How Houst Superhost Kay Turned An Empty Studio Into $2000 a Month

As a host, what do you value most?

  1. Is it making sure your guests experience an authentic visit in your city? No problem, let’s draft up a neighborhood guide together and leave goodies for your guests. 
  2. Is it making sure your neighbor friends stay neighbor friends? Fair enough, let’s make sure your listing states how quiet and homey your place is. Even better – let’s get your neighbor hosting too!
  3. Is it earning enough to travel and visit family? Let’s talk numbers – nightly rates and our custom pricing algorithm to start.

Is it all 3 of these? 

Well, if so, let’s talk about advice from our partnered Superhost in San Diego, Kay. 

Kay came to us nearly a year ago after learning that her neighbor friends were hosting with us – and loving it. With a detached studio only used for family and friends, Kay had the ultimate San Diego spot – in the heart of America’s finest city, no less. Within her first weeks, Kay was up and running and absolutely smashing the peak season’s occupancy and reviews.

What’s her secret?

  1. Clear communication

For instance, Kay takes care of things like making sure the trash and recycling are taken out the way her neighbors would want (as they share bins) or leaving treats for guests, while we handle the time intensive tasks. We cover things like making sure the place is in tip top shape for a same day check out and check in or answering guest inquiries.

“I would not want to do this without the backup and work of Houst… If I did this on my own, I would have to have a day or two between every booking.”

Want to hear more from our hosts? Check out some more of our host testimonials.

2. Sharing her expertise

When hosting with us, your home will have specifics that only you have expertise with. Sometimes our cleaners will need to give specific attention to certain appliances or areas that you know have needed work in the past. This is why Kay “makes friends with the cleaners so they know they can contact me if something needs extra work.” Being able to work through specifics like this together is what has helped Kay’s flawless Airbnb reputation so far. We don’t, however, want to give the impression that your most valuable asset – your time – will be used constantly communicating with us while hosting. 

We do all of the time consuming tasks like:

  •  vetting guests
  •  answering inquiries 24/7
  •  scheduling cleans
  •  taking care of damages
  •  opening claims on Airbnb
  •  basically all of the things that would tie you down instead of free you up

Kay’s last hosting trick?

3. Personal touches.

With the help of our hosts like Kay who know how essential “having a good manager to partner with who communicates with the hosts, the cleaning crew and troubleshoots’ is, we are lucky enough to work with hosts who go the extra mile, which yields higher reviews and thus, higher occupancy. We are passionate about hosting and love it when our hosts are too.

  “The personal touch from an owner is important and makes it more rewarding for me,” and this sure shows in her reviews:

So what does Kay do with all the free time she has from working with Houst?

When Kay isn’t going the extra mile, she’s traveling a few miles while using her additional income to visit her infant granddaughters in Washington DC and Durango, Colorado.

We are honored to host with people who free themselves up by working hard, but more importantly by working smart. People who open their homes in order to open opportunities, people like Kay. 

Does this sound like you, too? Give us a ring, we’re here when you need us!

San Diego: Airsorted’s Year in Review

It’s been quite a year for Airsorted. We’ve grown from 9 cities to 22 and we’ve learned a lot. But we’d be lying if we said speed wobbles weren’t a thing. They are, and we’ve experienced them. More importantly, however, we’ve let the speed bumps help us navigate and adapt in new markets.

With beautiful weather all year round and tourism as its main industry, San Diego and Airsorted were fated from the start. As the first local San Diegan team member of UK-based Airsorted, I’ve experienced the progress we’ve made in the US and the obstacles we’ve had to overcome in these unknown Pacific waters. 

Here’s what we’ve learned:

1. Get with the local lingo

First and foremost, when expanding to a new city abroad it’s super important to keep the terminology relevant to that particular market. For example, when I first came on board, I had to sift through all of our content to make sure it was Americanized. If I had a penny – or maybe a cent – for every time I changed ‘optimise’ to ‘optimize’ or ‘favourite’ to ‘favorite’ I’d have a few dollars by now. Long story short, we’ve since removed ‘crockery’ from our Essential Airbnb lists and continue to embrace the American marketplace with localized lingo.

