Sunrise Ridge – It’s LIVE and ready for you to stay there!

Remember my FIRST EVER Vacation Rental – Villa Bella Mermaid?

By keeping a close eye on the Real Estate Market, utilizing Creative Financing, and having faith that things happen for a reason, we are still reaping the benefits of that investment!

Like I mentioned in a previous blog post (Just In the Nick of Time) we used the capital gains from the sale of Villa Bella Mermaid to purchase a property neighboring one of our own that I’d had my eyes on for quite some time – just as our opportunity to use that 1031 Exchange was about to expire!

We did, in fact, have our work cut out for us. We have set a pretty high standard for ourselves on the quality and design elements of our investments, and we weren’t about to lower those now, especially since this is close to our home property and we plan to keep it forever. We decided to remodel almost everything – including tweaking the floor plan here and there – so this was no small task. In fact it ended up being a year-long project due to also splitting our time with our Main St space for MVR Vacation Rentals and installing an elevator in an 1880’s building…but that’s for another post.

We were planning on making this property another Vacation Rental, so it needed to be as visually appealing as it was comfortable and practical for people visiting our area. It’s surrounded by farm fields and has some of the most amazing sunrises and sunsets you can imagine! It’s been a labor of love and definitely a rollercoaster ride.

Once the bones were ready, we got to my favorite part – furnishing and decorating. I’d decided on the name “Sunrise Ridge” and wanted it to be as beautiful as the setting that inspired the name.

We could not be more pleased with the finished product, and are excited to finally be able to share this property with our guests! Make sure to check it on MVR Vacation Rentals, Inc. and book your stay here for your next trip to Wellsboro! You will LOVE IT!!! 🙂

Just In the Nick of Time

As much as we would like to force things sometimes, the universe has other plans!

As much as we would like to force things sometimes, the universe has other plans!

Back in June I posted “So Long Villa Bella Mermaid” on my blog, about the sale of our very first vacation rental, down in Cape Coral, FL and its sale. I was so bittersweet because we did love that place, but for a variety of reasons we decided to cash in on the CRAZY market and sell it, as a turn-key vacation rental.

That purchase was literally the scariest investment that Jeremy and I had ever made. We were so unknowledgeable, and it was so far away. It was also the first time we had a decent chunk saved up for a 20% down payment!? That in itself was so gratifying because everything we had purchased up until that point had been creatively financed, whether it be using equity in our property or having the seller hold the down payment/mortgage (I teach you how to do this in my book “Vacation Rentals: The Ultimate Guide”). What made it scarier was that we were going to be relying on other people’s advice, management, and our faith that it would all work out. It had a huge mortgage payment, and the taxes were crazy, but we pushed forward and got one heck of an education anyhow!

After COVID as the world started to open back up, the FL real estate prices skyrocketed!!! I reached out to the agent that we had used to purchase the house to see what he thought it would be worth and if it would be worthwhile to sell. Boy, was I surprised when we could list it for over $150,000 more than we had paid for it 3 years prior! I was even more surprised when we got 3 offers on it within 24 hours of listing it…all $30,000-50,000 over asking price!? So that was it, we accepted one and decided to end that Chapter and start a new one.

Our original thought was to do a 1031 exchange and try to buy a chunk of land to hang on to. With a 1031 exchange, all your proceeds from your sale get held by a third-party intermediary until you close on a property, or if one isn’t found, you get your proceeds back but then must pay capital gains tax on the gain from the sale. People do 1031 exchanges because then you can offset your capital gains of that sale and kick the can down the road to another property, sometimes even decades down the road. This is a HUGE opportunity that most people don’t know about and one that I would like to do some trainings on in the future.

With a 1031, you have 45 days from the day of closing to identify a “like-kind” property and then 180 days to close on it. If you haven’t found one within the 45 days, then you pay your small fee for that company to hold your money and then must pay Uncle Sam on the capital gains of the sale.

