Interview w/ Adam Dailey: Investing in Short-Term Rentals

If you are thinking about becoming a host and making money on Airbnb this is a must watch interview w/ Adam Dailey, Entrepreneur and Airbnb investor. In our interview, we discuss [almost] everything a real estate investor needs to know about investing in short-term rentals.

We cover:
– Renting out your primary residence on Airbnb
– Cleaning fees
– Airbnb fees
– Management fees
– Occupancy rates
– HOAs
– Turning Motels into turnkey Airbnb rentals
– How to attract the right user/short-term tenant
– Ideal price point for daily rental income
– How important reviews are and how to get good ones!
– How to be a “sniper”

(SIDE NOTE: The audio quality is not the best and the video is long but please bare with it b/c it is WELL worth it!)

We will be launching our short-term rental search product on the platform by the end of this month. Go to and sign up for free to get early access.

What Kind Of Investor Are You? Part 3 of 3

If you’ve been wondering what happened to our blog as of late, fret not. We simply took August to focus our efforts on development. As we approach the finish line with these features it’s time to get back to blogging. If you’re reading this post for the first time, let me catch you up. At Revestor we’re rolling out changes to our application that will allow you, the user, to run investment calculations three different ways over live listings. Nationwide! FOR FREE!!!


The three different ways are….

Long Term – Buy & Hold

Short Term – Vacation Rentals

Fix & Flip – Rehab & Resell


This week we’re here to talk about rehabbing and reselling properties. Reality TV has made the fix & flip approach to real estate investing look fairly painless and almost fun. Real estate investing is a business, not a made for TV show so we want to give you our basic 5 step overview to better understanding this approach.


Step #1 – Establish a team

You’re starting a business. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that the smartest people hire smarter people. That said, you’re going to need an attorney to set up an LLC to hold the property. You’re also going to need a good CPA and insurance agent to further protect this venture. Once you have these folks in place you’re going to need the second part of your team which is the Realtor, lender and contractor. Once you have this network you’re ready for step 2.


Step #2 – Get familiar with your market

And by get familiar with your market I mean know your numbers! If there is one thing and one thing only that you take from this blog post, please let it be this. Your resale price is completely hypothetical at this point but all of your other costs are very real. It’s important that you know your market, comparable listings, recent sales, rehab costs, carrying costs, etc.


Step #3 – Acquiring property

Once your team is in place and you have a firm grasp on the market conditions you’re ready to acquire property.

TIP! Create a free account with Revestor so you can receive alerts when properties matching your investment criteria come on the market or change in price.

Knowing your numbers will help you and your Realtor make the most of your time when it comes to writing offers. A lot of agents prefer not to work with investors because they don’t want to write dozens of low ball offers. Be the educated investor that not only knows the market but knows the costs of rehab and potential profit.


Step #4 – Rehabbing the property

Once your offer has been accepted and you have possession of the property it’s time to start the rehab process. Here’s where you need to put on your project manager hat to make sure that your contractor is staying on time and on budget.


Step #5 – Selling the property

Take stock of how the market has changed during your rehab period. Pricing the property correctly is imperative to a successful flip. A couple items to take note of here. First, don’t overprice the property. Overpricing a property may result in few (if any) offers. This may lead to a reduced listing price and increased carrying costs (time). The fee (typically 5-6%) you’ll pay to the listing agent and buyer’s agent is also negotiable.


Was this helpful? Let us know in the comments below what topics you’d like to see discussed in upcoming blog posts!

As always, happy hunting!


What Kind Of Investor Are You? Part 2 of 3

Last week I talked about approaching real estate investing from a long term buy and hold strategy. If the long term strategy is the most common then this week’s strategy is certainly the up and comer. Let’s go over some advantages and disadvantages to short term buy and hold real estate investing. Often referred to as short term or vacation rentals.

