22 March 2023

In this week’s episode, Patrick Donley (@jpatrickdonley) sits down with Taylor Jones to get an inside look at the best strategies to use for success with Airbnb rentals. You’ll learn about the three skillsets needed to be great in the asset class, what the right amenities to add are, what his personal portfolio looks like, and common pitfalls that trip up many STR investors. You’ll also learn about how Techvestor is making it easier to invest in the space without the headaches of owning and operating your own Short Term Rentals.

Taylor is the head of Acquisitions for Techvestor, which is a Short Term Rental Investment firm that allows people to passively invest in Short Term Rentals. When Taylor is not acquiring properties, he can be found out on the golf course.



  • What the three skillsets you need to be excellent at Airbnb.
  • Why it is important to get the acquisition price right and how to do it.
  • How the right amenities can make a huge difference in revenue.
  • What Taylor’s first Airbnb personally looked like.
  • What some of the common pitfalls that trip people up on Airbnb investments.
  • How dynamic pricing strategies work to maximize revenue.
  • Steps to take for your first Airbnb listing.
  • How Techvestor is uniquely organized to capitalize on the Airbnb trend.
  • What Taylor thinks about the murmurings of an Airbust.
  • And much, much more!


Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.

[00:00:02] Taylor Jones: I learned more in three weeks of ownership than I did in three months of studying. And so to me, too many people stay on the sidelines. I look at it as, you need to learn enough not to drown, but you don’t need to be Michael Phelps when you jump in the pool on that first deal.

[00:00:16] Taylor Jones: And I think a lot of people feel like they need to study, learn, and feel like they, they are Michael Phelps, when in reality, just don’t drown.

[00:00:26] Patrick Donley: Hey everybody. In this week’s episode, I got to sit down with Taylor Jones to get an inside look at the best strategies to use for success with Airbnb rentals. You’ll learn about the three skill sets needed to be great in the asset class, what the right amenities to add are what his personal portfolio looks like, and common pitfalls that trip up many short-term rental investors.

[00:00:46] Patrick Donley: You also learn about how Techvestor is making it easier to invest in the space without all the headaches of owning and operating your own short-term rental. Taylor is the head of acquisitions for Techvestor, which is a short-term rental investment firm that allows people to passively invest in the asset class.

[00:01:02] Patrick Donley: If you’ve ever thought about getting started in Airbnb rentals, this is a great episode and a masterclass in how to get started. It really got me excited about the possibilities, and I hope you all really enjoy this one. And so without further delay, let’s jump into this week’s episode with Taylor Jones.

[00:01:23] Intro: You are listening to Real Estate 101 by The Investor’s Podcast Network, where your hosts Robert Leonard and Patrick Donley, interview successful investors from various real estate investing niches to help educate you on your real estate investing journey.

[00:01:46] Patrick Donley: Hey everybody. Welcome to the Real Estate 101 Podcast. I’m your host today, Patrick Donley, and with me today is Mr. Taylor Jones. Taylor, welcome to the show.

[00:01:55] Taylor Jones: Thanks, Patrick. Appreciate it.

[00:01:57] Patrick Donley: Yeah, it’s good to have you here. You are the short term rental guy and I’m excited to dive in. I’ve been talking to like a lot of beginning investors.

[00:02:05] Patrick Donley: And I think it’s really useful to have people hear about guys that have been in their career 5, 10, 15, 20 years, hear about how they got started. So I wanted to hear a little bit about like your early days, like how you got started, what you were thinking about, what you were reading and learning, and then ultimately like how you ended up choosing the asset class that you did, which was short-term rentals.

[00:02:24] Taylor Jones: Lifelong sales guy. Like most, I, I would change sales jobs, four or five different ones. Just chasing commission like any good sales guy would. Covid hit. I had a client facing sales job and of course couldn’t go meet clients anymore. And that was kind of my like, oh crap, all my eggs are in one basket. And I’ve always had an itch for real estate, whether it was wholesaling, flipping, contemplating, getting my broker’s license, you know, looked at a lot of different routes and ultimately winded up coming back to short-term rentals for a couple different facets.

[00:02:56] Taylor Jones: You know, first I’ve been a consumer of the product since 2015. You know, me and my wife have been staying in Airbnb’s traveling, you know, no kids. Since some of the early days, seven, eight years ago. And then you start looking at some of the returns that are available in short-term rentals. And yes, those have compressed over the last three years, but it started looking very appealing.

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[00:03:15] Taylor Jones: And for me, you know how I consumed, so much of mine was on YouTube and it’s a lot harder now because unfortunately there’s a lot of content pushers and course sellers that it’s really hard to tell who’s genuine, who’s not. But at the time there was a lot of authentic people who were just putting out free content.

[00:03:33] Taylor Jones: So I consumed hundreds of hours of YouTube, I read a couple books, did the whole bigger pockets forums as well. And I just tried to take in as many different aspects of the asset classes I could and learn and know enough to get by.

[00:03:48] Patrick Donley: So you mentioned podcasts, YouTube, and books. Talk to me a little bit about like the YouTube guys that you thought were authentic along with like the books that were pretty useful too.

[00:03:59] Taylor Jones: Two of the main guys I caught early on who have now, unfortunately they’re not active buyers in the Airbnb space. They’ve both pivoted to be content only people. So I would I don’t know that I would feel as genuine. I haven’t seen their new stuff in the last 12 to 24 months, but a lot of their early stuff was just very give back in consumer basis.

[00:04:20] Taylor Jones: You know, when it comes to books, there was a great one that I read from an early guy who worked at Airbnb and you know, that was always helpful to get that inside track as well. You know, there’s so much out there and I think what you want to understand is there’s different categories to operating, short-term rental from how to source it and underwrite it on the front end, how to renovate and design it in the middle, and how to operate in the end.

[00:04:44] Taylor Jones: And I think what you want to do is just consume enough content of each category so that you feel like you have a good knowledge basis of, okay. I’m very confident in underwriting and sourcing on the front end. I feel like I know how to design, renovate, or hire the appropriate people to execute in the middle.

[00:05:00] Taylor Jones: And hey, I know how to drive revenue via pricing strategies, occupancy, listing optimization, etc. And that’s where I think a lot of people maybe miss, is they get honed in on just the operational side and they neglect underwriting on the front end. Whereas I’d almost argue if you can nail the buy side up front, it gives you a lot of room for air on the operating side when you ultimately have it going.

[00:05:23] Patrick Donley: So would you say it’s almost like three different skill sets you need to develop? As you were explaining that it, it sounds like almost three separate skill sets.

[00:05:31] Taylor Jones: That’s probably a very accurate statement to put it in, that you really gotta know enough of each to get by. You’ll probably favor one of the three or or two of the three, but ultimately you need to buy it right on the front end and have your comps honed in.

[00:05:44] Taylor Jones: Understand your numbers. You also need to be able to understand which renovations are going to drive an roi. So it’s a lot different than renovating a single family home to flip. It’s a lot different than renovating a single family home for a long-term. And so you might be putting additions or amenities in that aren’t going to add value to the home, but they’re going to add a rental revenue.

[00:06:04] Taylor Jones: You know, things might be like putting in a $3,000 nice stone fire pit, probably not going to add the appreciation value to it, but it’s going to drive revenue. Converting the garage into a game room, you know, maybe spending four to six grand and doing it right and not cheapening out. Yes, that’s not going to equate to dollars on your home’s value or appreciation standpoint.

[00:06:25] Taylor Jones: However, it’s going to drive tens of thousands of dollars in rental revenue and bookings, which is ultimately what you’re going after. Really honing in that middle part, in knowing which, you know, amenities are going to drive the best ROI. There’s definitely an art form and a skill to learning and understanding that.

[00:06:41] Taylor Jones: And then lastly is operationally how to, how to drive your pricing. Making sure you’re not too booked out where you are undercharging, or making sure that you’re not overcharging and your occupancy’s too low. And so maintaining that fine line of occupancy and ADR to maximize your revenue is also another skill set.

[00:06:57] Taylor Jones: You know, I think you nailed it by saying there’s three really distinct categories within this space that you need to learn enough of to be really good at, and then you can continue to evolve and learn as you grow in the asset class.

[00:07:10] Patrick Donley: Talk to us about your first project, your first investment that you did.

[00:07:13] Patrick Donley: I want to hear about that, how you decided on the location. Did you and your wife partner together? Talk to us a little bit about how that looks.

