There is no doubt that Airbnb has drastically changed the way that short-term rentals are happening around the world and across America. Many would-be renters are looking for properties on this booking site rather than using more traditional search methods, and for many landlords, the loss of business is keenly felt.
Airbnb is a short-term rental service that focuses on renting out home-like properties to those traveling for business and pleasure, but their rentals have crossed over into the short-term rental market as well.
Depending on the type of landlord that you are and what your investment portfolio looks like, however, it may be possible to use Airbnb directly or via your tenants to revitalize your business and stabilize your profits.
You should know upfront, however, that you need to get a firm and complete understanding of your local laws about short-term rentals to determine how you can handle renting out your investment properties via Airbnb. While the benefits of this service can be huge, it won’t be the right fit for everyone.
If you’re avoiding Airbnb without doing your own research simply because you have heard some not-so-great rumors, there is a good chance that you are missing out on some potential profits. Airbnb reviews like today’s can help you to understand if this site will work for you and how you can maximize incorporating it into your rental business.
Table Of Contents For Airbnb Reviews
Today, Airbnb receives a ⅘ rating for their service in regards to how landlords and property managers can utilize the site for their business growth.
Airbnb has earned four out of five stars today because they can be a valuable tool for the right landlords, but they aren’t a universal fit. Many investors are able to make additional income through the tools they provide. However, the service also has some hiccups that can make it difficult to use depending on your location, business model, and local laws.
As such, the service gets four stars for being a great option for landlords with the right property.
- Tons of flexibility for the landlord in setting up available rental days
- More direct control over the property’s week-to-week upkeep
- Lower risk of inconsistent payments
- Potential for extra income if the demand is right
- Strict rental laws in some cities can limit what landlords can do on Airbnb; make sure that you have the most up-to-date information before listing your properties
- Potential for more empty days during off-seasons
- Property needs to be furnished
It’s time for you to get a full understanding of what Airbnb is, how it can be used for landlords, and what type of features exist on the service to make it an appealing option for short-term rentals. This Airbnb review will cover the four areas that are most interesting to a landlord like you.
One of the things that landlords find most appealing about using a site like Airbnb is the ability to black out certain dates in advance. If there are dates that the property will be unavailable for use or you will not be around to do any work, you can easily use the Airbnb listing system to remove these options.
Once you black them out, renters will not be able to choose those dates. This can be very convenient in certain situations:
- Property needs renovations
- You will be out of town
- You want to rent out the property for a short time only
It’s not an all-or-nothing rental situation when you use Airbnb. While weekly and monthly leases can be used for short term-rentals, those periods need to be continuous. With Airbnb, you can have a few days available each month in different chunks, and that is OK.
Upkeep Your Property
Short- and long-term rentals of furnished properties can be very stressful. Once the lease goes into effect, you are effectively losing control of the upkeep of your property’s interior because the tenant now has primary access to it.
When you are renting on Airbnb, you retain primary access to the property between all short-term rentals. Additionally, cleaning fees can be added to all rentals so that regular cleaning of the property is not only guaranteed but also paid for by the renters themselves.
Usually, you are able to check on your property every few days whenever you are doing short-term rentals on Airbnb. This means that you can address property damages and necessary cleaning more regularly than you would with a more traditional lease, and that can be very reassuring for landlords.
There are a number of different protections that Airbnb has in place that work to protect you from ending up in a sour situation.
First, you can choose cancellation policies whenever you set up your listing. This means that you decide what happens when a renter decides to cancel their reservation. As of writing this article, the following options are available:
- Flexible: Full refund within limited period, up to one day before check-in
- Moderate: Full refund within limited period, up to five days before check-in
- Strict: Full refund if cancellation is within 48 hours of booking
- Long-term: (Available only for reservations of 28 nights or more) first month not refundable, 30-day notice for cancellation
By giving you the option to choose which of these cancellation policies you prefer, you can protect your investment and avoid losing out on possible income because of constant cancellations.
Host Protection Guarantee
Another thing that Airbnb has in place to protect landlords like you is their $1,000,000 Host Guarantee. This guarantee ensures that any property damages caused by the guest that go beyond normal wear-and-tear are covered.
While the coverage doesn’t include things like cash and rarities since Airbnb suggests securing those before hosting, it does protect the property itself. Since this is a big fear when people first consider listing there, it’s a great host protection for them to have in place.
Host Protection Insurance
Airbnb also gives hosts on their site the option to purchase Host Protection Insurance. This insurance protects hosts from the liability of third-party claims and injuries during Airbnb rentals periods. It does not replace normal homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
Airbnb Friendly Buildings Program
Another way that Airbnb makes it easier than ever to work with the site is through their Airbnb Friendly Buildings Program. This program was specifically created for property and building owners like you, and the terms ensure that you can profit when your tenants want to rent their space out on Airbnb.
