Derek Cheung’s Airbnb Empire Academy Review: Does Derek’s Airbnb Empire Really Exist?

March 24, 2024

Airbnb Empire Academy is an Airbnb arbitrage course by Derek Cheung. It is a step-by-step training on how to build, scale, and automate your own 7-figure Airbnb business without owning any properties. There are 3 packages available depending on your needs, from course only to mastermind mentorship.

You can do Airbnb if you don’t own property. The business model is called Airbnb arbitrage. Airbnb arbitrage is when you rent out a property and sublet it on the Airbnb platform for short term rentals. This process is easier said than done. There are a lot of risks unique to Airbnb arbitrage for both hosts and landlords. You are more likely to be turned down by the landlord if you do not know how to convince them to sublet for short term rentals.

Local lead generation is a passive income business model that works as a type of digital real estate. In this business, you don't have to deal with issues that plague traditional real estate, such as high capital requirements, property maintenance, undesirable tenants, low occupancy rates, etc. Simply put, you create and rank a site on Google using tactics like SEO, then rent it out to local businesses. This creates predictable and passive income. Check out local lead generation for a low cost, low maintenance passive income business mode.

Derek Cheung's Airbnb Empire

Derek is reported to make over $5M a year with his Airbnb, VRBO, and coaching businesses. He has 2 Airbnb accounts: 1 for Texas with about 90 listings and 1 for Midwest listings like Iowa and Michigan with about 70 listings. His first account earned $1,427,058 total in just half of 2022, with a 92 percent occupancy rate, and $1,148,433 total for the 2nd account. He live-streamed proof of his accounts and earnings in his video, so you can be sure this is legit.

airbnb empire academy review
airbnb empire academy review

Derek has also recently started investing in Airbnb Luxe properties. Airbnb Luxe listings are high end listings that are carefully inspected to meet high standards. Luxe properties range from $1,000 to over $10,000 a night.

Derek Cheung’s Airbnb Empire Academy Review: Pros and Cons


Derek Cheung is a proven success with Aribnb arbitrage.

The course is comprehensive and includes automation lessons.

Lifetime access to the course includes future updates.


The coaching and mentorship are expensive upsells.

There are many other courses with no coaching that are cheaper than Airbnb Empire Academy.

This course is not for those who want to list their own property on Airbnb.


$5,000 for The Freedom Blueprint, $9,000 for Freedom Accelerator, and $25,000 for Elite Mentorship.

Refund Policy

No refund policy.


Mixed reviews with some calling him a fraud.

Who Is Derek Cheung’s Airbnb Empire Academy For?

  • Newbies in short term rental businesses who want to learn the A-Zs of creating and running an Airbnb business.
  • Experienced Airbnb hosts who have under 10 listings and are having problems scaling.
  • Full time Airbnb hosts who want to learn how to scale their business.

If you find this course not for you, check Anbe Group Rental Arbitrage

What Do You Get With Derek Cheung’s Airbnb Empire Academy?

airbnb empire academy review

With Airbnb Empire Academy, you get a 6-hour, 50-lesson, 10-module masterclass. It is a step-by-step course on how to build and scale an automated 7-figure Airbnb business. You'll also get access to resources like call and email scripts, automated messaging templates, virtual property manager presentations, done-for-you documents, and more. The guarantee offered is that if you don’t get your first unit within 6 months, Derek will give you 1-on-1 coaching until you are successful.

Module 1: Creating Your Business

  1. Introduction & Background
  2. Part 1 Syllabus
  3. Rental Arbitrage Economics
  4. Business Structure Setup
  5. Business Credit Cards
  6. Business Branding & Website

Module 2: Market Research

  1. Regulations & Ideation
  2. How to use AirDNA & Financial Projections
  3. Cold Calling & Evaluating Deals

Module 3: Finding Deals

  1. Sales Process
  2. Sales Script
  3. Email Followup Script
  4. Pitch Deck
  5. Objections
  6. Hacks to Multiply Sales Efforts
  7. Compliance Protocol

