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Thinking of Buying Property and Turning into an AirBnB

Hello everyone. I’ve been reading through many posts and wanted to get an idea of the best and worst. One thread-name 2 things you wish you had known was wonderful.

The property we wish to buy we want to use for retirement, but was thinking it could be rented until we do.

I own two small businesses with 29 employees-so I am used to hard work. Where do you get your help to clean, to manage, and to make sure the property is up to snuff if you are not in the same town?

Thanks in advance for your help!

What area are you thinking of buying in? Be very careful about pursuing something like this if you are depending on short-term rental income to make your mortgage payments (rather than considering it as just bonus income). The short term rental market is getting quite a bit of legislative push-back in many parts of the U.S. (as well as in the EU) because of its negative impact on neighborhoods.


Then you know the deal; as to the usual tricky drill of getting good help and dealing with local government and their capricious nature… Some have mentioned here about local management companies starting to crop up already to support such rentals and usually they cover all aspects of it (ie. including cleaning). Good luck.

This is ok, as long as you do not depend on the rent to finance it.

I personally would not depend on anyone else doing it for you.
You have small business, so you know, If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.

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Hello Chris. In Northwest Illinois, in the "Driftless Area."
Noted and agreed that if you want something done right, then it needs to be done yourself. However, in my business-and perhaps I’ve been very lucky, I have found people who are better than the tasks that I used to do, and I’ve improved as a business owner from letting that go.

Thank you, Mearns. I will look into management companies.

Chicagohost, thank you. The property is in Illinois as well. Is there legislative pushback in that state? I am not looking for it to pay for itself-but I am sure in many months it will. Thanks for your response.

I believe that if the hotel industry greases enough palms, AirBNB could be easily banned here. IL has a long history of corruption and payoffs and I don’t see any reason why legislators would suddenly be accountable to working and middle class people advocating for short term rentals if the hotel industry pays the right people off. However, this would be done on a city and county wide basis, not at the state level. If I were you, I would proceed with caution and not count on AirBNB as a stable option.

Wisely said @chicagohost . Many years ago I embarked on a personal crusade to change some game laws (lower bag limit for the ‘Mearns’ quail). I was made instantly aware of the power of the local hotel lobby, who wanted more guests (hunters) foremost, and not worried about the overall welfare of a vulnerable bird. Took me two years to prevail on something that made total sense from the outset.

Is it okay to mention other hosting companies, such as VRBO? Does it matter who you do it with-its simply that you are doing it?

Most important consideration : location, location, location. Agree don’t depend on income long term. Aside from market, laws, your health may change (I see this a lot) and you could be left with a property you can’t use and may not be able to unload. I have many patients who used to go south every winter, health fails, now they can’t go and the property they bought has poor resale value ie permanent trailer parks, condos in locations that aren’t popular or where there is a glut.

The platform (Air, vrbo, home away, etc) doesn’t matter although it’s the success of Air that has gotten the attention of the hotel industry (as well as advocates of affordable housing for local residents). When cities have banned short term rentals (like in Carmel, CA or Santa Monica) it’s the practice that is prohibited, the platform is irrelevant.

You are on right track as long as you don’t depend on this income. Cleaners are not that easy to find because it gets tricky when there is no certain schedule. I have 10 of them, so whenever I need one I just start calling.
I would not do it through any management company unless they are pros which usually is not the case.

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