Traverse City, MI

Scott-and-Rene0
Level 2
Traverse City, MI

Traverse City, MI

Welcome to Traverse City, MI

 

Hopefully this is where we can share a discussion of local interest from around our region.

59 Replies 59
Marvin-and-Lindsay0
Level 2
Michigan, United States

I was reading that Airbnb does collect and remit the sales use tax, unlike VRBO. But you do need to tell the tax people from the state of Michigan how much was collected and remitted on your behalf. 

Curt0
Level 5
Traverse City, MI

 I don’t think so.  Curt

Bob-and-Debi0
Level 2
Traverse City, MI

Just received our stop letter from the City of TC. Would love to get involved.

Gary200
Level 2
Traverse City, MI

Hi All,

 

Dave, nice going talking to Tim Werner and setting up the Facebook page (just "liked" it).

I talked to Brin Hass awhile ago and I believe he is for Airbnbs within thr city. Today I sent a copy of the "Forum" article I wrote for the Record Eagle (December 29th) to all the City Planning Commissioners. They are about to decide the topics they want to address for 2018. I'm hoping they will elevate  Airbnb from the bottom of their agenda. I received a favorable response from three.

 

There is a regional Airbnb representative, Brandon Borbenkircher out of Chicago brandon.bordenkircher@airbnb.com, who we should try to bring into this conversation. He was suggesting to me to get some TC Airbnb hosts together at my house to plan a way forward, but I'm going out of town for a couple of months. He said he had somes hosts he could suggest.

 

Keep up the good work,

Gary

 

 

Gary200
Level 2
Traverse City, MI

Greetings to other Airbnb Hosts within the city limits of Traverse City.

 

Since receiving the recent letter from the City of Traverse City to stop all Airbnb activity, I spoke at the City Commission Meeting of November 9th, 2017. This was at the end of the meeting where the general public is able to address the Commission for a couple of minutes on any topic.

 

I related the positive experience for myself and my wife hosting Airbnb, the respectfullness of our guests, and the benefits to Traverse City. I asked ths Commissioners if they would be open to taking another look at allowing Airbnb's within the city.

 

A couple of days later I met one of the Commissioners for coffee.

I found out that a few vocal people are against Airbnbs in the city for the stereotype reasons of absentee hosts and unruly guests. These are the people the Commissioners have been hearing from and responding to. They need to hear more from Airbnb Hosts and others who are for Airbnbs.

 

City Commission Meetings are the 1st & 3rd Mondays of the month. The next one is November 20th. Right now I can't make that one. Can someone please go to it and tell your positive story of Airbnb? Let's make our voices heard and try to get Airbnb legal in TC by Summer time of 2018.

 

Go to traversecitymi.gov for City Commission Meeting information

 

Gary ****

Boardman Neighborhood

 

Curt0
Level 5
Traverse City, MI

Hi Gary, 

 

Please join our group "Alliance for Responsible Grand Traverse Home Sharing".   We are a very informal group but we have presented two weeks ago at our Peninsula Twp. Planning Commission the positives that you talk about.   They held an open forum on short term rentals and airbnb.  They too have been getting complaints about home owners who allow a nuisance situation to occur.   Can you include your email. 

 

So what did the letter say?  A potential zoning violation?  You are at least a bit lucky.  They gave you a fair warning.  On the Peninsula they just simply yank your PRE and your taxes double unless you can mount a good defense at the Michigan Tax Tribunal.  Our group has defended twice and won both times (once in peninsula twp and once in Garfield twp.) 

 

Regards,

Curt

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Ifticar0
Level 1
Sterling Heights, MI

hi can i ask question to ask u.

Dave201
Level 1
Traverse City, MI

Hey Guys,

 

I just met with another downtown TC Airbnb proponent (we've both received our letter to cease and desist from continuing to offer short term rentals in town).  We discussed bringing this issue to the city to see if we can get them to look at making changes to the existing rules preventing such rentals.  We've got some ideas of what the objections are (real or imagined issues) and want to address this in a calm, logical, and respectful way. 

 

I've rented my primary residence downtown for the last 2 summers via Airbnb and VRBO and had excellent experiences each time.  All it takes is a little effort upfront in screening and educating guests.  Anyway, I will be meeting with this friend again in about a week to start organizing our plan of attack.  I will keep you posted on our progress.

 

This seems like an uphill battle as there are some old/misinformed stereotypes about who these short term renters are and how they behave.   Therefore, we'll need to have as many "friends" speaking at the City Commission Meeting when the time is right.  Let's start asking around to see who'd be wiling to make their voices heard. 

 

There are many good things about Airbnb/VRBO/etc.  It would be a shame if a vocal minority prevents this opportunity for those that desire it.

 

More to come...

 

Sincerely,

Dave

Gary200
Level 2
Traverse City, MI

Dave,

 

That was well said.

 

I also received a letter after hosting this past summer. I spoke at the end of a City Commission Meeting not long ago, about the positive experience of having an Airbnb in the City. Afterwards three Commissioners told me they need to hear more from people like me because all they ever hear are negatives from the few vocal people who are against them.

