BiggerPockets Podcast 492: Robuilt’s Tiny Houses That are Cashing in MASSIVE Profits Every Month

BiggerPockets Podcast 492: Robuilt’s Tiny Houses That are Cashing in MASSIVE Profits Every Month

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Rob Abasolo, AKA Robuilt on Youtube, didn’t have a background in real estate, or construction, or hospitality, or really anything related to his current success. He did have drive, creative thinking, and the will to make something work when other people told him it was impossible.

Rob and his wife moved from Kansas City to Los Angeles, trading a $1,100 mortgage on a house for a $1,800 rent bill on a small apartment. Around this time, Rob started hearing about Airbnb and short-term rental hosting. So, he decided to buy a house, keep his apartment, and try his hand at some Airbnb arbitrage. It worked, and thus the short-term rental revenue model was proven!

Rob then started to Airbnb out the apartment attached to his new home. He was pulling in some solid income, anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 a month. So what did he do next? He built a “tiny house” in his backyard for around $72,000 and began renting it out for up to $4,000 a month on Airbnb. That’s when Rob thought “what if I built ten of these?”

Now, four years later, that’s exactly what he’s done. Rob has a growing portfolio of short-term rentals all across the United States. From California to Texas, to Tennessee and beyond. But this isn’t the end for Rob. His new plans? Build a massive “glamping” compound on his newly acquired 50 acres of land in Gatlinburg!

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Brandon:
This is the BiggerPockets Podcast, show 492.

Rob:
So I bought this house. We’re renting it on Airbnb and it’s pulling in about 2 to $3,000 a month which is very significant for us. So I’m like, “Wow, what if I had 10 of these things?” And my wife was like, “Oh, boy. Here you go.” And I’m like, “No, I’m telling you. This one is going to work, I swear.”

Speaker 3:
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Brandon:
What’s going on everyone? It’s Brandon Turner, host of the BiggerPockets pod. Did I say picker pockets? BiggerPockets Podcasts. It’s not like I’ve said that almost 500 times. Here with my co-host, Mr. David BRRRR Greene. Or we’re going to call you, David American Horror Story Greene. What’s up, man? How you doing?

David:
I am an American Horror Story. That would be a good like UFC nickname, David the American Horror Story Greene.

Brandon:
If you want to know why, I’m calling David that, listen to the end of the episode later on. We talk about that and David got a little bit of fame, we’ll say this past week. So no, he is not a guest star of American Horror Story, or is he? You’ll hear about that later. But today’s show is phenomenal. I loved every second of this conversation. I’m just diving into this story of Rob who built up this great portfolio of both… He did some Airbnbs and he’s got some semi-famous ones and some glamping stuff and some other stuff. We talk a lot about the business side of real estate cash flow and then the long-term value and some of the middle ground there.
We talk about the 1%, 2% rule, how you can get the 2% rule even in areas like Hawaii and California, and New York, and other areas. There’s some neat stuff there. We cover a bunch of new stuff. You’re going to love this show, just phenomenal. So all that and more to come, but first I’d like to get to today’s Quick Tip.
Ask yourself, how can you be the top 10%? Rob said something today on the show you’re going to hear it later. He said he always tries to be the top 10% in whatever he goes into, whether it’s the rental property, the way that it looks or anything, a house flip looks, anything. What can you be the top 10%? It doesn’t mean to be number one and go crazy and spend millions of dollars on whatever it is you’re remodeling or putting out there, but how can you be top 10%? And I’ll tell you the bar is fairly low in a lot of real estate areas where if you do just decently well, you’re going to be fine, but if you can get that top 10%, you’re going to just see massive success in whatever you do. So that’s the question is how can you be the top 10%. And David, you are definitely the top 10% in everything I’ve seen you do. So you exhibit that in every way. So good job, man.

David:
That’s very nice. Thanks for saying that. It might be a compliment as towards how little I let you actually see of me, but I’ll still take it.

Brandon:
All right. With that said, let’s get into today’s interview with our guest Rob Abasolo. You can find him on YouTube. He’s a big YouTuber with over a hundred thousand subscribers at Robuilt, R-O-B-U-I-L-T. Maybe you’ve seen him. And if not, well, you’re going to see him today. Let’s get to the interview right now with Rob Abasolo. Rob, welcome to the BiggerPockets podcast man. How you doing?

Rob:
I’m doing well, man. I’m doing well. It’s very cool to be here.

Brandon:
Oh, thanks. Well, let’s get into your story a little bit. How did you get into the wide world of real estate?

Rob:
Yeah. I had always seen my parents try their hand at real estate. They’re immigrants from Mexico. They’re always just looking for ways to provide for our family and they had some victories, they had some failures. And just seeing that at a young age just really inspired me to be able to make them proud and do it myself. So I’ve always had that itch. And graduating from college with a lot of student debt, I started asking myself how can I start attacking this student that my wife and I had about $80,000 in student loans.
So after moving from Kansas City, we moved to LA and started our first house hack. We couldn’t afford the house at the time, but through the house hack and through the beginning of my Airbnb business, my whole life changed in the way I never really imagined.

Brandon:
Okay. So what was that very first property?

Rob:
So very first property was we moved to LA, and granted we had moved from Kansas City. So the standard of living was a little bit different at the time. I think our mortgage there was $1,100. When we moved to LA, we were renting an apartment for about $1,800. It was a 600 square foot apartment. After doing that for about six months, I just… I don’t know. I had a boiling point where I told my wife, “I can’t bear to pay 1800 for a 600 square foot apartment. We have to buy a house.”
She was like, “Well, can we afford that?” And I was like, “Absolutely, not.” But I heard about this thing called Airbnb, and apparently you can rent out rooms to strangers. What’s the worst that could go wrong? She went along with me on that. So about the same time we were living in that apartment and we had to decide, were we going to break our lease and spend $1,800 a month’s rent to do that or were we going to put it on Airbnb? This is a very new concept for her and me too. I had no idea. But I had a little bit of faith, and so I was like, “You know what, we’re going to put the apartment on Airbnb and our $624,000 house in LA, it was a mortgage of $4,400.
I was really placing a big bet on this to work, but something special about this house was that there was a 279 square foot studio apartment underneath it. And I was like, “Okay, I think if we rent that little apartment out, we can make two to $3,000 a month.” She believed in me to try out this crazy idea. Lo and behold, that little studio apartment did exactly that. Every single month, 2 to $3,000 and then my little apartment that we were Airbnb’ing was profiting 1 to $2,000 and that was really the inception of like my Airbnb short-term rental business where I was like, “This is what I’m going to do.”

Brandon:
Yeah, and that was good. What year was that?

Rob:
This was in 2017.