[00:07:21] Taylor Jones: First deal was up in the Blue Ridge mountains of Georgia as a, you know, lifelong born and race Florida boy, that’s the closest mountain range. So we would always drive and go up there.

[00:07:30] Taylor Jones: So to me, I always looked at where do I vacation to, because if I’m going there, there’s probably other people who are going there really understood like, hey, I’ve been to this space, I’ve been to this city. I knew it. And for us it was just looking at some numbers in Datacom saying, okay, you know, what is a three bedroom cabin generating on average?

[00:07:48] Taylor Jones: What is a four bedroom? What is a five bedroom? Had to go look what we can afford. So it really came down to twos and threes couldn’t afford a four of five with that first one. And ultimately we wrote five offers before we got one accepted was like, oh my gosh, this is crazy. We got video tours of each of the properties.

[00:08:05] Taylor Jones: So technically it was sight unseen from a in-person stand. I flew up for the inspection. So I flew to Atlanta, rent a car, drove an hour and a half, went up there, met the inspector, touched it, put eyes on it in person, got the inspection back. It was relatively clean and you know, we pushed forward on it.

[00:08:22] Taylor Jones: It was an existing rental, but we knew there was a lot wrong with the current setup. And that was that value add we can do between amenities, between decor, between furnishings. It was a very tired and dated cabin, and that’s where we saw that opportunity, both from the purchase price standpoint, which helped us, but also from the revenue generating standpoint as well.

[00:08:42] Patrick Donley: And so talk to us a little bit about like the value add. What were you looking at? Were you hoping to buy something that you could push some appreciation on that was tired, like you said? Or were you trying to find something that was already like ready to.

[00:08:54] Taylor Jones: I mean, to me, a fixture uppers never really scared us.

[00:08:57] Taylor Jones: We networked through our realtors referrals and found some handyman and contractors who could help with things like new paint, updating the fire pit. The fire pit was neglected. It was rusted out. So there was just huge value add there. We also updated the game room, put in brand new air hockey, the papa shop basketball game, painted an accent wall, updated the decor.

[00:09:19] Taylor Jones: The couch was that classic plaid, you know, grandma’s 1980s, put in nice modern, you know, furniture, update some of the mirrors, you know, it’s wild what those nice circular b, you know, mirrors with the black trim, $150 mirror that that ultimately adds, you know, thousands of dollars of perceived value. So going in and swapping out the light fixtures, the faucets, updating there.

[00:09:42] Taylor Jones: Didn’t do anything with floors, left the kitchen, you know, like I said, wasn’t the most updated kitchen, but you know, you gotta understand that not everybody’s going there for a luxury feel, because it wasn’t a luxury cabin, but it, it offered a great location five miles to downtown. It was on a little over an acre of space.

[00:09:58] Taylor Jones: So we just wanted to offer that great hangout space so when you’re not in town and you’re hanging out with your family, that we could ultimately maximize that. So that’s what we did is. Really just overhaul the place with updated amenities, updated decor, updated fixtures to be able to make it look like a nice, modern, elevated space.

[00:10:16] Patrick Donley: Had you done any other rental or any kind of real estate renovations prior to that or was this your first one?

[00:10:23] Taylor Jones: Just on our primary house. So we, we did buy a a 1950s Fixerupper, you know, for our primary house, so I’d gone through it. It’s a lot different when it’s remote. I did go up there and we spent four or five days and then came back, spent another four or five days plus, had contractors working, sending photos and videos and FaceTime in between.

[00:10:44] Taylor Jones: And that’s really how we ultimately worked and navigated the renovation was a lot of communication, a lot of trust in our boots on the ground, that we have the right people, and then going there multiple times in person. Obviously I’ve gotten way better about managing that process now, to not have to go as often, but you do want to get there at least once and that first time, you know, definitely went multiple times.

[00:11:05] Patrick Donley: So what was your game plan going into it? Was it do this first one, see how it goes? Maybe we’ll scale it? Or was it at that point, did you even know? Was it just kind of like a, we’ll find out.

[00:11:16] Taylor Jones: I still ultimately was like, cool, I’ll hang onto the sales job and, you know, we’ll buy one a year for the next decade and then 10 years from now we’ll own 10 short-term rentals and we’ll be rich people.

[00:11:26] Taylor Jones: Like, you know, that one’s kind of the thought behind it all and it’s addicting, man. Once you get one, I’m like, okay, we need a second one. They, I, I think the term they, they talk about is like, with tattoos, it’s a mile to the first tattoo and an inch to the second, and that’s kinda the first thing with short-term rentals.

[00:11:41] Taylor Jones: Like it’s a big mental buildup. I spent three months studying, analyzing all of this, and then as soon as I got that first one, I was like, can I scrap together some money and get a second one? Like, how, how do we do this?

[00:11:52] Patrick Donley: Literally after two weeks, you’re ready to dive in and do another.

[00:11:56] Taylor Jones: We launched that thing.

[00:11:57] Taylor Jones: And I remember launch night we posted it, the listing went live at like 8:00 PM on, you know, whatever day it was. Call it a Tuesday. And we ended up getting six bookings that first night. And I was addicted. I was like, oh my gosh. And, and you just saw like $1,400, three night booking, $2,000, five night booking.

[00:12:17] Taylor Jones: And I was hooked. And I was like, oh my gosh. Like, this is incredible. And so I think it was probably like 30 days in seeing everything happen. We had the right team. We nailed the cleaner, great operation. They were, they were doing such a good job taking care of that cabin, that that was the mindset shift and, and we need to get more, you know, I, I did not wait 12 months to go get that second one waited all of about four.

[00:12:41] Taylor Jones: And you know, sures could be, have been off to the races ever since.

[00:12:45] Patrick Donley: So it sound like you nailed the purchase price. It sounded like you bought it at a, at a good price, you did a great renovation. The operations. I want to hear more about that. What are some like ups and downs that people have when they first get started with regard to operations?

[00:12:57] Patrick Donley: What are some things that trip people up?

[00:12:59] Taylor Jones: I think a lot of people, the most common thing I hear a, and they talk about in short-term rentals, the risk is occupancy. And occupancy is only half of the equation occupancy plus adr average daily rate gives you revenue. Revenue is ultimately what you put in your bank account.

[00:13:15] Taylor Jones: You don’t put occupancy in your bank account, you don’t put nightly rate in your bank account. You put the two of them together. I think a lot of people will either overprice and miss their booking window. I’m an ex, I’m an ex baseball guy. Washed up, tried to go play in college, wasn’t quite good enough, but had to, you know, chase the dream.

[00:13:33] Taylor Jones: So I’ve always been a numbers guy and to me this is not emotional. You know, you can think your place is worth 2, 3, 400 a night and it’s really going to be, what’s the numbers dictate. We’re pretty big into Price Labs, you know, they’re one of the pricing algorithms. There’s two or three others that that’ll probably do just the same, but what you really want to hone in on is looking at all of the booking lead time and nailing that to really maximize your revenue.

[00:13:56] Patrick Donley: Tell me about Price Labs a little bit. I’m not familiar with what they do and I, I’m sure like a lot of our listeners aren’t as well. So can you explain what, what they do?

[00:14:04] Taylor Jones: Price Labs is a dynamic pricing software. The old way of Airbnb is, you know, you rent your place Monday to Thursday for 99 a night.

[00:14:12] Taylor Jones: Then on the weekends you charge 149 a night because it’s a premium and you have the same price every day. A dynamic pricing software like Price Slabs is going to make a daily pricing adjustments on your behalf based on inputs that you give it, and it’s going to continue to raise or decrease based on occupancy, based on how far out the bookings are.

[00:14:32] Taylor Jones: What you really want to do is nail that the operation of when people are booking to maximize revenue. And if people are booking on average six weeks out, you want to maximize revenue in that prime peak booking window. If you have a one or two bedroom in the metro and people book two weeks out, don’t be afraid to hold your prices high to the last minute.

[00:14:51] Taylor Jones: And that’s where I think people either lower their price because they freak out and they just get tons of bookings. When I talk to hosts and they’re like, yeah, my place is booked out for the next three months, I’m like, great, you’re leaving so much money on the table. At the same time people are like, Hey, I’m not getting any bookings.

