Selling the Experience of Short-Term Rentals

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This is a podcast episode titled, Selling the Experience of Short-Term Rentals. The summary for this episode is: <p>The short-term rental market can do wonders for an investor’s portfolio, but knowing how and when to optimize an STR investment is the obvious challenge.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>This week, we’re joined by <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Shawn Moore</a>, the Founder of <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Vodyssey</a>, who discusses how he helps prospective investors identify hot markets for their STR portfolios and how technology can help overcome the systemic challenges investors face with these investments. Shawn shares his expertise on how property owners can navigate these challenges and unlock the potential and profit of short-term rentals.</p><p><br></p><p>Join as we discuss:&nbsp;</p><ul><li>The current trends with short-term rentals</li><li>The importance of location, location, location specifically when it comes to STRs</li><li>Utilizing tech to put the right properties in front of the right people</li><li>The coaching Vodyssey provides&nbsp; to help investors use STRs to their full potential&nbsp;</li></ul><p><br></p><p>Get Shawn’s book “What the Hell Is a LifeStyle Asset?” <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">here</a>!&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>As a fan of the show, be sure to rate the podcast on your favorite podcast platform like <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Apple</a> and <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Spotify</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>If you like what you hear and want to watch the episode, catch every episode on <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">YouTube</a>!&nbsp;</p>

Nate Trunfio: Welcome back to another episode of The Real Estate of Things. I'm your host, Nate Trunfio with Lima One Capital, and we are in for a great treat here today with a great operator specializing in short- term rentals, but somebody that has a illustrious career navigating different investment strategies that bridge from flipping homes, buying long- term rentals and building a portfolio, land development, high- end luxury resort properties, and again now laser focused in vacation and short- term rental. Mr. Sean Moore from Vodyssey, welcome to Real Estate of Things my friend.

Shawn Moore: Nate, thanks for having me. Sure. Appreciate you letting me join you guys today.

Nate Trunfio: Well, I'm excited man. We'll spend our time here on short- term rentals because it's been this sort of buzzy trend and people are searching for more yield always, and so that leads them to this investment strategy. But I'd love to talk about how you got here first, and so as I just introduced, you've been through a number of different realms and strategies, so I'd love for you to just sort of educate us on how that happened, why that happened, and get us caught up to where you're at with the focus on short- term rentals and then we can dive in deep there.