Brandon:
Cool, yeah. That whole idea, I mean, I love the concept of the subletting your apartment and Airbnb’ing it. Now, they’ve started cracking down a lot more and there’s a lot of laws that have changed to try to stop that in some areas and a lot of landlords don’t like it. But when you can do it, when it works, it’s such a cool strategy. I mean, I’ve heard of people just building up tens of thousands of dollars a month in passive “running” a business, but passive income, right? Because they just rent a bunch of apartments and then rent them all out on Airbnb.
Again, I think that the world tends to get more efficient and that’s happening. So more landlords are aware of it and they realize that’s the thing. Do you anticipate that going away in the coming years? Do you see that being the subletting world as being a still strong thing?

Rob:
No, man. I definitely think it’s here to stay. I mean, when you look at just historical trends here, we have known hotels as a society for a very long time. Just how we’ve known taxis for a long time. And then Uber comes around and starts eating the lunch of the taxi industry. And then all of a sudden, there’s less legislation and there’s dissonance there. So through a lot of legal back and forth, now Uber and Lyft, and all those types of companies are fine like. They’re beating that type of regulation. I think it’s the exact same thing for Airbnb and short-term rentals in general.
There’s this hotel industry that’s very not happy about the advent of Airbnb. So there’s a lot of dissonance around the newness and the concept of letting strangers stay in your house in a “community” and neighborhood and environment where people aren’t typically used to that kind of thing. So I think as it becomes more normalized, we’re going to start seeing a lot more you know widespread adoption.

David:
Let’s take a second to provide some context here for the listeners that might heard the phrase short-term rental Airbnb, but they don’t know how it fits into the whole landscape. One of the mistakes I think newbies make is that they look at the cash flow that comes from real estate and they assume that’s all that matters. That is why you invest in real estate. It’s to get cash flow. And it’s often times what is sold to them by gurus because cash flow can get you out of the job you don’t like. It can get you out of the life you don’t like. It can get you out of whatever your cash flow can solve your problem most of the time.
And when you’re doing what we just described, renting out somebody else’s building and then renting out for more, you are getting cash flow. There is some benefits to doing that and I think it’s really good because it teaches you sort of the fundamentals of how to run a business, especially a real estate business. But real estate makes wealth in several ways and cash flow is one and arguably it might be the least important one.
It’s the best for defense, it’s not the best for building wealth. The appreciation you get, the loan pay down, the tax benefits. Those are all typically, when you look at it all together, all things being equal, stronger benefits than just the cash flow. So I’ve seen people get into this arbitrage model where they’re like, “Oh, I’m managing 25 different places and I’m making 500 bucks or a thousand bucks on each one. I’m making 12 grand a month. This is great.” But you will never get out of that. When you get bored of doing that, assuming that the laws don’t change, you’re stuck there.
It’s way different when you own the properties that are generating cash flow because you will then build long-term wealth. You’ll get to a point where you don’t have to do that. And I see this come up a lot with like Turo. Turo is sort of the Airbnb of cars. I can buy a car. I can rent it to somebody else. There’s a lot of people, some of them are on my team that are using this Turo thing and they are making good cash flow right now.
The problem is, it’s not the same as real estate. I’ve heard people say, “It’s just like real estate, but with the car.” It’s not. Those cars are going down in value every single year that you own them. The desirability to rent that car five years from now, will not be what it is when you have a super cool car that like the Tesla or the BMW that everybody wants to rent. Five years from now, they won’t be wanting to rent it as opposed to real estate in a good location, it might be more valuable in five years.
So what we’re going to talk about, Rob, I know you’re incredibly good at what you do, one of the best that’s out there. A lot of respect for you. So I don’t want anyone to hear I’m saying this is bad. This is really good, that’s why we’re having you talk about it.

Rob:
Man, I 100% agree with everything you say. And I actually don’t really do any rental arbitrage anymore. I’m a big proponent of… S in real estate, I think there’s two big terms that I kind of think of it. There’s getting rich and there’s building wealth. Yes, cash flow can get you rich, but that’s always going to be temporary. So after that very first apartment that I leased out, I started asking myself, “How can I actually create like a livelihood for me and my family and build something bigger than $2,000 a month profit?” It was great at the time, especially as someone that wasn’t making a ton of money, but I quickly realized that the path towards building a true real estate portfolio was owning everything that I put out on the market.
So now my entire portfolio… Let me think about this. Yes, my entire portfolio is 100% owned in some capacity, whether it’s with me or with different partners. So I think that it’s a really great way to break into the industry. And if that’s how you have to break in due to budgetary issues, fantastic. I absolutely will co-sign that. But I’m always going to push people towards owning the property, house hacking if they can and getting into something where they can build equity over their lifetime.

David:
There we go. That’s all. I just want to set the table before we get into it deeply because it would be easy for people just to hear, “Oh, I can get cash flow doing that. That’s what I’m going to go do.” Because cash flow is a sweet, sweet siren song that can lure you in and then it’s very difficult to get out of it.

Rob:
Oh, I’m just going to say, I had that battle about six months into the rental arbitrage game where I was like, “This is fun.” But do I want to do this 10 years from now?

Brandon:
Yeah. But it can get you out of your job. If somebody has a crappy job they don’t like, great. Build up 5, $10,000 a month from rental arbitrage, if that’s what you need to do to get started. Now, you got your free time. Your time is not the issue anymore.

David:
Time back.

Brandon:
Now, you got your time back. Now, you can go put that into building an actual like scalable sellable business. Anyway, there are ways… I mean, I know a guy. I mentioned this once on the show years ago, but I know a guy who basically did the rental arbitrage, like Airbnb arbitrage but when we say that term, it means you’re renting it and then you’re subletting on Airbnb. But what he did is he rented an entire floor of a large commercial building in downtown… I don’t know if it was Nashville or Atlanta, or something like that.
Then he turned it into like 13 Airbnbs and it’s zoned for a hotel. He turned it to a mini hotel, but he signed a 25-year lease, I think it was with the building. So now he’s still arbitraging, but he basically just made a business out of it. I thought that was a super cool strategy. Yeah, he’s not building equity necessarily in the building, but he’s got 20, 25 years of a business that he’s going to be just cranking out like just stupid cash flow from.
Not all businesses need to grow wealthy. Sometimes it’s just about putting food on the table and driving a nice car. So anyway, back to your story, Rob. So what came next? You got the little apartment below your house that you’re renting on Airbnb, which I think is phenomenal. I have my first short-term rental guest staying next month in my a little apartment underneath my house, which is cool. If I do this right, I think, I can actually make enough. Even only renting out my downstairs to people I know every other month, I’ll make enough to pay my entire mortgage just off that here in Hawaii which is crazy. So what came next for you?

David:
Well, by the way congratulations. Love to hear it. That’s kind of really for me what really kick-started a lot from my whole investment strategy. So I bought this house. We’re renting it on Airbnb and it’s pulling in about 2 to $3,000 a month which is very significant for us. So I’m like, “Wow, what if I had 10 of these things? And my wife was like, “Oh, boy, here you go.” I’m like, “No, I’m telling you. This one is going to work. I swear.” So I was like, “Okay, let’s build-”

Brandon:
I’ve had the exact conversation with my wife 100 times.