Module 4: Negotiating Deals

  1. Due Diligence
  2. Getting Approved
  3. Negotiations
  4. Deal Analysis
  5. Lease Addendum

Module 5: Setting Up Your Airbnb

  1. Interior Design
  2. Furniture Acquisition
  3. Build Out Logistics
  4. Wallpaper Method

Module 6: Creating an Optimized Listing

  1. Creating Your Listing
  2. SEO Hacks
  3. Check-In Guide & House Manual
  4. Automated Messaging

Module 7: Pricing Strategy

  1. Intro to Dynamic Pricing
  2. Dynamic Pricing Concepts
  3. Dynamic Pricing Tools
  4. Example of Managing Prices
  5. Pricelabs and Pricing Tutorial

Module 8: Automation & Staff

  1. Part 2 Syllabus
  2. Hiring Staff Overview
  3. Building a Cleaning Team
  4. Handyman
  5. Restocking & Errand Runners
  6. Errand Runner and City Manager
  7. Organization Chart Recap
  8. Software Automation List
  9. Channel Manager
  10. Project Management
  11. Team Communication, Google Drive, & Accounting

Module 9: Operation Essentials for Sustainability

  1. How to Prevent Parties & Bad Guests
  2. How to get Paid from Airbnb for Damages
  3. How to Handle Cancellations
  4. How to Manage your Portfolio Remotely
  5. How to get Renewals and More Units with the Same Landlord

Module 10: How to Instantly Boost Margins for Your Listings

  1. Extra Tips to Boost Margins
  2. How I Survive COVID 19 and Recessions
  3. My Next Goals

With the Freedom Blueprint, you get additional monthly coaching with Derek's team. The Elite Mentorship package gives you lifetime access to the Airbnb Millionaire Masterclass, weekly coaching, access to the private Discord, 1-year access to Derek on Discord, a 90 day unit guarantee, and a lot more. You can even book him for a consultation call for $16.67/min.

Are Students of Derek Cheung’s Airbnb Empire Academy Successful?

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any detailed reviews of Derek Cheung's Airbnb Empire Academy. Aside from what's posted on the official site, the reviews on Trustpilot are hard to confirm. Here are some of the reviews on his official site:

The positive reviews on Trustpilot are questionable, as they seem to have all been posted on the same date. They also all give a perfect rating with over the top comments.

Who Is Derek Cheung?

airbnb empire academy review

Chung-fu "Derek" Cheung is an Airbnb host, entrepreneur, and founder of Airbnb Empire Academy from Frisco, Texas. Derek started Airbnb arbitrage in 2019 while attending college and after trying day trading and ecommerce. After 3 years, his Airbnb listings make over $3 million a year, with 187 units across 5 cities. He is featured in several publications, such as Business Insider, and has over 146K followers on Instagram.

Is Airbnb Arbitrage Worth It in 2024?

Having an Airbnb is a good investment. If you own a property that you don’t use or have the capital to purchase one, having an Airbnb can prove a sound long-term investment. If you cannot afford your own property, Airbnb arbitrage can be a good strategy. However, Airbnb arbitrage is more challenging, with more risks and lower profit margins.

Airbnb estimates that the average Airbnb owner makes $900-$1,100 a month in profit. How much you make will depend on your pricing, operating costs, and occupancy rate. The percent that Airbnb takes from the host depends on the mode of pricing. There are 2 pricing modes: Split and Simplified. Split pricing, where Airbnb charges 3% from the host and 14.2% from the guest, is available for listings located in the US, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, the Bahamas, Argentina, and Taiwan. Simplified pricing is where Airbnb charges 15% from the host for the service fee.

Getting Started With Airbnb

To get started with Airbnb, you need to have a property, either owned or with permission from the landlord, that meets Airbnb standards and is in an area where local regulations allow short term rentals. An Airbnb should have all the essential amenities at all times. Examples of essential amenities are toiletries, hand and body soap, kitchenware, cleaning supplies, towels, pillows, and linens. WiFi is also now a common amenity that people look for in Airbnb listings.

