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Rob Abasolo co-hosts the BiggerPockets podcast and is the founder of a company called Robuilt. Rob and his wife moved to L.A. from Kansas City in 2017 for a job opportunity. They wound up renting out their old apartment through Airbnb for the duration of their lease. The money they received helped them pay the mortgage on their new house in California and Rob then decided to build a tiny home in his backyard. After seeing massive success renting it out, Rob went all in on tiny homes. He’s currently working on building a tiny house village and glamping treehouses in Tennessee.

As with all other real estate strategies, tiny homes and Airbnb have their pros and cons. Rob gives all the details as well as what it’s like having rentals in the Joshua Tree area. He also shares some tips on what makes a plot of land suitable for short term rental construction. Rob’s program, Host Camp, is a 12-month membership with live calls and group coaching. Check out the website below and his YouTube channel for more information.

Watch and learn:

Listen and learn:

What’s inside:

  • How Rob got into Airbnb and building/renting tiny homes.
  • The downsides of managing an Airbnb.
  • What to look for in vacant land if you’re considering building a short-term rental property.

Mentioned in this episode:

Transcription:

Download episode transcript in PDF format here…

Joe: Welcome. This is the Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast. Hey, what's up, guys? Joe McCall, Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast What's Going On? Got a great guest on today. We're going to be talking about Airbnb. We're going to be talking about tiny homes. And if you are a fan of YouTube and you watch a lot of real estate investing videos, you've probably seen this guy on there and you haven't yet. You're going to enjoy this interview. We're going to be talking about him. And he's one of the new hosts on the BiggerPockets podcast, which is an amazing group podcast has been around a long, long time, and his name is Rob Abasolo. I think I got it right. Yes, he's nodding. I got it right, Rob Abasolo. He's got a company called Robuilt. And Rob, I think I got that right also. So anyway, super cool guy. Just a couple of weeks ago, I had within a span of a couple of days, at least three different people say, You've got to interview this guy and get him on your podcast. He's got a great YouTube channel. He's the new one of the new hosts on the BiggerPockets podcast. And so I said, Yeah, man, cool. Let's get Rob on. I reached out to him. And so now he's one of my new good friends, and I'm going to be talking to him about what he's doing on YouTube, what he's doing with Airbnb, what he's doing with tiny houses, and you've got to check out his channel. If you go to YouTube and just do a search for Rob built R O B U I L T, you'll find his channel there. Check out his videos. And yeah, it's super cool now. This is I'm doing this live right now on YouTube and Facebook, and we're going to be publishing it as an audio podcast. So I want to thank all of my YouTube watchers and Facebook listeners right now. Hi. If you're watching this live, please comment down below. And as we go through this interview, if you have any questions type it in the comments and I'll be able to pop them up and ask Rob some of your questions because I'm sure you're going to have some. And if you're listening to this on the audio podcast, thanks for listening, then doing this for a long, long time. I couldn't be here where I am today without my audio listeners, so I really love you guys. So if you're watching this on YouTube again, tell us where you're from. Type something in the comments down below and let us know if you have any questions in the chat or in the comments. We'd love to hear from you. All right, one more thing this podcast is brought to you by the Joe McCall signature edition of Freedom Soft, and I have a webinar right here. If you've got one hundreds of leads dot com, hundreds of leads dot com. I did this webinar with the founder, co-founder of Freedom Soft Rob Swanson, and we literally show you in this video how you can get hundreds of leads within a few minutes right from inside of freedom. So this is where I do all of my house deals, my vacant land deals, and it's an amazing tool. And the Joe McCall signature edition of Freedom Soft has all my customizations in and all my contracts. The workflow, automations, the web sites. It's all in there, so go to hundreds of leads. Dot com just watched the video, see if you like it or not, and then sign up. I promise you you're going to like it. Should we bring Rob on? I think we should. How are you doing right now?

Rob: Hello. Hey, man, good. Are we just going to glaze over the fact that you said that the person that you the hundreds of leads.com co-founder or founder, his name is Ron Swanson. Like the Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec? Oh, Rob Swanson. OK, man, I got all excited again. I say, What's up, man? Howdy, howdy.

Joe: Well, it's honor to finally get to chat with you. I've been watching your YouTube videos a little bit insanely high quality content. I just love the production value that you put behind your videos. So good for you. Congratulations. And now you're the new one of the new co-hosts of the BiggerPockets podcast, a monstrous, successful podcast. Congratulations on that too, man.

Rob: Thank you. That is a man. It is. It is odd. I'm not going to lie because that's definitely one of those like full circle moments where I really cut my teeth at the very beginning of my real estate career on BiggerPockets. I remember one of my friends texted me and said, Dude, have you ever listened to BiggerPockets? And I was like, No, it's that is like remote to change your life. And I was like, All right, whatever, send it on over.

Joe: What was that?

