Aug 23, 2019
More short-term rentals are cropping up every day thanks to platforms like Airbnb. But how does one get started with this type of business? And how does one prepare themselves to build out the system that's required for short-term rental success?
In this episode, Brandon Telesmanic of BLT Enterprises shares his secrets on how he became successful with this short-term rental business and how he managed to scale it up.
Automated Transcript Below:
Dean Soto 0:00
Hey, this is Dean Soto founder of freedom in five minutes and freedom than five minutes.com. And we're here again with another freedom in five minutes podcast episode. Today's topic is this building wealth with short term investment properties, that and more coming up. Oh, cool. So this is, this is gonna be a really cool episode because this is something that I've been extremely interested in, because I have several properties, but they're all long term leases. And it's interesting because while while it might be nice to get those long term leases, you there there with the revolution of short term investment property, there's so many more avenues to make more off of the assets that you acquire in the real estate space. And I'm excited about this, because I have Brandon Brandon talismanic, who is an expert in this he is He He is an expert in actually setting up people with with short term with short term property investments. And and I wanted to get him on here. He he he has a just a great amount of experience with this particular subject. And he is the owner of BLT Enterprises. And I just thought it'd be great to have him on right now. So all that being said, Brandon, how you doing my man?
Brandon Telesmanic 1:46
Dean Soto 1:47
Brandon Telesmanic 1:49
thanks for having me on here.
Dean Soto 1:50
Oh, no problem. No problem. It's, it's, it's my pleasure, for sure. Because this is a topic that is I think, is going to be extremely valuable to a lot of people. So first and foremost, give a little bit of background about yourself, and how you got into this particular industry that you're in right now with the short term rentals.
Brandon Telesmanic 2:13
So I am 34 years old right now, I, I graduated from physical therapy school when I was about 2025, I think and I was living down in Southern California, and was living actually right on the beach in Newport. Oh, fantastic. And that's Yeah, the
Unknown Speaker 2:37
Brandon Telesmanic 2:39
Yeah, not a bad gig at all. And that was, I graduated, and I was working a few different jobs and hustling and making pretty good money. But after living there for a few years, it became very clear to me that I was not going to be able to ever afford one of these homes that I was running on the beach, with my current finances, and you know, what I was projected to make in the future. And so, you know, at that time, there was a few different life changes with me. And I made the decision to move back to the Central Valley where I'm originally from from Fresno. And I was motivated, because one I wanted to own a house and I wanted to start investing my money rather than, you know, putting it into rent. And my family owns a business in the Central Valley, a therapy business that I wanted to be part of. And everything just kind of, you know, worked itself out, I'd leave behind a lot of friends there. And that was definitely definitely the hardest part. But came back to Fresno was able to buy buy a single family home at a very good time, because it was just just at the end of when the market was crashing around 2011. And started working with family business, things were going pretty well, I was able to rent out the extra rooms in my house to pay off my mortgage, and did that for a few years. And you know, I was pretty happy with that. But as I started getting a little bit older roommates moved out, I had a very serious girlfriend who's now my wife, and I was not spending really much time at the house at all, maybe 10% of the time of the house. So either hanging out with other people or with my wife, and I just felt like man, I'm paying this mortgage for this house. And under utilizing it, this thing needs to be making money, I need to move out a year, you know, I can rent this thing out for 16 1700 dollars a month potentially, and, and be making money off of it. And at that time, you know, you there's a lot of a lot of news about Airbnb, people are talking about them, mainly in bigger cities, definitely not in Fresno. And so I did some research and talk to a few different people that I know, mainly, mainly in the Bay Area. And, you know, most of the people said, You know who the hell is going to come to Fresno, that doesn't really make much sense, you should just, you know, you should just maybe get an apartment and rent out the house and, and make a little bit of money that way.
