Thinking of starting an Airbnb

in
Pelham, Canada
Level 2
423 Views

I am purchasing a home  (in a different city than where I live) and hoping to Airbnb it.  I am wondering , after reading some stories and seeing “added services fees” if it’s worth hosting an Airbnb?  Any thoughts from hosts ??

5 Replies

Re: Thinking of starting an Airbnb

in
NY, NY
Level 10

I’m a remote host @Lisa7028 and I do think it’s worth it, but it’s best if you know the community where you’re hosting and have local help.  In spite of the horror stories, most guests are good, but things go wrong and having people nearby who can step in to fix things and keep an eye on your property is crucial.  Most importantly, don’t underprice to get bookings - you’ll get worse guests because prices that are too low send a signal that you don’t value your property, so why should they?  Be confident that the bookings will come, run a tight ship, and enjoy yourself. It’s a very satisfying gig in many ways.

Re: Thinking of starting an Airbnb

in
Paris, France
Level 10

Hi @Lisa7028 

To put all of your eggs in one basket is silly. We did that for a long time and I don't think it's very smart.

Re: Thinking of starting an Airbnb

in
Canada
Level 10

@Lisa7028 @It can be profitable for sure. As many communities are adding By-law regulations in Short Term  Rentals, be sure to calculate licencing and inspection fees on top of cleaning and management fees. Also be sure to check if there is anything keeping you from having a Non-primary Residence STR where you buy.  

Good luck

Re: Thinking of starting an Airbnb

in
Newtown, CT
Level 8

It depends on the price point you're able to list it at. @Ann72  has good advice about pricing. Our listing has a premium price- I know we would be booked solid if we lowered it, but I don't really want that increased wear and tear on the house- and the pricing keeps the quality of the guests high. 

I am fairly local to our listing- as such, I put in a lot of personal effort to keep our quality in line with our price. Even though we have a good cleaning crew, I almost always go in after they're done to make sure it's perfect. 

 

If you're far enough away that you can't check on the house, you'll have to pay someone you trust to keep track of what's going on. Personally, I would avoid any of the discount management businesses that advertise heavily. They take 10% and don't seem to provide any real service. You need continual assessments of any damage to the house, from guests or wear and tear, storms, etc., to keep the quality up, and to make sure that the cleaning crew is doing a proper job. 

 

If you're able to pay for all of that... and still make money, then yes, it's worthwhile! It sounds like you're planning on buying the place either way, and just deciding if Airbnb is worth it? If you do it right, you can have a wonderful vacation property and have it paid for by guests, and even make a good bit of extra $$$. 

Re: Thinking of starting an Airbnb

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Lisa7028  I wouldn't recommend buying a home for the sole purpose of renting it on Airbnb. In any location, what's viable and profitable now might not be months from now. New local restrictions come up all the time, markets get oversaturated, and most destinations in the world are vulnerable to sudden dropoffs in inbound travel (as all of us experienced first-hand in 2020). Plus, if the location happens to have a shortage of affordable housing, I don't find it ethically sound to be converting a whole livable home into tourist accommodation.

 

I think if you're flexible enough to pivot to other uses of the property as needed, and you have a trustworthy local representative who can attend to the home and guests on your behalf, it's good to have short-term rental in the mix as an option. 

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