[00:15:05] Taylor Jones: What that tells me is you’re just holding too firm on your high price and you’re missing the booking window and then you’re having to do last minute price drops to catch the falling sword on the way down because you overpriced when most people are booking. If most people book their summer vacation in the spring, you need to nail your prices in the.

[00:15:23] Taylor Jones: If people book Christmas six months out, you need to nail your Christmas pricing here in summer. And I think a good example of that recently was what happened in Phoenix for the Super Bowl. Everybody and their mother was trying to rent their place for 5,000, 10,000 a night. And in reality, a lot of people missed the window because they were too high.

[00:15:42] Taylor Jones: And that’s something that’s really, you really only get good at that when you dive into the numbers, dive into the software, make tweaks constantly. And like I said, as a numbers data baseball guy, I just love eating that stuff up, man. It’s, it’s phenomenal and there’s a lot of great tools out there to help you, but I think a lot of people come in and they buy these short-term rentals and they have no pricing or hospitality experience.

[00:16:03] Taylor Jones: And neither did I, but I’m a really good learner of, show me the tools, I’ll go dive in. And to me it’s not emotional, it’s just all about the numbers.

[00:16:11] Patrick Donley: I was listening to a podcast this morning with Naval Ravikant. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with him, but he really interesting guy, and he was saying that the number one thing you need as a skill is being a continuous learner.

[00:16:23] Patrick Donley: And it sounds to me like just listening to your story, like you absorbed a ton of information in a short timeframe, you know, three months, I think you mentioned learned short-term rentals really, really well. And did your first one I mentioned, I recently got married and my wife and I both have our own homes, right?

[00:16:40] Patrick Donley: So I’ve got my house, she’s got her house, we’ve got an extra house basically. So I live in a cooler part of Columbus, Ohio in a little area called German Village. So we’re going to Airbnb, my house, and it’s our first one. I’ve never done it. This is brand new to me. I’ve done more like flips and renovations and apartment conversions and things like that to condominiums.

[00:17:00] Patrick Donley: So this is totally. As a first time guy to Airbnb, and I know there’s a lot of people listening to that. They’re in the thinking about it stage. I think there’s a lot of people that are like, I think it would be a great idea to get involved in Airbnb rentals. Give me your best advice, if you would, on first steps that I should be taking to make sure that I’ve got a profitable rental that goes well, that guests love.

[00:17:25] Patrick Donley: Tell me what you would recommend.

[00:17:27] Taylor Jones: There’s a lot of expensive tools and there’s a lot of free tools. So just on the free side, if you’ve got a three bedroom house, go onto Airbnb for your city, search Columbus search, you know, Germantown, wherever, wherever the city is, and filter it by three bedrooms.

[00:17:41] Taylor Jones: Sleep six and put flexible on the dates like you know, that way you can see a large time horizon. Then what you’re going to want to do is go open every listing on the first two pages. Statistically, the listings on the first two pages are typically top performers, hence why Airbnb has them featured on there.

[00:17:57] Taylor Jones: And this is what we will do, but on a more complex level is we’ll build a commonalities chart for any new market we’re going to consider investing in. And what I want to know is what do all the top performers have in common? So of the top 20 listings, if 18 of them have a hot tub, guess what? You should probably have a hot tub.

[00:18:16] Taylor Jones: If only two of them have a hot tub, it probably doesn’t make as big of a difference as you think. So what we start looking for is what do the vast majority have? What do 12 or 15 out of those top 20 have? Do they all have a fire pit or fireplace? Cool. You probably need to add one. Do they all have a game room of some sort?

[00:18:33] Taylor Jones: Cool. Are they all located in a certain area that’s walkable to the bars and restaurants or they more spread out and the location doesn’t drive it as much as you might think it does. We can think that location matters and in some towns it does, but in others, a really, you know, kick ass place is going to get the job done.

[00:18:50] Taylor Jones: So I think ultimately knowing what those top performers have, where they’re located, you can look on the little Airbnb map and see where they’re. And then at the same time, build your amenities list. So we’ll have a list we’ll write down that’ll have five, maybe eight or 10 different things on it that we looked for as far as commonalities.

[00:19:08] Taylor Jones: So now you know, at minimum this is where the top performers are, this is what they have. And so I’m going to incorporate as many of those as my budget will allow, but I’m going to try to put a spin or a twist on it as much as possible. Cool. They all have a fire pit, that’s great. But can I add overhead string lights, you know, which don’t cost more than 25 bucks.

[00:19:27] Taylor Jones: And now I’ve got a nice little mood setter for mine. Everybody just throws a ping pong table in the garage. Cool. What if I add shuffleboard and then the mis PackMan game and golden tee golf, and a couple other little things to stand. Those are the things that we’re going to always do, is we’re going to include those and then we’re just going to add one or two little differentiators to make our place stand out.

[00:19:49] Taylor Jones: And those are the things that you’re going to want to do on a very simple level to really see what are the top performers have. And you know, that’s how you’re going to be able to see how well your property can do in any given market.

[00:20:00] Patrick Donley: Are there no-brainer amenities that you add regardless? Like, you know, they’re, they’re going to add value and you do them regardless of, you know, whether they’re in the top.

[00:20:09] Patrick Donley: You had mentioned like the top performers, whether they have them or not.

[00:20:13] Taylor Jones: Yeah, I mean, fire pits are, are pretty much, you know, we have, we have investments in Florida, investments in the cold of New York. You’re always putting a fire pit. I think it’s just, it’s more, it’s a gathering area. You know, even in the hot Florida, people will still light it up and sit around and, and, and talk.

[00:20:28] Taylor Jones: So I think it’s just more of a, a great feature. Having a space for kids, especially if you do have a 2, 3, 4 bedroom place. Ultimately, you know, you’re not going to, most likely, unless you’re in a bachelor bachelorette town, you’re going to get families booking if you have more bedrooms. So ultimately you want to have a space, because parents, when they’re traveling, they want to have their own space separated from the kids.

[00:20:51] Taylor Jones: So whether that’s the garage converted to a game room, whether that’s the basement being converted into a game room, or if you have a family room, living room, you know, I think where a lot of people miss the mark is you have the nice sectional, the gathering area in the living room, but make an additional gathering or, or space, whether it be a pool table, dartboard a video game, seating area, have a space for the kids to hang out with so that the parents have some of that separation.

[00:21:18] Taylor Jones: It’s creating that ultimate experience and understanding your target customer is super beneficial to nailing how you set up your property.

[00:21:27] Patrick Donley: Okay. So let’s say I’ve got the amenities added. I’ve done my study of and research of the top performers in my area. What’s next? Operationally, you talked about your cleaning team that you nailed that.

[00:21:37] Patrick Donley: How do you find a great cleaning team? Is it just trial and error?

[00:21:41] Taylor Jones: Yes, you get better, but the, the most recent hack that’s been super successful is Facebook. I would join as many Facebook groups, you know, Ohio, short-term rental, Ohio, Airbnb investors, Columbus, you know, you might be able to niche down, like even just in small little Blue Ridge, there was three Facebook groups for investors that had anywhere from 300 to 3000 hosts in them.

[00:22:05] Taylor Jones: We would request to join as many as we can, and you, you just go in there and say, Hey, we’re looking to get a really good cleaner who’s got some Now some people keep their cards close to the vest. They’re like, man, I got an a plus cleaner. I’m not sharing, I don’t want her to get stretched thin. And, and, and you know, that’s a fine line, but some will share.

[00:22:21] Taylor Jones: They’re like, Hey, you know, here’s a ABC cleaning we use, and they’re, they do a phenomenal job. So you call and ask a lot of the questions of how many other Airbnbs do you clean? I would avoid single cleaners, meaning it’s the owner is the only cleaner. You’ll get great small company one-on-one feel, but what if they get sick?

[00:22:40] Taylor Jones: What if they want to take a vacation? We love the medium size, the five to 15 total cleaners. I don’t love the large corporate. You know, Molly made style because there’s a huge customer disconnect if something’s wrong. So I love finding those mid-level companies, not too small, that if something happens, w we might run into issues.

[00:23:01] Taylor Jones: But that, like I said, there’s an owner and there’s five to 15 total cleaners on staff that, that she has, that’s our bread and butter sweet spot. There’s an app called turnover B and b. They help source cleaners as well. You could do a good old fashioned Google search. You know, we’ve used that places like you know, Angie Thumbtack, you know, stuff like that as.