Shawn Moore: Awesome. Yeah, I'll try to keep it as short- winded possible. I've been in the game for 22 years, so it started back in the early 2000s and right out of college, I had a job for about six months and I met a guy that was a real estate investor and opened my eyes to the possibilities of making more than my$ 31,000 a year salary and really started diving in then. I said, okay, this is the road I want to run down rather than the road that I was kind of went to college for and got a job. And at the time I started in the wholesaling, I wholesaled the deal, got a little bit of money in my pocket, and then ended up doing the fix and flip game. I started fixing and flipping properties for quite some time. We had about six year run, that's what I did. And we would buy properties, fix them up and resell them. And at the time I was in my early twenties and after a year or two into it, we thought we were a pretty big deal in the investor game in the little town in Utah that I lived in. And so I would walk around fairly cocky at the time, embarrassing to say, but I thought it was a big deal. And so I'd show up to real estate investment meetings in real estate investor clubs, not to really learn a whole hell of a lot. I was really going there to show off and tell people how great I was. And at one of these meetings there's this old guy named George and he put his arm around me and said, " Sean, you're not quite as cool as you think you are." And in no uncertain way, he said, " You're really not an investor. You keep claiming to be this big time investor, but you have nothing that creates passive income for you. You have nothing that is paying you unless you're working. You have a job buying homes, fixing them up and selling them." And at the time, my feelings were really hurting. I was like, " Come on George." This really bothered me, but I went home and talked to my wife and we started talking and we thought, " George has a point. I don't have any, if I stop doing this today, I don't have anything. There's nothing that is really, I don't have anything built up." And that's when I really started, at least the wheels in my head started turning about something, buying assets for the long term that created passive income. And now being in real estate and as long as I've been in real estate, the term passive income is kind of a myth. There's not really anything that is truly passive. There's, there's less active income, I believe. But at the time I wanted to start building and buying passive income investments and long- term investments. And for me, that vehicle was single family long- term rentals. And so we started buying single family long- term rentals back then. This was in mid 2000s, early to mid 2000s. And if you could fog a mirror, you could get a loan, which led to what we dealt with in 2008. But I was able to go purchase like 52 single family homes in a period of two years. And so we're just adding them to our portfolio. And at the time I was making about a hundred DOL dollars a door, so I wasn't really making a lot of money. There was this big felt like a lot of properties to me at the time felt like all these properties that we're managing and dealing with, but I would still make more just going and buying and flipping a house and doing my flipping business. We kept doing that. And so running down both roads at the same time, I got to the point where I was like, I really don't like the long- term rentals. And so I ended up selling them in 2005. Huge mistake, by the way. If you're buying something for the long term, you should really hold it for the long term. And we made money on the properties. It wasn't a mistake because we didn't make money. These properties appreciated significantly from when we bought them to when we sold them. The mistake was I had a portfolio that somebody else was paying for and I was, even though it wasn't making a ton of money on it at the time, somebody else was buying 52 properties for me. And so a big mistake to do that at the time. But then we went into more development deals and I started getting into really high end resort development stuff. We were doing smaller single family residential development deals. And one of the guys that I went and tried to borrow money from as a hard moneylender at the time on this deal who needed a bridge loan, he was working on this huge resort development. Private ski and golf resort in Utah, really high end, like 25/30 million properties. And he said, I'm, I'm not going to fund your deal, but I really want you and Theresa to come work with me on this deal and work with me on the sales and marketing side. And so after talking to him for a couple of months, we decided to take that leap and start working on this major project. That was not our project, but we were really involved in and having a lot of fun with it. We were three years into this deal and one day the feds showed up at our office and literally locked up laptops, they took our laptops, they took locked file cabinets, were going out and we're like looking at each other, shaking our head saying, " What is going on here? We don't even know what's going on." Well, what happened is the owners of that resort got indicted on securities charges. They ended up shutting the whole thing down and we ended up sitting around for personally, I threw about a six- month pity party. And even though at the time we were making pretty good money, I had sold all of my investments that were making any sort of passive income. I wasn't fixing flipping homes anymore and I wasn't getting a paycheck. Six months goes by and I started losing everything. We were ran out of money. I lost my personal home, we lost our vehicles. I had nothing left except for one asset. And I had this asset that Theresa and I bought, we bought a vacation home in a lake town in Utah. And at the time when we couldn't do anything with it, we started putting it on Craigslist and the local classified, but this is way before this was, I bought it in 2006. This is now happening in 2008 and 2009 way before Airbnb was really popular. Airbnb was around, but more in the urban areas. What I started realizing is I didn't lose this asset. Somebody else was paying for it and I was making a little bit of money along the way. It was the only actual positive money I had coming in. Still didn't really turn on the light bulb in my head that this is an asset that we were going to focus on. But that planted the seed for me that there was some viable options with that. As in a fast- forward a few more years and we're still doing our development deals, we're still starting to get back into more of the development stuff. Not a lot as much fix and flips anymore. We were doing bigger residential development deals. And I was in Hawaii with my kids and I have twins and we always go to Hawaii for their birthday week. And we were on the beach and I was on a phone call and I was up working on a deal. I was frustrated. I don't even know what I was frustrated about, but I was visibly frustrated to my son. He was about three and a half or three at the time. He was turning four when we were there. And he said, dad, he grabbed my hand. He said, dad, if you don't like real estate in Utah, you should just do real estate in Hawaii. And at the time you didn't think much about it. But during that time I was in my head going through trying to figure out what I really wanted to do, what does I really like about what I did, what I didn't do and I started was taking inventory. And that his question really made me think, what is it? Maybe I do want... Why not just do it real estate somewhere fun? And the question I asked myself is, what do I really enjoy? And I loved the investment game and I really loved that resort style of vacation, home style of real estate. And because of that seed had been planted that hey, maybe there's something there. We actually were making money this whole time on our lake house in Utah, up in the mountains in Utah, in a place called Bear Lake. I thought I started really putting the pieces together thinking maybe this is a viable asset class. At that time, 2012, 2013, 2014, Airbnbs were starting to get a lot more popular. They really started gaining steam in like 2017, 2018, 2019. And then obviously we've seen what's happened since Covid to accelerate that progress. But really, that's what got me into short- term rentals and we just haven't stopped since.

