Our guest today is Elizabeth Maora Sickels. About a year and a half ago she decided to leave the corporate world in Michigan after 15 years with no clue what she was going to do. She came to Indy for a one month internship with an investment company, and after a week of it she decided she was going to move here. She bought her first two rental properties just over a year ago and hasn’t looked back. She is now deep into the Airbnb scene here in Indy and ready to grow her business called Elizabeth Maora.
Insight of the Week:
How important is property insurance on your investment properties?
1 Corinthians 13:6-7
“Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
In this show, you’ll learn:
- Elizabeth’s background
- How she got into Airbnb
- What a superhost is
- Other real estate investing she’s involved in
- Her Airbnb’s
- Each of her Airbnb’s has a name
- Why people should get into Airbnb
- Reason to invest in Airbnb
- Airbnb management
- Her home share (short-term rental) subgroup
- Her opinion on the legalities and regulations of Airbnb
- How to get a house listed in Airbnb
- What she and her team provides
- How wholesalers, rehabbers, and others can benefit from the Airbnb market
- Tips to people who are interested in Airbnb short-term rentals
“If we don’t love what we’re doing, then why do it?”
“Love is not a feeling. The feelings come after you show the actions of love.”
“If you wanna do it, just do it. Try, and if it doesn’t work out, then you can stop.”
Profile: Elizabeth Maora Sickels
Thanks for Listening!
Brett: I am so excited to go to the new Airbnb with you, Brian. Just us hanging out, being bros.
Brian: It should be a good weekend. Very nice, be able to relax, get away from work and just focus on just the beautiful scenery that we saw for this Airbnb. Super excited.
Brett: Me too. I love to just go on the deck and soaking in the clawfoot, just putting some candles out and some bubbles and just put some jazz music on. I am super stunned.
Brian: That is all you man. I will just go ahead and enjoy the ocean and just enjoy that part of it.
Brett: This is the Simple Wholesaling podcast episode 98.
Welcome to Simple Wholesaling. A Christian podcast that supplies simple, yet effective content for real estate investors and business entrepreneurs. Get advice, tips, and tricks so that you can stay true to your values and achieve your dreams with real estate investing you can trust. Now, introducing your host, Brett Snodgrass.
Brett: What is up all you Simple Wholesalers out there. Thank you again for joining us on another episode of the Simple Wholesaling podcast. I am your host, Brett Snodgrass, and I am with my magnificent bearded co-host, Brian Snider.
Brian: What is up everybody? Good to be back, Brett. I did my episode last week and you brought me back. I think I am good for a little while. I am excited.
Brett: I did. This is a three episode trial so I had to stick to the contract.
Brian: Okay. Alright. I said it would be good for three episodes and if I am good then we will extend it out.
Brett: That is right. No man, you did a fabulous job and I know that this is just so different guys because you guys are listening right now but it is different beast. I am used to getting up in front of a crowd and talking and you and get this feedback, right? But with this, it is like a radio show, we do not get the immediate feedback except when you guys take the time to leave us an iTunes review and that is when we get that feedback which is really cool. Which brings us to the point that we are going to read the iTunes review of the day. Brian, why don’t you go and take that.
Brian: Alright, we got a review here with a heading of Busted to be a blessing by Ryan at [inaudible][02:26]. ‘Good ethical business life advice. Just went to a three day wholesaling boot camp. I wish I would have stayed home and listened to this podcast. Wow, I recommend going back to Episode one and hearing the back story. Thank you for the excellence. Blessings.’
Brian: Wow, that is fantastic.
Brett: That is. That is cool. Thank you so much, Ryan. That was a kind of tongue twister, blessed to be a blessing.
Brett: Thank you so much, Ryan. We just want to honor you man in just taking a time out of your schedule to leave us a review. If you guys are interested and you love listening to this podcast, you love the corky things like Brian talked about at the beginning of the show like our intros, or just the content of the show in general. Thank you so much. Go to iTunes right now, click on reviews, and leave us a review. There is also a simple formula on your iPhone that if you go to the podcast app, search for Simple Wholesaling podcast, and you should be able to leave a review right from your phone. With that guys, we are going to talk about today’s show. We are super stoked. If you guys listened to the intro, we are talking about Airbnbs and this is something brand new that we have actually not had a guest on the show talk a lot about this new concept of Airbnbs. We are interviewing a local legend, Elizabeth Sickles.
Brian: I think we got the perfect person to like the first person to talk about Airbnbs. She is the perfect person for that. Her energy and her knowledge. Just her attitude when it comes to Airbnb. Just everything she does is phenomenal.
Brian: Super excited to have her on today.
Brett: Yes. She is a local here at Indianapolis. She moved to Indianapolis to start an Airbnb business and she manages Airbnbs. I asked her, the question I put on the spot out of Arizona or California or Florida and all these sand States, why did you choose Indianapolis? She really goes in and talks about Indianapolis and how amazing it is for the Airbnb and how it has been ranked really high in the Airbnb world. I am super excited to get in that interview so stay tuned for that. If you guys are interested in short term rentals, you are not going to want to miss that.
