In November of 2013, Vi bought a house and decided to keep her first property to rent out as a Short Term Rental (STR) in Austin, Texas. She had been renting out her condo as a STR for about a year and felt that it was a great way to make some extra cash with Austin's booming popularity in the real estate market and tourism. One day during Austin's biggest event of the year, SXSW, she received a note from Austin's Code Compliance warning her that she was violating city laws by operating without a STR license. With more research, she found that she was unable to obtain a STR license under her condo's declaration.
That's when she decided to look for a site to set up her condo as a rental for 30 days or more. She would avoid hotel taxes but still have the flexibility to manage her own property! To her surprise, most sites provided unrealistic pricing for rentals of 30 days or more. Even worse, some charged her a monthly listing fee even if no one leased. After subletting her place through online ads in college, Vi knew that most tenants were not held accountable and that her place would likely be trashed by the end of the lease.
This is when homads was born. Lan came on as co founder in April 2014 and brought along a creative eye for design. Since then, homads has worked tirelessly to bring innovative solutions to home owners and renters looking for a better way to sublet.
Vi Nguyen is a co-founder of homads and UT alumni. Previous to Homads, she co-founded a media production company specializing in promoting Asian-Americans in the media. Her work varies from large corporate videos to intimate social documentaries. Although her skill set is vast, her greatest abilities and passions stem from the mission of philanthropy and community empowerment.
Lan Chu is a co-founder of homads and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. She has produced philanthropic documentary film on such topics as transitionary housing, traveling to locations such as Haiti, Thailand, and Paraguay for Students of the World. Subsequently, her video production work brought her to a Vietnamese-American TV station and secured a management position at an Austin-based wedding production company. Interested in the relationships between community and housing, Lan has studied the local real estate market and best business practices.