 

Right now the City Planning Commission and the City Commission are focussed on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU's). They are considering restrictive ammendments that would inhibit ADU's. The Planning Commission is doing a study session on them December 11th and then the City Commission will decide on the changes December 18th.

 

Once this is behind them they may be open to looking again at Short Term Home Share Rentals (Airbnb's). I was told by a City Planner that this is a low priority for them, and unless we raise the issue nothing will happen. Their solution has been for people who want to do Airbnb's is to get a Tourist Home License - not the best fit.

 

As you said, Dave, we need to make our voices heard. One place for us to start is to tell our own individual positive stories about Airbnb's in Traverse City to the City Planners and the City Commissioners. This can be done through emails, arranging to meet with them individually for coffee, and speaking at the end of their meetings when a small window for public comment is open. 

 

The web site: traversecitymi.gov has all the names, email addresses, and phone numbers.

 

Gary

Boardman Neighborhood

 

Dave201
Level 1
Traverse City, MI

Hey Guys,

 

I launched a new Facebook page called Traverse City for Airbnb/VRBO about an hour ago.  Please feel free to like the page and share it with anybody you know that would find it interesting.

By the way, Gary, I met with City Commissioner Tim Werner a few weeks ago.  He said he's in agreement that short term rentals should be allowed in residential neighborhoods.  Now we need to convince 3 other commissioners.  Werner said that will take voices showing up at the meetings and making themselves heard.  Perhaps we can start some organizing w this Facebook page and go from there. 

Dave

Curt0
Level 5
Traverse City, MI

Hi Dave,

 

Great idea..  There is a FB page Alliance for responsible Grand Traverse Home share.   I am willing to take it down and merge with yours.  There are two articles there but very limited activity.  I'll merge tonight.  Maybe name should be expanded to Grand Traverse vs TC.   Curt ****

Curt0
Level 5
Traverse City, MI

Hi Dave, 

 

Please get a hold of me.

Curt ****,  Old Mission Peninsula

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Curt0
Level 5
Traverse City, MI

Most important right now is for you to NOT reply to the cease and desist order if you cave not already done so.   As mentioned above please get a hold of me through the email noted.   So legally having you respond vs. a legal representative could/would result in any statements you make now being able to be used against you in say the Michigan Tax Tribunal or local court because they are most likely saying you are in violation of the zoning ordinance.  A lawyer should respond.   Our Alliance for Responsible Traverse Home Sharing has one we/I have worked with. 

Gary200
Level 2
Traverse City, MI

City of Traverse City on Airbnb.pdf

 

 Hi Curt,
 Thanks for the reply. I'm having trouble sending a copy of that letter.
 
Gary 
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Anne503
Level 2
Traverse City, MI

Hello, All! I am new to Air bnb, and I have a question about first time rental discounts. When listing my space, I selected an option for first time renters to receive 15% off, and I can't figure out how to change that setting as I don't want to use it anymore. Please advise! Thanks. 

Scott-and-Rene0
Level 2
Traverse City, MI

Good question. I have searched the site and find no references to that discount. I even googled it. You could try twitter as I know they respond quickly.

Anne503
Level 2
Traverse City, MI

Thanks for your response, Rene. I wish I could remember the wording of the option, but before I published my listing, the site recommended a first time renters' discount of 20%. I lowered it to 15% and thought it was only for the first renter I'd have, but I've booked two renters now, and the rate has been discounted for both 😞 I have scoured the site, and I am really frustrated that I can't "undo" or even locate this option. I will try Twitter though I don't have an account. I really appreciate your help!

Curt0
Level 5
Traverse City, MI

I don't see it.  So go to your listing and then "pricing".   That is the only place I see discounts listed and for me it is only weekly or monthly option.   I do not see first time renters listed at all.  In Traverse City don't listen to airbnb about pricing.  They always suggest lowering your pricing.  But the TC market in the summer is huge.  No discounts are needed at all.  Here are the phone numbers for airbnb in the USA:  United States +1-415-800-5959 +1-855-424-7262 (toll-free).   Let us know how it all works out.   Curt

Anne503
Level 2
Traverse City, MI

Thanks, Curt. I've tried all the pricing options for listings as well, and I don't see it there. I swore it was a final step before I posted the listing, but maybe I just imagined it. I was also doing the math on my payout versus my listing price, and it seemed that around 15% was taken. The reservation page doesn't show a breakdown of Air bnb fees. Do you know their policy? And I'm assuming they take the fees out of your listing price versus adding it on to your listing price. If you know any more, please advise. I will check out those help numbers, too. Thanks again! 

Curt0
Level 5
Traverse City, MI

What is your listing.  I will look at it and see the price and details.  Curt.

 

If you are new to this make sure your house/home/room is super clean.  It has to be spotless.  Just saying.  Curt

Anne503
Level 2
Traverse City, MI

Thanks for the tip. Our listing is on Paysage Place in Garfield Township. Title is "Quiet, Cozy Room for Rent 5 min. from Downtown TC." Had some additional guests book today, and it did not appear that it took out quite as much for fees. 

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