Help! I have 4,000 Airbnb Units and I don’t know what to do

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I bought my first rental property in 2014.  A single-family residence in a small metro area.  I put 20% down and was netting around $300/month in cash flow.  Everything was great.  I had wonderful tenants who paid on time.  A loving husband.  And we just started our small family with a newborn baby boy. 

Our goal was to get to 10 single-family units.  We estimated this would net us $3,000 in cash flow per month.  Enough money to both work part time and have a lot of time with our family.  My husband and I both worked good jobs and estimated it would take us 5 years to get to 10 units – each with 20% down.  We had everything modeled out in excel.  We would be financially independent by the time we were 35.  The ability to retire early.  The dream life.  Then I found out about Airbnb.

Airbnb seemed like a dream come true.  Instead of buying a dinky single-family residence that produces reliable cash flow every month, we could buy a luxury residence with the ability to cash flow several thousand dollars per month.  At first, I was skeptical.  There was no way a unit could produce $5,000 per month doing short-term rentals.  But then I fell for it.  I bought my first rental in Miami, Florida.  A condo right on the beach. 

In the first month of renting my condo in Miami I netted $3,000 in cash flow.  I remember checking my bank account when that check hit it.  We were there. $3,000/month for one unit.  I felt so rich.  I could quit my job and just run this small unit. But I got greedy.  All I saw were dollar signs and I wanted more.

From 2015-2018 I ended up buying 10 more Airbnb rentals.  Around three new rentals a year.  I was netting around $30,000 in cash flows per month.  With the money we were making we ended up buying a huge house in a really expensive part of town.  My husband and I both got brand news leases for BMWs.  We joined a country club and sent my toddler to a private school.  It was the high life.  We had all of the toys money could buy.  But we needed more money.  Lifestyle creep entered out lives.  Despite making $30,000 per month, it seemed like we were living paycheck to paycheck.  Then I found out about Airbnb arbitrage.

Instead of buying actual rental units, we figured out we could rent apartments/houses and then sublet them on Airbnb.  This would effectively allow us to forgo the hefty 20% down payment and we could expand rapidly.  It seemed riskless to us at the time.  As long as we can keep the units full, we could make a tremendous amount of cash flow.  From 2018-2019 we went from 10 units to 4,000.

By the end of 2019 we were netting over $10 million per month.  Sure, our liabilities to hold these rental units were around $6 million per month, but we were killing it.  As long as we could keep these rentals filled, we were looking to become extremely wealthy.  Then 2020 happened.

I haven’t slept in a week.  I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  Every dollar I have ever made is gone.  The bills keep stacking up.  Thousands of landlords have called me asking for rent.  I don’t know what to do.  Everything was golden when we only had 10 single-family rental units.  But then we had to get greedy.  I’m so overlevered. Everything spun out of control so fast.  I owe $12 million dollars and if things don’t open up in a month it will be up to $18 million dollars.  WHAT DO I DO?

If anyone is reading this please help.  Should I fake my own death?  Should I run away to Mexico?  I have no idea what I should do.  Please help me.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I hope things have picked up for you and your family.. I need a rental. Where are your properties located?

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