‘We’re only 30 and earning millions a year from our Airbnb side hustle’

A couple are “financially free” after creating an Airbnb empire earning them millions every year.

Michael Elefante, 30, and his wife Jill, 30, achieved financial freedom in November 2020 and quit their full-time jobs six months later.

The pair brought their first property in December 2019 – a home in Nashville, Tennessee, US – and rented it out to country music tourists and hen parties.

They made a $7,000 profit (around £5,400) in the first three months and were “financially free” within six months, allowing them to choose their own work hours and lifestyle.

Mr Elefante now owns eight properties in total, having added two to his portfolio in 2023. These properties generate an annual income of $400,000 each (around £313,000).

He now employs 80 staff and manages 300 properties, earning the couple millions annually.

Mr Elefante, from Greenville, South Carolina, US, said: “Neither of us were very passionate about the jobs we were working – we didn’t have a lot of fulfillment out of them. We wanted to take control of our time and choose what we do with it, without reporting to anyone else, picking and choosing how we do things.

“A lot of people think financial freedom is about money, but it really comes down to time freedom.”

They bought one home in 2019, two homes in 2020, two homes in 2021, and one more in 2022 in Florida, US.

The pair say they funded this by solely liquidating their retirement funds and profit from their first couple of properties.

Their focus is on short-term rentals, creating a unique “experience” for their guests.

Mr Elefante said: “We chose short-term rentals because of their cash potential. We saw an opportunity to create experiences in a home that people would pay for.”

He added: “It has been a wild ride for sure, we were all in, we were so motivated to get out of our current roles and be free.”

Mr Elefante said he sold his truck after purchasing the first property to fund alterations.

He continued: “The second property, we liquidated our retirement account – it was nerve-racking, but we were all in.”

This success has allowed them to spend more time with their 21-month-old daughter, Kennedy, and prepare for their new baby due later this year.

In 2022, they bought a $2million dream house on a lake in the mountains of Greenville, South Carolina.

Last year, the couple added two more properties to their empire in Ashville, North Carolina, earning them $400,000 a month each in rental income.

Sharing his top tips for becoming financially free, Mr Elefante said: “Focus on your income and not so much on pinching pennies. Understand that boosting your income without impacting your current spending habits will increase the rate you can increase larger sums of money.

“Invest as much as you can in something that produces a monthly cash flow – real estate or a business.

“Understand the marketplace and learn what properties make it to number one.

“Get out of the consumer mindset and become a creator. Instead of consuming content online, you can start creating content.”

Finally, Mr Elefante urged: “Understand what works well, why it works well and set up the most incredible experience for people that they won’t be able to get anywhere else.”


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