Brett’s Insight of the Week
Now, simple tips and tricks that make real estate investing easier, faster and better. Brett’s Insight of the Week.
Brett: For today’s Insight of the Week, we are going to talk about how important t is to have property insurance on your investment properties? Good question. Is it important, Brian, do you think to have insurance on your investment properties?
Brian: That is a big debate. People always wonder about that but yes, you want to have property insurance on your investments. Exactly, it is an investment, you want to protect it, so yes you want insurance on your investments.
Brett: Yes, definitely. I will just tell you a quick story. I bought a property, I think I told this story before, five or six years ago. Bought a property site unseen. Me and my assistant went out to look at the property on a Wednesday and we had bought the property on Monday. We have only owned the property for two days and we get out to this property and long story short, we find a torched to the grounds house and I was looking around for our house and my assistant said that is your house. It is the one that is torched and it literally had a ring of smoke still coming from that pile of ash that it was in. I did not have property insurance on that particular property.
Fortunately, I did not pay a hundred grand or two hundred grand for that property. I think I only paid like $3000 for the property but I lost that $3000. It ended up being okay because I donated it to the church next door, they put in a parking lot. But with that said, I think it is very important to have some sort of insurance. I can go through story after story with you guys about how just crap happens in real estate whether your house burns to the ground or your property gets flooded or if you are in a hurricane state comes in or wipes it out or whatever happens or more importantly than all of those, someone goes to your property and falls and breaks their neck or breaks their head open and they sued you because it is your property.
I know from experience that I have actually had that happen. Had a guy get injured in our property and he came after me and it was a yearlong process and a insurance battle and fortunately I had insurance on that particular property but the guy ended up getting $90000 and our insurance covered it. Fortunately, I had insurance, right? It is very important to have insurance on your investment properties. The weird thing about investment properties is if you go into a State Farm or a shelter insurance or a Geico or some of these other insurance companies, they might look at you weird when you start talking about yes I have this house, it is an investment house, it is not being lived in, the roof is caving in and they are going to look at you kind of funny because they are going to say I am not going to insure that.
You have to fix the roof, you have got to fix all these different things, and you are not ready for that yet. What do you do in the meantime? Well, there are companies out there, we actually use a company that I highly recommend and it is called Real Protect, and this is a company that really ensures investment properties, that is their niche, that is what they do. It is a very simple process. I basically just email them the property address, send details about the property, how much we want to insure it for, and they insure the properties. Now, there are some properties that I might only buy here in Indianapolis for ten grand, what do you do with that? Is it worth insuring and paying $50 a month or a $100 a month or do I just take the risk of not insuring it?
Well, like I just said, I still have that risk of someone getting injured on my property and if you are a real estate investor, that is the thing that is going to wipe you out because when somebody gets killed or somewhat they get injured and the medical bills are huge, that is the stuff that gets really expensive. I would still recommend liability insurance. In Real Protect, they work out a deal that if I only buy a property for ten grand, I can still get that general liability insurance for $20 a month to cover injuries. That is what I really recommend.
Brian: Yes. I think a lot of people, just in their head, they are like I am just going to turn this property around real quick, be able to sell within a week. Well, a lot can happen within that week. You just want to protect yourself and protect your investment.
Brett: Yes, definitely. Check that out. We are going to be revamping our resources page and Real Protect is going to be on there. There is also another insurance company called REI guard and I highly recommend too. They are very similar. RealProtect, I found, could work with me a little bit more and I had a little bit of a better relationship with them and that is kind of why we went with them but they are both really good.
Do you dream of a life that is purpose-driven and makes a difference? Spiritual Foundations.
Brian: Alright. For this week, our Spiritual Foundation, we have 1 Corinthians 13:6-7, ‘Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.’ This is a great couple of verses right here. Whenever I read this or hear this, all I can think of is weddings. 1 Corinthians…
Brett: Can I ask you a question? Did you, at your wedding, have this verse?
Brian: I do not really remember. We eloped so we got married along the riverside and I do not think there is actually any readings. I have given this reading at multiple weddings. I am usually, as a former teacher, I am usually the person that like at weddings like I was the one that everybody wants to have read.
Brett: Really? You are the scripture. Now, Brian Snider is going to read today’s scripture at 1 Corinthians 13.
Brian: Yes. I have read this many times at weddings and that is maybe why I exactly always think of it and stuff. Breakable verses and I think whether we are talking about love between a husband and wife, love between children and parents, love between us and our Savior, love is everything that encompasses. It should encompass everything that we do. We should not do. Even love between us and our jobs. If we do not love what we are doing then why do it? If we do not fully love our wife, make sure we give everything we can to our wife. Show them that how much we love them through our actions, through our words, and everything like that and our Savior is none other.
