Author Topic: Any tips for new Airbnb vacation rental owner?  (Read 372 times)

Cubert

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Any tips for new Airbnb vacation rental owner?
« on: November 13, 2017, 05:01:37 AM »
Hey everyone,
Yours truly just purchased a fifth rental a few months back, only instead of it being our typical choice of single family home long term rental, we plan to make this condo an Airbnb vacation rental.

What makes us nervous is that this property is located two states away, unlike our SFHs which are a 10 minute drive from us. Any tips on how to manage an Airbnb from afar? We're planning to hire a cleaning crew certainly, but Airbnbs have so much more to consider than your typical long term rental!

Cheers,
Cubert
https://abandonedcubicle.com
40-something corporate middle manager who's also a devoted husband, father of two, and gearing up to retire early from Corporate America in July, 2019.

waltworks

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Re: Any tips for new Airbnb vacation rental owner?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 09:14:00 AM »
I would hire an on-site property manager. I have an airBnB (in my basement) and it's *always* needing something. Guests will need a 2nd hairdryer, or a tip on where to eat, or toys for their kids in the tub, etc, etc, etc. It's all easy stuff when you're on site - but would be impossible if you lived a few states away. And guests expect this sort of stuff (remember, they are thinking of this like booking a hotel room) in my experience.

Other than that, the usual good photos, price it right, and remember that it's much less passive than a long term rental. You need to think of it as having a side gig running a very small hotel.

-W

Cubert

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Re: Any tips for new Airbnb vacation rental owner?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 04:28:13 AM »
Thanks, Walt! Fortunately I know a guy who lives a few units down who might fit the bill. He currently helps the association with general maintenance, but I'm sure he'd be willing to help out for one off things in exchange for a fair cut.

I've heard that good photos are key. The posting on Airbnb will be my next trick.
https://abandonedcubicle.com
40-something corporate middle manager who's also a devoted husband, father of two, and gearing up to retire early from Corporate America in July, 2019.

waltworks

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Re: Any tips for new Airbnb vacation rental owner?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 09:10:27 AM »
You need someone who is a substitute host, not a handyman (you might need a handyman too, of course). They need to be doing hosting/hospitality type stuff as their job. That's what I meant by "property manager". They will make sure your cleaning crew gets in and does the job at the right time, and if it's not right, they'll take care of it/send another crew. They will deal with guest requests/complaints - which you will have. They may need to deal with irate neighbors if the guests throw a kegger or something.

Seriously, you now own a tiny hotel. Manage it as such. If you are not onsite you will need someone who is, and it won't be cheap.

AirBnB has a cohosting program (but you need to have superhost status to use it, I think) which you can look into once you have enough good reviews. Expect the cohost to take ~15-20% of your gross.

-W

jwright

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Re: Any tips for new Airbnb vacation rental owner?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 09:26:47 AM »
Agree that you need an onsite host.  We have a vacation condo 4 hours away that we have listed on VRBO (not Airbnb at the moment).

We pay 20% for the manager/host for a myriad of services provided:

1.  Answer guest questions, respond to VRBO inquiries and keep calendar up to date
2.  Schedule cleaning crew and verify cleanliness of unit after guests leave
3.  Stock the kitchen and bathrooms as needed with toiletries, coffee supplies, paper products, etc
4.  Respond to general property maintenance (internet outage, roof leak, light bulb changes, etc). 
5.  Change combination to hide-a-key after each guest
6.  Pay utility bills, cleaning crew, and sales tax

A lot of that you can do yourself, but it really helps to have someone on site.  Depending on the quality level of your rental, guests expect more and more concierge-type services.

Cubert

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Re: Any tips for new Airbnb vacation rental owner?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2017, 04:19:04 AM »
Thanks! I think a number of those things can be done remotely. I purchased a Schlage Smart Sense for the entry, so I can program the entry code for each guest via the Internet, ala Nest. By the way the unit has a Nest as well.

Luckily my parents are in the unit next door and are willing to help me out. This will be quite a learning experience. I appreciate the tips!!!
https://abandonedcubicle.com
40-something corporate middle manager who's also a devoted husband, father of two, and gearing up to retire early from Corporate America in July, 2019.

GreenEggs

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Re: Any tips for new Airbnb vacation rental owner?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2017, 06:31:41 AM »
I'm interested in Airbnb too. 

I live on a large lake near Charlotte, NC.  I'm planning to sell our place that is in a high price area and move to a lower cost area of the lake, and possibly buy some property nearby for Airbnb rental. 

I've also wondered about renting houseboats using Airbnb.  Boats are less expensive to purchase than homes, but I will have to look into the maintenance & dock fees.  It seems like people visiting the lake want to be "on the water" as much as possible, and would need a boat if they rented a lake home.  A houseboat seems like a great solution that covers both needs. 

Linda_Norway

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Re: Any tips for new Airbnb vacation rental owner?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2017, 06:46:13 AM »
I just read in the paper that youngsters rent AirBnBs for their parties and ruin the rental.
Make sure you check your renter's credentials. E.g. only allow renters who confirmed their identity by scanning their passports. And be a bit sceptic towards very young people (I know, discrimination on age is not allowed..).

waltworks

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Re: Any tips for new Airbnb vacation rental owner?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2017, 01:57:36 PM »
Thanks! I think a number of those things can be done remotely. I purchased a Schlage Smart Sense for the entry, so I can program the entry code for each guest via the Internet, ala Nest. By the way the unit has a Nest as well.

Luckily my parents are in the unit next door and are willing to help me out. This will be quite a learning experience. I appreciate the tips!!!

I have to offer the standard warning on involving your family in doing unpaid and potentially stressful/annoying work for you: don't do it. There is no quicker way to ruin a relationship. We have many great neighbors who would probably be happy to help us with our AirBnB everyone once in a while... but we use a pro when we're not around, because it's not worth the potential strife.

I agree that it will be quite a learning experience.

-W

Cubert

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Re: Any tips for new Airbnb vacation rental owner?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2017, 04:24:53 AM »
Linda - Now you've got me thinking about a future move to Norway. I loved it there during a two week visit back in 2000. Visited top to bottom - gorgeous country, and quite thin people.

Walt - I agree on the idea of relatives helping. My goal is to limit rentals to week long, or longer stays, hire a cleaning crew, and also pay the current condo association property manager to help. My folks are more excited about this than I am, I think mainly cuz it locks in us visiting them each and every summer (which we had done previously anyhow, but anyways...)
https://abandonedcubicle.com
40-something corporate middle manager who's also a devoted husband, father of two, and gearing up to retire early from Corporate America in July, 2019.