Umar shares his experience on turning heartbreak into business

By Ariani Mohd Nor

GOMBAK, 26 July 2020: Losing a fiancée two weeks before a wedding has always been heart-wrenching – what more after you got retrenched from your job due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“With that experience, one of the things you could do is to turn the pain into power.”

Umar Abdul Aziz, also known as “The Airbnb Guy,” shared his story how he used his savings for the wedding as a business start-up to his Airbnb business in i-City Shah Alam.

Using his ‘heartbreak story,’ he would gain empathy from social media users and uses the ‘viral’ opportunity to promote his Airbnb listings.

Today, he has 23 listings and is a “Super host” in the platform.

In a brief Webinar titled “Real Life Entrepreneurs: The Disruptive Income Generator”, Umar shares his passion about hospitality and the use of Google Smart Homes.

“Our aim is to not only to provide services, but also to provide experience,” the Airbnb Super host explains. “We want to introduce our customers not only to an affordable stay, but also an enjoyable time with Google Homes.”

All his i-City Shah Alam Airbnb listings feature the Google Smart Home, a feature that lets users to (literally) control their house using the Google Home application and the Google Assistant.

His business idea started as a humble beginning. In 2014, he used to rent out his shared apartment with his housemates while he was studying in the United States.

“During the break, my Malaysian housemates would go back home so I would be left with an empty apartment for three months,” Umar said. “An idea struck that I could temporarily list their room in Airbnb, and I would generate some income.”

Umar ends his sharing session with a few tips for young business starters, such as earning parents’ blessings and to read more books.

The Webinar titled “Real Life Entrepreneurs: The Disruptive Income Generator” was held on a Google Meet from a two-session event from “Save and Earn,” theme which aims to help students to become financially literate.

The session ended with a total of 101 participants among them IIUM lecturers and students.***

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