Airbnb is one of the largest vacation rental companies in the world. Travelers in hundreds of countries can take advantage of Airbnb hosts offering up their properties for accommodation purposes, giving them a unique space from which to explore their chosen destinations. In Colorado, there is a strong tourism industry that makes it possible for property owners to take advantage of moneymaking opportunities like vacation rentals.
But how do you become an Airbnb host, and what does it take to achieve success in this type of investment? While it may not be very complicated to become a host, it is not easy to attract guests to your property, especially if it is located in a competitive market.
If you are interested in joining the real estate investment space by becoming an Airbnb host for a Colorado property, there are a few tips that you should be aware of to make the most of this opportunity.
The Right Property
If the property you are planning to rent is not appealing, then you are unlikely to see success. While Airbnb may state that all types of spaces can be turned into rentals, the reality is that it takes a lot of work to make a room or building appealing to travelers. Location, room size, amenities, and number of beds all have a big impact on the attractiveness of your property, so it is important to set up your space well. You could purchase a new property in a prime location to turn into a rental. There are even park model cabins for sale that could be transported to a spot of your choosing for a tiny house experience for your guests. Choosing the type of property will affect the kind of guests you can attract.
If you aren’t planning to turn your current property into an Airbnb location, then you will need to figure out financing for the property you will purchase. There are many options for borrowing money to help you secure a rental property, including DSCR loans, home loans, or lines of credit. It is important to know the differences between HELOCS and personal lines of credit, as the first option allows you to leverage current equity in your home for better borrowing terms. Maybe you can do a cash-out refinance on your current home to secure funding for an Airbnb property purchase or renovation. Whichever financing option you select, make sure that your rental income will be worth the investment.
Create a Welcoming Environment
The key to attracting guests to your property is creating a warm environment. According to an Airbnb superhost in California, becoming an Airbnb host is easier if you embrace what makes you unique. He states that “guests tend to be a reflection of who you are.” This makes sense since the way you set up and decorate your property is likely to attract people who also like that style. Remove clutter, include basic amenities like toilet paper, towels, and soap, and include extra touches like a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine to welcome your guests to the space.
Base Pricing Off Similar Nearby Rentals
Deciding what to charge your guests per night can be challenging. The best way to be competitive is to look at other similar rentals in Colorado to see what they are charging. Too high of a price will drive travelers to other properties, while too low of a price may give the impression that your space is not high quality. Research the amenities and locations of other Airbnb’s in the area and try to stay within a similar price range.
Advertising the Space
Promoting your Airbnb space may seem like a waste of time since many people seek these rentals out. However, multiple strategies can make your property stand above the rest. You could share a story behind your listing on social media channels. Create some cheap business cards or flyers that can get your name and property details out there. Communicate with individuals in related industries to write a guest blog for them that links to your listing online. Getting creative with your advertising can be that extra step that most hosts are not taking to attract guests to their spaces.
Join Vacation Rental Groups/Forums
The best way to learn how to become a better vacation rental host is to see how others have done it successfully. There are vacation rental forums that are specific to Airbnb where you can chat with other hosts and get ideas for promoting your space more effectively. These forums are also a great source of referrals, and when you are not directly competing for the same guests based on location, you can easily build some strong relationships that benefit both parties.
The main reason to join these groups is to learn. Getting into the game can be intimidating, especially when you look at the ratings for your competitor properties in Colorado. Absorb as much information as you can from experienced hosts and use that knowledge to improve your property’s amenities or advertising strategies.