2. Don’t be afraid of ‘After Summer Bummer’

Despite nearly 365 days of summer, it’s still very common for bookings to slow down after summer’s peak season. Fear not hosts, for we have many tricks up our sleeves to help with the lulls. 

Some easy tweaks to increase occupancy are:

  • Listing and unlisting your property 
  • Closing and opening your Airbnb calendar
  • Changing the Title
  • Rearranging Photos
  • Offering Discounts

You can also check out our simple hosting tricks here.

3. Prepare for differences in Customer Expectations 

A recent study by New Voice Media found that only 25% of people in the US will hold whilst on phone after 10 minutes, compared to 64% of Brits, for whom it is a regular occurrence. 

Here in America we have very high expectations for customer service, which our Guest Experience team quickly learned. When first launching here, we experienced bumps with these higher expectations as our Communication ratings on Airbnb fell to 75% in July, a number we’re not used to seeing in our hub cities like London and Edinburgh. 

We took action and hired additional Guest Experience members and created extensive neighborhood guides to improve our transparency and service with guests. Our guest communications now average a 96.6% satisfaction rate, a drastic 21.6% increase in 3 months.

These are just a few of the things we’ve picked up on since launching in San Diego and we’re not naive enough to think we won’t find more along the way. Being a major player in the ever developing sharing economy means that adaptability is the main ingredient to stay relevant. 

Here’s to another lap around the sun. 🥂

Find out how much your home could earn you this year.

How to Choose the Perfect Airbnb Investment Property for You

In recent years, Airbnb rentals have quickly become a popular choice for tourists and vacationers looking for temporary lodging. Due to this strong demand, vacation rentals have become an attractive option for real estate investors. We’re not surprised to see more and more investors turning to short-term rentals as the returns they can offer are robust!

If you too want to enjoy the financial benefits of owning an Airbnb investment property, then keep reading to learn how to choose the perfect property for you.

1. Pick Your Location

As with any investment property, location is the most important factor when selecting your perfect short-term rental. Locations with tourist attractions such as beaches, mountains, or a national park are typically desirable for Airbnb real estate investing. However, it’s important to take seasonality into account when picking the best place to buy an Airbnb investment property. You don’t want to own a short-term rental which sits empty and does not generate any income during the low season – it’ll cost you more money than it will earn you.

We recommend investing in locations where tourists and other visitors are present year-round. Such areas will have a consistent yet strong demand for Airbnb rental properties. Additionally, you want to make sure that the location has less supply in the form of hotels or other short-term rentals. This will assure that your rental will enjoy a high Airbnb occupancy rate. Naturally, Miami and San Diego are two of the best locations for buying an Airbnb investment property in 2019 because of the high demand. Following are some important figures on these two locations according to data from Mashvisor, a real estate data analytics company.

#1 Miami, FL

  • Median Property Price: $567,000
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,390
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 56.5%
  • Cash on Cash Return: 2.7%

#2 San Diego, CA

  • Median Property Price: $739,800
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,760
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 58.5%
  • Cash on Cash Return: 2.4%

2. Beware Short-Term Rentals Regulations  

Before buying a property to rent out on Airbnb in any location, real estate investors must check the laws and regulations regarding short-term rentals there. For one thing, some cities ban Airbnb rentals. Others allow you to rent out on Airbnb only if you’re the primary resident of the property. As a property investor, you may face legal issues if you choose to buy an Airbnb investment property in these cities. So, when you’re looking for the best Airbnb property, make sure it’s located in an Airbnb-friendly area where laws and regulations are not likely to affect your return on investment.

