You may be sitting on a gold-mine and you don't even know it.

That's what Alex came to realize after listing his place on Airbnb. Now, the income from renting his place out on the Gold Coast has not only gained a substantial increase in monthly income from his investment property but has been able to have some amazing adventures around the world.

Alex is currently an Airbnb host and we asked him to share his story to hopefully inspire some of you reading to follow a similar path on the way to financial freedom.

People often ask me how I got started on Airbnb and I say it was purely timing and necessity. I had purchased an apartment on the Gold Coast a number of years ago which would be used as an investment property as a stepping stone to start building wealth for me and my family. It was a beautifully renovated apartment in a fantastic location opposite the beach, close to shops, restaurants and amenities.

I had always considered it the norm to rent the property to long-term tenants, however I always felt that the property was just ‘another property’ in a poorly managed rent roll and was not looked after to any high standard by tenants. Additionally, the market rent received barely covered my financial commitments to the property. Tenancies were inconsistent and was extremely frustrating when tenants moved out with the property sometimes vacant for extended times.

It was a week before Christmas and my tenants decided to move out. The apartment was achieving $680 per week for the past 2 years. After a few weeks on the market with no interest in the apartment it was recommended by the property manager to lower the rent to $650 per week. I agreed reluctantly but I wanted to get a tenant into the property as quickly as possible so I could service my financial commitments. A month went by and still no interest in the apartment and advised again to lower the rent. After 6 months of no interest and the rent now offered at $580 per week, I was extremely frustrated especially with my continued financial commitments now draining my bank account.

Enter Airbnb.

I had previously stayed in an Airbnb on an overseas holiday and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It offered great value and an excellent alternative for my family. So one day reminiscing about this holiday I was thinking could I make my apartment an Airbnb property. What do I have to lose? It has not been rented for 6 months? Let’s give it a go… and I am so glad I made that decision.

Not knowing where to begin I started doing some research and came across some companies that specialise in Airbnb hosting and management. They are similar to traditional property managers but specialise in short-term rentals through Airbnb. I contacted a few of these companies as part of my due diligence and selected one to manage my apartment.

It has now been 18 months since I listed my apartment on Airbnb and I am consistently generating 40% more income than if the apartment was rented to a long term tenant. In addition, the apartment is consistently maintained to a high standard with lower wear and tear than a normal long term tenant.

As I am now enjoying greater income from my investment property, it has now allowed me the opportunity to spend more time travelling with my family as a direct result from the income that I have made. We have just returned from Bali and are just about to book another holiday – this time to the Cook Islands.

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