You may have heard the term "Airbnbust" floating around the real estate investing space. They are talking about the sudden downturn in short-term rentals, and it's affecting investors nationwide.
An alternative to your investment property's short-stay option might be a medium-length rental or midterm. Brian Payne is the CEO of Furnished Finder, which platforms exactly that. This site is a haven for traveling nurses, job relocators, and the new growing population of digital nomads looking for a comfortable, fully furnished home for less time than a traditional year-long lease. We sat down with Brian on this week's episode of Real Estate Investing Unscripted to get his take on the market and this growing trend.
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Brendan: Welcome back to another episode of Real Estate Investing, unscripted. I am your co-host, Brendan Bennett, VP of Revenue at Fund That Flip and with me is your other co-host, David Duggan, regional sales director also at Fund That Flip. What's up David?
David: Another day, Brendan, things arethings are peachy on the, the FTF front, back in the saddle, back in the in-office studio here for the, the next iteration of real estate investing unscripted and excited to bring our guest on. So should we, should we get it underway?
Brendan: We're ready, man. We have a really exciting topic today. It's been a hot button in the real estate space, the midterm rental market. We're bringing one of the industry experts right to you guys. So without further ado, let's bring 'em in.
David: We have Brian Payne coming on the pod to join us today. He is the co-founder and CEO of Furnished Finder. Furnished Finder is an online platform for real estate investors to list their furnished properties to capture midterm tenants. So for those of you that areare looking to explore that midterm rental space, he's gonna be a great resource andfull of great information.So Brian, welcome to the podcast. Happy to have you
Brian: Gentlemen, thanks for having me. Really appreciate it. Love what you guys do.
Brendan: Yeah, I sent Brian a rogue DM on LinkedIn. He was gracious enough to respond. So thank you for reaching back out and allow us to get you on the pod and talk about what a lot of our investors in, in our wheelhouse, and I think just in the real estate investing space at large are starting to get really turned onto is this, this midterm rental space.
So if you wouldn't mind, just to, to kick it off for the listeners, can you talk a little bit more about Furnished Finder, the, fundamentals of the, the midterm rental space and maybe how you got into it.
Brian: Yeah. so obviously STRs are, nothing new for real estate investors. and short-term rentals are killing it. especially over the last two years, um, it's been kind of autopilot for, rental hosts, but things are changing a a little bit now. We're, In 2023 and it's, um, you know, the kind of things are changing a bit andhosts are seeing, you know, just different outcomes.
So we're here to talk about that. So, shifting briefly, Furnished Finder and online marketplace and, and so landlords come and when they're looking for, maybe instead of a vacationer staying for, you know, a few nights or a week maybe they're looking for a traveling professional. that's staying for three to six months at a time. Iit's just another option for tenants to fill, you know, and to increase occupancy into your furnish rental. And we'll go into different strategies.
Brendan: so Brian, curious how does one get into the midterm rental marketplace? it, it seems a very niche topic, very, specific area of real estate. How did you find yourself into a co-founder position with Furnished Finder?
Brian: Okay. So yeah, going back to say 2012, 2014, the company was founded in 2014 and I was looking for an option. I was working as a rep for Boston Scientific, which is a great company, but I had a lot of access to healthcare travelers. I was also a landlord, so it was. Kind of interesting where we're doing late cases in the cath lab,ER OR, and then we're, I'm also renting to them as well.
Also, it was great place to find tenants as well. Some people will just shack up in a hotel and they go, really? Oh, come on. You don't have to shack up in a hotel. I've got a great two bedroom, one bath waiting for you. You can move in tonight. So, um, yeah, self-serving, but um, was definitely able to find a lot of tenants that way.
So, That was us. That was who we were. of course we did, Airbnb and VERBO early on. But our focus was always the monthly traveler. Cause I had a job. Right. So for us, it was the sweet spot. and then it evolved from there. We said, well, you know, okay, great. We've got 12 units. We are in California.
Texas primarily. And it was going great, but you're only, you know for, for us it was like, hey, there's a bigger play here. And so we decided to kind of take our stab at building a platform specifically for midterm rentals cuz we figured, hey, if people like us, landlords like us, were really interested in trying to find this type of tenant. There had to have been a lot of others.