The National Association of Realtors has only collected data on vacation rentals since 2003 and in 2014 a record number of sales were made. The vacation rental industry has given birth to companies such as VRBO (Homeaway) and AirBNB just to name a couple. Furthermore the feedback we’ve received from our users, has caused us to adapt and develop new tools which will be coming to Revestor this Fall.
Screenshot 2016-07-27 15.01.05

With all of the users, investors and agents I polled for this week’s post there was one piece of advice that each gave. And that was to know your numbers. With all of the variable and unexpected costs that come along with buying a vacation rental it’s important to due your homework.

#1. Know the area

You need to be familiar with the area that you’re looking to buy in. I’m talking year round. Let me give you an example. I can rent out a 3 bedroom / 2 bath townhouse in Palm Springs from January 1st to April 30th for $5,000 / month and have people lining up to occupy the unit. From June 1st to September 30th it isn’t uncommon to have a 90% vacancy rate. Vacation destinations have seasonality and rents that coincide with those seasons. There are other cities such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago that may not be exposed to such a change in demand but the bottom line is that you must know your market. All 365 days of it. (Well New York can get really hot and really cold regardless there is demand but not so much so in Chicago)

#2. Know the rules

If you know the area then you must know the rules. Your neighbors may not be thrilled with the idea of living next door to a new tenant every few days, few weeks or few months. Perhaps there is something stated in the HOA, CC&R’s or local laws. The explosion of owner occupied vacation rentals is still a relatively new market and laws will be changing as a result.   

Screenshot 2016-07-27 15.01.43

#3. Know the numbers

Revestor can help you locate properties and run the numbers as a valuable due diligence tool. It’s up to you to understand those numbers. Here are just a few items you need to consider when understanding the numbers for a potential vacation rental.

  • Furnishings – You need to develop a budget for furnishings. Know ahead of time that your future tenants likely won’t care about the beer they spill on the couch.
  • Cleaning – Depending on your length of stays, vacancy rate, your proximity to the property, your willingness to clean etc. You’ll need a best case / worst case scenario in place.
  • Utilities – Running the A/C 24 hours a day may not be what you had in mind but it may be what your tenant has in mind. Or perhaps they prefer your pool be heated to 85 degrees. Those unexpected utility bills can wreak havoc on your bottom line.
    *You can manage utilities from afar on your smartphone nowadays.
  • Effects on neighbors – Your tenant is on vacation so they are likely going to do what others do on vacation. Stay up late, make noise, drink etc. This can have a negative impact on your neighbors and can make management difficult for you.

#4. Decide who will manage the property

Sites like VRBO & AirBNB are great resources to help monetize your vacation rental but what is the best solution for you? If you’re considering one of these methods I would highly recommend looking for a MeetUp or local event hosted by AirBNB where they will walk you through their platform. I would also recommend (just in the beginning) renting your place below the market price. The reason for this is two fold.

  1. You’ll get it occupied quicker saving you the expense of vacancy
  2. You can get more people through and get better reviews faster

If you decide to go with a property management company understand that they will likely take a higher percentage. Cuts as high as 20% are commonplace in the vacation rental market. There are advantages however to working with management companies that focus solely on the vacation rental market. Companies such as Pillow Homes and Mission Sands are good examples.

Vacation rentals can be a very lucrative strategy when it comes to real estate investing. IF, you know your market. If you’re searching for that starting point for getting started then Revestor is the place for you. Being able to run investment calculations over live listings will help familiarize you with the market and help you to make better decisions. When you’re ready, we also have a network of professionals to help you complete the purchase process.

Happy hunting,



What Kind Of Investor Are You? Part 1 of 3

Over the next several weeks I’ll be diving deeper into each of the three strategies for real estate investing. I’ll uncover some of the advantages and disadvantages within each path to help you make more informed decisions as you continue to develop your business and grow your portfolio.

Last week I wrote a post on the 4 basic steps to getting started with real estate investing. The framework for your future business. You can read that complete post here but for those of you already familiar with the article, we’re going to focus on the first strategy I referred to in step #1.

  • Long term rental (buy & hold)

This week I polled a handful of experienced investors, all of whom have used Revestor to find buy & hold deals and asked them a series of questions. The information presented in this post is a collection of that feedback and my hope is that it helps you make well informed decisions.