Rob:
It’s effective every month at this point. “Hey, let’s move to Tennessee. Let’s leave California.” We have the 6,600 square foot lot on our house in LA and I was like, “I think we have enough room on this property to build a tiny house in the backyard.” Of course, she’s my tether to Earth because I always tend to just go straight to the moon. She was like, “Well, you’ve never built anything before. Are you sure you can do this?” And I was like, “I can’t do it now, but I’m going to figure out how to do this.” She was like, “Okay. I know when you have your mind on something, you have to do it and you’re going to succeed, so let’s go for it.”
So I was like, “All right. It’s going to be no big deal. I’m going to build this tiny house. It’s going to be like $1,500. It’s going to take three weeks to crush out and I’m going to have another income producing property in LA.” And cut to 12 months later, $72,000 later, with a lot of heartbreaks and new gray hairs that sprouted as a result. I had a tiny house. I built a tiny house as an accessory dwelling unit in ADU on my house in LA. That was a really big achievement for me because so many people along the way laughed at me for wanting to build a tiny house and for wanting to do this.
Of course, I was naive and I was learning so much, but I knew what I wanted to do and I had the vision of what I wanted to do. As soon as it was done and it was rented, and it was making a lot of money, all of my neighbors would walk up to me. They would walk into my backyard. They would literally walk into my tiny house as I was in their painting. And it’s like a far walk to traverse my backyard. They would say, “Dude, this is so cool. Tell me about it. And that’s when I knew I stumbled onto a pretty cool idea.

Brandon:
I love, love, love the ADU. I call it the ADU house hack. Or in Hawaii we have the ohanas and casitas in Phoenix. Everyone’s got a different name for it. Granny flat, whatever. But when you can add on like build a standalone structure, I love this concept. In fact, in the multi-family millionaire book that’s coming out, I don’t know if it’ll be out by the time this episode airs, but probably. Anyway, I have a whole section in there on that idea. This is one of the best ways I think to get into multi-family real estate is just turn your single family house into a multi-family.
States like California and Hawaii and other states are really encouraging this now or at least trying to… I think the government finally realized, “Oh, this solves a lot of problems. We can let people live for cheaper because now they’re renting out part of their property. But also those people that are renting it, now get delivered for cheaper and a smaller property.” Anyway, I like the idea a lot. At $72,000, what does a thing like that rent for in a given month? If you were to rent to even just normal, forget about the Airbnb thing, what would that tiny house rent for in a given month?

Rob:
Absolutely. I’ll give you three tiers of it, okay?

Brandon:
Okay.

Rob:
So the first tier is first thing that I did was rented it to my best friend. I convinced him to move to Los Angeles. I was like, “Dude, I’m going to build a tiny house. It’s going to be done next month. Come on over.” So he moved here and then he ended up staying in my guest bedroom for the next 12, 13 months. We built this house. So long term, that thing rents for about $1,500 a month. That is a 303 square foot place. So pretty good. But now, I rented it on-

Brandon:
Wait. Before you move on real quick, I just wan to state this. So what I love about that is even at that level, that is a 2% deal. Now, 2% in BiggerPockets world, we always talk about 1% and 2% rules or 1% and 2% tests. It basically says, “Hey, your property, what you buy it for is…” But basically the rent is 1% of what you buy it for. So if you buy a $100,000 property, rents for $1,000 a month, that meets the 1% rule. That’s incredibly difficult to find the 1% rule. It’s almost impossible to find the 2% deal outside of maybe like downtown Detroit or Baltimore. A really kind of like a sketchy low-priced area. If you’re in California, and you’ve got a 2% deal, it’s unheard of. Even as a traditional boring, old straight rental, you can get 2% even 3% deal sometimes on an ADU, which just blows my mind. So anyway, sorry, keep going.

Rob:
Yeah. We’ll get into some nicer percentages later with a cool property.

Brandon:
Yes, even better.

Rob:
So that’s first, right? Second is renting it on Airbnb. So we had a baby in January of 2020 and I kicked my buddy out and I was like, “Hey, we need the backspace to let my parents come stay,” and this and that. So after my parents came and visited for the first month, I put it on Airbnb and I was like, “All right. Let’s see how this thing is going to actually do. Is it going to make my hypothesis come true?” And all that kind of stuff. So I put it on Airbnb and it was pretty consistently grossing about 3,500. $4,000 on a really, really good month for me.
I would say if I were still renting it short-term that way and that’s anywhere from one to 30 days, I could expect 4 to $5,000 pretty consistently from that specific property. But I don’t do that right now. Now, I do what’s called a long-term stay on Airbnb because of what you were talking about, all of the different regulations in Los Angeles.

Brandon:
Does that go back to the $1,500 a month thing, the long term stay on Airbnb or is that different?

Rob:
No, no. So it’s a little bit different. So with the long term stay, obviously we’re used to those 12 month leases, right? Well on, Airbnb, it’s going to be more than that because people are still renting it “short-term” because it’s only 30 days at a time. So it’s a happy medium. At this point, that tiny house grosses anywhere from 23 to 2,700 a month. I had to switch to that strategy because during corona, we had all these lockdowns and there’s just so much going on. I actually decided to convert my tiny house into a place for travel nurses and frontline workers. So I heavily discounted my monthly rate for that and I never really changed it back since because I still get quite a few travel nurses and people in that tiny house. So it’s a little bit in between.

Brandon:
Yeah. So let’s talk about real quick when we talk about the laws, what do you mean… And for those who don’t even know, why are there laws against this short-term rental thing? Is that in every area? How does the legal side play into an Airbnb strategy?

Rob:
Totally, man. So it really is going to depend specifically on your city. Literally, every city, every county, every state, completely different. You never know what those rules are going to be. So effectively, California does have somewhat of a housing crisis. And because of that, the short-term rental laws there are just very stringent. So LA passed an ordinance that said, “You could only rent out your place for 180 days or less from a short-term rental standpoint. Or if you rented it for more than 30 days, it becomes a long-term rental.
So it’s a little bit of a, I don’t want to say like a loophole, but because I rent it for more than 30 days on Airbnb, I’m still allowed to rent it even though it’s not a 12-month lease. Like I said, it’s a happy medium. There’s some pros and cons here. I still have to follow the same type of tenant laws and everything like that once I go past I think 28 days in California.