We need to be able to show or Lord how much we do love him and how much we just appreciate everything that he has given us in our lives. I mean we say here, we talk all the time about how blessed we are with what we do and what God has provided for us in our lives. We need to be able to make sure that we give him that time to show that love and just everything to be appreciative of everything he has given us.
Brett: Yes, definitely. I totally… Just to add to that, when I was growing up and get in my teenage years and into my 20’s and I was dating. I was always looking for this love. You look at the marketing, they take this for love…
Brian: Movie Love.
Brett: Yes, the movie Love. Yes, exactly, I was looking for the feeling, the butterfly feeling, and as I was starting to date people when that butterfly feeling of love left which is not love at all…
Brian: Wait, is this why your favorite movie is The Notebook?
Brian: That is the love you are looking for?
Brett: Yes, I know. I was like why do my like feel like The Notebook? Well, if you really watched that movie, she was like in this turmoil battle between two guys. But anyways, but as soon as the infatuation stage left, I left, right? Because I did not have that feeling. But when I started digging in the scripture and looking what Jesus did and how he taught what love is just out the scripture, love is not a feeling. The feelings come after you show the actions of love. The reason why we love as Christians is because Christ loved us first and he loved us so much that he would actually go to the cross and take our sins and cover them so that we can live eternally with God and that is super natural unconditional love and that is what he has called us to.
When I gave my life to Jesus, I thought I loved my daughter. At that time, I was not married at the time, and my daughter was about two or three years old and I gave my life to Christ and I thought that I loved her but then when I really studied the scripture and fell in love with Jesus, it deepened my love so much so if you guys are seeking out there and you just kind of going through the motions and with your family and everything like that, I really encourage you guys to look into the scriptures to seek after God and your savior and is really going to teach you guys what love is and it is an action. The feelings follow. Have you ever been, with your wife or your family, and you just did not feel like doing lovey things?
You did not feel like writing them a little note or go on a date with your wife or spouse and then all of a sudden you do that and you do these certain things and then after you do them, how do you feel? You feel a love for them. The feelings come later but the actions come first. Act out the action of love like Jesus did. With that, we are going to go to our meat and potatoes of the show, in our interview with the one and only Airbnb princess, goddess, Elizabeth Sickles.
Brett: Alright, guys. We are so excited for today’s guest. We are with the one and only Elizabeth Maora Sickles from your local Indianapolis market. I am so excited for this interview with Elizabeth because she does something a little bit different. She has gotten into these short term rental game of Airbnb, that is what we are going to really focus on today. But about a year and a half ago, Elizabeth decided to leave the corporate world in Michigan after 15 years and she had no clue what she was going to do so she came out to India for one month as an internship for an investment company and after a week she decided she was going to move here and start her business with a couple of rental properties. Over a year ago she has not looked back and now she is getting into the amazing, the beautiful just like she is, Airbnb market. We are so excited have you on today’s show, Elizabeth. How are you?
Brian: I am awesome. Thanks, it is great to be here.
Brett: Definitely, definitely. We are super excited and Brian is too as I know you guys had been talking a lot up to this show. We are just going to kind of start off with your origin story. Tell us about this corporate background that you are from and how did you get into Airbnb short term investing?
Brian: Okay, sure. I am a farm girl from the east side of Indiana. When I graduated, I am an engineering undergrad on Purdue, a boiler. When I graduated I said I am getting out of here and never had any plans at all on moving back to Indiana, let alone Indianapolis. I traveled the world with the different companies that I worked for, worked with some amazing teams. Then in July of 2016 I said I am out of here. It has been quite an adventure ever since.
Brett: That is so cool, that is so cool. Tell us about you decided to move back to Indianapolis and you actually come from, actually they used to call you maybe the executive goddess because you are from the corporate world, but tell us about how did you and why did you kind of get into this business and tell us about your move back to Indianapolis? What do you do from there and then now you are crushing it? You do your own meet up right here and all these different cool things. I see you all the time at the local networking CIREIA events. Tell us about that? How did you get in this business and why did you choose Airbnb?
Brian: Okay, sure. I had started taking classes through one of Robert Kiyosaki’s company, Elite Education, and they do real estate classes every month in different locations. That was in January of 2016. When I left corporate in July, I did not know if I wanted to do natural health or real estate. When I came here for the internship in November, just clearly real estate was where it was and especially in Indianapolis which is it is just an amazing city and low cost of living. Just running the numbers, it made sense to come here.
Then the real estate side, I got into Airbnb because when I left corporate, I was traveling for six months trying to figure out what I was going to do. One of my friends said that hey you should Airbnb your condo. That is how I started and I actually hired a superhost to come in and tell me. I knew there was something with Airbnb on being a super host but he was a superhost. He came to my house and told me everything I needed to do and was able to make super host the first time and I love hosting people and showing them my city. If you told me a year ago I would be running this business, I would have said you are crazy because I did not even know I was going to be doing this. Really kind of the end of last year.
