The post comes from The KarWells (@thekarwells), two friends who run a successful real estate business and a TikTok page full of investing tips. In one of the page’s most popular clips, Sarah Glidewell, one half of The KarWells, recently explained how she went from making $50,000 per year to over $100,000 from Airbnb rental properties.
Her clip is just the latest in a recent trend of TikTokers embracing financial transparency on the app.
In one video, a business owner detailed how she pays all of her employees — including herself — the same salary. In another, a Google employee shared how he went from having a 1.2 GPA in college to making $344,000 a year.
Glidewell’s financial situation, she explained, came largely from Airbnb arbitrage properties.
Typically, Airbnb hosts own the properties they rent through the vacation app. However, Airbnb arbitrage is the process of renting a property and subletting it to Airbnb guests.
The process can be difficult to pull off due to legal restrictions and issues with landlords, but, as Glidewell shared, it can also be very profitable.
In her clip, Glidewell explained how she was making $50,000 at her day job in 2019. Despite people encouraging her to save up for a new car, she managed to put away $20,000 to invest in her business idea instead.
She used that money to start renting and furnishing four different properties, which she then listed on Airbnb. Less than three years later, she’s making between $7,000 and $15,000 per month in profit.
“Had I listened to everyone else,” she said. “I’d have a two and a half-year-old vehicle, I’d still be at a nine-to-five. … All I’m saying is, stop trading what you really want for what you want right now.”
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The business model clearly transformed Glidewell’s financial situation — The KarWells’ TikTok bio says, “Airbnb changed our lives” — but, it also left TikTokers with plenty of questions. Specifically, commenters wanted to know how, and under what circumstances, arbitrage is legal.
There are local and state laws that disallow sub-leasing, as well as some places where pricing may make it difficult.
Additionally, many leases forbid rental arbitrage. As Glidewell explained in the video’s comments, she had to call and negotiate with landlords directly in order to strike a deal where she could re-lease her rental.
As with many recent financial stories on the app, TikTokers praised Glidewell for the insight.
“Saving 40% of your salary is very impressive! Congratulations,” one user wrote.
“Such a great example of true investing,” another added.
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