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Mark ODay
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AIR BNB Question

Mark ODay
Posted May 2 2023, 13:08

I have a 5 bedroom home on Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior MN that I want to Air BNB it starting in August. I understand the prime months are May through September. My question is how much success have people had with Air BNB in the "off season" in the Minneapolis area? Or more specifically the the Excelsior area? Thanks for any feedback! 

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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
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Replied Jul 20 2023, 11:42
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:

@Mark ODay, initially I thought James had quite the arrogant response, but I do believe his intention was there. Starting out in the STR world post-pandemic, is going to be brutal if you have minimal experience and know how. Everyone and their mother was listing on Airbnb and VRBO post lockdown clearance. Everyone who did it even at a horrible level, was making good money. Those days are gone, hence those people listing them for sale because they didn't have a clue what they were doing or how to run a business centered around hospitality. The ones who will consistently survive and thrive in the STR world, are those running it as a business and who are passionate about it.

I would highly suggest you invest as much time as possiblle into how to do it properly. Underwriting your property and doing DD is critical, you screw that up, and you'll quickly lose thousands. 

I had advised a client of mine to step away and not go through closing on a property due to the location alone. It was the PERFECT property in the absolute WORST location. 8 months later, he is selling that property, and even gave me the "welp, you were right" talk. Learn from other's mistakes and if you're serious about operating STR's and you're not opting to have a co-host, know that it can and almost ALWAYS is a full time job, unless you have an excellent team in place and your automations and tech stack is on point.


What I said, was coming from 1st hand experience in rentals, including STR, in that specific placement.

And while it can seem harsh, it's unfiltered direct truth. That is a HNW (high Net Worth) market, and that "playground" is SAVAGE in their treatment for sub-par performance, and GRACIOUS in their reward for achievement and excelling in expectations. 

I have standard rentals of 3k sqft townhomes int he area getting $7kmnth+ in rents, STR averaging $10kmnth+ annually on sub $600k rambler off-lake. Too many just stop there, assume that just is how it is, that anyone can put out there any old rambler and get $10k+ on STR, or any old Excelsior townhome and get $5k+ standard rental rates. No, it's not that simple.

And that's what I am speaking to, it's not really the asset itself that makes the $, it's not. It's the asset itself that presents the revenue POTENTIAL, and that's all it is, potential. A lump of coal is a POTENTIAL diamond, but it won't become one just for fact of buying it and putting it on a shelf right. 

The magic is in the HOW. How a person operates it, furnishes it, markets it, packages it. It is the difference between $2k and $10 monthly revenues, literally, no joke or exaggeration. 

Look, I will be brutally honest. People who talk about the expected performance of a STR based solely on location, have ZERO clue what there talking about, and with it matching experience. Everyone I know performing in the STR segment universally has a laser focus on the operational aspect. Yes, we all want to start with the best raw ingredients possible but honestly, we could make most places work, what changes is the HOW.

Don't believe me? Explain raw land with Urt's on STR crushing it? Or STR tent's? You look into the best in STR and there doing all kinds of jazzy things on all kind's of properties, slaying the averages. Because they "get it".

STR is Hospitality business, you can be a super-8, or a Hilton experience, either a room to lay ones head, or somewhere and experience people are excited to pay $ to go/experience.

On the lake, Minnetonka, no-brainer for winter! I'd setup a personal "pond-hockey" rink every winter, fairy lights around it, whole-9 and market the bonkers out of it. Summer is about water sports. Fall fall colors etc etc.. 

STR is more about being a master marketer than anything else, really.

My Minnetonka STR projected out at $4,500mnth on airdna. It has not had a single month under $7k. How? The marketing strategy.

A place on the water, excelsior, yowzers I'd trade a kid for that place, lol. It's ok I got 5, I can spare 1, lol. But seriously, that should be a cash-machine, but it's going to require knowing the target market, devising a great marketing strategy and execution of that.

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Andrew Sparks
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Andrew Sparks
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Replied Jul 20 2023, 11:53

@James Hamling 1000% agree on almost everything you said, aside from location. 

There are just some locations that no one wants to travel to, regardless of the property. Location defintely shouldn't be where you base your numbers from at all though, as you stated. 


Airdna is extremely muddied and skewed also, there's much more DD to be done than simply plugging in an address and seeing what they expect. Just as you have, I have also taken properties that estimate to bring in 6k, and turned them into 14k+. 