[00:23:22] Taylor Jones: But yeah, I’ve been starting with Facebook groups have been the most successful. And then once you nail your, your operations team having a handyman, a contractor, et cetera, the biggest pothole I find is people skimp on photos. They go buy a 2, 3, 4, $500,000 home, and then they block at a photographer who’s going to charge four to $500 per photos.

[00:23:43] Taylor Jones: And I just scratch my head when they try to do it with their iPhone or hire a non-professional photographer. People make their decisions, photos one, and then price two, you know? Yes. They probably put a price filter off the top if they’re like, Hey, I’m, I’m spending two grand max for this vacation. If your listing still holds up because your price falls in line, they are making that decision based on the photos and you know that it matters so much.

[00:24:09] Taylor Jones: I don’t think I even realized it till over a year and how much photos matter. I’ve gotten places reshot, meaning first photographer spent four or 500 bucks, didn’t do it. And I realized I need to go spend another four, $500 and get a different photographer in here to nail the photos. Right? And you know, I’m at the point right now where truly, if I knew I had a guaranteed a plus photographer, I’d go spend $2,000 for the photographer because the amount of bookings you will get because of your photos, it is the end all be all.

[00:24:39] Taylor Jones: And so many investors skimp, right when you’re about to get to the starting line and it just sets you so far back, having bad photos.

[00:24:49] Patrick Donley: I’m glad you went into that. I was just going to ask that photo question and you kind of beat me to the punch, but I, I found the same thing, like with renovations. I’ve done that, I’ve listed the early ones.

[00:24:58] Patrick Donley: I would use my phone for the photos. And finally somebody said to me like, what are you doing? Like, you, you know, you’re totally doing this great renovation and then you’re doing crappy photos on your phone, like you’re not doing the renovation justice. And it’s the same thing with Airbnb. Like if you are not using a professional photographer, you’re leaving money on the table, like you’re just not doing it right.

[00:25:18] Taylor Jones: I mean, it’s your entire business. Like truly, when you get everything, people scan through those photos. This is a very visual asset class. This is not storage where it’s a steel metal box. This is not a wood siding apartment building that everything looks the same. It is very visual. People eat with their eyes and it’s the same thing.

[00:25:36] Taylor Jones: How they pick their travel is, you know, with their eyes and you gotta nail the photography.

[00:25:43] Patrick Donley: Are there any other common mistakes that you see in first time or beginning Airbnb? Investors? Do you see any other mistakes aside from poor photography?

[00:25:52] Taylor Jones: Make your listing stand out, your description. I know not everybody’s a good copywriter and maybe with all these new AI tools, you can hack your way into good copy.

[00:26:01] Taylor Jones: But people are coming for an experience. Don’t just say, here’s the king bedroom, here’s the, you know, en suite. Tell the story. Walk them through and, and describe your place as if they’re there. And people get immersed and caught up in that photo descriptions. Fill those out. Some people just post their photos, put in there a great couch in the living room to hang with your friends and family.

[00:26:25] Taylor Jones: Snuggled up by the fire. People are going to start imagining themselves as soon as they imagine themselves in your place. Guess what? They’re going to book your. You know, like I told you as a lifelong sales guy, what they always taught us early on sales is just a transfer of emotion and that is all that that sales are.

[00:26:40] Taylor Jones: And you’re technically selling somebody on why they should book your place if there’s no emotion. They’re really just shopping on price. And if you want to be a race to the bottom on price listing, which there is a category for that, but not a lot of people think they’re in that category, you’re ultimately not going to make any money as being the budget friendly one.

[00:26:58] Taylor Jones: But if you can transfer emotion from your listing to the end user, you will get them to book your Airbnb.

[00:27:06] Patrick Donley: Those are good points. I saw a tweet that you did, you had, it was about like the old way to do Airbnb versus the new way.

[00:27:14] Taylor Jones: I remember traveling as a kid and we would go meet the property manager at their office.

[00:27:19] Taylor Jones: We’d have to pick up the. And my parents would have, they would print out the directions and we gotta get everything right and meet them in person. You gotta go in there, make sure everything’s okay. And then ultimately you could get away with just having a roof and four walls. And that was acceptable because it just was, Hey, this isn’t a hotel.

[00:27:40] Taylor Jones: I got a kitchen, I got a living room. Great. Now that’s the. Everybody has a roof in four walls and a kitchen and a differentiator from a hotel. But what you need to offer is that experience, and those are the things we talked about with putting in a fire pit. Even if it is Florida where it’s 105 degrees and doesn’t make sense because you know what?

[00:27:59] Taylor Jones: People are going to sit around and gather and talk and hang out and enjoy their vacation together. You’re going to have that garage game room where the kids can go in. I was the oldest of three boys. We would be super competitive on just about anything, whether it was card games, throwing stones, or actually playing ping pong that we would occupy ourselves for hours and give parents that deep, you know, fresh breath of relaxation.

[00:28:21] Taylor Jones: That’s what ultimately you want to create is that experience those family memories so that they’re like, man, I felt good spending 1200 bucks, 1500 bucks on this vacation. And then they turn them into a repeat customer and they want to come back. That I think is a huge issue I take with Host is a bad host for me.

[00:28:38] Taylor Jones: It makes my job harder, whether it be people’s experience with Airbnb as a whole, or you know, people traveling to a specific area. I try to give back as much free content as I can to elevate other hosts because I’m in the mindset that a rising tide lifts all boats. You know, people said, tey, you give away so much free stuff on your Twitter account.

[00:28:58] Taylor Jones: I’m like, great. It’s intentional. I do withhold that last five to 10% strategically because you know, hey, it is very competi. But I try to give back as much as possible because I want everybody to be a better host because then we can all start charging more and we all make more money together. A bad experience from a guest deters them from ever coming back to Airbnb or from ever coming back to that city where I’m a fellow host in.

[00:29:21] Taylor Jones: And now it makes it harder because we’ve just shrunk the booking pool of people who will come back to this city because of a bad experience that they had. So for me, I want to elevate the asset class, elevate short-term rentals, have a better hospitality experience, and that’s the new wave that you have to provide versus the old way.

[00:29:40] Patrick Donley: And I really appreciate the value that you do provide on Twitter. I find real estate, Twitter in general, people have this abundance mentality, you know, I hate to be cliche, but it’s like people are sharing, for the most part, maybe they’re holding back like five or 10%, like you said, but sharing their playbook in a sense.

[00:29:57] Patrick Donley: And it’s an amazing learning tool. And I, I feel like any beginning, I’ve talked to so many beginning investors and I always ask them like, are you on real estate Twitter? Generally it’s, no. And I’m like, you’re, you’re missing out. I thank you, you know, for just putting the content that you do out. It’s, it’s really super valuable for, it was for me and I know it is for a lot of people.

[00:30:17] Taylor Jones: Good. Yeah. No, appreciate it. Glad it’s glad it’s making its way around.

[00:30:21] Patrick Donley: Absolutely. So I wanted to talk more about your portfolio. What’s it look like now? How, what have you built it to? And then I want to get into what you’re currently up to with tech investors. Tell me a little bit just about what your personal portfolio looks like at the moment.

[00:30:35] Taylor Jones: You know, me and the wife were up to three short-term rentals. One in Florida, one in Georgia, one in North Carolina. That original first cabin actually did sell, did a 10 31 because I had three cabins. So after that third cabin, I was like, man, I, I need to diversify. So we sold that first cabin appreciation was, was absolutely insane.

[00:30:54] Taylor Jones: Kind of struck while the iron was hot. Did a 10 31 exchange and bought a Florida Beach cottage about five, six miles from the beach here in Florida. So, wanted to offer like a seasonality difference and a cash flow difference to our personal portfolio. That’s where we stand today. I’m continuing to keep my eye out for our next one, so we’ll probably purchase one here sometime in q2, q3.

[00:31:16] Taylor Jones: Just continue to recycle cash flows and use those as down payment and Reno for the next one and, you know, continue to build that little miniature empire for me and the wife.

[00:31:27] Patrick Donley: I’m curious, do you ever stay in your own own rentals? Like, do you utilize them yourself?

[00:31:32] Taylor Jones: I have, it’s definitely gets cringe worthy when I, when I block it off and I’m like, oh man, this could have been three 50 a night.