David: So that makes a ton of sense. Who do you find is, like what's, what's the biggest growing segment of that midterm rental market? Right? I think you mentioned kind of the travel nurse, the travel healthcare professional. Are you finding that, you know, as there are more of these midterm rentals becoming available, that more people are catching on with some of these travel jobs, some of these careers that require, you know, maybe contract work stays in a certain area for three to six months. Are you seeing some of those professions turn more toward the midterm rental in, in this kind of gaining steam?
Brian: Yeah, absolutely. Without a doubt. I mean, healthcare has, we hitched our wagon early to healthcare and because that's what we knew. and then as we started to get more popular, and higher, SEO ranking and such. we just had a lot of other industries track us down and say, Hey, we want to use your inventory too.
Hey, can we use your inventory? Um, and so healthcare travelers are now al, although they're increasing more than ever, only about half of our. Ourtraveler volume and the other half is, you know, I would saylike real estate. It could bea buyer or seller. It could be a relocation, right? It could be somebody, that's building a property and needs a place for three to six months.
obviously digital nomads, digital nomads are, have increased even since last year. it's up over a hundred percent overfrom 2019like 17 million people in the United States. you know, identify as a digital nomad. So that is, um, another increasing tenant population that's kind of, the funnels here at Furnish Minder.
we have everybody else, like you'd mentioned, Engineers, contractors, professors, I, you knowanybody who's looking for, a monthly furnish rental, are usually ending up on Furnished Finder.
David: I'm curious about that term you used, cuz I haven't heard it before. digital nomad, what is that?
Brian: Yeah, digital nomad, I would imagine. I mean, you mentioned, hey, we're back in the office, but, if you're like anybody else that you know, the office term could mean, um, hey, you're back at your home office. So there are a ton of people that are working remotely. And ever since even before the pandemic, but even now, it's just war widely accepted.
so companies are being forced with the. conundrum of saying, Hey, either we need to get on board and adopt, a remote work slash digital nomad program, or we might be missing out on some of the top talent because the, the mind, the mindset of the employee has changed and really they're holding a lot of cards and a lot of people are saying, I will only work remotely.
You know, we proved it during the pandemic that we could grow our business, remotely. Furnished Finder's, a hundred percent remote company, and we grew leaps and bounds four x in 2022. and we're a hundred percent remote with over 125 people, so it can be done. people are out there I believe you guys are primarily remote too, right?
Brendan: a large portion of our technology and product team are, are remote and we have a good chunk of our staff also in Cleveland. But I think to your point, Brian, we're seeing that in the post covid era. The remote work people who maybe have California based company jobs that are making California salaries that may live in Midwest City and to your point, are traveling aroundstate to state and are staying in different furnace rentals or long-term rentals just to kind of explore while they're.
Brian: They're also buying too, like a quarter of the home buyers that were relocating last year in 2022. Well, Q4 2022. they were inspired by remote. Work possibilities, you know, they're, they're doing it because of relocation. it, yeah, it may start at the, the buy-in, but it's definitely trickling down to rentals and furnish rentals, of course.
Brendan: In addition to the healthcare space and also the. More working professional space. One other segment that I've noticed, and I'm curious to get your take on this, Brian, if you guys have seen this as well, are interns. I've actually had quite a few people reach out on one of anan Airbnb that I have in Cleveland that said, Hey, wondering if maybe your Airbnb is a little bit slower because it's winter in Cleveland and not many people wanna come here during that time.
And we had people that have internships at some of the local, Companies and workforces nearby. They're not looking to move into a space and spend five to 10 grand to get a, a couch, a tv, a bed, all these things. So we're seeing that as a population as well, and I'm sure that's much more popular in the summer months when internships tend to spike. Do you guys see that as a segment of client base on, on furnace
Brian: Yeah, without a doubt. I mean, we, we truly have it all when it comes to interns or students or, you know, whatever reason could be military, again, relocation for whatever reason, relocation's kind of the archingterm, but, Yeah, whatever is bringing you to Cleveland, KC, Nashville, San Jose, wherever, at that point you're gonna need to find a place to live.
So, yeah, I mean, it is different. Like, yeah, obviously there's a been a lot of it layoffs and you know, some of those interns are maybe forced with getting a new job or such, but, you know, that's real kind of a, a short termpain point in it. but overall, You know, monthly furnished housing, the demand has never been higher.