I can't tell you how many posts i see DAILY on facebook groups and forums of people saying "I'm looking to start an airbnb business/listing my property on Airbnb", and they all are in the comments showing they 1000% are not even close to being prepared to jump in. So many are still stuck thinking this market is anything like 21-22'. 

There are so many nuances and variables in this business. Like you said, it's all about how you package it. I love where the market is today, it's an essential part of the process. Weeding out the hobbyist/oppotunists. Let the professionals shine and provide the amazing travel experiences.

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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
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Replied Jul 20 2023, 11:54
Quote from @Mark ODay:

 The comment from James really didnt bother me. He made great points. He sounds like a hard assed Realty type. I like to know people like that.They tell you what they think. I miss the East Coast for those reasons. He simply was wrong on why I wasnt more specific on the location. I have my reasons for that. The rest of what he said was true.

I don't recall asking specifics on location. You said on the lake, Excelsior, right, that's pretty-darn specific for me. Which I compared too on the beach in Malibu, because I think they are applicable similes. 

And yeah, I often hear I am very E.Coast, and a-ok with that, lol. I just call things as I see/think em, why hide and beat around the bush right. 

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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
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Replied Jul 20 2023, 12:02
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:


There are just some locations that no one wants to travel to, regardless of the property. 

Yeah, I get-ya, and I often have that default in my mind of "location, location, location".     But then, someone I know or someone they know, goes and get's this property where I think "what the heck is this idiot doing?! Are they nuts!" and next thing I know there doing some weird whatever, tents, freaking TENTS, and crushing it. 

I had one guy who took this garbage desert land that was all but free, because it was garbage. He puts some tiny home he got off FB on there. Than he invites the art school kids out, holds a contest for $10k 1st prize on best art done and thing was everything had to be enduring permanent affixed items. He paid a bit more to host these people but point is, next thing ya know he's making crazy $ on STR because it's now this whole funky-art-village whatever thing, and it cost him peanuts, on garbage land, in middle of nowhere.

IDK, I have been converted that with a jazzy enough mind behind it almost any land/property can be turned into a STR cash-cow if done right. 
Every time I think location is a big deal, another crazy thing is done to show different. 

As long as there is good wifi, it seems like the geographic limitations or gone. And with Starlink, well, internet is almost everywhere now. That plus remote working...... 
We are in new times. 

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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
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Replied Jul 20 2023, 12:17
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:

Let the professionals shine and provide the amazing travel experiences.

Nailed it!

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Andrew Sparks
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Andrew Sparks
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Replied Jul 20 2023, 12:18
Quote from @James Hamling:
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:


There are just some locations that no one wants to travel to, regardless of the property. 

Yeah, I get-ya, and I often have that default in my mind of "location, location, location".     But then, someone I know or someone they know, goes and get's this property where I think "what the heck is this idiot doing?! Are they nuts!" and next thing I know there doing some weird whatever, tents, freaking TENTS, and crushing it. 

I had one guy who took this garbage desert land that was all but free, because it was garbage. He puts some tiny home he got off FB on there. Than he invites the art school kids out, holds a contest for $10k 1st prize on best art done and thing was everything had to be enduring permanent affixed items. He paid a bit more to host these people but point is, next thing ya know he's making crazy $ on STR because it's now this whole funky-art-village whatever thing, and it cost him peanuts, on garbage land, in middle of nowhere.

IDK, I have been converted that with a jazzy enough mind behind it almost any land/property can be turned into a STR cash-cow if done right. 
Every time I think location is a big deal, another crazy thing is done to show different. 

As long as there is good wifi, it seems like the geographic limitations or gone. And with Starlink, well, internet is almost everywhere now. That plus remote working...... 
We are in new times. 


 There are absolutely exceptions to the rule. Of course, dumping enough money into something, can get you a huge boost, hence marketing being critical. The hard part is trusting a gut or hope that dumping thousands into marketing will bring in enough consistently. I co-host a boutique hotel in Ladysmith, WI that is now for sale and it has been a struggle. It's an amazing property, but i'd be blown over the top if anyone could convice someone to travel to Ladysmith, WI for any property. Then again, a con of co-hosting is you're limited to what a client wants to spend on their property, whether it is improvements or marketing.