[00:31:38] Taylor Jones: You know, so I have to take that way. But yeah, I, I mean, sometimes it’s good to escape the, the Florida heat and go up to the Georgia Mountains or North Carolina mountains with our cabins. It’s a different experience. Sometimes it’s needed. I just walk away and all my stresses seem to disappear when I go up there.

[00:31:53] Taylor Jones: It’s, it’s a lot simpler. It’s a lot slower than, you know, say here in Orlando where I live. And that, I think is the ultimate thing for me is we’ll go hit up each cabin for like a three, four, maybe five night stay once a year. So go over here. Go over here. Will I actually visit the, the beach cottage, which is a couple hours away?

[00:32:11] Taylor Jones: I don’t know if I actually will. Maybe, maybe not. Only because I can roll over to the beach anytime I want. We’ll leave that one. You know, t b d for now, I’ll probably hit up the cabins at least once or twice a year for each one. Just as a change of environment and change of scenery. Where’s the beach Cottage?

[00:32:28] Taylor Jones: It’s over on the Gulf side of Florida. Keeping that one close to the vest as I, I’ve got a nice little pocket that I’ve discovered with data and that one keeping those cards close to the vest.

[00:32:37] Patrick Donley: I wanted to hear about Techvestor that’s who you’re currently working with. Tell us about the company, how they got started, how you started working with them, and your role there.

[00:32:47] Taylor Jones: Techvestor we offer a short-term rental investment fund for investors who want to invest in short-term rentals. They want it to be passive, but they don’t want to deal with the headaches of buying a property, renovating it, coordinating with cleaners, dealing with maintenance. So for us, investors can invest with us.

[00:33:04] Taylor Jones: We’ll take that capital and we’ll buy properties, we’ll renovate them, we’ll design them, operate them, and then we’ll split the cash flows. So for investors, they get passive quarterly dividend payments. They get a diversified portfolio of short-term rental. We’re in 10 different states today, so you’re not overexposed to one market.

[00:33:22] Taylor Jones: I always give the example, you know, it’s not like we own a hundred short-term rentals in Florida and one hurricane wipes us out. We do own in Florida, but we also own in 10 different states up in the north, the east, the south, the west, the Midwest. We have beach properties, we have mountain properties, we have lake properties, and we have downtown metropolitans.

[00:33:39] Taylor Jones: So, you know, you can diversify short-term rentals. And I think a lot of people, they, they still, I always hear, oh, short term rentals are risky. Like, well, you can also diversify multiple ways, which is what we’ve done. So we’ve geographically diversified, like we talked about. We’ve also diversified with the type of product, which I touched on beach versus mountain verse there.

[00:33:59] Taylor Jones: And then we’ve also diversified with what we hold. We, we hold one bedroom properties all the way up to six bedroom. So those are completely different travelers and target markets, but we’re not overexposed to only appealing to traveling couples or businessmen in our one bedrooms. If couples stop traveling or business hurts, then then we’re struggling.

[00:34:17] Taylor Jones: Or at the same time, we don’t only hold five, six bedroom multi-family gatherings and if family stop traveling, we’re, we’re overexposed there. You can continue to add layers of diversification within the asset class that I don’t think people really think about. So that’s what we do. You know, my current role is I’m head of acquisitions, kind of fits perfectly as the washed up baseball guy.

[00:34:38] Taylor Jones: I get to look at numbers all day, projected revenues, underwriting, purchase prices, and kind of ultimately deciding what we’re going to write offers on and what we’re going to buy. The, the great funny story of how I got involved was actually one of the co-founders slid into my dms on Twitter. So talking about the value of real estate, Twitter, I made a conscious decision to go from a lurker and, and just consumer to, Hey, you know what?

[00:35:01] Taylor Jones: I’m going to start putting out content and giving back every day. Caught the eye of our co-founder, who, who’s just a lurker, you know, has like, you know, 40 followers and stuff like that. And ultimately started a conversation. They were looking to expand the team. I kind of checked a lot of the boxes of what they were looking for and, you know, we ultimately negotiated and I decided to leave the sales world and come, you know, work full-time for Tech Buster.

[00:35:25] Patrick Donley: And then how long ago was that? Was that fairly recently?

[00:35:29] Taylor Jones: That was January of last year. So 13 months ago. The power of Twitter, right. Man, I I am forever grateful to Twitter. It has obviously blessed me with the job I have and then the knowledge base, like you said, I’ve consumed so much from other people on real estate Twitter, that it, it’s been such a learning curve for me professionally and personally as well.

[00:35:48] Taylor Jones: And there’s a lot of other things I’ve been able to learn and expose myself to, to continue to add income and wealth to my personal journey.

[00:35:56] Patrick Donley: Talk to us about that journey from lurker to providing value through content where you just kind of sharing what you were doing. I’m a lurker, frankly, and I want to move towards more providing value to people because I’ve gotten so much out of it.

[00:36:12] Patrick Donley: Give me a little advice. Like what was your playbook?

[00:36:15] Taylor Jones: My playbook I actually Nick Huber, sweaty startup, he’s a, a, a large account, a lot of people know for a lot of variety reason. You know, right there in December of 2020, he put out a course, How to Grow Your Twitter account. And that was, I think, the nudge for me.

[00:36:30] Taylor Jones: He just exploded. I’d been following him early on and seen his growth and then he just took off and I was like, you know what, I’m going to buy this course. So, you know, shout out to Nick. How much was it? It was 499 was the price at the time. I have no idea where it is today, but I took that course, ripped through it.

[00:36:48] Taylor Jones: I, I spent like four hours reading in an entire day. I ripped through the whole course in, in one day. Like I said, I, I typically will go all in on something and took a bunch of personal notes, re I’ve reread it since as well. And, you know, the, the Spark Notes version is, is being consistent, staying in your.

[00:37:06] Taylor Jones: I see too many times people are posting about real estate. Then they mix politics in, then they mix sports and then they mix theirs. People aren’t looking for the why net consuming. They’re looking for the niche. And if you look at a lot of the niche accounts that have exploded, there’s Student Rental Pro who only talks about managing and owning student rentals.

[00:37:24] Taylor Jones: There’s the car dealership guy who talks about the state of the buying and selling cars. Strip mall guy, Trent. The more niche down you get the, the better it is. But you don’t even have to niche down that far. You can just be real estate focused, only finance focused, whatever your calling is, podcasting only, and stay consistent.

[00:37:43] Taylor Jones: So for me, I post five days a week at minimum. I try to deliver every day. Something ex create as much value and the more you give, you start realizing it catches up to. Other thing is engaging with accounts that are upstream from you. So if you’re just starting out, you got X amount of followers, try to add value to the comment section.

[00:38:04] Taylor Jones: That can sometimes become a a little bit of a bleep show, if you know what I mean. You know, a lot of times if you can go in and add value and and comment with constructive things to other accounts, you’ll get engagement. And then that engagement gets more eyeballs and you start picking up more followers.

[00:38:20] Taylor Jones: And to me it’s a slow grind. And I think a lot of people give up after two to four months. And I really didn’t start clicking until five to six months in. And so sometimes you think you’re just spewing out to the abyss and nobody’s there. But you just gotta stay consistent and stay disciplined. I think I’ve done that not only with growing, you know, my Twitter, but also with, you know, growing our empire that, that we’re building, you know, me and the wife is you just gotta stay disciplined and stay consistent.

[00:38:45] Taylor Jones: Too many people give up. It’s a lot like New Year’s resolutions, losing weight. Anything else. People set their mindset, they typically give up too early on. Whereas if you just stayed consistent in discipline. So, you know, my, my advice to you would be, you know, continue to put content out at least 3, 4, 5 days a week if you can.

[00:39:02] Taylor Jones: And continue for at least four to six months, engage with other accounts in your space, whether it’s podcasting, real estate, finance, small business. Engage with those accounts that are just slightly upstream. It’s going to be a lot harder to invest with to engage with the big account. A couple hundred thousand followers.

[00:39:20] Taylor Jones: But even those, you just need one or two lucky breaks. And, you know, that happened for me where I had under a thousand followers. I was engaging with people with two to 4,000. They started commenting back, they started liking and following, and then all of a sudden, boom, I got exposed to their audience.

[00:39:34] Taylor Jones: Then I started engaging with people with five to 10,000 followers. And if you continue to add value to the comment section, they’re going to start noticing you and then they’re going to follow you. They’re going to start liking your stuff, retweeting your stuff, and then boom, you get exposure. It’s a very simple formula.

