I've always been interested in development. I did my graduate thesis at Harvard on Chinese developers and how they shaped the Pearl River Delta's Special Economic Zones as Hong Kong went back to Chinese rule, which was published in Great Leap Forward (Rem Koolhaas, ed., et al).


As a small-scale rural real estate value-add investor and developer I've bought and sold properties in Joshua Tree since 2002, especially during the downturn of 2010 - 2016. I've developed a  technique of design-focused value-add or ‘design add’ which has led to an ROI on sold properties of 82%.

Some of my properties are Airbnb developments. As an early Airbnb adopter (first property listed in 2010) I've grown with the platform to achieve fully booked properties. My 5-star homestead cabin Airbnb developments (2 current, a third recently sold) have received over 1500 reviews. The most popular ‘Joshua Tree Homesteader Cabin’ is considered a top-ten California Airbnb. My properties have been featured in Sunset, Vanity Fair and the NYTimes.

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Joshua Tree, California

© 2020 by Stephanie Smith