Airbnb and VRBO
Need some extra cash and like hosting? Airbnb is a service that allows visitors seeking accommodations to be paired with homeowners who want to offer a short-term rental. VRBO is Vacation Rental By Owner. These services are allowing more people who want to travel, far more options that paying exorbitant hotel rates for high occupancy times. Uber allows car owners to earn extra money using their cars, Airbnb allows homeowners to convert another assets (their property) easily into cash flow.
The downside? As this service becomes more popular there will be more second and third homes occupied less by permanent home owners and more by temporary guests.
Our Experience Using Airbnb
We personally are using Airbnb to rent our basement apartment and the upper unit of our rental. So far it has been terrific. We won’t rent for less than 3 days at a time, and we block out dates for when we don’t want to rent. We also pre-screen every guest we host. We have found that guests from Airbnb actually take great care of the apartments. So far they clean and make their beds and don’t leave the place a mess. This is because we will leave feedback about them after they leave, and they know if they were to trash our place, they would have a hard time finding anyone who would want to rent to them in the future.
In our profile we tell potential guests that we want to offer suggestions of where to eat, go sightseeing or hike. The only downside for us was that we thought we could equip our apartment with just $1,000 of additional expenses. But all told it was closer to $2,500 (for a dining table, chairs, three beds, sheets, kitchenware etc.) Plan on two sets of sheets for every bed and two sets of towels. Nice furniture and a nice TVs and appliances attract better guests than slacking on furnishings.
In super hot areas like San Francisco one homeowner has set up four bunk beds and rents each bed for $47 per night, earning the homeowner (if completely booked) $376 per night for their small apartment. On the other side a luxury home that accommodates 20, will rent for over $3,000 per night during Sundance.