[00:39:49] Taylor Jones: It’s not hard, but it is definitely something you have to stay very consistent with.

[00:39:55] Patrick Donley: I appreciate the tips since you’re a numbers guy. Talk to me about the numbers. What, what was your follower count before the sweaty startup course and then where are you at now?

[00:40:05] Taylor Jones: I was at a couple hundred and, you know, at the recording of this, I’m over 15,000.

[00:40:09] Taylor Jones: I’ve decided to try to take the same blueprint and copy it on LinkedIn. So I don’t have that much creative content in my head to do two unique posts a day half I might expose myself to is I take all my tweets, I copy them, and I paste them on LinkedIn and I figure if it works on Twitter, well why won’t it work on LinkedIn?

[00:40:26] Taylor Jones: Now I’ve grown to over 2100 followers in the last couple months on LinkedIn. I’m going to try to see if I can replicate the same blueprint of copying whatever my great tweet of the day is that I put out on Twitter. I gotta feel like the LinkedIn crowd would appreciate it just as much as the Twitter crowd.

[00:40:40] Taylor Jones: So I’m starting to post short-term rental content on LinkedIn, give back, promote as much as possible there as well.

[00:40:48] Patrick Donley: Very cool. I love it. I want to hear more about tech investors strategy when it comes to acquiring properties. What are you looking for when you’re, I, you mentioned like you guys do a ton of data analysis, so talk to me about that.

[00:41:01] Patrick Donley: You’ve got a unique system I, I want to hear about, talk to us about how you guys sift through the data and how you determine properties that you’re going to acquire.

[00:41:11] Taylor Jones: You know, we definitely have a massive advantage over the, the common investor, but we’re very data driven. I’d argue we have more data inputs than, than anybody else buying short-term rentals in the country today.

[00:41:21] Taylor Jones: So we actually built our own internal software. Our two co-founders come from Tech X, Facebook, and X Apple respectively. We built our own software and we integrate listings that hit the market on the MLS across the country. And then we have underwriting assumptions like, Hey, on average this is what we’re going to spend in furniture in Reno.

[00:41:38] Taylor Jones: This is what the average utility bill is based on the square footage and the bed and bath count. This is the average maintenance. So you do have a lot of assumptions underwritten in there. And then we’re going to pull in projected revenue sources from operations like Air GA, RAs, and another player in the space.

[00:41:53] Taylor Jones: There’s three or four others. So we’re going to pull in an underwrite deals that hit the market. So with our software, we can underwrite over a hundred thousand short-term rentals a month, whereas the common man might be doing that manually. For us, it’s not finding the deals, but it’s more sifting through the deals that aren’t going to ever pencil to our desired return level.

[00:42:14] Taylor Jones: And statistically that’s 94% of every single family home that hits the market in the mls does it meet our desired yield criteria. So now we’re not wasting time on the 94% of listings that hit the market that no matter what aren’t going to pencil, we’re going to only focus on the 6% that will, and that’s where you need a human element in.

[00:42:35] Taylor Jones: We’ve seen open door and eye buying and that got people in trouble. We don’t only buy because the software does because the software can’t tell the internal bones. Does this one have a pool? This one? Not especially when you talk about amenities. Oh, this home, the comp, the, the system’s using has fire pit.

[00:42:51] Taylor Jones: This home would need to add. You do need to take that into account with a human element. But you know, me and my team with acquisitions, what that allows us to do is only focus on those small subset of listings, 6% that we think might work. I’m going to go manually look at the comps, double check and verify the underwriting, re-underwrite it if necessary with new comps, and c does it pencil to go write an offer.

[00:43:15] Taylor Jones: And so for us, you know, that’s where last year we bought over 80 short-term rentals. This year, 2023, wherever I set on over 150, that’s going to help with the tech that we have and the data. Those are things we use is we’re looking at data constantly. Where are the emerging markets? Where’s the revenue being made?

[00:43:33] Taylor Jones: And that’s what we’re going to use to make decisions on where to buy. Again, this is not emotional. We don’t follow the headlines. Oh, invest in the Smokies or Joshua Tree, or, you know, best places to travel. Those articles are great and those headlines are awesome. And, and we’ll, we’ll read them and, and kind of laugh tongue in cheek, but we’re very data driven.

[00:43:52] Taylor Jones: The data says to go buy in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in the middle of nowhere. Guess what? We’re going to go buy in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, because that’s where the data and the money’s being made. And Russ, we want to deliver the best risk adjusted return for us and our investors. And that means making very discipline and data decisions and not making emotional decisions when it comes to buying short-term rentals across the us.

[00:44:13] Patrick Donley: Is this a proprietary data software that you guys developed in-house that you’re using that allows you to, you said a hundred thousand MLS listings that sift through in a month?

[00:44:24] Taylor Jones: It is proprietary. We’ve thought about should we spin it off as a SaaS company? There’s some pros and cons there. Like, yes, we can make millions of dollars with that.

[00:44:32] Taylor Jones: However, it, it’s a good proprietary advantage right now. And there’s also like, we’re, we’re just laser focused. Not saying down the road, we won’t, you know, spin this off as a, as a subset, but operating a SaaS is a brand new business. And right now we’re just laser focused on, you know, raising money for people who weren’t exposure to short-term rentals, buying really good properties, renovating them, and designing them well, driving max revenue and delivering a good return for both us and our investors.

[00:44:58] Taylor Jones: Right now we’re just hyper-focused. We don’t want to get too distracted with other things, so we’re just staying in our lane right down the middle and continuing to buy really good cash flowing, short-term rentals across the us.

[00:45:11] Patrick Donley: It totally makes sense to not take on a fast business. I mean, it’s like you said, it’s a totally separate deal.

[00:45:17] Patrick Donley: And you guys are vertically inter integrated. Correct. When you, I mean, you’re doing the acquisitions, you’re doing the renovations, you’re doing everything in house. Is that right?

[00:45:25] Taylor Jones: Yep. No, so our team is a huge advantage. We have, it starts with my team in acquisitions. Then ultimately it’s going to go to our construction and renovation management team.

[00:45:34] Taylor Jones: These are the people who are coordinating, you know, with our contractors across the us. I tweeted out at one point, we had 23 year renovations across four different states going on. Somebody’s gotta manage that. So hats off to our construction and renovation team, you know. Then it needs design, what color to paint it, the throw pillows, the accent walls, the furniture.

[00:45:54] Taylor Jones: Our designers are going in and designing these properties and, and making sure they’re going to be very aesthetically pleasing. And then ultimately it’s going to get handed off to the, the customer service reps on the property management team, and then the day-to-day pricing and all of that is, is run by the revenue management team.

[00:46:08] Taylor Jones: It’s kind of like that assembly line. The property just goes from one department to the next, and we’re just hyperfocused on what we’re good at. I’m really good at acquiring and analyzing and underwriting short-term rentals. I’m not the best designer, that’s why I don’t design our homes. I’m not the best guy to coordinate with contractors.

[00:46:22] Taylor Jones: That’s why I’m not doing the construction or renovation. I don’t have the patience to deal with the customer service side. That’s why I’m not, you know, dealing with customer service and the hospitality. So we pick people who are really good at what they do, we put them in the right seat on the bus and, you know, that’s how we’re able to cohesively gel this team together.

[00:46:39] Taylor Jones: So, like I said, I think we’ve built arguably the best powerhouse team in the space and that’s why we’re continuing to scale and succeed at the rate we are is, you know, we have arguably the best people in the right seats on the bus for each department that it takes to operate a short-term rental.

[00:46:54] Patrick Donley: It’s a Jim Collins concept getting the right people on the bus that you, that you’ve mentioned.

[00:46:58] Patrick Donley: And I love, I love that book. It’s good to Great. I think that you’re referencing, but how many employees does the company have right now? What kind of growth are you experiencing? If you’ve done 80 short-term rentals this year and you’re planning to do double that roughly, is that right?

[00:47:12] Taylor Jones: Yeah, two or three x We’re going to shoot for 150 to 200 this year in 2023.

[00:47:17] Patrick Donley: Talk to us about the growing pains of the company, because that’s, that’s a lot of growth.

[00:47:21] Taylor Jones: I mean, even last year, you know, in 2022, we had systems broke. And that’s kinda what comes with starting a company and scaling as systems break, we address them. You know, yes, everybody is kind of in charge of their own department.

