Jon Bell and Julian Sage’s VRM Formula Review: Is It Possible To Own Your First Property In 56 Days?

March 17, 2024

The VRM Formula is a step-by-step program by Jon Bell and Julian Sage that teaches strategies for building a VRM - Vacation Rental Machine. It is an eight-week course that guides you on how to set up a business on Airbnb hosting using the short-term rental strategy. The course claims that you can generate a six- or seven-figure income with this business model. It includes templates to help you pitch your offer to landlords and scale. In addition, the course creators say you can earn a living without owning a property in 56 days, tapping into a business model of Airbnb arbitrage.

In 2021, Airbnb hosts earned $34 billion. The current market of Airbnb to date is over 4 million hosts worldwide and over 6 million active listings. Meanwhile, vacation rental statistics show that it would grow to 840 million in 2023 and up to 890 million by 2026.

Considering the course length, market performance, and your financial capacity, getting a property in 56 days is challenging. Unlike the vacation rental business model that involves real properties, the local lead generation model maximizes Google’s organic traffic. A closer look at the local lead generation business shows that building on digital real estate is more affordable than real estate investing, costing only $500.

VRM Formula Review: Pros and Cons


Real insights from expert coaches and a tight community of those in the co-hosting business.

VRM Formula courses have good reviews from clients.

The Mastermind group of VRM Formula clients provides helpful insights to new investors.


No refund policy.

Dealing with different real estate and hospitality industry stressors is daunting.

This is not a get-rich-quick program.

The regulation changes are real challenges to investors in short-term rentals.

Heavy customer service factor involved.


The price of VRM Formula is $5,000, or, you can make 2 payments of $2,600.

Refund Policy:

No refund.


Not stated, but the Vacation Rental Machine podcast’s first episode aired on July 11, 2019.


Recommended by students who have taken the course and those who watched their podcast. However, there are no reviews on Reddit and Quora as of this writing.


The Short Term Sage Instagram account has 6,740 followers and 19.9K subscribers on YouTube. The private group on Facebook called The Host Nation | Airbnb / Short Term Rental / Vacation Rental Community has 27.6K members.

What is the VRM Formula?

Vacation Rental Machine, or VRM Formula, is an online course Jon Bell and Julian Sage created. This short-term rental course teaches new skills related to administering rental units. The Law Insider defines a short-term rental as a dwelling unit, or a portion of it that a short-term rental owner offers to a guest for less than 30 consecutive nights. It includes transient accommodations in houses, apartments, condominiums, or rooms in homes.

How Long Is the VRM Formula Course?

The VRM Formula course takes eight weeks to complete and includes strategies for building a profitable short-term rental management business. You don’t need to own the property in the VRM formula because you will use other owners’ properties through co-hosting and master leasing. You also don’t need prior experience in real estate investing because the VRM Formula will guide you in each phase of building your short-term rental business.

How Does the VRM Formula Work?

  • Learn at your own pace. VRM Formula is an online course. It provides modules you watch, read, or listen to and worksheets to fill in to help you evaluate your lessons on short-term rental business.
  • Get online expert mentorship. Julian Sage and Jon Bell also meet you for a two 2-hour Zoom call weekly to guide you in each phase and achieve optimum performance in the short-term rental business.
  • Join a private group. They have a private students’ group for sharing insights and learning from other investors. You’ll learn how to ensure best performance in real estate or how to deal with a cooling market, and so on.

What Does the VRM Formula Course Include?

The VRM Formula course includes practical instructions, expert mentorship, modules, training videos, and a private community. It is a comprehensive guide on how to start a business in a short-term rental. The whole course is divided into eight weeks, and these are what you will learn for each week:

Week 1 - Framework

  • Reality of Hosting
  • Rental Arbitrage, Co-Hosting, Brrrr & Turnkey Explained
  • Identifying Your Target Guest
  • How to Define Your Branding
  • Raising Money for Your First Property
  • Which Business Entity to Set Up
  • Creating Your Airbnb Profile

Week 2 - Market Research

  • Types of Traveler
  • Criteria for a Good Market to Invest In
  • Regulations
  • Market Research Tools
  • Seasonality
  • Things and Places to Avoid
  • Analyzing the Competition

Week 3 - The Offer (Rental Arbitrage and Co-Hosting)

Rental Arbitrage

  • Building your Prospecting List
  • How to Qualify a Rental Arbitrage Property
  • Objection Handling
  • Corporate Lease Addendum
  • Discounts & Benefits


  • How to Find Your First Co-Host Client
  • How to Handle Your Co-Host Client
  • Service Tiers
  • Running the Numbers for Co-Hosting Clients
  • Memorandum of Understanding
  • Co-Host Operating Agreement
  • Co-Host Client Property Inspection

Week 4 - Dream Team, Materials, and Tools

Dream Team

  • Members of Your A Team
  • Choosing the Right Insurance
  • How to Find Cleaners
  • Turnover Cleaner vs. Residential Cleaner
  • Top Cleaning Tips
  • Training Your Cleaning Team
  • Managing Your Cleaning Team
  • Designing Your Rental
  • Choosing the right photographer


  • Everything You Need For Your Rental
  • Where to Go Shopping
  • Choosing the Right Smart Locks
  • Choosing the Right Security Cameras
  • Choosing the Right Noise Monitoring Devices


  • Dynamic Pricing
  • Automated Messaging
  • Channel Manager/PMS
  • Cleaning Management
  • Welcome Guidebook
  • Accounting Software