And you mentioned something about, hey, you know, maybe we're slower. We're in the, we're in the off season, shoulder season, something like that. Um, I think Airbnb hosts are, really have to look at things, a little bit differently here in 2023 and maybe do things a little bit differently because their inventory on our platform and other platforms, including Airbnb, especially Airbnb, is off the charts. So you're competing against all other, all this new inventory. So if you're gonna do the same thing you did last year, it may not yield the same type of results. so you know, we're recommending, hey, diversify a little bit and we're one of those options for landlords to diversify.
Like, you don't have to run back to the 12 month unfurnished, you know, there's an option. And, you know, in addition to the competition, you know, I think that's definitely on the host's mind about, hey, there's a ton of competition in my area. How am I gonna stand out? and, you know, how am I going to operate differently?
What am I gonna do differently in a, in a downturn? But the other thing is, what about all the short term rental regulations that are popping up? I mean, if you've got a Google alert for short term rental, you're going to see every week, if not more, you're gonna see a new city. Enacted a, a new rule, um, that is just making it more difficult onshort-term rental hosts.
So at some point we're, we're saying, Hey, again, don't, you don't have to tuck your tail and run back to the 12 month unfurnished model. You know, you can just, list on a midterm rental platform like furnish miner, and you can get these types of travelers that are, that are looking to stay from months on end.
And, there's really nothing else you really need to do because your property's already furnished. It's already ready, you're. say you're already operating as a short-term rental host, or maybe you're just looking to get into mid-term rentals to begin with. again, for us it was the sweet spot.
You know, simply because they're staying for 90 days at a time, 120 days at a time. That means I only need to get my cleaning crew in there three to four times a year. That's fantastic. You know, in terms of quality life,
David: So Brian, I got a question about that. Do you find that the localities are getting smart on differentiating between a short-term rental and a mid-term rental? Or do you find that some of your clients, some of the landlords that are in these midterm rentals are, are facing a hard time from some of these, these local government bodies on like, Hey, we're, we're kind of lumping you into that short-term rental category, even though you're in that 30 to 90 day space or, or longer. Um, what do you see in there?
Brian: Yeah, I mean, I would, I can't speak for every indu or every area, but traditionally what I'm seeing is they're defining short term rentals as 30 days or less primarily. you know, you're looking to list on Furnished Finder because you're looking to grab a tenant that is looking to stay 1, 3, 6 months at a time.
So it really, it lends a little bit closer to the long-term rental in terms of regulations where there pretty much isn't any right. Um, as opposed to short-term. So I think, and feel free to prove me wrong, I'd love to see case studies, but our business model primarily allows you to circumvent a lot of those short-term rental regulations.
Brendan: Brian question on the economics of short-term versus midterm versus long-term. Cuz we probably have a good chunk of our borrowers listening right now that are saying, Hey, I'm a 12 month only landlord. Or, Hey, I'm an Airbnb only landlord. Short-term. In my mind there's, there's a continuum of profit and effort and I think that these three categories kind of fall on the continuum.
You have Airbnb that's a little bit higher on the effort side, like you mentioned, higher turnover every. Two to seven days, but there's higher profit because you're able to charge a premium for nightly rate. Long-term is on the flip side, you have to turn it over once a year. You have a couple maintenance calls, maybe once a quarter, depending on the condition of the property, but your profit's much lower just given that it's a more market rent for the area.
I think where Furnished Finder and the midterm rental space, aside from the regulation side where it strikes that sweet spot is it's a slightly lower effort. Than an Airbnb. It's a little bit higher effort than a long term, but I think that that ROI from a profit perspective is what makes it worth their while.
Can you speak to that a little bit more for some of the people listening?
Brian: Geez, I mean, you pretty much nailed it. Um, it, it's, it's exactly that. Like, it could be that sweet spot in terms of your lifestyle, meaning you don't want to run your, your house, your property, your back housemaybe you've got 10, 15 units like, like I did. Maybe you don't wanna run them like a hotel.
obviously at that point you're gonna have higher wear and tear. You're gonna have more. maintenance requeststhings like that. also you may get slapped with, Hey, guess what? HOA just passed a new regulation, or your city is now, requiring you to get registered. And there are, there's a moratorium on short-term rental licenses until 2024. It's like, okay, what do you do? So, yeah, that's why we feel that, you know, there's just a lot of, external, factors that are pushing a lot of landlords towards the midterm rental. so yeah, I mean, and if you're a long term, landlord, we work with tons of major property managers, apartment complexes.
