This story originally ran on Business Insider.
This is an as-told-to essay based on a conversation with Bre Fleschner, owner of an Airbnb that’s become known for hosting bachelorette parties in Tempe, Arizona. It’s been edited for length and clarity.
I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and own my own business. I wanted my money to work for me, and I didn’t want a 9-to-5 job. My parents were business owners when I was growing up, so it’s in the family.
I also love real estate so much — everything from home designing to house-flipping projects. I could watch HGTV all day.
Table of Contents
When I graduated from college in 2015, I wanted to have vacation rentals all over the U.S.
I had this vision mainly because I love traveling, but also because I wanted people to experience those homes instead of them just sitting there.
Bre Fleschner owns the bachelorette desert dream house Courtesy of Bre Fleschner
I wanted them to be my “dream houses,” and when people would visit, they’d want to see more of those houses in Nashville, Orlando, Miami, or all of these different, cool destinations.
I got my start when I moved out to Arizona in 2019 from St. Louis
It felt like a calling from God, and I knew this was where I needed to start my business. I reached out to a realtor, and she was a mentor to me who was doing exactly what I wanted to do.
I found my property located just outside of Scottsdale, in Tempe, in December of 2020. It was right before the craziness of the market, so I got a good deal on it. I was able to purchase it for a little over $400,000 with a traditional loan.
The desert dream house includes a heated pool in the backyard. Courtesy of Bre Fleschner
It was the only thing I could afford at the time, so I had to make do with what I could. It’s since turned into my desert dream house.
I did have friends who wanted to have their bachelorette parties in the area, so I thought it was interesting. I just never thought the area would be as popular as places like Nashville.
When I decorated the house, I did so in a way that reflected what I wanted. I wanted groups of girls to stay in my houses — I figured they’d be less destructive — and the house is kind of in a party area, so I decided to make it all girly. It’s Barbie-ish and cute.
Bachelorette desert dream house bedroom Courtesy of Bre Fleschner
Thankfully, I haven’t had any issues with the property
I’ve become friends with my neighbors and make sure to let them know that their comfort is my top priority.
I make sure the guests are aware that there are quiet hours. I don’t provide speakers the guests can take outside, I don’t allow DJs, I ask them not to bring any additional people over, and I encourage all guests to be courteous.
I’ve never had to kick anyone out due to bad behavior, and usually, the property is left squeaky clean.
Airbnb owner Bre Fleschner. Courtesy of Bre Fleschner
At the time I designed the property, I was really into influencing
I thought about what would make someone come to my house, and one of the things was Instagrammable spots. So I have murals everywhere that I hand painted. I only had so much money to do the things I wanted to do, so I got creative.
That’s because when I purchased the property, there was a major plumbing issue that we thought the previous owners were taking care of but didn’t. That was a mishap that cost me thousands I wasn’t expecting. I also spent a lot of money on furnishings, but I did a lot of the painting myself and went to thrift stores to cut costs.
Still, everybody who visits loves it. I’ve never had any complaints about the décor. If anything, people say: “This place is so much better than the pictures,” and “The pictures don’t do it justice.”
Thankfully, I can make bigger changes now
I’m in the process of adding an additional bedroom and more murals. A lot of people are now doing what I’m doing, so I want to find ways to stay on top.
Before I started accepting Airbnb bookings, it was that time when it was still really easy to blow up on TikTok, so I created a TikTok showing people what I was doing and explaining that it would be the newest property in the Scottsdale area for girls. One of my videos went viral and had over 500,000 views and I gained 16,000 followers. Before I even had the property listed, people were asking to get on a booking list.
My launch date was March 1 of 2021 and immediately my summer was almost booked up — it was really cool.
Bachelorette desert dream house couch Courtesy of Bre Fleschner
However, the Airbnb landscape is changing
This time last year I had approximately twice as many bookings as I do this year. There are now so many properties out there doing exactly what I’m doing. I’m getting back on social media now to share videos and give updates on what I’m doing, to help keep my property on top.
If this is what you want to do for a living — like I do — you have to put your heart and soul into your properties. You also have to change and update your properties, and keep paying attention to what works and what doesn’t work.
What’s worked for me is having a home with unique designs, offering a heated pool, advertising on social media, and working with a third-party management system. So far, the only thing that hasn’t worked was buying cheap furniture — it did not last long.
The goal this year is to purchase another home in the Scottsdale area, get one in Nashville, another in Palm Springs, as well as a couple in Florida.