Brian: Very cool. Hey, can you tell us a little bit more about what is superhost?
Brian: Sure. Only 5% of hosts in the world are superhost on Airbnb. Just to kind of put that in perspective, there are over four million listings on Airbnb and their four criteria to be a superhost. Number one is that you have 90% response rate, you do not cancel any reservations, you have five star reviews 80% at the time, you have to have hosted 10 trips within a three month time period.
Brett: Wow. Your company actually qualified for this superhost qualifications?
Brian: Yes. So far, we are maintaining our superhost status which it might sound really easy but sometimes you are dealing with some real special people and they do not always leave accurate reviews.
Brian: That is awesome. That is great for you guys.
Brian: We know you are doing the Airbnb and stuff, is there any other types of real estate investing that you are involved in?
Brian: Yes. I have couple of traditional rentals that I am actually turning those into Airbnb and the April-May time period of this month, I do some owners financing for mobile homes. I am involved with a fund where we raise capital other investors for projects right here in Indianapolis and then also I am partnered in the lease options and buy. Then I do have a farm on the east side of the state. I have a affordable housing non- profit.
Brett: Is there anything else? Partners and a pair of tree you want to add to that?
Brian: I like how she left her corporate world to like calm down a little bit and settle down.
Brett: That is a lot of stuff. I am always talking about focus on the one thing and you are talking about Airbnb and a farm.
Brian: That is right. If we have met super ease and we know she is jut like high energy, like just a fun loving person and she is all about like just hey let us get it and let us do this. I can definitely see you being involved in all this stuff. Very cool.
Brett: Definitely. How long have you been in Indianapolis? You decided to come to Indianapolis, again, tell our audience. I am probably a biased opinion, we are talking to people from all over the nation, from Texas, California, wherever, and which some of those markets are huge Airbnb markets. When I think about Airbnb, I am thinking about one of the forts in Florida or in San Diego or Phoenix, Arizona or some of those cities but you chose Indianapolis. I guess what is the reason why you have chosen Indianapolis for this particular niche? I know you do a lot of different things but how I know you is really kind of focused on this short term rental Airbnb. Why did you choose Indianapolis? What is so great in Indianapolis that really does well with this Airbnb.
Brian: There is a lot of things. Indie is becoming known as kind of this tech hub. You are attracting all generations, the younger and the older, and we are becoming a real little foodie scene. We have got Milk Tooth, we have Tinker Street, festive Indie and then we have chefs coming here. Elon Musk’s brother is opening up a restaurant as well. You have this whole undercurrents for that whole industry.
We are also ranked number ten in Forbes for one of the top cities for young professionals, for the tech growth and for job growth. We were ranked in the top ten for Kiplinger’s because to start a new business and then fullest we were ranked number three for downtowns because Indi has so much to offer. We have the food scene, we have the nightlife scene. We are so easy to get around. We do not have the congestion that they do in the Dallas and the Atlanta and those area in Chicago. Our cost of living is so extremely low. My house of living decreased about 15% moving here from Ann Arbor, Michigan and that is huge.
Brett: Wow. I thought Michigan was not really that… I thought that was pretty fordable too. My wife is from Michigan. I call it the armpit of the United States, she would not like that.
Brian: Guys, you can say whatever you want about Michigan. I know that you have four Airbnb right now, correct?
Brian: Can you tell us a little about those? Maybe what they are like, maybe who they attract, who they rent to and stuff?
Brian: Yes, sure. We have properties in the hotspot of down fountain square and also and then also in Rocky Ripple. One of the things that we have found really interesting is for our downtown location about 60% of our guests are actually local. These are people, we actually just had a booking for this coming weekend from a couple in McCordsville because they just want to check out downtown. One of the things that, since we are on the shortlist for Amazon’s second headquarters, is we have got so much great press from that that people want to check us out. We think we are getting a lot of ancillary requests for that as well.
Brett: That is cool. I never thought about a local person renting out in Airbnb but I live in Cicero, Indiana and my friends that live near downtown Minneapolis say they have to bring in an overnight bag to visit me because it is all the way up here in Cicero which is not far but it is a good 50 minute plus fighting traffic and all these different things. Me and my wife like I love downtown but we never go and that is a big reason is because it is just a fight. But to get something cool like an Airbnb and kind of get that whole experience, that is amazing.
Brian: Well, there you go. There is your next level. Do a little staycation.
Brett: That is right.
Brian: Also we have had several bachelorette parties. Let me just say we do not host parties but the ladies were congregating to celebrate like that in our houses. Most of those they were actually from the north side of Indi. It is great for that. We have a guest coming out in April, they are from Colorado but their aunt lives around the corner in Fountain Square. Airbnb,whenever you go to make a reservation, you typically tell the host why you are coming. He said, ‘My aunt is going to be so happy that we are staying around the corner from her.’
