Ansel Troy, an African American entrepreneur from Oakland, California, has found a lucrative venture as an Airbnb host and owner after acquiring two tiny houses and putting them in his yard. Now that his business is thriving, he has been able to quit his full-time job and Airbnb has become his primary source of income.
Prior to acquiring the tiny house, Troy had converted his garage into a studio which was occupied by a long-term tenant. As a self-proclaimed “house hacker” who always thinks of creative ways to maximize his property’s potential, Troy eventually found Airbnb as an opportunity to seek extra income, he told Business Insider.
Troy was used to long-term rentals but he decided to explore short-term rentals through Airbnb, which he thought would be more profitable. He started with one tiny house he purchased online for $33,000. He secured the purchase using a home equity line of credit loan. His first experiment with the tiny house became an instant success so he decided to buy another one for $35,000.
Despite being tiny, Troy found various options from its layout. He renovated and designed the tiny house using sites like Etsy, Instagram, and Pinterest for inspiration. One of the tiny houses, which is called The Black Art Gallery, features minimalist architecture and an art gallery filled with black art. The other tiny house is called The Tiny Heauxtel and is designed to be aesthetically pleasing with plenty of fake plants.
Now as a full-time Airbnb owner, Troy manages his tiny houses right next to his home which has become his primary source of income. He said the growing popularity of tiny houses and minimalism, along with his competitive pricing strategy and transparency, helped attract Airbnb viewers.
“I don’t have to lie. I don’t ask people to leave reviews or encourage them to say nice things. They just come and speak about their experience, and it works out perfectly,” he said.