Brandon:
It’s easy to get irritated with the government for doing like, “Stay out of my business. Why can’t I have an Airbnb?” It happened in Hawaii. It happened in California. It happened in New York. In happened in a lot of areas. The problem is we’re mixing… When you turn a property into an Airbnb, it becomes a business and it becomes way more valuable as a business than it is as a house, right? So take Hawaii for example here. If I turn a house into an Airbnb, I’d pay twice as much for it. I’d literally pay 1.5 million for a house that’s only worth 700 because I know I could Airbnb it. And that’s why actually houses that are in Airbnb zoned areas are twice as expensive.
So what happens, the government sees this problem and they say, “Wait. As more and more people realize that the power of vacation rentals, how powerful they are, it drives out all the people who live and work in the area. They can’t afford it because it’s just a mismatched thing.” So it’s difficult because on one hand I like to be the capitalist who’s like, “Hey, let the free market figure things out.” At the same time, then you’re like, “Well, it just pushes everybody out. It makes it very, very difficult to live.” So I understand it. I don’t always like it.

David:
Brandon, I think that you take that perspective because if we allowed that, where would it stop, right?

Brandon:
Yeah.

David:
Then it turns into, “I’m going to run a daycare out of my house. Then it turns into, “I’m going to run a restaurant out of my house.” And then it turns into every house out there is its own business because it’s cheaper to run a business out of your house and rent commercial space. There’s a reason we have zoning laws and it could quickly spiral into a situation that’s bad. So I think this is great advice for people who just get frustrated in general. It’s very frustrating when you’re told no. It’s often easier to swallow if you can see the big picture and understand why.

Rob:
Yeah. I mean, I feel that way about California with new constructions. I build stuff here often. The rules and the laws are just, they’re so frustrating. But I know it’s ultimately for the safety of people and for the greater good in a sense.

Brandon:
What I like about that, a lot of people complain about things. Even my opinion on rent control for example, it changed quite a bit. I used to just hate rent control. I still don’t like the idea of it. But then I talked to like, I think it was Mark Hentemann when he was on our podcast back a couple years ago. He’s in LA. He’s talking about how powerful rent control is because when you put restrictions on things, there’s opportunity there.
Now, the rent control area is like, “You can find a way to make money in those areas.” And in fact, there’s some benefits to those things. So on the same regard, yeah, Airbnb for example, they’re really… In Hawaii, you can’t have an Airbnb really at all unless you’re in a zoned Airbnb area or you’re house-hacking. There’s a permit for people who live in the property like I do and rent out another part.
So it sounds like, “Well, that’s annoying.” But wait, no. Just play with the law because then you’re one of the only ones.” So the fact that Hawaii is cracking down on all these things, great. That means when I buy my condo that’s in a zoned Airbnb area, my rates are going up because there’s less of it. If everybody and their mom had an Airbnb in an area, what’s that do to rental rates? It drops them, right? If Airbnb is 35 bucks a night for everyone, no one’s making money anymore. But when the government gets involved and put these restrictions, it actually benefits those who are smart enough to navigate the laws and work within them. It makes it harder but it makes it more valuable in the long term. So again, it’s just a way of shifting your perspective. Is it actually a benefit for smart people when the laws get changed, I think.

David:
Let me jump in real fast before we go to Rob because I just want to say this is so important that everybody hears what we’re saying. It’s very easy to fall into just tell me what to do and I’ll go do it. I just want to buy a house. I want to buy houses when they’re cheap and sell them when they’re expensive, and that’s as far as I want to understand. But Brandon, what you’re describing here is ways the rules of the game have changed.
As certain things become more scarce, which is what we’re describing, they come more valuable. So it is reasonable to expect that if the laws change, if you can get an asset that can be grandfathered in. It’s going to become more valuable than the houses around it. If you see where people are buying Airbnb like right now, I’ll probably blow up my own spot by announcing this, but Scottsdale, Arizona is doing incredibly well for Airbnb’s. It’s a place a lot of people travel to. Hotels get booked up really quick. It’s higher end so people with more money want to travel there. The reason that real estate in Scottsdale is exploding is that someone can pay twice as much for the same house and Airbnb it, and make a really good money.
So it pushes the concept of all the houses around it. If you understand what we’re talking about, you can pick the markets that you think are more likely to do well, which sort of ties into what we said earlier where you want to own the real estate. But it’s these rules of the game that I really want our listeners to understand. It is not as simple as technology approves like Rob you said everything becomes more efficient. The way you win changes. Just like in any sport, football has played different than football was played 40 years ago. That’s all we’re getting at. So this is really good stuff because not everybody understands how the short-term rental has impacted real estate as a whole.

Rob:
I 100% agree. I mean, I think Airbnb in real estate is all about adaptability and flexibility and having multiple strategies. So with the Airbnb side of things, if we’re talking about getting cash-on-cash returns that are 20 to 100%, let’s just put that out there, you have to work for that. That is not going to be easy. You better believe that you’re going to have to sweat and you’re going to have some hard times and you’re going to have some decisions to make that are much more stressful than someone that’s making less than that because it’s not easy. It’s not hard either, it’s just hard work.

Brandon:
Yeah, that’s so good. So what came next? Let’s go back to your story. So you’re in LA. You got these properties. What happened next?

Rob:
Yeah, man. So I got so much good feedback about this tiny house in LA. And of course my equity at this point went up considerably. So I thought all right, I did this on a budget. I ran out of money at the very end of that deal and I had to put in the laminate floors and the cabinets and the countertops. I had to paint it and I had to finish everything in that house. So I learned a lot of hard lessons. And it’s okay. It made me better for it.
So after doing it the hard way, I was like, “Okay, I think what I want to do next is I want to do the same house, but I want to do it better. I want to do it how I wish I could have done it if I had the budget.” So I had heard about this Joshua Tree, California place, I heard it was like a cool place where people were going. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to build another tiny house in LA, so I decided, “Okay. Well, let’s just… I hear Joshua Tree is cool.” I just looked at Zillow, land was 10 to 15,000 out there. I went out there bought a piece of land and I built that tiny house all over again except the most premium way. I hired a contractor and I picked out the best finishes. That tiny house ended up costing $165,000.

Brandon:
Why it wasn’t so much? Just because you had the contractor and you rent it the right way? Was that why it was so expensive?

Rob:
Well, there’s a few different things. So when you’re doing an ADU, you already own the land and you already have a lot of that infrastructure. Electrical is there, plumbing is there. When you’re going out and building in the middle of the desert, you have to put in septic, water meters, power poles, abide by all of the 2020 California building code and IRC and everything like that. So it’s just a lot more intense. It actually took me about the same amount of time even with the professional contractor just because of all the systems and processes in place.

David:
How many square feet is this tiny home?

Rob:
That one is 303 square feet as well. It’s essentially a carbon copy except with a few more bells and whistles. It’s funny, man. I was laughed at so many times for building that house in Joshua Tree. I would have neighbors that just drove past it like one mile an hour just like looking at it. Contractors would laugh, all the vendors would laugh and I was like, “I know this thing is going to be cool.” It was and that house ended up becoming one of the most viral tiny houses on the internet I feel like because I always see a video. Someone just posted a TikTok of my tiny house a couple weeks ago and it’s gotten like 8 million views ever since.

Brandon:
That’s great. Is there way I can look it up and see what it looks like?

Rob:
Harebnb. H-A-R-E-B-N-B.