Our original plan didn’t work out with making an offer on the land that we wanted to purchase, so we decided to just be practical and take the proceeds, pay Uncle Sam, and then with the rest pay some things off – like, maybe fix up our barn and whatever other projects we wanted to start or add to. I called the 1031 company at that point and told her that we wanted to take our money out and not do the 1031 exchange. She explained that legally, we still must leave the money in the account at her company until the 45 days was up, and that they do this in case a property happens to pop up, because once it’s done you cannot do a 1031. So, we did…

Wouldn’t you know it, that just a few short days before the clock ran out, one of our neighboring properties with a house and 10 acres hit the market!?!? I literally sat down at my computer at the office, at the end of an overwhelming day, opened my computer, logged into our MLS system and there it was! I recognized it immediately and literally said out loud – “Oh crap, I think I have to buy a property!” One of my agents was sitting nearby and giggled and probably thought I was a crazy person, haha.

I immediately called the listing agent and before she even said hello, she said “I knew I would be hearing from you!” I was scrambling to get the words out, because I know in this market that places are literally going under contract within minutes of listing. I asked if anyone else had called or made an offer etc. She said that she had just clicked “Submit” to go live minutes before I called and that she had told her Broker that I would probably be calling – No sooner she said that to her Broker, I did!

Jeremy was working in a bad cell area, so I hoped that my call would go through. I called him and said, “I think we have to buy a property and do a 1031 after all!” He laughed at me, laid back as he usually is and said, “Oh boy!” I quickly explained which one and he said, “Do it!”  Boy have times changed in our world…I rarely get a NO anymore…with buying property that is 😉

We made the offer, got it together and identified it just in the “Nick of Time” before our 45-day window had ended. We were able to use just enough for the escrow, down payment and closing costs and have the rest sent to us to do with it as we please. We will still have to pay some capital gains, but not nearly as much as we would have if we hadn’t purchased a property directly.

It’s funny how the universe (God or however you identify with it) seems to always be conspiring behind the scenes, when we so badly want to rush and force things. I am a total control freak because of the constant busyness and life’s chaos, but some things must happen on their own – you just must lean in and have faith. I will say it again and again – There is no “right time”, you must set the goal, put in the work and be consistent! There also is no such thing as a get rich quick scheme. It all takes time and if you are like me, you struggle with staying patient, but it is always worth it!

I hope that this inspires you to take chances, invest in real estate and get onto that road of abundance. If you haven’t purchased my course yet, click here to do so! I will personally teach you every step of the way from start to operations. I was scared too with our first one and almost didn’t follow through, but if we hadn’t we wouldn’t be able to make all of those memories with our family, have that additional income, tax write offs, a free place to stay and then eventual proceeds ($$$) from the sale of it to roll into having even more financial freedom and more income.

We have a long road of renovations, planning, furnishing etc, ahead and I want to share the journey of it from start to finish with you all. I will be sharing updated info and incite here on my blog, and on Instagram (@christinavandergrift) and FB (@MsChristinaVanDergrift) with the play by play.

Chris

P.S. If you haven’t signed up yet to stay in the loop, please do so below!

Going away guilt and anxiety for entrepreneurs and most everyone else…

“You have to make it happen. No one’s going to do it for you. No one is going to show up to work one day and say, ‘Hey, I got you. I got you covered. You don’t have to work. You go away and you enjoy yourself. It just doesn’t happen.”

This takes a ton of courage to do and try, but you are worth it. So many studies show that those who take time to recharge are more creative, more motivated and do better quality work!

Right before I went away with my husband and my 2 little guys for a family vacation, I had a fellow entrepreneur ask me:

“How do you do it? How are you going to go away? And how do you actually take the time to make it happen without feeling guilty, or without feeling obligated to still work and be there at work in case they show up and then call you? Or how do you take the time to do it? Because my work is going to be backing up, I’m still going to have it mounting and piling up without me here. But on the other hand, I’m not getting any younger, plus I have money, I’m able to do things, but I just don’t take the time to do them. How do you do it?”