When is the right time to invest in real estate?

When it comes to buy and hold real estate investing you need to think “get rich quick slow”. The benefits to buy and hold real estate investing do not come in the form of a quick buck but rather in the form of appreciation and passive income. Not to say you can’t make quick money by walking into a property with built in equity but you need to adopt the marathon vs. sprint mentality. I also received a lot of responses about “being in the know”. Simply put, decide when to get in based on the numbers, market trends and as much factual data that you can gather. Knowing the numbers is the key to mitigating risk in any real estate investment. One of the main benefits to using Revestor is that we allow you to run the numbers over actual listed properties. Be sure to get familiar with these key indicators to help you make more informed decisions.  

Screenshot 2016-07-19 13.51.35

Just a reminder for those not familiar with some of this terminology, you can find the definitions on our site here.

What should I look for in a potential property?

Doing your due diligence goes beyond knowing the market trends and numbers; especially when it comes to acquiring real property. A savvy investor always wants to acquire property with built in equity. This doesn’t mean getting your agent to write countless lowball offers until someone accepts but rather have a vision of what your property can be. For example, can you add a bedroom or bathroom? Can you update a kitchen or the exterior? These changes don’t require a lot of money or major renovations but they can fetch you higher rents and increase the overall value of your property. It’s also important to be thorough with your inspections. A cracked foundation, faulty plumbing or a deteriorating roof can cause crippling expenses to inexperienced investors. Make sure the property you’re purchasing is in sound shape to help minimize future surprises.  

One of the most common buy and hold strategies for new real estate investors is with multi-family properties. In this case, you the owner, occupy one of the units while renting out the other units to help offset / cover the cost of the mortgage. One of my good friends and one of the most successful real estate investors I know has used this method to build a small empire. He acquired properties by coming in with all cash (hard money loan), giving him the advantage over other buyers. Once he had possession and rented all but one of the units he would take out a mortgage, pay back his hard money loan and begin rehabbing the unit he occupied. He was creating equity and instant cash flow this way.

Next steps

Create a FREE account on Revestor, get familiar with the terminology and start gaining knowledge. By creating an account you will be able to…..

  • Search nationwide
  • Set your own investment criteria
  • Save searches
  • Save properties
  • And more

Creating an account with Revestor allows you to filter and find properties that work for you saving you time and money. You can create your account here and clicking “Sign Up” in the top right corner.

Next week I’ll be going over the basics of short term buy & hold for you vacation rental owners.

Happy hunting,



4 Steps to Getting Started in Real Estate Investing

man-notes-macbook-computer-mediumThis week we celebrated America’s birthday so in honor of the 4th I’m sharing my 4 steps to getting started with real estate investing. Before I get to the list, I want to share a quote that was shared with me earlier this week. It’s a simple quote but will be relevant to you as you start your business.

“I don’t know anyone that makes really good money without working for it”.

So simple, so true. I don’t think we’ll see it written on motivational cards anytime soon but it rings true. So please don’t fall for the get rich quick scheme / investor guru gimmicks that are out there. This is a business and needs to be treated as such. Nobody is going to give you money but you can earn it. Revestor doesn’t have all of the answers but we do offer the ability to search, analyze and acquire. It’s up to you to learn the process and understand the numbers.

That being said, here is a simple format you can follow to get your business started.

#1 Choose a strategy

A couple weeks ago we shared a screenshot of what our new homepage will look like. As a refresher, we will allow you to search by

  • Long term rental (buy & hold)
  • Short term rental (vacation rentals)
  • Fix & Flip (rehab & re-sell)

It’s important to decide which type of investor you are. It will be vital to the success of your business, the execution of your plan and the overall growth of your portfolio. I would recommend getting familiar with each of these strategies, applying them to markets you’re interested in and deciding which works best for you.  

