An Interview with Iris Veneracion

By Christina Suter on Apr 28, 2018 at 06:15 AM in Real Estate Issues
An Interview with Iris Veneracion

Iris Veneracion is the founder of Invest Club, a dynamic real estate community in Southern California and she's a full-time investor who specializes fix and flips as well as buy and holds. Lately, she's used the short-term rental platform, Airbnb to double and sometimes triple her market risk. She believes in the power of partnership and she is the creator of the 60-day challenge, a butt-kicking real estate extreme experience available to local California investors.

As a person who loves to flip homes, Iris enjoys the financial return and the lifestyle flipping brings. Her background is in mortgage finance and she quit her corporate job in 2003 and used her mortgage background to learn to flip. The first time she flipped and earned an income she was hooked. Three months later she'd purchased nine properties and realized early on that she no longer had the asset once it sold and therefore it couldn't produce any more money for her. She wanted to know what she could do with all the capital she'd just created. She realized she needed to buy passive income with cash-flowing properties. She lost some properties when the market tanked, and then she refocused on buying in California. 

When Iris discovered Airbnb, after staying in one in Costa Rica, she loved the idea of staying in a home versus staying in a hotel. As a person who loves to host and throw parties, she put one of her rental properties on Airbnb in 2015. From the moment her listing went live she was getting bookings and within a week her first month was fully booked. Airbnb is the new economy she says and anyone can do it. Iris began experimenting on properties she thought weren't ideal locations meaning they weren't near a beach or downtown. 

Iris stressed the fact that you can make money on Airbnb whether you own your property or not. When you first set up your listing, the way you word and present your listing is critical. Airbnb will spotlight you and when people look your listing will get pushed to the top. Invest in getting a professional photographer to photograph your rental (you can even get one through Airbnb) and if not, ensure you take well-lit pictures. Make sure your listing is very descriptive because people only have what you say to go by. Once you're rental is listed, check your calendar every day. With this business, you can be as hands-on or hands-off as you want to be so it's a great way to make passive income. Iris currently has 7 properties up on the site right now. She has a cleaner and therefore she only spends time on the site accepting or declining bookings and writing reviews, which is a total of about 3 hours per week. 

Setting up the property does take some time. You have to buy furniture for your rental, make sure there is cable and wifi, and stock it with the essentials. But once you have your place set up, you can be as hands-off as you want it to be. You can meet your guests, chat through the app or you can automate as much as you want and not have to visit your property at all if you want. 

I shared with Iris that years ago, before Airbnb began I had rental properties but they didn't do well in terms of being booked. I asked her what she thought the difference is now and why the industry has shifted so drastically. Iris shared that Airbnb has revolutionized the game because their platform is so easy to use and because we are in a new economy and people are doing things so differently. "When you put your listing on Airbnb... you set up a post for free and they make their money by keeping 3-6% of your booking fee and they charge the guest 3-6%. The entry point is easy because hosts can easily host and guests can easily search. Airbnb has done really wonderful things such as they have a million dollar host guarantee and liability policy. That doesn't mean you don't have to get insurance, I highly recommend vacation rental insurance on your vacation home... and to eliminate the fear of having strangers in their home, Airbnb is really good at helping hosts resolve because sometimes there is trouble. It's easy to file a claim and you can charge a security deposit." Iris says she thinks they do the online thing way better than companies in the past. Millennials love that it's grassroots, the community base of it, that it's online and visual. 

Iris' top 3 tips:

1. If you've never been on Airbnb, book a stay at one.
2. When you set up your Airbnb, stay in it and experience what your guests experience.
3. Find properties that will still cash flow using regular market rent. Don't buy high-end properties and fail to charge enough to cash flow.

Iris will be at my FIBI Pasadena meeting the 3rd Thursday in May speaking on the numerous ways people can earn money on Airbnb through ownership and for those who aren't owners. To find out more about Iris, visit or email her [email protected]. Her 60-day challenge is only available once a year and you can learn more about it at