Shampoo & Booze 13: This Is Not A Quick Airbnb Flip, Snowstorm Edition

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As we've said before, we're not normal business people. We're trying to build rental businesses in a sustainable and creative way. If it's not fun and challenging, we're not doing it. Sure, it generally costs more and takes way longer than we think, but in the long run, we've built something we're proud to show off to every single person who visits. Expanding on that theme, Jay took a 10 hour round trip drive to North Carolina to pick up some heartwood pine flooring for the new house. Now that's dedication! P.S. Remodelista is the book we mention about using quality materials.

If you haven't already, check out Airbnb for the next time you travel. Or even consider renting a spare room or any property you have.


  1. I have to make a comment after listening for several months. Jay I have friends that are in their sixties. They are not old. They are still planning projects and doing them. They have told me to live for now. Save for retirement, a rainy day but live for now enjoy now. I know people in their 20's whom act older than my friends in their sixties. A good example of this is former President Jimmy Carter and Habitat for Humanity. I really love your shows. Thanks

    1. Very true. 60 is the new 40. I guess I'm just being realistic that we may not have quite as much energy in my 60s as we do now. Or maybe we wont want to work so hard on making money. But if we do have more energy, great!

      I should have said: Don't put off tomorrow, what you can do today.

    2. my mom is 66, dad is 70 and they have more energy to do projects than most 25 year olds i've met. we're just saying that we might want to take a break in 20+ years if that's what we choose.

  2. Hey J&R: Mike from Atlanta here. I wanted to jump topics and sites for a minute. That tax discussion I should never have joined in. Takes to much time away from listing. BUT.. I just wanted to mention to you, especially since you are going with a metal roof to think about Spray Foam insulation. That was my last business before closing it last year and as you already know, down sizing our antique booths at the mall and going to mostly online Ebay.
    But my spray foam web site is still up and and has a ton of information for you to consider. Briefly, fiberglass is approx. 34% effecient and foam is approx. 92%. Forgot about R-factor. Doesn't work with foam. Foam will cut those utility bills down a whole lot, will also dampen some of the sound from your roof. Foam is applied up against the roof line as opposed to across the ceiling. That encapsulates the whole attic area and in most cases makes the attic storage area more comfortable and usable. Attic area should only be approx. 12 degrees or so difference than what the house temperature is at.
    Check out the web site at and research away. I don't do it any longer .. the Scanvenger Life for us, but hopefully will give you something to think about. My whole house is foamed and our utiltiy bills are approx. 35% +/- less than prior to foam, plus now we can also store some of our inventory up there. :-)
    Now back to SL and I promise to abstain from "tax talk" :-) ...
    mike in Atlanta

  3. I love Remodelista, it's a daily blog read for me!

  4. You guys continue to impress. Very informative and fun to listen to. Thanks for all that you do. Really.

    I started watching Hotel Impossible and really love it. Great plug for the show. Thanks again.

    I run a three listing Airbnb business in my family's private residence here in San Francisco. We've been up and running since September 2013. I've completed somewhere between 950-1000 bookings. Trust me, I've seen it all. Granted, my space and experience is a quite different from entire unit listings but there are some similarities too. I've been extremely active with Airbnb corporate agents, met the CEO three times, met my girlfriend who was a former guest here on the property (that story was feature in Airbnb's blog last Valentines Day) and have direct communication with many executives at Airbnb. I am in up to my ankles. If you'd ever like to speak to me, I'd consider it an honor.

    Check out the blog posting I mentioned:

    Thanks for your time,
    Josh Thayer

    1. hey josh
      is your dad ernest (and the name you post under on airbnb)? i remember reading your posts on the airbnb groups and found them helpful, especially because you guys are very clear and firm in your expectations of guests, which i think is great and rare for most hosts. not sure what's going on with the airbnb groups, as i know they're switching over to the new forum format soon. i need to get over there, but the new format seems a bit jumbled. thanks for the link, glad you found love through Airbnb, that's so cool!

    2. Hi Ryanne,

      Yes. My father is Earnest and I run the listings for him. He's never actually been involved. I do everything from writing the copy, to answering questions, checking in guests, dealing with problems, cleaning, etc. The entire operation is me. It just happens to be his property and he lives here too. He's 85 and it would just be too much for him.

      I'm really amazed you noticed us. That makes me feel pretty pretty good. Thanks for the compliment. Yeah, I don't take any shit from anybody. Ever. It works for me. Not everybody has my resolve and that's ok. We are not all the same and that is one of the beautiful aspects to this crazy experience we call Airbnb.

      I could tell you some crazy stories. Check this out:

      The groups are ending, which is a shame. I was invited to participate in a Facebook group that is comprised of select and experienced (professional) hosts. I would be happy to see if the administrator would be willing to issue you an invitation, but I recognize your distaste for Facebook. Let me know if you'd like me to ask. The Airbnb edited and regulated "community center" is a serious disappointment. I just can't deal with the shit show that is going on over there. Pardon my frank language.

      Thanks Ryanne,
      Josh Thayer