Rob: Oh, man, that probably would have been like four years ago. Something like that made three or four years ago. I mean, I was like already getting started in the in the world of real estate in terms of getting my Airbnb business up and running. And like, I think I had built my first tiny home. But you know, we all have big dreams in the real estate space, and I was just I thought so. So laser focused on the Airbnb and tiny house stuff. And BiggerPockets was just so instrumental in opening my eyes and into the world of, you know, multifamily syndications, fun self-storage, you name it, right? Mobile home parks. And it's just really weird because I was a guest on the on the podcast, probably about six to eight months ago. I can't really remember now, and I felt like to me at that time, I was like, I've done it. I have. I have performed at the Super Bowl of podcasts for my respective niche, right? There are a few more podcasts out there. Obviously, that would be like, you know, really cool, like like this one, but

Joe: This is double the honor.

Rob: And I feel it. And and so basically, I mean, I remember I did that and I felt like I bombed it, man. I was like. This is so much stuff planned that I was going to say, and I had all these little jokes as they asked me about YouTube, I'm going to say this, but they asked me about tiny houses. I'm going to say this, and then it didn't go according to plan, right? And I was just bummed after it aired. Just Tony Robinson. He's one of the co-hosts of the Rookie podcast. He's like, Dude, that was amazing. And like, all these people were tagging me and I was like, OK, maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought. And so when they kind of called me and they asked me if I was interested in being the new co-host, I was like, Well, yes, are you sure me? Why me? I don't, you know, I just make goofy videos on the internet, right? And you know, and it was all history from there. So, ah, I guess the rest is history. The habit of making re coining phrases that that already exist and changing them.

Joe: Well, are you doing just the audio part you do any do? Do you do any YouTube videos for them as well?

Rob: So I will be. Yeah, I mean, obviously I do the podcast and then the podcast lives on the YouTube channel. Much like yours, I'm sure. But you know, I will be hopefully making content for them as well because thought that was important to me when I was going into it, I was like, Hey, you know, obviously I loved podcasting. I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't. I mean, I really had no podcasting experience. I think I had done like two or three podcasts before. I honestly, I actually usually say no to podcasts just because, yeah, know YouTube keeps me busy enough. Sure. And you know, when we were talking through everything, I was like, Look, I'm a creator. So I would love to make YouTube content in TikTok and in any kind of content you got for me, I'm game for it and they're like, great. We were hoping you would say that. So over the course of the next year, I think you'll be seeing me pop up on their YouTube channel a little bit here and there for you.

Joe: All right, Rob. So people who don't know you tell a little bit about your story, how did you get started in real estate and how long ago was that?

Rob: So I got started in real estate about four and a half and probably closer to five years at this point. I mean, it was like, yeah, twenty seventeen, because that's when I close on my first like, well, I closed on my house in L.A. I had just moved from Kansas City. My wife and I were super broke. We were poor in Kansas City, broke in L.A. and in Kansas City. Our house is like a hundred and fifty nine thousand dollars. And we were like, Hey, we're really broke and super into student loan debt. Why don't we just moved to L.A.? That's a great idea.

Joe: Where are you? I used to live in Kansas City, where did you live?

Rob: On the Missouri side. I lived in Waldo, like kind of right outside of Brookside.

Joe: I lived in grand ish. OK, I'm not grandview down by in the south part of Missouri side of Kansas City.

Rob: Oh, cool. Nice. Hey, you know what? We loved it. I think we moved there, not really expecting much. It was a job opportunity. I got an offer to write, you know, for for Gatorade, social media. And I was like, OK, because I'm a copywriter by trade. I was in advertising and it was it really grew on us in a way that we never expected. And when we left, we lived there for a solid three or four years. While we left, we were pretty bummed because we're like, the city is home. But you know, we wanted to. I'm a big advocate of moving in, trying something new, and we were like, Let's do it. So we moved to L.A. We bought this or we moved to a little apartment, which was like six hundred and sixty square feet, and it was one thousand eight hundred and fifty dollars a month. Wow. So a bit of a reduction from our 11 square, eleven hundred square foot house that was like a thousand dollars a month. And you know, I think after about six months of living there, I just kind of came to the realization that I was tired of paying rent. You know, I was just like, you know, because I had already owned a home. So to go to paying rent and that building equity, I was a little annoyed. And so I was like, You know what? Let's buy a house. My wife was like, Can we afford it? I was like, Yeah, no way. We cannot afford a house, but I would rather be broke and own a house than comfortable and renting. And you know, that's just our personal thing, right? Whatever is right for you is right for you. But at that time, I was like, we got to do something else. So naturally, we put an offer in in the most expensive city in the country, and we bought a house for six hundred and twenty four thousand dollars, which is just over four times. I think what we spent in Kansas City.

Joe: Now were you and do you have a job? Is that why you move?