3. Investment Property Type

The best type of property to buy and rent out on Airbnb is the one that makes you the most money. However, this largely depends on the location, as well as the type of Airbnb guests you’re targeting. For example, if you’re interested in owning an Airbnb investment property to rent out to solo travelers or couples, then a condo or an apartment located in the city center is your best option. On the other hand, if you prefer to rent out to families or big groups of friends, it’s best to go with vacation homes or beach houses.

4. Check Your Budget and Expenses

Every rental property comes with costs and expenses that will affect your return on investment. While short-term rentals can definitely be profitable, they can also cost more. So, to find the perfect Airbnb investment property, you need to set a budget and break down your costs carefully. First off, property values are on the higher side, which makes it difficult to cover the higher mortgage payments during the low season. Besides mortgage payments, you need to factor in monthly expenses such as:

  • Property tax
  • Insurance
  • Furniture and utilities
  • Property management fee
  • Cleaning service fee
  • Maintenance fee
  • Vacancy provision

If these monthly expenses exceed your monthly rental income, it becomes easy to start losing money. So, again, the perfect Airbnb property for you is the one that you can afford and that fits in your budget.

5. Airbnb Performance Prediction

With a traditional, long-term rental, you get a fixed return in the form of rent every month. With short-term rentals, however, you’ll need to set a nightly rate and adjust it based on seasonality, special events, neighboring competition, and travel trends. Meaning, Airbnb property investors don’t get a fixed monthly return. This can make buying short-term rentals a risky investment, but you can reduce this risk with the help of Airbnb analytics.

Airbnb analytics helps real estate investors predict future outcomes, thus allowing them to make wise investment decisions with confidence. Essentially, Airbnb analytics provides data that help you analyze the returns and performance of properties based on:

  • Comparable Rental Income
  • Estimated Rental Expenses
  • Cash Flow
  • Cash on Cash Return
  • Cap Rate
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rates

With these 5 things in mind, you’re one step ahead in choosing that perfect Airbnb investment property!

If you’re looking for a profitable Airbnb rental property to buy, check out Mashvisor, a real estate data analytics platform which helps investors find lucrative rental properties in a matter of minutes. You will find readily available data and analysis of hundreds of thousands of properties across the US. Mashvisor turns 3 months of research into 15 minutes. Moreover, as an exclusive offer for readers of the Airsorted blog, you can now enjoy 25% off your first subscription.

Eman Hamed is a Content Writer at Mashvisor. With a focus on market reports, she enjoys researching the state of the real estate market in different cities across the US. Eman also writes about trends, forecasts, and tips for beginner investors to gain the confidence and knowledge they need to make wise decisions.

“While overseas, I needed a trustworthy property management company. Airsorted has done that and more…”

In sunny San Diego, the Airsorted team have been busy launching and meeting local hosts from all walks of life. The city is known for being a relocation haven for people from all over the world. Whether it’s East Coasters escaping their cold winters, traveling nurses looking to work in some of the best hospitals in the US or international travellers looking to take in the SoCal life, San Diego is proudly called home by a multitude of people.

If there’s one group of people in San Diego who particularly appreciate the benefits of Airsorted’s hassle-free host management, it’s the servicemen and women stationed in various prestigious military bases located around the county.

Many military personnel use Airbnb to supplement their income while they’re out on deployment – and one such person in San Diego is Airsorted host Rob.

Originally from New York, Rob was the very first military serviceman to partner with Airsorted, after her was detailed to the USS Stout based in Norfolk, Virginia, for a two year period.

It was the military that had led to Rob’s initial move to San Diego, too. In 2016 he was stationed at Military Base San Diego, known locally as 32nd Street Naval Station – but he was quick to fall in love with the city: “I can proudly say San Diego is the first place I call home besides New York,” he explains.

With Rob’s adoption of San Diego came the responsibility for Airsorted to look after his home in the city with care and respect – along with the aim of helping him earn some extra income to supplement his military career, that would often lead to him spend long stints overseas.

