doing and live in Bangkok. I could, I could stop like I could. I, it feels so weird to say retire, but I could.

[00:39:17] I could retire to a inexpensive place. Yeah. However, like I am from the US I would eventually like to live in the US and then I'd like to live in a cool city in the US and so the reality is I don't quite make enough money. To live the lifestyle that I want. If I wanted to live in a a Denver or in Austin, or a San Francisco, , however I get make that choice.

[00:39:41] So if I wanted to just chill for the next six to nine months, I could do that. But I also am wildly ambitious. And it's funny you mentioned David Goggins, that that book, I read that and I was like, hoorah. Like yeah, I'm gonna do it all . And so that's definitely my personality. But there's probably a lot of listeners [00:40:00] that are are thinking, man, I would love to just chill.

[00:40:03] And so I encourage you. Buy a rental property because if you buy even four really good rental properties, you may be able to retire.

[00:40:15] Liam: Yes. Uh, you've reminded me of a quote from, uh, there's a guy called uh, uh, What's his name? Uh, he's McDonald is his surname, but he, uh, he basically says, don't, uh, don't wait to buy property.

[00:40:27] Buy property and wait, which is just so, so important. So, um, I'd love to dive into, cause there's so much more to talk about. You do, um, home, uh, interior sort of advice. There's, there's so much more that we could talk about, but we are. Getting towards the end of the show and we'd like to, uh, do a couple of quick fire questions.

[00:40:44] And the other thing we've got to mention is your awesome website and the coaching that you offer as well. So let's do some quickfire questions, uh, for you. These can be as short or as long as you like, but um, yeah, just a bit of fun. So, top travel destination and [00:41:00] why?

[00:41:01] Sarah: Yes, I keep going to Antigua, Guatemala lately.

[00:41:05] Um, it's really underestimated or like, you know, people aren't talking about it enough, in my opinion. So especially for us based, you can fly from. Houston, Miami, LA for like $70 one way. Um, so that's really nice. And then all these digital nomads that we're talking about, it's a central time zone. So I really like Antigua.

[00:41:25] It's at 8,000 feet elevation, so the weather is perfection, you know, it's like cool at night, hot in the morning. Um, and that is surrounded by volcanoes. Nice check out

[00:41:39] Liam: Antigua, Guatemala. Is that mentioned in, um, pirates of the Caribbean as well, or something like that? Isn't it Antigua? I, I don't know. I dunno.

[00:41:46] Yes. Um, I'll check it out. Um, so is there any guests that stand out from the time that you've been hosting and why?

[00:41:56] Sarah: Oh, that's a good question. Um, yeah. Yeah. I have this guest, [00:42:00] um, we'll call her Sammy, because that's actually her name. And Sammy, just like, she couldn't figure out how the TV works. She couldn't figure out the internet.

[00:42:10] Then the window just fell in. I was like, oh my gosh. Then we go to clean her unit when she moves out and there was actual dog. On the rug, on the lamp. I'm like, how is her dog poop on the lamp? Oh, no. So any tenant that bothers me, I'm, I call them, I'm, I'm so sorry for anyone named Samantha , but I call all troubled, some tenant Sammy now.

[00:42:36] So I'm like, oh, Sammy.

[00:42:38] Liam: I know there's hosts listening to this to Yes, that is, that reminds me of, you know, whoever there Sammy is. But yeah. Awesome. I I love

[00:42:45] Sarah: the window. The window just, I don't know what happened. It just fell in. I didn't,

[00:42:49] Liam: we, we had it recently where somebody was like, yeah, I was just sitting on the table.

[00:42:51] The table just broke. And I was just like, yeah, . Yeah. That doesn't just happen. Something's happened to that, you know, that isn't, nor you didn't put a plate down and the table just falls apart. [00:43:00] No .

[00:43:01] Sarah: Um, and, and to, to be. I have broken stuff, like I have stayed in Airbnbs. I'm a little clumsy. I have broken things and I fess up like right away I say, I am an idiot.

[00:43:13] I'm so sorry. What can I do to fix this? And I try to fix it while I'm there. And so if you are ever an Airbnb guest and you do break something, don't wait until the end and then cause headache for them during turnover. Tell them so that they can ideally, like, like for example, a lamp just broken one of.

[00:43:33] Well, it was no problem. I just ordered a new lamp. Mm-hmm. and shipped it to the unit and then I asked my guest nicely to unbox it and set it up. And so, you know, stuff's gonna happen. And one thing I don't like about the podcast interviews is when we only talk about the bad stuff. Mm-hmm. . So I'll also mention one really great tenant.

[00:43:51] So I had a tenant. who improved my unit while they were there. They like installed shelving in the closet. She left a vacuum. [00:44:00] Cuz that's the beauty of these medium term tenants is they take ownership of the unit. Mm-hmm. . And so they want the, to live in a nice place, especially even, even if it's for three months.

[00:44:10] And so there are tenants that have actually improved my unit as they've. , you

[00:44:15] Liam: know, that's a really great point. Cause a lot of the time people, you're right, just talk about the bad and there there is, there is some stuff which happens, which makes you, there's some good story. But, um, yeah, I mean we, we've had, uh, plumbers who stayed in our unit and just go, yeah, we noticed your tap was, was, was leaking.

[00:44:28] So we've just, we've sorted it out, we've done this to it, and you just go, wow, thank you so much. Like, um, send some beers across and that sort of thing. So . Exactly. Amazing. Um, so what is one motto or mantra that you like to live?

[00:44:42] Sarah: Yes. So my, my motto is, live where you want and invest where the numbers make sense.

[00:44:49] Love that.

[00:44:51] Liam: I love that. That doesn't take any explanation, does it? That's, uh, that is amazing.

[00:44:55] Sarah: No, but I will tell you guys a really funny story. So, um, I wrote a book, [00:45:00] I have a journalism degree. I graduated with honors from journalism school, and I am a horrendous speller. Um, I'm young enough that I've always had word processor.

[00:45:11] Now I can even say, Hey Siri, how do you spell conscientious? And so I'm a terrible speller conscientious and, oh, Siri . He's jumping in . So, so I'm a terrible speller. And I give this presentation teaching real estate investing all over the US and Canada, mostly to real estate agents. And I have a slide that says, you know, my motto.

[00:45:34] And then up at the top it says, live where you want, invest, where the numbers make sense. And it's all these travel. , I have been showing this slide to hundreds, if not thousands of people, and motto was spelled wrong. It said Moto like with one T , and no one told me. And so it's just really funny how I, I don't want you guys to think that US presenters or authors or anyone we.[00:46:00]

[00:46:00] Oftentimes no idea what we're doing. And mistakes like that do happen. So if you're ever feeling like imposter syndrome or like you're not good enough to do any of these things, um, you guys, I'm not good enough to do a lot of the things that I do, and then I just do it anyway.

[00:46:16] Liam: I love that. And what a perfect way to, to sort of bring it to a close.

[00:46:19] I mean, that is, uh, is amazing. And uh, Sarah, I feel so lucky to have had you on the, the Boostly behind the Host podcast. And if people who are listening want to, to get in touch, obviously you've got some awesome, um, coaching. You've got your book. Where can people find this, this information? And is there anything you'd like to, to tell us about those?

[00:46:38] Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks so much. So my. Sarah d S a r a h D as in David Weaver, W E A V E And yes, if you want to invest long distance, there's a couple ways that I can help you. You can sign up for coaching or in my mentorship, um, [00:47:00] and I wanna be the first coach to say, you also don't need a coach, so you can do this on your.

[00:47:05] Then I have a company called Aria Design Services, and if you want help furnishing from afar, if you're like, how on earth did this girl furnish in Nebraska while living in New Zealand? I can tell you I started a company called Aria Design Services. So if anyone listening wants to buy property in the us, but you can't fly there to furnish it.

[00:47:27] Hire us and we'll do it for you. And then lastly, travel is my why. It's why I do what I do. I am in love with traveling. So now I own a travel company. So I actually take real estate investors on epic trips around the world. So I'm taking 22 investors down to Chile to hike the W Trek and Patagonia, because I think we should be living a really big life and not waiting until we.

[00:47:55] Enough money in the bank, or we hit our financial independence goals. I urge you [00:48:00] guys to go on a trip. So even if you don't come on one of my trips, my hope is that you book the plane ticket.

[00:48:07] Liam: I love that. I love the, I, I mean, the whole message of this is live the life you want to, to live while seeing the things you want to see.

[00:48:14] And don't let that stop you from really investing and in getting involved in, in both hospitality real estate of in investing, and, uh, , you know, having that, that goal and, and making it your own. So, uh, Sarah, thank you so much for today. Um, This will go out now on the, uh, the Boley Podcast. And for everybody listening, uh, if you haven't already, go and check out Sarah's website.

[00:48:37] Um, that was Sarah D. Weaver And if anybody has got any questions at all or wants to get in touch with Sarah, you can do so there. Or alternatively, send us a message here at Boley and we're more than happily pass on. Details. So thank you so much, Sarah, for today. It's been really eye-opening. I've learned so much and I'm sure the listeners will have done as well.

[00:48:58] And, uh, yeah. Is there any [00:49:00] closing comments before we, uh, close it down for the day?

[00:49:03] Sarah: I think the last is just reach out to me. I really love hearing from you guys. I read all of my dm, so you can go to my website, email me, or you can reach out to me on Instagram. It's also Sarah d Weave. If anything I've said resonates with you or you wanna swap stories about your Sammy, just reach out.

[00:49:20] I would love to hear from you.

[00:49:22] Liam: Thanks very much Sarah, and uh, yeah, take care and bye for now. Thank you. Having a blast. Gonna get it on the Bruce Lee podcast.

[00:49:30] Sarah: Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the teas loose leaf.

[00:49:33] Liam: Looking up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.

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