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My Airbnb Hosting Experience

If you have been following me on Instagram, you know that I started hosting on Airbnb Fall 2020 and it has been an interesting ride, to say the least. 

Today’s blog is not about how to start an Airbnb business (that will come one day soon) but to highlight how my experience has been and why I even got into it.

For those that do not know, Airbnb is an online marketplace for short-term and vacation rentals. It has been around since 2008 but my first experience with it (as a guest) was in 2016 when I planned my friend’s surprise 30th birthday trip to Puerto Rico. We stayed in this nice condo/apartment unit that we booked through Airbnb. Aside from that experience, I never thought to host on the platform — not until 2020. 

I found myself interested in rental properties around 2019. When I got to the point where I understood the importance of having multiple streams of income, I saw the benefits of having a rental property. However, the idea seemed so far out of reach especially since I did not have much success purchasing a home in 2018. 

At the start of the pandemic in early 2020, I pressed into my entrepreneurship journey. I started learning about an overwhelming amount of ways to make money and one of those ways was Airbnb. My eyes opened because I never thought of hosting on Airbnb and by that time, I had stayed at my fair share of Airbnbs. 

I started doing extensive research on YouTube and read as many blog articles as I could find. From my research, it looked like it would cost anywhere from $5k – $10k to get a property up and running. I knew I didn’t have that type of capital to invest alone so I reached out to my friend to see if she wanted to partner on this and she did. Let it be known, she was already interested in investing in rental properties so it was an easy sell for her.

The process of finding the right apartment to put on Airbnb was easy because I was already apartment shopping and had a list of my faves so I just selected one of those. The process of getting the apartment was quick but shopping for it took about a week because there were so many moving parts. I was traveling so I wasn’t available to shop much and we were not always on the same page for some purchases. 

Anyways, after we listed the property, we got 3 bookings within the first hour. YES, THE FIRST HOUR!!! I believe Airbnb boosts new listings to get the host excited about their new endeavors. We were getting booked pretty fast and often. But we weren’t getting BOOKED OUT and that was the goal because that was where we would get huge profits. After a year of being on the platform, I can say that I see the benefit in listing a property on Airbnb however, I can’t say that I have seen the insanely high five-figure monthly profits that other hosts say they have. Let it be known, a profit is the remaining balance AFTER expenses are subtracted.

I achieved and maintained Superhost status, I have amazing reviews, the property is beautiful, the experience is great, and so I have been doing research to see what can be done to take the property to the next level to achieve those five-figure monthly profits. 

Instead of jumping into the next investment property, we plan to revamp this property we have together (we have our own individual properties on the platform as well). I am thinking we can add some accent walls and themed decor as well as listing the property on other platforms to see if that helps with increasing bookings during the week because we are always booked on the weekends. 

FUN FACT: I did try renting out my basement and it was good until it was bad. I was already apprehensive about having strangers in my home — even though we do not interact with each other — but that one set of guests (see my Instagram highlights for the story) was the icing on the cake and I refuse to ever rent out my basement again. I won’t even rent out a guest house. If I live on the property, I will not be listing it on Airbnb. For those, I would have a tenant that helps me house hack (which is what I am doing now). 

Would I recommend you list a property on Airbnb? 

YES!!! But only if you’re ready to be in the hospitality and management industry because truth be told, Airbnb has NOTHING to do with real estate and EVERYTHING to do with customer service. You have to create an experience for your guests so they can brag about it (in their reviews) and in turn, attract more guests (with those same reviews). There are systems you need in place to ensure your guest feels like the most important person on the planet. This is what separates your Airbnb from the next. You have to ask yourself “what type of experience do you want to give your guest” and then create an experience even BIGGER than that. It takes a lot of leg work in the beginning but once it gets going, it is sweet.

If you want to know more about my Airbnb hosting experience, I advise you to watch the “stories” and “highlights” on my Instagram page.

And if you ever need an Airbnb in Atlanta, check out my Buckhead property.

Until Next Time,

LOLA THE MANAGER

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