Brian: Yes. That is just another perspective that I did not think of either but it is one of the things that make sure that rentals are so cool.
Brian: Very cool. Does your Airbnb, do they have a theme or like a name you got to stick to for each different one?
Brian: Absolutely. We are all out themes because people want an experience. We have sophisticated minimalist, chic euro oasis which the interior is all black and it is very classy and yes we have a lot if it is on that one. We have a charmed cottage. Yes, we have…
Brian: We have a fun time theme in the houses.
Brett: Those are pretty cool names. Do you have one called The Animal House?
Brian: That is the party house, right?
Brett: Yes. We are going to rent that out for the whole Simple Wholesaling team to go downtown.
Brian: We are pretty wild. We are very animal house stylish.
Brett: That sounds good. I really want you to sell people on why would a real estate investor get into Airbnb because I am going to play the devil’s advocate here and so you have mentioned some of the benefits of an Airbnb but my questions are when I think about an Airbnb, I think about a lot of turnover, a lot of time you got people coming in for like a night and then you have to clean up the place. Yes, you can rent it for more money but that could take a lot of the profit. Would it not be easier just to rent house the long term tenant for a year? Kind of sell it to me. Why would somebody want to get into this Airbnb thing?
Brian: Okay. We are going to talk about some stats and numbers. Number one, by the end of 2019, the short term rental market is expected to be higher than $70B industry. Right now on Airbnb, they did $50M to $65M hits a month and that is just US people. For vacation rentals right now, one in three people booked on a vacation rental like in Airbnb versus the traditional. The industry is clearly going in this direction. Also in 2016, the vacation rental industry was $32B just here in the US. Yes, we are going to see more and more of that. We are focused on Airbnb because that is where the perks of my business is. One of the thing that Airbnb has done is they really want to get into the business side of it. For the [inaudible][26:56], for GE, to get contracts with these companies and it is really interesting one of the things… They also have some type of partnership with Delta. Now, whenever you book on Delta, because I just booked a flight last week, it comes out to go directly to Airbnb’s website and their tagline is ‘Fly global, live local.’
Brian: Yes. You have not even seen what they are going to do in the business realm. Then the other part where Airbnb is leading the chart is now really helping the homeowners, they announced last week that now Fannie Mae will recognize the fact if your primary residence, if you are renting out for Airbnb whether it is a carriage house or one of the houses and your room, you can count that income to refinance your mortgage.
Brian: Yes. They have three partners in that, Citizens Bank, Better Savings and then Quicken Loans. If you are not familiar with Quicken Loans, it is owned by Dan Gilbert out at Detroit. Dan Gilbert is a self-made billionaire. He also owned the Cleveland Cavalier.
Brian: Go Cavs, go Lebron. Sorry I had it in me.
Brett: I do not even know who that is. I am just kidding.
Brian: Also, Airbnb just two weeks ago announced that Kenneth Chenault, the CEO of American Express, is now on their board of directors. That is why I say we have not even hit the tip of the iceberg for short term rentals.
Brian: Brett, yes just to answer your question, one of the things that really bodes well for the real estate investors and why you want to invest in the Airbnb is that your return can be three to five times higher for the short term rental versus the traditional renter.
Brett: Got you. My question is like an investor like myself, I do not like doing any of the hands on stuff. If I have a rental, whether it is an Airbnb or whether it is a long term or whatever it is, I do not want to mess with the cleaning, I do not want to mess with the tenants, I do not want to mess with any of that. If I were interested in Airbnb, what does that look like as far as the management? How much do they charge, is it easy to find a management company to manage an Airbnb rental and what does all that look like?
Brian: Sure. Indeed, that is actually what our model is based on. Our clients who are the homeowners or the investors and then we do the full management. We take care of all hosting, we take here of the cleaning in it and any and all property management. Snow removal, landscaping, maintenance issues, everything. How we work it is that we send you a check by the 15th of the following month along with the profit and lost statement.
Brett: Awesome. You guys actually are managing your own but you also manage other people’s Airbnb, is that right?
Brian: Correct. Right now we are managing others and then I will bring mine online here in just a few months. But yes, that is our model. Actually, one of our client Brett, they lived in New York part of the year and here part of the year so we Airbnb their residence while they are back in New York.
Brian: Yes, there is all kind of nuances that you can play with in this industry.
Brett: I love it, I love it. I am in. Let us do it. We are going to change our name to The Simple Airbnb Team.
Brian: There we go. I like it.
Brian: There is plenty, that is for sure.
Brian: Then I know, Elizabeth, you have a subgroup that you started through CIREI that is called the home share short term rentals. Can you tell us just a little about that and what do you guys cover during that?
