STRs the Good, Bad and Ugly with Maria Rekrut

Short-term rentals, often called STRs, are temporary lodging options that property owners rent out to individuals or families. They can range from apartments, condominiums and houses to unique accommodations like tree houses or yurts. Essentially, they're a home away from home. 

Strs The Good, Bad And Ugly With Maria Rekrut

Short-term rentals, often called STRs, are temporary lodging options that property owners rent out to individuals or families. They can range from apartments, condominiums and houses to unique accommodations like tree houses or yurts. Essentially, they’re a home away from home. 

This rental model differs from traditional long-term leases in that it typically lasts less than 30 days. The most common platform that has popularized STRs is Airbnb, although several other online marketplaces exist. 

Contrary to the classic understanding of a rental property, where landlords and tenants commit to long-term lease agreements, STRs involve a quick turnover of guests. This presents unique opportunities and challenges, as property owners must regularly prepare their spaces for new occupants. 

STRs have grown increasingly popular over the last few decades, primarily propelled by the advent of the sharing economy and digital platforms. The first ever short-term rental was listed on Airbnb back in 2008. Since then, this unique model of accommodations has exploded in popularity, transforming the landscape of travel and tourism. 

To put it in simple terms, imagine having guests stay in your vacant property for a weekend or a few weeks. They pay you to stay there, and when they leave, you clean up and prepare for your next guest. It’s essentially a revolving door of guests, and if managed well, it can be a very profitable venture. 

However, running STRs comes with challenges and rewards like any other business. Understanding these aspects is crucial for anyone interested in venturing into this industry.

But first, if you want financing for your next investment and want to know what type of collateral may be involved, click the link below for a free strategy call with our mortgage team at LendCity to discuss your specific situation.

Meet Maria Rekrut – A Leading Expert in STRs

Get ready to dive into the exciting world of Short-Term Rentals (STRs) with Maria Rekrut, a veteran in the real estate industry. With over four decades of extensive practical experience, Maria has been actively involved in real estate since the 1980s. Her venture in the STR domain began in 2000, making her one of the earliest adopters of this business model. 

Not just a seasoned investor, Maria is renowned as a real estate juggernaut, widely recognized for her expertise and deep knowledge in STRs. Her real-world wisdom and firsthand experiences have shaped her strategies, enabling her to successfully navigate the dynamic landscape of STRs. 

Maria firmly believes in the importance of continuous learning and education. Her investment in personal growth and self-education is impressive. From attending courses and weekend-long seminars to hiring a mentor at the beginning of her journey, she equipped herself with extensive knowledge and practical skills to sail through real estate challenges. She isn’t reserved in calling it ‘dangerous’ when one venture into the STR business without prior education and mentorship. 

Beyond her ventures, she extends her wisdom to other aspiring entrepreneurs and real estate investors. Her website,, is a testament to her commitment to helping others succeed in the real estate venture. The website has been up and running since 1993 and serves as a trove of valuable resources for anyone interested in studying STR properties. 

Join Dave Debeau as he explores the intricate world of STRs with the esteemed Maria Rekrut!

The Good Side of STRs

Short-term rentals, often abbreviated as STRs, have become increasingly popular for property owners and investors to generate additional income. In the discussion hosted by Dave Debeau and Maria Rekrut, a leading expert in the field of STRs, they illuminated the potential benefits of this real estate venture. 

So, what’s good about STRs? The compelling aspects of the short-term rental business, as illustrated by Rekrut, can be categorized under three major themes: opportunity, profitability, and flexibility. 


STRs offer immense opportunities to property owners. With the surge in platforms like Airbnb, entering the short-term rental market is easier than ever. This allows property owners to turn low occupancy properties into steady income streams. STRs will enable you to leverage existing properties instead of leaving them vacant or renting them long-term with often lower returns. 


The earning potential of STRs can also outweigh that of long-term rentals. Compared to traditional rentals, higher rental prices can result in a substantial increase in income. Although STRs have additional operating costs, such as cleaning, the higher turnover rate can offset these costs. 


A unique advantage of STRs is flexibility. Property owners can utilize their property for personal use during selected periods of the year. They are not tied down to long-term lease agreements. This flexibility could particularly appeal to people who live in seasonal locations or travel frequently. 

