This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!
Just hoping to glean the experience of hosts who are full time hosting.
I am currently mid thirties (just crossed over to wrong side), have a local 2BR (which we stay in) and a 3BR apartment overseas. They’re still both on mortgages, but we have been careful not to over-leverage. Current equity levels are definitely above the 20% level. My current job of six months has been the best job I’ve ever had and have absolutely no intention of ever leaving (unless i’m fired) anytime soon.
All that said, I’m honestly quite tired of corporate life. Our combined income is decent and we’re thinking of adding a small studio apartment as an airbnb-only investment a few months down the road. 3-4 years down the road we will probably sell off the overseas property and use the cash proceeds to fully pay off the studio, then work a few more years to bring up the equity level on the 2BR to 60-70%. Then both me and my partner intend to semi-retire by the age of 45, work 2-3 days a week, while tending to our airbnb. We have been working on this plan for 12 months, and we’re on track with progress.
I currently also have some stocks (not a lot), cash value life insurance and critical illness insurance that are worth enough for a rainy day (around USD40k). In addition to the aforesaid, both me and my spouse are also covered under private health insurance in a country that also offers universal healthcare. My spouse has a bit of cash savings as well.
I’m looking for hosts who have been on this journey, or something similar who can share their experience, pitfalls along the way? Not necessarily looking for advice or tips (but any will be appreciated), but more of inspiration to keep us going.
Availability is the big one!
Bookings and enquiries come in 24 hours a day through 5 different sites.Read all the T and C’s as every site is different.
If you are doing this yourself you need to go and stay at a few to get an idea of what the experience is. This is not changing the bed and giving the bathroom a swish. I am semi retired and this is my job. I run four entire properties that are within 5 minutes of my home. I have a team that is only available to me and we balance out the schedule. Fir me it is not hard work, but it is full time.
Thanks Deb for sharing. I am a current host and do the cleaning myself, so I do understand the hard work involved. (typically takes me between 2-5 hours per clean even for just a 2BR). I am also a regular airbnb user (stayed about 10-15 times, at least twice a year), so am familiar with expectations of a guest. What I am curious about is how you have found the lifestyle - do you feel burned out? I’m not intending to Airbnb full time, mainly using it as a source of income. My ideal semi-retirement plan is that we can both work 2-3 days a week, while using Airbnb as a means to generate supplemental income (for holidays, long term healthcare etc). I could also go for a long term rental, but I will miss that dopamine hit from getting a booking notification or a 5 star review.
Yep that’s pretty much excatly what I am doing. I rent 4 rooms in my house out which covers all my annual living costs (mortgage remnnant, power, insurances, food etc) + a little bit. I do all my own cleaning and maintenance etc so that’s like a part time job really.
For play money I trade sports odds online which came from me finding “matched betting” a few years ago - if you google it you’ll see a few sites geared around helping people get started etc as it can be quite daunting especially if you’ve never really placed bets before. (It’s not gambling, quite the opposite in fact) I started it as a bit of fun to earn some beer money but in the last year it’s actually generated over twice the income than my AirbNB rooms have produced.
Daniel, my only caveat when looking at your long-term plans for your Airbnb income is that there is a lot of uncertainty around at the moment, and even hostility to STR. I don’t want to seem overly-pessimistic but we recently had a huge scare because our Community of Owners (I think equivalent of HOA in the states) recently took a decision, which is now completely legal, to ban it on our urbanisation. Luckily it could not be made retrospectively and we had our Tourism Licence so we were ok. However, more and more places seem to be cracking down and we don’t know what the long-term prospects are …
Having said which, of course none of us know what’s around the corner, so you are being sensible by diversifying. Your great job could disappear and you’d certainly be glad of the Air income then! There seem to be lots of “How I retired at 35” blogs around - obviously take with a pinch of salt but worth a trawl through, I should think.
I think you have the apartment in Melbourne? with the wonderful basket decoration on the wall? You could always sell that to me if you needed more cash!
Yup that’s right - the one with the baskets on the wall in Melbourne - its been a great hit with some of our guests who really loved the arrangement and the colors.
I think one of the reasons why I wanted to invest in a studio was because its generally cashflow positive, so even in the event that STRs get struck down, we could simply rent it out for a bit of income! I hope it won’t though, cos I really enjoy the process of running and managing a business, from pricing to getting good reviews, sourcing for deals on consumables etc. It’s been a fun little game except for the cleaning part (cleaning the bathroom from head to toe is really back breaking), but without the Airbnb commitment I am pretty sure my place wouldn’t have looked so spanking clean all the time!
All in all, I was really just keen to see if there are people who have walked the same path and could perhaps share something inspiring.
Sold up and bought a derelict water mill set in 8 acres of woodland, the 2 of us spent 2yrs converting it into a nice home (I actually turned down grand designs doing a tv program about us), 6 months after completion the 2 of us are rattling about in this big house a bit bored when a friend say’s it would make a great B&B.