That were, before, they were saying, well, maybe I'm only gonna have 5%, um, set aside for furnished rentals. Now they're in a position to say, you know, we're, we're increasing that to up to 20, 25% or more. There are, people are getting very, very aggressive, in terms of the, percentage of properties that they're allotting for.
Furnish for the very reason that you'd mentioned that, look, you're gonna get more. Probably one, one and a half more than if you would, rent it as a 12 month unfurnished.
Brendan: I love what you said about the diversification piece. I think that a lot of our borrowers and, and real estate investors in general, they're always looking, they have a special area that they focus, that their skillset is strongest at, but they tend to have these different side pots just to make sure that if one, one area goes to hell in a hand basket, they have some different strategies already at play.
So I think to your point, if, if you're an investor out there either doing fixed to rent or you're doing. Turn key acquisitions on new construction. Having that midterm rental strategy as a weapon in your tool belt that you can put to work in the event that your local jurisdiction says, Hey, Airbnb, no longer possible. And maybe you bought that property at too high of a price point where the long term rent won't cover your debt service and make you the private that you want.
Brian: Yeah, excellent point. Excellent point. It, I love the analogy of the tool in the toolbox, right? Every investor wants to get in there, and even though they may say, no, I'm gonna flip it, or I'm going to um, do this or I'm gonna do that, things can change. It's great to have another option in your tool belt.
David: I am curious to hear from both of you, kind of just, just the market take on these and, and I'll add some context there. So, I think to, to most people that don't, Live and breathe the real estate space every day, like, like the three of us. This is a relatively new concept, right? Even to some real estate investors.
It's, it's kind of new in the grand scheme of things. Like even I, it's probably, you know, a couple years ago I found out this was a thing. Brendan's obviously done his homework. I know he is read at least one book cover to cover on this, probably more, right? But, I feel like we're in the midst of that kind of hockey stick growth pattern for midterm rentals.
And, and I see it going up for all the reasons that both of you have touched on, but like, what is your longer term predictions on, on where the midterm rental space goes? Like do you think this starts to overtake the short term rental space? you know, what factors do you see playing in, whether it's economic conditions, the employment patterns, those sort of things.
Brian: Obviously regulation would be. probably a fear there, but I just don't see it. because as I think about 3% as many articles as you see in as many cities that are coming on with new regulations for short term rentals, it's really only about 3% of US cities. So I think there's a lot of, I wouldn't want to say opportunity there, but I think there's a lot of room for regulation.
To grow in maybe some of the, the non-traditional cities. So yeah, I mean that I, I do worry a little bit about that. on the short term rental side, yes, it's an emerging market. Um, but, but again, it's nothing new because it kind of works as a 12 month rental. So, um, and I'll explain, so. As a landlord, you'rethat's going to rent a property to saya family that's in between houses.
They're gonna want it for six months, three or six months. you're gonna still want to know who they are, right? You're gonna probably still want to rentto run a background check. you're going to definitely want to put them into a lease. So While short-term rentals is, you know, pretty much book with, book, anybody with a credit card, I don't, you know, you don't probably want to adopt that type ofstrategy with a mid-term rental.
So, you know, it does operate a little bit more like a, a 12 month rental in terms of, protection for the landlord and even the, the, the tenant as well.
Brendan: Yeah, and just to add on that a little bit, David, I think Brian already alluded to it earlier, but Airbnb has been around for a while. The short-term rental space has been around for a while, but it really, really caught fire. A couple years back, as far as real estate investors that you and I know David, that we work with on a consistent basis, they started to really go heavy on Airbnb.
So I think what we're seeing now with the MTR space and could be off here, but I think that we're seeing some spillover where Brian mentioned the market is so saturated in the STR space. People might be listing their Airbnb not getting the demand on what they want. They're like, I can't rent this for 12 months.
What is the other option? They end up. Doing some research and, and discovering Furnished Finder, discovering the MTR space in general. So I think the real reason, bigger Pockets talks about MTRs a ton. They, they just, like you mentioned, David just published a book on the topic. Every investor that I've talked to recently is starting to incorporate this as a strategy.
So I think what's happened is that draw and that demand for the STR space is kind of boiled over a little bit and that MTR space is like that perfect catch plate for that, that's boiling over.
