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EP157: Jasper’s Airbnb Investment Updates

Jasper has finally reached his ambition of becoming truly homeless. Through the sale of his apartment in Amsterdam, he is embracing the life of a digital nomad and staying in Airbnb properties all over the world. His next move involves reinvesting the money earned from the sale in global assets.

Today Jasper offers an update regarding his Airbnb investments, answering your questions about the process of buying property in an unfamiliar country, how he selected locations, and the challenges he has faced along the way!

Topics Covered

Jasper’s experience in selling his Amsterdam property

  • Enforcement of regulations limited Airbnb rental to 60 days
  • Real estate market boom
  • Hired broker to organize viewing days
  • Investor purchased within two weeks
  • Agreed to $450,000 asking price

How Jasper lost his Superhost status

  • Intended to block dates on Airbnb after April
  • Dates already appeared to be blocked three months in future
  • Three-month window moves each day
  • Received booking for May (Instant Book still on)
  • Had to cancel, lost Superhost status
  • Must wait full year to regain status
  • He recommends using the setting that blocks all dates by default, manually entering available dates

Jasper’s investment in Colombia

  • Chose because of favorable regulations
  • Currently renovating property
  • Complicated money transfer process (open broker account, provide documents)
  • Plans to document process of starting Airbnb venture in unfamiliar country as case study
  • One unit still available

Jasper’s studio in the Philippines

  • Boracay has become popular tourist destination since airport upgrade
  • Nearby Caraboa still largely undiscovered
  • Jasper predicts Caraboa will be next Boracay
  • ‘Purchased’ studio unit on resort there (law allows for 20-year lease)
  • He can stay in unit two weeks of year
  • Resort manages bookings rest of year, Jasper receives 80% of revenue

The new format of GPFYP Monday podcasts

  • Focus on one specific topic
  • Guest expert will discuss prearranged theme
  • Email Jasper with topic suggestions
  • Future blog post will outline topics covered in previous episodes


 Jasper’s Blog Post: Why I Bought a Penthouse in Cali, Colombia, to Rent on Airbnb

Connect with Jasper

Email: jasper@getpaidforyourpad.com

Twitter: @GetPaidForUrPad

Instagram: @GetPaidForYourPad 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/getpaidforyourpad

This episode is sponsored by Hostfully.com where you can create a custom digital guidebook for your guests!

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Complete Transcript for Get Paid for Your Pad Episode 157

Welcome to Get Paid for Your Pad. The definitive show on Airbnb hosting featuring the best advice on how to maximize profits from your Airbnb listing as well as real-life experiences from Airbnb hosts all over the world. Welcome.

This episode is brought to you by Hostfully, a company that helps you make beautiful guidebooks for your listing. Especially for Get Paid for Your Pad listeners, get two free months of their premium version. For more details, visit Hostfully Com slash pad. Welcome to episode 157 of Get Paid for Your Pad. My name is Jasper, I am your host and today I'm doing this episode solo. I've been getting a lot of questions from people about the sill of my apartment in Amsterdam and also the progress that I've made reinvesting the proceeds in different properties around the world. Now as you may know, I've talked about this before, in Amsterdam the Airbnb started in foreseeing the local regulations that had been in place for a long time but they never enforced it. Airbnb this year started to enforce these regulations, which means that hosts can only rent out an entire unit for 60 days. That's not enough for me to hold on to my apartment and so I decided to sell it and I've actually already sold it. The real estate market in Amsterdam is very, very hot right now.

The prices have risen above pre financial crisis levels and it's very easy to sell an apartment if you're in a good location. It only took me about two weeks, I did some small maintenance before I sold the apartment. I've been told that that was a good idea to give the unit a new layer of paint. Just some fix some minor issues, because when people come to look at your apartment they don't want to feel like there's something wrong with it or they need to fix a lot of things. It looks good, it looks nice and apparently you get a better price. This is the first time that I have ever sold an apartment so I wasn't quite sure what the best strategy was but this is how I ended up doing it. I hired a broker and the broker organized a few viewing days, that's how people sell places in Amsterdam because there's so many buyers, that you literally just tell the buyers, “Okay, you'll be able to see the apartment on these three days between these hours.”

And more than 20 people showed up and somebody immediately decided to bid the price that I was asking for it, which was around $450,000. That was it, the person was an investor, so I didn't need to wait for that person to arrange his mortgage and everything. It was a very smooth process within a couple of weeks we were at the notary's office to sign all the contracts and now I am officially homeless and it's something that I've always wanted to achieve. I am very proud and happy to finally have reached to homeless status and I'm very excited for the new opportunities that are had. One thing I wanted to notice is even though the sill of my apartment went pretty smooth and I was also able to rent out my apartment for 58 days before I sold it and so I already also stayed in my own apartment for about three or four weeks.

