Vacation Rentals and AirBnb, your opinion?

3 Replies


My girlfriend and I are finishing up our first investment property and we are now looking for our next investment. We live in a tourist area and thought about buying a cottage on the lake and run an AirBnB out of it. Neither one of us have ran an AirBnB before or owned a "vacation" house.

What is your experience with AirBnB and what should we look out for? Is analyzing a vacation home the same as a duplex?

Airbnb is the way to go! Really great returns and you can double or even triple your monthly cash flow. Analyzing a vacation home is a bit different than analyzing a duplex because vacation rentals have down seasons which can be  profitable if you turn your rental into a corporate rental during that time but you also need to be aware of the economy of your area because sometimes corporate housing won't work during the down season. If you are able to make your target during the high season then the down season shouldn't hurt too bad.

Running an Airbnb is fairly easy. Are you managing it remotely or are you fairly close to the vacation home? If you are doing it remotely you just need a good lock and cleaner. Once you have those two things you are good to go. If you are close and will be hands on then it will be more money for you because you can keep your cleaning fees but it is more work. 

@Nick Rutkowski - Airbnb has a tool online that will give you return estimates for posting a place in different locations. That should give you a good idea of what you can pull in weekly and monthly.

Running an Airbnb is fantastic money, but it's not free money. You have to prepare to clean a lot and answer client questions or hire those tasks out. Bigger Pockets has video guide on pros and cons and getting started with Airbnb that you can check out and might also help. Cheers. 

Hey Nick!

It is a different animal than analyzing a duplex or long term investment property, but once you develop your system and implement it, it's fairly easy.  I would start by checking out all of the airbnb and vrbo listings in your area to see what people are charging and what their occupancy rate is.  I would imagine being an investor from that area you already have a general knowledge of what it will cost you to acquire the property.  Do an analysis on the 2 and be sure to include utilities, cable, internet, and cleaning into your expenses as you will be paying these yourself rather than tenants (minus the cleaning fee, which you can charge out to the renters).  If you want to send me a private message and chat about my experience with short terms on the phone I am super happy to answer all your questions! I am not in the same market as you but there is a lot of transferable knowledge to the short term rental game.

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