3. Know your competition.

To deviate a bit from my journey…

I often get asked how to know if an AirBnB is going to be successful (also: define success; I’ll get to that in a moment). The key rule is to know your competitors. In the town or city you are going to be renting in, make sure you know what other options travelers will have, that are substantially similar to yours. You can do this by simply doing a search on AirBnB.com or VRBO.com and filtering for:

  • Same number of rooms and bathrooms
  • Same approximate square footage
  • Same approximate age of home (this entails a visual search through photos)
  • Similar amenities (soaps, lotions, linens, snacks)
  • Similarly stocked kitchen
  • Same policy on allowing pets
  • Same approximate location
  • …and so on.

Filter for dates six months to a year out. This will allow the most properties to show up. Look at the price-per-nights. How large is the range? You will likely be the lowest-priced STR when you begin (in order to get bookings and ratings).

After you have a good idea of the inventory in the area, narrow down to a handful of who your primary competitors would be. Now, go back and look at their respective calendars. Are they booked? What percentage of days per month in the next three months are booked out already? If they have a lot of availability, your property may not be successful.

What does being successful mean? It’s different to everybody, but for me, being successful means that the rental is fully paying for itself. Success to me, during the early part of my journey with STR’s means the mortgage is being covered, utilities are covered, and the upkeep/turnaround is covered.

Please send your questions to maryjunebrown@gmail.com for future focused Q&As!


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  1. Hi Mary, I would like to read your blogs on Air BNB whenever you post them how do I subscribe to your blog page? I saw you on the WREIN Facebook page.

    1. Thank you, Sylvia! I publish new content twice a week! Please check back often.:-) thank you!

    2. Hi, Sylvia, you can now subscribe! Thank you for following my journey – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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