Richard Fertig’s Short-Term Rental University Review: Is STR Hosting a Future-Proof Business?

April 6, 2024

Short-Term Rental University (STRU) is a do-it-yourself educational platform developed and coached by real estate investor and mogul Richard Fertig. STRU is a one-stop shop that also offers tool kits to owners and property managers. Students of the course will learn the exact system Richard used to build and scale his rental properties. Richard’s future-proof formula promises a system that can identify and operate short-term rentals that make continuous and sustainable passive income. 

The learning platform has two program offerings that aim to turn property owners into entrepreneurs earning a lucrative profit from an STR online business

The Ultimate Guide to Finding & Buying STR Properties

Is a self-paced course that teaches Richard’s proven system of building and scaling a short-term rental listing. This course aims to help real estate investors find and acquire properties with confidence. It's a 5-module course that guides real estate investors from assessing the business model to closing deals.

The WHY Assessment

This module aims to align your passion and personal interests with your financial goals. Personal connection with the property makes you more passionate about solving problems that arise down the road. It also makes your STR unit easier to market to like-minded guests.

Pre-Purchase Evaluation

The second part of the course focuses on the financial aspect of acquiring a property. This module prepares you to become loan-worthy while avoiding hard credit checks.

Making the Right Decision 

Module 3 discusses 3 important things before you go all-in with STR investing. This lesson discusses regulations, homes to avoid, and revenue assumptions set realistic and achievable expectations.

Closing the Deal 

In this module, Richard shares secret tips on how to get your broker to agree on the price you want. It also teaches a strategy that puts you in a position to negotiate the price and leverage home inspections to make you feel comfortable about the deal.

Building Your Cash Engine 

In the module, students will learn how to decide which renovations are immediate and which ones can be delayed. It also teaches a strategy for marketing the property in the short-term rental market, so building your brand is easier.  

STR University Cohort

It is a cohort-based class where students learn and grow with other property owners to address problems and collectively come up with practical solutions to scale and dominate the short-term rental industry. The limited class size maximizes the learning of every course participant. Enrollment in the class includes a 75-minute one-on-one call with Richard.

If you're looking for a future-proof and recession-proof venture, local lead generation is still the best business model in 2024 and beyond. In local lead gen, you service other recession-proof businesses by generating leads for them. Even better than STR, in local lead gen, you don't need a property manager, outsource cleaning services, and comply with short-term rental regulations. Essential services like plumbing, schools, lending, consulting companies, tree care, and roof repairs are future-proof businesses. They will pay for leads to get ahead of their competitors. 

Short-Term Rental University Pros and Cons

Short-Term Rental University Pros

Credible reputation as realtor and entrepreneur: Richard Fertig has a credible reputation and has been in the real estate industry for many years, making him a credible coach. 

Featured in business networks: Richard has been featured in big business channels like CNBC, Business Insider, ABC, and Forbes. 

Positive reviews: Short-Term Rental University has many good reviews online, real students of the courses can vouch for its quality and effectiveness. 

Teaches the fundamentals of STR hosting: “The Ultimate Guide to Finding & Buying STR Properties” discusses how to acquire a rental unit, which is a fundamental lesson for beginners in this business. 

Free tutorials on YouTube: Richard gives free tutorials on his YouTube channel that give property owners practical lessons, tips, and advice. His teaching method is not pushy, it’s very informative and value-driven. 

Featured as the best STR course: Short-Term Rental University has been listed as one of the best courses to learn vacation rental business by blogging sites like Host Tools and Hostaway. 

New and valuable content: STR University (YouTube) shares valuable new information, strategies, and tips on rental property investing that other coaches in the industry do not have. 

Short-Term Rental University Cons

Sketchy Facebook reviews: STRU’s Facebook profile is flooded with fake accounts giving reviews on STRU's page. 

Not applicable to everyone: Acquiring real estate varies in different locations, so the lessons in “The Ultimate Guide to Finding & Buying STR Properties” course may not apply to everyone. 

