AirBnB Vacation rentals

2 Replies

How are vacation rentals performing through AirBnB, VRBO, and other prop-tech platforms?  Are these properties outperforming traditional rental strategies, and if so, what type of property?  I'm seeking to target rental properties for this purpose and would like war stories and advice.  I'm located in SoFla.

@Peter Debs

Your question is too hard to answer but what I would do is reverse engineer your answer like we do.  If you setup your listing on AirBNB or any of those sites it will tell you what rent you can expect to get if you want your place consistently rented.  If you are in an area with a lot of AirBNB rentals I would check to see how many listings are available a week out and 3 months out to compare how much inventory is booked.  Most areas have higher traffic times a year especially in northern climates but it is not just tourist areas that do well for AirBNB.  Our most successful short term rental on airbnb is actually close to a hospital that attracts a lot of people with friends and relatives having surgery and longer terms stays for residents or people supporting those undergoing treatment.  In my opinion generally if you don't mind actively managing the unit by doing cleanouts yourself it is much higher margin, specifically in high tourism months.  For this sometimes we just do 9 months leases, and then make the units available for airbnb just during summer months.   If you want to be passive using your maid or cleaning lady to manage the unit would suffice over a property management company.  You can also utilized airbnb to bridge gaps in poor months to find renters like November and December, which affects us more in the North.  In general I would look at AirBNB and VRBO as a way to create income if you have the property that falls in the right niche, or also as a good backup plan if you have issues with renting.

Thanks for that response!  Its good to hear that you can be creative and make returns and that the property doesn't have to be on the ocean to get booked.  I do understand that there is something for everyone and conditions create opportunity.

How do you project numbers though?  If we are purchasing assets for the purpose of operating vacation rentals, how do we determine a legitimate rate and occupancy.  I can probably figure out the rate by scanning like properties for the various calendar month rates, however, I can't tell if they are being booked at those rates, being discounted or worse...left empty.  Assuming I can figure out rate, is there a way to see occupancy?  What is the average occupancy guideline?  What damage and unexpected issues should I plan in.   I do not like investing on guesses.  Advice is appreciated.

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