(Just so you know – this was a very well-established business owner who’s very talented, has a lot of repeat clients, and a guy. Many people think just women face guilt, but yes, men do too!)

In my mind, you wouldn’t think someone this well respected, with mostly repeat and referral business, would feel this way. He did say, “I follow all your stuff on social media with the coaching and I’m trying to learn from it and I want to know how you do it and go from there.”

So, I said to him that “No one is going to do it for you! And no one is going to make that time for you to go away or do your work while you’re gone. I grew up watching my parents never travel. It’s one of those things where, when you have the time, you don’t have the money and when you have the money, you don’t have the time.”

This was a prime example of that. He had the money and he could do it pretty much anytime, but just didn’t make the time. So, my big thing with him was “You have to make it happen.” That is one of my catchphrases and sayings that I say to everybody – Life is what you make it, you have to make it happen. No one’s going to do it for you.

Going back to my parents, my mom grew up in a household where they never traveled, because of my grandparents. Not that they didn’t have much money, but my grandfather was a penny pincher and didn’t want to spend the money. I also think, honestly, he had so much anxiety and fear that he was afraid to travel. So, my mom didn’t travel growing up.

My dad’s family never traveled at all because they didn’t have the money to, his father was wheelchair bound and his mom didn’t even have a driver’s license.

Fast forward to our generation, we didn’t have the money to travel. And normally, if we did travel anywhere, it was for a craft show or someplace work-related so that not only could she write it off, but then we had the income to make it make sense to actually go someplace.

So, I did not grow up traveling. I knew when I got older though that I wanted to, and I wanted to experience life to the fullest if I could. It goes along with the whole limitless thing – I didn’t want to settle, whether it’s traveling or experience in life and enjoying life. And I want to give that opportunity for my kids too.

With all of that being said, as my mom has gotten older, she still does work 7 days a week most of the time, but she has actually gone on a few trips the last couple of years.

Prior to that, she just worked and never took any time off, ever. And would say, “I wish I could travel. I wish I could do this or that.” And I would say to her, “You have to make it happen. No one’s going to do it for you. No one is going to show up to work one day and say, ‘Hey, I got you. I got you covered. You don’t have to work. You go away and you enjoy yourself. It just doesn’t happen.”

So, I made suggestions to this gentleman, “You have to plan for it. You have to schedule around it. You can do it.” His entire business could be by appointment only. He does not have to have walk-ins unless it’s a certain time of the year. So, my suggestion was, “Put ‘by appointment only’ on your social media. If you have a website, do it on that and do it on your storefront, which by the way has no windows, so they can’t see if you’re in here anyway. Start small, by trying to figure out how to train your customers to respect your availability and have those boundaries for you and your schedule.”

This takes a ton of courage to do and try, but you are worth it. So many studies show that those who take time to recharge are more creative, more motivated and do better quality work! Which leads to more business, more production, more intuitive insights and better health too. And don’t forget, we are role models to those watching, and you wouldn’t want your kids to be frazzled, tired, adults not fully enjoying the journey of life, a slave to their work.

I learned this at a brokers class a long time ago. When you go away, don’t pretend you’re still working, because then you are never fully going to be in the moment and present wherever you go. If you explain to your clients, have an out of office response and educate them ahead of time that you’re going to be going away and what the protocol would be to reach you, or to check in on updates, educate them. You will ultimately do a better job for them, by taking this time for you…

People will generally respect your time if you create and set those boundaries with your schedule. Not everybody’s going to and maybe they’re not your people. Maybe they’re not your clients. So, keep that in mind.

They are my biggest suggestions: Create those boundaries, create your schedule and coverage, don’t feel guilty for it and then plan for it. Remember the why behind it – why you need to recharge, why you deserve to enjoy the journey and not just be so focused on the destination that you forget to.

What’s the point of working your rear end off to be an old person someday and live with regret? It goes along with the whole limitless idea. You either are living a limitless life or you’re settling. There’s probably comfortable area in between, but if you feel like you’re settling, you can change it if you want to bad enough.

