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Small markets while using airbnb?

Hi Everyone,

I’m curious about potentially renting my place out (an entire home) on airbnb. My home is in a small market. In terms of vacations it’s not overly desirable but there’s an abundance of hotels in the area. I’m about 20mins away from the state capital and multiple colleges. My question is, have you had any luck selling your home in a small market or is airbnb for larger cities? NYC, LA, Houston, Miami etc…


I stayed in an airbnb listing that was in the boonies of West Virginia. Super cool - loved it.

We have one host here who is the only airbnb in town - nothing to do there - but she is usually booked from what I understand.

Give it a go and see what nibbles - but be mindful that this may be the ‘off’ season - it is for me.

Thanks @dcmooney

I agree with the see and what happens approach but does your place have to be “special” in anyway shape or form? My place is a nice, neat and clean home. There’s nothing overly special about it. Quiet street, nice neighborhood, 5min from the highway, centrally located.

it sounds like you are considering taking the home off the long-term rental market? With many colleges around, there’s definitely a market for visiting parents, etc. although you will likely have to contend with slow-season drops when you will get very few rental requests (around holidays, possibly over the summer when students return home, etc). Universities almost always have hotels nearby for visiting lecturers, administrators, etc. but you will not likely get many of those bookings as they are usually made through official channels. If the universities are research-oriented, you have a shot at post-doc’s and visiting professors doing research but those people often have a limited budget so you may not be able to ask for much more than long-term monthly rates. Some students might be interested in short-term housing for summer courses or intensive language programs, etc. but you would want to check out what the cost of available student housing is.

So you may not make more money than you would with a long-term lease given seasonal lows but if you value having your place available for visiting friends and family, that may not be a bad thing.

The house I stayed in was just a little country house on a busy road. Nothing special. No, your home doesn’t have to be special.

But what you’ll do is finding a special thing that you want to offer. For instance, I started with an airbed and old blankets, but I served an amazing breakfast and my price was low. My nearest competitor has a private entrance suite with no breakfast, but it’s (was) a lot nicer than mine and she had lots of reviews, so she charges more than me. So what can you offer that would set you apart just a bit?

Shop around for airbnb in your area and see if anyone is offering anything.

If you are considering taking the house off long term rental and converting to short term rental then by all means pretend you are looking for a home to rent in your area for a few days. Several listing sites should pop up and begin hunting like you are a traveler. Compare pricing, how booked their calendars are, cleaning fees, etc. You do not have to be in a traditional vacation rental market in order to be booked.

Some regions do better on Air than others. Some people never get bookings from Air but they get them through VRBO, etc. Others just the opposite. When I first listed on Air and Booking.com I did very well because I had no competition and my prices started lower. As soon as others entered the market and lowered their rates - and I increased mine - then my bookings went down on those sites. I am listed on multiple sites and have my own website though.

It’s important that you stay abreast of where these listings companies are headed and not put all your eggs in one basket.

Hi @cabinhost,

That all sounds like good advice.

Would you post your website?

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