Thinking of Hosting a Smaller Property

After 1.5 years, we are thinking of taking our larger vacation rental (sleeps up to 13) off of Airbnb and trying a smaller place that sleeps 4-6. It’s been a lot of fun but also incredibly hard work and stressful managing a 5-bedroom property ourselves. What are the pros and cons for those hosts who have managed both bigger and smaller properties? Thanks!

I have a full house rental that used to sleep 8 and we eliminated the two twin beds so now it sleeps 6. It’s less cleaning and wear and tear. You will love hosting just 6 guests.


That’s was I was hoping to hear. I really enjoy hosting but 13 is overwhelming at times. We recently stayed at a cabin that sleeps 4 and as I read their guest book, it was mostly couples on anniversary trips and such. I like the idea of it being a bit more intimate. Thank you!


Since we downsized to 6 we get mostly families. Previously with 8 it was friends partying and they were messy since they were just drinking and hanging out in the backyard or deck. Seems like families do more outings and just sleep at the house.


We have two homes we rent out. One sleeps 6 and has a pool, the other maxes out at 4. The one that sleeps 6 is more than double the work of the one that sleeps 4, and that is not counting dealing with the pool. The larger house attracts families, while the smaller one brings in mostly couples.

If you are looking for a lot less work, go with a cozy place that attracts couples.


So I don’t’ have a huge rental but before the pandemic I had it set up that the den could be converted into two twins along with the king. When I re-opened I decided that I wanted less people in the space due to COVID (I live below) so I only offer the king bedroom for 2 people max. I love it!.

Even with all the extra washing due to COVID it’s so much easier and having just couples is really nice. Less wear and tear, quieter at night, easier to clean. I will never go back.


I used to allow 8 and went down to 6, just like @Ritz3. It’s way better. If I could cap at 4 I would, and I’d be fine with the revenue drop. The issue for me becomes people see the # of bedrooms and decide they can sneak in more. I really love hosting 4 individuals or 2 or 3 married couples.


I’m looking for the “Sweet spot” of maximizing net income and work involved.

The past 2 seasons I locked off one BR & Bath & had maximum occupancy of 2. While I had less revenue, I spent much less time & money doing repairs, maintenance & replacements so I’m making the same $$.

In other words, try capping at 4, your net revenue may not drop.


Interesting idea. Really interesting. I will run that by my husband and see what he thinks. I could also adjust the available rooms/beds seasonally or maybe offer additional rooms for an additional fee on a case by case (I love my corporate groups of 4 where each person needs their own room and they are here to work only. The best!)

It is easier to host fewer guests.

When you say take it off Airbnb do you mean sell & buy something smaller or do you mean changing to having a property manager?

A friend with a rental on VRBO sleeps 14 and I had a similar conversation. She is considering splitting her rental. It is a beach house on stilts that has a complete lower apartment (old so grandfathered). She is pondering renting the bottom (sleeps 6) and the top (sleeps 8) separately.

Her other thought is moving it to a property manager. She will have significantly less net revenue BUT she will keep her sanity.

Please let us know what you decide to do

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I do that now.

For wonderful repeat guests, I open the 2nd br & Ba and charge more.

Also for my snowbirds, two person limit but I open the closed rooms. The lease requires them to give me names, dates & ages of any guests, maximum 3 day stay. If guests stay more than 3 days, additional fees apply. I want for them to be able to have the grandkids visit for the weekend but I don’t want to end up with a sub-let situation.

Background: A snowbird couple rented the month of April 3 years in a row. They shared they occasionally had friends stay for a couple days.

I had to enter the condo for maintenance (something broke). While I was there the “friends” arrived from playing golf. For people staying “a couple days” they had a lot of comments & suggestions about making the condo better for their stay.

I guess my confusion/irritation at their comments showed. One blurts, “oh no we are happy here. It’s a bargain for $$”.

My tenants rented for 2 then sub-let the 2nd bedroom to golf buddies! The rental they collected was more than they paid me. Oh f@&$ NO.

I declined their requests for a future rental. Since then, I have found out this sub-let/sharing is common.


Thanks for the reply and shared info.! We have decided to move into our larger Airbnb full-time! So, to answer your question, we are taking it off of Airbnb but I’m not going to delete the listing entirely. If we decide to travel for an extended period of time, we might list it again for a little side income.

We are thinking of purchasing a mountain property - a cabin that sleeps 4 maybe? We would have to use a property mgmt company because we don’t live in the area. I was wondering if I would still manage the bookings but let them do repairs, emergencies and of course turnovers and everything involved with that side of it.

We are going to get settled in our beach property before looking for a place in the mountains so it will be sometime next year. I will post update for sure. :slight_smile:

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