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A Dumb Poster and Dumber Poster - don't read!

I had an idea today and would love to get the Forum’s input.

I am in a unique (or maybe not?) situation where the Airbnb listing I manage is not owned by me. I hope that’s not verboten on Air.

I was asked to care=take/pet sit a lovely property that happens to have a rental cabin. Before I arrived, their advertising consisted of a sign on the road. In this time of Airbnb and so many other electronic resources, and a massive increase in the number of travellers who want everything booked before they leave home, this wasn’t working for them

Air has brought them more income on their cabin in 2 months than they’ve earned in 10 years.

There are still a number of luddites in the area with equally, poorly performing vacation rentals.

I unfortunately have to vacate the property for four months for the owners’ annual visit.

What do Forum folk think of this?

I could market myself to other Airbnb hosts as a “fixer?” I go in and improve their fledging Airbnb listing in exchange for free rent (very cheap down here) and 70% of the gross earnings for 4 months.

Alternatively, and likely a better idea: I could go in, set the property up on Air, try to work a little magic and at the end of 4 months gift them with my intellectual property, the entire Airbnb business I’ve set up for them (there are a surprising number of rich expats here that are scared of iPones) whilst they provide free accommodation and a chunk of the net profits.

Then, after 4 months, I get to return to my favourite place in the world for the other 8 months of the year.

Every and all responses will be highly valued and appreciated.
J

I would hire you in a heartbeat! Many of the Colorado Airbnb’s have a management service, but they don’t do what you propose to do (and have done!). You could even set up a “licensing” deal, where you are paid, say x% of each booking for eternity (however, that may prove very problematic to police). I think it’s an awesome idea! Have you googled “Airbnb experts will set up your home” or anything like that?

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Thanks, @sandy2 - you are awesome.

I only got this idea 6 hours ago and it was a “slap the forehead and go Doh” moment for me.

I haven’t tried googling that, but thank’s to your lovely response, I’m about to!

I was thinking there may be other Forum members in the same situation that would derive value from this post. I know I am already!

Puva vida,
J

Airbnb has a co-host program in the DC area, I have signed up for it. For a fee, existing hosts can sell their expertise to new hosts.

Do you speak Spanish by any chance? You mentioned “expats”, that got me guessing where we are talking about. Ah, Costa Rica, got it.

I think is a great idea. I would put it this way to the owners: 50%/50%, always a comfortable split. Also how handy are you? If handy, mentioning you can do or have done the light maintenance (they pay for it) would be music to their ears.

Also expats are into convenience, tend to put much emphasis on the saving of time, so perhaps doing this every year is to your advantage, rather then have them take over. Those that are astute enough will do so anyway, those that do not want to, may like that you do it every season.

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I think it’s better that you take care of your accomodation. It’s usually better rental for all place not only a private room.

Thank you, @Mearns.

I do speak Spanish. Not as well as I think I do, ;), but I do.

I’m about as un-handy as they come, but here the local labour costs are so shamefully low, few do their own maintenance, preferring to spend their time sipping a beer and watching the Caribbean Sea than mowing grass some poor guy is being paid $4/hour to do.

What may be more valuable to expats is that I have experience in dealing with and managing those employees, which most North Americans find incredibly frustrating due to language and cultural barriers.

Option 1. So you would live free rent and get 70% of the gross profits and the owners get 30% of the profit…doesn’t sound like a good deal at all to me for these poor owners

As we say in the UK for the amount of time you would spend setting up and managing the listing and dealing with inquiries this sounds like ‘money for old rope’.

Option 2. Depends what you mean by a chunk of the net profits.

To be honest if I was advising an owner, I would tell them if they don’t want to learn how to use BnB to use an established support agency - they can then let out the whole property rather than giving away free accommodation and it wouldn’t cost anything like 70% of their profits.

Good luck with your business idea.

I hear you. Most of the people I employ are Mayan and only speak their native language and/or Spanish. So true, if you are not well verse in the ways, better leave it to a local.

Thanks @Helsi. When you say “poor owners” do you mean monetarily disadvantaged or that just unsuccessful with their current rentals?

My target would be the latter - there are not many monetarily disadvantaged Expats here and those that are don’t own property.

I appreciate it your input, though, and I’m quickly learning 70% will never happen.

I thought it might be fair if we are talking about only 4 months. Go in, get them up and running, work to and succeed in getting the bookings in, and then hand it back to them and they’d get 100% of the profits permanently thereafter.

I admit to not always being clear in what I say.

I absolutely agree that as a long-term deal, I’d be crazy to think that’s fair.

