How do you juggle owning two businesses, starting your first short term rental, and filming a TV show at the same time?
Brad and Heather Fox are a married couple who own Fox Homes & Realty and Foxwell Design. Brad is a general contractor and broker and Heather is a designer. They were crazy enough to take on their first short term vacation rental while filming a show for HGTV.
They have been living and breathing real estate for the past 15 years. They had started as realtors before moving on to renovation and eventually starting their own general contractor company. They decided they wanted a vacation home — but they wanted others to help them pay for it. That meant that short term rentals were going to be their next adventure.
Not only did they decide to open a short term rental while operating two businesses, but due to delays, they ended up building it while filming the first season of HGTV’s Stay or Sell. They share the story of how...
How do you scale renting a single room into a whole fleet of short-term rental properties? That’s exactly what today’s guest did.
Catherine Williamson is one half of the very popular blog Beginning in the Middle. She and her husband are designers, renovators, and Airbnb Superhosts. In 2013, they moved from New York City to Columbus, Ohio, where they noticed a gap in the market for unique, well-designed spaces. They decided to pursue their passion for design and hospitality and have been working together to restore old homes ever since.
While living in New York City, the pace of the city started to burn them out and they questioned the kind of life they wanted to live. They decided to move to Columbus to have a better life. While looking at their finances, they made the decision to rent out a room on Airbnb to make a little extra money — and they didn’t expect how rewarding it was going to feel.
After a few months of renting out a...
Is downtime in your business leaving you feeling down?
Don’t worry! We’re going to outline 5 things you can do during a downtime — whether it’s a slow season, you need to take a break from hosting, or for any other reason — to make your listing even better when you’re rarin’ to go.
We’ve talked about safety before, and we’ve talked about cleaning, but one thing is now clear in a COVID-19 world: Cleaning is safety.
We have our safety expert, Justin Ford, back on the show this week to talk about how things have changed dramatically since his last appearance. Prior to COVID-19, the only safety measures involving cleaning products mostly revolved around the way those products were stored and keeping them out of the hands and mouths of children. Today, cleaning properly is the number one concern of guests.
There is no real guideline for what cleaning safety should look like, but there are a couple of places to look: The hotel industry, Airbnb’s own policies, and what guests actually want. Guests, in particular, have some very deep concerns about the safety of their rentals — with no clear way of alleviating that fear.
So what cleaning aspect should you, as a host, be concerned with now that you hadn’t been...
Everyone wants their property to stand out from the crowd, and one way to do that is through experiential properties. These properties take their guest experience to the extreme.
Bryndee Barton is the designer at Loma Homes, which has an incredible Star Wars-themed rental that you can experience right now. She started in the more traditional real estate realm and now she focuses on managing Airbnbs that take their guests to the next level.
They didn’t set out to specifically make themed rentals, but Bryndee knew that they wanted their properties to be in the top 10% of whatever market they were in. When they looked at the competition out there, they saw that doing these above-and-beyond themes would make them stand out from the crowd.
This is not just throwing down some Star Wars throw pillows and comforters, though. They went all-out. We dive into all of the work that goes into creating these themes and properties, finding investors for your Airbnb...
Do you want to create an epic business?
From the time Steph Utterback was a manager at Starbucks, she had a love for hospitality, and that led to her pursuing the world of short-term rentals. Steph is now the owner of EpicBnb, a Nashville-based hospitality company specializing in design, short-term rental management, and consulting.
Over time, she evolved her portfolio into an “epic” branding, and the biggest part of that is having her epic standards — which was essentially the Airbnb Plus checklist before that was a program.
The main question she asks her clients is: Would you pay to stay in your property? People are expecting an upgrade over their everyday living situation, and that’s what you need to provide in order to be epic.
Another part of an epic business is an epic team. The first essential employee for EpicBnb was an accountant because money is constantly floating around. They’ve now currently grown to a...
Is mid-term the new short-term?
Before we answer that, let’s talk about what a mid-term rental actually is. A long-term rental is usually a year-long lease in an unfurnished property. A short-term stay, in most cities, is defined as anything less than 30 days. So anything over 30 days but less than a year would count as a mid-term stay.
The typical length of stay, at this point in time, is drastically changing. With that comes a shift in how you are going to have to look at your revenue. With longer stays comes a smaller daily rate, but also comes with the benefit of less overall maintenance costs. That may take a while to adjust to but it’s necessary with this new model of renting.
When listing a mid-term rental, you want to have as wide an audience as possible. Here are some popular rental sites you can cross-post your listing to:
And this is...
We are in a very weird time, and we don’t know exactly what the other side of it will look like.
We’re going to go over nine ways you can pivot your short-term listing, whether that’s during a slow season, a huge event comes to your area, or any unexpected circumstance occurs. These tips are meant to be timeless and apply to any rapid change in direction.
We are dealing with a virus that has taken the world by storm. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been alive, there hasn’t been anything quite like this in living memory.
Not long ago, we talked about how you should handle cancellations. But since then,, Airbnb announced that they would honor any cancellations related to the virus and give a full refund, regardless of a host’s policy. This upset many hosts, but we think it will help them in the long run — you will only get guests in the future if they trust the Airbnb platform.
That said, Airbnb does see that hosts are hurting. Below, we have linked to some resources Airbnb has supplied to give their hosts some support. They are giving money back to any host that has had COVID-related cancellations, offering additional support for superhosts, and allowing guests to donate to hosts.
The short term rental market is going to bounce back. When this is over, there will be pent-up...
We know adulting is hard but trust us: proper insurance is essential. It is going to benefit you, your guest, and your property (whether you own it or not).
Darren Pettyjohn is a co-founder at Proper Insurance Services, which offers a custom insurance product designed for vacation rental and short term rental owners. After college, Darren bounced around a bit until he ended up in program insurance or niche insurance. When he discovered the world of Airbnb and short-term rentals, he saw that there was a real need for an insurance product specifically designed for this market.
Darren is here to answer all of our questions about insurance as it relates to you and your short term or vacation rental, wherever it is you fall in the process.
When it comes to insurance, most renters think they are covered — homeowners insurance, landlord insurance — but...