I’ve been highly anticipating this article, as it signals the closing of the sale of a vacation rental I purchased this week that I found using STR Insights. Several months ago, I was searching for my next vacation rental in an unfamiliar market to test the effectiveness of STR Insights. Because the tool allows you to input your personal preferences, such as destination type (beach, mountain, lake, ski, etc.), budget, region or state, and even revenue goals, I was able to get a list of the top performing markets that fit my personal criteria. As much as I would love to invest in the Gulf Coast or the Smokies, these locations did not accommodate my ROI goals of finding a property that would have cash on cash returns greater than 30%, preferably turnkey. Though that might seem impossible in today’s market, this is exactly why STR Insight proves indispensable. In a matter of seconds, it listed out the following top markets for me that fit my preferences:
1. Hendersonville, NC
2. Ellijay, GA
3. Watkins Glen, NY
4. Tobyhanna, PA
5. Front Royal, VA
It appeared to be a randomized list, yet when I explored each market I quickly realized each market had properties that fit my personal preferences of budget, market size, and types of attractions. Every market suited me and I was excited to potentially invest in them.
Each top 5 list will vary from investor to investor. Your top 5 will not be the same as my top 5 and that’s okay because we all have different preferences. The quicker we understand this, the quicker we can find our top markets and the best deals. Sometimes, we may not like some of the markets listed in our top 5 for whatever reason (regulation, market size, etc.), however, STR Insights provides over 25 markets per search so you can pick and choose your top 5 from that list.
I ended up closing this past week on a property in Watkins Glen, NY. The 7-bedroom 7-bath property sits on a hill overlooking Seneca Lake which is in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York. Why did I choose Watkins Glen over the other markets? Because I found the best available property with the best cash on cash potential. I know that you must be looking in several markets at the same time that fit your personal preferences if you want to find the best available deal. STR Insights pointed me in the right direction, but I still had to do my due diligence by first, checking location regulations. Second, checking available properties for sale. And third, calculating the revenue for each of those properties. I found two great deals in less than five minutes in different markets on my list once I did my due diligence. By using STR Insights map feature, I was able to target the neighborhoods or sub-markets where the top active vacation rentals were located to determine where I would perform the best, which further helped me project revenue. Because no matter what STR revenue calculator I utilize online, nothing beats finding comparable STR’s in the same neighborhood to calculate revenue potential.
This success story could not have happened if I did not, first, define personal preferences and then searched local regulations and available properties in the markets listed. It was a ten minute journey that shocked me and gave me the confidence to share it with you. It’s important to be realistic though. Not everyone will find some top producing high cash on cash returning property in ten minutes. Competition is heating up everywhere. But I’ve seen several people use the tool to find deals in new markets, saving them the time and pain of doing a lot of research to find those new markets. This tool gives investors confidence in discovering markets and even niche areas within those markets that are performing well as of today.
So, if you truly want to harness the power of STR Insights when it launches and find your next property with 30% or even 50%+ cash on cash returns, then you need to define and write down your personal preferences of budget, market destination type, revenue goals, regions or states, regulation tolerance, market saturation and size. Avoid paralysis by analysis and set your parameters so you can find your next big STR market in minutes instead of days or weeks! No other tool or software out there today can save you the time in finding your top markets based on your personal preferences, so I’m excited for you to get your hands on STR Insights soon.