David: Do you guys see a saturation point coming? Kind of like we felt with the short term rental space where you log on and there's no shortage of it and, and everybody's. Short-term rentals are kind of cannibalizing one another in a given market. Like do we get to that point with midterm rentals anytime soon?
Brian: Yeah, we don't get to that point with midterm rentals anytime soon.
Um, I'll, although right now in 2023, early 2023, we're looking at. 200,000 properties. That's nothing compared to what Airbnb has. So there's tons of growth and opportunities for the midterm rental space. And as you, you mentioned, it is very fairly new, um, and emerging as the opportunity.
But I think that's what we're seeing right now on the rental space is, um, you know, hitting that inflection point to where it's like, okay, in 2020, 2021, 2020, 22, It was set it and forget it, it was on autopilot. Like if, if I was an Airbnb host in the last two and a half, three years, cruise control and I'm making bank, right.
Um, but things are changing right now. So the occupancy, rate is going down, your competition is going up. So what do you do? Are you lowering your rate? To be more competitive. Are you investing in experiences? Are you investing in, um, you know, are you being, you have to do something different, right?
And one of those things to be different is to diversify and list on Furnished Finder. But other things are, you could be different as is lower your price, which is never great. But you could also say, Hey, look at all these things. Or I've, you know, now we have, some other options. you know, we got a jacuzzi or anything else to bring the looks or, or differentiate your property from, from all of that competition.
So I could see at some point, and I already see a lot of competition within the midterm rental space. but think of it this way, like, you know, where an Airbnb might get, booked. Well, it's gonna be pretty much ready to go in five days. Right where as a Furnished Finder property is, if it's booked, it might not beready to turn around, until summer.
David: You've mentioned a couple times things are changing, right? what, What are some of those changes you're seeing? It sounds like they're kind of swinging in your favor, but what are some of those changes and what do you attribute those changes to?
Brian: I mean, we're, we're seeingthe length of stay increase in even in short term rentals, over the last couple of years. Um, you can see it through, some of Jamie Lane'sposts and all of his informationair dna, which is fantastic. You can see a lot of you, you could see just the, the average length of stay increasingwespeculate about what, what that, what's driving it.
But ultimately it's not a short term, you know, one quarter, two quarter trend, you know, to, to the point now where, I believe it was Q4 last year, 2022. Up to almost 25% of Airbnbs stays are 30 days and greater. So that's that, you know, the length of stay is definitely creeping up, which, you know, that's telling us kind of that, that we're in the right market and right in the right space.
other than that, I mean, I would, I would just, you know, for. As investors, you're just gonna have to be real meticulous about the deals that, that you accept as well. Um, yes, midterm rentals is anotherquiver or arrow in your quiver, but yeah, absolutely, you're gonna have to really, hone in your, your deal making skills and doing your numbers and, and, and all of that to make sure, that it's financially gonna work.
Brendan: Brian, I'd like to ask a few more questions about Furnished Finder as the platform and a little bit about. The competitive landscape, maybe that exists with Airbnb. I know they kind of creep into that space as well. But before we do, I'm really interested to kind of round out this topic. For some of the investor or borrowers that are listening, could you reach into your experience and share maybe one of your older properties that what the economics would look like from a long-term basis versus how you saw the ROI change when you transitioned it to a Furnished Finder, mid-term rental basis? Can you just walk us through an actual number scenario of what can you expect to make on a midterm rental as it relates to a long-term rental?
Brian: um, I think you guys might even be better at that than I would be, but I mean, depending on what you can get in your area, it's generally accepted that you can get a one x or one and a half x over what you would get in a traditional rental doing, doing it midterm and with Airbnb, I mean, you could probably get two x right?
But it comes at the risk of lower occupancyas well, because you're not gonna, fill it, all of the time where with midterm rentals, it's very possible to maybe only have. Out of the whole year, a week or so of downtime.
Brendan: it. So just to translate that, if I'm an investor in Cleveland, let's say market rent for long-term is a thousand. If I'm doing a midterm rental, I can expect maybe somewhere between 1500 to 2000. And then on the short-term rental space, maybe it's 2000 to 2,500. Does that sound about right?
Brian: yep, that sounds about right.
Brendan: Okay. And the main, the main difference from an expense side between a long-term rental and midterm rental would be just the utility carry?
