Rental Side Hustle Now Brings in '$3 Million' for This 32-Year-Old Mom
In 2019, Jamie Stark Inlow made a significant change in her life. She left her traditional 9-to-5 job in higher education and relocated to a mini farm in Scottsville, Virginia, with the aim of dedicating more time to her husband and son. While in this new phase, she took on consulting work in the higher education field and also landed a part-time role as a student program coordinator at the University of Virginia. Despite having a fulfilling career and a loving family, she sensed an unfulfilled aspect of her life.
Creative entrepreneurship, Airbnb journey
This realization led her to a transformative moment when she recognized the potential of her neighbor's vacant apartment situated above a charming red barn. Seizing the opportunity, she converted the space into an Airbnb listing, marking a new chapter in her journey.
From a single listing, a swift expansion ensued, evolving into a fully-fledged property management enterprise named Be Still Getaways in 2020.
What was once a side endeavor for Inlow has now matured into a substantial company overseeing a portfolio of more than 120 rentals and inns scattered across Virginia. In the year 2022, the venture yielded nearly $2 million in revenue. Impressively, Be Still Getaways is projected to achieve $3 million in revenue this year, as per CNBC Make It.
How Jamie Stark Inlow built Be Still Getaways
The journey to success was anything but straightforward. For the initial two and a half years of Be Still Getaways, Inlow managed all three of her jobs, unable to halt consulting or her higher education role as all earnings were reinvested. In 2021, she hired a team, despite only paying herself $10,000 that year. "There were times I paid staff before myself," Inlow, tells the outlet. While still working full-time outside Be Still Getaways, this approach fueled scaling. In 2021, the company hit six figures, allowing Inlow to quit her other jobs. She started taking a regular salary the next summer.
The success story
Inlow persuaded her neighbor to allow her to list his apartment on Airbnb using a straightforward proposition: Provide $2,000 for furnishing and decorating, and we'll divide the earnings. In just two months, the bookings started pouring in, filling up nearly every night.
The success of the rentals attracted more partners, and by the close of 2020, Inlow was overseeing about 20 properties. Despite working over 80 hours a week across her three roles, she struggled to replace her $50,000 salary. Inlow decided to scale. Hiring an operations director and part-time contractors for property upkeep, cleaning, and staging marked a turning point. In 2021, Be Still Getaways generated $205,000 in revenue.
Bringing in millions
Be Still Getaways generates a multi-million-dollar income, yet more than a quarter of its revenue is allocated to sustaining its operations. During 2022, the year when the company achieved $2 million in earnings, a substantial $587,000 was dedicated to covering business expenditures, with staffing emerging as the primary cost. The payroll for Be Still Getaways' eight full-time and 60 part-time employees totaled $439,000.
Here’s a breakdown of Be Still Getaways’ 2022 expenses:
Company car: $7,566
Warehouse rent: $4,000
Finding balance in the Journey
Be Still Getaways is thriving, having earned $1,974,000 this year, and its growth continues. Jamie has big plans, aiming for her business to acquire its own commercial property and author a book titled The Secrets of Short-Term Rentals.
Balancing her success, Inlow seeks to scale her business to reduce her time commitment and spend more moments with her family. To unwind, she employs her Apple Watch's 'Do Not Disturb' feature, and travel provides her with a true break from work.
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