April 29, 2023

From Music to Rentals: How Professional Musician Gabe Kubanda Turned Creativity into a Successful Mid-term Rental Business

As the pandemic hit, professional musician Gabe Kubanda found himself unable to rely on playing to crowds and touring to earn his usual income. In a moment of creativity and ingenuity, he decided to turn his extra office space into a fully furnished bedroom to rent out to those in need. Quickly realizing the high demand for furnished housing, especially from doctors and nurses renting for months at a time, Gabe began rental arbitraging homes, consulting for other property owners, managing other rentals, and eventually purchasing properties. He now shares his tips for success in the mid-term rental market, including finding appealing features to highlight in your property and conducting market research.

As the pandemic continued, Gabe relocated to San Diego and realized he needed to concentrate on mid-term rentals. Many of his musical instruments were used to creatively decorate and furnish his new home, including amplifiers as side tables, microphone lamps, and flower pots in their cases. He eventually caught the attention of the neighboring property owner, who requested his assistance in decorating his unit, which he was happy to do. Once furnished, the owner was able to consistently rent it out for short and medium-term stays right away.

Gabe realized he had a natural talent for creating appealing spaces to live in. He began rental arbitraging homes, consulting for other property owners, managing other rentals, and eventually purchasing properties.

He currently arbitrages three listings, owns a two-story single family home, which he has split into two rental properties (1st floor and 2nd floor), and co-hosts six other properties.

He prefers mid-term rentals over short-term rentals because you typically rent for 30 days or longer, you are exempt from short-term rental regulations, you do not have to pay a hotel tax, and insurance is frequently simpler and less expensive.

As a side note, make sure you are familiar with the laws of your state regarding co-hosting, mid-term rentals, and short-term rentals. In some states, you need a real estate license to co-host. Short-term rentals are subject to restrictions in many cities; some even go so far as to outright forbid them. Make sure you're requiring the minimum number of days required by law (generally 30) if you exclusively do mid-term rentals in order to avoid accidentally becoming a short-term rental that may violate your city's rules.

Analyzing the Market for Demand

JGabe searches online for properties in locations where he would like to take a vacation. The availability of places that he would like to occasionally use is his main criterion because if they appeal to him, they will likely appeal to others as well. He then considers how properties in those areas can be used based on their location, such as as a tourist destination, close to hospitals and other medical facilities, close to large tech companies, if there are significant construction projects nearby, etc.

To figure out how properties can be used and marketed, he advises people to conduct their own research, whether it comes from straightforward internet searches, YouTube, driving around the area, or even just checking out what's nearby on Google Maps. Then, take that knowledge and move forward. Whether you rent or buy, take action, list your home on Furnished Finder, and modify your strategy as you go along if necessary.

Going International

Gabe started his first international rental arbitrage property in Tijuana, Mexico, recently. Being so close to San Diego, he wasn't intimidated, knowing that it's a quick drive for him to visit his property if the need arises. He followed the same steps as mentioned above and found a place close to the beach, not too far from hospitals, and in a safe, quiet part of town that was growing.

How to furnish the apartment was an unexpected difficulty he encountered when taking his first international rental. Mexico has much fewer options for Amazon's delivery services compared to the US. You must also pay an import tax if you are bringing furniture or other items across the border. Although the apartment he was renting was actually already furnished, the pieces and other aspects of the space were unacceptably old and out of date. In his conversation with the owner, who was also a resident of the United States, Gabe arranged that he would be happy to manage renovations to the apartment's kitchen, bathroom, furnishings, and d├ęcor in exchange for the owner footing the bill. The owner was pleased with this arrangement because he could see that Gabe had done excellent work on his other properties and was aware that the apartment had become outdated.

Renting a Fleet of Cars

The car rental website Turo.com is another source of income for Gabe. Through Turo, he rents out cars to both his tenants and anyone else in need of one. He only buys brand-new automobiles that are appropriate for various needs, such as a truck for towing, a family van for big families, a sedan for commuting, and a Jeep for off-roading. Simply because a friend wanted to rent from him, he even purchased a Tesla at his request.

Tips for Furnishing Properties

Gabe suggests that finding an attractive feature of your property can help you differentiate it from others and attract more potential tenants. Whether it's a nice view, a notable feature of the neighborhood, or simply a nice tree in the yard, making it a focus and theme for the rest of the property can elevate its overall appeal.

For example, if your property has a stunning view of the city skyline or a nearby park, consider positioning outdoor seating areas and window dressings to maximize the view. Incorporating a similar color palette or theme throughout the interior decor can also create a cohesive and inviting atmosphere. In the same way, if your property is in a lively area with lots of local hotspots, you might want to show off these features by making a guidebook or hosting events that show off the unique culture and character of the area.

By emphasizing a standout feature of your property, you not only create a more attractive living space for potential tenants but also add value and personality to your property. A property that is well-kept and designed with care can leave a lasting impression on potential tenants and make it easier to find the right person to rent it.

Adding personality to your rental property is a great way to make it stand out from the rest and make it easier for potential tenants to remember. Including one-of-a-kind items and personal touches can also contribute to a more inviting and comfortable living environment for tenants. Artwork and decor are two ways to inject personality into your home. Choose pieces that reflect your personal taste and style while keeping the overall aesthetic and theme of the space in mind. Incorporating local or regional art can also add a sense of place and connection to the community. Furniture and textiles are another way to add personality to your rental property. Combine various styles and textures to create a distinct and eclectic look. Consider using vintage or antique pieces or repurposing furniture in unusual ways.

Finally, don't overlook the minor details. Live plants, LED candles, and unique lighting fixtures can add warmth and character to your home. To add a sense of place and authenticity, consider incorporating local or artisanal products, such as handmade soaps or local coffee. While the soap and coffee would be consumed by the tenants upon their arrival, it would really impress them and encourage a positive review. Overall, incorporating personality into your rental property is a great way to provide tenants with a unique and memorable living space. You can make your property stand out and attract the right tenants for your rental by adding personal touches and carefully curating the decor and furnishings.

Securing a 5-Star Review

Getting good feedback from your tenants is important if you want to find new renters and make your property more appealing overall as a landlord. One good way to get a 5-star review on FurnishedFinder is to talk to your new tenant at the end of their first week and ask them to write a review of the property. Because they are still in the "honeymoon phase" of their new living situation, speaking with your tenant during their first week can be beneficial. Since everything is still new, exciting, and fresh in their minds, they are more likely to leave a positive review.

As previously stated, giving them a bag of local coffee, artisanal soaps, or something unique and personal to enjoy for the first week or so can set your property apart from the competition. By addressing any concerns or issues they may have had during their first week, you can help ensure they have a positive experience for the rest of their stay. This shows that you care about your customers and will likely keep them from thinking about whatever problem they had for the rest of their contract.

Positive reviews can make your property stand out and make it easier to find new tenants. It also shows that you appreciate their feedback and are willing to take action to improve their living conditions. So, follow up with your new tenants within the first week or two, and don't be afraid to ask for a review.

If you'd like to see some of Gabe's properties, visit his website www.KubandaProperties.com.

Listen to the Podcast here

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Author : FF Staff