Improbable Airbnb success story

Via a recent link here to, (which I had never heard about before), I came across

From Zero to Wealthy in Two Years – With AirBnb?

complete with extensive comments. While I’m not that experienced, I have some experience with the kind of work required for STR, and this story just strikes me rather… surprising. Is this person just very very hard working and canny (read, superhuman)? Or am I missing something else?

I know there are some very experienced and level-headed people here, who probably have thoughts and opinions on this. Please do comment.

I’m no expert, but I dare say she is a success. Not only 5 properties, but manages another 20.

@faheem I had the same thoughts when I read it. And there sure were a lot of comments from other readers how they would never contribute to AirBnB blight by following suit. And I also thought one comment was especially spot on that we didn’t get the full story such as how inheritance money helped with her financial independence, it wasn’t all just ABB fortune.

I thought smother story on that site was more interesting, the one where the blogger tried being an Uber and Lyft driver, and the difference between the way each company interacted with the drivers with Uber chastising drivers for passing on rides and not telling the driver the distance or value of the ride before they accept it. Although I am a huge fan of the sharing economy with transportation, I feel that Uber treats their drivers even worse than ABB treats us hosts.

I love Mr. Money Mustache and I think he has great ideas. But they are ideas that not everyone can implement.

He and his wife were engineers. Getting out of college and having two incomes making six figures in a few years makes it much easier to become a millionaire and “retire early.” Also being smart enough and strong enough to figure out how to build your own house gives him an advantage.

This woman mentions a guy getting laid off and renting out his apartment while he travels. Who has that kind of privilege? In my SES, people who are laid off have to find a job, not take a vacation. Things like “gap years,” are the haven of the wealty. Having an inheritance gives a big advantage as well. There are a lot of stories where people have had good luck or tremendous built in advantages but they think it’s all by dint of hard work.


I actually sent a reply to the mmm blog regarding the Airbnb article, describing the time and cost investment of running a legal Airbnb. The OP claimed that she did her first Airbnb in her rented apartment with the excuse that Air was in a “legally grey area back then.” (And I think she defined “back then” as 2012!!). She conflated the lack of local regulation on Air with a rationale to violate her lease agreement. My conclusion was that she routinely violated lease agreements to set up her Air multi-property business, at least initially before owning properties.
Some businesses count the potential for being caught violating contracts, violating the law as just being “entrepreneurial” and getting busted as just another cost of doing business. Not my way of doing things.
There was another amusing blog about a fellow who Airbnb’d his apartment by secretly sleeping at his office, evading building security, brushing his teeth in the men’s room, bringing extra shirts so it looked like he had gone home and changed clothes – also I’m sure a lease violator.

Yes, isn’t it amazing how people confuse privilege with personal merit?


Don’t get me started. As you know, we have an entire political system based on that confused mythology.