Author Topic: AUSTIN MUSTACHIANS -- Have you ever rented out your place for SXSW?  (Read 3305 times)

shelfins

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My boyfriend and I are planning an international trip for 2014, and want to travel over the week of South by Southwest so that we can rent out our apartment to cover some (or all?) of the travel costs, but we have no idea what's a reasonable price to charge, or when the rental market will be hottest. For those of you who have rented out your places before, what service did you use (e.g., Craigslist, Airbnb, HomeAway), what did you charge, and how far in advance did you post your listing? Do you have any tips for novices on how to have a successful experience?

Obviously, we'd like to bring in as much money as possible, and we think prices may go up as availability goes down, but I don't want to wait too late/charge too much and be left without a tenant, and, frankly, I'm reluctant to buy our plane tickets until I know that we'll be able to bring in at least $1000 or so to defray costs.

To give you a sense of what we're working with, we have a "luxury" 2-br apartment in a new building about three miles from downtown, with a king-sized bed in the master bedroom, and a full-sized air mattress in the second bedroom (which is primarily used as an office). A bus downtown stops right outside our building, and we're planning to provide our bikes for guest use as well. We were thinking of putting it up for $150-$200 a night based on some initial browsing on Airbnb, but we really have no idea if that's way too high or way too low.

mrigney

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I just moved from Austin (sad day, I know...but work has a way of doing that). A couple of things. 1) Be careful renting out an apartment you don't know w/the knew laws that were put into place last summer. In theory, you need to register w/the city to rent and check your lease agreement. So that's my legal disclaimer.

With that said, you're 3 miles from downtown. Which direction? If you're truly 3 miles from downtown, near a bus stop, and are really in a luxury apartment, you can almost certainly get more than $200/night. We were planning on renting out our apartment on S. Congress just north of Ben White Blvd for SXSW this year, but then moved in February, so that didn't work out. I had interest through AirBnB and had my 2 BR apartment listed for around $500/night, I think (can't remember exactly. It was somewhere in the $400-600 range). Look at hotel prices as you get closer to next March. I think most hotels sold out early and were running about 3x normal price around downtown. One big thing to check when you're price comparing on Airbnb (or other sites) is to make sure you're looking for the specific dates. ACL, Formula One, SXSW all drive up the price of rentals A LOT. If you're looking at prices for next year's SXSW dates, people probably haven't updated prices to reflect the fact that SXSW is that week.

If you need more info on things, let me know. Like I said, I'm not there anymore, but have a friend who lives in 78704, is a realtor, and has used Airbnb at least semi-frequently, so I could pass along questions to him if you have any.

freelancerNfulltimer

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How are you going to manage the rental while you are away?
 
Someone needs to give the keys to the renter, go over the property and then check them out, collect the keys and check for damage and theft.

shelfins

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@mrrigney -- I live north of downtown, right across the street from Town Lake Park. It's 3.4 miles by bike to 6th & Red River. I'd love to hear what your realtor friend thinks is realistic for my area...the sense I got from poking around on airbnb was that rentals south of Lady Bird Lake go for more than ones that are north, since you're also close to all the cool stuff on S. Congress and S. Lamar.

@freelancerNfulltimer -- I have a very competent, but underemployed, 25-year-old niece who also lives in Austin, so I was planning to pay her $25 or $50 to handle the check-in and check-out for me.

jiggy-z

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Re: AUSTIN MUSTACHIANS -- Have you ever rented out your place for SXSW?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 03:20:18 PM »
I was going to post something on this as well, except I was aiming for the big spending Formula 1 crowd.  I would just bug out for a week with the family.

juliesunday

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Re: AUSTIN MUSTACHIANS -- Have you ever rented out your place for SXSW?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2013, 11:57:10 AM »
I did this when I went to Thailand last year and for several Christmas vacay/summer trips, and I've always done it through craigslist. With the city's ordinance about hotel taxes/short term rentals, if you go official with Air b'n'b or Home Away you may have to pay a hefty fee and then the city knows you're doing it, which means you have to collect tax from the people who rent your place. I've done craigslist and always listed under 'sublet,' and also put out feelers through Facebook to friends and friends of friends. Air b'n'b and HomeAway provide some protection to you if something goes badly (and similarly to the tenants) but it comes with a cost.
I live in Hyde Park, and I've never had a problem finding people and I charge usually about $100/night (people agree to take care of my cats, that's why I keep the price low). Personally, unless they're junky, I wouldn't let the bikes go without a deposit--SXSW is such total chaos that the probability that they will get damaged, lost, or stolen is pretty high.
Good luck! I've found doing these sublets a great way to get some extra cash when I travel.