During the sales process I managed to pretty much optimize any empty days, any days that wasn't occupied to still rent out an Airbnb, but there was one hiccup in the whole process that kind of screwed me a little bit and so I want to mention it, because for people out there who are looking to sell their apartment, this is something that you really have to be careful with. I knew that I was going to sell my apartment by the end of April and so I made sure to block my calendar after this date because obviously if I don't own the apartment anymore I can't rent it out and I didn't want somebody to book, make a booking at a date where I wouldn't be able to host. The thing that I forgot though is that I already had a maximum window of three months. My calendar settings were already such that people weren't able to book beyond three months and so when I looked at my calendar with the intention to block al future dates, I noticed that the months that are in the future, the months that were three months or more in the future, they were already blocked.

Only the first few months were showing and so what I did is i blocked these three months but then a few days later I got a booking in May. I still had Instant Book on and I still had it on because I still had some days left in April that I could rent out. I was really trying to make the most of it but then I got a booking in May and at first I wasn't sure how this was possible because in my mind my calendar was completely blocked. What turned out is of course this window, this three month window moves every day. And so as this window was moving, more dates were opening up. It's kind of a little bit complicated to visualize but basically every day that past one day, basically the day that was three months in the future was one. No sorry three months in the future minus one opened up. And I wasn't aware of that. I ended up getting a booking an unfortunately I had to cancel it, which is a shame because if you make one cancellation you lose your super host status.

Now I lost my super host status and even though it was an instant booking and you know you can cancel up to three instant bookings if you're not comfortable with the guest but you have to provide a reason for that. You have to message the guest and tell them why you don't want to host them and I really didn't have a reason. The reason that I had to cancel was just because I made a mistake. My calendar wasn't showing correctly because of the settings that I chose and because basically I didn't think about it properly. Anyway so I want to mention this it's kind of annoying because now I have to wait one year before I can get my super host status back, which is a little unfortunate but at the same time I don't think it's that big of a deal.

I won't be starting my new Airbnb in Colombia until somewhere at the end of the summer maybe early fall, maybe September, October and I'm pretty sure, in pretty confident that even without the super host status I'll be able to get good traction and rent a successful Airbnb but still I want to mention it to warn other people. If you are going to go ahead and sell your place or you need to block your calendar in the future I mean be careful with the three month moving window. There is also a setting that allows you to block all dates by default. I recommend that you use that setting and then you just make the dates that are available you just manually make those available. Then you are guaranteed that everything will be blocked and you are not gonna make the same mistake that I made.

Alright so the next topic wanted to talk to was the unit that I bought in Colombia, a lot of people have been asking me how is it going, when is it gonna be open, what's the process, so it seems like a lot of people might be I interested in investing abroad as well. I can imagine because there is a lot of cities around the world where the regulations are getting stricter and stricter and so it makes sense for people to potentially look in other places around the world where the regulations may be a little bit more favorable. The current status of my apartment in Colombia is that they are renovating it. I've seen some pictures, they've completely tear down the place, it looks like a huge mess. I mean the roof, the walls, the floor, everything is going up. The only thing that will remain is basically the basic structure of the building, but everything else is gonna be completely renovated. I've had to deal with a lot of documents in order to arrange this purchase and especially the transferring money from Holland to Colombia turned out to be an interesting process.

The Colombians they want to monitor all the money that comes into the country and so I had to open an account with a broker and that broker in order for me to open that account I had to do a big of due diligence so I had to show them exactly where my money was coming from. I had to show them the documents of the sill, my apartment, a lot of bank statements, copy of passport all this kind of stuff. I had to send all those documents over to Colombia. And that took a while because I sent the package with all the documents and it was supposed to arrive within a week or a week and a half but then it didn't and of course I lost my receipt. I'm a little unorganized sometimes. It's also a bit challenging to carry around all these types of receipts and papers and stuff when you're traveling like I am. But in any case I lost a tracking code but fortunately about three or three and a half weeks after I sent the documents they arrived. They were able to open my broker account in Colombia and mind you this is not a bank account this is nuts a brokerage account that will allow me to send money into the country. It's quite a little bit complicated. But at the same time it's quite doable.

