Newbie with Two 3-bedroom Apartments / Business Model?

Hi All, I’ve been reading here for several days and thanks for all info! Currently I have two very 3-bedroom apartments for rent. These are unoccupied and newly furnished like a nice hotel. I can stay in one master bedroom myself to manage or vacate for tenants. Very apprehensive about AirBnB and quality of tenants.

Best business model?
Total apartment AND individual room rental options? What is best?
Minimum length of stay?
NO instabook?
Cancellation policy?

I HAVE read up on many of these topics here… but am looking for some experienced hosts to say, “Look, keep it simple, minimize your risk, make good profit, and start like this…”


  1. Hard to make a meaningful comment as we don’t know your area, target market etc - have a look and see what others with comparable properties in your area are doing.

  2. Unless you are living on the premises I would go for whole space letting.

  3. Again depends on your target market

  4. I wouldn’t use instant book until you find your way around Airbnb and are confident that you understand how to vet guests and bookings

  5. What are others in your area with comparable properties doing?

My favorite business model is the legal one. Are you a renter or do you own these apartments? And if you own do you have the condo or co-ops permission to rent?

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Thanks for the reply. I’m in the Orlando Florida area. Target market is strongly business travelers. (Do they ever want entire place or three bedrooms?) Families can be an alternate depending on ages and behavior. I must avoid the “whole place party weekend crowd”. There are not a lot of “entire place” options in my area.

We rent as a corporate housing / business corporation. (It was NOT easy to setup.) Yes, we have permission.

We have many threads on the forum about the legality and liability of STRing a property you don’t own. You might want to check them out.

Here are a few threads. In general you will find many folks here not super fans of renters who sublet on Airbnb, but there are exceptions.

Sorry there’s no keep it simple, easy answer that’ll guarantee you make money on this thing that’s why there’s all these threads for you to read through.

That said some points:

  1. Don’t activate instant book for a new user. Get to know the system and booking process first. What guests, presume, etc
    Only activate instant book once you have grown familiar with this.

  2. Reviews are very important. Target good reviews everytime (and especially the first ones you get) - hence point no. 1 discouraging you from activating instant book until you have had a fair number of guests and know how the system works.
    The review that says “this host cancelled 2 days before guests arrival date” can do you great damage, and often comes after instant book cancellations.

  3. for business users the listings are best placed as entire place listings and not private room listings. Model your listings around entire place!

  4. despite point 3 above, you can make more money from the listings attracting budget travelers in private room arrangement and putting up the rooms as multiple listings.
    I know hosts that are doing that with great success, but we’ve avoided that more lucrative approach, as it requires a lot more work, airbnb savvy, and neighbors that’ll tolerate that, and a legal environment that won’t cause you trouble.
    For us it would be unlikely to work well in the long term despite higher financial returns.

  5. a starting out, I’d say 1 day minimum stay, flexible cancellation. You can tighten the policy and gauge minimum stay as you gauge the market area!

  6. Quality of tenant or type of tenant is largely shaped by the price charged!

  7. finally from a business perspective, your largest problem is less likely to be poor quality guests, but more likely generating enough bookings to fill up the calendar and get high occupancy rates.
    That has become increasingly difficult over time, and I wish you all the best as you divide into the ocean of listings.
    All the best and get ready for lots of tiring, patience testing work ahead of you!

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Good luck with that, because you’re going to get many requests and lots of unnecessary feedback from the guests.

Thank you for your most helpful comments.