Anyways, I decided that I was going to put it as a short term rental, regardless of what everyone else was saying. And I cleaned the house up really nice, got some furniture. And the goal originally was just to make, you know, five $600, because I was still going to be partially part time living in the house, and then renting it out. And so that would help me, you know, offset my mortgage payment. And so I got it all all set up and was seemingly pretty proud of what I had put on the market took some good pictures, or I thought were good pictures. And lo and behold, the play started getting booked up. And, and it wasn't just, you know, one or two bookings this was this is approximately six years ago. And, and so it started getting booked up. And there was it was just very evident that there was a demand for this. Because regardless of what people in Fresno thought about it, it wasn't people in president that were renting the home, it was people coming from LA or San Francisco or, you know, out of the state, or sometimes even out of the country that were running the running the home. And so because, you know, there was so much demand, I was able to put more money into the house, make it nicer respond to, you know, people's feedback. And that's kind of, that's the basis of the business. And so from there, I was able to just continue to reinvest the money that I was making from the short term rental, that one short term rental, and continue to buy them remodel the homes, and, and then continue to rent them out. And in that time, you know, I got married, and my wife was able to bring in a good income. She brought many valuable things to the table, organization. And yeah, just continued to scale up. And so now I'm at a point where five short term rentals and have a team that's helping me out, and it's going pretty well. Wow,
Dean Soto 7:46
I love that man. It's cool, because as you were, as you were actually saying, as you were saying that that the people here were in because I I get to be a part of this central valley crew now that now that I'm in pray there, California right next door to Fresno. When people were saying like there's nothing here in Fresno, why would anybody ever come here? One of the first times I ever used personally used Airbnb was when we were traveling from Southern California to Idaho, and we stopped in this literally like no name, town like nobody, I it just it was a small, small, small town. I did population was probably like 1000. But it was halfway to where we wanted to go. And it was perfect. Because we we we drove halfway to our final destination and stayed there. We actually stayed at that place for two nights, I think. And then because we wanted to go see Reno and a couple other places was it wasn't it was outside of Reno. And had had you listened to them? You wouldn't have got those people who are are traveling from Oregon down to Southern California or or whatever, you know.
Brandon Telesmanic 9:14
Yeah, yeah, that is a big misconception that no one comes to Fresno or that people only utilize short term rentals when they're going on vacation. So, you know, when people ask the question, well, who's coming to Fresno, you think, you know, President has a lot of hotels, you know, they're not the nicest hotels, but they're getting booked and they're doing business. So if a town has a hotel, and most likely, you know, a short term rental will work on some level, you know, people are coming to Fresno, oftentimes to visit family, for weddings, for birthdays, for any event that can take place anywhere. And large groups like to get together and stay together and it makes it more fun. And so you know, the the short term rental is far more desirable than you know, even renting a hotel out. And it's not like we really have sweets or anything like that, that you could rent out in Fresno. So it becomes a very, very good alternative. And then in addition to that, with, with the Central Valley, there's a fair amount of development going on. And you have workers that are regularly coming to the valley, and you know, need need places to stay. And so those are your, you know, Monday through Friday gap. Yeah, where if you if you go have a short term rental and in, say Lake Tahoe, you're going to get guests that are every weekend going to be booked. And you can probably put the rate insanely high on the weekend. Yeah, but who's going to be staying there Monday? through Thursday? Probably it's going to be a lot harder to fill, especially in the in the offseason. So yep, that's where, you know, places like Fresno, or Visalia, or said, you could make pretty good business out of it. Yeah, this is great, man. This is
Dean Soto 11:11
that that's all the stuff that that is. So traditionally, when you think of any type of rental, it's it's the it's, at least for me, it's the it's that the typical where it's a it's a lease, you have somebody in there, you get a turnkey, you get cash flow from it. All of those factors that you that you're talking about, right, there are things that with, you know, your typical long term lease one or two year lease, you're not going to have that as a those as an issue, or, or a factor. Which brings me to the question, like what, what are what? Are they comparing it to your typical long term, you're renting out your house to somebody for a year or two? what's what's the what are the big differences? And what are the pros and cons of each one? And why do you think? And do you think short term rentals beat out? Long Term rentals in in the long run? No pun intended?
