The “Airbnb Mother-in-Law” Strategy Explained (EP 306)

The “Airbnb Mother-in-Law” Strategy Explained (EP 306)


You’ve probably heard of the mother-in-law apartment, a small suite on the same lot as a single-family home, where an in-law (or other family member) can live while maintaining their own privacy and independence. But what if you want to list an in-law property on Airbnb? Is it wise to list two units on the same lot as short-term rentals (STR)? Or is there a better way?

Kyle Stanley is an avid real estate investor and experienced STR host. He is also the host of the Fearless Flipping Podcast, a show dedicated to helping listeners learn to flip houses and earn passive income with real estate. After buying a property with a secondary unit onsite, Kyle created the mother-in-law model to earn money on Airbnb and provide a unique opportunity for his long-term tenants.

On this episode of Get Paid for Your Pad, Kyle joins me to explain how he came up with the mother-in-law model, discussing how it can be a win-win-win for long-term tenants, Airbnb guests and property owners alike. He describes how to find willing onsite managers for mother-in-law units and the challenges of relying on an individual rather than a business. Listen in for Kyle’s insight around the current real estate market and learn whether the mother-in-law strategy makes sense for your STR business!

Topics Covered

How Kyle got into the STR space

  • Unexpected expenses with first house in Scottsdale
  • Friend introduced to idea of renting room on Airbnb

How Kyle expanded his STR business

  • Moved back to California for dad’s health in 2016
  • Airbnb guests generally in town for business or family
  • Discovered income potential of renting whole house
  • Increased portfolio to five listings in Fresno

How Kyle came upon the mother-in-law model

  • Nervous about listing two houses on one lot on Airbnb
  • Idea to make one long-term rental with reduced rent
  • Serve as onsite manager/cleaner of Airbnb property

The advantages of Kyle’s mother-in-law strategy

  • Win-win-win for tenant, STR guest and owner
  • Increased profits from $1500 to $2500/month

Finding a tenant who is willing to serve as onsite manager

  • Stay-at-home moms + individuals looking for low rent
  • Consider fair wage laws, track time and offer bonuses

How guests respond to having an onsite manager

  • Make clear on listing to attract right people
  • Guests inclined to break rules unlikely to book

The challenges of using the mother-in-law strategy

  • Relying on person vs. business
  • Backup plan in place for emergencies, trips

Kyle’s tips for replicating the mother-in-law model

  • Choose onsite managers you trust 100%
  • Ensure that model makes financial sense

Kyle’s insight around the current real estate market

  • Likely 12-18 months away from downturn
  • All-in on special terms and arbitrage model

How to approach a property manager about Airbnb

  • Use FORM sales formula to make friends first
  • Explain how differ from other tenants (pros + realities)
  • One of every nine will say YES

Kyle’s best advice for GPFYP listeners

  • Access likeminded people and information
  • Do research to expand mindse

Connect with Kyle

Fearless Flipping

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