The Airbnb/VRBO market has increased in popularity with investors seeing this as a new way of making money on their vacation properties while still enjoying using it themselves. However, there are many things to consider when getting your Airbnb/VRBO investment up and running.
The most important thing is checking on local regulations for how long the property can be rented out? If your locality does have rental restriction, they will most likely be in the HOA regulations, city, or county codes or even in the form of a zoning regulation. In addition to looking on the Airbnb site you may also look online. Seattle now plans to tax Airbnb/VRBO operators a $10.00 a night fee and limit short-term rentals to 2 properties per host. In some other cities like New York City, for example, it is illegal to rent- or even list- an entire apartment for rent for less than 30 days. Airbnb provides information on the laws and regulations in 50+ cities including registering your rental and obtaining a business license from the city.
Does your Airbnb/VRBO have a Homeowner's Association? If so, you are subject to the rules, bylaws, and CC&R'S. They may have restrictions in place that could affect your short-term rentals. For example, some HOAs restrict the usage of their amenities such as the pool, golf, tennis courts and community buildings to only owners and their immediate families. If you rent out your property you would NOT be able to offer these amenities to your guest even though you do pay Association dues.
Other factors to consider as well, especially if your property is not in the same city as where you live full-time, or if you plan on traveling a lot, you will need to hire someone to check on your property and manage it by providing housecleaning services and other maintenance services. You will need to find out what types of fees Airbnb/VRBO charge up front from the host (owner) for each reservation, and then figure an additional expense
for property manager services on top of that to put in your overall budget.
Renting out your Airbnb/VRBO property requires a lot of effort on your part. To make it successful, you need to be attentive and on call for all your guests needs. Your time spent will be busy managing your schedule, and ensuring you are getting bookings by offering the necessities to your guests that will make their stay an enjoyable one. Excellent reviews posted by your guests will be the key to your success.
The benefits to owning an Airbnb/VRBO could be extremely rewarding but only if you do your homework in knowing exactly what you are getting yourself into. Your guests will certainly benefit in the long run, and you will have peace of mind that you made the right investment decision after all.
Article written by Lisa Davis