Brandon Telesmanic 12:17
Yeah. So you really, to answer the question of do they beat them out? It really depends on what your specific goals are. If your goals are to maximize your profits, then the no question you can make a lot more money as a short term rental. But it's also the difference between a passive and active investment. And so a long term rental is going to be more passive. There's some work up front in finding the tenant preparing the home each time you have a turnover. And you know, then you just kind of sit back and probably either manage it yourself or have a management team, that really it shouldn't be too labor intensive. There's lots of, you know, potential issues with tenants that don't pay rent, and then you have they have their renters rights, and you know, evicting tenants and things like that can be a major major headache. Yep. So that's, you know, I, I don't have any of the homes as, as long term rentals, my dad has been around it, you know, my whole life. But with the short term rental, you you set up the even if it's longer than 30 days usually do the rentals in increments of 30 days. So and the reason for that is so that the renter, or you know, your tenant, whatever you want to call, it, doesn't have any rental rights, so you're not going to get a squatter in your property. They're throwing a loud party or they you know, damage your property, you can kick them out. And that's, that's within your rights as the owner of home if they're not abiding by your rules. Oh, I
Dean Soto 14:04
didn't, I didn't know that. So. So for those who are listening, basically, what you're saying is, if you if you say if, if you were to allow, like a duration longer than 30 days, and not like chunk it out, they would be able to you run the risk of them having certain rights as, as renters, as opposed to if you say, let them only do 30 days at a time, is that kind of what you're saying?
Brandon Telesmanic 14:32
Correct? Yeah, I mean, I've never had to go down that path. But that's pretty much the gist of it. Wow,
Dean Soto 14:39
Brandon Telesmanic 14:40
So, so with, with the short term rentals, you have, you always have to remember that you're really in the customer service business, and a long term renter, your landlord, but a short term rental, you're more like, you know, more like a should be, in my opinion, like a luxury hotel. Yeah, where you have clients that are coming, and your goal is to make those clients happy with with their accommodations. And so, you know, that means different things for each person, but, you know, you have to put a lot of time and money and effort into it into setting up the property appropriately. And then regularly, maintaining it, cleaning it, you know, having a crew really because it's pretty hard to maintain, by yourself, if you're, if you're doing multiple homes, that that's going to help you run, run these, maintain these homes and run them efficiently. So that you know, you have you have happy customers that are going to leave positive reviews. And, and so where you know, as a, as a long term rental, you're not getting any reviews on your property, there's no site that I know of that's going to review you, you know, if you have a single family home, and you're running it out, they're not going to review the landlord, maybe on larger apartment complexes, there definitely is. But yeah, with with a short term rental business, you have to constantly make adjustments and and do everything you can to keep your customers happy. So that, that you keep your reviews up, because that's, that's how you're going to generate more businesses, people seeing those reviews and knowing that it's a quality place to stay at.
Dean Soto 16:29
That's interesting. That's so you're
Brandon Telesmanic 16:31
so there's a lot, a lot more time and effort, you know, you really have to be available 24. Seven, to deal with, you know, any potential issues that come up. So it's a very, very active, active investment. Well, the the
Dean Soto 16:48
Yeah, it seems it seems like you get it. So because it's more active, it really is the difference between like a cow flow and investment from from, you know, sit back and let the cash come in type thing. And actually creating a business a hospitality business.
Brandon Telesmanic 17:12
Where Absolutely, it's, you're creating a hospitality business,
Dean Soto 17:16
and is it and that's why and hence why you're actually able to make more in profit. If if you actually treat it like a business. Mm hmm. So that's really interesting.