Nate Trunfio: Man, that's awesome. I appreciate you bringing us through that journey. And I'm a big believer sort of not always, but everything happens for a reason. And it seems like those pieces, whether it was George or unfortunately just losing job and opportunity, opportunity things, things just happen and it's all about how you rebound from it. And I think that that story is certainly very different than many other real estate investors, but a lot of those themes people can I'm sure relate to whether you're getting into it or you are in the game and have had similar experiences. Man, it's funny how you ran into this investment asset class early ahead of this craze of it, but you've seen this game for a while. What's been different from 2006 timeframe or even as you said, then you further go in 2012, 2014 timeframe and we see this become more of a institutionalized or institutionally accepted investment class more recently. What's changed from then till now in short term rental and vacation rentals?

Shawn Moore: Yeah, well, anytime you're talking about an asset that is going through that inception and maturity phase and really that is the bar continues to raise. And so that's the biggest thing that I've seen. And when we started just having a vacation home that somebody could rent, kind of grandma's cabin, you could go rent that, put it on a classified ad and it would rent and you were able to do it. Then came this time where people were starting to look at destination type places as viable vacation rental places and then you had to have the model home. If your home was set up like a model home, that's what helped you stand out in the crowd. Now we start to realize, okay, now model homes all just blend in and so now the bar is raised where you have to do this, create this amazing experience and realize that people are coming for an experience, not the real estate, not the actual property itself. What are you doing to elevate the game there? And so over the time it's been really fun watching the asset class mature and as assets mature, the bar continues to raise. And so that's what, that's been kind of fun being a part of it for the time that we've been in it is we've really been able to watch that happen just right before our eyes and it's been really fun.

Nate Trunfio: That's awesome man. And I'm sure technology's had a little to do with it, just based on how you've been marketing it. But just if you don't mind, touch a little bit down on tech today and how it's really changed things over the last number of years or even over the last decade?

Shawn Moore: Well, one we all know that, I swear if we even talk about something, our phones know about it, right? And so we're fed the things that we're interested in. The tech companies have done such an amazing job and I don't think that's a bad thing. I'm a marketer at heart and so I actually prefer to look at things that I want to look at. If I'm looking at generators, I want to see my feet full of generators because I'm interested in it at the time. That's one of the things been that technology has done is really be able to put in front of us what we're interested in and filter out some of the things that we're not interested in. Now that can be a bad thing because that they feed you what you want, but for the most part the technology, even if you look at Airbnb for example, the OTA platforms, what they have done to try to elevate that guest experience and the user experience has been phenomenal. It's very easy now to go and search for what we're looking for and find the types of properties we're looking for and find properties that they think we would be interested in based on our previous searches and our actions and everything else. Now when it comes to operating the and managing properties and things like that, technology just continues to get better and better and it gets better for the user experience. And that's why I say the game continues to elevate and it's not just the properties that are elevating, it's how people find us, how people book our properties. All of these different things are so amazing and they'll continue to get better technology just it moves the speed of light it feels like sometimes. But really the biggest thing with it is we're able to see properties that they think we would like. I love type ranch type properties. If you go on Airbnb, your feed on Airbnb is probably full of properties that you're interested in. My feed actually looks like a bunch of ranch properties and things like that. And so I love that I don't have to sort through all the other things that I might not be as interested in. And that's where technology has really come in and it helps us as investors be able to put our properties or our offerings in front of the right people at the right time. And that's really a huge piece of it.

Nate Trunfio: Man, it's funny how you tie both of those together is it's really been an accelerator, but it's also made it more challenging and raised the bar for everybody. Plus it's allowed just more people to get into the game because it's created just more and more clear defined path on how to do it. It's interesting how that seems to happen just with technology in general and in any industry. And I want to get to how you differentiate yourself, but we will get there in a second. I want to start even higher level than that. It may be a little obvious to some people, but I know in speaking with you before you got a great answer on why should someone invest in short- term rentals? What is the true benefit from your perspective, Sean?

