Air BNB or Not to Air BNB
Air BNB is becoming an increasingly popular option for those that own a second residence or that have room in their primary residence to host guests. Not only can it be a great alternative to selling or traditional rentals, but it can also be a flexible way to make some income and maintain your residence!
Before you host on Air BNB there is some important information to consider. Whether you are planning to buy a home with Air BNB goals in mind or you are considering your options in your current residence, keep these in mind!
10 things to consider before you host on Air BNB
- Local Regulations – Numero uno should be to consider whether or not your local municipality allows Air BNB. Different cities have different restrictions, some don’t allow it at all while others allow it but in your primary residence or vice versa. Start by looking into local regulations before all else!
- Demand – Realistically consider where you are and what the draw would be for guests to come and stay at your place consistently. Check out Air BNB as a guest / user and see what competition you are up against, and whether or not you would have luck.
- Guest or Roommate – Really think about how you feel and how your family feels about having guests in and out, or having strangers staying under your roof (if it’s your primary residence). You may decide to forego Air BNB when you consider the potential constant flow of people in and out.
- Upgrades and Guest Features – Just like when it comes time to sell or rent, do you have to make any repairs or basic upgrades to accommodate more people? Upgrades and draws are another consideration, in order to have your Air BNB stand out and draw in guests.
- Time Commitments – Air BNB isn’t a “set it and forget it” project. Unlike long term rentals, your Air BNB hosting will be a constant, continual commitment. In addition to the prep and set up, you have to maintain communication and ensure your home is always ready for the next guest. This can including cleaning, maintenance and more.
- Damages – Reality is that things will get damaged and broken. You can’t control everything, regardless of how many rules you set. Expect to have to replace and repair furniture and more.
- Liability and Legal – As with any guest, you may have some legal considerations to factor in. You may also want to consider any ramifications on your mortgage, your HOA or COA and even your insurance policy. Talk to someone who understands the legal side of hosting.
- Neighbors – Furthering on HOA / COA rules, you have to consider whether or not your neighbors are going to be on board (at least to a point).. Providing detailed information and clear rules can help, but the bottom line is that your neighbors will likely be impacted in some way when guests are flowing in and out.
- Screening Guests – Setting rules and screening guests is going to take time and assumably must abide by policies you agree to as a host on Air BNB. Get the details before taking the plunge!
- Reviews and Experience – In addition to everything else, Air BNB is just like an business and you have to consider the guests’ experience while they are there and you may also have to deal with negative feedback and reviews after the fact. Familiarize yourself with the platform, processes and common complaints.
Air BNB can be a great option for many, but get the full picture before you take the leap!