Brandon:
Airbnb.com/h/hairebnb?

Rob:
No, H-A-R-E. It’s a rabbit themed tiny house.

Brandon:
I see, okay. Oh, wait. I might have seen this on TikTok. Yeah. Oh, dang, dude. This is awesome. Everyone listen to this right now, make sure you guys go there check it out later, go put up on your phone right now. This is phenomenal.

David:
So this is the Harebnb?

Rob:
Yeah. So the area that it’s in is conejo which is Spanish for rabbit. So when I was thinking to myself, how can I market this thing? How can I make this a lot nicer or a lot more cool and gimmicky and stuff, I was like, “Well, why don’t I just make like a rabbit themed house?” Bear in mind, when you’re doing a themed house, there’s a very… And I mean very fine line between hokey and awesome, right? So I was very particular with all my different finish outs, the art that I curated from like local artists, the tile, the wallpaper. It was all very intentionally curated because I didn’t want someone to walk into my tiny house and say, “Oh my gosh. It looks like Easter in here.” I wanted it to feel like a vibe.

Brandon:
This is so cool. It’s hard to see how this is 300 square feet, because I’m looking at it and the way the pictures are done anyway, it looks so huge. It looks like this is a 2,000 square foot house.

Rob:
No, it does. I think most people would guess that it’s 600 square feet and it’s really funny because if you ever go down the rabbit hole on my YouTube channel on this video, everyone around the world is like, “Oh my gosh. This is a tiny house? This is bigger than my house in England or bigger than my house in Europe or bigger than my place in New York City,” because the layout is very ergonomically designed in a way that it feels nicer and airier. I had never seen a two-story tiny house, a true two-story tiny house with like full regulation stairs. I think that’s part of the appeal for it. I love that thing. It’s got a lot of sentimental value to me.

Brandon:
Yeah, for sure. So what does this thing like this… I mean, I guess I can just look at it, but what’s it rent for?

Rob:
Yeah. So this place typically is going to rent… Right now prices are a little bit lower because we got kind of like a heat wave going in Joshua Tree.

Brandon:
Sure.

Rob:
For the last year that I’ve had, it was renting for 2 to $300 a night about 100% occupancy. In the last year, I have missed maybe five or seven days.

Brandon:
So this is something I’m a huge fan of. I got my own Airbnb thing kind of starting out here. I call it Month in Maui. It’s like people come for a month. It’s like the thing you said earlier, that middle ground, but in a vacation kind of style. But what I believe is that most Airbnb’s, at least in Hawaii and a lot of places I see are just not that nice. When you do a cool thing like this like what you did or you find some way to make something stand out and unique, something people like and you just do a decent job.
It doesn’t cost that much more than a normal thing, it’s just putting some intentionality behind it. People love that stuff. I mean, this is true with any rental. I mean, you own a rental property in general, even like in a crappy C minus area where most people are just doing brown walls and brown floor. You just do a little bit better job making it look nice and people will want to rent it and pay more money for it. It’s just a low bar I feel like in real estate right now.

Rob:
Yeah. I think in the short-term rental game, you either want to… There’s two spaces. There’s the budget space and then there’s the premium space. I don’t really like to compete in the middle of that because I think it’s a lot harder to stand out when you’re in the middle. So for me, my goal for every place that I ever put out there is I want to be the top 10% listing in my neighborhood and in my area. I feel like I’ve really achieved that so many times in my entire Airbnb portfolio.

Brandon:
That’s phenomenal. All right. So you built this thing. And again, it’s cool because here you are, you’re getting a phenomenal return. I don’t know what what’s those numbers pencil out, but if you’re in 2, $300 a night, I mean, that’s 6 to what? 6 to $9,000 in gross. Obviously, you’ve got a bunch of expenses there. You got taxes, insurance, management, and all that. Are you doing the management yourself on that or do you hire a third party for that?

Rob:
I do the management myself. I think self-managing is very important in Airbnb just because it can be 15 to 30% whereas long term rentals, it’s a lot lower than that for the most part. But the numbers pencil out great and we can discuss that a little bit later in the podcast, if you want.

Brandon:
Yeah. Why don’t we hit it now? Why don’t we hit the the numbers a little bit? On this one, you got them ready or something we can dig into?

Rob:
Sure. Let’s do it.

Brandon:
Why do we call this the Deal Deep Dive? We haven’t done a Deal Deep Dive in a while. We already know you bought the property you said for around 10 to 15K. What was the property 15K? Is that what it was?

Rob:
It was 15,000, but I put an offer in at 12,500 and it got accepted at that price. This was back in the day when that price is possible. That exact lot would probably cost like 40, 50,000 right now.

Brandon:
All right. So you bought the thing for 12.5 and then it was 165 more than that, right? Or was that including the 165?

Rob:
No. That’s included in the 165.

Brandon:
Okay, cool. I don’t even remember the deep dive questions. It’s been so long since we did that. First of all was how you found it, I guess.

David:
We got what you paid, how did you negotiate that price?

Rob:
So as I mentioned, this was really, really before Joshua Tree became the Joshua Tree it is now. It was really at the beginning of it. So I’m pretty savvy on social media. I see the photos on Instagram and I kind of see where the trends are and I was like Joshua Tree, it’s really cool. So I actually went and visited it, fell in love with the national park and I kind of felt like I was in a movie while I was there.
So there’s something very special about this. I honestly hadn’t really put in an offer on land, but it was sitting for 60 to 70 days and it already had a percolation test. It already had so many things and I was like, “Well, I’m just going to go for it and offer $10,000.” And then they came back with 12,500. Yeah, I was like, “Okay, sounds good.” I would have taken it for the full price, but you never know until you ask.

Brandon:
All right. So you buy the property, you found it that way, negotiation. How did you fund it? Where did the money come from to buy this thing?

Rob:
All right. I have to gulp some water here because this was a long one for me. Okay. This is my first venture into the whole HELOC world. So I had about $87,000 on a home equity line of credit and my parents, they were getting close to retirement at this point and I said, “Hey, if y’all kick in $40,000, I’ll make you a 50-50 partner and I’ll give you half the money so that you can have some passive income.” They’re like, “Yeah, sure, whatever.” So we did that and then I had a 0% interest credit card. That was like 0% interest for 20 months. I don’t recommend this by the way, but this was me at the very beginning of my journey.
I was like, “Well, it’s 0% interest for 20 months. I’m just going to pay for my materials this way.” And then I think I put in like $5,000 of my own deal knowing that I could do cash out refi and get most of my money back.”

Brandon:
Very cool. So it’s basically the [Babur 00:34:01] strategy, right? We talk about you buy and you build.

Rob:
It’s the BRRRRSTR. It’s like-

Brandon:
The BRRRRSTR.

Rob:
The BRRRR to an STR, the short-term rental.

Brandon:
There you go, BRRRRSTR. I like it, BRRRRSTR. Oh, I like that. That’s good. That’s good man.