I hope that that entrepreneur takes the time to change how people can access him, and when they can access him, and does take that trip, and makes it a regular thing.

Especially if you’re established – if you do everything in excellence, have great follow up and explain your expectations and boundaries, they will be waiting for you. A balanced life will set you up to be your best and bring your best, and if a client isn’t willing to respect those boundaries, maybe they aren’t your people. This takes courage to do, but will be more than worth it.

Even if you go away and they don’t know that you’re gone and you have a business where they cannot readily walk in and see you – they don’t know if you’re working on their item and/or their product or someone else’s, or they’re in the pipeline just waiting for their product to be completed.

I hope that this serves you and helps you, and that you create those boundaries. Schedule that trip, and live life to the fullest. And live a well-balanced, full life. Work hard, play hard, but well-balanced.

If you want some more resources and accountability, check out my coaching options at my website www.christina-vandergrift.com/coaching.

If you want to see how I handle my guilt and anxiety while away, read my previous blog post. Don’t forget to Subscribe below 🙂

Things Rarely Feel How You Expect Them To…

Things rarely feel how you expect them to. Sometimes better, sometimes worse and sometimes you feel nothing, and that’s ok. I think we as people have a natural tendency to put so much anticipation and anxiety into what things should feel like and when it does not happen, we feel that something is wrong with us. We need to remember to just be present and observe what is actually happening in the moment without forcing it because that also sets us up for failure and disappointment. And above all do not self-judge. Forgive yourself if you do and then check back into the present again and just be.

and other self-reflections from a road trip!

Things rarely feel how you expect them to.  Sometimes better, sometimes worse and sometimes you feel nothing, and that’s ok. I think we as people have a natural tendency to put so much anticipation and anxiety into what things should feel like and when it does not happen, we feel that something is wrong with us. We need to remember to just be present and observe what is actually happening in the moment without forcing it because that also sets us up for failure and disappointment. And above all do not self-judge. Forgive yourself if you do and then check back into the present again and just be

I typed that up on my phone and emailed to myself, while going down the highway on a family road trip recently. I was feeling extremely anxious along with a little bit of guilt, anger and disappointment. Here we were finally on a family vacation and taking some time off, away with our kids and this is what I was feeling. Of course, then you beat yourself up for acting ungrateful for the opportunity and the moments when you could be stuck at work or someplace miserable – the opposite place of a “vacation”.

The guilt was from not being at work. The disappointment was that I was feeling anxious and not some supermom character being all things to everyone, like you tend to see on everyone’s highlight reel on social media. The anger was at myself because I finally wasn’t at work and felt like I couldn’t enjoy myself.

I knew that I needed to get these feelings out of me somehow to feel lighter and decided that I would then email them to myself. I do this also sometimes when I am feeling stressed or anxious and call it my “mental dump”. I cannot explain how much lighter I felt after hitting the send button.

I think in this instance, I needed to just remember to breath, forgive myself for the experiences not feeling how I thought they would or should feel and move on to be able to be present again and take it as it all played out.

This trip was a two-week road trip from Pennsylvania to Wyoming, Montana and 9 others states, 5,542 miles with the 4 of us in our Jeep Wrangler. We had never been away that long in our entire lives and knew that it would be a once in a lifetime experience for all of us, Jeffy (9) and Jaxon (10) included. And being in a small-ish vehicle for all of that time was going to be out of everyone’s comfort zone, and we were probably going to have those moments when you get on each other’s nerves, but leading up to those kinds of trips, you only see and feel the magic things that can come out of them – never the full picture of what life tends to actually be like.

