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How a prominent Airbnb manager crashed in the US

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How a prominent Airbnb manager crashed in the US

Amid Tulsa’s booming Airbnb market, Dani Widell claimed to have more listings than anyone else. Dominic Bugatto for BI

Dani Widell is a real estate investor in the US state of Oklahoma and successfully worked her way up to becoming an Airbnb property manager for a reported 100 properties after the pandemic.

A former accountant who attended Oklahoma State University, she exuded sparkle and confidence. She proclaimed herself the queen of Airbnb.

After some time, however, it became apparent that Widell no longer had the management of the Airbnbs under control: bookings were canceled and funds were missing. The beginning of her fall.

This is a machine translation of an article from our US colleagues at Business Insider. It was automatically translated and checked by a real editor.

On a mild Tuesday evening in early 2022, around 150 people gathered at the VFW hall in Tulsa, a city in the US state of Oklahoma. They had one goal: listen to the queen of Airbnb. After the pandemic, when interest rates were low and travel was booming again, Airbnb listings started popping up all over the city. For average investors, the beer mat bill was irresistible.

It was possible to buy a suburban-style home worth less than $75,000. Once purchased, it could be rented out for $117 per night. If you were busy for three quarters of each month, you could earn up to 30,000 dollars (approx. 28,100 euros) a year. This is exactly how many hosts did it at the time. There was a gold rush feeling in Tulsa. And Dani Widell was the self-proclaimed Airbnb queen of the city.

But how did it happen?

According to Widell’s tax returns, she earned around 937,000 euros annually from rentals

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