While appreciating these benefits, Maria advises anyone new to STRs to get educated about the business. Success in short-term rentals requires a good understanding of the market trends, customer expectations, and effective rental management strategies.

The Bad Side of STRs

In short-term rentals (STRs), not everything is a bed of roses. While the bright side holds opportunity, profitability, and flexibility, a darker side must be considered. STRs may be lucrative, but these ventures can bring unique challenges. Maria Rekrut paints a realistic picture of the possible pitfalls. 

Over-leverage and Higher Interest Rates 

For individuals entering the STR market, one looming pitfall is over-leverage. This happens when landlords pull too much equity out of their properties, often to reinvest in other properties or endeavours. Maria Rekrut warns that over-leverage can lead to financial strain and even foreclosures when the economy twists or interest rates rise. The situation can be exacerbated when these landlords get stuck with higher interest rates, eating into their potential profits and leaving little room for error. 

Challenges for New Landlords 

New landlords often face significant hurdles when entering the STR business. The unfamiliarity with handling different situations, from managing bookings to handling guest issues, can prove overwhelming. Maria recommends that new landlords get educated about the STR business before diving in head-first. A lack of robust knowledge and preparedness can turn a promising opportunity into an opportunity missed. 

The Unpredictability of Rentals 

While regular rentals provide a steady income stream, STRs can be unpredictable. There can be periods of high demand and when rentals are vacant. Seasonal changes, evolving travel trends, and other factors can affect rental demand. Building a buffer for leaner times is usually a smart move. 

While STRs can offer many benefits, this sector’s challenges can be equally daunting. As Maria Rekrut underscores, understanding these potential pitfalls is critical to navigating short-term rentals’ competitive and complex world.

Balancing the Interests of Communities and STR Owners

At the crux of the short-term rental (STR) market is the delicate balance between the interests of communities and STR owners. As Dave Debeau and his guest, Maria Rekrut, discuss the intricacies of STRs, they delve into the often fine line that landlords and STR owners tread when attempting to meet the needs of both parties. 

Navigating Interests of Communities 

On the one hand, communities thirst for safeguards against potential disruptions from an influx of short-term tenants. They are concerned about preserving the character and tranquillity of their neighbourhoods. After all, consistent turnover of tenants in residential areas can disrupt the sense of community, cause parking issues, and potentially increase noise pollution. 

Addressing Concerns of STR Owners 

On the other hand, STR owners’ foremost interest usually revolves around turning a profit from their investments. But Maria Rekrut emphasizes the importance of STR owners being conscious of their role within the community. She suggests that landlords should stay informed and respect local guidelines, which often means being responsive to neighbourhood concerns. 

Finding the Sweet Spot 

Finding the sweet spot where interests align in this dynamic can be challenging. According to Maria, it often necessitates open communication, negotiation, and adherence to local regulations. STR owners who manage this balance foster better relations with the community and usually see fewer issues with their rentals. 

Remember, understanding and respecting your neighbours’ interests will result in a more harmonious relationship between STR owners and the communities in which they operate. This harmony is a crucial factor to consider for sustainable STR operation. As Maria Rekrut aptly says, “You can’t do business in a community without being part of it.”

Successful Strategies for Operating STR Properties

In Short-Term Rentals (STRs), operating these properties efficiently and lucratively is a skill that comes with experience and knowledge. Luckily, Maria Rekrut, an expert in STRs, is here to shed light on some successful strategies that have worked for her. 

Education and Research 

According to Maria, one of the foremost steps in successfully managing STR properties is delving into education and research. Comprehending your local market, understanding your potential guests, and knowing the laws and regulations regarding STR properties are imperative. Maria recommends visiting her website,, which acts as a valuable repository of knowledge for those actively involved in the STR business, providing education and guidance to seasoned investors and those just starting. 

Property Management 

Hands-on management and maintenance of properties are essential facets of the process. Regularly servicing the property, understanding tenants’ needs, and maintaining the quality of service can significantly enhance your profitability in the STR market. 

Financial Planning 

A reasonable financial planning strategy is pivotal for resounding success in the operation of STRs. Some crucial factors Maria emphasizes are avoiding over-leverage, planning for uncertainties, and clearly understanding the return on investment.  

Tenant Selection 

Selecting suitable tenants is another essential part of successfully running STRs. Devise a thorough screening process that helps you identify professional tenants who pay promptly, respect property rules, and maintain decorum. This approach protects you against specific problems that other Ontario landlords have often faced.