Getting great advice folk, please keep your valuable opinions coming! :slight_smile:

Wow, Mearns - what a lovely listing you have! If I’d known 2 years ago you were right off of Placencia my friends and I would have pooled our money and checked out of the Seaspray immediately!

@sandy2 and kind others who have responded.

[I’m going be one of those reactionary Facebook people we’re all so familiar with]

@Perezo - even if this HAIR-BRAINED scheme works, you want to leave for 4 months and create yet another competitor to your own business???

Give your head a shake! You’ve been drinking too much coconut milk!!!

Um, nevermind! :smiley:

Hi @Perezo,

I like coconut milk. Who are you quoting here?

Personally, I wouldn’t do it. It sounds like a pain. I might try to use the Airbnb profits and other money you have to buy more properties to manage. But I don’t find the idea of managing/developing other people’s properties for them appealing. It’s a ton of work getting things up and running, and I suspect you’ll find the owners insufficiently appreciative. My experience is that people (especially rich, entitled people) consistently underestimate the amount of time and effort that goes into something, especially if the something is in an area they are not familiar with themselves.

I don’t know if competition is that much an issue. Just make sure the properties you are helping/developing aren’t close to you. That wouldn’t be much of a concern for me.

PS: I just realised the Airbnb property you are managing is not yours. In that case, I’d try to buy my own. Assuming it’s financially possible, of course.

Ah just saw your post. You stayed in Norman’s place. (Seaspray). So you know the area. Many ‘property management’ people do somewhat your idea here btw.

I come up with some unusual off-the-wall idea I think every day, within a few days most do not make further sense, but once in a while one does or a facsimile of. I do think the exercise itself is always beneficial, for maybe it expands the mind, and there is no harm in that.

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@faheem

I was quoting myself in a lame attempt to be funny.

What’s odd is, today I got approached by a resident foreigner who is a close friend of the owner of the place I am managing.

She offered me 3 weeks accom (every large property here has a caretaker’s shack attached to it - simple but totally livable), in return for getting her place on Air and getting the biz up and running. Plus a sliding scale depending on increased income, of up to 60% if I gift her all of the Air biz I built.

It’s low season in CR and business owners using traditional methods of renting are empty.

We’re not in LA or London, this is a small coastal community of 2000 people where tourism is booming, but the tools used to cater to tourists are outdated, at best. Air hasn’t saturated every area of the globe, yet.

Where I am now? We went from 0% occupancy in this low season, July/Aug, to almost 100% occupancy, simply because of Air.

So I guess it wasn’t so dumb, after all.

And, what’s funny, @faheem? When I changed the tile to a Dumb Post, it got about 200% more views :stuck_out_tongue:

Pura vida
J

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I’d love to hear any and all of your ideas, @Mearns, even if by morning you go, “what was I thinking?” All my best ideas come from that stream-of-consciousness thinking and, as my last post shows, it often does not stop at a dead end, but opens up a whole new boulevard to travel down. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your response !
J

Hi @Perezo,

Perhaps I should not be offering business advice. But you did ask for responses.

My experience has been that working for others is never a positive thing. They try to use you. But by all means, if you can find people who treat you well and offer you a good deal, go for it.

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@Faheem If Perezo structures it right, she will be working for herself and she will have “clients”, like almost every business, everywhere. We work for ourselves and our clients are our guests. Her clients would be rich ex-pat home-owners. Once she has a portfolio of clients, she can cut loose the high-maintenance ones and cater to the silent ones who are only grateful for a better cash-flow. That’s what we do – accept almost everyone in the beginning, and then we get picky – because we are established. I’m trying to think of a profession which doesn’t have a cliental and I can’t think of one. Rebuttal?

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Hi @sandy2,

Well, first a disclaimer. I don’t think of myself as a business person. And the experiences I’ve had have been in large part (but not entirely) in situations where I didn’t have much leverage. And my personal experience, again, is that people are insufficiently appreciative of ones efforts. But if one is working with reasonable people, is careful, has proper contracts written up, has a competent lawyer in the loop, and makes sure to avoid lock-in, it could work out. To some extent it depends on demand and supply. If there are few people offering the service, it’s possible to get a better deal.

Oh, and I thought Perezo was a he. The profile says Dave. But I’m not good at telling such things.

@faheem - you are a kind soul.

I don’t own any property. I have been able to afford to live on this gorgeous coast only by pet-sitting, house sitting and other little things just to cover food costs.

The Air biz listings I am currently managing are not my own, they are owned by the couple whose house I am staying in (they are only here 4 months per year).

From speaking with others who are or were in the same situation, they are compensating me handsomely compared to most (I also look after their beloved dogs full time).

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