Rob: Yeah, yeah. Well, we made the decision to move there first. We just didn't move there until I locked up a job I worked at like VaynerMedia. So if you know Gary Vaynerchuk, his at ad agency, and so we buy this house and we come to this realization that we have six months left on our apartment lease. And so I was like, Well, we can either pay six thousand dollars to break it or whatever the thing is, we can let it ride out on those two thousand dollars to break it, or we could just finish out the lease. And I was we were, you know, we were a little broke. So I was like, How about this? I heard about this crazy little thing called Airbnb. Apparently, you rent out your space to strangers and they pay you money to sleep and use your space. What's the worst thing that could go wrong in my life was like, Oh boy, here's another one of your crazy. The idea is because, you know, I'm just the guy with the crazy entrepreneurial spirit was like, No, I think this one is going to work. And so it did. Spoiler alert and we were making one to $2000 a month doing that, renting that apartment on Airbnb. And then that house that we bought the six hundred twenty four thousand dollars house, the only reason we could afford that was because there is a little two hundred and fifty square foot studio underneath the house. And I was like, Hey, you know what? I've been doing research, and I think this house, if we put it on Airbnb, we'll make two or three thousand dollars a month. Wow. And so she was like, Are you sure? And I was like, Nope, but you know, we'll figure it out. And of course, as soon as we listed it two to three thousand dollars a month, our mortgage was forty four hundred dollars. So, you know, on the high end of $3000 a month, we were just crushing that mortgage and then that one to $2000 a month on our rental arbitrage deal. We weren't paying a mortgage anymore, and that's kind of when I realized Man House hacking is great. I love subsidizing my mortgage. I love when other people pay my mortgage. How else can I do this? What if I had 10 of these? And so I told my wife I was like, Can I build a tiny house in the backyard? Because if we do not only what we pay our mortgage, but we're going to actually make money, we're going to be in the black here. She was like, Are you sure you can do this? Obviously, the common theme here is No, I am never sure I can do this, but I'm going to figure it out. And I was like, It's going to cost 40 grand. It'll take about a month. It's a tiny house. How long does it take or how? How hard could it be? Because it 13 months later and thirty thousand dollars over budget, we built this little tiny house for seventy two thousand dollars. And you know, I'm really glad I did. I ran out of money. Halfway through, I had to kick out the crew and say, Sorry, love you guys, but y'all failed me. You spent too much money. Not really. It was my fault for not really, you know, properly planning. And so they effectively built this tiny house. They built the box. It was like they stuck out it. They framed it, the drywall that. But I, you know, I ran out of money and I was like, All right, I think I can finish everything. So I did the finished electrical, all the finished plumbing. I put in the laminate flooring, the the the cabinets, the countertops, everything. And I'm really glad that I did that because I learned the concepts behind building a house and all in estimating and budgeting and budgeting and timelines and everything. And so we came out of that, you know, a few bumps and bruises. But man, I'm so glad that I did because it led to the next tiny house that I built in Joshua Tree. And that was the same exact tiny house, same footprint. But I had learned a few things. I had wanted to optimize a few aspects of it, bells and whistles.

Joe: So were you already listening to bigger packages at the time? Is that where you learned how to do this stuff?

Rob: That was really kind of at the beginning of it because, you know, it was also really surreal for my wife because, you know, on the way to building our tiny house in Joshua Tree every weekend, we would go in. Every weekend, I would listen to bigger pockets on the way to Joshua Tree from Elijah, two and a half hour drive. Wow. And she was always like, you know, bored out of her mind. She's like, Listen to something else I'm like, now I need to learn as much as I can about this stuff. So it was really kind of at the beginning where I was like getting into bigger pockets and learning all this stuff. And yeah, I built that house in Joshua Tree, and it went viral a few times on the internet. And, you know, it changed my life. Both of those tiny houses changed my life in a way I never expected.

Joe: Were you already doing YouTube videos at the time?

Rob: Not really. No. I didn't start YouTube being until really my tiny house in Joshua Tree was done. That's when I actually started. I started YouTube in January of 2020, right before the pandemic. Really, it was December 23rd. We were all breaking at the office to two to go on holiday break, and I went to lunch with a few friends and it was December 23rd. So the last day before it was before Christmas Eve is not really relevant. But I like to I like to really paint the picture for everybody, you know, and it helps. So I was sitting, I was sitting there at lunch and I remember someone brought up YouTube and they said, Oh yeah, man, this YouTube channel is great. And and then I said, You know, I've always wanted to start a YouTube channel for about 10 years now. I've just wanted to do it, but I've always wanted to do kind of this DIY like a weird, quirky take on DIY. But I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. You know, and then all of them effectively unanimously were just like in unison. They were just like, Dude, you have to do that. And I was like, Yeah, and they're like, Yes, that sounds amazing. You're dude. Do it go? You need to start that channel. And I was like, All right, I guess. And so I recorded my first video that week, and then on January 7th, 2020, I posted it and I got all. I got like two views on it, whatever. But that was the beginning of my channel. And then I posted another video and I didn't tell anybody that I had started this channel because I was like, It sucks. I don't want anyone to like. I don't want anyone to like, overthink my stupid jokes because I was always, like, quirky from the very beginning. And on the third video? Oh no. And that's. I can video I posted it to read it on the DIY subreddit, and I was like, Hey, I built this like cable stairway. You know, this is my YouTube channel. I started it. Here you go. And it got uploaded to the top page. You got like 3000 upvotes. It got like 12000 views. And that was like, for me, that was a viral moment for me, right? And that was what I was like, OK, and some good feedback and obviously some trolls. But overall, people were really nice and they were like, Hey, I think you're on to something, but maybe don't do this and this and this and this because it's a little crunchy. And I was like, OK, thank you. And I remember thinking, like, OK, so Reddit didn't eat me alive, so I must be on to something. And I was like, I think it's time to tell the world, tell my friends. And I posted it and I said, OK, I've been holding this the secret for a while, which is really like a month. And I was like, I started the Robuilt channel. You know, I'm going to be documenting my journey is doing this and this and this, and I changed my Instagram handle from, you know, my handle that I had for like 10 years, like Rob Abasolo to Rob Built. And that day I became Rob built. And yeah, I don't know. I was just like, so scared, you know, because I was just like, Oh man, people going to judge me. But everybody was so yeah. So, so, so, so nice. And I'm just I'm now. I'm a little embarrassed that I was scared to be embarrassed, you know, because putting myself out there is really what paved the way for what would become, Yeah. You know, there are built channel.