[00:47:34] Taylor Jones: However, when one department’s struggling in the chain, everybody kind of helps throw extra resources at getting it fixed. So, you know, we’ve had times where the, the management and the renovation side has failed and we’ve had to rebuild, put in new systems, con, constantly evaluate our SOPs and get it figured out.

[00:47:51] Taylor Jones: We’ve had issues with getting the design, coordinating the furniture delivery where that’s broken. And so guess what? We turn around, we fix it, we address it, and we continue to operate. You know, my team in acquisitions, we’ve, we’ve broken, we’ve been sitting on capital longer than we wanted. We didn’t have deals to find, and so we had to restructure my team to be able to find those deals better, more efficiently, and deploy that capital in a responsible and quick manner.

[00:48:16] Taylor Jones: I think it just comes with growing is that everybody’s team at some point will break or will struggle. And because we have that great team mindset, which again, like I just love from my baseball days, is your outfield might be struggling, you’re infield, you’re pitching, you’re hitting is everybody’s going to chip in and do their part to help.

[00:48:32] Taylor Jones: And that’s what we’ve continued to do. You know, we’ve got it figured out now for how we’re scaling and, and we’re confident we can hit those numbers. But some point over the next 12 months, one of each of these departments will break. I’m sure my team with acquisitions will break at some point later this year, and we’ll rebuild our SOPs.

[00:48:48] Taylor Jones: We’ll make tweaks and we’ll continue to do it. And that’s the progress we’ve made from where we were 13 months ago when we were first starting out to where we’re at today. It’s night and day difference, and I’m sure 13 months from now it’ll look completely different than it does now. And the ability to pivot, I think gives us a huge advantage.

[00:49:04] Taylor Jones: We’re not slow and stuck in our ways. We’re very nimble and we’re constantly evaluating the marketplace and making those adjustments in real time that are necessary to continue to be efficient and drive revenue for our short term rentals.

[00:49:18] Patrick Donley: On the renovation and design side, do you try to do the same kind of look each time, or is each one different based on the property?

[00:49:27] Taylor Jones: It’s going to be really different, you know, because these art apartments that are all the same bones, the same structure, the same art footage, they’re all going to be different. And I’m super proud of the design team because, you know, to constantly be able to add new things, add new structures, we’ll be able to pull in, you know, similar themes and similar ideas, but the different color schemes, the different styles, the different amenities.

[00:49:49] Taylor Jones: It’s that constant research, studying, analyzing, and pulling in to be able to see what works and what we can incorporate. It’s a lot of uniqueness for sure, with some common trends mixed in for sure.

[00:50:01] Patrick Donley: So I read a lot about an Airbnb bust and you, you know, you hear it on Twitter and things like that. Talk to me about that.

[00:50:07] Patrick Donley: Is, are you seeing that, experiencing that, or do you still see like a ton of growth in the space?

[00:50:13] Taylor Jones: Knock on wood, we’re very fortunate. Our, our revenue is continuing to grow year over year, quarter over. I think when I see the Airbus headlines for a variety of factors is people bought under the assumption of peak, you know, covid numbers, and they got a very average three, two vinyl sighting home in middle of nowhere flyover country.

[00:50:30] Taylor Jones: And when Europe was shut down and people weren’t traveling to Europe, there was a lot more of those unique domestic travel now that Europe’s opened up, now that the big cities are opened up, people’s travel patterns are. People aren’t going to middle of nowhere Ohio or middle of nowhere, Kansas or middle of nowhere, anywhere.

[00:50:49] Taylor Jones: And if you have a very average three, two vinyl siding home with no amenities, you didn’t put a fire pitter hot tub in into stand out. You didn’t design it well. You still have the plaid couches from grandma’s 1980s style. Yeah, of course you’re struggling right now. And so also people buying at the peak of pricing without having those data inputs, it’s, it’s of course happening and supply is up in almost every US city.

[00:51:11] Taylor Jones: There is some US cities where Airbnb supply is down. That’s few and far between. So if you’re going to stand out when there’s more and more listings to compete with, you have to be so focused on the data. That’s what I say, like, yes, we have a ton of data inputs compared to the average person, but at minimum go take the free data that’s available to you and study the Airbnb first two pages and see what’s working and what’s not good advice.

[00:51:35] Patrick Donley: I wanted to hear more about the strategy or long term plan for Techvestorst. Are you guys doing individual funds? Like did you do a separate fund for last year’s properties? Are you doing another fund for this year’s properties? Talk to me a little bit about the structure of that.

[00:51:51] Taylor Jones: Yeah, each fund runs for one year.

[00:51:53] Taylor Jones: So last year we had fund one. This year we’re in fund two. We’ll have fund three next year, high level. Our plan is five five year funds. So our goal is to hold these cash flowing for the next four to five years, and then ultimately we’re going to bundle that up and sell them to a large institution. What institutions don’t want to do right now is buy a 500 K, single family home, one at a time, renovate it, design it, furnish it, get it stabilized and up and going.

[00:52:17] Taylor Jones: That’s the headache that we’re doing right now. And because of the newness of the asset class institutions can’t write a 25 million check and get exposure to short-term rentals. You can do that if you want to get into self-storage. You can write a singular 25 million check and get exposure to self-storage.

[00:52:32] Taylor Jones: If you want exposure to multi-family, you can write a 25 million check and do that industrial office. All the other real estate asset classes that have been institutionalized and stabilized, you can do that. What you can’t do today is write a singular 25 million check and have instant exposure to short-term rentals.

[00:52:48] Taylor Jones: So we’re kind of filling the void that isn’t there. You know, it isn’t available in short-term rentals, and you’ll start to see that over the next couple years, people that have portfolios. Even on a sub-in institutional level where Johnny’s got his 10 units, he’s looking to cash out, he, he’s going to be selling.

[00:53:05] Taylor Jones: So, you know, yes, we’re going to ultimately have 500 to a thousand short-term rentals that we’ll be selling, whether that be all at once, whether that be in chunks or even willing to sell them one at a time, which we have tested that theory out. We’ve sold eight of our term key short term rentals to one-off investors to see if we, what we were doing had legs or not.

[00:53:24] Taylor Jones: It did, we sold them at rates that exceeded our expectations. We do have the model proven and built out, it’s just now executing at that larger scale. But, you know, I do believe over the next three to five years you will see, you know, transactions happening of five unit portfolios, 10 unit 1550, and you know, a hundred plus.

[00:53:44] Patrick Donley: And so that’s just the maturity of short-term rentals because it is so brand new, but a larger deal, like you said, 25 million, something like that is not available to institutional investors at the moment.

[00:53:56] Taylor Jones: I mean, if you go think about it, The only opportunity for you, and this is happening from institutions, is buying land and building.

[00:54:03] Taylor Jones: So you see that a ton at Disney in kind of my backyard here in Orlando, that’s already happened where large corporations are buying swaths of land and building these 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 bedroom Disney homes. You’ve seen some buying of huge plots of land and building in, in places like Joshua Tree. But if you want exposure to short-term rentals across the US it’s going to be hard to deploy 25 million with an, with a, with a single check.

[00:54:28] Taylor Jones: And so that’s what we’re trying to build is that opportunity for investors who want exposure on a larger scale.

[00:54:34] Patrick Donley: That’s exciting. And that’s a five year plan, roughly?

[00:54:38] Taylor Jones: Yeah. I, I mean it, it’ll technically be the next five to 10 years with the first fund going. You know, we have already had some institutional offers on fund one, which isn’t even stabilized.

[00:54:48] Taylor Jones: They’re fully up yet. Yes, we are always conservatives saying that yes, we’ll hold in cash flow for the next five years. However, if we can prove this out very quickly, I, I do believe we’ll get some chomps and early bites in the next two to three.

[00:55:02] Patrick Donley: I wanted to hear what the minimum investment is as an LP for Techvestor.

[00:55:07] Taylor Jones: Set up today for fund two. Minimum check is 25 k. You know, we have different classes of shares based on your check size to deliver different returns. You know what’s great is you can go check out our website, Feel free to book a call with one of our team members. We are set up with accredited investors only at the moment, but one of our team members can walk you through, go over the portfolio, the investment opportunity, and answer any questions that you have.

[00:55:29] Taylor Jones: So we have a great investor relations team who is constantly fielding Zoom calls and phone calls from investors across the country.