Brendan: So typically in a, in a mid-term rental space, while you are getting 1500 or 2000, in that example I shared, you are covering the cost of utilities, which is a little bit different than most long-term situations, but typically the revenue would outweigh
Brian: Yeah, indeed. Um, yeah, nobody wants to come in and especially for a short period of time, have to establish utilities and, and all of that. So when you're listing on a platform like Furnished Finder, it's expected that, all utilities are included andthe properties are furnished. of courseother fees. Simple like cleaning fee, reasonable cleaning fees expected it may be an application fee. Um, I mentioned earlier tenant screeningwhich we highly recommend. So all of these other little things, more like onboarding fees, those are accepted, widely accepted, but yeah, utilities are, are definitelyexpected to be in the rent.
Brendan: One last thing to notice that's more of a hidden expense that you alluded to earlier, Brian. I, I think what people in, in the midterm rental space have seen is the properties tend to get taken care of a lot better just given the guest. Treats it more as a hotel type experience because they know they're not there for a long period of time, so they're a little bit lighter on the wear and tear.
If you're a travel nurse or a travelmedical professional, you're working 12 hour shifts, so you're probably spending most of the time back at the place sleeping. So you're not really, you know, throwing parties or, or doing anything that a long-term tenant might be doing. So there's a soft cost baked in there as well that you might not have me doing as many repairs or maintenance calls to the property as you would for a 12 month.
Brian: Yep. And you know, we've seen it in, in our rentals as well. You know, we've had, you know, zero eviction. So it's just, it'spractically a non thing. And I really haven't even heard, and I've heard we've got so many stories. We're on season three of our own podcast and nobody's talking about something like that.
So the risk is really low in terms of like eviction. But in terms of, Yeah, the length of stay and the quality of tenant. again, it's kind of like the best of both worlds where you're gettingreally good tenants because they're there to work and when they're done with their projects, they go home.
Um, and again, they're not there to party a lot of times they don't know anybody in town, so they're just looking to explore, you know, and go check things out and crash and binge some, you know, TV and do it all day. You know?
Brendan: Brian transitioning to, to Furnished Finder as a, as a software, as an interface. So if I'm someone who wants to go list a property that I have with Furnished Finder, what is my experience as someone that's listing with you guys and how does that differ from maybe an Airbnb or a zillow.com type listing service?
Brian: Yeah, I appreciate that. so it's really easy to list on Furnished Finder. And the big difference is that we're a no booking fleet, no booking fee platform. So there are no booking fees. Um, I think it's up to something like 18%. Um, when it comes to, you know, at the end of the day when you're booking an Airbnb, we just think there's a better way.
We just think that landlordsespecially in the midterm sector, they, they wantmore control. Of who they rent to. and travelers don't want to be paying 18% on top of everything else. I mean, it's just going to get more expensive. So we took the opposite approach. Um, it's cost, it costs $99 to list.
So if it's just $99 to list on Furnished Finder, and that's for 12 months. So any Airbnb host right now is going, okay, what's the catch? Because it'll cost $99 for a three night stay, which is true. Um, and, and you know, I'd argue, well, we want to get a lot of. Properties on our platform. And that price point, that low price point probably is working since we have over 200,000 properties already on there.
it's a paper listing. There's no booking fees. You get tenant leads and then, um, you reach out to the tenant leads. So there's a couple different types of tenant leads where it could be a, a direct message or a booking inquiry. That's where somebody goes in and physically goes to your listing and, and says, Hey, I want, I'm interested in booking this property.
Um, the second is a housing request. So, you know, there may be a travel manager that that's working for, a corporate housing company or within a corporation, or it could be the traveler, the, the stipend traveler themselves. They put in a housing request and we match them with. properties in the area.
Um, and then the other is a kind of an unmatched request. So you, you can still see what, even though your property didn't match what they're looking for, you could still see it. And if you think you're able to adjust what you have and go, well, I could, I think I could make that work. You're still, you're getting leads three different ways on our platforms.
And then essentially you will go ahead and secure. That tenant however you want. So it's not a closed platform where you have to talk on Furnished Finder. Um, you can, you know, you can take them offline, you can text them, um, and startcommunicating with them that wayif you would like. And, um, yeah, so those are some of the differences and hopefully that answered your question or partly.