#2 Develop a business plan

Don’t just have a vision of what investing in real estate entails, have a plan. I’m talking about a physical business plan with a market overview, financial projections, executive summary and more. There are countless templates that you can find online, it’s up to you however to do the homework and develop the plan. One of my favorite methods for business development is the critical path. The basic principal behind this method is to start with your end goal and then develop a timeline with all the tasks you’ll need to complete in order to reach the goal. You can find several templates for the critical path method online as well.

#3 Do your homework

If you take the time to truly develop a business plan then you’ll be doing your homework along the way. That’s a good start but you always need to be learning in this business. And if there was one area to master the terminology and the numbers associated with it. Here’s a good place to start.

#4 Expand your network

Here’s another quote for you.

“Your network creates your networth”

If you want to be successful then you need to surround yourself with like minded people. This doesn’t mean cutting off your social circles and attending the next get rich quick real estate seminar. It means pick up a book or two on real estate investing. It means reach out to a Realtor on Revestor and start a conversation. After all, you can’t grow your business and do great things with basic people.

Happy hunting,

We’re Not Zillow

How many times have you been asked this question. “So….. what do you do”? It’s an open ended question but is usually in reference to work. I get asked this question all the time and once I’m done explaining the origin of my name (Irish family name, pronounced like Steven without the “S”) the conversation get’s back to what it is I do. For work.

Them: “So what do you”?

Me: “I work with a real estate tech start up called Revestor”.

Them: “Oh cool! What’s Revestor”?

Me: “It’s a platform that allows users to analyze properties from an investor’s perspective”.

Them: “So… Zillow”?

No, not like Zillow. It’s conversations like these that got me thinking. I need to do a better job explaining what Revestor is, who it’s for and what we’re out to accomplish. Revestor can be a very powerful tool. If users understand how to use it. Users who create a free account and understand the benefits of our platform can create efficiencies in their business by…..

  • Setting their own investment criteria. Desired cash flow, desired cap rate and more
  • Saving specific searches (unlimited)
  • Saving specific properties for quick access (unlimited)
  • Receiving email alerts on saved searches and saved properties (you decide)
  • Controlling the numbers yourself
  • + more to come

So let me back up one paragraph and tell you why we’re not like Zillow.

Zillow will tell you what a home’s value is (kind of) and not give you control over that number. With Revestor, we bring in all the key metrics for real estate investing and let you adjust the numbers to estimate things like:

  • Net operating income
  • Capitalization rate
  • Cash flow
  • Debt service ratio
  • Cash on cash return
  • & more

This control gives our users the ability to make more informed decisions when it comes to acquiring real property. You no longer are buying a property just based on its estimated value and the payment you can afford – you’re now looking at it from many different angles. You can answer important questions like:

  • What is the best price to pay for the property?
  • How much rent can I make?
  • What is the optimal down payment?
  • How much can I profit on a monthly basis after all expenses and the mortgage payment?
  • How much can I potentially profit when I sell the property in the future?

So what is Revestor? We are a platform that enables users to search, analyze and acquire investment properties. It stands for Real Estate + Investor

So who is Revestor for? It’s for real estate investors (users) and for real estate professionals (advertisers).

#1 Real estate investors – As mentioned above. Revestor is a real estate investment calculator that allows you to run the numbers over live listings. No more extracting data from multiple MLS’s saving you countless hours of number crunching.

#2 Real estate agents – Investors buy homes at nearly twice the rate as traditional home buyers. So while you as an agent may have to write a handful of lowball offers know that you’re getting a client who will need your services twice as much.

What are we out to accomplish? We’re out to improve the way people invest in real estate. We believe that technology is supposed to make things easier and that technology has not yet improved the real estate investing process (we hope to change that). We will continue to bring you more listings, more tools and certified professionals to help you grow your portfolio. Sign up for a FREE account below.

Happy hunting,



The Only Constant is Change

We’re out to redefine the way people search, analyze and acquire real estate investments. At Revestor, we’re constantly improving and our latest update is focused on how you search.

While we’re pretty lucky to have a solid team, we know we don’t have all the answers. So we’ve taken your feedback, walked it through design and are currently having our developers test. Here’s a little peek at what your new homepage will look like.