Don’t get me wrong, we did have a lot of those magical moments too, but I didn’t get to fully experience them until I was settled and present and I emailed myself those words:

Things rarely feel how you expect them to.  Sometimes better, sometimes worse and sometimes you feel nothing, and that’s ok. I think we as people have a natural tendency to put so much anticipation and anxiety into what things should feel like and when it does not happen, we feel that something is wrong with us. We need to remember to just be present and observe what is actually happening in the moment without forcing it because that also sets us up for failure and disappointment. And above all do not self-judge. Forgive yourself if you do and then check back into the present again and just be

It is ok to have life not feel how you expect it to…it is ok to sometimes feel emotions that you don’t want to at special moments. Don’t fight it, because that will make it worse. Breathe, be present, write it down, don’t self-judge for feeling these emotions that you feel you shouldn’t or don’t want to feel and above all – Forgive yourself. You are human and doing the best that you can!

Preparing For The Best (And Worst)

No challenge is unbeatable – you just need a fortified plan to get you through! 

No challenge is unbeatable – you just need a fortified plan to get you through! 

Whether it’s an impending downturn in the Real Estate Market, balancing work and personal life, marketing your business to stand out from the crowd, furnishing Vacation Rentals to meet all guests’ needs, or overcoming challenges in your journey to Live Limitless, I’ve got tips and tricks for you!

My High Performance Coaching is all about creating Focused Goals for yourself, and then creating the steps to make it happen. But do you realize how difficult it can be to break down your goals into something achievable?

When speaking with groups of people, the majority are going to say that they would like to create more wealth, abundance, and ease in their lives. But what does that really mean? How much wealth do you want to create? How do you want to create that wealth? What in your daily life that is causing you stress or getting in the way can you eliminate or make less of an inconvenience? How do you pivot, when it doesn’t go as planned?

This is why you need a coach to help you create your own individual plan, what steps that you should take first and I can help you to break down your goals into smaller, achievable steps – a coach also helps you create timelines, offers accountability and calls you out when you make excuses.

Interested in Living Limitless? Make sure to check out my coaching offerings where we can work through your goals together here.

Make sure to follow me on social and subscribe to the blog to stay up to date on all things Limitless!

Sky High Inspirations

Vacation Rentals have been a passion project of mine for a long time – so much so that I not only own and operate multiple, I even created my very own Vacation Rental Management Company as I began to see a need for it in my community.

Our first Vacation Rental, Villa Bella Mermaid, served as my introduction and first few lessons learned (check out my book for details) to Vacation Rental Management Companies (VRMC). Because it was so far from home, there was no way for us to be able to do the turnovers or provide customer service for guests ourselves – making a VRMC a must.

As we built our Vacation Rental Portfolio back home and I was looking into the other Vacation Rentals in the area, I had a lightbulb moment – with such a wide variety of Vacation Rentals in the area and more being added all the time, along with the fact that I had so many people reaching out to me with questions about how to buy and manage Vacation Rentals, I decided that maybe I should be the person to create the first one since I was already a Real Estate Broker and legally able to do so!

And MVR Vacation Rentals, Inc. was born.

As a serial entrepreneur with a habit for monetizing my hobbies, this was the perfect next step for me. It gave me an opportunity to help promote the Vacation Rental Industry even more in my community, as well as help out fellow entrepreneurs looking to start their own vacation rental businesses.

I had already started to find ways to share my expertise on the subject with my book, Vacation Rentals: The Ultimate Guide, where I share my professional experiences, trials, and errors as a comprehensive roadmap for the exact steps to beginning your vacation rental business. AND Vacation Rental Academy, designed to teach you everything you need to know to start and scale successful vacation rental businesses.

This next step was the perfect continuation of everything I had been working on and in 2021 we officially started listing properties. A couple of my own are in the catalog, but we have had a steady flow of onboarding properties since the inception of the business. We are rated SuperHosts with AirBNB and Premier Hosts with VRBO already, and I am excited to see how this business grows.

We definitely saw with the Sky High Chalet how important time was to build up year-round consistency for bookings, recently even being ranked 3rd Best Pine Creek Gorge Vacation Rental! We are excited to see how this trend continues with not only the Sky High Chalet, but the rest of our rentals and MVR Vacation Rentals, Inc – maybe some day soon we’ll see even more of our properties with similar rankings!

Renovations: Round 2!

