Which makes more sense, Airbnb or renting a room out?

13 Replies

I am in process of purchasing single family home in Kissimmee Fl and I travel a lot for work.  Is Airbnb safe to use? My concern is theft and damage, but I like the thought of having the home to myself in between work travel.  I could find a roommate which may be safer but would have to share the space upon my return.  Any advice or comments for either option?

Hi Jesenia. Kissimmee is big, and safety levels will vary. Similar is with  restrictions for renting Airbnb. I will be happy to share my insights with you. I manage vacation rentals in Kissimmee since 2010

My goal is to keep this as my primary residence for a few years and eventually rent it out.  But for now since I’m traveling so frequently, I figure I might as well utilize it for some cash flow instead of just sitting there.

I have an AirBnB in Colorado Springs. My primary home is in Austin. I keep it as an AirBnb because I want to be able to use it myself for a few days every month. AirBnb rentals pay my mortgage on that property. I keep our personal belongings locked in the basement when we're not there. And that would be my main caution. Every time you travel, you'll need to remove your personal items, clothing, etc and clean or have the place cleaned for the guests. You have to decide what you're willing to take on. I have never had anything stolen.

This was my similar situation while working/living in Midland Texas. I decided to rent out my two additional rooms on Airbnb. I couldn't rent out the entire house as I still lived there even though I traveled frequently; and my belonging were still in the home. I made enough to pay my mortgage and have additional money left after utilities. This was a lot more than if I had a roommate. Plus my home was always cleaned and the guests were hardly home. I set up cameras in shared spaces and made sure it was stated in the listings. I did this for two years and didn't have a problem. They were mainly oil field workers who were also hardly ever around. The most important thing is to have a system and good cleaners. Someone also mentioned to check if there are any restrictions. I also made sure I could Airbnb in my specific community.

My wife Terry is an AirBnB Ambassador I am a Realtor in Myrtle Beach SC . We have been in the hospitality space for over 20 years owning an Inn and renting vacation properties we own on VRBO, AirBnB Expedia, TurnKey etc.  Be glad to share knowledge. 

Really depends on the location and what kind of time you have.

If the numbers work for you to outsource everything give air bnb a try.

My advice would be to try both. Start with air bnb if it does not work out switch to rent by the room.

Goodluck man.

Depends on the financial goal and nuances each strategy. Each require a different set of resources including your time. Of course, if the location of the home isn't a desirable location for short stays, AirBnb is ruled out. Since you are considering it, I'm guessing the location checks that box. I agree with @Matthew Masoud . Maybe try both if they're both an option. 

If you want the safest, rent it to a professional. Many companies are using Airbnb these days and it's easier for them to find room from Airbnb rather than craigslist,etc. My experience renting out rooms to professionals via the company is generally positive, but still, you need to write your own rule and regulation.

@Jesenia Calderon also depends on how much work you want on your plate. Airbnb will give you more work since the cleanings and guest coordination needs to be managed. You can have systems but ultimately need more time availability than renting a room. Unless you hire a str manager in which case it would be passive to you. Good luck!

This is Pro TIPS for make your Airbnb very pleasant and safe : the best Airbnb renter is always paid professional that's looking for temporary housing: nurse,doctors,engineers,contractors... Asks why they want to stay, what's the purpose,etc.

Reject those who's living local in the area except under certain circumstances, unknown objective. I don't open my airbnb for vacationeer also, they're source of trouble sometimes as they expect 5 star hotel treatment LOL (sometimes they're acting more than the home appraisar haha )

AirBnB is a lot of work. You have to worry about reviews and scheduling cleanings and be on call if there is an issue. You can probably make more, but I’m not sure it is going to be enough more to be worth your time if you’re traveling for work. 

Look for longer term professionals like some have mentioned. On my Airbnb’s, I’ve used furnishedfinder.com to fill the offseason gaps. They cater to traveling nurses that do 3-4 month rotations. High quality tenants making good money usually.

You'll probably make significantly more with AirBnB, and sometimes you'll have the whole place to yourself. I prefer it, personally, but it's really up to you. Definitely install a good lock on your closet/bedroom door.