Airbnb coach Jorge Contreras says subleasing was what allowed him to accelerate the growth of his own Airbnb business, to where he now makes more than 6-figures a month. “I was able to go fast because I didn’t have to buy the properties and put down large down payments. All I had to do was get permission in writing from the property owner. So subleasing is a phenomenal way to get started with Airbnb. But it can be illegal if you don’t get that permission.”
So how do you make sure you’re on the up and up? The first thing is that you wanna be very transparent, Jorge explains. Right from that first call, just tell the property owner, straight up, you’d like to use the house or condo or whatever to do short-term rentals on Airbnb. Now there’s no confusion and you’re not wasting anyone’s time. Why bother going and looking at the property if you don’t even know if they’d be open to it, right? Like they say: honesty’s always the best policy.
Typically, the convo might sound something like this. You’ll call ’em up, tell ’em you’re interested in 123 Main Street, right? Ask if it’s still available. They’ll tell you it is. “Great,” you’ll say. “Do you work with short-term rentals?” And then they might say yes, no, or ask you to clarify, right? So now you have to educate them on exactly what you mean and how it works. Most importantly, you wanna assure them that they’ll get paid whatever they’re asking for rent, in full each month, no matter how your business does.
“Often, when a landlord or a property manager says no,” Jorge says, “in my experience, it’s because we failed to educate them enough about the business model, in order to get a yes. Once you do get a yes, complete their rental application. Second, provide them your bank statements for the last three months so they can see you have the finances to make rent each month. Then the third thing you wanna bring to them is a copy of your credit report. Which you can get at Free Credit Report dot com.”
Only when you’re actually gonna move forward on a deal do you give them permission to run your credit report. That way, if you go look at three properties in a weekend, you’re not having your credit pulled three times in a row, getting dinged each time, right? And then you wanna sign a 12-month lease with the option to renew. That part’s key, too, because when you actually launch your property, you’re gonna see that it’s a ton of work. Staging, pictures, decor, creating the Airbnb listing, and so on and so forth, right?
You don’t wanna have to repeat that process if you don’t have to. So if you’re gonna go to the trouble of setting up one of these Airbnb subleases, you wanna profit off it for as long as possible. So that needs to be in the lease agreement along with, once again, “Your Name has permission to use this property as a short-term rental.” That way, you’re good to go, legally-speaking. Oh, and it’s not a bad idea to get in writing that you also have permission to change the locks. Which’ll allow you to use keyless entry for your Airbnb guests.
If you’re having trouble getting someone to agree to a sublease, double down on your ability to pay them on time, every time. Tell ’em you’ll do auto-pay and even set it to bill a few days early. Assure them that you’ll keep their property in pristine condition; after all, you need five-star reviews on Airbnb for this to work. Tell ’em you’ll also introduce yourself to the neighbors and give ’em your contact info, just to make sure there’s no issues there. For more, check out Jorge’s course, The REAL System.