Running STR properties successfully amounts to much more than simply purchasing a property and listing it for rent. It requires a strategic approach, constant learning, and consistent effort to provide tenants with a high-quality experience.

The Importance of Effective Marketing for STRs

Marketing has always been the cornerstone of any business’s success, and Short Term Rentals (STRs) are no different. An engaging and well-implemented marketing strategy can quickly turn around a struggling STR and make it profitable. 

Maria Rekrut, with her vast experience in managing STRs, distinctly emphasizes the importance of effective marketing. Starting her first short-term rental in 2000, she quickly realized how essential proper marketing is for the success of an STR. 

The Right Marketing Channels 

As a short-term rental host, one might invariably think about listing their property on platforms like Airbnb. While this is indeed a good start, Maria suggests it’s essential to diversify the marketing efforts. She proposes exploring online and offline channels like local tourism websites, targeted SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for a dedicated property website, local classifieds, and network marketing. Remember, the broader the distribution, the higher the potential occupancy. 

Creating an Engaging Listing 

Maria states an attractive and descriptive listing is crucial in the crowded STR market. The listing should highlight the property’s unique features, its accessibility to popular tourist locations, and the amenities provided. High-quality photos can be a real game-changer and are undoubtedly worth the investment. 

Understanding Your Target Audience 

Successful marketing always starts with knowing your audience. For STRs, Maria explains that identifying the type of guests you want to attract is fundamentally essential. It can be families that might appreciate a quiet neighbourhood and child-friendly amenities, or it might be young travellers interested in the local nightlife. Knowing your target audience will help you tailor your marketing message effectively. 

Pricing and Special Offers 

In the STR market, pricing is vital to the marketing strategy. Maria suggests paying close attention to the competition’s pricing and structuring your rates accordingly. Offering special deals or off-peak discounts can also be a very appealing draw for potential tenants. A successful STR should balance affordability for guests and profitability for hosts. 

In conclusion, effective marketing is not simply about gaining short-term bookings. It is more about building a brand, increasing the property’s visibility, and establishing long-term relationships with tenants. With the wisdom shared by Maria Rekrut, hosts can undoubtedly look to catapult their STRs to new heights.

Conclusion: Exploring the Complex World of STRs with Maria Rekrut

Exploring the world of Short-Term Rentals (STRs) with Maria Rekrut, it is evident that there is more to the real estate business than initially meets the eye. Recalling her expert insights and wisdom gleaned from over four decades in the industry, potential investors in this space can take note of the multi-faceted elements that drive this market – from the good and the bad to the practical strategies required for success. 

Through Maria’s rich narrative and experiences, one can understand that STRs present a wealth of opportunity, profitability, and flexibility. Yet, they also come with their challenges: over-leverage and higher interest rates, the steep learning curve for new landlords, and the inherent unpredictability of the rental market. Listening to Maria, interested parties can appreciate that the STR market isn’t for the faint-hearted. 

Maria’s discussion of balancing community interests and STR owners’ concerns is a gentle reminder that real estate practice isn’t solely about profit but also about co-existence and respect for community standards and norms. Simultaneously, she sensitively addresses the worries of STR owners, highlighting that finding a balance promises harmony and sustainable growth in the arena. 

Further, Maria’s insights into operative strategies for STR properties, encompassing education, property management, financial planning, and tenant selection, provide a practical, helpful guide for aspiring and established real estate investors. She emphasizes that ongoing education, diligent research, careful planning, and thorough vetting are the building blocks for long-term success in this field. Her stress on the need for effective marketing channels and creating engaging listings hints at how nuanced the world of STRs can be. 

More than anything, Maria’s input gives a human angle to real estate investing, proving it to be more than just a cold, challenging business venture. Encouraging visitors to her website, Maria further emphasizes her belief in sharing knowledge to empower individual real estate ventures. 

In summary, exploring the complex world of STRs with Maria Rekrut opens up a nuanced, dynamic, and challenging avenue of real estate, ripe with opportunities for those who are informed, prepared and willing to embrace a comprehensive approach. Maria says it’s all about careful preparation, robust knowledge, and responsible stewardship.

If you are ready to start investing today and want more information about how your mortgage may be secured – or are looking to apply for a mortgage today – click the link below for a free strategy call with our mortgage team at LendCity today.

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