Anyway so now I've actually transferred most of the money and everything should be good so I'm looking forward to visit and get this apartment up and running. Probably gonna document the whole process. I figured having this opportunity to literally start from scratch as an Airbnb host in a country that I'm not very familiar with where they speak a language that I sort of speak but not perfectly, I figured it would be an interesting case study for other people who are interested in running Airbnb's in foreign countries and so I'm gonna document everything. Create videos, create a big blog post, so that other people can sort of see how I'm setting it up. By the way I also have a pretty extensive blog post about the purchase of my unit on Colombia. If you go to GetPaidForYourPad.Com, you'll see there's a blog tab in the menu bar and if you click on that you'll see all my blog posts and you scroll down a bit you'll see a post that's called why I bought a penthouse in Cali Colombia to rent on Airbnb and this is a really long post that took me quite a long time to write it actually.

It contains all the research that I've done, all the floor plan and all sorts of screen shots. It's, I don't know how long it is exactly but I think it's a couple at least 25 or 3,000 words. I also included some information about Cali in Colombia. So if you're interested, go ahead and check it out by the way there is one unit still available in the building where I bought and this building is perfect for Airbnb because the company that bought the building and the company that's selling the individual units, they bought the building with the purpose to rent it out on Airbnb. Which means that you'll never run into problems with the building management because the building his owned by this company so all the people that are buying these units, they're buying those units with the intention of renting them out. You're not gonna have any problems with residents, who are gonna complain about the guest coming in and out so there's four units in the building, I bought the top floor and I believe the bottom floor is still available.

It's the cheapest and the biggest unit but then obviously because you're on the ground floor you don't have a nice view etc. But in any case if you're interested just let me know and I can send you some information. You've heard me talk about Hostfully a lot over the past few months. I love sending my beautiful Hostfully guidebook to my guests as it makes me look very professional. I also love including screenshots of my guide book in my actual Airbnb listing. This helps me stand out from the crowd. Well, now I'm thrilled to announce that I'm a sponsor of the Hostfully host program. Twice a month Hostfully selects a host and features them on their top ranked blog. This is great promotion for your listing and a cool way to share your favorite local spots to a large audience.

What's even cooler is that each Hostfully host gets a free set of organic sheets from the clean bedroom and now that I'm a sponsor, you'll also be featured in my newsletter, my social media feeds and you get free access to my video course and how to be a great host. For more details and how to apply visit Hostfully.Com/HostfullyHost. I have also bought a studio unit in the Philippines. I haven't talked about this before. My intention was to buy three units to rent out an Airbnb. Three units in different places around the world and the sale of my apartment in Amsterdam gives me enough funds to buy those three units, if they're all in the 100 to $150,000 range. However, I ran into an opportunity in the Philippines that I thought was too good to pass on. But it doesn't fit into the Airbnb mode though.

I'm talking about a little island, it's right next to Boracay in the Philippines. If you've never to Boracay, Boracay is the most touristic destination in the Philippines. The Philippines is a very large island group, it has like I don't know 7,000 islands or something. It's one of the most beautiful countries that I've ever been to. There's an unbelievable amount of beautiful little islands with amazing beaches, white sand beaches, tropical waters, super clear with lots of scuba diving, so if you're into beaches, if you're into snorkeling, scuba diving and other water sports or if you just wanna chill on a little island in the middle of nowhere, then Philippines is really the ideal destination and I think it's a little bit overlooked still by tourists. Places like Thailand, Vietnam, those are the countries that most people think of when they think of going to Asia and they wanna go to some beaches. But I really think that the Philippines is an amazing option. But in any case Boracay is a tiny little island and it's completely packed. There's no space anymore. It's so small, you can pretty much walk anywhere on the island I'd say.

It's just a few miles wide and it's a really cool destination but it's getting way too crowded for my taste and also up until now there's never been an international airport that was very close to the island. Last time I went there, I think it was 2013 or so, you still had to, either you fly into Boracay airport with one of those small propeller powered planes and those are all local flights so you have to fly into Manila first or Sabu and then you have to take a local flight. The closest international airport was in Calibo, which is a couple hours away and since the Boracay is an island, if you wanna fly directly, internationally, you have to fly into Calibo, take a taxi for a few hours and then you have to take a tiny little boat to get to the island. It's only a five or 10 minute boat ride but still, the infrastructure wasn't for transportation wasn't that great and then you have to take a little tricycle when you arrive at the island so it's a little bit of a hassle to get there. But now they've improved this a lot. They what've upgraded the airport that's right next to the island.

And so this airport is gonna be able to receive the big jumbo jets from not the biggest ones but at least the air buses and the Boeings, the jets and they're gonna be able to receive them from Singapore, from Shanghai, from Japan and so I think that this is gonna really bring in a lot of tourists but as Boracay is pretty much maxed out in terms of construction, I was thinking about the surrounding islands and the area close to Boracay and so there is another island called Carabao and that one is completely undiscovered yet. I mean there maybe one resort, but other than that it's completely empty and so my guess is that this island is gonna be the next Boracay in the future.