Screenshot 2016-05-18 12.39.54

The entire process of real estate investing begins with a search. How do people look for real estate investments? Initially, we referred to our platform as a search engine for real estate investing. While we’ve grown Revestor to be much more than that, the logic behind this starting point remains the same.

Think about Google for a minute and why they’re successful. It’s relevance. If you do a search and aren’t given relevant results you’re not going through page after page. What you’re doing is returning to the homepage, refining your search and continuing to do so until you can find what it is you’re looking for. The same logic applies to our new homepage. We don’t want you to search through properties that aren’t relevant to your investment goals.

So what kind of real estate investor are you?

#1 – Buy & Hold (Long term rentals)

Are you looking to acquire properties and hold them for an extended period of time?

#2 – Buy & Hold (Vacation / short term rentals)

Are you looking to acquire properties and rent them out daily or weekly on sites such as Airbnb?

#3 – Fix & Flip (Rehab & resell)

Maybe you’re looking to buy, rehab and sell?

Based on your answer, we will display the relevant properties and allow you to control the numbers to begin analyzing opportunities. Speaking of analyzing, be sure to sign up for email notifications as we’ll be releasing new posts and videos each week explaining each of these methods in great detail.

*Revestor Tip*
Create a free account to gain access to these features

  • Refine search – Allows users to set specific investment criteria
  • Save search – Allows users to save specific searches
  • Save properties – Allows users to save specific properties in their profile
  • Email alerts – Receive notifications when properties that meet your investment criteria come on the market or have a change in status  

Happy hunting,

We’re Back!

When you’re a start up business, especially in the technology space, it’s tough to cover all of your bases. Case in point, we haven’t updated our blog since November. Seems like a good time to do that.

Let me take you back to where it all started.

Like any good idea the concept of Revestor was born while drinking beer. Our CEO, Bill Lyons and myself were sharing a couple brews on a Sunday afternoon when we landed on the topic of real estate. At the time I was with another technology start up. We were in the process of building a piece of software that would improve on what we deemed a faulty process. Bill and I found a similar fault in the real estate investing process and decided we could improve it. That was in 2012.

Fast forward a few years and we’ve built an amazing platform but real estate and technology are still in a vicious tug-o-war. Brokers and agents who used to control the data and inventory no longer do. Now, it seems technology is controlling that data and inventory. Agents have no choice but to embrace this change and get in between the technology and consumer to stay alive. The ultimate winner in this battle is the consumer, who now comes to the negotiating table armed with information. Unfortunately it’s not always good information (think Zestimate). When we built Revestor it was important for us to…

  1. Use technology to improve the process of real estate investing
  2. Give investors a platform where they could control the numbers
  3. Give agents a platform to market investment opportunities and attract investors

Technology is just that, improving a process, saving time and money. When we started Revestor there wasn’t a clear starting point for real estate investors. There were, and still are, plenty of books, how to’s, seminars and Gurus that claim they have the secret recipe for real estate investors. A lot of times these recipes come with a heavy price tag for the investor too. A few things about us:

  1. We built a platform that allows you to search for investments, nationwide
  2. We allow you to run the numbers over actual properties
  3. We have a network of professional agents that can help you
  4. We’re 100% free to use

One thing that all real estate investors have in common is that they are business owners. If you’ve been a business owner before you know there are two things you can count on with absolute certainty.

#1. Everything will take more time than you expected

#2. Everything will cost more money than you calculated

In the 15 years that I’ve been self – employed I have yet to meet an entrepreneur who told me their business took less time and made them more money than they anticipated. If I asked each of these people what they’ve learned along the way I’d have a hard time getting them to stop talking. My point here as it relates to real estate investing, Revestor and running your own business is going to take some time. Educate yourself on the process. Decide what market(s) are good for you. Talk to a professional agent who can help.  

