Airbnb in Atlanta?

32 Replies

Hello all ~ I'm in the beginning stages of putting together my investment strategy for Atlanta and just considering every possibility.  I was wondering if anyone had any experiences (positive/negative) with Airbnb rentals here in the city.  

Hi Prachel,

I work with a lot of homeowners in Atlanta doing short-term rentals. Would you be offering a room within your home for rent? Or an entire home? And for how long are you looking to rent out the space?

Thanks, Monika. This is the info that I am looking to gain from my post - I'm looking for landlords willing to share their Airbnb experiences (good or bad) so that I can get feedback on whether or not this is something we'd like to pursue.

Prachel, no problem! To clarify, I work only with people who are renting out entire homes, which is why I was asking. I've definitely seen success here in Atlanta. Just watch out for HOA restrictions; I've had managers make incredible offers to homeowners only to realize HOA restrictions won't let them do short-term rentals. It's a total bummer.

Other than that though, most of the demand I've seen has come for downtown or Midtown apartments. 

If you want to chat live or if there's more helpful information I can offer, please don't hesitate to reach out. :) (Just tag me in the post, so I know to look - I almost missed your last response!) 

I have a home that we rent on AirBnb.  I've had the gamut of experiences from good to bad to life alter bad.  Some stuff feel free to reach out to me via a direct message. 

These are my lessons:

We rent our home furnished to a lot of movie productions and corporate rentals.  Location is key for Atlanta.  Intown homes near the Beltline and Marta and Piedmont Park or other attractions are going to yield higher nightly rates and better overall rental rates. 

I don't exclusively rent my home on AirBnB but what I like about it that in between corporate rentals or movie production rentals we don't have a 0% occupancy rate and we keep people in our home which keeps away other issues that come with owning a vacant home.

The name of the game in this is to keep your neighbors happy. So be very judicious about who you rent to and how large the parties are. 

I don't allow for Instant Book.  I only allow guests who have atleast 2 other positive host reviews and I don't allow parties.  This has kept our neighbors happy after we had a few people who were having wild parties, threatening our neighbors, running illegal operations (yes!!) on our property.

So I would say if you use it be very organized and mindful of who you allow in the home.  I would also look to diversify your income and I would never ever want to solely rely on AirBnB income. I'd always rather have a longer term tenant. 

I hope this helps.

To echo Dafina, I also wouldn't advise listing only on Airbnb. A lot of people actually prefer VRBO, and here's some info on why: http://www.vrma.com/files/2015Annual/Materials/Third%20Party%20Channels%20How%20to%20Generate%20Millions%20of%20Dollars.pdf

If you are looking to use a channel manager, I'd be happy to refer a few companies.

@Dafina Smith , while you're using instant booking now, you may not have that luxury for long. A lot of the major booking sites are moving towards instant bookings, and by 2016, it's expected that instant, online bookings will have to be available for all listings. 

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@Prachel C. you've got a lot of great answers already.

Let me caution you, you want to make absolutely sure that your extra efforts end up making you more money than a traditional landlord would make. Otherwise you're actually losing with Airbnb.

As others have said, be super organized.

I find that shorter stays aren't profitable unless you're trying to build reviews. So dog whistle for the type of traveler that will make your efforts pay off.

Best to you

Currently Im using Airbnb for a two vacation properties and I'm pretty pleased with results so far. I think if done right it can be very lucrative. I'm also looking to start in Atlanta. Let us know how it goes Prachel C.

Airbnb will probably continue to work well for vacation rentals although more seem to prefer VRBO.  The problem you will see with short term rentals is that some areas are now enforcing or putting new laws on the books to restrict rental turnover to no more than 2 turns a year.  We've heard more talk of this lately.  I only do shared housing and we've gotten further & avoided problems by just being good neighbors.  

If you try to do Airbnb in the suburbs, you're going to have trouble. We have a shared housing home in a $400k neighborhood and have run it for 2 years now without any trouble. Someone else did an Airbnb rental and got an instant cease & desist from the HOA and the community manager. If you do it, you have to very closely screen your users and the amount of traffic. This partiucular home did a thanksgiving rental and the tenants had a dozen people there, with cars everywhere, music and folks outside smoking in the driveway. That was the end of that. Like everything else, you have to be a good neighbor and most folks will work with you. If you in a city environment, it's so busy as long as your renters are quiet....most won't even notice.

In the city of atlanta you have to be very careful not to be running an unlicensed rooming house.  All of our renters sign long term, 6-month leases and we have minimal turn-over...our average stay is now 18 months.  I would suspect that most major cities address short term, rooming houses in some form or fashion.

All,

I just purchased a property on Piedmont park. I was planning on managing the airbnb/vrbo rentals myself but I'm likely about to move out of state for my job. Any leads on a full service property management company or just tips in general would be very welcomed. Thank you!

Originally posted by @Prachel C. :

Hello all ~ I'm in the beginning stages of putting together my investment strategy for Atlanta and just considering every possibility.  I was wondering if anyone had any experiences (positive/negative) with Airbnb rentals here in the city.  

 Hi Prachel,

I happened across your posting- Our company has access to over 150 units in midtown and Buckhead areas of Atlanta that we use for film production housing. When we have holes in our schedule we sometimes use Airbnb to fill them, but frankly this is not our favorite way to keep our units full as a good 35% of time our units experience damage to the units or their furnishing..Usually to the linens or else they smoke (lots of weed for some reason?!)..We obviously charge a lot for these damages as part of our house rules, and we charge a $250.00 smoke removal fee, but yet they continue to do it. The one good thing is that the Airbnb insurance will pay for the damages despite if the guests refuses.

Short term, corporate housing Is a wonderful market segment for us- we deliver 10% return on investments to our partners, but it is a lot of work and takes a great deal of marketing to the right customer base. I would say that if you're looking into corporate housing- make sure that Airbnb isn't your only source of property booking, and make sure you have a good calendaring system to keep track of reservations across different properties, etc.

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@Aundrea Newbern - It's been a while since you started looking for a management firm for your Piedmont Park unit. Would you have a learnings and experiences on how that worked out - or references if any? I am looking to be in the same area and thinking of short term rentals in a similar manner.

KJ-I am also looking at Atlanta, but was wondering what your thoughts were on the restrictions in Atlanta? Ive been doing a lot of research. Atlanta seems to be one of the worst cities for vacation rentals based on city restrictions. Thoughts? I used to live in Atlanta, thus have a house there.

I own a newly renovated 2 bed 2 ba home in the Conley Hills neighborhood of East Point, GA (10 min south of downtown Atlanta). I’m willing to rent it out to an airbnb professional (who in turn could lease it on airbnb). If interested, direct message me please. It is a beautiful interior and attached to a second unit, which is not for rent and has tenants already. I can’t load pics on this post or otherwise I would.

Sam

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