Joe: I love how you've niched. You know, you're not the real estate guy. You're the tiny house Airbnb guy, right? So let's talk more about that. You, you started doing some tiny houses. I stayed in my first tiny house just a couple of three weeks ago in Florida. I went to a conference and the hotel rooms are just getting ridiculous now, by the way, with everybody coming back to traveling and doing conferences and stuff like that. So the hotel room where I used to spend maybe two hundred bucks a night was now four or five hundred dollars a night. And so I went to Airbnb and I found somebody about five minutes from the hotel that had a tiny house in their backyard in Florida, right? Tampa area. And I was a little nervous about that. I've seen it. I saw you talk about tiny houses on your YouTube channel so that always give it a shot. And I stayed there. It was actually really nice. It was only ninety nine dollars a night, but it was brand new, had a little tiny kitchen in their own bathroom, shower, little living room and a bed. Very comfortable. Great experience. I loved it. So let's talk about your journey into kind of this. You've built a tiny house in Joshua Tree. Was it profitable? Did you make money and then how did you grow from there?

Rob: Yeah, so it was incredibly profitable. So, you know, I built my tiny house in LA for seventy two thousand dollars, and I put it on Airbnb right at the beginning of the like, right before the pandemic happened, and I was going to be grossing probably three to four thousand dollars a month on it. Now my note on that, you know, after I had paid down all my personal, you know, like I had a personal loan on it to help me finish it and get it through to the finish line. My real, my expenses, I think Max and I'm talking max was like five hundred bucks, maybe 600 for that place. So I was going to be cash flowing, you know, about $3000 every single month on that tiny house, pandemic hits. And I kind of saw this need. A lot of people were turning away travel nurses and, you know, we were scared, right? Like, we don't really know what the pandemic was going to be. And so a lot of people, a lot of Airbnb hosts were like, No, I don't want you in my place kind of thing. And I was like, You know what? I think this is like our opportunity is Airbnb host because I mean, Airbnb is get a bad rap just like literally every aspect of real estate and

Joe: Especially in California.

Rob: Especially in California, for sure. And for me, I was like, OK, so I really, really wanted to kind of start hosting to travel nurses. And I did. And you know, that stayed pretty consistently booked throughout the entire pandemic. It's what I like to call a midterm stay. So it's not quite as a short term stay is zero to 28 days. A midterm stay is longer than that. But the difference between mid-term and long term is a long term stay is typically going to be a 12 month lease, whereas a midterm state, you know, they kind of check out after one to two three months. So I was hosting travel nurses there and I think I was booking. I gave them a really deep discount at like twenty two hundred bucks a month. So I'm still making, you know, pretty good money on it. But now, since the dust has settled a bit, I now keep it at a midterm because it's just really easy to do, and I charge now about twenty eight hundred dollars a month on it. My expenses on that are now really low like to 300 bucks a month because I refinanced it into my note and everything like that. So now I just, yeah, cash flow about twenty five hundred dollars on the L.A. property that costs me seventy two thousand dollars to build. So that's like awesome, right? It's phenomenal. Then I built my tiny house in Joshua Tree, California. I spent a lot. More on that one, I was like, You know what, I'm not going to do it myself, I'm just going to hire a pro. It should not be that much, you know, I can. I can handle the expense. The cost me one hundred and sixty five thousand dollars to build that one. I can land that include the land. The land is twelve thousand five hundred dollars.

Joe: How do you find the lot to build?