It’s almost as if it was all on purpose when in reality it’s dreaming big, writing it down, taking chances, facing your fears, educating yourself, leaning in and not listening to the naysayers that have NOT been there themselves.

It’s almost as if it was all on purpose when in reality it’s dreaming big, writing it down, taking chances, facing your fears, educating yourself, leaning in and not listening to the naysayers that have NOT been there themselves.

My favorite part of business ventures is the marketing – designing promotional materials, branding and decorating office spaces, whatever can get my creative juices flowing!

The Black Swan was an old cafe in Mansfield, just 15 minutes from our hometown. It was in pretty rough shape – but we were up for the challenge to update the building and bring it back to life!

At the beginning of this project, we were remodeling and then leasing the space to a clothing boutique. We wanted to make sure the building could be versatile but still have it’s own beauty. With our Vacation Rentals, this part of the process takes much longer with furnishing and decoration decisions to be made as well, but here we were simply creating a sleek, beautiful space that would meet our tenant’s needs.

Our tenant did so well that they decided to buy a larger space of their own so we were back to square one with the Mansfield building. I knew in my gut that the right thing would work out and listed it as we approached her moving date.

Right around this time I was approached by a local Settlement Company looking to be acquired. It was a tempting opportunity either way, but the timing could not have been better! Our first tenant would be moving out right around the time the deal would be closing, and this was a potential new market for us to grow into. We already own Six West Settlements in Wellsboro (which was another dream of mine that I had created in 2017) and didn’t want to have the new company continue to be direct competition, as it had already been.

We decided immediately upon hearing about the offer that it would be a perfect fit for our Mansfield building! We decided to go for a new look and new location, but the same company name. I was excited to utilize this space in the re-branding of the company, as well as furnish and decorate our new office (and so were the boys)!

Serve-U Settlement is officially open for business at 13 W. Wellsboro St. Mansfield, PA and we could not be more excited! The finished result is always worth it when we’ve put our blood, sweat, and tears so fully into the projects.

And guess what – we’re not done! I’ve already given some sneak peeks of our Main St. Wellsboro Remodel for MVR Vacation Rentals, Inc, and there’s more on the way!

If you love the remodeling process as much as I do, make sure to subscribe to my newsletter and below to my blog to get the updates on our renovations first!!

What is Limitless Coaching?

Living a Limitless Life and being authentic to yourself is not an option; it’s an obligation – and as a High Performance Coach, I am here to give you the support (and sometimes the kick in the butt) you need to make it happen.

As you may know, I am a Serial Entrepreneur. Once or twice a year, I sit down with each of my agents and employees and make sure to talk about any concerns either side may have but mostly we talk about the future. We make goals of course for the work we are doing together, but also for the individual. If my team isn’t feeling accomplished and like they are getting the most out of their lives and their jobs, how can we continue to do more and better together, right?

So throughout this process, I didn’t realize that I was coaching people. But I had been – and leading a team! I realized that was the most gratifying thing that I do, and I wanted to do it on a much bigger level.

I decided to take a course with Brendon Burchard, author of High Performance Habits, and explore this type of coaching. I am now officially certified as a High Performance Coach and am adding my own style to it!

The process is pretty simple, but the importance of a coach and someone to help you set your goals and find attainable steps to achieving them as well as hold you accountable for doing so is priceless.

I have always believed that we are our own limits, so why not Live Limitless instead? I am on a mission to inspire and excite you to live an abundant and free life, packed with passion and purpose. Join me on this amazing journey!

With One-On-One or Group Coaching options, there are endless possibilities on how you can start your journey to Living Limitless! Apply now to get started!

Make sure to follow me on social and subscribe to the blog to keep up to date on all things Limitless!

Beach or Mountains…oh where should I have a vacation rental?

There are so many amazing destinations to choose from for a vacation rental! Florida tends to be the most popular state for them overall, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the most profitable!

There are so many amazing destinations to choose from for a vacation rental! Florida tends to be the most popular state for them overall, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the most profitable!

