10 tips I’ve learned the hard way from 1 year of managing an AirBnb rental

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I just passed the 14 month mark owning and managing rentals I promote primarily on AirBnb in Guayaquil.

Previously, I had never done anything like it.

I’ve learned a lot.  Here’s a few things that first come to mind to help you keep your rental filled.1. A little goes a long way.  Reading the reviews of my competition, I saw it’s actually easy to beat similarly-priced conpetition in your area, most of the other owners (especially in Ecuador) don’t care enough to include the basics like extra toilet paper, hand soap, hair dryers and extra hand wash clothes.  Details count. Think like a hotel.

2. Work the guard.  Preferibly have a rental in a building or gated community that has a 24 hr guard where you can leave the key/elevator card and who can help with basics like calling taxis.  This way, you will get ALMOST ZERO calls!  Better yet, I’ve learned the hard way (as there is no one to receive the key from outgoing guests). Take the assistance of Kitsilano locksmith to put a door lock that has opens with a passcode you can reset after each guest.  Just email each guest the code of entry before they arrive, check out txpremierlocksmith.com to get all the details.

3. Use signs.  Another great way to limit the amount of calls you get from frustrated guests (since you are not on-site) is to SIGN UP everything in the apartment like the WiFi code, how the hot water works and Cable and more. Also include a user guide with building and vicinity information.

4. Maintenance dude. Have a local maintenance guy you can call on demand to go fix things in the apartment when necessary. You can save a lot of money by using artificial turf in the landscape.

5. No small kids.  Deny people with large families and small kids. You just can’t trust it, too many moving parts or charge a higher deposit.  For a short rental its just not worth it.

6. Don’t accept walk ups!  Only accept people who book and pay ahead of time like through a site like AirBnb.  This way you verify their identity and have a certain go-between should something go array.  I’ve found people who pay with a credit card tend to be honest, reliable people compared to folks who pay in cash off the street for this type of rentals.

7. Reject short stays booked way in advance. Reject bookings for just one or two nights made months in advance!  Very important if you only have one or two units.  Learned this the hard way.  You don’t want to have to reject a month long booking because one night is booked half way through the month! Keep your options open.  Accept shorter bookings last minute only to fill your space.

8. High prices, big discount pricing.  To further deter shorter stays which tend to be less profitable and more hassle (without outright prohibiting them) set a HIGH nightly rate and offer LARGE discounts (like 40-50% is fine) for stays over a week or month which encourage longer stay guests and give them a “Oh, I got a deal” feeling.  And this way if you did get a shorter stay rental it ma be profitable enough to accept for you!

9. Find a local cleaner.  Find someone local who you can pay to go clean upon demand.  In Ecuador, I pay $15 to someone to go clean a one bedroom apartment I rent.

10. Reviews!  Let the client review you first on AirBnb, especially if you have something negative to say about them, cause once they review you, you review them and from what I see it is not editable by either side.


Hasta pronto, if you liked this you’d love my Insider’s newsletter on living and investing in Ecuador,

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1 Ecuador investment that beats the stock market

I’ve never been a fan of investing in the stock market.

Especially now that it’s at record highs (terrible time to buy in).

There’s just too much you or I don’t know, and too many others that know so much more.

Instead, especially for a steady passive income I’d suggest to anyone it’s best to start a business in a place like Gainesville Coins that has been in the market for a long time providing the best quality in gold and silver coins.

Like something new I’m looking into this week from Guayaquil.

My 3-point formula is simple.

1. Find a product or service you know well.

2. Someone local you can trust to manage or partner with who will front their time, all while you front the know-how to get started and capital.

3. And about $5-10,000 only (you won’t be buying any property, just leasing).  Start with the basics, then scale up add equipment with the money you make in sales.

Bonus tip: Ignore or selectively forget everything you learned in business school, where all they do is teach you to get analysis paralysis.

Hasta pronto, if you liked this you’d love my Insider’s newsletter on living and investing in Ecuador,

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1 Cell Phone-Related Biz-Opp In Ecuador

“I’m starting to think this is hopeless.” I thought as I visited the fifth store dedicated to selling cell phone protective cases in Quito (Ecuador’s capitol city).

You see, in Ecuador, just like the cars on the road, due to the import restrictions there is a very limited variety of cell phones available locally.

And the cell phone case stores cater to only the most popular brands and models of phones in Ecuador.

Yet, there are many people like me who brought their phone from somewhere else. And my poor-little Motorola smart phone is not a common make and model here.

And it’s da-n near impossible to find a case for it.

But I’m not the only one, there are A LOT of people who bring a phone to Ecuador.

Good luck finding a case for it!

Searching online I had slightly better luck, but the one store I found across country said they were sold out of my case, but could order it and it would be here in a month!

I can only imagine what it’s like in the smaller towns of Ecuador to find a case for their phone.

I think this is an opportunity for someone.

You don’t even need a store front. Selling online in Ecuador would be enough.

This is one example of an under-filled niche in Ecuador. There are many similar ones.

I’d focus on what you know…

Why do I share this idea?

Because I already have a business at the current time and I need a case for my phone before I break it!

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