Is Airbnb wrecking the Professional Short-term Vacation Rental Industry?

Oct 17, 2019

This is an interesting conundrum. Is Airbnb wrecking the industry through its 'Become a Host" marketing efforts? The latest ads bost earning an extra $1,185 per month.

I think the biggest issue with Airbnb is that they are turning a professional vacation rental business into a ‘host in your home’ gig that anyone thinks they can and/or should try to earn some extra income.

The Airbnb platform for hosts really is clunky and basic. There are relatively low statistics to track your performance and their easy automated pricing doesn’t take into consideration key performance indicators (ie: think waterfront location versus landlocked, hot tub, pools, etc…) when pricing your home for you… leaving dollars on the table.

Hosting guests is a real business and if you want to be good at it, you need to put some hard time, money and effort into it. You need to educate yourself on a number of different factors before even starting:

  1. How different OTA (online travel agency) booking platforms work ( they are ALL different)
  2. How and what taxes to collect and remit (state and county)
  3. Is it legal to rent in your location
  4. Do you need a vacation rental license (municipal level)
  5. What do you need to prepare your home for renters
  6. Personal tax implications
  7. Insurance (home, liability, umbrella, etc..)
  8. How to price your home seasonally
  9. How to market and advertise your business (you could get kicked off Airbnb or other OTAs if non-compliant). This has happened to a few people I know… what then? - Diversify on the county and regional listing websites in addition to your own VR website
  10. How will you track your bookings from different booking platforms?
  11. Learning a ton of vacation rental industry lingo and their benefits (What is a channel manager, booking software, etc…)
  12. Creating your own vacation rental booking website
  13. The time required to manage guests (from inquiries to bookings, to stay information)
  14. How to create a rental contract
  15. How to market on social media

I could go on and on… luckily there are great resources digitally and workshops and conferences you can attend to help you understand and master the VR and Airbnb Hosting business.

I recommend reading up with Vacation Rental Formula, VRMB, and listening to podcasts, etc…

You can also attend industry events to help you get ahead of the curve like VR Mastered (use coupon code FLARBO for a discount), Vacation Rental Success Summit, Vacation Rental Women’s Summit, Vacation Rental World Summit, etc…

It’s not as easy as Airbnb market’s it to be a great host and optimize your profits, but if you are dedicated and have a passion for it it’s a fantastic business.