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We have now been hosting with home rental sites for 5 months and it has been a really fun experience for us. I am regularly getting DM’s about my Airbnb hosting experience and so I figured I’d turn it into a blog post. Highlighting what we have learned and things to consider when thinking of starting an Airbnb or VRBO. You can also check out my post – How To Become an Airbnb Superhost.

Things to consider before hosting

Is the area your home located in a place where people want to visit and rent out?

How much money will it cost you to get the home vacation rental ready?

Which vacation rental platform will you host on?

Are you looking for an instant money maker with your home rental or a long term investment property?

  1. Is the area your home located in a place where people want to visit and rent out?

When we purchased the property that we turned into a vacation rental, we first debated on whether we should turn it into a vacation rental or a traditional rental property with a tenant. The idea of an Airbnb sounded fun and could potentially generate more money than a traditional rental or it could be a big money hole! ?‍♀️ We felt it could be a good area but to be sure we conducted some research. I reached out to a few Airbnb & VRBO hosts in the area of our property and asked if they would share with us their hosting experience. We asked them if they enjoyed hosting and how often they were booked, if the seasons affected booking and for any other feedback, they could give us, about hosting in the area.

We had stayed in Airbnbs in the area before the purchase so that gave us a foot in the door to asking our very own hosts about their experiences and also allowed us to get a better insight for what was happening in the area.

If staying at an Airbnb in the area is not an option for you. I would suggest to simply email hosts in your desired area and ask them about hosting, even if the first host or two you message doesn’t respond, someone eventually will! ? You can also view their public calendar to get some insight into how often they are booked.

Our Airbnb is in a suburban area about an hour north of the city (Phoenix) It is walking distance from the Kansas City Royals Baseball Spring training, as well as walking distance from the Surprise Recreation Center, which are both hot commodities for the area and people come from all around the nation to visit both the recreation center and see the games. It is also close to lots of shopping and dining. 

2. How much money will it cost you to get the home vacation rental ready?

I wrote a blog about the top 4 ways we get discounted real estate but if you already have the property it’s wise to consider how much money it will take to fill the property. There are so many things necessary to fill a home from hand soap, to hand soap dispensers, bed frames, sheets, hand towels, decorations, toilet paper, tables etc.

We purchased majority of our larger items like TV’s, bed frames & couches gently used off of craigslist and offer-up and bought pillows, sheets & towels brand new. With that being said even with doing our best to have quality yet inexpensive items we still spent double what we originally thought we would spend to fill the home. So…..keep that in mind and do your best to plan accordingly.

3. Which vacation rental platform will you host on?

What is the difference between AirBNB, VRBO and HomeAway? Simple Answer. Nothing. They are simply different platforms offering the same service. We technically host on all three platforms. VRBO & Homeaway are owned by the same company so by default if I list on VRBO my listing automatically shows up on Homeaway. However, I only communicate with guests and manage the accounts of VRBO & Airbnb. With that being said if you decide to host on more than one platform you want to be very sure that you stay on top of blocking dates on the various platforms to insure there are no double bookings. Both Airbnb & VRBO recommend the feature “Instant Book.” They say that instant book will give you more visibility & those listed as instant book are booked more frequently and with instant book feature enabled a double booking can easily occur. To prevent that you’ll want to block out dates on the other platform right after you receive a booking!  As to prevent getting penalized for canceling.

4. Are you viewing the property as a “money maker” or a property seen as a long term investment to cash out on the future?

Home rentals take a hefty amount of cash upfront and ::Heads Up:: it may take you some time to get reimbursed for the proceeds that went into preparing your vacation rental. With that being said, if you can Get A Good Price on Your Real Estate (link), keep the costs of filling the home to a minimum and host in a “poppin” location it may take less time than think but in any regard it’s important to price your home well and plan accordingly.

Here we are 5 months into the vacation rental game and we are  “in the green” with our purchase and investment but for us any additional money that is made outside of paying the bills and mortgage on the property will be put into an account dedicated to home maintenance and improvement. We’ve already had a bathtub leak from the second floor bathroom causing us to need to repair the leak as well as the ceiling damage to the first floor that was subsequently caused.

We view our vacation rental as a long term investment and something we will cash out on in 20+ years as apart of a retirement plan and not as a “paying our bills” form of extra income because the BIG Income Margins just aren’t there.

With all that being said, we have friends who rented out their second unused bedroom in their apartment using Airbnb & VRBO and it allowed them to basically lived rent free 9 months out of the year.

So, that are loads of possibilities with hosting a rental property….if you think a little outside of the box!

And if you have any additional questions on this post, please comment below or message me directly! 

Want more information on how to set AIRBNB Pricing  and Tips for becoming a Super Host – ::Click Here!::

 

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