How it all began…

Welcome to M Squared Ventures! My name is Jess. I am going to begin this blog with how we came to be.

I was on a mission to create extra income to fund our family’s camping adventures. I had switched jobs, and our finances seemed pretty tight to fully support our camping expeditions. I remember telling my husband, after crunching some numbers, that we would probably have to park the trailer for the summer instead of going camping. This kinda made us sad, but it was the reality. I was in search of how to make our plans work for us. I knew there had to be a way.

I knew that I didn’t want to work any more hours than my existing present schedule. I was trying to search for side gigs that I enjoyed, but that also allowed me to spend more time with my children throughout the summer. Through much thought, and some mentorship from my friend, Nicole Gowan ( from Save that Money Honey), I decided to host an Airbnb in my home.

I loved renovating and decorating, and it gave me an opportunity to direct my energy into this concept. Around the same time, there was a new Airbnb Hosting and Management Company in Fredericton that came into existence. I researched it,  and decided to engage this Company to help market the listing.  I prepped and sorted my things, revamped my decor, and set up the listing. I felt so good about this opportunity. This  would allow me to earn the extra income, to allow us to then camp as a family.

Many people were skeptical about the whole idea, including my husband. He was a good sport, and went along with the whole idea. We were however, approximately 20 mins south of the City, thus many local people thought that this distance could possibly be too far to travel, and I didn’t have anything to really draw people to my home. There are no local attractions, or amazing landmarks nearby, but the bookings proved for this to be a successful idea.

I initiated the process by opening up my Airbnb calendar for bookings the weekend after school had finished. I had two bookings shortly after going live…This was exciting! Then I got a crazy idea. We decided to go camping for an entire month away from home, and open up the Airbnb calendar for the entire month of August. We ended up booking to 90% capacity, and the extra income started to flow. My husband and I commuted to our day jobs from the campground for the whole month, while airbnbing our home.

Fast forward a few months; Rob and I were talking about how we would like to flip a home sometime. Our background is that we have been friends for 10 years, we both have had rental properties, we both enjoy renovating, and we desired an adequate retirement, so I told him how he can earn extra money while we sleep.

I formulated a business plan, and the  idea was to set-up airbnbs as a side venture. I had a challenging time trying to convince Rob. He’s a numbers’ guy, or as we say, he’s the “left-brain”. I am a “right-brained” gal with rich amounts of creativity flowing through me. I continued having these “feelings” that this would be a successful venture. I couldn’t explain why, and I couldn’t reason with analytics. This is me. This is how I roll. As you move with us along this journey, you will learn that I follow my intuition.

Our day jobs allowed this business venture to blossom into what it is today. Rob works shift work, and I am self- employed working 2- 3 days a week. He trusted my business savvy, and saw the potential in what I was proposing. We discussed a timeline in which we would like to launch this venture. Both of us agreed to the new year. We were currently sitting in the Month of August 2019. It would give us time to organize and plan. We still needed to acquire our first property.

While the excitement was fully directed into getting this idea up and running in 6 months, the good Lord had other plans for us. Within a few short weeks, another idea came to me. The full concept of how this business was going to take off was crystal clear to me after listening to a podcast. I immediately called Rob, and explained with great excitement, what that idea was. We ran with it.
Airbnb arbitrage was the answer. I had a friend who needed help with a rental property. Their previous tenants had left the house in very poor condition. I pitched the idea of airbnb arbitrage to my friend, and asked if they were open to it. Rob and I were aware of the work involved, and after seeing it, we almost walked away. There was however, something inside of me that said this was the property for us. There was lots of work to be done. We hadn’t even started purchasing any materials for the airbnb at this point…and now it looked like a mid-sized renovation project was about to commence.

We all hustled on this project. My friends, (the home owners) included. We cleaned for several hours before we could even start renovations. We cleaned, crack-filled, painted, cleaned, hustled the marketplace for items, painted some more, cleaned again, worked late nights, and full days, … IT WAS WORK!
We spent two weeks renovating this house. It was our baby, our first airbnb project. I worked hard at creating the listing, and once it was launched, we waited with great anticipation for the first booking to happen. Then, on the 7th day- my Airbnb app dinged!  Eeeekkkkk! We got our first booking…and soon after, another…. and it was real! It was happening…WE DID IT!

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