Rob:
I’m trying to really finesse that process.

Brandon:
Yes, that’s really good, the BRRRRSTR.

David:
You burst in traditional real estate bubbles.

Brandon:
Did you get the refi then? Did the refi go through okay? What happened with that?

Rob:
Okay. So I had to get three separate appraisals on this property. First one, I remember I came in, I talked to the appraiser on the phone beforehand and she was super nice and I was like, “Okay, fingers crossed.” She came in and appraised my tiny house at $276,000. I lost it. I was like, “Oh my gosh. I’m getting all my money back and then some.”
Big moment. I called my best friends. I called my wife, I was like, “Babe, this is like we did it. We’re getting it back.” And then the bank was like, “I don’t know about that one, Rob. Not for a $300 square foot home. We’re going to have to run another appraisal.” So the second appraiser, and he appraised it for $170,000. And I was like, “Oh, no.” I mean, it’s not a loss to not be able to cash out everything. But I was a little bummed.
So I fought tooth and nail and I was like, “No, there’s no chance. I’m demanding another appraisal.” And they were like, “All right. Just shut up.” They actually abided by my request. They sent out a third appraisal. And the third appraiser, appraised it at $233,000 which was to the dime exactly how much money I needed to get every single dollar back out of that deal. $171,000 I think.

David:
Your story here highlights a really important principle of real estate that gets overlooked where the high seas on the disc, the analytical people, they really like to view the world, and I’m one of them by the way, from an understanding of like you want to take things that are unsure and make them sure. There’s some way to navigate this universe where I can create a certainty out of uncertainty. And appraisals can be used for that purpose.
This house is worth 170,000. I paid 130,000 so I won. Well, I’m not going to pay 170 if it’s worth 165. That’s a bad deal. But as you saw, appraisals are incredibly subjective. And you went from one number to 170 to 230. That does not mean your house was worth any more or less than it actually intrinsically was, it was this is what this person’s opinion was.
Now, you made the appraisal work for you in the sense that you just kept on pulling the hammer of that slot machine until you finally got all sevens and it worked out for what you needed, which is exactly what people should do. That’s the right way to use an appraisal. The wrong way is to make your investment decisions based on whatever that appraiser happened to say that that house was worth, right? So you Rob, that house was worth the cash flow that it could generate, the income it could generate as well as the ability you could get your capital out of it and that’s why you kept getting new appraisals.
But I just think that’s so smart you did it that way. I see especially newbies get really freaked out when the appraised value doesn’t come back at what they wanted it to as if they made a mistake or they did something wrong and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Rob:
Yeah, man. I mean, I understood that what I was getting into. Look, I was the very first tiny house in Joshua Tree and now everybody… There’s so many people that are building tiny houses. There are a lot of people building literally my exact tiny house or multiple of my tiny house five minutes down the road. It’s just the kind of thing that happens when you’re first. There’s a little bit of uncertainty. But I’m glad that I stuck to my guns. A couple months ago, an investor offered me $450,000 on that house. I probably should have taken it, but like I said that house was really the beginning of my YouTube career. So I’ll probably own it forever.

Brandon:
That’s awesome, man. All right. Let’s keep moving along your story because I know you got some glamping stuff in there too. I want to get to all that. But what came next after this house? Where is your career at today? Give us maybe a broad overview of what you’ve done today and then we’ll kind of dig into some pieces of it?

Rob:
Absolutely, man. So from there, I remember, I still didn’t have a lot of money at this point. I was reinvesting. I was making myself broke by… I was self-imposing brokenness on me and I just kept reinvesting into my portfolio. I remember, I would window shop on Airbnb and just see houses that I wanted for one day like my vision board if you will. I saw that somebody was putting a tent in Joshua Tree for 150 to $200 a night and they were booked solid. I remember being so angry that somebody was… I was like, “There’s no way that this person is that much smarter than me that I can’t do it myself.” Penciling it out, I was like, “This person is making $50,000 on a tent.”
I pitched it to my partners and I was like guys, “Listen, I know I’ve got crazy ideas. Just hear me out on this one. If we put a tent out in Joshua Tree, we can make $50,000, and it’s only going to cost us $3,000 to do it.” And they were like, “All right, man. If you shut up, we’ll let you do your experiment.” I was like, “Great.” We didn’t end up putting it in Joshua Tree, we ended up putting it in Arizona. But it’s exactly how it turned out.
So we ended up growing that into a five-unit glamping portfolio as a prototype. Now, we have 32 acres that we just close on out there. I just closed on 47 acres in the Shenandoah area. And then I uplifted and uprooted everything in California in three… six months ago. Sorry. Time’s a blur now. I moved here six months ago to Gatlinburg, Tennessee in a house that’s on 50 acres, which I call a land hack.

Brandon:
Oh, okay. So you’re going to glamp out your personal residence there?

Rob:
Exactly, yeah. I wish it was a little easier, but this kind of goes into what we were talking about like if you want that cheddar, you gotta work for it, right? So five engineers later and $25,000 without even having gone to the permitting office later. I finally, as of yesterday submitted my permit yesterday for the planning and zoning commission. In about two weeks, I’ll go in front of the city and they’ll either decide if they want this or not. But I think it’s looking good.

David:
Brandon, who did we know that was renting out the Tesla in their garage for people to sleep in overnight? I feel like it was somebody in Arizona. That’s in my head. But I remember there was a person involved with BP that was renting out a night in their car for an Airbnb thing.

Brandon:
Yeah, that’s funny.

Rob:
Turobnb.

David:
Turobnb. It’s a cross between the two.

Brandon:
So let’s dig into this thing a little bit. So the laws around the glamping, I love the idea of it. It’s a shiny object for me and I shouldn’t do it, but I still play with the idea all the time in my head. For people to understand, you’re not talking about some nylon tent you picked up from Walmart and you threw it down in the grass and called it camping, right? That’s not what we’re talking about. What does this look like and walk us through that?

Rob:
Absolutely. So for a little bit of context, glamping stands for glamorous camping. It’s essentially an elevated camping experience. So instead of doing what you’re talking about which is getting a vinyl tent and freezing your butt off in the middle of the desert, and then digging a hole and pooping in the ground, you are now sleeping in a super, super nice canvas tent on a memory foam mattress with a mini fridge and then solar powered string lights. And it’s a very Instagramable experience. So it’s a really great compromise for the people like me and so many other people that are like, “No, I would not be caught dead sleeping out in the wilderness.” They’re able to talk their partner into going on this trip, because it’s still roughing it a bit, it’s just you know more Instagramable.