Brian: Sure. We had our first meeting last month and that was how to set up your Airbnb. In two weeks, we are talking about numbers. I am going to be providing all the analysis for my rentals and then also just where the industry is going. Our overall theme in this is that ‘A rising tide raises all ships.’ We want to get other hosts, if you are doing it yourself or even if you are managing for other people, the tools to do it right because we do you have a great city and we want the people to have a great time here and come back.
Brett: Definitely, that is so cool. How many people? I heard you guys had a lot of people at your first event, right?
Brian: We did, yes.
Brett: That is crazy. That is awesome because I always think that they are just, this is new, people are not really that interested but it seems like people are very interested in this topic.
Brian: They are and I think that they are here to stay too as well. It is kind of like everything goes in cycles but we used to do home share all those years ago just like in the movie Forest Gump where his mom rented out room. We are back to that same thing. One of the things to that we have seen in our guess is that you kind of have these two main demographics. You have millennials that there is no way they are going to be staying in the Marriott’s and the Sheraton etc, right? They want to do the local thing. It is really interesting because we have some older guests that their whole career, they had no choice but to stay in the hotel and they will absolutely not stay in hotels anymore.
Brett: Wow. I mean it is true like it is all about the experience. When I go on vacation, you always stay in a hotel and that is pretty much the same but this is a whole different level specially when you put the theme out there is like hey, if I want to take my wife I want this type of atmosphere but if I take my family I want this type of atmosphere. You are looking for that experience which is really neat.
Brian: It is a great too. That is what I love about. We stay in a lot of Airbnb. My wife and I we travel and what we like about it is that you get to talk to other people. You are right there in the heart of the downtown or wherever you want to stay in the local areas, you can talk to the people that are running Airbnb as well. Like hey what is a good place to eat or we have had people actually like take us on tours of the towns and stuff like that because they were so… The hospitality, they are so great at it. We really recommend the Airbnb, staying in them.
Brett: Definitely. A couple questions I really want to dive into on this is the legalities and the regulations on this because I know that this is kind of been a hot topic in forums that I have been reading and different things like that and different cities are starting to have different rules, different regulations, have you really dove into that and what do you see the future of this, the rules and the regulations, is the government going to come in or the big myriads? I mean they are probably losing a lot of money, right? They are all of a sudden making all this money and now it is like the taxicab and Uber. Are people really going to put a bunch of money into trying to fight these rules and regulations and not letting this happen like these big hotels? What is your opinion on all?
Brian: Yes, it is really interesting because every city is doing something a little bit different but in Indiana right now we have House Bill 1035 and it just passed the House of Representatives on January 22nd and it is now in the State Senate. What this house bill says is that, number one, you can Airbnb or do a short term rental in your primary residence. That is the first part of it. The second part of it is that it says that the cities can mandate that you have a permit or variant if you want to do a short term rental in either your primary or other type of housing.
We will see what the Senate comes back and says. I do not think it is going to be an issue at all here in Indianapolis and there is a couple of reasons for that. Number one is the fact that we have a very progressive chamber. The Indianapolis chamber we members there through the company so they know that we need to have this because people want it clearly and then two, the whole city of Indianapolis and attracting more business, they have to be progressive and allow these things to happen. I think any city that is forward thinking, they are going to have to allow it because it is what the numbers are saying, it is what people want.
Brett: Yes. I mean definitely I love it because it lets the small, middle class person able to make some side income and maybe out of their personal residence. They might have an in-laws quarters that they could rent out or something like that. I am not saying anything about these big companies but again I love the small businesses and that is where this is at. It is really cool.
Brian: It is. To make a point on that too, for the Super Bowl in Minneapolis, just Airbnb host made $3.7M for the Super Bowl. Yes, just think about all that commerce and just to answer kind of too what your other questions, there is kind of this whole angst basically here in Marion County, I am sure it is probably going on other parties is because right now it is a real great area for short term rentals paying the taxes.
In Marion County, there is a 7% sales tax and a 10% end keeper’s tax for stays less than 30 nights. In my company, we pay that. We charge the guest then we remit it to the city and to the state every month just because we wanted to our part in this whole game and we do not want anything to happen to our clients, to the actual homeowners, whenever Indiana does make a ruling on that. But I would encourage anybody that does have short term rentals to please check your local regulations and taxes and everything and just do the right thing.
Brett: Yes. I guess just kind of getting back to that. If I wanted to take a house that I had in Fountain Square and I say this would make a really great Airbnb and I would contact you, it is not my personal residence. Right now with this kind of law going on, am I allowed to do that? Do I have to maybe pull a permit right now or can you answer that or is that too just kind of clear?
Brian: Yes, no. Right now there is no regulation on it so you can do whatever you want. Even, it is kind of funny, because when I called the Indiana Department of Revenue to set up us paying taxes, they actually waited. It was a week before they got back to me and they even said hey this is a real gray area on how do you tax these short term rentals.
