Over the 6 years Beckon Homes has been up and running, our team has been given the distinct privilege of helping real estate investors from all over the country (and beyond!) grow their portfolio of Short Term Rentals, Airbnbs and Vacation Rentals. Our focus has always been on serving clients who have a vision of owning and operating high-end, luxury level properties around Nashville, The Smoky Mountains, Cape Cod, California, Florida and beyond. While we've been lucky to be their partner to create nearly-passive income streams with and for them, sometimes our clients have proven to be our best teachers. Here are some of the pieces of advice we've either learned, or taught, as an all-inclusive Airbnb/Short Term Rental Property Management Company:
It's STILL All About Location
The traditional real estate motto is, and has been for decades: "Location, location, location!!"
And while Short Term Rentals and Airbnbs don't follow all the traditional real estate rules (more on this in another bullet point!), picking the perfect location is the one tried and true advice we dole out on a regular basis.
Of course, the location "rules" for an Airbnb or Vacation Rental are different than residential real estate. Residential real estate might look at the best school systems, or huge, rolling green spaces. It might favor an HOA community, and shy away from city streets. But with Airbnbs, the goal is to be IN THE ACTION as much as possible, and as much as is popular for that city.
In Nashville, for example, besides the typical Honky Tonks and neon lights tourists flock to bike by on their pedal taverns, there are numerous universities that host thousands of students (and their visiting parents!) every year. There are trade shows and events. There are weddings and concerts. To be nestled in one of Nashville's sweet suburbs just wouldn't make sense for most travelers. Instead, we look for locations that will allow our guests to unwind after a long day in the city, but make it easy for groups to split off if half of our guests want to keep exploring and the other half is ready for some R and R.
Our best advice to find the perfect location? Work with an awesome Realtor (who knows the area AND the legislation behind short term rentals, which can be intense and expensive if not paid attention to), and ask around! Ask Property Managers, universities and locals where they love to hang out and where they'd want their family to stay if they were visiting!
Amenities that go Beyond Home Ownership
When you go to buy a home, some things might be a definite perk: A giant walk-in closet, for instance, or a HUGE, fenced backyard. Maybe an HOA that oversees lush green space or a community pool.
In Airbnbs or Short Term Rentals, amenities need to be different, and sometimes, things we'd really value in a forever-home, we'd steer our clients away from in an Airbnb.
For example: While we have a handful of rentals with amazing master closets, the majority of the time, our guests would have preferred to have functional space- more room to sleep, perhaps a lit vanity to get ready, or extra space in the master to add a pack and play more easily. A giant backyard is similar, in that, most of the time, our guests would prefer a rooftop deck over a fenced in yard that we'd have to ensure was pristinely (and expensively) maintained.
When our clients ask us what will "sell" an Airbnb to guests, here are the amenities we help them search for:
Make a Management Plan
No, we're not (just) trying to sell our services. But, we do work hard with property owners and investors to dispel the myth that owning investment properties is 100% passive.
Of course, it can be passive, but only if you have a management partner. More on that below. But first, consider: