The Journey from Long-Term Rentals to Owning a Hotel

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In this Boostly podcast episode, host Liam welcomes back Josh Goldstein, a real estate investor from California. Josh shares updates on his journey, transitioning from long-term to short-term rentals and now managing a 76-key hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas. He began his real estate career around 2017, building a portfolio of 11 short-term rentals in Tennessee and 9 long-term rentals. His latest project involves renovating and rebranding the hotel under his fund, moving away from a franchise agreement with Wyndham.

Josh balances his real estate ventures with a successful career as a producer, emphasizing his passion for both roles. He looks to create a lifestyle that allows him more freedom and family time. Josh encourages listeners to follow his progress on Instagram @bunkhouseworldwide and contact him via email at [email protected].

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[00:00:00] Liam: Okay, people welcome back to the Boostly podcast. This is the podcast that gives hosts the tools, the tactics, the training, and most importantly, the confidence so you can go out there and get yourselves more direct bookends. We do a mini-series on this podcast, where we dive behind a successful and interesting host.

[00:00:15] And sometimes we welcome them back as well to give us an update. And that's exactly what we're doing today. We've got the amazing Josh Goldstein. He's from California in the USA. And we had him on last year where we were talking about various aspects of short-term run all challenges and things like that.

[00:00:32] He mentioned he'd started a fund and uh, we're getting an update on what he's been doing and also things which are going on in his world. So I'm excited to uh, dive into his world again and um, yeah, share with you that update. So welcome along Josh. Welcome back. Thanks. Thanks for having me back. So can you give yourself an introduction to you and your business and where your properties are located?

[00:00:54] Josh: Sure. Uh, yeah, I, I, um, basically started learning, um, about real estate, um, I don't know, probably 2017 and dove into podcasts and books and webinars and started going to meetups and, you know, as much as I could. And, I was in the analysis process for a while. Um, and. Brought me around, uh, you know, I did make several offers, but backed out over minuscule amounts of money, um, which I learned now may not not have been the best choice, but it's okay.

[00:01:32] It was my dream. Um, then in 2020, I pulled the trigger on my first properties, um, which was long-term rental. Uh, in Kansas City, Missouri, but then shortly after that, um, I found the short-term shop with Avery and listened to her podcasts on bigger pockets and, um, kind of contacted her and started buying cabins in smoky mountains, Tennessee, um, and kind of grew to a portfolio of 11, um.

[00:02:05] Short-term rentals, 5 of which are still being renovated, um, which I'm very close to being done. And that's exciting. Um, because I want to get those off the plane of sucking money versus. Um, and then I have, uh, nine long-term rentals, and then the newest addition is, as you mentioned, the fund, we acquired a hotel, which is 76 keys in Bentonville, Arkansas.

[00:02:30] So that's a different process and different things to look for and kind of different strategies, but it's, it's, it's fun and, and yeah, much bigger. Um, so it's, it's nice to grow.

Career before

[00:02:41] Liam: What you did before this is, um, it's an interesting sort of career that you've had before this as well.

[00:02:46] Josh: Um, And, uh, yeah, use the past tense, but I still currently do it.

[00:02:51] So, um, I'm a producer. I do commercials mainly, but I've done some movies. I've done some documentaries. I've done tons of music videos. Um, uh, a TV show I worked on a long time ago, stuff like that. Um, but yeah, I mean, it's, it's a job I like, so I'm not the investor that's looking to get out of his job.

[00:03:11] It's more, I want to supplement. And since I'm freelance, I can say no to it. You know, however, many projects in a row and go on a trip with my family and, um, have a little bit more freedom. So that was kind of the ultimate goal for me. And, um. You know, I love it and have been growing, um, and trying to push it as much as possible.

[00:03:34] So we'll see where it leads. But, um, as of now, I'm not looking at, uh, stopping my current job because I do enjoy it quite a bit.

A look at the journey

[00:03:42] Liam: What we'll concentrate on is your, uh, the journey that you've gone on, because you, you've gone from that, uh, that first property, as you mentioned, What has led to the changes in then going, well, hang on, if we get a fund together and then let's go for a hotel instead of just sticking to short term rental, what, what's the aspiration behind that?

[00:04:02] Josh: Um, well with everything that we learned and my three other business partners, we each came from short-term rentals. Some of my other business partners have done boutique hotels before. Um, we wanted to create something where other investors could join in, uh, Um, it's also a bit of an education thing. If they do want to be involved in, like, look over our shoulders a little bit and ask questions and have access to all 4 of us.

[00:04:27] It's a thing that they could do, um, and kind of learn hotels on their own because it is different. Um, there are similarities for sure. You're in the customer service business. Um, but. It's a different, it's a different asset. So you have to treat it differently. You can't, I mean, I guess if it's small enough, you could treat it as individual rooms and, and Airbnb, you know, short-term rental, direct booking, however, you're going to list it, but it's 76 keys.

[00:04:54] So that's, you know. Someone on site all the time cleaning people on site all the time maintenance people on site all the time. Um, and the systems are different right now. We're in a franchise agreement with Windham, and it was in that agreement when we bought the hotel, we negotiated at the purchase that we would keep it for 12 months.

[00:05:19] Um, and we are already in the purchase. Paid out the cancellation costs, because if you break a franchise, there's going to be cancellation costs. Um, so after 12 months. It gets broken because we've already paid it and then we can renovate and rebrand as we use our systems right now we have to use the internal Wyndham booking systems and stuff like that.

[00:05:43] So, um, right now we're a little bit handcuffed, but I got to say it's a budget hotel. It's booked all the time. It's still making money. So it's not that bad. It's like, from day 1, we just took over the systems that were already in place and started making money. Um, and we fixed up some things, so we're, like, spending the money on the hotel and improving it, but the real change is going to come when we break that franchise and kind of improve the rooms and make it more than a low budget stay.

What are the plans?

[00:06:12] Liam: What are the plans? If you don't mind me asking, then how are things going to change?

[00:06:17] Josh: Yeah. So right now, um, it's a, it's a micro tell by Wyndham and I don't know if. You or the audience is familiar with that, but it's, you know, it's, it's just a very basic, uh, hotel room, um, with not many amenities and there's not much design.

[00:06:34] You kind of have to stick within the box that they tell you. This is the furniture you can buy from us or from our, you know, like our dealers and stuff like that. Um, whereas, you know, we're, we come from short-term rentals and we like to push the limit of design. We like good furniture. We like a little bit more luxurious thing.

[00:06:52] So. We're not allowed to do that with the current rooms, even though we do, we did take a couple of rooms offline and we're doing test renovations. And so basically what that means is we'll go in there and we're going to design it. How we see all the rooms are going to look and that's, you know, maybe a design wall on the back.

[00:07:10] And we did do it. We did like wood slats behind the bed. We did nicer beds. We took out the carpet we put in, um, LVP, um. We're updating the bathrooms were updating the furniture so that when you go in there, yes, still the same box still the same structure, which is not that old of a building. So, structurally, it's fine.

[00:07:33] It's just the look of it. Not great. But now when you go into these new newly renovated rooms, you know, people will be a little bit louder when the picture when they look at the pictures when they look at the overall thing, there'll be a little bit, you know, wilder. And on top of that, we're going to start to bring some amenities.

[00:07:52] We have extra land on, you know, around the parking lot. And so we've discussed. Building some pickleball courts, um, we've added, um, you know, a breakfast bar, uh, where, you know, guests can come down and, and, and participate in, you know, better breakfast than, you know, like, I think they had, like, a little grab and go section, but we're, we're improving that, um, we're going to do a little area for food trucks, we're just going to make it more appealing and kind of the overall experience, just elevate it so that we could charge more and boost the value of the entire asset.

Where to follow

[00:08:30] Liam: Uh, for, for everybody listening, how can we find out more? How can we come and check out your brand, um, or come follow you on your socials? What would you like to promote? Um,

[00:08:40] Josh: on Instagram, uh, bunkhouse worldwide is, uh, my company name and the handle. Um, Email, uh, it's Josh at bunkhouse worldwide. com. Um, and yeah, I mean, Instagram is probably the best way to kind of follow along, um, the progress of things as soon as I finish this podcast, be posting some more updates about that.

[00:09:02] And, um, yeah, you could reach out via email and, and, uh, let me know if you have any questions or comments or whatever.

[00:09:10] Liam: Oh, thank you so much, and thank you too for listening to this on the Boostly podcast. Having a blast. Gonna get it on the Boostly

[00:09:17] Josh: podcast, Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee 'cause it's so hard on the teas.

[00:09:21] Loosely. Looking up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.