Rob: Oh, just that much less. You know, I just look back back then like back then, as if it was so far, it was like three years ago, man. But at that time that twelve thousand five hundred dollars was like, that, was it right? And then it slowly started going up as YouTubers opened their big, fat mouths and started promoting how awesome Joshua Tree was. So a little bit of my shot myself in the foot there. But like I'll say that a piece of land in that neighborhood now will probably cost you about 50 60. Wow. And I just put an offer on land with a friend for 100k, and that piece of land would have cost $50000 a year ago. You know, so if you know any good land acquisition courses or programs out there, please let me know I will. So, okay, so I hope that that's where they are. I know, I know. And that's I need to. I plan on getting into that, you know, now that I am the bigger pockets co-host, I do want to really just sharpen my skills in many arenas so that I have a little bit more perspective on, you know, helping people save money and start their business and everything. But you know, we all going to start somewhere, Joe. But yeah, so I built this tiny house in Joshua Tree sixty five twelve thousand five hundred dollars was the land. And yeah, I launched that in the first year of launching that, I grossed eighty three thousand dollars. Holy cow. My notes, like my expenses on that every single month came out to because I did a cash out and got all my money back, which is awesome. My note on that, I believe, is 900 bucks and my expenses run around twelve hundred bucks, something like that. So my profit at the end of the year, after all expenses and property taxes, insurance, all that stuff. Fifty seven thousand dollars.

Joe: Good for you. Excellent. That's awesome. Everybody give them a round of applause. Yeah. So OK, now are you doing short term Airbnb on the tiny house or are you doing month to month or are you doing the more the midterm thing on those?

Rob: No on on the one in Joshua Tree is just straight up short term. So the majority of those bookings are one to three nights. It's pretty rare for it to be more than that. Mostly because people will probably have a little bit more foresight with like, you know, a lot of people want to live in a tiny house, but it's not really practical, practical because it is a little it is a little annoying after a while, like if you're not ready for it. And so two three days is enough to really live out that dream in a tiny house on Airbnb. Love it and then get out of there before you're like, Oh man, I don't want this, right? So it's enough to kind of carry out this, this, you know, fantasy land of, Oh, I'm going to sell everything and live tiny. It's enough to live that out, but you know, it's not enough to make you, like, hate the concept, necessarily.

Joe: So let's talk about why Joshua Tree I've maybe driven through there before, but is it? It's it close to some national parks? Is it in a forest? Do you have neighbors? Did you? You know how big is the lot that you built it on?

Rob: Definitely. Yes. So it's definitely it's a Joshua Tree is a city. And then there's Joshua Tree National Park, which is connected to the city. I built this lot so you can go secluded if you want to in Joshua Tree. It was just a neighborhood for me. The reason I chose Joshua Tree was because I built this house in Los Angeles, this tiny house, and it's just not practical to do that. The only way you can do that in L.A. is via an ADU and accessory dwelling unit. And I didn't have that option because I didn't have money to buy another house in L.A. So I was like, OK, where can I build a tiny house? And I had heard about Joshua Tree. It was already getting cool, but it wasn't like what it is right now, right? And this was like really at the at the beginning of the the explosion, I think where I had heard that this is where a lot of artists and musicians were going and I was like, OK, let's do it, you know, it's two and a half hours away. I looked at Redfin at the time, and yes, stuff was going for like twelve to twenty thousand dollars. And I was like, Hmm. I mean, it's close enough for me to manage it in my backyard. It's probably the labor is probably gonna be cheaper because it's in the desert and it's not in L.A. So I kind of just took a big swing, right? I wasn't really sure that it was. I didn't know it was going to become what it what it became, but I had a relatively good idea because I got so much good reception about my edu, my backyard. Like, it's the first time I was like, This is before the Robuilt channel. And I already had felt like like the talk of the town because all my neighbors would like. Like, I had never met hundreds of my neighbors. They would stop me and they would just talk to me about the house and they would ask me questions. It was very flattering at first, and then like then I had to start closing like my garage door because if I was I. Like woodworking or whatever they would come in, like stand stand next to me as I was like monitoring my boards and I have to be like, you know, like, I want to talk to you about your tiny house, you know? So I knew people liked it. I knew people were gravitating towards the design. So like, I think if I just do this again, but better. The only option is to succeed, right? And that's exactly what happened. I mean, I built it. I would go every single weekend. People would very shamelessly just drive next to the house like super slowly, like at two miles an hour, just drive right in front of it and look at the house and take photos and take photos of me and then just drive off. And I'm always like, I'm right here, I'm here. This is awkward. I just want you to know that. So, yeah, I just chose Joshua Tree for that reason. It was affordable.

Joe: Were there people already doing tiny houses in Joshua Tree when you started doing it?

Rob: Not really. I think around that time there were people that were doing tiny houses on wheels. That's that's kind of the the beginning of that tiny house movement. No one had really done a tiny house on a fixed foundation, certainly not a two storey tiny house. And I did a two story tiny house because I had never seen one and I was like, Well, I think that this would certainly separate me from from the competition. There were definitely some tiny houses on wheels and Airstreams and stuff like that. There's also like tiny homestead cabins that people would market as a tiny house, even though it's not a true tiny house. For me, a tiny house isn't just a house that's small. Right? That seems to be the perception. People will go and buy a house, and it's got like a little three hundred square foot shack in the back and the like tiny house. And it's like, well, not really. It wasn't designed to be a tiny house. It's just it just happens to be tiny. For me, I was really trying to design a house that was like a miniature house that you walk in and you're like, Whoa, this is like a legitimate house is just so much smaller than a typical house, you know, especially with it being two stories. So there's a lot of code that I had to, you know, there wasn't a tiny house code, right? I had to abide by the International Residential Building Code. The stairs had to be 36 inches wide. There are just so many aspects that were very difficult to design around, but I was the first person to do that. Someone else might have done it before me, but you know, I've got the YouTube channel, so I can say I did. I was the first.