Brett: Yes. Interesting. Actually, not how you tax it, how you collect it.
Brian: Let us go into… Also, let us say that you have a house in Fountain Square, Brett, that you want to make an Airbnb, what is the process that you have to go about with Airbnb of getting it listed and getting it on their website. What does that look like?
Brian: Okay. With that, you log on, you make your profile, you upload all the pictures, you do listing descriptions, you do all the pricing and you state that… That is one of the great things about Airbnb is because is everything is in your hands. You say when it what, when your calendars is what, when the calendar is open, you can obviously set all the special rates for the big events coming in the town. Really, you set the cleaning fees, you set all of the house rules, what you will accept, what you will not accept as far as like children or pets. It is like a perfect little tool.
Brett: That is cool.
Brett: I love it, yes. Then as far as your management company, I am really diving into what you guys provide. I do not know anything about Airbnb, I know how to make maybe a lower income rentable or I know how to flip a house, I bet most 95% I know how to wholesale houses, what do you guys provide besides your services? I take this house in Fountain Square, I need to fix it up. Do you guys help with all that? Like do you help with you should do this, you should do that, do you help with creating the Airbnb, the furnishings of it? Do you do any of that or do you just let the owner do all that and then you just kind of manage it from there?
Brian: We kind of do it all. We have, some of our clients, we actually go with them whenever they look at the houses. Tell them what they need to do to rehab it. They take care of the rehab and then we pick the colors and then we pick lighting and then we come back and do the full furnishing and take it from there.
Brian: That is actually is what we prefer to do all of the furnishing ourselves because we know the quality and the standards that are needed for Airbnb.
Brett: Do you like and then the owner pays for all the furnishings? Is that or dues, that is what they do.
Brian: That is correct, that is correct.
Brett: Our audience, just before we kind of get into the next section of the show, our audience really typically is people investors, a lot of wholesalers out there, and they might be like, I am never going to be an Airbnb owner so I do not care, right? What can you tell to like our company or maybe wholesalers out there or rehabbers or whatever, how can we benefit from the Airbnb market and what can we do to partner and things like that?
Brian: Sure. Actually, we are working with some wholesalers right now because we need some properties in some different areas at Indianapolis. It is a great way for wholesalers to increase their business especially because we are looking more at going into emerging markets right now where it is not so expensive just for the ROI for our clients. For the wholesalers, for anybody in real estate, it is a great strategy just to bring up that whole neighborhood because as a host you want a nice house. You are probably going to keep that house a little bit nicer than even the homeowners in that neighborhood. It is a great way to build up the neighborhoods.
Brett: Cool, that is a great thing. I am looking forward to working with you. I love to come to one of your meet ups and just to kind of see everybody that is interested. I think there is, like I just got a duplex that I think is in a great downtown area that I say you know what this could really make a great Airbnb when it gets fixed up. It has like three bedrooms and one half or two baths on each side, I do not know. Do people do duplexes or is it mostly single families?
Brian: No, duplexes are great too. Actually, I was at the south siders CIREIA meeting last night and I spoke there. That was one of the questions, ‘Well, can you do a duplex?’ I have some friends that have a duplex and it works out great because even though you might have some noise from the side wall but it is not like a hotel where somebody is going to be above you.
Brett: Right. That is true.
Brian: We are upward duplexes.
Brett: You can make some of those duplexes downtown really really sharp. Cool. Elizabeth, before we go to the next section of the show, if you could give, just real quick, I know even if you said it already, just what is a couple of tips that someone who is interested in Airbnb, short term rentals, kind of give us the last pitch.
Brian: Number one, if you want to do it, just do it. Try it and if it does not work out then you can stop. Definitely just go for it. One thing to keep in mind as well is insurance. If you do you want to do your short term rental, that does require special insurance specially in the state of Indiana. There are only currently two insurance companies that I am aware of that does cover short term rental insurance. Please just make sure that you take all the precautions because things do happen.
Brett: Awesome. Definitely good advice. I always forget about that insurance thing. You know? It is just something that is always lagging out there and you do not ever need insurance until you really really need it.
Brian: Until it is too late.
Brett: That is right. Definitely. Awesome. Are you ready go in the next section show, Brian?
Brian: I think so. Let us do it.
Brett: One, two, three, Going Deep.
Brian: Going Deep.
Brett: In this section of the show, Elizabeth, we obviously talk about more life questions, about faith, anything like that. I know that you are a woman of faith and I look at your Facebook sometimes and your posts and things about faith and things like that. What does that mean? How do you develop this faith into your business and what that all look like in this model?
Brian: For one, if I did not have faith there will be some days I would not want to get out of the bed because as you know building a business, it is a whole lot of a little bit of everything, right? The good and the bad. For me, I start out my mornings, every morning I say Deuteronomy 28:12 which is a very powerful verse and also I do not know the whole for the prayer of Jabez but I do speak that over my life as well. I believe in the abundant God and that is what I live in my personal life and in my business life as well. It is just who I am.