Limited coaching session: One-on-one coaching call with Richard is only limited to 75 minutes, which is not a lot of coaching time. 


The Ultimate Guide to Finding & Buying STR Properties costs $1,995, STR University Cohort is $1,500

Refund Policy

No refund policy mentioned in the Terms of Use. 


 According to Richard's LinkedIn profile, STRU was founded on November 2016. 


STRU is recommended in multiple blogging sites as one of the best courses to take for property owners and real estate investors who want to explore short-term rental. 

Is STR Hosting a Future-Proof Business?

Yes, STR hosting has the qualities of a future-proof business and still has room for growth. The upward trend of Airbnb is evidence of the business model's future-proof potential. Although the short-term rental platform struggled during the pandemic, it has an impressive recovery rate after the lockdown. In 2021, Airbnb’s revenue is up by 77% as Gross Payment Volume soared to $46 billion. Airbnb’s promising comeback is suggestive that the vacation rental business can recover despite unforeseen challenges that limit its profitability in the future. 

Another future-proof characteristic of STR is that it's inflation-resistant. As the costs of goods and services rise, vacationers on a budget will prefer rental units more than hotels. Property owners who are looking for a passive income stream to keep up with inflation may opt for short-term rental listings. 

Airbnb was founded during the time of the Great Recession (in 2008) when many short-term rental owners listed their units. Even when money is tight, people will still want to go on a vacation but on a budget, which is favorable for STR owners. Modernization, industrialization, and urbanization give more opportunities for the STR business model to scale. 

Although Airbnb's GBV plunged in 2020 (start of pandemic) resulting from a 40% decrease in bookings, it maintained an upward trend until it reached all-time-high just 2 years later. In 2022, Airbnb recorded the highest Gross Booking Value at $63 billion. 

Who Is the Creator of Short-Term Rental University?

Richard Fertig is the founder of Short-Term Rental University (STRU). He is an entrepreneur for over 25 years and an STR owner who currently makes $500K in revenue from his short-term rental units. Richard is one of the most-coveted short-term rental coaches. He is known for his unique ability to uncover market trends backed by years of experience in real estate and hedge fund management. This enabled him to make smart decisions as a property owner. 

STRU is one of the many businesses of Richard Fertig. His other businesses are Stomp Capital LLC, Brilliant Transportation, and others in hospitality and finance. He also became an associate at The Blackstone Group and managed a $4 billion Hedge Fund at Ramius Capital LLC in New York City. Richard had a solid educational foundation. In 1991, he graduated from Cornell University with a Double Major in Psychology and Economics. He made it to the Dean's List when he studied for his MBA in Finance at The Wharton School in Pennsylvania. 

Despite his full business portfolio, Richard lives a balanced life. He is a proud father of three daughters and loves to travel the world. Skiing, surfing, yoga, and swimming are his favorite recreational activities. 

Richard Fertig's Positive Reviews

What Are STRs?

A short-term rental is a dwelling unit that guests and vacationers can rent for less than 30 days. An STR unit can be a home or an accessory dwelling unit that can be rented over a short period (a couple of days or a few weeks). It’s an alternative to a hotel and is targeted at tourists and vacationers. An STR unit should be fully furnished with all basic amenities, like a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining area, living room, and laundry space. 

Can You Make Money With Short-Term Rentals?

Yes, you can make money with short-term rentals. The latest Airbnb statistics show that the average host earns $13K yearly. Airbnb is present in over 100K cities with over 150 million active users as of writing. The short-term rental platform now owns 20% of the vacation rental market. It’s a growing industry and there’s a great opportunity for scalability and profitability in an STR rental business.

What Are the Short-Term Rental Advantages?

The advantages of short-term rental are high revenues, passive income, and long-term property appreciation. In North America, the average cost of an Airbnb stay is $163, while the average guest stay is 4 nights per booking. At this rate, the owner makes $654 for a 4-night stay. With 150 million active users worldwide, there’s so much potential for making money online with short-term rentals. 