[00:55:37] Patrick Donley: Probably a great option for somebody that wants to do, get involved in the Airbnb space, but does not want to mess with the headaches.

[00:55:44] Taylor Jones: Absolutely. And that’s what we wanted to provide is a passive option where you don’t have to deal with the cleaning, you don’t have to guess whether you’re buying the right property and you’re going to lose money.

[00:55:54] Taylor Jones: You don’t have to go buy $20,000 worth of data subscriptions to compete with us. You’re able to just hone in and get a diversified exposure. You know, like I said, like, you know, you can go buy one in Florida and it can go really well. Or as we saw, hurricane Ian could come in and and crush you. And there’s a lot of investors who their, their short-term rentals got flooded.

[00:56:14] Taylor Jones: They’re in southwest Florida with Hurricane Ian and you know, they’re not even up and going. Or even in northeast Florida as it cut diagonal across the state. I know a lot of investors who had to shut down for two or three months, you know, get the place back up and going. Having that diversified portfolio is what we are setting out to accomplish so that people can get exposure, have the opportunity to make it passive with those quarterly dividend payments and not have to worry about the headaches that come with operating a short-term rental.

[00:56:40] Patrick Donley: Totally makes sense. I want to wrap up here soon, but I want to do a quick fire round. You are a learner. I know you, like, I’m pretty impressed with, with the way you absorb and, and digest and assimilate information. I wanted to hear what your most, the most impactful book that you’ve read on in your life.

[00:56:57] Taylor Jones: Unfortunately, I’m not a huge book reader. It’s been a huge flaw that I wish I could sit down and read more. I think it’s the, like, the constant go, go, go, go, go. I’m always in sixth gear mentality, but early on, like a lot of real estate people, I did read Rich Dad Poor Dad, and that flipped the mindset for me to acquire assets and accumulate cash flow.

[00:57:16] Taylor Jones: Prior to reading that book, my thought was I’ll just keep putting money in the stock market and if I do really well on my sales job, and I’ll keep overfunding my IRA and my portfolio, you know, cool. I, I can go retire maybe at 55 instead of 60. That’s completely shifted now from, you know, buying equities to buying hard assets, you know, via real estate, generating cash flow, reinvesting those cash flows, buying more hard assets.

[00:57:40] Taylor Jones: So I did read Rich Dad Port ad and that was a, a mindset shift for me more or less from the, you know, lessons learned of that book.

[00:57:49] Patrick Donley: Yeah, it’s a good one for sure. He’s kind of gone off the rails a little bit lately, but the book itself is, is great.

[00:57:55] Taylor Jones: Yeah, I know there, there’s a lot to be said. That might be a whole another podcast on that recently.

[00:57:59] Taylor Jones: But I do believe the, the high level overview of understanding buying assets and cash flow and passive income, that was what really changed my mindset because I was just under the impression, hey, you just push your money in the stock market. It statistically grows seven to 8% a year, over a hundred year time horizon.

[00:58:17] Taylor Jones: And it’ll be larger when I retire than it is today. What has been your best investment? The short-term rentals have been home runs. The, kind of the good news about being able to sit back and cherry pick is you can wait for those good deals when I’m buying personally. But you know, I think it’s been the investment in myself.

[00:58:33] Taylor Jones: You could argue the investment in growing my Twitter has been the best investment with getting recruited to join Techvestor and the opportunity to be a part of this growing portfolio. I truly believe my best investment has been in myself growing Twitter and networking. It’s open doors I could have never imagined that would’ve been open prior.

[00:58:53] Patrick Donley: That’s awesome. Really cool. I like the answer. What controversial opinion in the short-term rental Airbnb space do you have that others do not share?

[00:59:03] Taylor Jones: I could argue that we’re still only in the second or third inning that there’s tons of room to grow and opportunity. There’s going to be massive consolidation growing going on in the asset class.

[00:59:13] Taylor Jones: You see the headlines, the Airbnb bust, people aren’t traveling anymore. Hospitality is getting crushed. I look at the numbers, I, I’m not emotional. I, I’m not a headline guy. The numbers will tell you those are all false narratives. People can argue and fight and yell at the comments and, and I can just laugh.

[00:59:26] Taylor Jones: I try not to engage and get sucked in, but my opinion would be stay disciplined to the numbers and, and don’t let the emotions get the best of you. So to me, travel is up, numbers are up, hospitalities up, our revenues are up. It’s not quite fitting that narrative that’s being put out there today.

[00:59:42] Patrick Donley: Taylor, thanks a lot.

[00:59:43] Patrick Donley: This has been a lot of fun. I’ve really enjoyed learning both on your Twitter account and you know, just talking with you here today. Is there anything else you wanted to add in terms of advice you might want to give to somebody listening in, thinking about getting started in doing an Airbnb?

[00:59:57] Taylor Jones: The biggest advice I would give is don’t be afraid to jump in.

[00:59:59] Taylor Jones: I see too many analysis paralysis, people who study, study, study. And I could tell you this, I consumed a lot in three months and I did not know everything. And there’s no way I could have learned everything, even if I had studied for three years. And until you buy that first one or immerse yourself in that first one, if that’s the route you want to pursue, you truly won’t learn everything.

[01:00:19] Taylor Jones: I, I learn more in three weeks of ownership than I did in three months of studying. And so to me, too many people stay on the sidelines. I look at it as, you need to learn enough not to drown, but you don’t need to be Michael Phelps when you jump in the pool on that first deal. And I think a lot of people feel like they need to study, learn, and feel like they, they are Michael Phelps, when in reality just don’t.

[01:00:41] Taylor Jones: You know, don’t lose money, don’t make a stupid decision, but you’re never going to truly master it until you get in the pool and start swimming. So that’s the best piece of advice I would get. Like I said, I know people that talked about wanting to get involved when I first started, who have still not bought their first property.

[01:00:57] Taylor Jones: They’re still on the sidelines, they’re still timid. And it is scary to write that very first offer or get that first one under contract, especially for us, it was in a different state eight hours away. But you gotta trust that you know enough and, and know your systems and, and, you know, succeed.

[01:01:13] Patrick Donley: I love that.

[01:01:13] Patrick Donley: I love the Michael Phelps analogy. I, you know, you’re not going to be Tiger Woods. We were talking golf earlier before the interview started. Like, I think so many people just, I don’t know what it is, just think they’re going to become an expert by learning and learning and learning. And it’s just like you said, you just have to jump in and you’re going to learn way more by doing than you ever will by just continuing to read and listen to podcasts or YouTube videos or whatever it is the best learning is doing.

[01:01:38] Taylor Jones: I’ll leave you with this. The best quote I ever heard and how I, how I look at decisions, it’s not wins and losses, it’s wins and learning opportunities. And if you make a mistake, if you maybe lose some money here and there, if you treat that as a loss, you’ll, you’ll never grow and develop personally, professionally.

[01:01:56] Taylor Jones: And I think this applies not only just to real estate, but for business and life as a whole. Don’t treat them as, as losses. Treat them as learning opportunities. And if you learn from that, you’ll get even stronger that the next time you’re in a similar opportunity, your chances of success are going to be so much higher.

[01:02:10] Patrick Donley: That I love that. I, I don’t think I’ve heard that quote. That’s the good one to end on. For our listeners that want to get in touch with you, learn more about you, what’s the best way for them to do that?

[01:02:20] Taylor Jones: Yeah, certainly. I know we’ve been alluding to it all day. Definitely going to follow me Twitter @MrJonesSTRS. I’ve started, you know, like I said, getting active on LinkedIn.

[01:02:28] Taylor Jones: That’s Taylor Jones and my giant jugular looks very similar to the profile picture that you see today. And if you want to learn more about investing passively in short-term rentals, go to Feel free to book a, a call with our team or read as much of the information that is available there.

[01:02:44] Patrick Donley: Taylor, thanks so much. You guys are up to some good stuff and really appreciate your time today.

[01:02:48] Taylor Jones: Thank you, Patrick. Had a blast, man.

[01:02:51] Patrick Donley: Okay, folks, that’s all I had for today’s episode. I hope you enjoyed the show and I’ll see you back here real soon.

[01:02:57] Outro: Thank you for listening to TIP. Make sure to subscribe to We Study Billionaires by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Every Wednesday, we teach you about Bitcoin, and every Saturday, we study billionaires and the financial markets. To access our show notes, transcripts, or courses, go to

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