Qualifications for Airbnb

  • You need to be 18 or above.
  • You have property that you own or have permission to sublease.
  • Your property has to at least meet minimum requirements of building standards.
  • Short term rentals are allowed in your local area

For owners, Airbnb works as a platform where they list their property for short term rent. Owners can list a variety of rentals, from entire properties, private or shared rooms, to hotel rooms. The apartment type Airbnb is the most popular listing. While they have a lower income and profit margin, they are the most common listing types on the Airbnb platform.

Entire home Airbnb listings make the most money. That said, the Airbnb type that matches the target audience and demand in the chosen market will make the highest profits. For example, apartments or condos would make more money in large cities, while entire vacation homes would make more money in tourist areas.

Creating a Successful Airbnb Business

To run a successful Airbnb, you have to deliver beyond expectation in order to qualify for the Superhost badge. This will significantly increase your occupancy rate and income. You also need to efficiently manage your team and maintain your listing. To qualify for the Airbnb Superhost Badge, you need to have completed reservations totaling 100, have at least 90% response rate, have less than 1% cancellation rate, and an overall rating of 4.8. Exceeding the guest’s expectation leading to a memorable experience makes a 5 star Airbnb. You should aim at over delivering the experience to your guests if you want to ensure a 5 star rating.

Growing Your Airbnb Business

You can attract more customers on Airbnb by focusing on a niche experience. For example, glamping is one of the growing popular types of Airbnb rentals. If you can focus on creating the best glamping experience for your listing, this will attract more niche customers. Courses like Shaw Moore's Vodyssey, Rob's Robuilt Host Camp, and Avery Carl's The Short Term Shop specialize in niche vacation rentals.

You can make your Airbnb more profitable by adding amenities to justify a price increase. This can range from simple amenities like an iron, hair dryers, and cooking supplies to luxury amenities like luxury toiletries, swimming pools, gyms, designer furniture, and designated parking.

Scaling Your Airbnb Business

Scaling your Airbnb business can be done by automating your processes. You should use tools that help with automation and hire teams that will run the business for you, allowing you to focus on scaling. You can get someone else to host your Airbnb. Co-hosting is a common business practice with Airbnb that will be very useful, especially when you are scaling. You can have co-host per property or group of properties.

You also need to set up your company. A limited liability company (LLC) is the best business structure for an Airbnb. An LLC has the fewest administrative requirements and is easy and cheap to set up.

Risks of Using Airbnb

  • Changes in local regulations - Regulations on short term rentals have been tightening in the past few years. Sudden changes in the local regulations in the area your listings are located may suddenly lose you a business.
  • Property damage - Any damage to your listing will come out of your pocket. Property damage that requires repairs will prevent you from accepting bookings until they have been fixed. Damages can result in a loss of income.
  • Negative cash flow - Income flow can be unpredictable. Off season months, natural disasters and unforeseen calamities, and travel restrictions such as those seen during the COVID-19 outbreak can leave you with a negative income.

My Number 1 Recommendation for Making Passive Income in 2024?

Local lead generation is my number 1 recommendation for making passive income in 2024. To put it simply, you create and rank a website on Google that generates leads for local business. You get a monthly predictable income from renting it out to them. There are hundreds of niches and thousands of local areas from which to pick from.

A site can stay ranked on Google for years without needing updating, making the need for maintenance very minimal. You don't need to hire a team to manage your business as it basically runs itself. This makes local lead generation a truly passive income business model.

To scale your business, you simply have to repeat the process of ranking and renting. This high scalability, paired with its passive nature, makes local lead generation the best business model to create time and financial freedom.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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  1. Yo! This is Derek. I saw your blog about me. Those reviews on trustpilot are fake, I have a hater that keeps leaving fake reviews. I would appreciate it if you took those off your blog to stop spreading these lies.

    I never paid anyone to grow my social media for me nor leave reviews. This guy that's claiming that he's an agency is absolutely false, and I can share you the evidence to the contrary. We can hop on a live call too.

    the other review on 2/9, read the first 3 sentences it's just straight slander without any facts. Just a hater's opinion even talking about my eyes. I did not copy the course nor do I tell anyone they're my slave. almost all of our calls are recorded and i'm happy to share that evidence with you too. Additionally, the last few sentencces are also slander too just vague hateful statements

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