The rebound in the global travel and hospitality industries is welcome news and signals that life is returning to normal. With the COVID-19 pandemic mostly behind us and vacationers ready to relax and get away from work, real estate investors are turning to an emerging asset class: short-term rentals on websites like Airbnb. Until now, it has been difficult for the everyday investor to capitalize on the opportunity because, let’s face it, who has the time to identify, renovate, and rent out a home? Enter Techvestor, co-founded by COO Sabrina Guler and CEO Sief Khafagi. Techvestor is taking the work off the hands of investors by using its institutional grade, proprietary rental platform to identify the best STR investments. Each month, it analyzes 18MM+ data points and is so effective that in less than 2 years, Techvestor’s portfolio has grown to over 120+ properties. Intrigued?
Identifying a new investment class in real estate
Both Guler and Khafagi bring extensive engineering, technology, and business experience to Techvestor. Guler was building a promising career at Apple, where as its Engineering Project Manager, she was responsible for growing the AirPods line into a multi-billion dollar revenue stream. Khafagi was equally successful at Facebook, where he used his business and people-instincts to scale its second-largest engineering organization and identify top talent.
Guler shares that while she enjoyed her job at Apple, she had other aspirations as well. “I had started investing in single-family homes and transforming them into short-term rental properties for Airbnb,” she says. “It became such a lucrative hobby that I began looking into the implications to pursuing this full-time.”
She says that as she invested and began to see significant returns, she had friends and colleagues who were interested in investing but held back due to the many complexities of the process. “There is a lot involved,” she admits. “You need to find potentially successful properties in high-demand locations, and go through renovation, design and actually operate profitably. It’s not easy. There are many steps to overcome prior to enjoying a truly passive income.”
Guler and Khafagi came up with the concept of a company that would simplify the process and help people jump over those hurdles.
Streamlining the real estate investment process with innovative technology
Guler says that the key to Techvestor’s success lies in two factors: its team and its software platform. “We got really specific and designed a 16-point strategy for analyzing the potential of both a property and its location,” Khafagi states.
Techvestor’s software was designed to pinpoint the right properties to be added to the company’s portfolio. Khafagi explains that its technology means they know what to buy, where to buy it, how to best finance it, how to operate it, if the property is in a sustainable market, and what realistic growth looks like. Of course, humans make the final decisions.
Leading the world of STRs and passive investments
With over $60MM and 120+ properties across 10+ markets, Techvestor is accomplishing the goals that Guler and Khafagi have set for it. Next, they’re setting their targets on building a $100MM+ portfolio and eventually, a $1B portfolio.
Guiding the everyday investor to understand passive investments in STRs
For those interested in passively investing in STRs, Guler recommends that they do some research first.
“We are excited about what Techvestor is doing, of course, but any investment should be considered carefully,” she says. “Before you decide, reach out to us for more information. We will be happy to talk to you about the current STR outlook, including where we plan to expand and why. We want you to feel comfortable with where you invest your money, so please don’t hesitate to ask us questions about why STRs, not traditional hotels, are the future of vacations and long-term stays.”