Brandon Telesmanic 17:34
Yeah, and I'll say that there are people that, you know, do the minimum and provide the most basic accommodations. And, you know, there's, there's different ways to do it. I'm not saying what's right and what's wrong, but those people are still making money, and many of them are making very good money because they're capitalizing on opportunity out there. Yeah, it's been my approach to the do it the best I can and provide the best product I can because I believe if I do that, then I'm going to, you know, net, the most amount of, you know, returns profit. And I feel like that's what's happened. But, you know, there's other ways to do it as well. But yeah,
Dean Soto 18:17
cuz it's, I think if with that type of mindset, it's as as it becomes more and more and more popular. It people expect a lot more. Because I remember my first time with Airbnb, I was just like, I was just happy to get the house. But then I started seeing Yeah, yeah, you know, I started seeing different of different places I stayed at they would they would have the cure eggs and cure eggs all set up for you. They would all they have waters, they have coffee stations. Yeah, you know, all of that. And you start actually expecting more and expecting more and expecting more. The last place I stayed in Chula this stuff for was doing a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament. It was a duplex. And we we we paid $250 a night for this duplex, because there was because there was a lot of people staying for this tournament there. And, and we walk in, there is no waters in the fridge there was there was it was super small and cramped. There was no snacks and whatever. And I'm like, hey, this sucks. I was like, you know, I just paid 250 bucks. And like, I'm so used to getting all of what you would typically get at a hotel, you know?
Brandon Telesmanic 19:40
Yeah, yeah, yeah, the level of homes and the quality. On all the short term rental websites have gone up pretty dramatically over the past three to three years, I would say. And you know, Airbnb has different levels. Now, where there's Airbnb plus Airbnb, Lux. Lux, I think they called her luxury, which is the highest level. Yeah, and, you know, these homes are under a strict, you know, criteria of guidelines that they have to adhere to, to achieve that. That status before it was the host, you know, the highest level would be that your be like super hosts on Airbnb, or I forget what they call it on Dr. Bo, but that was just more more generated by your reviews, and less so you know, the criteria of your home. But now there's all these other ways to differentiate these homes. And, and people have a high expectation, they expect a very high level of cleanliness. And I think you have a lot of people that probably wouldn't have been open to the idea of a short term rental, three, four years ago that are, are coming over, you know, really want luxury accommodations. Yeah, and, and that's good. I mean, that means more business, those are probably the most difficult people to have as guests. But, you know, you gotta, you gotta do your best to accommodate everyone and, and do your best to, you know, have a high level across the board, whether you're having, you know, some some guys that are coming to, you know, work and do a plumbing job for five days, or a family of four that's coming for a swim tournament.
Dean Soto 21:30
Yeah. Man, I love this. I love this. So, so how how do how, like, what are some of the steps to even get started? in doing any of this type of short term rental stuff? Like what would you say like, so if someone, someone who had the capital to to actually invest in something like this, where where would they start? Like, what are some of the what is what are some of the kind of like the, I should say, like the, I don't know, roadblocks, or, or just like,
Brandon Telesmanic 22:07
yeah, yeah, I understand what you're saying. Yeah, yeah. So the first thing is, you know, you've got to make the commitment for the time and not only have the capital to be able to, you know, put a down payment on investment property, but probably put a significant amount of money into remodeling that property. And maybe you could buy a property that already has under, undergone some remodeling, or just looks nice to begin with. And then you've got to furnish it. And, you know, buy all the things that you need to run the Airbnb, all the linens and cleaning supplies, and, you know, all of that stuff. And, and so, so the biggest thing is finding the correct property. And right now the market is, is Hi. And it would be hard to find a property right now, that