Meet the Investors: Living the Dream With Beachfront Airbnbs (+ Video Tour)

Meet the Investors: Living the Dream With Beachfront Airbnbs (+ Video Tour)

3 min read
Alexander Felice

Alexander Felice is a U.S. Army veteran who works as a financial analyst and underwriter for an SBA lender.


Alex has spent his career in sales and the finance industry and now invests in rental real estate along with working in the underwriting department at a bank in Las Vegas.

He is an expert in long-distance, single family rental real estate, debt and leverage strategy, and financial analysis. He spends most of his free time teaching investors through writing and coaching to ensure their best possibility of success.

Alex has been buying real estate for nearly three years and currently owns eight single family houses. He also helped fellow investors directly purchase over 20 properties in 2018.

Alex’s writing can be found at, and more of his story can be heard on the BiggerPockets Podcast episode 301.


Alex received a bachelor’s in Finance from the University of North Carolina.


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Meet my good friend, Joe Prillaman. I am extraordinarily excited to share with you a true BiggerPockets success story—one that I am thankful that I was part of.

A few years ago, before we were friends, Joe reached out to me on BiggerPockets. He goes, “I don’t know anything about real estate, I’m really interested in BRRRR, and I really want to do it in your town, Fayetteville, North Carolina.”

And of course, I taught him everything I know, because I’m just such a nice guy. I’m a little bit eager to share his story because he’s done so extraordinarily well.

I met up with Joe recently in beautiful Carolina Beach, North Carolina, where he’s got a series of Airbnbs that he set up right on the water. Below we walk through one of them and talk about the numbers. 

How It Started

Hi, guys! I’m Joe Prillaman. I live in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, with my beautiful wife and my dog. We’ve been investing in Fayetteville, North Carolina, since 2018, doing BRRRR properties and slowly moved into Airbnb properties here on the beach. And we’re just living the dream.

I started in real estate investing because I wanted financial freedom. I was driving across the Southeast doing thousands of miles, driving to manufacturing plants across the free world, and it was exhausting.

Related: The 5 Best Methods to Start Learning About Real Estate Investing

I was away from my family. I was away from my wife. And I wanted to do something where I could control it and I could have the freedom.

I heard about BiggerPockets through a family member and I just latched onto it. I spent those times in the car learning, listening, and reading to get where I am today. And I’m so happy I made this choice.


Airbnb Experience

Today we are looking at our first Airbnb property. It is a duplex on Carolina Beach. We’re right down the street from the water, and it is super cute. 

Welcome to the little blue cottage, emphasis on the little. It’s 450 square feet total, and it has everything you could ever need for your amazing beach experience here. We’ve got every dish you could ever imagine, stainless steel appliances—it’s just super cute.

This is one of the cutest Airbnbs on the island, and it’s 100% because of my wife. She’s amazing, just simply amazing. Everything has been meticulously thought out and planned and perfected by my wife. She manages the units. She did all the staging. I’m just the idiot who shows up and puts the furniture together from IKEA.

Related: The Pros and Cons of Renting Your Place on Airbnb

You want to know about dogs? Let me tell you about dogs. Dogs in Carolina Beach is the key.

There are a few little things that’ll make you a top performer, and one of the things in Carolina Beach is a dog. People travel with good dogs, and we make it easy. We’ve got dog bags. We set our units up to operate as if everyone is bringing a dog.

So another cottage we own, it’s 50 square feet bigger. But it’s a two-bedroom, one-bath, so all around it’s just smaller. And this is the unit that I cut my teeth on and figured out why you need professionals doing work. Because I did most of this rehab. I was here every day ripping out floors, doing everything I could to save money on the rehab cost.

It took away from the main thing, which was trying to figure out how to do more deals. And so this is where I really learned some valuable lessons.

Trying It Yourself

If you’re on BiggerPockets, you have all the resources you need to do this, too. If you’re stuck in a job that you don’t want to do and you want to have freedom, all you have to do is go out there and meet the right person. For me, that was Alex Felice. Alex gave me the first step that I needed to take, and that was a stepping stone for me to go out and make it my own.

I’m now doing Airbnbs on Carolina Beach. Alex doesn’t do Airbnbs, but Alex taught me how. He showed me that it was possible. That’s what he truly did.

And BiggerPockets is the gateway to doing that. And they have the podcast, they have the forums, and getting involved in that is investing in people. And they’re giving all of this away for free. You have such an opportunity.

You have got to have a support system to be successful in real estate and you have to have a “why.” Why are you doing this? And for me, those are the same. It’s my family.

It’s my dad who believed in me since the beginning and pushed me to be successful. And it’s my wife who’s with me every day encouraging me. And you need to figure out those two things.

I’m Joe Prillaman, and this is why I invest in real estate.

Was there someone who was your key support in your real estate journey? Who was it?

Let us know in the comments below.