Happy hunting,



Second Home Properties – Rental Income Now Okay

Fannie Mae just announced on 11/3/15 that rental income is now okay on second home properties. This is huge news for those looking to rent out their second homes on Airbnb, Homeaway or Rent Like a Champion without them being considered “investment properties”. You can now purchase property as a 2nd home instead of an investment property. Most lenders require 20%+ down payment on investment properties and charge interest rates about 1/2% higher than 2nd home rates. Today, (11/20/15) you could put 10% down and get an interest rate of 4% on a 30yr fixed mortgage with no monthly mortgage insurance.


Here is a excerpt directly out of FNMA’s guides:


Second Home Requirements
must be occupied by the borrower for some portion of the year
is restricted to one-unit dwellings
must be suitable for year-round occupancy
the borrower must have exclusive control over the property
must not be rental property or a timeshare arrangement1
cannot be subject to any agreements that give a management firm control over the occupancy of the property

If the lender identifies rental income from the property, the loan is eligible for delivery as a second home as long as the income is not used for qualifying purposes, and all other requirements for second homes are met (including the occupancy requirement above).


In other words as long as you occupy your one-unit second home for some portion of the year and you don’t use the rental income to qualify you are not subject to the restrictions of investment properties. Here is a link to the update. Now has never been a better time to buy second homes and rent them out on vacation rental sites. You can earn cash flow and get to travel to them for free once a year.


Five Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2016


Tracking current trends in the real estate industry can allow you to achieve higher profits to help you make the most of your investments. The experts at the Urban Land Institute and PwC recently released their Emerging Trends in Real Estate US & Canada (ETRE) forecast report for 2016, which offers insights into the direction of the marketplace in upcoming years. Here are some of the most important “must watch for” trends identified in this influential report.

Must Watch Trend #1 — Secondary Markets on the Rise

While the highest real estate values and rental prices are typically found in large urban environments like New York and Los Angeles, less populous cities are also making a significant mark on the real estate industry. The ETRE forecast identifies San Diego, Denver and Austin as three cities to watch in 2016 thanks to the high degree of entrepreneurial investment and development underway in these real estate markets. Looking beyond the obvious primary markets and exploring investment opportunities in second-tier population centers can provide added opportunities for profitability and growth.

Must Watch Trend #2 — Office Buildings in Demand

Commercial properties have often been considered a bellwether for the entire real estate industry. Office space is currently in high demand in many areas; however, the configurations and expected amenities have changed considerably. Cafeterias are reentering the corporate arena to promote greater productivity in the workplace. Open floor plans and shared spaces are also in demand. Opting for commercial buildings that already have these features can save on remodeling costs and can boost lease fees for real estate investment.

Must Watch Trend #3 — Climate Change Reducing Demand for Parking

With more urban residents opting for public transportation, Uber or bikes to manage their daily commutes, the need for parking structures and lots to manage vehicle storage has been reduced considerably. Concerns about climate change and an added emphasis on green-friendly living may have had an impact in this area of the housing market. According to the ETRE report, some cities are reducing the amount of required parking for new housing developments. Tenants and city officials also take walkability scores into consideration when considering the need for parking in the residential real estate marketplace. And for those that still drive there are now services like Luxe that will park your car for you.

Must Watch Trend #4 — Sticking with the Suburbs

Despite many doom-and-gloom predictions about the death of the suburbs, these areas at the outskirts of large urban metropolises continue to attract families and individuals seeking a respite from the bright lights and noise of the big city. The suburbs are reinventing themselves, though, and providing many of the same options once only available in the heart of the city. This hybrid approach to residential areas will have a significant impact on housing for the foreseeable future.

Must Watch Trend #5 — Interest Rates on the Rise

The ETRE forecast also predicts that interest rates will begin to rise in upcoming months, making mortgages more costly and investments somewhat riskier. This also typically means a higher demand for rental properties, as higher rates generally result in less of the population being able to take advantage of mortgage loans. By acting now on the still-low interest rates and available bargains, investors can ensure the highest returns on investment for their real estate portfolio.

These five trends will likely have a large influence the rental and leasing marketplace and will have a significant impact on real estate investments across the U.S. and Canada. By taking these factors into consideration, you can enjoy higher profitability as the marketplace continues to evolve.