how to run a successful airbnb How to run a successful Airbnb in our post-pandemic world

A new era for Airbnbs

How to run a successful Airbnb in our post-pandemic reality

Shorter is safer in our post-COVID world. With everyone shaken by how quickly their version of reality can change, having become accustomed to a more flexible way of living, and long-term rents having skyrocketed recently, short-term rentals are emerging as a beacon of light, now being seen as attractive living options as opposed to solely travel accommodations.

Short-term stays aren’t only of interest to the guests staying in them, but also to the hosts and investors deploying this strategy. Far from a volatile model, short-term rentals are capturing more than their fair share of market returns. With the right property management workflow, investors and owners have successfully avoided the traditional pain points of shorter-term agreements—tenant turnovers, constant underwriting, vulnerable vacancies, and more hands-on property management. On the contrary, capitalizing on the short-term market demand has introduced new freedom into the lives of investors and owners. Here’s how to run a successful Airbnb in our post-pandemic world, and how many investors have already seen results.

A new norm & new market opportunity

A look at the market as a whole shows real opportunity in the short-term rental space. First, pandemic behavior shows that short-term rentals were considered safer than traditional accommodations. In 2019, 7 out of 10 millennial travelers showed a preference for local property hosts over chain hotels, and that number only rose as a result of the safety complications associated with COVID-19. As a share of the total travel lodging market, untraditional stays rose to 41% last year. 

With a new ability to bring work on the road, those travelers stayed much longer than they might have before the pandemic. According to Airbnb, 24% of stays were booked for 28 days or more in Q1 of 2021. And while vacation rentals in drive-to destinations are seeing an uptick in demand, multifamily buildings with 40 doors or less are capturing some of the steepest market yields. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, 65% of Airbnbs are hosted in multifamily units. 

1. Strategic investing

With the housing market hot, demand is re-distributing across secondary markets in which home prices have yet to adjust to their potential market value as shorter-term offerings. That means new or established investors have a unique window of opportunity to realize quick margins on their rental properties. With a lower barrier to entry, owners can enter the market at a more manageable price and, if they position their property correctly, they have the potential to see outsized and dependable monthly returns almost immediately. For data-driven investors (something we always recommend) trusted Airbnb revenue projection tools and new-to-market short-term rental specific marketplaces can effectively eliminate the sourcing effort and guesswork in short-term rental investing.

2. Perfect your positioning

When the home-sharing model first took the market by storm, owners were still learning how to market their properties as short-term stays. Now, market positioning is almost everything. Running concurrent listings across all major booking platforms ensures the widest audience is reached, with each platform catering to a slightly different demographic. And bringing automation into a marketing workflow, with AI-enabled tech that studies the market and predicts future demand, is the best way to ensure that a property is always capturing its highest yield. Best-in-class tools on the market can help owners appraise the revenue potential of their property. Surveying comparable nearby rentals, those tools can report on the seasonally adjusted performance of properties in the area, helping hosts and owners understand the revenue level toward which they should aim. For owners looking to maximize profits, the guesswork of determining the ideal price point and stay length is best left to the smart technologies and appraisal tools that use real-time data to ensure the proper positioning through every market fluctuation.

In addition to automation and concurrent listings, hosts would benefit from making a few necessary investments in order to maintain their relevance among tenants in a tech-forward market. Offering integrated, hands-free check-in and stay management, with virtual ID verification and smartphone-enabled access, hosts and owners will be able to keep pace with new traveler demands. More than anything, people want peace of mind, work-from-home amenities, and uninterrupted stays. It’s important that owners make the necessary investments to provide for their guests in those areas. 

3. Minimize money and time spent

Without the proper workflow, short-term rentals can be much more labor-intensive than their long-lease market counterparts. Managing turnover, underwriting, payment collections, and ensuring a clean space between tenants can be more work than it’s worth without investments made toward delegation and automation. Luckily, there are a number of options on the market to make it easy. 

Owners can use smart technologies to audit the space for cleaning and repair requirements and staff the property accordingly. Integrated payment portals can pay the cleaning professionals and log the costs of the repairs, adjusting the property’s bottom line automatically. Records can then be kept of earnings, deductions, and payrolls, helping owners see an adjusted bottom line at all times. Likewise, tenant inquiries and requests for service can be automated through CRM and chatbot platforms, liberating owners from repetitive tasks and allowing them to focus their time on the more complex aspects of short-term stay management.

This list can seem daunting – we know. But integrated technologies and full-service property management partners can help put all of these systems in place and manage them on an ongoing basis to ensure your passive earning power is uncapped.

In retrospect, the post-COVID short-term market will look like one of those once-in-a-lifetime market moments. Airbnb predicts a need for millions of additional hosts to satisfy the existing market demand. With automated marketing, short-term stays can easily be adjusted to capture the highest market yield, and they’ll remain the top choice among travelers and tenants alike. With investments toward their market positioning and management workflow, owners will see quick, stable, and ongoing returns from their after-COVID short-term rentals. 

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  • Rely on trusted partners (us!) to manage your property for you, giving you time back in your busy day.
  • Enjoy higher yields, powered by our innovative dynamic nightly pricing and flexible lengths-of-stay strategies.
  • Get ahead of an already booming industry, effortlessly.