Using Airbnb for Rental Income & Investment

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I recently had the opportunity to chat with Dan Lane, host of Rental Income Podcast. Dan is a new host on the podcast scene, but he’s already garnering a legion of followers curious to learn more about rental invesments. When Dan asked me to come on episode 15 and talk about my experience as a host on Airbnb, I was a little hesitant about what I could offer. I wasn’t sure how my short-term rental position as a host could tie into a person’s long-term rental investment interests.

Dan was a kind and patient host and it was really easy to explore how listing one’s own home on Airbnb can be a great way to boost (in my case, double) someone’s rental income for a property. As I mention on the show, it’s ideal that if you don’t want to live on site at your rental, you hire a trusted property manager or on-site host to live at the property and correspond with guests, clean rooms, and be available to guests’ needs and wishes.

This “resident host” position would be a dream lifestyle for an enterprising college student or freelancer. I have had numerous interactions with folks who are envious of my lifestyle but who don’t have the capital to buy their own property or worry that a landlord wouldn’t allow them to set up a situation similar to the Airbnb setup I’ve worked out in my townhouse. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a place to connect investor-owners with trustworthy resident hosts who have been vetted and will reliably care for their properties and short-term guests?

On the show, Dan and I discuss how it’s important to consider geography and desirability if you’re looking to use Airbnb to enhance your rental investment. I live in Seattle, which is a highly touristed city with strong rental and real estate demand due to the growth of Amazon and companies like Google and Facebook. Not every city is like this, so analyze the marketplace where you’re looking to invest in short-term rentals. Also (if it’s a condo) study the building’s HOA bylaws, CC&Rs, neighborhood zoning, and always, always chat with a real estate professional.

I know everyone isn’t a professional investor and there are a lot of factors to keep in mind. But don’t worry, we all start somewhere, right? I was pretty green about the real estate market before I spent eleven years working in Seattle real estate right out of college.

With my real estate and Airbnb experience, I am always happy to answer questions to the best of my ability for people who are curious to dip their toes into the Airbnb rental market. When in doubt, talk to your accountant or local tax offices. I have spent a couple of hours doing exactly this and the peace of mind is priceless. If you have a specific question, please comment on social media so we can all learn together, or feel free to reach out to me via my contact form.

It was a pleasure chatting with Dan Lane, and I look forward to connecting with some of his listeners. Thanks for stopping by!