Within 6 months we had been awarded a 5star gold rating which is as high as you can go (a whole other story is its much easier to run a 3 star B&B), really enjoyed it for a few years, then the likes of Booking.com and Expedia became popular and the standard of guests declined. We decided to try something else when guests started clicking there fingers at you for service.
Sold the place, and homeless spent 6 months touring the UK looking for our next adventure.
Strange is life, after travelling all over the UK we ended up buying a place 30 miles from our previous home.
Our present home is a holiday park near the beach with static caravans & tourers, We are open for 8 months each year, everyone pays for the full season and comes and goes as they wish
I have some caravans that have been here for 20yrs, everyone knows each other and they all get along, I cut the grass and Shirley tells me to plant this here and that over their. One day a week keeps the site neat and tidy, although I’ve never been able to sit still and will wander around doing odd jobs or having a brew on someone’s decking.
We also have a holiday cottage and camping barn onsite which are very popular, 2 change over days a week for the cottage occupy us for 2 half days and the camping barn is clean it before you leave it…
Just me and the wife run the business and love to potter around during the summer and then get 4 months every year to do and go wherever we wish.
I’ve started getting itchy feet again and Shirley rolls her eye’s and wonders what idea I’ll come up with next.
I won’t go into the $$ part as you seem to have that mostly covered. One thing is that I committed to paying off my home before retiring at 57. Equity of 20% gives me a chilly feeling but if that’s all you feel you need, bully for you.
I typically have a lot of back to back one nighters. Here’s what a typical month looks like. Blocked days are either me out of town, improvements being made to the Airbnb room or a direct booking
I’ve been going like this for 5 years and in addition I’ve been a full time high school teacher and in home dog boarder. I’ve never gotten burned out on Airbnb. Now the problem is that I can’t tell you why not so that you can apply that information to your situation.
Except maybe it’s this. In my teaching career, my dog boarding, my Airbnbing, I’ve had a lot of success. Success leads to success. It feels pleasant so I’m pleasant and guests are happy and it’s a virtuous cycle. I’ve made friends from doing Airbnb. I’ve had Airbnb guests send me cards or text me after the recent shooting in El Paso. I take the good and ignore the bad. I don’t take the bad things personally unless they are clearly about me.
The other advice I’d offer is to not over do it. Airbnb can be like drinking. Just because two shots feel good it doens’t mean you’ll feel twice as good after 4. Hosting in your home and hosting a studio at your property is one thing. Hosting across ocean or across town is another. The higher you are, the greater the fall.
I don’t see a lot of risk in your plan as long as you don’t go upside down on loans. If the economy changes, you can sell your airbnb, go back to work, quit traveling, etc. I see the greatest threat to any young people’s plans as global climate change. I do think we are facing a very uncertain future. But even with global upheaval there can be a place for homeshare like Airbnb.
@kkc props to you for being able to manage mostly 1 night bookings. I wouldn’t be able to keep it up.
I’m not semi retired but after a lay-off in 2017 my AIrbnb rentals made my financial life easier. Like you, I have mortgages to cover.
If I am laid off before my planned retirement, I’ve considered selling one, and using it to pay-off the others.
2 of the properties are long term rental because the area couldn’t support STRs.
Like @Malagachica said, Be aware of local attitudes toward STRs. My beach condos’ area has always had/allowed STRs. Recently some owners attitudes shifted because our neighborhood’s listings on Airbnb & VRBO have doubled. Almost every condo sold/purchased in the past 2 years is now offered for STR.
Similar neighborhoods are continuing to allow STRs but only for 7 nights or longer. That restriction would easily cut my rentals in half.
I’m reading stuff about weather disruptions that will be so extreme and frequent that I imagine the travel industry as we know it won’t exist. It won’t matter where along the coast you are in terms of sea level, it will be the constant storms. At my age and life situation, 30-50 year investment projections aren’t a big concern for me. Since I turned 50 I’ve been on 5 year plans and they have been panning out beyond my expectations so far. I expect major disruptions in my lifetime though.
Its amazing how you managed that calendar @KKC . I had a month like that and I was completely burned out with the cleaning. It gets a bit easier if we outsource the cleaning, and will probably be the case if I decide to rent out a studio - the hassles of rotating cleaners, no-shows and ensuring quality is altogether another issue though.
Absolutely agree on the leverage, which is why I wouldn’t consider my plan complete until I’m at least 60-70% equity on my 2BR and studio fully paid off. STR is also at risk in Melbourne, although I do not foresee that happening anytime soon, given the number of jobs its created, but I wouldn’t rest on that given how Sydney has turned out.
I guess the “real” plan is having enough real estate to semi-retire on. The Airbnb portion is just what I decide to do with that real estate.
I will not rely on my str though, I don’t think it is stable enough to bet my family’s financial future on. I have various long term rental properties, which I consider to be more stable. I’m aiming at another two years before I can retire from the workforce completely, I will continue to self manage my units though.
It doesn’t apply to retiring early but I ran across MMM about 10 years ago and really like him. I don’t want to afford anything, I want to buy less, in theory. As I’ve posted elsewhere I think the decision has already been made for me however in the form of climate change.