Rob’s Airsorted journey began when searching for a steady full-time renter to rent out his home while on a 7-month deployment. “As I continued to research,” explains Rob, “I found that using Airsorted would be my most beneficial option, both financially and in regards to flexibility. While overseas, I needed a trustworthy property management company. Airsorted has done that and more.”

Initially, Rob had hosted his home on Airbnb, putting time into creating a unique and cozy experience for his guests. However, he found that the most challenging part of hosting was being able to give constant support to guests and guest inquiries, while also fulfilling his professional responsibilities serving overseas.

Fortunately, this was an easy fix when coming onboard with Airsorted. Our Guest Support team is available 24/7 to deal with guest emergencies and new booking inquiries and, thanks to the size and experience of the team, they’re able to do so quicker than either competitors or hosts responding to guests themselves.

In a few months, Rob will be returning home with some extra cash in the bank, and the confidence of knowing Airsorted has been taking good care of his home while he was away. He’ll be able to enjoy his next stint of work locally from Coronado, spending his free time relaxing on Mission Beach and scoring some good eats and drinks in Little Italy.

If you’re considering using Airsorted to help you manage your short-term rental property, here’s Rob’s final word on his decision to partner with us: “Host your home on Airsorted, sit back relax and get paid some extra cash. I have put my full trust into Airsorted and they have exceeded my expectations’.

5 Reasons Fort Lauderdale is a Fantastic Airbnb Investment Opportunity

Fort Lauderdale isn’t just a great place to vacation to, or to live – right now, it’s one of the hottest Airbnb investment locations on the planet. These 5 reasons explain why you’ll struggle to find an opportunity quite as good anywhere else:

📈 Growing Demand

Fort Lauderdale was listed as one of the top 10 markets in the U.S in PWC’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate.

Why? The demand. In 2018, hosts in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County earned a combined $80 million. Visitor numbers are consistently growing – they’re loving the opportunity to stay in wonderful properties boasting waterfront views and luxurious amenities.

Airbnb has provided an economic opportunity for residents of Fort Lauderdale. With beaches, shops and restaurants galore, Fort Lauderdale has it all. This has helped it earn its nickname as ‘The Venice of America’, and encourages visitors to return year on year. What’s more, reason number two is even better for potential investors!

👌 Fee Reduction

No, this isn’t a joke. If you want to earn yourself a slice of the $80 million pie that Airbnb hosts and homeowners from Broward County made in 2018, it’s been made cheaper and easier!

The application fee to be a legal vacation rental owner in the City of Fort Lauderdale was, amazingly, reduced from $750 to just $350. The renewal fee was also lowered – from $500 to a much more reasonable $160.

Encouragement of this kind from the City is rare, which makes the current opportunity in Fort Lauderdale incredibly unique. If this hasn’t convinced you, the next three reasons definitely will.

🌇 Million Dollar Experiences

We’ve already established that Fort Lauderdale is in high demand from tourists – and it’s easy to see why.

Millions of dollars are being invested into magnificent projects making Fort Lauderdale even more desirable. Take 100 Las Olas for example, the tallest and one of the newest buildings in Fort Lauderdale. It’s luxury condos present an incredible investment opportunity right on the iconic Las Olas Boulevard, a prime hotspot which attracts visitors to Fort Lauderdale.

Guests at 100 Las Olas can take a stroll along the canals from Downtown, admiring the breathtaking waterfront villas and spectacular yachts on their way to the A1A (or in other words: the beach). No wonder there’s a year-on-year increase of tourists visiting Fort Lauderdale!

🌟 Hassle-Free Hosting (Airsorted cheapest at 15%)

Airbnb management companies like Airsorted can take care of everything for you, allowing you to benefit from fantastic earnings, but without the hassle of managing bookings and maintaining a property yourself.

Although still a relatively new concept, host management services are launching with increasing frequency. However, none in Fort Lauderdale have yet been able to match Airsorted in terms of either the low 15% management commission, or the level of service offered.   

