Anyone know of a good Airbnb consultant?

23 Replies

I've been eyeing two properties in totally different locations. 

One of the properties is near the Poconos in Pennsylvania, 3 bedroom, house. They allow airbnb of the house. The property is all updated, clean, ready to move in. Would just need furniture. The cost is close to 200K. Id use it as a vacation home since I live 2.5 hours away, and airbnb when not in it. Rental would be around 200-250 / night . occupancy 55%. 


The other property is an A-frame in Ohio, near hillsboro. 2 bedroom, A-frame cottage for 125K, furnished. Its the nicest house in a neighborhood where some houses are ok, but others are not so nice. The property is a flip. The owners did an amazing job with flipping it. The house next to it though is an empty mobile home--  though the owner mows the lawn so the lawn is maintained.  I really love the A-frame. It's such a cute house and its already an airbnb though only about 1 month into the airbnb. Rent is 99/night. Only 1 review on it and the review was good. The cottage is booked for the next 2 months at about 85%. The area is good for hunting and fishing. I'd need to fly to get there. Such a cute cottage. 

Any thoughts? 

Given those two options.. I am leaning towards the Poconos.  Its been a vacation spot for years that people have heard of.  Have not heard of Hillsboro, Ohio and I have been hunting all over different parts of Ohio for the past 15 years or so.   Also, $99/nt doesn't excite me.  If its the nicest house on the block, when people get there and see the mobile home next to it and if the other areas look not so good, probably not gonna get repeat guests.

If this is your first, it will be easier for you to learn the ropes with a property you will be visiting from time to time and you get to use it when its not rented.

That's my cursory thoughts based on what you have shared so far between those two choices.

For the Poconos, it would depend on what part of the Poconos as that area is quite large.  There are some parts of the Poconos that have gone downhill a bit, while there are other areas, especially near lakes or in gated areas that are doing great.  Assuming it's in a nice area of the Poconos, I'd be leaning toward the Pocono.  If the A-frame is the nicest house in the neighborhood, and there are some not-so-nice houses around, guests will remember that and you could have a problem with repeat guests even if the A-Frame is adorable.  

With the Pocono house you get to use it as a vacation home (14 days per year), and its sounds like its closer to you which is good if you need to run up there for emergencies or maintenance.  As long as it's in one of the good neighborhoods, my vote would be Poconos.

Mike

If I were you I'd be leaning towards the poconos. It's an established vacation location that allows airbnb. This Ohio property could be in an area where the laws may change on you. That won't happen in the Poconos.

I always recommend buying close to home if you don't plan to have a property manager. Two and a half hours is an easy drive to shoot out there to address an issue. If you have an issue on the other property and you have to book a flight you really need somebody on the ground to assist you. Makes it a lot more cumbersome. If the numbers on the Poconos work Its a no brainer for me

@Maria Ferre  

If you are looking to do a STR in OH I would recommend you look in Columbus. Columbus has lots of job opportunities and population growth. There are plenty of people I know that currently have STR in A and B locations in Columbus and are doing really good.

Hi Maria,

If I were you I'd go with the Poconos. In fact, that's our next investment, so we might wind up being neighbors!

Here's what we've found out so far in our research:

Airdna and Pricelabs are very helpful.

The one gated community that we visited last weekend wouldn't let us tour without using one of their realtors. I later found out that they are in a "moderate" crime area. Not sure if that's why they were gated or not, but the homes were noticeably cheaper...

I'm more comfortable investing in a community that has a lot of STR's. Hopefully they are dependent on the income from the STR's and will continue to allow them.

Lake Harmony is the cream of the crop, but it was a little too crowded for our tastes.

Split Rock is great, but according to a local contact the new owners of the resort will soon be enforcing the 30 day minimum stay that's in the bylaws. It's 100% hearsay, but I'm not willing to take a chance with that.

My accountant has a 4 bedroom in Lake Naomi, and he does very well with it. 

There are a LOT of homes on the market, and we're taking our time learning the area. 

Good luck, and let us know how you do!

Another vote for the Poconos if these are the options.  I recommend vacation rental markets where laws have already been established for vacay rentals / you don't have to worry about laws changing like you do in random small towns or metro markets.  Sounds like you can maybe do a 2nd home loan which I recommend doing for 10% down.

@Maria Ferre If the decision is between the two, I would lean toward the STR in the Pocono's. It is a popular vacation spot for a long time and could produce good revenue for you. You will want to do research on local laws for the specific area you want to buy in as all townships/counties have different rules.

@Maria Ferre , we have a portfolio of STR properties in the Poconos. My recommendation is to consider multiple criteria in your decision:

1. Financials: Mostly COC return (NOI/initial investment)

2. Local presence: location that you can access directly and self manage - unless you want to leave 20-25% of the bookings for property managers that might (or not) be reliable

3. Regulatory landscape: especially HOAs and Townships - these can be a deal breaker and shut your business

4. Potential STR growth: AirDNA might help with some stats and figures

This is NOT a passive investment, it requires sometimes intensive management work

Hi @Maria Ferre I agree with the others that I would choose the home in the Poconos if the numbers work. I would choose this property mainly because it is already a tourist destination and there are areas already established for short-term rentals and have regulations in place.  Additionally, it is drivable for you which is helpful, especially if you want to self-manage. 
I'm not certain the Ohio town is a tourist destination and it sounds like the rental history being looked at only includes a few months. The A-frame sounds really cute, but don't buy the nicest home in the neighborhood. If you really like this style, maybe look for an A-frame in different location that will fit your investment goals.  

@Maria Ferre If the decision is between the two, I would lean toward the STR in the Pocono's. It is a popular vacation spot for a long time and could produce good revenue for you. You will want to do research on local laws for the specific area you want to buy in as all townships/counties have different rules.