Starting With Neighbor's Barn With $2,000, 32-Year-Old's Rental Set-Up Now Brings In $2.88 Million a Year

Starting With Neighbor's Barn With $2,000, 32-Year-Old's Rental Set-Up Now Brings In $2.88 Million a Year
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Jamie Stark Inlow

In June 2019, Jamie Inlow, a 32-year-old student program director at the University of Virginia, seized an opportunity that would change her life. Her neighbor mentioned that the apartment above his barn was vacant, and Inlow saw it as a chance to start a business. She proposed to her neighbor that she would furnish the apartment using Facebook Marketplace and list it for short-term rentals on Airbnb, with profits split evenly between them.

And so, 'Be Still Getaways' was born, CNBC Make It reported.

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Inlow implemented a strategy that involved search engine optimization (SEO) and influencer marketing to attract customers. She started an Instagram account and designed a website. Inlow wisely enlisted the help of professionals to optimize her content and enhance her online brand. These efforts proved fruitful when Julia Randall, a prominent local influencer, began engaging with Be Still Getaways' Instagram posts.

Capitalizing on this opportunity, Inlow proposed a collaboration and offered Randall a complimentary stay in exchange for promoting the Airbnb listing on her popular 'Stays and Getaways' page. This partnership generated a remarkable surge in bookings for the apartment within two months of its listing.


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Capitalizing on the initial success, Inlow approached her neighbor investor again, seeking $110,000 to purchase and furnish a tiny home. The same business model applied, with the neighbor funding the investment, and Inlow managing the listing. The tiny home went live on Airbnb in March 2020 and continued to generate regular bookings despite the challenges posed by Covid-19 restrictions.

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As Be Still Getaways gained momentum, Inlow received inquiries from individuals seeking Airbnb advice. Recognizing an opportunity, she proposed managing their properties in exchange for a share in the profits. What started with one shared rental unit quickly grew to three. By the end of 2020, Be Still Getaways was managing 20 properties. Inlow spent extensive hours on research and managing the business while juggling her other jobs, totaling 30 to 40 hours per week dedicated to the company.


Growing from Side Hustle to Full-Time Business

By 2021, Be Still Getaways had expanded to managing 30 properties, prompting Inlow to hire an operations director and part-time staff for cleaning, staging, and repairs. Despite the growth, Inlow paid herself a meager $10,000 that year, reinvesting profits into the business. She acquired another property management company called Cape Charles Escapes, venturing into Virginia's coastal region. In March 2022, Inlow made the bold decision to quit her full-time university job, and and four months later, she was drawing an annual salary of $72,000.

Today, Inlow and her husband both work for Be Still Getaways, earning a combined income of $150,000 per year. The company now employs eight full-time workers and approximately 60 part-time employees, managing various types of rentals.


Looking Ahead

Inlow's business has achieved remarkable success, but she is still learning to be a CEO. Her current focus is on hiring more staff and streamlining workflows to create a better work-life balance. Inlow plans to attend business therapy sessions and implement strategies to achieve a healthier lifestyle. While challenges lie ahead, she remains dedicated to the growth and success of Be Still Getaways.


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