SOME people only dream of jet-setting around the world with their best friend – but that’s exactly what Manika Gamble, 32, and Ashley Gilmore, 36, get to do.
The pair rolled the dice and went into business together running Airbnbs to fund their adventurous lifestyles and revealed to The Sun their best tips for doing so successfully.
Ashley Gilmore and Manika Gamble travel the world while running four Airbnbs
They make a quarter of a million annually to fund their adventurous lifestylesCredit: Manika Gamble and Ashley Gilmore
Gamble and Gilmore have been best friends since meeting in High Point, North Carolina 11 years ago.
They both moved to Atlanta in 2012, where Gilmore had “secured a decent-paying job” and Gamble was working odd jobs to pay the bills.
As they built their lives in Atlanta, one thing was apparent: They both had a deep desire to explore the world and made sure they did so.
“We both had a passion for travel so we would take road trips or cruises that we could afford to scratch that travel desire we had,” Gamble recalled to The Sun.
“Our first big trip together was to Italy and we had an amazing time.
“We knew we wanted to be able to travel more often and have the means to be able to afford that type of lifestyle.”
The traveling friends eventually realized their solution after speaking with Gamble’s sister, who worked in a bed and breakfast at the time: An Airbnb.
“I got the idea that we too could try something like this to make more money,” Gamble added.
In the summer of 2017, their dreams became a reality when they purchased their first Airbnb property in Atlanta.
Now, Gamble and Gilmore have four properties and fully support themselves and their venturesome nature with their more than $250,000 per year income created from their rentals.
They’ve been able to see all parts of the world near and far, such as New Zealand, Iceland, Mexico and Maldives, all while remotely managing their rentals.
Of course, none of this is as easy as it looks; they had to learn some things the hard way.
To prevent others interested in starting an Airbnb business from having to learn everything on their own, Gamble and Gilmore have relayed their top five tips.
BUDGETING IS ESSENTIAL
No good plan will get started without a budget, but Gamble and Gilmore stressed that it’s important to have a realistic budget and stick to it in order to maximize your profits.
For instance, the two entrepreneurs admitted they spent far too much money restocking household items like shampoos, soaps, and coffee in their spaces at first but eventually learned how to be more financially savvy in that regard.
YOU WILL WORK, WORK, WORK
Gamble and Gilmore warned that people need to be ready to work and work hard, as it will be a 24 hours a day, seven days a week venture.
“24/7 in that at any time a guest needs you, you have to [be] accessible,” they explained.
“You cannot turn your phone off at 5pm.”
They added that you may eventually choose to invest in a team that responds to messages for you, but until then, it’s on you to ensure your guests have a smooth stay.
PATIENCE WILL PAY
The traveling besties urged people to keep pushing forward with a positive mindset, even if everything seems to be crashing down.
While they admitted they were able to fully book their place almost immediately, they said it didn’t seem like it was paying off at first.
“Our rates were set fairly low to attract bookings.
“Due to the expensive nature to set up, [there were] a lot of bills to pay down, which made our hard work feel like we were working and not getting paid, which it was that way in the beginning.”
However, it eventually worked out.
“Once we had a few reviews, we slowly raised our rates which helped to allow us to turn a profit for ourselves,” they noted.
SATISFACTION IS IN THE SMALL DETAILS
Gamble and Gilmore claimed that the small details can make a huge difference.
“The best hosts focus on the small details,” they stated.
“Decor, a nice card or greeting upon arrival, bottled waters – all of these things go a long way for guests in leaving a positive review.”
DON’T GET STUCK IN YOUR HEAD
“Do not get stuck in analysis paralysis and go for it if you desire,” they instructed.
“If you get stuck on the cost of starting you may not ever go for it.”
They continued: “Once you count the cost and it’s within your means to do it, just do it.
“Do not allow the cost of the set-up to get you stuck, or any other details related to numbers, in getting started.”
Gamble and Gilmore have also visited Jordan, Greece, and FranceCredit: Manika Gamble and Ashley Gilmore
They told The Sun they have no plans to slow down their travels any time soonCredit: Manika Gamble and Ashley Gilmore
The destinations on their bucket list are Japan, China, Bora Bora, Patagonia, and AntarcticaCredit: Manika Gamble and Ashley Gilmore
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