Joe: In Joshua Tree, though. Did you buy a vacant lot in a subdivision or was it kind of secluded?

Rob: It was in a subdivision and the lot was 10000 square feet.

Joe: OK, I'm looking at Airbnb right now. Mm-Hmm. And there's a bunch of little I did Joshua Tree, two guests and I don't know how many there are, but some of these are just incredible. They're really beautiful. And some of them seem like at least from the pictures, just real quickly, as I'm looking at, it seemed like they're kind of, you know, I've got beautiful scenery, views of the mountains, the kind of secluded a little bit. Is that what somebody is looking for is looking for when they're looking for a tiny house in a place like Joshua Tree?

Rob: Yes and no. It really depends. I think a lot of people get in their head about this, you know, because I used to I had a consultation business back in the day. I shut that down, but a lot of people were like, Well, do they want the seclusion or do they want the views or this and that? So there's kind of two sets of audiences out there, I think audience one, seclusion. They want to be in nature. They probably want to take shrooms with their friends, like at night. They just want to be away from the hustle and bustle. They may not even ever visit the national park. I mean, I've been to Joshua Tree on many trips with friends, and I did not visit the national park. So that's kind of subset one subset to our people that want to visit the national park. And they're all about the location, right? They don't necessarily care about the seclusion. In fact, they might be scared of the seclusion. Yeah, a lot of people like, you know, when you're in Joshua Tree, you're driving down a dirt road for 18 minutes and it's taking you to some random little house in a neighborhood like or not really in a neighborhood, but like in the seclusion, it's kind of creepy. It can be, you know, a lot of people don't want that. So a lot of people are just looking for a location, location, location. My house is less than 10 minutes away from the national park. So I think it's really a lot of early risers that are, Hey, we want to wake up early, go to the national park, you know, be super close that worrying about having to drive there because there can be traffic sometimes. We want to come home and stay in our refuge in our little tiny house, clean up, put our heads down, you know? So obviously, those are two very general audience subsets, but it just depends. So I guess what I'm saying is what you advertise is what people are looking for, right? People are going to choose you based on the listing that you create. You know, it doesn't matter if it's exclusion, it doesn't matter if it's in a neighborhood. What matters is that the expectations were set in the marketing of the listing. Yeah.

Joe: And guys, I know a lot of you are having questions. What are these houses look like? How do you build them? I'm telling you, you got to go check out Rob's channel on YouTube, Rob built. Just go to YouTube, do a search for Rob built, but it's one word rlg ui l t. And he's got a lot of videos where he actually walks through these houses and explains, I love your honesty, Rob. You talk a lot about like this video the harsh reality about prefab homes and why.

Rob: Oh man. Yeah, that one. That one is. That's one of my top performing videos, and it makes a lot of people angry. A lot of people. The source of my hate on my channel comes from that video.

Joe: Those were I sorted that by most popular. So maybe I should do's newest. You talk about amid modern century A-frame. The downsides of managing an Airbnb. Why I stopped buying Airbnb's. What was that about? Talk about that.

Rob: Yeah, so. OK. So for me, I have evolved past being just an Airbnb operator, right? That's what I started at, and then I became a YouTuber. And then that became my platform. And then, you know, I started my educational products in courses and everything like that coaching programs. And now I'm the co-host of the BiggerPockets website Koko's of the BiggerPockets real estate show. And then I've got like two or three companies that I'm launching. One's going to be a service product in the Airbnb space. Another one is going to be a consultancy of sorts. So I say all that say I don't have time to buy the same level of Airbnbs that I used to, but that doesn't mean that I'm not buying Airbnbs anymore. What that video is about is knowing how to scale and when to scale. And so for me, someone in my position with the amount of time that I have, the limited amount of time that I have, I can't go out and acquire 10 $300000 properties anymore. That was the dream for a long time. Hey, if I could just get to 40, Airbnb's 50 Airbnb is, but what I can do is go and buy one $3 million property, and that's what I've done. Like, I'm buying a three point twenty five million dollar house in Arizona right now in the cash flow. In the profits, in the revenue are going to be the same as if I just went and bought, you know, three $1 million houses now or 10 $300000 houses. Except the difference is it's way less work. You know, it's a lot more work to manage ten Airbnbs than it is one. So that VIDEO A lot of people in a lot of a lot of my students were just like, Wait, what? You're quitting like, No, no. The idea is I'm just moving away from the smaller purchases because I simply can't do it anymore. And I think that that really is what every Airbnb and real estate operator should be doing, right, like you can do. You can only do so many burgers before you're tapped out, before you have to really hire teams and then hiring teams and managing those teams becomes a job and becomes a whole effort of conserving your time. So naturally, most real estate investors try to figure out how to scale. And this is why you see a lot of people going out and buying syndications, right? Like they're joining syndication, starting funds, buying 400 unit apartment complexes, buying hotels. You know, I think for me, that idea was just kind of, you know, a lot of people are like, No, please don't stop buying. I'm make no, no, just I want you to do click so that you can understand my scale and strategy. Mm-Hmm.