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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
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Replied Jul 20 2023, 12:25
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:
Quote from @James Hamling:
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:


There are just some locations that no one wants to travel to, regardless of the property. 

Yeah, I get-ya, and I often have that default in my mind of "location, location, location".     But then, someone I know or someone they know, goes and get's this property where I think "what the heck is this idiot doing?! Are they nuts!" and next thing I know there doing some weird whatever, tents, freaking TENTS, and crushing it. 

I had one guy who took this garbage desert land that was all but free, because it was garbage. He puts some tiny home he got off FB on there. Than he invites the art school kids out, holds a contest for $10k 1st prize on best art done and thing was everything had to be enduring permanent affixed items. He paid a bit more to host these people but point is, next thing ya know he's making crazy $ on STR because it's now this whole funky-art-village whatever thing, and it cost him peanuts, on garbage land, in middle of nowhere.

IDK, I have been converted that with a jazzy enough mind behind it almost any land/property can be turned into a STR cash-cow if done right. 
Every time I think location is a big deal, another crazy thing is done to show different. 

As long as there is good wifi, it seems like the geographic limitations or gone. And with Starlink, well, internet is almost everywhere now. That plus remote working...... 
We are in new times. 


 There are absolutely exceptions to the rule. Of course, dumping enough money into something, can get you a huge boost, hence marketing being critical. The hard part is trusting a gut or hope that dumping thousands into marketing will bring in enough consistently. I co-host a boutique hotel in Ladysmith, WI that is now for sale and it has been a struggle. It's an amazing property, but i'd be blown over the top if anyone could convice someone to travel to Ladysmith, WI for any property. Then again, a con of co-hosting is you're limited to what a client wants to spend on their property, whether it is improvements or marketing.


Do I smell a challenge?....

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Andrew Sparks
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Andrew Sparks
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Replied Jul 20 2023, 12:30
Quote from @James Hamling:
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:
Quote from @James Hamling:
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:


There are just some locations that no one wants to travel to, regardless of the property. 

Yeah, I get-ya, and I often have that default in my mind of "location, location, location".     But then, someone I know or someone they know, goes and get's this property where I think "what the heck is this idiot doing?! Are they nuts!" and next thing I know there doing some weird whatever, tents, freaking TENTS, and crushing it. 

I had one guy who took this garbage desert land that was all but free, because it was garbage. He puts some tiny home he got off FB on there. Than he invites the art school kids out, holds a contest for $10k 1st prize on best art done and thing was everything had to be enduring permanent affixed items. He paid a bit more to host these people but point is, next thing ya know he's making crazy $ on STR because it's now this whole funky-art-village whatever thing, and it cost him peanuts, on garbage land, in middle of nowhere.

IDK, I have been converted that with a jazzy enough mind behind it almost any land/property can be turned into a STR cash-cow if done right. 
Every time I think location is a big deal, another crazy thing is done to show different. 

As long as there is good wifi, it seems like the geographic limitations or gone. And with Starlink, well, internet is almost everywhere now. That plus remote working...... 
We are in new times. 


 There are absolutely exceptions to the rule. Of course, dumping enough money into something, can get you a huge boost, hence marketing being critical. The hard part is trusting a gut or hope that dumping thousands into marketing will bring in enough consistently. I co-host a boutique hotel in Ladysmith, WI that is now for sale and it has been a struggle. It's an amazing property, but i'd be blown over the top if anyone could convice someone to travel to Ladysmith, WI for any property. Then again, a con of co-hosting is you're limited to what a client wants to spend on their property, whether it is improvements or marketing.


Do I smell a challenge?....

Something in the air does smell of something similar to that… 😂

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Dayna Halm
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Replied Jul 20 2023, 14:16

Mark, 

Hey there! Speaking as a fellow Minnesotan:)  Depending on your guest avatar, I'd say a must for those slower months is to have a hot tub if you don't already. If you're trying to get those "stay-cation" folks you could also provide ice fishing gear, pop-up ice house and auger, snow shoes etc. Professional photos this fall/winter of the foliage, snow, snowmen and a bonfire pit roaring, and decorate accordingly for the holidays. Maybe a guest gift of hot chocolate, wild rice and smore supplies. Just some ideas. 5 bedrooms is great for larger family gatherings. The value will be in the experience you provide and since we spend a lot of time indoors over the winter there needs to be a focus on activities. Understand your limits too, if you lack in the interior design aspect of hosting- ask for help or hire a designer. 

