In an era where getting a foothold on the housing ladder seems like an insurmountable challenge, especially for young individuals lacking parental financial support, one enterprising entrepreneur is defying the odds.
Meet Lina Akhtar, a 26-year-old visionary hailing from Bedfordshire, who has discovered an unconventional path to financial success, raking in just over £100,000 annually by renting out properties she doesn't even own. Lina's unique strategy showcases the possibilities beyond the traditional 9-to-5 grind.
The Conventional Path and Early Struggles
Lina's journey into entrepreneurship was not without its challenges. After completing her university education in 2018, she initially believed that a typical office job was her only destiny.
As the eldest daughter in a second-generation immigrant family, her educational choices were constrained. Lina's journey led her to pursue a degree in business management, a field she felt little passion for. However, she persevered, determined to make the most of her situation.
From there, Lina's post-graduation experiences were far from ideal. Her first job, at a cybersecurity start-up in South London, subjected her to gruelling commutes and an inhospitable work environment.
As the lone female in the office, she faced misogynistic comments and was burdened with unfair errands. It didn't take long for Lina to realise that the conventional 9-to-5 route wasn't aligned with her aspirations.
A Desperate Quest for Entrepreneurship
Undeterred by early setbacks, Lina embarked on a series of side hustles, including writing a book, creating a clothing line, and starting a print-on-demand business.
Despite her relentless efforts, none of these ventures found success, leaving her with no choice but to continue working in regular jobs.
However, a pivotal moment occurred during a family holiday in a luxurious Airbnb property, sparking an idea that would change her life forever. Lina delved into the concept of rent-to-rent, inspired by an American YouTuber who described the strategy.
Impressively, with just £3,000 in her bank account, Lina ventured into the unknown, determined to build herself a brighter, more inspiring future.
The Risk and Reward of Rent-to-Rent
Rent-to-rent is a model where you lease a property long-term from a landlord and then sublet it to tenants at a higher rate, generating profit from the difference. Lina began by networking with landlords and letting agents, earning a finders' fee for referring properties to existing Airbnb hosts.
This innovative approach generated £10,000 in fees, providing her with the capital needed to furnish her first and very own Airbnb.However, the path to success was not without its challenges. Slow initial bookings and the time-intensive nature of property preparation tested Lina's resolve.
What’s more, rent-to-rent also carries inherent risks, such as covering rent during vacancies and potential property damage expenses. Moreover, it requires explicit landlord permission to avoid breaching tenancy agreements.
The Triumph of Determination and Ingenuity
Despite these obstacles, Lina persevered. As her Airbnb gained traction and she streamlined her business processes, her workload reduced to just 10 hours a week.
Now, a whole five years later, she's earning six figures annually. Her Airbnb alone generates £104,000, while three rental properties that she manages bring in an additional £8.6k in revenue and £3k in net profit monthly.
Lina's self-employment journey also comes with the responsibility of reporting her own income and paying taxes. She files a self-assessment with HMRC each year, with rates of 20% on earnings exceeding £12,570 and 40% on income surpassing £50,270.
The Art of Attraction and the Future Ahead
Lina's flair for interior design has played a crucial role in attracting renters. She tailors each property's presentation to its unique features, ensuring a cosy atmosphere for carpeted floors and a chic, modernistic style for dark laminate flooring.
She will then strategically list her properties on various platforms, but her main traffic sources are Airbnb and Booking.com. Lina partners with landlords who seek professional management due to past tenant issues, solidifying mutually beneficial relationships.
How Social Media Platforms and Podcasts Can Help Lina and Her Business
Lina Akhtar's remarkable journey in the world of rent-to-rent can benefit immensely from the power of social media platforms and podcasts. Leveraging platforms, like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, Lina can showcase her beautifully staged properties, share her success story, and connect with potential clients, landlords, and fellow entrepreneurs.
These platforms offer a global reach, enabling her to expand her network and attract a broader audience interested in property investment and entrepreneurship.
Moreover, Lina can use social media to provide valuable insights, tips, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into her business, establishing herself as an authority in the field.
Podcasts, on the other hand, provide a dynamic avenue for Lina to share her journey and expertise in a more in-depth and personal manner. By hosting her podcast or appearing as a guest on existing shows, she can engage with a dedicated audience eager to learn about her unique rent-to-rent strategy and entrepreneurial experiences.
Furthermore, podcasts offer a platform for storytelling, allowing Lina to inspire others, provide practical advice, and build a loyal following of individuals seeking to break free from traditional career paths and embark on their own entrepreneurial adventures.
Together, social media and podcasts can amplify Lina's presence in the industry, solidifying her status as a trailblazer in the rent-to-rent business and an inspirational figure for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Empowering Others to Break Free
Lina is now using her rental income to create an educational platform, empowering others to escape the monotony of the 9-to-5 grind. She emphasises that confidence is the key to resilience, and her only regret is not starting sooner.
So, in a world where homeownership seems out of reach for many, Lina Akhtar's entrepreneurial journey serves as an inspiring testament to the possibilities beyond the conventional path.
Her story reminds us that with determination, innovation, and a dash of courage, financial freedom can be within grasp, even for those without parental support. It's a testament to the power of tenacity, creativity, and unwavering determination to defy the odds and create a life on your own terms.
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Article written by Dylan Moore
Dylan, originaly from Turkey, discovered his passion for programming and podcasting online. Him and his team later founded PodApp, a user-friendly platform designed to make podcasting accessible to everyone. Read more