Joe: Yeah, we're getting a lot of questions here, and I'm going to be looking at them here. I'm going to pop them up in just a second, but talk a little bit about your current inventory and we're going to wrap this up here in just a few minutes. I apologize for starting late. Now we're going to go over. But talk, what kind of inventory do you own now? How many Airbnbs do you own that you're renting out managing?

Rob: So at this exact moment, I owned 14 Airbnbs all across the country. This would be in California, Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Wisconsin all spread out everywhere. I've been to half of them. But, you know, I aspire to go to all my Airbnbs one day. I'm really big into, yeah, remotely setting up and remotely managing. I think it's really possible. But that was also part of that video that I'm talking about the why I stopped buying Airbnbs because I had a really, you know, I had a really good year financially last year and I could have bought a lot more Airbnbs. But I did it and it seemed like I I wasn't. But what I've had to do is stop buying Airbnbs, even the luxury ones. I'm going to be buying those, but I've stopped doing that so that I can focus on really big development projects. And so what that means is I'm actually going to be raising a fund in Joshua Tree and I'm going to be building 20 houses out there with Tony Robinson. He's my partner on the fund. It's for accredited investors only. It's a five or six fund, and we're going to basically be building 10 regular sized houses, five small homes and then five tiny homes. And so that would be. Obviously, a lot of time goes into that, but it's still, you know, it stops me from being able to buy more Airbnbs. But if I can just tough it out for like one two years, it's going to add $20 to the portfolio. I'm also building a tiny house village in Tennessee. I've been working on the permits on that for the better part of the year, unfortunately, but that's okay. We're we're getting closer every single day, so I'm going to be building 10 glamping treehouse domes out in Tennessee. I'm hoping to build five, I guess, six tiny airframes in Virginia. There's a little there's some opposition there from from the neighboring, from the neighbors. They look me up and they're like, We don't want this guy here, you know? So I'm working on trying to get the conditional use permit there. And then the really big project that I'm working on right now is trying to get 60 tents set up in Arizona. So I'm working through the conditional use permit of getting a full on site operational. And when you add all that up, yes, I technically stopped buying Airbnbs, but in one to two years time, I'll now own an extra 100 Airbnbs, so it's all for good reason.

Joe: Nice. Nice. Got some questions here from guests? Hit it. Lisa, by the way, is here. What's up, Lisa? Thanks for taking the time to do this. Nice hat, by the way, Joe. Lisa is a huge baseball fan and the Cardinals won yesterday. In case anybody cares. Nine Did nothing. They beat the Pirates. All right, Sam, good question here. Built Rob built sorry question. If you were to look for vacant land that you would then turn or use for glamping and or a star. Not sure what stars rental short term rental property? What would you look for in that land? Location, size, acreage ET. Good question.

Rob: You know, I think there's a lot of different things here. You know, when you're looking for land, I don't think you necessarily have to hit like all the bullet points. I think it's kind of like a weighted system. You give yourself 10 check marks and, you know, like 10 criteria, right? Price, size, view, location, seclusion, topography, wildlife, whatever, right? And you make your criteria of 10 different things in. At this point in this market, you try to hit six out of the 10. You're never going to hit 10 out of the 10. So really, I mean, if I'm going to buy land for glamping, ideally, I want something that gives me a little bit of room to grow. There are a lot of people out there that will go and buy one acre and try to put a couple of tents on there. I think you can do that. I think for me when I was first getting started. All of our tents are about a football field away from each other. No one really ever complained about that. So yeah, seclusion is great. But again, like I said, when you're driving down a dirt road for 20 minutes, it can be a little creepy. So a lot of people are very relieved to see that they have neighbors like neighboring glamping tents nearby. So I would say, when you're looking for glamping land, find something that gives you a little bit of room to grow because if you just buy one acre and you set up all your systems and you automated and you have a property manager or a cleaner, whatever. There's only so much you can do on one acre. So we try to find something that allows you the ability to expand if that's something that you ever want to do. I would definitely also look for land that is zoned. Agricultural is always going to be the most flexible. But really, this is kind of the sticking point with glamping, right? You know, you can go out and put a tent for sure. It may not meet county rules. It may not meet the ordinances you'll have. You may have to get a permit. It can be kind of tough, right? And a lot of people go out and do this without a permit and you know, they fly under the radar for a long time and could not necessarily be a big deal these days. That's how that's how I started out. But these days, you know, I'm working more towards getting everything permitted and having a legitimate business operation, because if you go out and you buy a piece of land and you put a tent there, let's say you put two tents and those tents are grossing forty thousand dollars a year eighty k. Most of that's going to be profit. You can't really sell that as a business. You can't go to an investor and be like, Hey, this makes $80000, how about you pay me a one multiple on this right? And they're not going to buy that for you from you for 80 grand because it's not worth anything, because it's not. It's not a legitimate, sustainable business, especially from the county perspective. So for me, I'm always looking towards how can I get that conditional use permit? How can I get permitted so that if I go through that extra work, then at that point, if it is permanent and it is cash flowing and I've got 60 units in Arizona like I'm telling you about and they're cash flowing, then I can go to an investor and say, Hey, I would like $10 million for this and they'll buy it. Yeah, but if it was not permitted, they wouldn't, right? So I think you want to find something that has the at a very minimum, a county that has very loose restrictions and regulations or none. There are a couple of counties out there that have like no building code at all. And they laughed, if you. If you like say, Hey, I want to put a tender like, OK, go ahead. You know, we got bigger fish to fry, so that's kind of my my my two pieces is like, get something that allows you to expand, get something in an area that either allows for a permit, is flexible, you know, has a way forward for you to to get a permit. I think that would be it. That would be just the easiest way for you to protect your business for DCR. I think location, location, location, personally, I would rather have an amazing location over seclusion all day. OK.

