Hello to Boston hosts,
I'm looking for advice on whether or not I should search for roomates vs. AirBnB host full-time. I recently purchased a condo close to Jackson Square (orange line is less than 10 min walk) and will have 2 extra rooms. The problem is that it is "off season" for people looking for a place to live full time so I thought about letting out the space on AirBnB until it's June/September so I'm looking to be a full time host between December - June approximately.
- Do you all think that the rooms will rent decently/frequently? I've been hosting for 2 years now but only when I'm out of town for the holidays and my current place is in the North End so it's like comparing apples and oranges.
- What do you think would be a reasonable rate? I'm hoping for $50 a night for a private room. The place is VERY new and has washer/dryer, a parking spot, and dishwasher, which guests will have access to.
- Will the location be difficult to rent? I personally think it's a great neighborhood but some folks might consider it "up and coming." What do you all think?
Anyways, I appreciate any advice you can give because it feels like a big decision to make (before I purchase more beds, furniture, linens, etc). Thank you for reading!
We are entering the "slow" season in Boston. However at $50 a night, you should do well enough, depending on how many amenities you are offering. I would not oversell the neighborhood, in fact I would be honest about the rough edges, and instead emphasis your proximity to the orange line, which is excellent. I could imagine people doing research or short stints at any of the hospitals around NE Medical Center being interested, as an example. There are tons of conferences all winter long in the Seaport which wouldn't be that inconvenient.
Your reviews not only reference the location, the North End sells itself, but you as a host, and that will be in your favor. Your personal touches and communication will be very important in a less "tourist centric" location. However, I would NOT purchase tons of stuff to get started if you can help it. Instead, add things as you see the cash flow to support it. Reuse where possible. Buy second hand with a plan to upgrade. See where it takes you.
Best of luck, and congratulations on your purchase!
Do you plan to do the cleaning? Do you have time to do '5 star' cleaning if you plan to clean yourself? Are you prepared to have guests who may possibly not respect your property, given the low price? Are you okay with strangers coming in and out of your space, some of whom will not respect your House Rules and will give you a bad review that may be allowed to stand by Airbnb as a means of retaliation if you attempt to enforce your House Rules in your own home? (And yes, some of these are allowed to stand, while others are removed, who knows why...)
These are also important questions to ask yourself.
Very true! I don't think I'll have an issue with the cleaning but I agree that it's a fairly constant stressor to think about retaliatory reviews. Thanks for the analysis!
If you purchase beds, furniture, bedding and towels in order to host, would it be (financially) worth it only to host for about 6 months? What will you do with (where will you store) those items when you get a new roommate? Also, do you think you can handle the workload of managing 2 separate private room listings (cleaning, laundry, check-in/outs)? @Rebecca181 pointed out many important things to consider. Also, when having 2 separate private rooms in your home, you and the guests should be able to lock their doors when not at home. I wouldn't mind not having a lock on my door if I am in a shared home with only the host, but if it's a shared home with other guests it would be a totally different story.
@Susan0 I think you should make your decision based on what you want and what kind of a person you are. If you go with BnB you will have to do all the cleaning, your paying all the bills. Then you have the safety factor to consider. How easily do you get scared and how do you act when you are scared. If your going to barricade yourself in your room and go hide in the closet all night crying because a guest gave you the creeps BnB may not be the best thing.
If you get a roommate they will share the cleaning duties, and pay half of the expenses. You wont have different people coming in every few days so it will be less scary. You will be able to choose someone thats a good fit for you.
@Sam397 What an odd response.
Then you have the safety factor to consider. How easily do you get scared and how do you act when you are scared. If your going to barricade yourself in your room and go hide in the closet all night crying because a guest gave you the creeps BnB may not be the best thing.
What in @Emily237's post led you to think she would run to cry in her closet?
@Susan807 Nothing led me to think Emily would do anything. I was just suggesting she should consider the type of person she was when deciding on which way to go. The stuff about housekeeping and paying the bills were just examples I used. The things I said about hiding in the closet was me saying IF she was the type of person to do that, I wasn't saying she was the type of person to do that. I wasn't trying to be a jerk or insinuate anything I was just wanting to give her a few things to think about that might help with her decision. I didn't do a very good job writing it out and I apologize for that.
No worries! I knew what you mean when you said that :) and hosting is definitely a demanding job. It's worth thinking about the physical and mental demands of doing it 24/7!
You could also consider longer term STRs targeting guests who are looking for 1~3 months temporary housing instead of getting a roommate (it's actually what I am doing~). Or maybe airbnb just one room and get a roommate for the other?
Just food for thought~
@Emily237, we do Airbnb in our cabin and rent out our downstairs area in our home on a month to month basis to a regular tenant. I can tell you there are positives and negatives to both.
First, I would cover the legal basis and make sure that STR are allowed in your building. Then, do some research on the website AirDna and find out what the market looks like with the data. If both look good, and it is affordable for you to furnish the space well, I would consider Airbnb if you enjoy meeting new people and if you can keep costs low with doing your own cleaning and such.
Renting the room to one person longer term of course has the benefit of not having to reinvent the wheel every few days, but also, can be awkward if you get the wrong person in there, so do your due diligence if you decide to go that route and do it properly with an interview, background/credit check, references, etc. Also, if you go that route, do month to month and a contract stating either party can terminate with a 30-day notice, assuming that is the legal standard in MA.
Do the research on AirDna, which is $19.95 for a month I believe and also if you choose to go longer term, do your research on Craigslist and such to see what area rooms are going for.