I use AirDNA for that deep dive. I'd start by looking at Airbnb and VRBO and writing down titles of properties that most closely match your property. If you'd like, I wouldn't mind putting some comps together on those just to give you an idea so you have a little more foresight going in. Hosting yourself is totally doable as long as you have the right expectations, know who your guest avatar is and get a good team together. I could give you some insight into the different platforms that I would highly suggest to manage your listing as well. No one starts out as an expert- so cheers to you for giving it a "go" on your own. 

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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
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Replied Jul 20 2023, 15:09
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:
Quote from @James Hamling:
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:
Quote from @James Hamling:
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:


There are just some locations that no one wants to travel to, regardless of the property. 

Yeah, I get-ya, and I often have that default in my mind of "location, location, location".     But then, someone I know or someone they know, goes and get's this property where I think "what the heck is this idiot doing?! Are they nuts!" and next thing I know there doing some weird whatever, tents, freaking TENTS, and crushing it. 

I had one guy who took this garbage desert land that was all but free, because it was garbage. He puts some tiny home he got off FB on there. Than he invites the art school kids out, holds a contest for $10k 1st prize on best art done and thing was everything had to be enduring permanent affixed items. He paid a bit more to host these people but point is, next thing ya know he's making crazy $ on STR because it's now this whole funky-art-village whatever thing, and it cost him peanuts, on garbage land, in middle of nowhere.

IDK, I have been converted that with a jazzy enough mind behind it almost any land/property can be turned into a STR cash-cow if done right. 
Every time I think location is a big deal, another crazy thing is done to show different. 

As long as there is good wifi, it seems like the geographic limitations or gone. And with Starlink, well, internet is almost everywhere now. That plus remote working...... 
We are in new times. 


 There are absolutely exceptions to the rule. Of course, dumping enough money into something, can get you a huge boost, hence marketing being critical. The hard part is trusting a gut or hope that dumping thousands into marketing will bring in enough consistently. I co-host a boutique hotel in Ladysmith, WI that is now for sale and it has been a struggle. It's an amazing property, but i'd be blown over the top if anyone could convice someone to travel to Ladysmith, WI for any property. Then again, a con of co-hosting is you're limited to what a client wants to spend on their property, whether it is improvements or marketing.


Do I smell a challenge?....

Something in the air does smell of something similar to that… 😂

 Ok, this could get long with all the intracacies of each action step and so on so I am going to skip straight to the highlight short-SHORT summary in just 4 words: BEER and wine Expo.     BOOM, mic-drop, lol. 

Ok, let me summarize in a story. My son get's into hockey. Son gets ok at hockey. Next thing ya know this little nothing traveling team from nowhere starts doing decent. And then comes the "fund raiser" which is the life-blood of hockey. 

What do they do, flipping calendar sales. CALENDARS! No big shocker that sales always sucked, and as I am such a quiet meek person I of course whispered how idiotic I thought selling calendars was as a fund raiser.... yeah, no, not so much, everyone knew what I thought real fast. So fast in fact it was meet with "well, what do you got that's so much better Mr Genius". Yeah, ok, I see your "calendars" and I raise you ALL-YOU-CAN-DRINK booze! yeah, how about that one. 

At first everyone thought me nuts. Ok, probably a drunk too, lol, but it got the conversation going. So I laid out the how. We get every micro-brew we can find, lobby them of the chance to market in what would be a crazy cheap way, etc etc. Well next thing it was "huh, maybe it's so crazy it could work".    So some looked into it, which turned into "maybe we could try it" which turned into, turned into, turned into and next thing ya know, we did it. One tiny po-dunk ice arena in nowhereville holding a Beer and Wine expo. Guess what happened? Yeah, holly 10X!!!! 

Standing room only, line wrapping out the building, in a few hours we raised more $ than any 4 years combined, in 4hrs of 1 day. 

It's crazy how people will come out for all you can drink! 

So, steal my thunder. Talk to the city, get people on board to create an "event"! Get local biz on board, make it a whole thing. Than hit the streets, hit up every micro-brew, mid-brew, big-brew ANY-brew on how they NEED to "help save mainstreet"!    Get a webpage up on it, start selling tickets, than vendor booths. 

