Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by asifa
For years, experts have touted the long-term benefits of investing in real estate, including STRs, but in truth, owning and managing a short-term rental is beyond most people for one simple reason: time. Being your own sourcer, renovator, and manager can make a busy work week untenable. Enter passive investments in STRs, a new asset class created by Techvestor. Co-founded by COO Sabrina Guler and CEO Sief Khafagi, Techvestor is basically an investment platform, property sourcer, interior designer, and property manager all in one. It uses its proprietary platform to analyze more than 18MM data points each month, determining what, where, how, when, and if an investment should occur. With a portfolio that spans the United States, 100K properties underwritten each month, and $37MM raised, Techvestor is making passive investments in STRs 100% as simple as the name implies.
“We love to talk to people about passive investments, especially since many aren’t sure where to put their money,” says Guler. “It’s understandable because these days, everyone offers that great passive investment opportunity, right? However, looking deeper into the company, its leaders, and the market can give clues about whether or not to invest.”
She points to her own background and Khafagi’s as evidence that it is much easier to successfully manage a growing portfolio of STRs when you have experience. Before founding Techvestor, both leaders invested independently in STRs, which taught them the ins and outs of the industry.
“It definitely gave us a realistic foundation for founding Techvestor,” Khafagi believes. “It taught us to anticipate problems and to know how to guide an STR’s development into an Airbnb-worthy listing.”
Both Khafagi and Guler think that the key to Techvestor’s success lies in the comprehensive process that every STR passes through. Before buying their first STR, they created a realistic framework for Techvestor so that everything could be handled independently of investors. They designed software that pinpoints the right properties for Techvestor’s portfolio, meaning 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.
“We also designed a 16-point strategy for analyzing the potential of both a property and its location,” Guler continues. “We look at everything: uniqueness, seasonality, tax benefits, diversification, and STR-friendly states, among other crucial factors. All in all, we analyze millions of data points and 250+ markets monthly.”
That’s at the office, of course. On site, Techvestor’s project managers draw upon a local network of contractors and professionals to transform homes from ordinary to spectacular. Khafagi adds that they are careful to add amenities that will give the property longevity in a saturated market, including hot tubs, fire pits, and other perks.
“So, yes, we have set Techvestor up for passive investors, but at the same time, we believe in transparency so that they can know how their investment is doing,” says Khafagi. “That’s why we are careful to explain all of the terms before onboarding an investor and to keep them up to date as time goes by.”
Passive investors in Techvestor receive 100% of tax benefits, have zero liability for loans and lending, and have instant diversification with over 75+ properties. During the first five years that Techvestor holds a property, investors receive quarterly reporting and dividends, and the company targets a 7-12% cash on cash annually. After the projected hold period, Techvestor looks to sell the portfolio based on revenue or value, whichever is higher.
“As a passive investor, you want to make sure the company is healthy across the board,” says Khafagi. “Additionally, you want to be certain the market itself supports investments. 34% of people prefer short-term rentals, up from 10% in 2011. People are also interested in STRs because of the culture change to remote work. It has created a new asset class that Techvestor is defining.”
Finally, Guler suggests that individuals focus on the long-term potential of an STR. “The market will always go up and down, so remember to see the big picture,” she says. “We are right at the beginning of STRs, which means there is plenty of opportunity for growth. And if you have any questions, always feel free to reach out to us at Techvestor. We like discussing passive investments with people and will always have time to answer your questions.”
Techvestor is the leader in passive investments in STRs in the United States. It was co-founded by Sabrina Guler, a former Engineering Project Manager at Apple, and Sief Khafagi, who worked at Facebook/Meta and was a Forbes Business and Young Entrepreneur Council Member. Guler and Khafagi have grown Techvestor’s portfolio to encompass STRs across the United States, resulting in seven and eight figures in commitments and LOIs. In 2023, Techvestor will continue to expand, listing more properties in Southern Florida and other hot markets. For more information, please see www.techvestor.com.