Airbnb investment Chicago

13 Replies

Hi BP members, 

I am reaching out because I have a property for rent and am not getting qualified prospective tenants. I am looking at the option of using it as an Airbnb. I have heard mix results about airbnb and was wondering if this would be considered a good property for an airbnb. This is a brick 4 bed room 2 bath plus Jacuzzi and garage about 15 minutes from Ohare aiport. The property has all new utilities but no furniture. Am not sure what adequate furniture would be since different contributors on BP have totally different experienes and I would need financing for the furniture so its important to figure out. I even thought about used furniture ???

Your bread and butter for airbnb is going to be your reviews.  To get good reviews you're going to have to get nice furniture that matches and looks new.  If you have dingy mismatched furniture people may make complaints in the reviews.  I'm not saying you have to go buy out West Elm, but new matching Ikea furniture will work.  The key to airbnb is making the space feel nice and welcoming so that guests feel comfortable.  You'll also need to budget for basic cookware, silverware, towels, sheets, decor, and any other items to provide guests with a fully stocked home.

Is the property close to public transport? I would say that's the no#1 feature any AIRBNB renter is going to be looking at. 


Can they get to the property easily and IN and OUT of Downtown. You can furnish a property using second hand long as they are still in good condition. BUT location is what makes the property a good candidate. 

@Federico Gutierrez How far is too far from public transit?  I'm kicking around a similar idea with my attic studio unit.  We are just under a mile from the nearest El stop, but buses are all over.

Well considering it is snowing right now as I type this...how far would you walk before you over looked a property when one is doing an online search? The Train is always much more desirable than buses. I think a mile is fine anymore might be pushing it

@Federico Gutierrez   Thanks for the input!  My thought is that AirBnB doesn't necessarily tell you exact location, just gives you that circle with the general area, and the circle would almost certainly lay over locations that are within easy walking distance.  Still in my research phase and getting the apartment AirBnB ready, but this is good stuff to know!

Originally posted by @Frank Lodge :

Hi BP members, 

I am reaching out because I have a property for rent and am not getting qualified prospective tenants. I am looking at the option of using it as an Airbnb. I have heard mix results about airbnb and was wondering if this would be considered a good property for an airbnb. This is a brick 4 bed room 2 bath plus Jacuzzi and garage about 15 minutes from Ohare aiport. The property has all new utilities but no furniture. Am not sure what adequate furniture would be since different contributors on BP have totally different experienes and I would need financing for the furniture so its important to figure out. I even thought about used furniture ???

It seems like you are located in Westchester. This can be a good and a bad thing. Good - you are not under the jurisdiction the Chicago’s city ordinance. Bad - You aren’t in the city, where most visitors come. 

With that, it sounds like a nice place and it is close enough to O’Hare that you can attract business travelers. 

A couple questions:

1. What is the reasoning for financing furniture? IKEA and Craigslist are good starter points

2. How do you plan to manage the unit with increased turnover?

Along with the furniture, decor and light are important for the pictures on Airbnb. The pictures are (almost) everything! Get a pro in there. You can get good photography for under $100. 

More can be said ie handling guests, key exchange, location, but we’ll wait to hear from you. Cheers. 

Originally posted by @Trey Gartner :

@Federico Gutierrez   Thanks for the input!  My thought is that AirBnB doesn't necessarily tell you exact location, just gives you that circle with the general area, and the circle would almost certainly lay over locations that are within easy walking distance.  Still in my research phase and getting the apartment AirBnB ready, but this is good stuff to know!

Yes, they circle the general area. That said, if it is not in an easily accessible location, it can frustrate the guests and give you lower reviews. Think: most of these people are coming in from out of town, tired from travel, and want a simple, comforting welcome. 

When describing the public transit, you must make it clear via the listing and throughout your conversation with guests. Maybe even provide them with a complimentary CTA/PACE pass? 

My brother has done Airbnb in Colorado Springs and furnished his place with some light renovations for $8000. That was for a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home. He did a lot of his shopping on NextDoor and Craigslist... If you go to the right neighborhoods, you'd be surprised at the nice stuff you can get for cheap. Good luck!  

@Jeremy W.   That's a very good point!  I have heard that when it comes to getting good reviews, communication of what your unit has to offer is very highly weighted.  I like the idea of providing a public transit pass.  Seems easy enough to get a dedicated Ventra card and load it with some funds to allow for easy traveling throughout the city.  I would think it is a small cost compared to the amount of good feedback we would receive as a result.  Great thought!

Hi All

I appreciate all the response, they were very helpful. I still would like to try airbnb on this property but the luxury of the funds are not there right now to experiment so am going to try section 8. 

@frank lodge

Shoot me a message I might be able to work out some options for you to be able to still do Airbnb.

Appreciate again Mike, Trey and the others. I actually ended up renting. I had carried the property for well over six months more like nine. 

Originally posted by @Trey Gartner :

@Federico Gutierrez   Thanks for the input!  My thought is that AirBnB doesn't necessarily tell you exact location, just gives you that circle with the general area, and the circle would almost certainly lay over locations that are within easy walking distance.  Still in my research phase and getting the apartment AirBnB ready, but this is good stuff to know!

 You are correct, but as a guest I would ask specifically how far you are and if you make a habit of deceiving your guests that wont go over too well either. On your listing you'll probably end up writing (x minutes from y station, z minutes from ohare, etc)

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