Joe: Good question from Scott here. How are you handling plumbing, toilets, running water, electricity on a tiny house? Basically, utilities, how are you? How are you? Are you only buying land that already has utilities on it?

Rob: Most of the time, yeah. So when you're building a tiny house on a fixed foundation, I got that fully permitted. The only way that I could get that fully permitted is if I'm abiding by basic code, right? So I have to have electricity. I have to have sewage. I have to have water. So my piece of land was along the water line. In Joshua Tree, a lot of pieces of land aren't in. You could easily spend 20 to $100000 getting water there or even electricity. So I'm always looking for land that has an electrical pole on it or nearby. Every new electrical pole that you need to erect or like connect from can cost you anywhere from five to $10000. So I'm always looking for land where I can see it like on the corner of the property. And then there is no no sewer line out in Joshua Tree. There is a sewer line in Yucca Valley, but you know, we basically just have to do septic. Septic seems a lot scarier than it is sometimes. Like, you know, my septic was like thirty five, forty five hundred bucks.

Joe: Okay, cool. All right, Rob, we've got to wrap this up. Talk a little bit about your mastermind. You've got a mastermind of guys and ladies that are doing something similar to what you're doing.

Rob: Oh, sure. Yeah, I've got host camp, host camp is my 12 month mentorship program. It basically, if you want to just learn the blueprint for starting an Airbnb business from the ground up, it's 80 plus videos. It's a video curriculum that you have lifetime access to, and then it's 12 months of mentorship, which is effectively like a once a month. We go live, we do a group coaching call and I teach a little bit. I'll do some Q&A and then I'll do hot seats where I let people actually like, raise their hands, ask me a question, and then I sort of shake them up, interrogate them, slap them around, criticize their business and make them better. Very Dave Ramsey style, but very, very positive in the end. So, yeah, if you want to learn more about that, very easy to remember, you can go to host Camp dot com and you can book a call with my team and see if it's the right fit for you. Host camp dot com.

Joe: Host Camp dot com. Is that banner correct? There it is.

Rob: Yeah, that's right. So yeah, if you're interested in, you know, chat and chatting with me or my team, we'll see if you if it. But yeah, it's been really great. I've got. Man, it's a really big community at this point. I've been doing it for less than a year and I've got like eight 900 students. And finally, it's a newer program, but I'm finally starting to understand, like I'm starting to see the effects of people actually starting the Airbnb. People are posting screenshots of how much they're making. People are doing way cooler stuff than me, like way cooler. So it's very gratifying.

Joe: Nice host camp dot com. I just capitalized both words there and check out Rob's channel and rob built dot com. Go to R O B U I L T. Do you have, I guess, do you have the Rob Built dot com website as well?

Rob: No. Know some guy tried to sell that to me for twenty thousand dollars, but you can go to Rob l'T Channel dot com or Rob Belko or just go to honestly, just find me on Instagram. My my my handle is rob built. And then obviously, YouTube is my bread and butter. You can go to you, find me on. Rob built there, YouTube dot com slash rob built. Then if you want to get super sassy, you can go to Tik Tok and find me at Robbuilto because someone stole Rob built.

Joe: So, oh, I got it wrong there. But yeah, one be all right. Cool, Rob, thanks so much for being on the show again. Host Camp dot com or just look him up anywhere on YouTube. Instagram it Rob built Rob built or host camp dot com. Thanks for being on the show! Thanks. And I wish we could have more time to talk. It's been a pleasure. We'll do it again sometime. Yeah. Good talking to you. See you guys. Everybody take care. Have a good one.

 

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