Brandon:
Yeah, I love it. So my wife and I took a vacation to, what’s that place, Yosemite and there’s a place there where I rented an Airstream trailer which was super nice and then next to it was a canvas tent. There was two little twin size beds inside there and I paid $800 a night to stay in a trailer for a few nights and it was worth every penny. You know why? Because I took a picture of it. I got this memory of my kids. You’re not paying for a campground, you’re paying for a memory or an experience. You’re paying for excitement. I mean, it sounds crappy but you’re paying for that dopamine hit of your Instagram when you post that picture and everyone’s like, “Oh my gosh. Look at how cool it is.”
Then other people are like, “You’re an idiot. You spent $800 a night to stay in a tent.” But there’s a market for that right now and I don’t think that’s going away anytime soon. I think that the world is moving towards this experiential value. There’s value in experience more than just in walls. And that’s awesome. So how’s it been going? I mean, have you been killing that? Is it hard to find people who want to stay?

Rob:
I think you’re exactly right. I mean, glamping is really new. I think in 2019, 1.9 million people were exposed to the idea of glamping into the market and then in 2020 during the pandemic and everything like that, 4.5, I think million people were exposed to glamping. So it’s a huge thing and this is a big part of my channel and a big part of the programs and the different types of… The programs where I teach people how to do this. We’re at the very beginning of the next huge travel trend in my opinion. I mean it’s not long before you’re going to start seeing the Marriott and the Hilton and all these different places having glamp sites out in the middle of the desert because it’s exactly what you’re saying. It’s an experience, but it’s also a very highly, highly profitable experience.
And on the flip side of this, before we get too far into the starry eyes here, there’s some work. There’s some work you have to do to make this happen. And for the 1% of us that are willing to do that work, there is a really great reward at the end of the finish line.

David:
I think that’s a great point to highlight particularly when it comes to short-term rentals. In every aspect of the game, they are more work and usually more profit. So the reason we have to highlight is we often call real estate investment passive investment like you do the work, you buy the house, the money just flows in. More or less, you’re done. This is not that. This is a lot more work on the rehab like your Harebnb that you put together was a lot of intricate detail that was put into that. There’s way more marketing. There’s way more managing of that asset class.
As tenants are moving in and out, it’s like having a turn every single time. There’s a lot of work that goes into this. So it is on the spectrum like more work versus more profit. It’s definitely on that end as opposed to passive investing, but it is also awesome. It’s a great way for people that are trying to get started because it’s safer in the sense that your income is usually higher. You can make more mistakes and you’ll go broke because you can generate more income as long as you understand you’re putting in a lot of work. This is not something that you do while you’re doing a bunch of other stuff if you don’t have a lot of time.

Rob:
Absolutely. I mean, look, you could just, Brandon put an airstream in your backyard and you could probably rent it out for 150 to $350 and keep it a very small business for you, but there’s also like the next level of that where you’re actually going out and buying land and permitting it and working with civil engineers and making it like an entire business. This is something that I’ve worked on quite a bit, to your point, David of like Airbnb is not particularly passive at first. Financially, this has been my best year from a real estate standpoint, my best year. But I did that all completely active. So now I’m kind of retroactively reverse engineering… I guess it’s kind of the same thing. I’m reverse engineering how to make my businesses passive and it cost me more money to do that because I have to hire and empower more people to do that, but ultimately that’s how you scale up.
So there’s kind of these two sweet spots in Airbnb where you can be in it and you can make a lot of money doing it, or you can really work to establish systems and processes that automate your business to where you can really scale to the next level. I’m still figuring it out to be honest, but it’s been a really fun journey so far.

Brandon:
I think that’s super cool, man. Yeah. I’ve been thinking about here in Maui how much money I could make if I had it. Now, again, I don’t want just one in my backyard. Wow, I make $1,000 a month profit, $5,000 a month profit. What I’m thinking is like, “How do I build 15, 20, 30 of these spots where I get 50 or whatever, Airstreams and some tents and whatever and you got a whole property? Now, the thing is bring in millions a year in profit.” That’s what I want to think through, but the government here has not been too friendly to anybody who’s tried to bring that into Hawaii. So that’s why there are really no or at least very few of those things here.
But somebody who’s willing to crack that and do that? I always say money is made and wealth is made by solving the hard problems. Trying to solve that problem here, that’d be a fun problem to solve. So if somebody is out there bored and they’re like, “What do I want to do?” Let’s go solve a glamping problem here in Maui, because it’s not just Maui, it’s anywhere.

Rob:
I could probably talk my wife into Maui.

Brandon:
There you go. Come out for a year. You worked with the government, you try to get that thing done. There’s such opportunity. The cool thing about glamping too, and Airbnb with those kind of like unique properties is that they kind of self… I don’t know. Not self-fulfill, but they have this positive feedback loop. People stay there and they post a bunch of pictures all over Instagram and then their family and friends want to go and stay in that same property. That’s so cool like the rabbit place. That’s neat.
They in turn book it and then they post more pictures and then people come back year after year. It takes a lot of work to get going. It’s like a giant train. You get that train moving, it’s like moving slow. It’s an incredible amount of effort and slow speed to get going, but over time it picks up faster and faster. Which is kind of how real estate is in general. I mean, so many people are like, “Well, this train sucks. I can walk faster than this thing.” I mean, how many times like do people get into real estate, they’re like, “Wow. I’m making a hundred dollars a month. Well, I’m going to go do something else.”
Maybe a little bit of encouragement for people out there like if you’re sitting there pushing this train slowly and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and you’re making $100 a month in cash flow or 200, you’re breaking even. You’re like, “I don’t even think this is worth doing. Why am I in real estate?” Just know that the train is moving. I mean, if it’s moving even at all, it’s picking up speed. Momentum builds slowly though. So just stick with it, get that thing going and before you know it, you’re going to be sitting on a beach somewhere realizing you got 20 or 30 grand a month coming in passive income and you’re working three hours a week. That doesn’t happen in the beginning. That’s the train moving 80 miles an hour, but you will get there if you just keep moving that train forward.

Rob:
I wanted to add on to that because, man, I just got there. Brandon, in all honesty, I mean in this four years of doing this, I’ve gone from poor to broke, to self-imposed broke, to never, ever being able to actually spend the money that I was making. And four years later, the first time I feel like I actually had some money to use discretionary where I could finally take a break. Because we get so heads down on real estate investing and we’re like we have to keep pursuing this goal that sometimes I think you have to look up and be like, “Oh, I have built something and I had no idea.” That was three months ago for me where I was like, “Oh, it’s true.”
Working so hard for four years, I finally have arrived at this point where I’m like, “Okay. I get often asked like when is enough, enough?” I’m closer there than I ever thought I would be just because I really was diligent about putting my acorn in the basket and kind of accruing everything.” Now, I’m like, “Ah, all right. Now, that the financial aspect of my life and money is less important, I can go and start pursuing passion projects and cool builds and cool tiny houses and kind of take that financial aspect out of it a little bit more than I used to.”

Brandon:
I love it, man. I love it. So let’s get to kind of start to wrap things. How many units do you currently manage or own right now in terms of glamping? What’s your portfolio look like and then where are you headed in the future do you think?

