How a Microbiologist Created Financial Freedom Through Managing STR Units in Houston (EP 297)

How a Microbiologist Created Financial Freedom Through Managing STR Units in Houston (EP 297)

How a Microbiologist Created Financial Freedom Through Managing STR Units in Houston

“Honestly, it was a gamble … but I knew, if I put in the same amount of time that I did at my job, I knew I could make that much or even more through Airbnb because I saw how much it could actually grow.”

So, you’ve got a good, steady job, but it doesn’t light you up. You know you’re self-motivated enough to be an entrepreneur, and you LOVE the idea of deciding for yourself how to spend your time. You CAN achieve financial freedom through short-term rentals (STR), and today’s guest took a leap of faith to do just that.

Azubuike Dike (better known as AJ) is the Cofounder and Logistics Manager with EA Lodging, an STR property management company based in Houston. The EA Lodging team provides reliable services for property owners looking to create positive experiences for their guests, boasting a proven track record for optimizing short-term rentals in Southeast Texas. In addition, AJ and his partner, Erica, offer an array of services for hosts, including STR setup and design, listing photography, furniture sourcing, and a listing revamp—just to name a few.

On this episode of Get Paid for Your Pad, AJ joins me to share his journey from microbiologist to full-time Airbnb property manager. He explains how the Superbowl inspired his first STR listing, why he transitioned to cohosting, and where he found his first few properties to manage. AJ also discusses the automation tools he uses to manage EA Lodging, describing his role in the business and what he outsources. Listen in to understand the services AJ offers other hosts and get his advice for achieving financial freedom as an Airbnb entrepreneur!

Topics Covered

How AJ got into Airbnb

  • Listed girlfriend’s apartment for Superbowl
  • Booked every weekend until lease ended

How AJ grew from one listing to a property management company

  • Rent apartment near NRG stadium specifically for Airbnb
  • Converted to cohosting when got in trouble for listing

AJ’s transition from a 9-to-5 to entrepreneurship

  • Good job as microbiologist for City of Houston
  • Saw how quickly could achieve financial freedom with STR
  • Requires different mindset (nobody tells you what to do)

AJ’s experience with quitting his job

  • Took leap of faith despite fear
  • Motivate self on days feel down

How AJ found properties to manage

AJ’s current STR cohosting portfolio

  • 10 properties in Houston
  • Able to sustain self comfortably

What inspired AJ to add services for other hosts

  • August slow month for STR in Houston
  • Help others create listing, get bookings

AJ’s advice for aspiring Airbnb entrepreneurs

  • Know your number to live comfortably
  • Find your lane + follow people doing what you want to do
  • Get educated (i.e.: market research, podcasts and classes)
  • Reach out to people with property/room available

How AJ manages EA Lodging

  • Automate guest communication with Your Porter
  • Optimize pricing for STR with PriceLabs
  • Check on units and touch base with owners

Connect with AJ

EA Lodging



Airbnb Community Forum

Your Porter


STR Profit Academy

STR Legends

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Related Post: Mashvisor Review: Predictive Analytics For Your Airbnb Listing

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