5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Maumee, OH
Level 2
304 Views

We are looking at a property on just under 4 acres, on a trout fishing river, with five 2 bed / 1 bath cabins, walking distance to national forest. 

 

In the area we're looking, the average occupancy rate is 67%, the average nightly rate is $150, and the average size is 2 bedrooms.

 

My question is should I list each cabin separately, or list all five as a family compound type listing? 

 

I assume I'd get fewer bookings with just 1 expensive listing, but it may be easier to deal with.

 

I have a couple regular rentals, this will be my first foray into short-term rentals.

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19 Replies

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Chelsea325  You can do both if you like. You would have 6 listings, one for each individual cabin, and one for all five together. You then link the calendars so if someone books the entire property, the individual listings get blocked from booking, and vice versa.

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Maumee, OH
Level 2

@Sarah977 very cool! I didn't know I could link them like that. That may be the best option.

 

Do you think I'd be shooting myself in the foot for getting more bookings for the whole compound, since it'd probably be more likely the individuals would be booked more often? Just curious on tour opinion

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Chelsea325 I would list individually for one reason and one reason only-- parties. 

 

The more capacity you advertise, the more likely you will be to attract groups who throw an illegal party. Likewise, listings with large capacity are harder to book than one or two bedrooms. 

 

You could certainly do both but it may be confusing to some guests. Guests don't read and they may believe they are getting ALL the houses for the price of one, if that is an option. I would decorate/name/differentiate each cabin and make it very clear where they are in relation to one another (maps etc.) If a big family wants to stay, they have the option booking several at the same time. 

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Maumee, OH
Level 2

Oh good call. I'll have to consider that.

 

I have a friend recruited to help make each cabin individual and cute - I'm good at the reno and money part but cute is definitely not my forte

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Laura2592  "Guests don't read and they may believe they are getting ALL the houses for the price of one, "

 

But if there is a  separate listing for all five, the price for that would be clear on that listing. So regardless of whether they read or not, the price for all five would be evident when they fill out the booking form.

 

@Chelsea325  I don't know your area, so hard to say. Some market research might tell you if people tend to look for places in your location that accomodate larger groups, or whether plenty look for places that accommodate 2. Laura brings up an important consideration re parties, but it's possible to market things in such a way that it is clearly for family retreats, not partiers, but you would want to vet guests carefully, so it wouldn't be a good idea to use Instant Book but require guests to send booking requests instead, so you have the opportunity to dialogue with them before approving a booking. 

 

Only listing them individually would certainly be easier to start with, and the thing is, you can always add the entire property option after you've been hosting awhile and learn all the ins and outs of it. It can be a big learning curve.

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Sarah977 yeah I agree with that. It might even be a good idea to list one or two until @Chelsea325 gets the hang of it, especially since the first few guests are often difficult and target new hosts. 

 

Sounds like a cool property though! I would love to have 5 little cabins to decorate. 🙂 🙂

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Laura2592  I know, that really appeals to me, too. If I had a piece of land aside from my own, I've fantasized about having a tipi village. I've made tipis before and would make each one out of different colors of Sunbrella fabric.

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Maumee, OH
Level 2

I'm definitely excited about the property! I'll be seeing it in person tomorrow, but I've seen a lot of pictures, site plans, etc. Hopefully it's as cool in person.

 

I've been talking about tiny house village for about 3 years now lol

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Maumee, OH
Level 2

@Sarah977 For sure. Research shows the average rental is 2 or 3 bedrooms, the average guest count is 6.7. It's a really big area for fishing, hunting, & camping - almost no big cities. Not sure how that would translate to partiers vs. families

 

We'll probably start eith 1 or 2 cabins to begin with anyway, since they all need some renovation- mechanicals and foundations are in good shape, but the interiors need complete remodels.

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Chelsea325  That's a perfect way to start out- only dealing with one or two sets of guests at a time.

Just make sure if you are doing renos on other cabins while you have guests in residence, that you make that clear in your listing, because guests can leave bad reviews for that.

 

"Piles of building materials all over, power tools disturbing us, workmen around. This was supposed to be a quiet, secluded place, and it certainly isn't!"

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Maumee, OH
Level 2

@Sarah977 Oh definitely! Hoping to redo the cabins in the off season when it will be slower, so fewer bookings. We probably will just block out dates we're working on them altogether.

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Chelsea325 to add to the discussion - Who is doing the changeovers? could you cope with all the units changing over on one day? even if you rent as 5 individual properties you might still get all changing over at once but you can always block days as bookings come in.

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Maumee, OH
Level 2

@Mike-And-Jane0  we're researching different companies for that right now. Since it's an area with a ton of vacation homes and STR properties there are quite a few to choose from.

Re: 5 cabins on 1 property - list separately or as 1?

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Chelsea325  Your project sounds really exciting, and I can imagine a lot of ways you could build that up as a unique retreat for lovers of the outdoors. Starting out with just 1 or 2 cabins open at a time and gradually expanding is a great way to train yourself as a host and figure out at your own pace what your base clientele is.

 

I can picture some very specific types of large groups being a good fit for a 5-house listing, but to make that work best, you'd probably need another building (or sheltered outdoor space in warm weather) to act as a central gathering place, with enough space for up to 20 people to enjoy meals and activities together. There is definitely demand for that, but Airbnb doesn't have the right features for it as a platform - it doesn't even do security deposits. The industry standard for this kind of arrangement is that the accommodation units are charged nightly, but the communal event space has an hourly rate, deposit, and onsite staff. 

 

Doing individual homes is far less complicated, especially if you're doing all the hosting tasks on the compound yourself. @Mike-And-Jane0 made a really good point about the changeovers - they are very time-consuming. But if you can pull down a room rate that gives you a budget for a co-host or housekeeping support, a lot of doors open up.

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