Home Blog Real Estate News

My Experience With AirBNB in Hawaii

Leon Yang
2 min read
My Experience With AirBNB in Hawaii

Many of you may have heard about AirBNB by now.

For those who hasn’t, it is a website that essentially allow anyone to rent their room/house to others, mainly travelers, for a short period of time. It caught on quite quickly and it has been making a challenge for the hotel industry. I think it is probably for the better. I’ve had great experiences with AirBNB wherever I go, whether it is in Santiago, Buenos Aires, Sydney, or even in Hawaii.

Investing Through AirBNB

It is in Hawaii, just recently, that I met with someone who became a real estate investor via AirBNB.

Related: The 10 Best Real Estate Investments for Smart Real Estate Investors

He started when he bought a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo in Maui for about $150,000 back around 2012-13.

Little did I know, the real estate market in Hawaii also took a deep dive and there were bargains to be had everywhere. If I had known earlier, I would  have gone investing in Hawaii as well. I don’t know if it is me but I think that for some reason tourist destination cities get hit real hard during real estate busts but come back real strong.

Alas, I should stop dreaming about how I could have had a condo blocks away from the waters for around $150,000. In any case, during my stay in Maui I paid $65 a day for the property. I asked the host how often his place gets booked and he said he was pretty much booked through 2014 to early 2015. Wow! And this is just one room he was renting (he has another condo in the same complex as well).

The Numbers

Just doing a quick math, $65 * 25 (let’s say there are some vacancies), he is getting $1,625 a month!. If he rented out both rooms, he may be getting close to $3,000 a month. I don’t know about you, but I think that is some pretty sweet returns!

Related: Return on Investment (ROI) Versus Cash on Cash Return (CCR)

Basically, this host, through renting his rooms, renting his own vehicles as well, picking up guests from the airport, and occasionally giving diving lessons, has been able to live on the income without working. Although he has to often clean the rooms and deal with guests, he is living a pretty care free lifestyle.

I’m not here to suggest that we all go buy some condos in Hawaii and run AirBNBs, but I do find it very interesting how AirBNB has opened up another venue for a real estate investor. Perhaps for those of you who live in cities with a big tourist draw, it is possible to earn additional income, or even a higher income, via AirBNB. It is not a guarantee obviously and it takes work. But it is something to think about.


As for me, I don’t think AirBNB is for me since I live in Las Vegas. People don’t really come to my city to have a nice, relaxing time, do they? I am not looking to pick up beer cans every other day. All joking aside, I think AirBNB is something at least worth considering. Besides, you might meet some cool travelers such as I.

What do you think?

Be sure to leave your comments below!

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.