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Florida! That is why we owned one there (our very first one) but realized over time that we could buy other properties, at sometimes half of the price and make double the money! Yes, double the money or more even, with half of the expense, from the initial down payment to monthly overhead to keep. For example, our Florida property was a $430k property when we purchased it and did have an in-ground pool, canal access and was in great condition, but only grossed between $30k-$40k/year. That doesn’t leave much left over at year’s end for a net income (which is partially why we sold it, and mostly because the prices went up so high).

I do think that beach area vacation rentals are a great buy but would highly recommend that you are sure of your projections, especially in very seasonal areas, so that you are not in over your head. So many folks in the beach areas use them primarily as second homes, and if that is the case, that is awesome because any extra income is just icing on top. If that is the sole reason that you are buying one there, do your due diligence and possibly try to find an area that has year-round vacationers so that you can sustain the annual steady flow of guests. I also do know that there are properties that are VERY profitable and that make a ton of money, but for newbies, those properties may not be attainable, depending on your finances and willingness to take risk.

Our Florida home had a steady flow year-round, but the nightly rate was dramatically different. Winter months, we could charge $300+ a night, while in the “off-season” summer months we were down into the $100’s/night. That is a HUGE difference when it comes to the monthly breakdown. The summer was also tough because of it being so warm and the electric bill being so high from the air conditioning. I LOVE the beach and do plan on an ocean front property someday, but for those starting out, it’s ok if that isn’t for you!

The mountains on the other hand offer an entirely different angle of potential expense, income, and seasons. They can be very “seasonal” also, especially if it’s in an area that doesn’t offer winter sports like skiing, snowmobiling, or isn’t close to attractions. Our properties in more rural, mountainous areas have blown the others out of the water. The area and average list price of the properties still do play a factor into it all of course. In our area for an example, you can pay anywhere from $200k-$400k for a great mountain home/cabin with seclusion and possible views and expect for it to gross anywhere from $45k-$90k/year depending on amenities, location, views, access etc. The same goes for our cabin in Gatlinburg, Tn. Both areas offer year-round opportunities for guests and a steadier flow of monthly income.

Now to circle back around, I am not saying that you must do either to start. You can start very small and wherever you are (if they are allowed there) and scale up over time. I do offer a module in my Vacation Rental Academy Course that teaches you how to find the perfect property, so if you haven’t taken that yet, please make sure that you do! It will offer you valuable insight regardless of what area you happen to choose, from location, to features, attractions, and so much more. Make sure that it is affordable and that the projections will be profitable, so that it can be a long-term fun investment! My course will give you all of the tips from how to buy, where to buy, how to furnish, market, customer service, how to find a property manager, and how to grow it so that you can have more eventually!

For more tips and insight on all things vacation rentals, motivation, and abundance, make sure to continue to follow my blog, and connect with me on Instagram (@christinavandergrift) and FB (@MsChristinaVanDergrift).

Chris

P.S. If you haven’t signed up yet to stay in the loop, please do so below!

If They Can Do It, Why Can’t I?

Have you ever wanted to try to do something or emulate someone’s successes so that you could be successful like them, but didn’t know where to start? You dreamt up a wild, crazy idea or dream, only to get excited for a moment and then overwhelm yourself with the idea and how it may not work out. Then the fear of the “why you shouldn’t” and the uncomfortable possible outcomes flood in, and make you not do anything a moment longer…

I have been there many times throughout my life. Sometimes at the most random moments or while traveling, sometimes during work and maybe even during adversity.

Sometimes, however, this thought or dream is planted in the back of your mind and again at random times, you get reminders of it or see signs of things that make you think, “Maybe I should think about that again or try it to see where it goes.”

When these thoughts come back, that is when I tend to have the self-talk, a lot of prayer asking for wisdom and favor, and normally ask myself: “What is the worst that could happen, if I just try? If they can do it, why can’t I?”