And wouldn't ya know it, convenient links to sponsors like local STR/hotels.

How do ya get people to middle nowhere WI, give em a reason to come! And come on, it's Wisconsin, 2 ways to get em coming out in droves; A packers game and BOOZE! lol. 

Make sure to talk with local chamber and business how this event is there chance to "pitch" coming back. Given em something to come back FOR. 

And when ya pull it off, IDK, get Hairball lined up for another weekend or something. Get the Circus out, a carnival, something, anything. 

Why do millions go to Lynchburg TN every year? JD Distillery? No. Because JD went around and MADE IT a destination to come to, they gave people a reason to come. It's so middle of nowhere there isn't squat for cell service or wifi, like anywhere. Blink and ya'd miss the place, it's uber tiny nowhere. 

Give em a reason to come, then tell em about it. Simple 2 step action plan. 

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Mark ODay
Replied Jul 21 2023, 05:25
Quote from @Adam Tafel:
Quote from @Mark ODay:

I have a 5 bedroom home on Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior MN that I want to Air BNB it starting in August. I understand the prime months are May through September. My question is how much success have people had with Air BNB in the "off season" in the Minneapolis area? Or more specifically the the Excelsior area? Thanks for any feedback! 


 We've been managing furnished mo/mo rentals all over the Twin Cities metro for years. We get lots of interest in larger family homes in the western burbs throughout the year, many for 30-120 night stays. My advice would be to have a 3 night minimum in the summer to maximize revenue, and switch to a 60 night minimum during the off season. If you are priced appropriately ~sub 5500/mo you'll find a solid mid-term tenant for the winter, families are always moving to the Twin Cities. 


 Thanks for your input! 

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Mark ODay
Replied Jul 21 2023, 05:45
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:
Quote from @James Hamling:
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:


There are just some locations that no one wants to travel to, regardless of the property. 

Yeah, I get-ya, and I often have that default in my mind of "location, location, location".     But then, someone I know or someone they know, goes and get's this property where I think "what the heck is this idiot doing?! Are they nuts!" and next thing I know there doing some weird whatever, tents, freaking TENTS, and crushing it. 

I had one guy who took this garbage desert land that was all but free, because it was garbage. He puts some tiny home he got off FB on there. Than he invites the art school kids out, holds a contest for $10k 1st prize on best art done and thing was everything had to be enduring permanent affixed items. He paid a bit more to host these people but point is, next thing ya know he's making crazy $ on STR because it's now this whole funky-art-village whatever thing, and it cost him peanuts, on garbage land, in middle of nowhere.

IDK, I have been converted that with a jazzy enough mind behind it almost any land/property can be turned into a STR cash-cow if done right. 
Every time I think location is a big deal, another crazy thing is done to show different. 

As long as there is good wifi, it seems like the geographic limitations or gone. And with Starlink, well, internet is almost everywhere now. That plus remote working...... 
We are in new times. 


 There are absolutely exceptions to the rule. Of course, dumping enough money into something, can get you a huge boost, hence marketing being critical. The hard part is trusting a gut or hope that dumping thousands into marketing will bring in enough consistently. I co-host a boutique hotel in Ladysmith, WI that is now for sale and it has been a struggle. It's an amazing property, but i'd be blown over the top if anyone could convice someone to travel to Ladysmith, WI for any property. Then again, a con of co-hosting is you're limited to what a client wants to spend on their property, whether it is improvements or marketing.


 Funny, I know Ladysmith WI. That is an odd part of the state actually. Wisconsin has those "zones" where you just want to get through to an "actual" destination. Our buddy James sounds like he could turn into the Taj Mahal of Wisconsin 😉 ( joking )

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Mark ODay
Replied Jul 21 2023, 05:51
Quote from @Dayna Halm:

Mark, 

Hey there! Speaking as a fellow Minnesotan:)  Depending on your guest avatar, I'd say a must for those slower months is to have a hot tub if you don't already. If you're trying to get those "stay-cation" folks you could also provide ice fishing gear, pop-up ice house and auger, snow shoes etc. Professional photos this fall/winter of the foliage, snow, snowmen and a bonfire pit roaring, and decorate accordingly for the holidays. Maybe a guest gift of hot chocolate, wild rice and smore supplies. Just some ideas. 5 bedrooms is great for larger family gatherings. The value will be in the experience you provide and since we spend a lot of time indoors over the winter there needs to be a focus on activities. Understand your limits too, if you lack in the interior design aspect of hosting- ask for help or hire a designer. 