Now it happens to be the case that I knew a person because I've looked at investing in real estate in Boracay in the last but I always get like I was kind of behind the curve there and so I still had some contact from the time that I was looking into the real estate in Boracay and one of these contacts showed me this opportunity on Carabao island, so they're building a resort there and I ended up buying a little studio unit in this resort. This resort has a private beach, they're gonna have a kite surfing and scuba diving school at the beach and it's just a 10 or a 15 minute boat ride from Boracay. The resort is gonna have their own boat, they have their own little jetti, so I figured instead of going to Borocay I think a lot of people would like to go to Carabao instead because it's still so empty.

You have your own private beach. It's a much more local authentic experience I think, than if you go to Boracay. And that may change in the future. I'm sure there's gonna be more resorts, which will destroy the tranquility and the peacefulness that the island has now but at the same time it's probably gonna be good for my investment and so I bought the studio. You're not allowed to own land in the Philippines so the way it works is when you buy something you technically you are leasing it for 20 years. It's like a lease backed construction and then after 20 years you can extend it, so I did a lot of due diligence, I did a lot of research because I'm aware that sometimes these projects end up in total mess or even in could be like a Ponzi scheme or there's some fraud going on with this type of deal sometimes.

So I spent quite a lot of time talking to all the people who've purchased units in the same resort. I've shown all the contracts and stuff to some lawyers and I really looked into who is behind the project, who's the developer, what are the parties that they are associated with and there's some pretty big names in there so at the end of the day I decided that I think it's a great opportunity and I bought the last one I believe. So I don't think there's anything available anymore but in any case the deal is that the resort manages the unit and I get to stay there two weeks per year and the rest of the year it's gonna be rented out to tourists and then I'll be receiving 80% of the revenue.

So I'll probably write a blog post about this as well even though it's not really an Airbnb investment, it might still be interesting for people who are interested in investing to read this because these lease backed constructions it's … If you're not familiar with it, it feels a little uncomfortable. Just the idea that technically you don't own it is a little unsettling but I decided to take a gamble so to speak and go ahead. I think the returns are gonna be pretty epic if I look at the prices in Boracay that you pay for hotels, they're very high. They're very, very high, so I'm gonna be getting 80% of the income that's generated from my unit and I've calculated that they'll probably get me at least like 10,15 or potentially even upwards to 20% of the return of the investment. Time will tell if this is actually gonna happen but I'm pretty positive about it. But anyway I'll let you know when the blog post is done so you can take a look at that. A few other updates. I'm gonna change the Monday episodes that I do a little bit in this podcast.

A lot of people have told me that they would love to see episodes that are more centered around one specific topic, so when I started out doing this podcast back in the day with Jose we were just interviewing Airbnb hosts right, we didn't really have a specific topic and a lot of people have told me that they look at all the different episodes that are out there and people don't wanna listen to 155 episodes. So they're asking me, “Which episode do I listen to? I'm I retested I this topic, this topic and this topic.” And so what I'm gonna do is from now on every episode will have a very specific topic. For example last week we had an episode about Home Away and Airbnb [inaudible 00:24:50] What are the differences et cetera and so every episode is gonna have a topic.

If you have any good ideas about topics by the way feel free to shoot me an email at JasperGetPaidForYourPad.Com and I will be more than happy to find a good candidate to talk about that topic. Next week it's gonna be about hosting for females. I'm gonna have a vet special guest that is very enthusiastic and excited to talk about this topic and I can't really comment too much on it since I'm not a woman but I'm sure it will be an interesting discussion. Anyway, if you have suggestions, let me know and I'm also going to create an overview blog post with all the different podcasts that are out there and the different topics. So that I'd people are interested in a certain topic they can just go to this page and then you can see which episodes talk about which topics.

That's it for now, I'm currently staying in an Airbnb in Taiwan, Taipei. I'm gonna be here for one month. Taipei is probably my favorite city in Asia. It's really awesome so if you've never been in the are I would definitely recommend you check it out. I am staying at a really nice little one bedroom apartment here actually that I rented for $1,000 for the whole month. Right in my favorite neighborhood in Taiwan and so I'm really excited, it's a really nice new apartment in a nice building. The only thing is that when I enter the apartment I was welcomed by a lot of people's worst nightmare, the cockroach. That's not so shocking to me because I've traveled a lot in Asia and South America and cockroaches tend to be around. But in any case I had to remove two of these fellows before I was able to go to sleep. But anyway I'll be here for a month so the next few podcasts I'll be doing them from here as well. Thanks for listening and we'll see you next time.