Shawn Moore: Yeah, and you and I were talking off camera a little bit. I am a big believer in real estate being an amazing vehicle for the average everyday person to just be able to build lifestyle and financial freedom. It's probably the easiest way, and easy is probably not the right term, but one of the best vehicles to build long- term wealth. And so you're not going to hear me say that short- term rentals work for everybody. Multifamily works for everybody, single family rentals work for everybody. They're all vehicles within real estate and they all have their pros and cons and including short- term rentals. Short- term rentals, check off a lot of boxes for me for a couple of reasons. And one of the reasons I told you I sold my single family rental portfolio early on is because it just didn't keep my interest. I've got ADD, I feel like I've always chasing the shiny, I always tell people if I was a fish, I'd be about eight inches long because I would grab the first lure that came by me. I like things that are moving and kind of fast- paced and a lot of long- term assets are kind of set and let them kind of mature and you got to have that patience. With Airbnb, short- term rentals, vacation rentals, I was able to get involved in them a little bit more and they kept my interest a lot more. And so for me, I can have a lot more fun with them. The second thing is, which is different than almost any other real estate asset class, unless you're a business owner and you buy an apartment or a office building and you can use your own office, is you have the personal use out of them, right? We use our properties on a regular basis. My kids love figuring out what property we're going to go to next. We get involved in and we're end users of our properties. That is a personal use aspect beyond just the investment side of it that really raises the lifestyle bar for us. We have vacation homes across the country that we can go use even though I'm not necessarily having to pay for a whole bunch of vacation homes I am, but somebody else is paying for them with the revenue that we're generating. The personal use is a big one for me of why that you should probably think about short- term rentals. I think that a misconception is at least long- term, that this asset class performs way better than every other asset class. A lot of people get into short- term rentals because they think the returns and the money you make is way better than any other asset class. That's not in true. Now, was it true the last couple of years? Probably, right? If you had a short- term rental last two or three years, it was like having toilet paper during Covid. Everybody was making a lot of money with them. But when you look at a long- term asset class, you have to underwrite it for the long- term. You have to understand what the market really looks like outside of some of these blips in the markets with Covid, for example, in a short- term rental space. You have to be able to say, okay, what does the underwriting really look like? Because there's a lot of people that got into it chasing that shiny object, chasing those really high returns and they made them for a year or two. And now specifically we're coming back down to normal levels. There's more money being spent in this market than ever before, but we're coming back to normal occupancy levels and normal nightly rates and there's a lot of competition out there. There's going to be a lot of washout where people are saying, this isn't the asset that I quite thought it was, because they're not riding that market wave anymore. And so you have to really understand what you're getting into for the long term.

Nate Trunfio: Man, it's interesting, and you sort of talked about that blip because as far as I can remember, there wasn't really a time in history where the whole hospitality industry shut down, which is arguably some realm of competitor to short term rentals, which again enabled people and drew attraction among other things. It's also just really interesting, your perspective on a lot of people that I will speak to and more so people without formal experience in this asset class is it drives more yield, you can make more money and it's not always the case. With that, a lot of people, you use the word washed out, but what are some of the biggest challenges and/ or pitfalls that you see investors make with short- term rentals?

Shawn Moore: Yeah, 100% the first one I always tell people is it underwriting, A short- term rental deal is unlike other asset classes that you've probably ever looked at. And so there's a lot of moving parts. When you underwrite short- term rentals, there's a seasonality and most of these markets, there's occupancy that fluctuates on a regular basis. There's nightly rates that fluctuate on a daily basis. And so all these moving parts make them a little bit harder to underwrite. The other thing that you're underwriting is the market potential because those that occupancy and especially the nightly rates, they have a big range. Not every three bedroom property is getting the same nightly rate. Not every five bedroom property is getting the same nightly rate, even if they're in the same exact area. And so not understanding how to really dial in your underwriting can be it. It can have you walking into the game and you're very market dependent and hopefully you're walking into Vegas and putting it on red or black, maybe it works, maybe it doesn't work. And so that's the biggest mistake that I think that is made. The second- biggest mistake is these properties, if you are going to manage these types of properties yourself, they take a lot more time than most other asset classes. We don't manage our properties, but if you are going to, they take a lot of time and we don't, and then we pay property managers and we pay up to 30% usually about on average of our gross revenue to have these properties managed. And so that goes right back to the underwriting then. It's like, " Okay, if you're going to, you better understand your numbers because if you're one, you could turn into a full- time job. If you decide you don't want to turn it into a full- time job, you hire property manager, they're taking a good chunk of your revenue. It's your largest expense by far."

Nate Trunfio: Man, I think it's a great perspective. And that is sort of the common one that people do know is sort of the maintenance, the management, managing the turns, which is way more frequent than any long term tenant and it can be difficult. I have a question that I can't afford to not ask out of curiosity. You have to have multiple horror stories. I'd love to hear a very short horror story. Somebody moved out and something really bad happened, and again, you probably have a plethora, but I'd love to hear just one.

