Vacation Rentals and Airbnb.

7 Replies

Looking for some insight from anyone that does year round rentals using Airbnb, Home Away, Flipkey, VRBO, etc.  I currently have a few but only seasonal and I would like to see if anyone in Maine has had success with year-round terms.

I've had success with year-round rentals by renting to traveling or temporary workers.  They all receive a per diem from their employer to pay for food and housing.  My houses are an alternative to living out of a motel room.

Is there a large employer or large industry near where your properties are located?  Any temporary or short term workers would be your potential renters.  Those kinds of people don't look at Airbnb, VRBO etc.  They look at Craigslist or the bulletin board at the worksite.

Thanks for the input @Paul Sandhu .  That's helpful, CL is a great resource and we already do use it to fill in gaps in our short-term rentals.  They are near areas where there is quite a bit going on (a rather larger city for the state).  How often would you say on average out of each month your houses are filled?

@Derek DeCesere My occupancy is anywhere from 50% to 95%.  Small houses are rented more often, but they don't pay as much.  Big houses bring in big bucks ($1200/week) but they are not rented out as often. But a better way to put it, is that all the houses gross between $12k - $18k per year.  Purchase price plus all the furnishings is usually around $11k to $15k.  

Hi Derek DeCesere, the challenging part of year-round short term rentals is the winter. As a co-owner and manager of short term rentals, I can say that winter requires more creativity and effort to make the numbers work. Creating targeted ads on social media can help drive higher occupancy. Analyze the numbers and determine if it makes more sense for a unit to be leased for few months as a furnished winter rental. The lowest rates and highest vacancy occur in December, January, February, and March. If you subtract the limited revenue by the costs of cleaning, fees, and increased advertising; then you'll get a sense of the profit margin. Compare that to the going rates for winter rentals. 

Thanks @David Marshall for the info, this is all very helpful.  I have to ask, if the challenge is the winter months are people having good success renting units in Portland during the summer? I have some in Old Orchard Beach and we take full advantage of June, July, August and even September then we just rent to a tenant from October until May.  Could Portland be similar in that way if using Airbnb?  Especially if we don't want to miss out on vacancy?

Hey @Derek DeCesere , great questions about short term rentals in Portland. The comments I made previously were for Maine in general and based on our experience with short term rentals in small coastal towns. The Portland Peninsula is a market with strong demand throughout the year, including winter. The other neighborhoods in Portland have lower demand in the off season. The short term rental unit that I own and manage in the West End is priced right and has a high occupancy rate even in the off-season. 

The particulars of a property - location, number of bedrooms, costs of utilities, financing - will determine if that property will perform better with longer term rentals in the off-season or with short term rentals all year. 

Please be aware that the City of Portland has introduced new short term rental regulations. There are many articles in the Press Herald and the ordinance and permit info is on portlandmaine.gov 

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