Then, I write down the goal. Writing it down somehow makes it seem more real and less scary. I think of and write down the first few steps that it would take to get to that goal. I try not to get overwhelmed by the end result, but only focus on the first 2 steps of whatever it might be.

I had one of these moments last year, around the time of the shutdown. The world had literally shut down and I felt helpless and lacking. I was supposed to be the leader at my businesses, the teacher then to my kids, and a wife to my husband. There was so much unknown all around me, but deep down I had faith it would all work out and that we would get through it. I wasn’t sure how, or what was ahead, but I had to find some type of control in my world, a healthy outlet to get through it.

That is when I got my sign of what I needed to do… I had recently read a book that encouraged me to tell my story and write my own book so that I could help others with their lives, with my knowledge and life experience. I had never thought in my life that I would write a book, or even have the time to do it, but apparently – it was time! And why not, what did I actually have to lose – if someone else can do it, why can’t I? The book idea I had was teaching people how to buy, create and operate vacation rentals.

When I first learned about vacation rentals, I had been in real estate in a variety of roles already, from Broker/Owner of a real estate company, to landlord, entrepreneur, etc. I had one of those “moments” that planted the seed several years ago, that intrigued me about trying something new and getting into a new adventure of owning vacation rentals.

With a husband, three sons, and several businesses, there was little time to travel – let alone have a vacation home someplace to regularly visit. By chance, I had a conversation with a local gentleman that had purchased a vacation home in Florida that was much more expensive to maintain and own than originally planned. He explained to me that he had decided to have a property manager rent it out as a vacation rental so that he not only had a free vacation home, but also had basically a free place to visit and stay at that others were paying for and maintaining for him while he wasn’t there. (Insert lightbulb moment here for me – If he can do it, why can’t I?!)

Fast forward through a huge learning curve, highs and lows (and when I say lows, I mean lows)… I used it all to help educate and inspire others to step out of their comfort zone and take chances. Additionally, I explained tons of other benefits of real estate investing, even with little to no money down and one being an additional income stream.

My book is called Vacation Rentals: The Ultimate Guide, and although it appears to be a manual of how to buy, operate and grow vacation rentals, behind the cover it is so much more!

My common threads throughout the book are:

  1. Setbacks are ok, keep going;
  2. Bumps in the road do not mean you should turn around;
  3. Life is what you make it, so make it happen! And above all:
  4. Do everything in excellence!
  5. It doesn’t matter who you are or your pedigree, you can make a name for yourself with hard work, consistency and goals.

I have included an excerpt from my book and hope that it inspires you to dream big, set the goal, make a plan and have faith that you can find the right teachers and knowledge along the way to make it happen!

Conclusion (Vacation Rentals: The Ultimate Guide)

Ever since I went down the path of owning my own vacation rentals, I felt like I became a conduit of information and realized that it sparked so many questions and curiosity. Ultimately that is what made me realize I wanted to teach and empower others to do the same.

It is such a rewarding and profitable industry, and I know that with the right tools, you can do it too. I hope that I have helped you and allowed you to think out of the box for your future and next steps. Whether you currently have rentals that you can upsize or convert, you have a down payment to buy an existing one or create one, or maybe you want to buy one with “No Money Down” – you can, and the sky’s the limit!!! I cannot stress this enough. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Write down the goal, plan on the steps, then put in the work… anything is possible!

Short-term sacrifices lead to long-term rewards; consistency is key. I can remember being 17 years old and having to get up at 5:00am to go to my waitress job thinking, “Why the heck am I not like most other kids my age and not just sleeping in!?” But that thought would only last for a second and I would make myself get up and go. The same thing has happened many times in my adult life. I remind people regularly, including my kids, that these short-term sacrifices pay off big time – if you are consistent.

Maybe you can’t jump all in to the industry right now because of financial reasons – just start small, and don’t give up. If you’re hesitant because of nervousness or not wanting to take a chance, just visualize yourself doing it and what the outcomes could be. You may realize – how can I not do it!?

Like I said at the beginning, life is what you make it, so let’s make it happen!

Chris