AvenueWest Las Vegas
By: Saundra de Montaño
How It Started
I’d like to say AvenueWest found me. My husband and I were coming off a major shift in our real estate investment portfolio. We were planning to “sell it all” and start fresh again. What “fresh” looked like was still unclear to us. We started exploring a few opportunities, and found a way to re-invest the profits from our real investment portfolio into a Delaware Statutory Trust (DST). Financially, it seemed to makes sense. But for my husband and I who appreciate rolling our sleeves up and actively managing businesses, we were left unfulfilled. We wanted something more.
Over the past few years, attending Mr. Landlord Cruises became an annual activity for us. Not only did we get to travel the world, but we learned more about property management and met interesting and like-minded people. In 2017, the theme for the cruise conference was “Thinking Outside of the Box.” And that is where we learned about AvenueWest and an opportunity to build a business in the corporate housing industry. We had always heard about corporate housing, but didn’t think ordinary “Ma and Pop” owners like us could ever enter that world. We didn’t know any corporate housing players – let alone potential corporate customers and that was a bit intimidating. With AvenueWest, we soon learned we didn’t need that background – all we needed was a desire to learn, bring our hustle, and be patient for the right customers.
We were all in – and were committed to doing it without cutting corners by smartly investing in our business potential. So in 2018, we purchased three properties to use for corporate housing, and within a month we had our first big customer, a Denver Bronco football superstar no less! Like our other soon-to-be-leased units, the monthly rent was double what it would have rented at as an unfurnished, long-term rental. We saw what success looks like, and we wanted more.
How Its Going
The next phase of our business unfortunately, started with a tragedy – one we felt close to home. In 2019, the horrific mass-shooting at the MGM in Las Vegas happened – right in our backyard. As we all tried to comprehend this senseless event, there was a crackdown on property owners to keep tabs on those that rented from them. Airbnbs and similar short-term housing providers were in the spotlight, and property owners that had units in highly sought after buildings, such as the Odgen and Juhl, were looking for alternative platforms for renting to customers.
I had the opportunity to present to owners at one particular complex about AvenueWest and what managed corporate housing can offer to them. With AvenueWest, they could not only generate more consistent renters (compared to Airbnb) but they would be compliant with local Las Vegas ordinances and housing regulations. That meeting put me out of my comfort zone – but having leadership from AvenueWest at my side gave me the confidence and the credibility (with a national network to prove it) to succeed.
Since then, our growth has accelerated and it isn’t slowing down. At the end of 2018, I was managing ten properties. Six months later, we had twenty properties. And by the end of 2019, I was up to thirty. Now, we are at 36 properties, with an average occupancy of 95% based on seasonal demand. While the AvenueWest network and those that we partner with in the corporate housing community have helped grow our business, I’m proud to report that over 50% of our business now comes directly to us.
We are known as the trusted, local experts in Las Vegas for all your managed corporate housing needs.
I have been a “landlord” for many years, and I know the secret sauce to business success in this industry is being able to answer one simple question: how do you place tenant (or in our case, a guest) within in three-weeks. Three-weeks is the target timeframe to transition a property to the next occupant.
Word of mouth and referrals are always the driving source of quality and consistent business. When you treat your customers with the utmost respect and service, it’s easy to win those referrals. Plus, it’s a win-win when you become the trusted partner for a business, making corporate housing a turnkey service for them.
As we celebrate 5 years as AvenueWest Las Vegas, I am focused on growing my own personal network by educating and informing brokers and investors about the benefits of working with and partnering with us.
With AvenueWest, our potential is limitless: It’s the best of both worlds – I have the support of a nationally recognized and tested business, with the opportunity to forge ahead and own my business in my territory.