We Bought Land (Part 1): Laying a Foundation for Long-Term Partnership (Episode 349)

STR Partnerships Explained: Who, What, When, Where & Why?

Today’s expert guest (and one of our new business partners!) is Mike Navarro of Columbus, Ohio. Mike and his wife Ingrid entered the residential market as first-time homebuyers and have since expanded into multi-family housing, constructing single-family homes ranging from 400 sqft to 4500 sq ft. Their diverse portfolio comprises over 20 units, including single-family homes, multi-units, and condos, with a total real estate holding value of $10 million. 

We chat with Mike today to lay the groundwork for a series of episodes in which we’ll be detailing our newfound property partnership together – the plan, the preparation, and everything in-between – in as much detail as we possibly can. 

In this one, you get the skinny on Mike and his wife, as we cover the background of their incredible scalability and unlimited energy. We get vulnerable about our own thought processes before, during, and after the deal closed only a few short weeks ago, and we get excited (well, most of us) about the next steps – surveys, utilities, operations, branding, marketing, oh my!

So many of you ask us about partnerships – consider this episode just the tip of the iceberg on a deeply personal case study illustrating our take on the process, and how we go about our decision making challenges along the way.

(00:01:26) #STRShareSunday: @timbercovehideaway

  • Excelling with pinned-post strategy 
  • Spotlighting the atmosphere and outdoors 
  • Action shots, EX: Opening the front door

(00:02:54) Introducing Columbus STR Expert: Mike Navarro

  • Mike’s path to the short-term rental industry 
  • Realizing the value in his handyman father-in-law
  • 5 consecutive one-year duplex renovations
  • Using (or not using) VA loans 
  • Hosting long-term tenants from 2009 to 2016

(00:14:00) What Made Them Switch to STRs?

  • Unknown and uncontracted tenants 
  • Eye-opening math of their illegal subletter 
  • The process of removing long-term renters 
  • Finding deals to furnish their new listings 

(00:22:28) How Sarah, Annette & Mike First Crossed Paths

  • One fateful Columbus city council meeting 
  • Early role models for Sarah and Nick

(00:25:24) Mike Navarro’s New-Build Property Experience

  • Saying goodbye to lime green shag carpeting 
  • Taking on downtown renovations themselves 
  • Importance of expert mentorship 
  • Evolving strategy for their “forever home”
  • Active, future, and pending projects 

(00:32:36) Deal Maker: How (and Why) We Became STR Partners 

  • Recalling the text that put the process in motion 
  • Eighteen-month negotiations 
  • Why take on partners at all?
  • Keeping a shared goal in mind
  • Sarah and Annette get vulnerable about their perspectives

(00:47:39) Reviewing Our Final Land Acquisition Deal  

  • How many acres did it start/end at? 
  • Sarah’s priorities from an operational standpoint 
  • What’s in store for the next six months?
  • Mike reviews the land’s existing structures 
  • What we’re most excited about working on next 
  • Upcoming episodes covering this project

Download a transcript of this episode.




This week’s STR Share is the @timbercovehideaway. This cozy cabin is your ticket to adventure. Outdoors, you’ll see plenty of space to lounge and unwind. Inside, two bedrooms, a well-stocked kitchen, and plenty of outdoor space await your relaxation. Check out how they’ve positioned their showstopping content pieces as pinned posts on Instagram, as well as their action shot Reels – like opening the front door – a classic hospitality shot that captures the imagination of potential guests, transporting them to that magical check-in moment.

We would love to feature YOU, so don’t forget to use #STRShareSunday to get your chance!

Together, Annette & Sarah are the dynamic duo behind the wildly popular podcast Thanks For Visiting, co-creators of the Hosting Business Mastery Method, & seasoned short-term-rental hosts.

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