Brendan: it absolutely did. And I, I think what's really unique about what you guys do that. A lot of your customers probably really appreciate is you ask for the specific criteria of the property. You also ask the person looking for housing for their specific criteria. So if it's not a match, you're able to very quickly identify why it's not a match.
So if. My listing is 2000 a month, and I have someone who's not a match, but they're close and it says, Hey, their, their budget's 1500. I know how to make my sale. Now, I'm not trying to reach out and sell against myself for, maybe they didn't like the backyard, maybe they didn't like the access to the garage.
It's like I know exactly what I need to change or what I need to negotiate to close the deal, and I think that's really unique about what you guys do.
Brian: Thanks. I, I have a, a funny story is that when, when we first started, my wife is the co-founder of the company, Lisa. she had a, a two bedroom place and we're getting married. And she says, well, let's just put our, the, put the condo up on Craigslist. I go furnished.
She goes, yeah, furnished. See what happens. Right. And we started getting, you know, contacted that way. but we would leave it up. We would leave the ad up on Craigslist even though we had a tenant cuz we wanted to see the true demand. We wanted to see all the leads, just show me all the leads And then we, we really have a good idea of, of the demand for midterm rentals in our market. And that market was Bakersfield, California. that's where we started. We're now outta Denver. but yeah, so now you don't have to leave your lead up andsay, no, we have a property. When you don't, you, you get it all on Furnished Finder.
David: I like it because you've, you've kind of taken some of those like. You know, under the table kind of backdoor transactions off the table, right? It's like, hey, we, we just become a marketplace where you can list your property and gain traction on it and gain leaves, and like, you don't have to play games about circumventing the system. Like you're welcome to do that. We're, we're just a platform for you to get some exposure to your property. I like that.
Brian: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think a lot of our customers do too. we're making major improvementsthis year to the site, to the flow onboarding, lead process messaging. French finders are gonna be going into, um, Canada and UK as well. So that's really exciting. Um, sometime this year and, um, we have an app that, that landlords can download and, and justmanage their leads that way.
yeah, so a lot of, a lot of exciting things going onat Furnished Finder, but we're real focused inon building our base and getting more. Tenants through the door for our, our landlords. So we're really expanding that tenant base and, and really introducing ourselves to other industries, that ultimately needmonthly furnish rentals.
David: along those same lines, I mean, are there anyyou know, future looking two years, three years, five years down the roadadditional product offerings or service offerings? Or is it, hey, grow the existing platformand, and kind of grow your, your depth and your breadth of that? Or, or are you actually gonna expand into some of the areas?
Brian: Yeah, we're pretty scrappy, so I mean, we're, we're really hands on and, and our feet are on the ground looking. We're listening to what our customers are saying online and, and telling us through the, through the platform. We have a, a big community, of about at least a half a million people, that are continually feeding us information and whether it's good or bad, like we wanna know it so we can improve.
So, yeah, I mean we'reshort of like, um, expanding to the moon or, you know, any bigtype of Yeah, it's possible. Right? Come on. Um, I mean, yes. we definitely have talked about grand plans, but ultimately it's just not who we are. We focus in on, Hey, let's just make sure we're the best for our customers.
and we haven't raised our prices since 2014. I mean, it's been the same. Yeah, it's been the same, um, strategy, the same business plan. just want to get the word out there more and just be a good resource. for landlords and travelers.
Brendan: So Brian, I wanna give you an opportunity to, to plug a couple different ways that people can learn more about Furnished Finder and get in touch with you.
Brian: Yeah, thanks for that. the podcast is called Landlord Diaries. Landlord Diaries by Furnished Finder. And so I would take a look at that and then check out our site at furnishedfinder.com.
Brendan: Awesome. Brian, we, we appreciate you sharing all the industry knowledge with us. Like we said, this has been a requested episode. People wanna learn more about the MTR space. I think the demand, you guys are seeing speaks volumes about how much people are interested.
So appreciate you coming on and dropping some wisdom for the people that are interested in from that flip and hopefully Furnished Finder.
Brian: Absolutely, guys, really appreciate you. Thank you very, very, very much.
David: Great having you again, Brian. I will go ahead and sign us off. So for Brendan Bennett, for Brian Payne, I am David Duggan. Thank you again fortuning into another episode of Real Estate Investing Unscripted. We'll see you next time.
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