I use AirDNA for that deep dive. I'd start by looking at Airbnb and VRBO and writing down titles of properties that most closely match your property. If you'd like, I wouldn't mind putting some comps together on those just to give you an idea so you have a little more foresight going in. Hosting yourself is totally doable as long as you have the right expectations, know who your guest avatar is and get a good team together. I could give you some insight into the different platforms that I would highly suggest to manage your listing as well. No one starts out as an expert- so cheers to you for giving it a "go" on your own. 


 I would LOVE any input you can give me! And appreciate the info. I just want to learn at this point, so talking to people and watching videos is really what I am doing. Thank you.

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Mark ODay
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Mark ODay
Replied Jul 21 2023, 05:58
Quote from @James Hamling:
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:
Quote from @James Hamling:
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:
Quote from @James Hamling:
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:


There are just some locations that no one wants to travel to, regardless of the property. 

Yeah, I get-ya, and I often have that default in my mind of "location, location, location".     But then, someone I know or someone they know, goes and get's this property where I think "what the heck is this idiot doing?! Are they nuts!" and next thing I know there doing some weird whatever, tents, freaking TENTS, and crushing it. 

I had one guy who took this garbage desert land that was all but free, because it was garbage. He puts some tiny home he got off FB on there. Than he invites the art school kids out, holds a contest for $10k 1st prize on best art done and thing was everything had to be enduring permanent affixed items. He paid a bit more to host these people but point is, next thing ya know he's making crazy $ on STR because it's now this whole funky-art-village whatever thing, and it cost him peanuts, on garbage land, in middle of nowhere.

IDK, I have been converted that with a jazzy enough mind behind it almost any land/property can be turned into a STR cash-cow if done right. 
Every time I think location is a big deal, another crazy thing is done to show different. 

As long as there is good wifi, it seems like the geographic limitations or gone. And with Starlink, well, internet is almost everywhere now. That plus remote working...... 
We are in new times. 


 There are absolutely exceptions to the rule. Of course, dumping enough money into something, can get you a huge boost, hence marketing being critical. The hard part is trusting a gut or hope that dumping thousands into marketing will bring in enough consistently. I co-host a boutique hotel in Ladysmith, WI that is now for sale and it has been a struggle. It's an amazing property, but i'd be blown over the top if anyone could convice someone to travel to Ladysmith, WI for any property. Then again, a con of co-hosting is you're limited to what a client wants to spend on their property, whether it is improvements or marketing.


Do I smell a challenge?....

Something in the air does smell of something similar to that… 😂

 Ok, this could get long with all the intracacies of each action step and so on so I am going to skip straight to the highlight short-SHORT summary in just 4 words: BEER and wine Expo.     BOOM, mic-drop, lol. 

Ok, let me summarize in a story. My son get's into hockey. Son gets ok at hockey. Next thing ya know this little nothing traveling team from nowhere starts doing decent. And then comes the "fund raiser" which is the life-blood of hockey. 

What do they do, flipping calendar sales. CALENDARS! No big shocker that sales always sucked, and as I am such a quiet meek person I of course whispered how idiotic I thought selling calendars was as a fund raiser.... yeah, no, not so much, everyone knew what I thought real fast. So fast in fact it was meet with "well, what do you got that's so much better Mr Genius". Yeah, ok, I see your "calendars" and I raise you ALL-YOU-CAN-DRINK booze! yeah, how about that one. 

At first everyone thought me nuts. Ok, probably a drunk too, lol, but it got the conversation going. So I laid out the how. We get every micro-brew we can find, lobby them of the chance to market in what would be a crazy cheap way, etc etc. Well next thing it was "huh, maybe it's so crazy it could work".    So some looked into it, which turned into "maybe we could try it" which turned into, turned into, turned into and next thing ya know, we did it. One tiny po-dunk ice arena in nowhereville holding a Beer and Wine expo. Guess what happened? Yeah, holly 10X!!!! 

Standing room only, line wrapping out the building, in a few hours we raised more $ than any 4 years combined, in 4hrs of 1 day. 

It's crazy how people will come out for all you can drink! 