STR earns passive income. A rental unit can be managed remotely, you can automate the booking and check-in system, and cleaning services can be outsourced. Real estate increases in value year after year, and the housing market in the U.S. appreciates at 4% annually. So, aside from your short-term income on the property, you also earn from it through long-term real estate appreciation. 

How To Have a Successful Short-Term Rental Business?

To succeed in the short-term rental business, lower the minimum night stay, try dynamic pricing, aim for 5-star reviews, and outsource services. Lowering the minimum night requirement helps you fill all available dates. Changing prices following supply and demand trends will help you make 2x to 3x more profits. 5-star reviews will increase your bookings and help you earn super host status. Ask your guests for reviews after check-out. Outsourcing services will make the business easier to manage. These services could include check-ins, key drops, and cleaning. 

What is an Airbnb Squatter and How Can You Avoid Them In Your Property?

Airbnb squatters are guests whose occupancy in the rental property is extended beyond their booked period. These guests refuse to leave on their check-out date, breach short-term rental regulations and come up with reasons not to leave the unit. In case this happens, contact Airbnb immediately and let them know about the situation. If the guests still refuse to leave despite your attempts to negotiate, get the police involved. In worst cases, you can sue them and claim damages for loss of business because they refused to leave your property. 

To avoid Airbnb squatters, screen guests, read reviews, and ask questions if you’re skeptical about the booking. Even if it’s tempting to accept all the bookings for profit, remain rational and calm, and listen to your intuition. Getting a bad booking (like Airbnb squatters) is worse than not getting booked. 

Screen bookings to ensure you're getting good guests. Look for guests who have prior reviews if they’re booking longer periods. For guests who have no reviews or are new to Airbnb, ask probing questions and only accept if you feel comfortable with them. In most cases, a single occupant booking a big property is a red flag. So, take more precautionary steps when dealing with guests like these.

Is Airbnb Good for the Economy?

Yes, Airbnb is good for the economy because it provides an additional source of income for the locals. As short-term rental units continue to sprout, residential developments increase, which leads to higher tax revenues for the city. Airbnb units also attract visitors, boosting tourism and increasing spending in local business establishments like bars and restaurants.

Short-Term Rental University Alternative Courses 

  • Real Estate Robinsons by Sara and Tony Robinson: This husband-and-wife duo hosts the Short-Term Rental Ride-Along, an in-person event on starting and scaling an STR rental and topics on Airbnb arbitrage. After the 90-minute talk, the couple opens the floor for Q & A to address inquiries. 
  • STR Accelerator by Robert Iacob: This a course on short-term rental arbitrage that teaches a method of scaling and automating the business model. STR Accelerator includes lessons on how to pitch to landlords, furnishing, amenities, and structuring the Airbnb unit. The course includes 11 modules (78 short videos in total) that can be completed in approximately 4 hours. 
  • Million Dollar Renter by Sean Rakidzich: The course focuses on automating the STR business through Sean's proven system. This course has many good reviews online and Sean is a trusted authority in the short-term rental space. Million Dollar Renter has 6 program offerings as of writing: Airbnb MBA 2.0, RE: Algorithm, Target Price, Pricing Masterclass, Closers Crash Course, Big Data, and the Upsell Course.

What Is The Best Future-Proof Business Model? 

Local lead generation is the most future-proof and recession-proof business model. The tree care site I built in 2015 that continuously earns $2K passive income until today proves the sustainability of this business model.

Running an STR hosting business requires proper management, strategic marketing, and excellent quality control. Issues like Airbnb squatters, negative reviews, and damage to property will affect revenue. 

With local lead gen, you don't have to deal with the headache that comes with managing a rental business. You generate the leads, rent out your ranked digital properties, and choose who you want to do business with. In local lead gen, you have full control of the business. It has proven scalability and as long as you learn lead gen from the expert, you'll be making passive money without limits. 

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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.

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