Any AirBnB investors? If so, what were your problems at the start

6 Replies

I’m fixing to begin renting my property through AirBnB. I would love any and all advice to begin this experience. I own the house outright and would love to offer the best experience possible for my customers. Any help would be much appreciated!

@Ben Hudman Just jump in its not a big deal. Make sure it’s legal In your area and go for it! If you can’t get 1.5%++ of purchase price per month don’t bother. If it were me I’d finance that puppy and buy 5 more.

@Lucas Carl Thanks for the reply! That’s what I’m definitely going to do. The property is located within 5 minutes of many shops and a major grocery store and walking distance from a University here. I think it’s worth the go. If not then so be it haha. Thanks again!

@Ben Hudman   My problem with Airbnb is that I don't get any more than 1 or 2 inquiries per year from that website.  My wife and I have 24 STRs in this town, 82 beds.  22 houses are rented, 2 are vacant.  Find a niche and exploit it.  My niche is refinery contractors.  They are welders, pipefitters, inspectors, electricians, boiler makers, operators, insulators, scaffold builders, and other specialty laborers.  They are the people that work on the large upright hard structures of steel you see at a petrochemical refinery and associated nitrogen fertilizer plant.  

Find a niche.

First, just do it. Get it listed. Our biggest problem was the deciding to do it. Then, go over the top at the start and put in the work yourself with cleaning and turnover, if you can. First, your extra effort to will shine through to the guests.  You'll hear right away about problems and things you forgot to get for the place (alarm clock, that specific specialty coffee maker they use at home, the refrigerator is super loud at night.) However, people are very forgiving when they see you're active and attentive to your needs.  

After a month or so, you will have most of those kinks worked out and should have built up some great reviews.  Then, build your systems and processes.  You know exactly what it takes to flip the house between guests, so make an extremely detailed step by step guide. You should be able to hand it to a junior high boy and they could have it looking perfect, just by following the steps.  We took lots of photos for our cleaning crew—the dishes get organized like this, this is how the bed should look after you make it, this is how to arrange the magazines and remote on the coffee table, etc.

Lastly, if you're going to refinance it to pull equity out, don't tell your bank your renting it on Airbnb. I'm not sure what to tell them (I'm actively struggling with this,) but since Airbnb is not a 12-month lease, my banks will not count it as income to be factored into either the property's valuation or your DTI ratio.

My first STR: No gas or charcoal grill. No Internet.

Those are standards now.  Bigger houses have both kinds of grills too.  All houses now have a Smart Hdtv now.  Most houses have pics in the bedrooms that would get me banned again from Bigger Pockets if I described them.