Once enrolled in the program, you will have access to a specific dashboard that allows you control over the rentals in your building and the policies that must be followed. In particular, the program focuses on the following:
- Setting up host rules
- Updating leases to give tenants legal permission to host
- Splitting earned income between all parties
- Manage and view activity of tenants that are hosting
This program is a great choice whenever your tenants want to rent out part or all of their property on Airbnb from time-to-time, but you don’t want to get too involved. Still, you want to have some amount of control, and that’s where this great option comes into play.
Before you read deeper into this Airbnb review, there is something that you need to know. There are two major ways that investment properties owned by landlords like you end up on Airbnb. The first way is when you list them directly and the second is when you allow your tenant to list the property themselves.
Both of these methods have pros and cons, so it is important that you get an understanding of them before you decide if Airbnb can become part of your business plan or not.
The first way to use Airbnb is to list your property for short-term rental on Airbnb directly. Doing this will set you up with a profile and direct line of communication with all renters that will stay at the property. You will also be responsible for all turnovers, fees, management issues, and property maintenance caused through the rentals.
While some landlords find this to be an appealing way to rent out properties in tourist-heavy areas, others find that this is not a practical option for them for many reasons. It can be very time-consuming to need to check guests in and out frequently, so some prefer to stick to a more traditional rental approach.
Still, there are a lot of benefits that we talked about in the Product Analysis section above that might be worth giving this method a go. If it doesn’t work out, it is always possible to switch back to a more traditional rental method!
Allowing Tenants To Sublet Via Airbnb
Another option, and one that happens more frequently, is when a landlord allows the tenant that they leased the property to sublet via Airbnb. This practice has mixed reception with landlords because many prefer to avoid subletting at all costs, but there are a few benefits to allowing your tenants to rent out the whole or part of the property on Airbnb.
The Friendly Building Programs that we mentioned in the Product Analysis section above gives more details about how Airbnb makes this option easier than ever.
To help you decide if it is a good idea to allow this type of action, let’s talk about a few pros and cons of your tenant putting your property on Airbnb.
- Tenants can make some extra money, which will make them more reliable
- Tenant handles the communication and Airbnb rental aspects
- Can attract investor-minded tenants that will respect the property’s value
- Don’t have to handle finding short-term renters yourself
- Property could be damaged
- Issues on the property could fall back on you
- Potential fines if sublets of this nature are unpermitted
How To Set This Up
If you’re interested in renting your property to an Airbnb investor, you will want to add specific terms about this process to your lease as a section or a lease addendum. It doesn’t need to be a complicated affair.
The key point is that you include specific rules and terms that protect your investment and also fit in with your local laws, which we will talk more about in the next section.
One Final Alternative
Some landlords choose to become even more involved and do a 50/50 split of the two listing methods. They list the property, and the tenant does the innkeeper duties. While unconventional (and in some areas, illegal), this distribution method is beneficial when both parties are interested in some aspects of Airbnb but not ready to take it all on.
Usually, the landlord would manage the listing and financial aspects of the rentals. The tenant would be responsible for cleaning, checking in and out, and other aspects of the rental. The profits would then be split between both parties in a predetermined fashion, and everyone gets to enjoy the benefits of the Airbnb system.
Of course, you also will need to worry about choosing the right tenant to do this type of deal with. Reviews of Airbnb properties will impact your success, so you want to be sure that short-term renters have the right connection with your managing tenant.
If you search for Airbnb news in your state or city, there is a good chance that you’re going to see multiple articles covering the constant changes in rules, regulations, and laws. Airbnb has turned the hospitality and short-term industry around in a few short years, and there still isn’t a clear-cut future.
Just as eviction laws differ in each state and city, the same can be said for laws that affect using Airbnb.
When you are considering incorporating Airbnb into your business plan, you will want to take the time to carefully check out local rules. Check state laws about rentals of this nature, and be sure to find out if your city has any ordinances prohibiting Airbnb-style subletting as well.
If landlords are caught working with a property site like Airbnb in an area where it is not allowed, they may end up facing hefty fines. You don’t want to put yourself into this position, so take the time to be sure that you are going to be engaging in legal activity before you begin making extra income with the site!
All in all, deciding whether or not Airbnb is a good option for your rental property is going to depend on what you want out of your investment properties.
Do you have a large number of properties in highly sought-after tourist areas? Are you regularly receiving inquiries about short-term rentals? If so, figuring out a way to incorporate Airbnb into your rental plans could make you huge profits. Go into the process clearly, and you might come out with a much better bottom line.
Airbnb reviews make it clear that short-term rentals and subletting through a site like Airbnb aren’t always a great option for landlords, but Airbnb is one of the best options among these sites if you are planning to expand into this type of rental.