Brett: So cool, so cool.
Brian: I know that, I just want to get back into, I know you are in the corporate world for 15 years. I have looked to your position and you just decided to give it up. Like what gave you the courage, what gave you the inspiration to do that and then what advice do you have for somebody that is kind of maybe at that crossroads in their life?
Brian: I will certainly kind of get a little on the sassy side. My position, I was in a very hierarchical department and very much in the box. Actually some of the team that I worked with, we would put the presentation together, and if I was the lead on it and in the meetings I actually was not even allowed to talk. My boss is the one that reads the minute.
Even if my boss did not know the answer, it just became more apparent that that was not the life I wanted. I used to talk to my mom every morning on my way to work and now I can talk to whenever during the day, right? But the one morning I was complaining about work and my mom said, ‘Well, you keep talking about quitting, why do not you just do it?’ That was kind of the last thing that I needed to say. You know what? She is right. Like I am going for it. Two months later was when I put in my resignation. If you are on the fence, again, I would say just go for it. We only have one life and that parachute is probably not going to open and it has opened and closed many times since I left corporate but I would not trade it for anything.
Brett: So cool. People say I do not even know what it is like to really, yes are going to have stressful days here and there, running a business is not always peaches and ice cream or whatever but it is just you work for yourself, you have that freedom. I love the chase, I love the entrepreneurial chase. I would rather do this and fail miserably than work for somebody else and a job that I just cannot stand. I know a lot of people out there are listening and they are hearing that right now and they might be in that place and I think that like Elizabeth said, just the biggest thing is just to take that risk. We only live one life and that is an amazing advice there.
Brian: Yes, it is never too late to change your career or change what you want to be doing. It is never too late for that.
Brian: The other thing with having your own business guys is as you know like you can make your own titles. Marla that works with me, she is our executive hustler. That is on her business card. Yes, I did not get away with the executive by this title when I was at Ford, that little trouble over that.
Brett: That is cool. I love that, I love the title. I think that you are really into creative name just by hearing all your Airbnb themed houses and the executive hustler because you said before the show you are like yes I just finished my executive hustler and all that. I was like what the heck is that? That is so funny.
Brian: My girl Marla, she is awesome.
Brett: Awesome. Hey, real quick, last question of the Going Deep section is what is your why and what is your goal in all this?
Brian: My why is freedom. I do not have kids of my own yet but I have two twin nephews that are the apple of my eyes so I love to be able to spend time with them and take them on vacation and just to live a legacy for my family and others is my why.
Brett: Cool. Awesome.
Touch of Randomness
It is time for a touch of randomness.
Brett: We like to end this show on a little bit of a random note. With that, this is called A Touch of Randomness. We are going to ask you just a couple of questions and kind of say the first thing that comes to your mind with these questions. Number one, Elizabeth, you got an engineering degree from Purdue which is awesome. My brother and sister in law work at Purdue, boiler up on that, and you got your executive MBA from Michigan State. My question is when Purdue is playing Michigan State, who are you rooting for?
Brian: Yes. Actually what happened is we just played them in basketball and Michigan State, my Boilermakers…
Brett: That was a first lost too, right?
Brian: Actually they lost to Buckeyes a week before.
Brett: Oh, that is true.
Brian: Oh, yes. But I actually like that post on Instagram. It was like wait, it is my Boilermakers. I am a Boilermaker first and then a Spartan.
Brian: Alright. Last question here in the Touch of Randomness. If you could hear any animal talk, what animal would you want that to be?
Brian: I love cattle so it would be cows.
Brian: Do you want to do an impression of what that might sound like or anything?
Brian: I will pass on that.
Brett: That is so funny. I thought you were going to say I love cats. I thought oh she is like a cat lady and just has cats all over her house but you said no, I love cattle and I was like okay. That threw me to a loop.
Brian: Okay. They are like God’s most versatile animal. We get to eat them, we get to wear them, they are like upholstery, they are everywhere.
Brett: Yes, they are so versatile. I am sure they love being eaten and being worn. Anyways, that is so cool. Hey, Elizabeth, thank you so much for having fun with us today and we look forward to just getting to know you, your business. We would love to come to your meet up some time. If someone local or someone not local wants to reach out to you, they got questions about Airbnb, short term rentals, anything like that, where is the best place for them to go?
Brian: Sure. They can go on our website which is elizabethmaora.com or Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as well. All as Elizabeth Maora. Yes, send me a message. Would love to chat with you.
Brett: Cool guys. You are going to find that and all the links in the show at simplewholesaling.com/episode98. This is signing off with our guest Elizabeth Maora Sickles. Thank you so much, Elizabeth. Wish you so much success in the future.
Brian: Thank you. Pleasure.
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