Rob:
So right now, I have 13 and that is comprised of… No, sorry. I have 14. I just closed on a house last week. That is comprised of nine single family homes that are tiny houses, chalets, cabins, everything in between and that is everywhere in the country, Los Angeles, Joshua Tree, Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, and then now Wisconsin. I like to diversify. Hopefully, in about a year from now, I’ll be closer to 30. In about three to six months, hopefully I’ll have more progress on my tiny house village. That’s going to be about eight more units. I’m also doing about eight more units in Wisconsin and then I have my 47 acres in Shenandoah and in the 32 acres in the Grand Canyon right now that I’m hoping I can get started to hopefully grow that to 50 to 75 units in the next couple of years.

Brandon:
Very cool. You got a machine building. I love to watch it. I can’t wait to get you back on the show in two years from now or three years, or maybe a year if you work fast and we’re going to be like, “Yeah, remember when I was on before? Yeah, that’s right. Now, I got a hundred of these things.” That’s a fun story, man. I love it. All right, dude. Well, before we get out of here, let’s move over to the last segment of the show. It’s time for our Famous Four.
This is the part of the show where we ask the same four questions every week to every guest. So we’re going to throw it at you right now, Rob. Number one, give a favorite, either current or past favorite real estate related book.

Rob:
I debated changing my answer here because I know a lot of people say this, but Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat. David, I read that book when I was in Maui, Hawaii about a year and a half ago. And I had some of the concepts for my Airbnb business of building a team. I was so disorganized and that was the book for me that really started to organize how to run a business in terms of having your core team. I call them my Airbnb avengers. That’s really kind of how I started setting up a lot of my processes. I live in Tennessee, but 13 out of my 14 units are in all different states and it all came down from the team building kind of techniques of your book. So nice. Thanks, man. Good book.

David:
That might be the first time BRRR ever got mentioned.

Brandon:
Yeah, I don’t know. It got mentioned on national television the other day though. Did you guys hear about that? I know David did.

Rob:
Yeah.

Brandon:
Did you hear about that, Rob?

Rob:
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Brandon:
So BRRRR got… There’s a TV show called American Horror Story and the main character who apparently is a big heartthrob. I don’t know. People are like, “Oh my gosh, it’s that guy.” Anyway, he’s sitting there reading, Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat in some murder house. So David, congratulations on making this to the big time.

David:
Yes, yes. Thank you. They didn’t check with me at all, which might even be cooler that they just said, every book we could. This is clearly the only one. We don’t even need to research it. Let’s just throw it out there.

Rob:
That’s how you know you made it, man.

David:
I know. That is how I know I made it. I’ll tell you what impressed me more than anything was the amount of people that messaged me that said, “Hey, your book is on there.” I just think that is so cool that we live in a world… Do you remember being kids? I could not find Michael Crichton or Jack London and just direct message them because I really like their books. You’d have to like creepily try to find their address write them a letter. Now, your favorite authors, you can just, boom, send them a direct message.
So I had all these people that said, “Hey, check out your book.” I thought that was really cool so all those people who follow us on BP and support us, thank you very much for doing that. Next question, what is your favorite business book?

Rob:
Same conundrum here, Rich Dad Poor Dad. I know everybody says it. That really taught me like the value of time and kind of scaling up, but if I’m being pretty honest, I watch a lot more than I read. I watch a lot more real estate and business YouTube channels. As a YouTuber, the main form of information I bring in is from the YouTube side of things, but Rich Dad Poor Dad was a very big milestone for me when I was like, “That’s how I can get out of the nine to five.”

David:
What about your favorite hobbies?

Rob:
I guess YouTube started off as a hobby content creating and now it’s my full-time gig. But I still think it’s like, that’s what I’m most passionate about in life is content creation and creating videos. That’s pretty much where most of my time is spent is in front of a camera recording weird wacky videos.

Brandon:
Dude, you got a great, great YouTube. Congratulations on $100,000 followers.

Rob:
Thanks, man.

Brandon:
You’re killing it on there. I mean, most of your videos, almost all of your videos, you get more views than all of my videos. BiggerPockets is almost a million subscribers, but people love your stuff. I can just tell you, you put out something new and they like, they love it. So you’re doing something right. I gotta learn from you.

Rob:
I don’t know, man. You got a couple of million plus bangers out there that I’m always like, “Wow, that’s like you have some viral videos under your belt, man.”

Brandon:
There’s a couple. After eight years of putting out videos every week, you get lucky on a couple, but crazy. YouTube is crazy. All right, man. Last question for me, what do you think separates successful real estate investors from all those who give up, fail, or never get started?

Rob:
I would say the biggest thing would be the ability to place a bet, not just on a project or on a deal, or on a house, but place a bet on yourself. So many people get wrapped up in analysis paralysis and they get so wrapped up in the information and the research that they forget to realize what they’re capable of. And every single thing that I’ve ever done in real estate or otherwise, I had no idea what I was doing. But I feel like I’m relatively well-researched and I try to approach things strategically. And I’m always like, “Well, I don’t know how to do it, but give me a week and I’ll at least be dangerous enough to figure it out along the way.” So I would say that’s it.

Brandon:
I love it. It’s a great answer, man.

Rob:
Believing in yourself, man. In here.

Brandon:
Right there. It’s all in there. Okay, man. Well, David?

David:
Last question of the day, where can people find out more about you?

Rob:
Smash the subscribe and the like button on my YouTube channel, Robuilt, R-O-B-U-I-L-T. It’s like my name, Rob and I built something, Robuilt. And on Instagram too, the Robuilt Instagram. Those two places, you can send me a DM, leave me a comment and I do my best to get back to everybody.

Brandon:
Very cool. All right, dude. Well, thank you so much for being part of this podcast today. I think people are going to love this. It’s going to change a lot of lives. I really believe that. That’s one of the fun things about being on this podcast. People listen to the stuff we teach. And same with your YouTube and our YouTube, they take the stuff and they apply it to their lives. But listen, everybody listening right now, just remember that doesn’t happen by accident. It doesn’t happen automatically just by listening. You got to take action.
So take one thing you learned today from Rob and say, “I’m going to try that.” Maybe you’re going to go search Airbnb or find a good location or research a market. Whatever that thing is, take some action, get out there and then you too might be on the show in a few years and be able to tell your story of how you started crushing it. Thanks to David Greene’s book.

Rob:
Thank you, guys. Appreciate it.

Brandon:
Get us out of here, David.

David:
All right. Thanks a lot, Rob. This is David Greene for Brandon the Megamind of Maui Turner signing off.

Speaker 3:
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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Airbnb arbitrage and the risk of always going after cashflow
  • Offsetting your mortgage with short-term (or long-term) house hacking
  • Airbnb regulations and making sure you’re allowed to host visitors
  • Building a “tiny house” and the cost associated with it
  • Funding your deals through HELOCs and partnerships 
  • The new trend of “glamping” and why it may be a massive opportunity
  • And SO much more!

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