Week 5 - Listing Details

  • How to Set Up Your Airbnb Profile
  • How to Set Up Your Airbnb Profile with Your Co-Host Client
  • How to Get Paid Out as a Co-Host Client
  • Selecting Photos For Your Listing
  • How to Come Up With the Perfect Title
  • Writing a Description That Sells
  • How to Price Your Property
  • Instabook
  • Cleaning Fees
  • Extra People Fees
  • 1 Night Rentals
  • Security Deposits
  • Cancelation Rules
  • Well-Crafted Listing Walkthrough

Week 6 - Operations

  • How to Prescreen Guests
  • Check-In & Check-Out Process
  • Responding to Inquiries
  • Discounts & Special Requests
  • Responding to Unhappy Guests
  • How to Squash a Party Quickly
  • Airbnb Resolution Center
  • Long Term Booking Requests
  • Providing Income Reports/Invoices

Week 7 - Optimization

  • Making Superhost
  • Staying on Top of Search
  • Earning Extra Money from Guests
  • Building Your Email List
  • Listing on Multiple Booking Channels
  • Airbnb Plus

Week 8 - Scaling

  • Runners
  • Turnover Hubs
  • Remote Properties
  • Virtual Assistants
  • Full-Time Employees
  • Building Out Multiple Properties
  • Direct Booking Site
  • Property Management Site
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Running Ads
  • Channel Manager Upgrade
  • Task Management Upgrade

Who Is the VRM Formula For?

The VRM Formula is for anybody interested in the hospitality and real estate industries. Julian Sage and Jon Bell say it is for newcomers and professionals interested in starting and scaling their management business, spending four hours a week on maintenance work. Students who enrolled in the course say the VRM Formula helps even those with a zero real estate background.

What Do VRM Formula Students Say About the Course?

  • Time-Saver: With the detailed instructions the VRM Formula provides, Chris Andrews found that it helped save him time in learning about the processes related to vacation rentals.
  • Easy-To-Understand: A couple who enrolled in the program had zero real estate experience and found the VRM Formula helpful. They also described the mentors as real and relatable.
  • Professional and Thorough: Tony Pedroza from New York says the VRM Formula course is precisely what it says it would do. Tony says he purchased another VRM course, but he wasn’t able to finish it. With Julian and Jon’s VRM Formula course, Tony says everything was well thought-out and professional, similar to taking a lesson from an established institution.
  • Great Coaches: Cole Allen says Jon Bell helped him overcome the fear of pitching, and both coaches mentored him through getting his first apartment.

Could You Get the VRM Formula Guide for Free?

You can get the VRM Formula step-by-step guide through the VRM Formula Podcast on YouTube. It has 157 videos to date, and they give you a closer look at anything about the short-term rental business. But if you want access to their exclusive group and resource vault, Julian Sage and Jon Bell offer the VRM Formula Course for $5,000 or two payments of $2,600. Getting exclusive access can help boost market performance because you get expert mentorship and certification. All these give you confidence in the short-term rental business.

Who Are the VRM Formula Course Creators?

Julian Sage served as a member of the US Coast Guard from March 2014 until October 2022 before going into the short-term rental business. He co-founded a short-term management rental company, Cohostit.

Jon Bell was already a successful short-term rental host when Julian interviewed him on his podcast. He started from zero properties to 24 in just a year and a half. Jon worked full-time in the IT industry while managing his rental business.

Julian and Jon founded the Short Term Sage and later created a podcast called Vacation Rental Machine. Its first episode was posted in July 2019. The two are also co-founders of investment firm MxLuxe Partners. They have over 60 properties in Miami, Austin, D.C., Chicago, and New Orleans, among other areas.

Similar Course Review on Short-Term Rental (Alternative Courses to VRM Formula)

  • Michael Sjogren’s Short Term Rental Secrets - This course created by Michael Sjogren, a Middleston, Massachusetts-based short-term rental investor, teaches you how to automate the 4 critical areas of the Airbnb business: pricing, access and security, communications with guests, and turnover management.
  • Jaren Sustar’s Rental Academy Mentorship - Finance Cowboy Jaren Sustar shares this real estate course to support new entrepreneurs to start their own real estate business using the 3-step W2 Millionaire method.
  • Richard Fertig’s Short-Term Rental University - Real estate mogul Richard Fertig offers tools kits for property managers in this learning platform. It has two programs: The Ultimate Guide to Finding and Buying STR Properties and STR University Cohort.

Verdict: Is the VRM Formula Course Scam or Legit?

The VRM Formula is a legitimate course. Like the other related articles and courses to VRM Formula, it provides a comprehensive guide to starting a vacation rental or short-term rental business. Students highly recommend the approach, and the coaches provide you with the tools and expert mentorship. Jon Bell and Julian Sage's feedback adds confidence to newcomers and professionals alike. Overall, you'll get a closer look at the ins and outs of the vacation rental business model, a helpful private community, and the tools you need to scale up.

Why Is Local Lead Generation Better Than Vacation Rental?

Local lead generation is better than the vacation rental business model because it is more cost-effective for generating passive income. Starting a website, generating leads, and selling it to clients requires only a few hours. Local lead generation does not involve managing or monitoring real properties subject to laws and regulations. This aspect of local lead generation gives you more control.

Meanwhile, the vacation rental business model is in the hospitality industry, so it involves much effort to provide customer service. Local lead generation is a low-risk digital real estate model without the headaches of managing a real estate or hospitality business. In this business model, you don’t deal with bad tenants, complaints on room cooling or heating concerns, fittings, or plumbing problems, among other issues concerning renters and owners.

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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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