Shawn Moore: Yeah, it's interesting. We don't have as many as you would actually think, but we just did have a recent one. We ended up, the cleaners called the management company. The management company ends up calling us and shows us the pictures. They take care of it for us. But all of a sudden we saw, and it made me think of the hangover when they were taking, they couldn't find the guy in the mattresses outside of Vegas and he's up on top of the roof and we had all of our mattresses are off the beds. We have booze bottles and everything everywhere. This place looks like, I'm like, I don't know what they did in this property. And it's this kind of quiet cabin in the Georgia mountains and we're like, this thing had, our beds were broken. We had two beds that were broken. The mattresses were, one of them was out on the deck, one of them was stood up in the living room. And so on the surface we walked in and the cleaners were horrified. They're like, " What in the heck just happened?" And so they ended up putting it all back together. It ended up costing us about 1500 bucks to clean it all up. And then we had to buy a new bed. It was about a $2, 000 total cleanup, it's not like it shuts us down. But there, you look in there and your head's like in your head you're thinking, man, this must have been one hell of a party. But it looks a lot of times worse than it ends up being when you clean it up and the guest ends up having to cover that and pay for it and everything else. But that was the most recent one that we had. We don't have very many parties like that. That's actually the first party I've had in one of my properties in about three years. And so it's rare that we have something like that happen, but when they do, your head starts spinning, " Okay, what was going on in here?"

Nate Trunfio: Well, I mean, no matter what sort of real estate investment asset class or strategy you choose, I mean there's always the unknown, so unpredictable that it doesn't matter if long- term tenants on single family, on multifamily, whether you're renovating and fixing, flipping a property or building something new, there's always the craziness that happens. And quite honestly, that's...

Shawn Moore: And they make good stories, but they're usually outliers. Like we say, they're going to happen. If you're in any game long enough, you're going to have a horror story too, for sure.

Nate Trunfio: Yep. No, that makes absolute sense. You've alluded to this, so how do you look at, and we'll get to Vodyssey and how do you coach, how you differentiate your properties and position and market them from that perspective? I'd love for you to educate us on that?

Shawn Moore: The easiest way for me to articulate that is because there's a lot of things that you have to do. There's a lot of little things that stack up. I always tell people there's not one big thing that you're going to do that's going to make you stand out, right? But what you really have to look at it is from you have to put your glasses on and say from, I need to look at it from the perspective of what am I actually selling? And when we talk about you're not selling real estate, you're not trying to promote your property, you're really selling an experience. And so in order to sell an experience, you have to understand what that experience is. And so I always tell people, we have to think about who our target audience is? What are they coming to do at our property and in the area that they're coming to? And then we have to do whatever we can to facilitate just an amazing experience. Then we have to be able to articulate that through our photos and our listing. When you start to think about it like that and tell people, if you went on Airbnb, your Airbnb listing, if you could take those photos and you could say, " Hey, I'm going to sell my property next week." And you thought, " Well, I'm just, these are great photos. I'm going to use these photos, I'm going to put them over to Zillow." Then you missed your mark with your being able to articulate an experience because on Zillow, we're selling a house on Airbnb or VRBO, we're selling an experience. And right now the majority of people sell a house on those platforms. And so the order to stand out, we have to do something different. And this is the way that we do it, is to be able to articulate what that experience is. And so we will have a lot of photos showing the area, showing people that are, what they're doing at our properties. Our properties are almost always set up. And I'll have books out, coffee mugs out, I'll have donuts out where people are sitting wine glasses filled up, and sometimes we actually have people in our photos. You can really screw it up if you don't do those correctly. I always tell people, unless you've done that and you're a professional at it, don't just try to set the scene versus having people in them. But we call these lifestyle photos because those lifestyle photos help us sell the experience. Think about how marketers sell boats or cars. They don't just show us the boat or the car. They show people using those items and enjoying them. We have to do the same with our properties because that's what we're selling. And so there's a lot of little things you're doing to be able to pull that off. But you start with who is your target audience? What are they coming to do and how are you going to set the property up to do that, deliver that great experience, but then articulate it in your marketing?

Nate Trunfio: Man, that's some great insights. I love how you started with the theme of the little things can add up to big results and you gave a number of examples that, is there any other just small little thing tricks that you might be able to help us with here?