would make sense, under my criteria for something I would buy. And the Fresno market, and I would say it's fairly saturated. But if you look, and I'm talking, you know, just about the Central Valley area, you can apply this to, you know, anywhere wherever you're at. But, you know, look looking more in some of these other cities around Fresno, Visalia said, Bakersfield, that, that don't have a huge number of short term rentals. But you know, there is a most likely a need there, that would be that would be the market that I would be looking at. And, and so to share a little bit about how I purchased the homes, the the criteria that I was using, was that the purchase price of the home had to make sense. Basically, if I looked at it in, in three different ways needed to make sense, obviously, as a short term rental that I was going to be able to make, you know, very good profit on it, it needed to make sense, as a long term rental, where I would at least make, you know, $200 a month. And then thirdly, it needed to make sense as a flip. So if I wanted to completely get out of it all together, I could turn around and sell the house and make a profit off of it. And so, you know, it's hard, right now to hit those last two criteria. Yeah. So first one, you can you can make money as a short term rental. But if they change the laws in Fresno County, you know, then, well, I don't want to be stuck with this overpriced home and all this furniture that, you know, I've got to sell on Craigslist or something. Yeah. So yeah, so that's those, there's a three criteria. And that's the markets at a place right now where it's where it's tough, but there are unique properties, and you know, different ways to think about it, and different types of properties that you can bring on the market. But you've also got to think about your proximity to the property, and how time intensive it is, and how frequently you're going to need to be going there. And, and managing it. Whether it's, you know, doing it yourself or meeting with people that are going to, you know, do do the work for you. So, you know, those are the those are the big things, big things to consider.
Dean Soto 25:44
Yeah, man, I love I love that, though. Especially the three criteria, because, because, yeah, I've been in situations where I've had to offload real estate. And if if I was if I did you know, if I didn't have that criteria, and which I didn't at the time, I just got lucky, by the way.
Brandon Telesmanic 26:09
That's usually how it happens when you start
Dean Soto 26:11
Brandon Telesmanic 26:12
Put yourself in the right position.
Dean Soto 26:14
Yeah. And and man, but But yeah, like not being able to flip it and not, you know, offload it or be able to get the the minimum of cash flow from a long term lease. Those those are actually really, because I know my my, for me, I probably would have just looked at the profit from long term lease and from short term, but I didn't even consider, I didn't even consider you know, things can happen. laws can change, things, things, things can happen to where you they won't let you do a short term things. I have a friend in Hawaii, where they have to get like permits and stuff like that for it. They don't always hand them out, you know?
Brandon Telesmanic 27:03
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, the laws, I mean, we really have no control over, you know, when they, when they change the laws, laws are different from county to county and from city to city. And they could be they could change them at any time. I mean, I keep up to date with, you know, what's coming down the pipeline. And in Fresno, I would say is better. Fresno County is, is more insulated than lots of these other big cities, like, you know, Santa Monica, or San Francisco, for example, where there's just such a huge rental shortage, that they don't want short term rentals, because those are eating up places that, you know, people could live in. Yeah, long term. Yep. So Fresno doesn't really have that problem. It's cool. Because like,
Dean Soto 27:51
yeah, I mean, it kind of it goes toward is actually kind of goes toward the, the five minute mindset shift, five minutes, strategic mindset shift, question that I always ask people, and, and now's the time to actually start doing it to at least trying to do the short term rental because, you know, ride the wave when you can, and one of the things that, because you actually filled out my questionnaire, so I knew what this was going to be, you mentioned that that your your five minute mindset shift is actually, you know, doing things as quickly as possible. Can you elaborate on that?