So, steal my thunder. Talk to the city, get people on board to create an "event"! Get local biz on board, make it a whole thing. Than hit the streets, hit up every micro-brew, mid-brew, big-brew ANY-brew on how they NEED to "help save mainstreet"!    Get a webpage up on it, start selling tickets, than vendor booths. 

And wouldn't ya know it, convenient links to sponsors like local STR/hotels.

How do ya get people to middle nowhere WI, give em a reason to come! And come on, it's Wisconsin, 2 ways to get em coming out in droves; A packers game and BOOZE! lol. 

Make sure to talk with local chamber and business how this event is there chance to "pitch" coming back. Given em something to come back FOR. 

And when ya pull it off, IDK, get Hairball lined up for another weekend or something. Get the Circus out, a carnival, something, anything. 

Why do millions go to Lynchburg TN every year? JD Distillery? No. Because JD went around and MADE IT a destination to come to, they gave people a reason to come. It's so middle of nowhere there isn't squat for cell service or wifi, like anywhere. Blink and ya'd miss the place, it's uber tiny nowhere. 

Give em a reason to come, then tell em about it. Simple 2 step action plan. 


 I like the way you think. I have a really good opportunity to implement some of your ideas. Thanks!

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Logan M.
Pro Member
  • Investor
  • Provo, UT
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Logan M.
Pro Member
  • Investor
  • Provo, UT
Replied Jul 21 2023, 08:28

I would suggest looking at AirDNA but at the same time be open to considering other options worst-case scenario.

Never buy with only one strategy in mind or you run the risk of taking a major loss.

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Cresentia Buesgens
  • Rental Property Investor
  • San Diego, CA
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Cresentia Buesgens
  • Rental Property Investor
  • San Diego, CA
Replied Jan 16 2024, 12:40
Quote from @Mark ODay:

I have a 5 bedroom home on Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior MN that I want to Air BNB it starting in August. I understand the prime months are May through September. My question is how much success have people had with Air BNB in the "off season" in the Minneapolis area? Or more specifically the the Excelsior area? Thanks for any feedback! 


 Hi Mark! I know this was months ago but I wanted to reach out to see if you ever did list on Airbnb and if so, how it has been going for you? I have been hopping on here to try to connect with people in the industry for a few reasons- Firstly, up until recently, I managed a high end Airbnb for a client of mine in Linden Hills that did pretty well all year 'round. Of course we were able to price accordingly during the summer months, however, I did not have to lower much during the winter months and always made up for it during the holidays!

Another reason I am trying to connect with Minnesotans with rental experience ( as I am a native, but have been living in San Diego and managing the property remotely) is because I am looking to purchase a property of my own and am getting a feel for different areas my partner and I may want to consider. We are really looking to rent out majority of the year with an exception or two when we come to visit family. Would love to hear from you! 

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Amanda McKee
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Amanda McKee
  • Realtor
  • Minnesota
Replied Jan 16 2024, 15:21
Quote from @Mark ODay:

I have a 5 bedroom home on Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior MN that I want to Air BNB it starting in August. I understand the prime months are May through September. My question is how much success have people had with Air BNB in the "off season" in the Minneapolis area? Or more specifically the the Excelsior area? Thanks for any feedback! 


I own a cabin on a lake in northern Minnesota that is a STR, so I'm very familiar with the seasonality of the market. About 60% of our revenue for the year is in June-August, then we're booked most weekends Jan-Feb for ice fishing and snowmobiling (not this year though!) and we get a few random bookings in the other months.

We launched our rental at the end of August too, and it was challenging until Summer because bookings were so sparse, but then Summer we were 90% booked. Maybe being close to the cities will have a higher occupancy rate for people staying for events like weddings though.

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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
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James Hamling#2 General Real Estate Investing Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Twin Cities, MN
Replied Jan 16 2024, 16:56
Quote from @Mark ODay:
Quote from @James Hamling:
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:
Quote from @James Hamling:
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:
Quote from @James Hamling:
Quote from @Andrew Sparks:


There are just some locations that no one wants to travel to, regardless of the property. 

Yeah, I get-ya, and I often have that default in my mind of "location, location, location".     But then, someone I know or someone they know, goes and get's this property where I think "what the heck is this idiot doing?! Are they nuts!" and next thing I know there doing some weird whatever, tents, freaking TENTS, and crushing it. 