Shawn Moore: Yeah, so I'll give you a tangible example of how we pull that off in one of our properties. I have a property by Yellowstone National Park. It's on a lake, 10 minutes outside of Yellowstone, and it's on a beautiful lake there. There's a lot of beautiful cabins that are all of our neighbors. And so we said, " Okay, our target audience is they're, we're going to target fly fishermen." Most people up there just target everybody coming to Yellowstone for the area and the mountains and everything else, great profit driver. But we said, " We're going to really niche down and ignore everybody, but fly fishermen." And then we're going to set this property up to deliver this amazing experience for fly fishermen. I have waiter drying stations, so the fly fishermen don't have to put on wet waiters on day two of their trip. We've got rod carriers, we've got drift boats, we've got all kinds of things in that cabin for items, not just just theming my cabin fly- fishing. I'm having items that make their experience and their trip better and easier when they check into my property. I've got a box of a dozen hand- tied flies of my favorite flies that they can go use. I've got a map of the area, a handwritten note, and then I have a highlighter on the rivers and saying, " Hey, behind this bend and this log, there's always fish here. Use these flies in this spot this time of year." When they check in, they've got the full experience. What that allows us to do though is my neighbors to both sides of me on that lake have beautiful properties on VRBO and on Airbnb, and we charge double the nightly rate that they charge all day every day. And I don't have a nicer property, I just have a more dialed in experience. And so that's how we kind of put that into use. And it ends up being a lot more money in your pocket.

Nate Trunfio: Wow. If that's not an experience, I don't need pictures. You already painted it for me right there. And it just shows the true marketer inside you, as you referenced earlier. You've talked about just sort of a number of different locations that you own assets in and they say location, location, location and real estate. But talk to us about the importance and even how do you go about selecting the right location or avoiding the wrong location in short- term rental investing?

Shawn Moore: Yeah, one, we look for anywhere that has major profit drivers and major profit drivers. Sometimes they're not as obvious as we think. We always think of the beach or the mountains or the national parks or the theme park areas. Those are obvious vacation destinations. But some of the best short- term rental locations are college towns and major medical centers and things like that where they're bringing people in and people are going to these major events or centers for different either treatments or colleges, and they can be amazing short- term rental markets as well. One, we're looking for profit drivers. Two, we're looking for, are they short- term rental friendly as far as regulations, that's a very overlooked thing right now. We've had sweeping regulations in the short- term rental game the last year or two, and they have been needed. A lot of people think we're against all these regulations. And the answer for me is no, I'm not. This is a mainstream asset class at this stage. You can't just go build a high rise condo anywhere you want. I was in the development game for a long time. We had to make sure we followed zoning and licensing and everything else if we were going to go put a commercial thing or if I wanted to build a 7- Eleven, I can't put that on any corner. And so that's the same with short- term rentals. There are some areas that might have great profit drivers, and they're not short- term rental friendly as far as getting zoning and licensing and permitting for them. And so then we have to look at what is the average acquisition cost versus revenue of now that you start looking into underwriting. But there's a lot of markets that have really good profit drivers that are anchor type profit drivers, and so that are not going anywhere. A lot of these, the major college towns, they're not going anywhere. National parks aren't moving, beaches aren't moving, the mountains aren't moving. And so we look for all those things and then you have to start to chunk down, can I do it here? And then do the numbers make sense?

Nate Trunfio: That's interesting. And I just love that very contradictory to what most people would think your perspective on regulation and man, how important that is. I know as a lender rolled out our short term rental product, it was just one of the concerns and things we had to keep in mind as we sort of looked to lend on at Nationwide. The last sort of topic I want touch on with you is your business in Vodyssey, which I know you do a lot, but a lot of coaching. And before we get into a little bit more of that, I'm just really interested for you personally, Sean, why coaching for you?

