Del Rio, Texas's Top Corporate Housing Experts Say National Marketing Exposure Proves Key to Success
Anna and Phillip Scheller have become the furnished housing gurus of Del Rio, Texas. In fact, they own the only shop in town offering furnished, short-term rental in Del Rio, TX
through their company, Texas Corporate Rental.
In 2006, the couple got the bug to invest in real estate. This once stay-at-home-mom and military dad were motivated to venture into the real estate investing world so they could secure a comfortable financial future for their family. Their inspiration came from a bestselling book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," a book that helps individuals understand the merits of investing in assets, like real estate.
Starting Out in Real Estate Investing
To start their real estate investing journey, Anna and Phillip purchased several single family homes for investment purposes. They offered them as traditional rentals and things were going well.
About three years into their journey, their investment and real estate mentor encouraged them to purchase a four-plex building. A little nervous to do so, the couple decided to take the leap. They also decided to offer one of the units fully-furnished, their first corporate rental. Del Rio is a military town and the couple says they believed there would be ongoing demand for a furnished rental property.
"Getting the furnished unit rented was much more slow going than the non-furnished units, but it was for the most part regularly occupied," Anna says. As requests for furnished rentals in the area grew, they decided to outfit another apartment in the four-plex with furniture.
Sadly, demand for furnished housing didn't last long. The housing market and economy were deteriorating and they were having trouble keeping the units filled.
"We were going to shut down the furnished rentals until we realized the problem wasn't the units, it was that we didn't understand marketing and how to keep units filled," says Anna.
They then tried to advertise the properties in local newspapers classified sections and at a local medical treatment facility. They got some leads with traveling nurses and patients waiting for treatments, but not enough to keep the unit occupied full-time.
Anna adds, "Our initial marketing attempts didn't work because our goal was to reach people outside of Del Rio. That's when we turned to the Internet and found CorporateHousingbyOwner.com (CHBO)."
National Exposure Grows Demand for Texas Corporate Rental
Little did Anna and Phillip realize how CHBO, a national marketplace of corporate housing rental listings, would change their business for the better.
"It started to work and I realized that marketing and networking were very important to finding success in corporate housing. Before I knew it most of our leads were coming from CHBO," Anna says.
Just to accommodate demand, the couple bought another four-plex and furnished all the units again. As demand continued to grow more, they began renting vacant, unfurnished units in local area apartment buildings. They would then furnish them and rent them out as corporate housing. Today they manage 10+ corporate rental properties in Del Rio.
Anna says that understanding marketing helped turn things around for their business. She adds that putting good keywords in your description on CHBO is very important too. She says she regularly gets tenants visiting or working for the U.S. Border Patrol and the local medical facility because her listing details that she can accommodate visitors to these locales.
She boasts that most of all, what helped her find success in the corporate rentals industry (besides having a great product), was CHBO. "Getting national exposure was the secret sauce to our success," she says.