Last year my father asked me to find him a 30-48sqm condo in BGC to invest in. I used my House Hunting Apps to choose units I liked and set up several viewings. My idea was to find a damaged and old condo in the best area. I chose Burgos Circle (BGC) and went to see a 37sqm studio on the top floor of Forbeswood Heights. Since it was a penthouse unit, the ceilings were high and it felt very spacious. The view was of the Manila Golf and Makati skyline. These features including the location of the complex were what caught my attention. The building was across a grocery store, walking distance to a mall and cinema, and was surrounded by restaurants, bars, shops, drug stores, and convenience stores. The actual unit was a mess, deteriorated, poorly decorated, and dirty. Most people would walk away and not give the place another thought, but I believed it would be the perfect investment.
Before buying the condo, I asked the tenant how much her rent was and she replied, “P25,000/month” ($495). After renovations, I knew my father could only rent it out for P30,000/month ($594), which made renovations seem unnecessary. I wanted to make it worthwhile for him and make extra income for myself. I told him that we could make double or triple the monthly income if I put the condo up on Airbnb and managed it for him. Honestly, I had no experience with Airbnb but it was a risk I wanted to take as any entrepreneur would. My first investment in Baguio called, “Julia’s Cozy Mountain Condo” was still being built at the time and I only hoped that my statement of double profit would come true. I did go through a lot of ‘what ifs’ and doubts but I pushed myself through to the end. The most important thing was to prove to my father that he could trust I’d make it work. I had a good feeling about it and I believe you should always follow your instincts.
This unit was for sale at P4M ($79,300). We first offered them P3.5M ($69,400) which they declined. Then we increased the offer to P3.7M ($73,300) where they finally reduced their price and agreed to sell it for P3.8M ($75,300). I set up the meeting for my father and the owners to sign the Deed of Absolute Sale. As soon as the payment was made and the title was handed over to us, I hired a contractor and got to work.
Construction began and we completely turned the place upside down. All of the old furniture was thrown out, a door was added to convert it to a 1-bedroom, a split type air-conditioner was installed in the living room, the bathroom was remodeled, and a decorative feature was added to draw the attention of Airbnb guests; Brick walls. The decision to make the unit a 1-bedroom was to create more income. I placed a Queen size mattress in the bedroom and a sofa bed in the living room. The unit could now accommodate 4 guests at a time with a door for privacy.
Once I finished decorating the condo, I supplied essential amenities that would ensure that all guest’s would have a memorable stay. I trained my housekeepers how to properly clean and turnover a nightly rental with my laminated cleaning checklist. Once everything was set, I put “Julia’s Urban Brick Condo” on Airbnb and immediately started getting bookings. I only had a few ratings as a host from my Baguio condo that I posted a couple of weeks before. I knew I had to increase my rating as quick as possible so I was happy that the process was sped up by having two homes on Airbnb.
“Julia’s Urban Brick Condo” has a nightly price of P2,850 ($56), weekend nightly price of P3,050 ($60), cleaning fee of P500 ($10), Extra guest charge of P400 ($8) per person after 2, and weekly and monthly discounts. Our average monthly sales are around P70,000 ($1,390) and the average profit after bills is around P60,000 ($1,190). My statement had come true; we are earning double the profit of a regular rental and are recuperating the investment twice as fast.
My father is a very successful lawyer and partner of his firm. He knows how to play the game, he told me I could take 15% for managing the condo, I declined and said 30%, then he responded by increasing it to 25%, and I accepted. I’ve learned a lot from my father and he has been the best and most difficult teacher I could ask for. He never just handed something over to me, I’ve always had to work for it. I earn around P15,000 to P20,000 every month by managing (co-hosting) my father’s condo. That is around the same amount as many home-owners earn regularly by renting out a studio. I do everything on my phone and it takes very little time out of my day. I explain my daily tasks and the processes I go through in my post “How to Become a Superhost on Airbnb“.
You can become a neighborhood co-host with anyone, either solely managing their home or being a co-host meaning that you and the owner will both have access to the account to receive alerts and notifications. If you approach an Airbnb host or person who owns their home, you can offer your services to manage their listing for a percentage. I can imagine a lot of home-owners would like to do this if they travel a lot and especially if they’d like to earn a large profit without the headache of managing it.
For the last 5 months, the two small studio units combined have earned us more than half a million pesos ($10,000) on Airbnb. I’ve gained a lot of experience hosting two condos on Airbnb and cannot wait for my next unit to be ready! The income I will make from all 3 units will support my future investments and businesses.
My advice is to follow your gut, take risks even though you aren’t in any position to do so, follow-through, go over the top, and always believe in yourself. Try to filter out those doubtful voices, even if they are your own. Good Luck!