Shawn Moore: Yeah, it's a great question and I kind of laugh about it because I am not the person that ever thought or ever aspired to be a coach. And so I actually never even considered doing any sort of coaching. I've always just kind of been, " Hey, let me run my business and do my thing and buy my properties." And I'm fairly antisocial. You don't see me going to crowded places very often. I like to be kind of in the mountains by myself, but I actually got invited to speak on a couple different stages for what we were doing and some other people's platforms and stages. And I spoke at it at one and then I shared everything we were doing. I said, " Hey, listen, here's my email. Let me know how you're doing if you have questions, whatever." And I started getting emails back and I get started getting these people that were like, " Hey, this is really helpful. Can you help me with this?" One thing led to another. We ended up speaking on a couple stages multiple times, and I didn't realize how fulfilling it was when somebody took what we were doing and had listened to the experience that we've had and actually put it into play and then started sharing that and saying, " Hey, this was life changing for me. I've wanted to do this and never felt I could do it." And so that's really what led me into it. And then we ended up, one thing led to another and started, somebody said, Hey, you really ought to put this down and write a book and do this thing. We started doing it and it's just kind of snowballed from there. But I didn't, I never really went into it thinking I would ever be a coach. I did it just as a speaking on a stage and sharing my email and phone number. And before I knew it, I was helping people do this and actually having more fun than I've ever had actually doing it. I have more fun now seeing other people buy their first property and have success than even going out and buying another one myself.

Nate Trunfio: That that's awesome, man. And I know you take a lot of pride in being active while also coaching, which doesn't always happen out there, but certainly I know that's an important part to sort of stay in the game.

Shawn Moore: Absolutely.

Nate Trunfio: I guess just really quickly, can you just give us a little bit of what's involved in sort of your coaching setup?

Shawn Moore: Yeah. I started Vodyssey, it's a higher end mastermind. We work with investors that are interested in the ownership model and we take them through A to Z. We take them through all the steps that necessary to get through the acquisition phase that's set up and management phase. Ultimately the marketing phase. We're by invitation only, so it's not something that people are like, we don't have a hard sell on anything. We always tell people, " Hey, if you're interested, go check out the book. Go check out a lot of the free trainings that we offer and reach out to us if you feel like we'd be the right fit for you." But yeah, we like to work with investors again, interested in owning these properties, building a portfolio, and then sharing our bumps along the way. And this path is starting to become well- traveled, and so we like people to walk into it with their eyes wide open.

Nate Trunfio: That's awesome, man. In closing, I know you said invite only, but how does somebody get ahold of you and give those plugs in and the name of the book please?

Shawn Moore: Yeah. Awesome. You can find the book on Amazon. It's called What the Hell Is a Lifestyle Asset. And so you can find it on there, it's a bestseller on Amazon. You can also go to and that has links to the book. You can actually download a free version of the book if you'd like to have just a PDF version of it. We've got a lot of free trainings on and during those free trainings, we let people know what the next steps, if they ever wanted to book a strategy call with us or an audit on a property where we can check out their situation and see if what we have to offer would be the right fit for them moving forward.

Nate Trunfio: Well, awesome Sean. It's funny how we tie maybe into closing here. A lot of your desire and continued going down this path of coaching is by helping people. And I am highly confident that you have helped a lot of you, the listeners, out there with some really great knowledge on all things short- term rental. And I think we covered a lot of bases, man. I just have to say thank you so much for what you've given us and for what you continue to give people out there. And I'm going to keep following you along your journey to success, man.

Shawn Moore: Awesome. Nate, I sure appreciate you having me and always appreciate anybody who spends their time with us. We know how valuable that is.

Nate Trunfio: That's a wrap on short- term rental podcast on the real estate of things with our guests, Sean Moore. It was another phenomenal episode. Please make sure that you subscribe on your favorite platform. Check us out every Tuesday as a new hot, fresh episode drops, and you can always find all things about Real Estate of Things on our website, realestateofthings. co. We are looking forward to next week episode with more real estate investment action for you.


The short-term rental market can do wonders for an investor’s portfolio, but knowing how and when to optimize an STR investment is the obvious challenge. 

This week, we’re joined by Shawn Moore, the Founder of Vodyssey, who discusses how he helps prospective investors identify hot markets for their STR portfolios and how technology can help overcome the systemic challenges investors face with these investments. Shawn shares his expertise on how property owners can navigate these challenges and unlock the potential and profit of short-term rentals.

Join as we discuss: 

  • The current trends with short-term rentals
  • The importance of location, location, location specifically when it comes to STRs
  • Utilizing tech to put the right properties in front of the right people
  • The coaching Vodyssey provides  to help investors use STRs to their full potential 

Get Shawn’s book “What the Hell Is a LifeStyle Asset?” here

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If you like what you hear and want to watch the episode, catch every episode on YouTube