Brandon Telesmanic 28:37
Well, yeah, making the my five minute mindset mindset shift is more so than doing things as quickly as possible, it's more to believe in the product that you're putting out there. And, as opposed to trying to put a little money in something as possible and try to get as much out of it, and little effort, you know, trying to see if it works, well, that works to a certain degree, but at a certain point, you have to believe in your idea, and invest the capital, and time and be proud of what you put out there. I am saying. So rather than that, how you're going to have long term success, and be able to, you know, really have pride in the product that that you're putting out there,
Dean Soto 29:31
I see what you're saying, Okay, now I get I get the the language that you use to basically getting out of the mindset of trying to do something quickly and get paid quickly. But having much rather than that having the the long term in mind that, like, where where you might not see a CA, you know, get rich type quick thing happen. But in the long term, it did you build you build wealth and stability, overall, as that kind of a kind of,
Brandon Telesmanic 30:08
absolutely, right? That's absolutely right. I feel like when I was when I was working, you know, as a physical therapist, you're, you're just trying to work as many hours as you can, and try to make as big of a paycheck as you can. But the big shift, for me with this business was that I did not want the amount of hours I was working to be directly correlated to my income. And so you know, with this business, it's always been about doing things the right way, setting it up appropriately, and setting up the business so it can scale up. And once it scales up, then you're able to, you know, realize some of those larger profits. And, you know, I'm at the point now, which not it doesn't fantastic, but haven't been able to transition careers where I'm managing this business, and now involved in commercial real estate, and still do a little bit of physical therapy here and there. But I'm less tied to, you know, that hourly income.
Dean Soto 31:18
And that's what we like here on the on freedom in five minutes, all about scaling, yeah, being able to scale, automate, and so on, you know, because that's, yeah, that that is a big, big change. From that kind of small business mindset of, of, I'm going to work this many hours, I'm going to get this many clients, and, you know, I'm going to cap myself off rather than building out systems for your short term rentals, and then building even building, you know, sale systems and stuff for your, for the commercial real estate that you're you're into now. But so that so that you have the time to do that, in turn that active active income into a semi passive income, if not totally passive through through business system. So that's pretty, pretty awesome change.
Brandon Telesmanic 32:11
Yeah, yeah, it's been good.
Dean Soto 32:12
So how can people reach you because, you know, rather than trying to do it on their own, and, and basically fail, because that can happen? I've been in situations where if I did not have somebody who was a mentor, I would have crashed and burned very hard. In this in in any type of investment type stuff like this, you can really get burned? How can people reach you and actually work with you? who are interested in doing short term rental properties?
Brandon Telesmanic 32:53
Yeah, well, my link will, from my website, with Marcus and Millichap will be on. You're on your website, they can just access that, and then email me and I'll be happy to help them out.
Dean Soto 33:09
Awesome. Awesome. So yeah, though, that'll be that link will be in the show notes. So if you check out the show notes on your iPhone, that link will be on there. And, and you can go and work directly with Brandon and save yourself a lot of trouble, especially when it comes not just with getting the property itself, but actually building out the system that's required for for short term rental success. And there's not there's not a lot of people out there yet that offer this type of offer the the the ability to do this, I have a I have a few friends. I have a friend in Memphis that does it for a select few people, but it's something that I think is going to be the wave of the future. So you're like, on on top of it already. So it's it. I'm excited for anybody who starts working with you. Yeah, yeah. Thank you. Awesome, man. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. This is this super exciting. And it I think it's, it's this is going to be one of seriously one of the best episodes that we had, because have because it really is we're only seeing the beginning of these types of short term rental opportunities. And I believe that within the next decade or two, it's going to be it's going to be very, very common place to and in your people are going to be essentially kicking themselves for not moving in this particular direction. So I really appreciate you sharing all the stuff that you know,
Brandon Telesmanic 34:47
well, I hope, I hope that some direction that it moves in.
Dean Soto 34:51
That's my prediction. That's my prediction. Hope. Alright, Brandon, thank you so much. And guys, if you want to work with Brandon, once again, that link is going to be in the show notes. And it'll also be on the blog post that we do over at freedom and five minutes calm forward slash blog. If you go and check out the actual blog posts that we do for this, it'll also be on there as well. So that is the end of this particular episode, but it's not the end of the podcast. So if you want to have more of these, make sure you subscribe on Apple Apple podcast, just search freedom in five minutes, freedom in five minutes and subscribe there and go to freedom in five minutes.com if you want a virtual systems architect that will take what you're doing right now in five minutes and start scaling your business every day, five minutes a day. All right. So we will see you in the next freedom in five minutes episode.