I had one guy who took this garbage desert land that was all but free, because it was garbage. He puts some tiny home he got off FB on there. Than he invites the art school kids out, holds a contest for $10k 1st prize on best art done and thing was everything had to be enduring permanent affixed items. He paid a bit more to host these people but point is, next thing ya know he's making crazy $ on STR because it's now this whole funky-art-village whatever thing, and it cost him peanuts, on garbage land, in middle of nowhere.

IDK, I have been converted that with a jazzy enough mind behind it almost any land/property can be turned into a STR cash-cow if done right. 
Every time I think location is a big deal, another crazy thing is done to show different. 

As long as there is good wifi, it seems like the geographic limitations or gone. And with Starlink, well, internet is almost everywhere now. That plus remote working...... 
We are in new times. 


 There are absolutely exceptions to the rule. Of course, dumping enough money into something, can get you a huge boost, hence marketing being critical. The hard part is trusting a gut or hope that dumping thousands into marketing will bring in enough consistently. I co-host a boutique hotel in Ladysmith, WI that is now for sale and it has been a struggle. It's an amazing property, but i'd be blown over the top if anyone could convice someone to travel to Ladysmith, WI for any property. Then again, a con of co-hosting is you're limited to what a client wants to spend on their property, whether it is improvements or marketing.


Do I smell a challenge?....

Something in the air does smell of something similar to that… 😂

 Ok, this could get long with all the intracacies of each action step and so on so I am going to skip straight to the highlight short-SHORT summary in just 4 words: BEER and wine Expo.     BOOM, mic-drop, lol. 

Ok, let me summarize in a story. My son get's into hockey. Son gets ok at hockey. Next thing ya know this little nothing traveling team from nowhere starts doing decent. And then comes the "fund raiser" which is the life-blood of hockey. 

What do they do, flipping calendar sales. CALENDARS! No big shocker that sales always sucked, and as I am such a quiet meek person I of course whispered how idiotic I thought selling calendars was as a fund raiser.... yeah, no, not so much, everyone knew what I thought real fast. So fast in fact it was meet with "well, what do you got that's so much better Mr Genius". Yeah, ok, I see your "calendars" and I raise you ALL-YOU-CAN-DRINK booze! yeah, how about that one. 

At first everyone thought me nuts. Ok, probably a drunk too, lol, but it got the conversation going. So I laid out the how. We get every micro-brew we can find, lobby them of the chance to market in what would be a crazy cheap way, etc etc. Well next thing it was "huh, maybe it's so crazy it could work".    So some looked into it, which turned into "maybe we could try it" which turned into, turned into, turned into and next thing ya know, we did it. One tiny po-dunk ice arena in nowhereville holding a Beer and Wine expo. Guess what happened? Yeah, holly 10X!!!! 

Standing room only, line wrapping out the building, in a few hours we raised more $ than any 4 years combined, in 4hrs of 1 day. 

It's crazy how people will come out for all you can drink! 

So, steal my thunder. Talk to the city, get people on board to create an "event"! Get local biz on board, make it a whole thing. Than hit the streets, hit up every micro-brew, mid-brew, big-brew ANY-brew on how they NEED to "help save mainstreet"!    Get a webpage up on it, start selling tickets, than vendor booths. 

And wouldn't ya know it, convenient links to sponsors like local STR/hotels.

How do ya get people to middle nowhere WI, give em a reason to come! And come on, it's Wisconsin, 2 ways to get em coming out in droves; A packers game and BOOZE! lol. 

Make sure to talk with local chamber and business how this event is there chance to "pitch" coming back. Given em something to come back FOR. 

And when ya pull it off, IDK, get Hairball lined up for another weekend or something. Get the Circus out, a carnival, something, anything. 

Why do millions go to Lynchburg TN every year? JD Distillery? No. Because JD went around and MADE IT a destination to come to, they gave people a reason to come. It's so middle of nowhere there isn't squat for cell service or wifi, like anywhere. Blink and ya'd miss the place, it's uber tiny nowhere. 

Give em a reason to come, then tell em about it. Simple 2 step action plan. 


 I like the way you think. I have a really good opportunity to implement some of your ideas. Thanks!


So Mark, how'd it go? Did you implement any of "Crazy Jimmies adventures in profit generation" or no? What did ya do, how'd it result?