One of world’s first host management services when we launched in 2015, Airsorted now operates in 26 cities worldwide including Miami, and we’ve solidified our reputation as the global leader in Airbnb management.

Airsorted’s mission is to make hosting hassle-free, and we’ve built this into out service from day one. Hosts are paired with dedicated account managers, and a full range of services are provided to create a seamless experience for both our hosts and every guest staying in their properties.

From providing hotel-quality linen, 24/7 guest communication and thorough guest screening, through to organising 5-star cleaning services, personalised earnings optimisation and a purpose-built host dashboard, Airsorted’s service is hard to match.

Whether you’re a property investor, you’re looking to make some extra cash from a second home when you’re not there, or you’re frequently travelling away from home, Airsorted can help you earn more from your property.

🏝 The Beach

OK, this reason explains itself. Sun, Sea, Sand… It’s all there in Fort Lauderdale! With everything else the area already has to offer, having such beautiful beaches down the road really is the icing on the cake for tourists.

When should San Diegans expect the highest Airbnb demand in the city (and when you should host your property)

San Diego has seen a huge surge in popularity as a travel destination in recent years, making it the second most visited city in California. This is great news for the economy and also provides great opportunities for the city’s Airbnb hosts. Spread along the coastline, the diverse neighbourhoods of San Diego have something for everyone, whether it’s the trendier areas of Downtown, the wildlife at the Zoo or the laid-back vibes of Ocean Beach. Let’s not forget, it also boasts a consistently warm climate, making it an attractive destination for visitors all throughout the year.

As an Airbnb host in San Diego, occupancy over the course of the year shouldn’t be a concern, the real questions is: what can you do to ensure you’re getting your share of the $213 million that the Airbnb hosts in San Diego earned last year?

The Airsorted team might be able to help with the answer…

For San Diego, these periods are, as you would expect, during the summer months, starting in May through early September. In order to get the most value from your property, you need to have an established listing in time for May with at least a few reviews listed to build trust with your guests. It will lend you an advantage over others for the busiest months of the year, which will be particularly important by July, when things really take off (as per the image above).  

To help hosts plan ahead and make the most of the opportunity, we’ve outlined a few key dates that create huge surges in demand and price:

Memorial Day weekend (May 24-27)

The national holiday that signals the start of summer, it is bound to see many people descend on San Diego’s beautiful beaches and trendy bars. Expect to see nightly rates go up by as much as 74%.

4th of July weekend (July 4-7 )

One of the most widely celebrated holidays in all of the States, it unsurprisingly gets many Americans in the mood for a vacation in celebration of their independence. Expect to see nightly go up by as much as 102%.

Pride 2019 (July 12-14)

Visitors from all over the globe come together to celebrate the LGBT community and diversity generally. Expect to see nightly rates go up by as much as 128%.

Comic con (July 18-21)

Over 160,000 Comic enthusiasts line up at the San Diego Convention Center to celebrate their favorite comics in one of the largest festivals of sci-fi/fantasy movies and TV, comic books, artists and cosplayers. Expect to see nightly rates go up by a whopping 200% (on average).

Labor Day weekend (September 2)

Nearly all Americans take this day off to celebrate the hard work put in to achieve its independence 242 years ago, while also marking the nostalgic end of summer and the welcome celebration of the Fall. Expect to see nightly rates go up by as much as 94%.

To really make the most of the times when demand and income potential increase dramatically, it’s important that your listing is well established and benefits from it’s first few reviews. We therefore recommend getting onboard as early as possible to reap the full rewards and maximise your revenue.

If you have any questions about hosting, or would like to outsource the listing and management process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

Airsorted Launches in San Diego!

Where do you go if you want to explore a sea cave, check out some fresh art or take in some of America’s most stunning oceanfront views, all in the space of a day? You go to our latest launch city – yes, Airsorted has landed in San Diego!

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