Time to pick back up on the my ‘Purchasing My First Airbnb Series’!
Going to pick back up where I left off. To see the first few parts, click the links below.
- Purchasing My First Airbnb – How Using Addendums Effectively Saved Me $7,000
- Purchasing First Airbnb Property – How I Reduced The Price by $30k
- How I Saved Over $23k On My First Investment Property Negotiating With Lenders
- Buying A Short Term Rental In Less Than A Month!
I had successfully had my property under contract and was set to close in two weeks. I had never been as excited, eager, and nervous at the same time. This was the largest adult decision I had made since my first home purchase. Yet, this was going to be a dedicated short term rental property. I was pumped to get going.
First things first. It was time to officially list the property on Airbnb. This is a critical step in having a successful listing that entices people to click on your place. I will write a specific blog post in the future about important things to do when you post your listing on Airbnb.
There is no reason to wait to do any of the remodeling you want to do before you list your property! This was a major takeaway from my experience. I knew the property had some work that I needed to get done. I was planning to paint the walls, update the decor, add new mattresses, and add some extra touches. I also had some things that needed to be addressed from the inspection report. Nothing crazy that would prevent a guest from having a great experience.
Don’t worry about your first pictures being perfect! The goal of the first month is to maximize the number of bookings and work to get reviews! This is going to be key for you to drive a better Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on Airbnb. SEO is a fancy way of saying a better way for your listing to get recognized.
With that in mind, get the best pictures you can from your phone! Yeah, that’s right. Your phone can take good enough pictures to start. Take pictures of all the areas in your home. Don’t forget any of the bedrooms and bathrooms! People want to see what all the rooms look like so they know it will meet their needs.
Like I have said before, the goal of the first month is to get bookings. As I had a few people book, I would schedule my general contractor and painters to come on unbooked days. During the first month, I required bookings to be 3 days out. This allowed me to know when I could schedule for certain pieces of work to get done.
If I had a guest book Monday to Wednesday of a week, I would schedule my painters to come in Thursday. This allowed me to slowly get the upgrades done within the home. The largest two tasks were repainting the home and updating all the decor. The decor in the home was…well…awful. I didn’t know how long it would take me to get things I liked for all the rooms, but I wasn’t going to have that prevent me from making money.
Another critical thing to keep in mind is transparency with guests. I made sure to let each of the guests who booked during the first month know I was working to remodel. I wanted to make sure they knew to not be surprised if something looked different than the pictures. All the upgrades were to make the home more modern looking and adding a Disney themed room!
All my guests were very appreciative of me letting them know before them arriving. That first month is about getting bookings and great reviews! All in all, the upgrades to the interior of the home ended up taking three weeks. By the fourth week I was able to bring in a professional photographer to get my final pictures taken!
From effectively using this approach, I was able to have 65% occupancy in my first month while completing all my renovations inside! Most would not list their property as available till everything was completed inside. You are more than welcome to do that and miss out on some cash flow!
- Don’t wait for your rehab to be completed before listing your property. Your phone takes good enough pictures for the first month at least!
- For the first month, if you have work inside that will take time, set a min booking days out. This will help you with scheduling any interior work you need to get done with contractors.
- Be transparent with your guests! Let them know you are working to upgrade the interior to make their guest experience even better.