How would you feel about having complete strangers show up at your home, planning to spend the night, about 20 times each month? For more than 4 million homeowners, they would be overjoyed!
This can only be explained by these homeowners being a part of one of the world’s largest hospitality chains - Airbnb. To make things even more interesting, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said in a recent article that the company will soon need millions of new “hosts” in order to keep up with the demand from customers.
He noted that the world is undergoing a "travel revolution." As we recover from the pandemic, the demand for travel is exploding.
Among Chesky's top points:
- “Travel will be back bigger than ever. People have been isolated on a scale and for a duration never seen before and want to come together.
- “The flexibility created by remote work is driving this shift. Zoom, which allows anyone to work from anywhere, is the latest to disrupt travel, following revolutions by steam engines, mass-produced cars and commercial air travel.”
In support of his conclusions, the CEO pointed to two company data points.
- Extended weekends are on the rise. Airbnb says bookings for three- and four- day weekends with families are up 70 percent from Q2 2019 to Q2 2021.
- Long-term stays (28+ nights) were Airbnb's fastest-growing trip-length category in Q2 2021. Airbnb says its surveys show people plan to continue extended getaways.
Making a profit from having a residence in the Airbnb network requires a home that is energy efficient, requires little or low maintenance and has a fresh appearance despite constant traffic. These are all attributes of brick construction. Click here to talk to an Acme Brick expert.
Low Maintenance and Energy Efficiency in a Rental Space
The demand for rental space and the wear and tear that results from increased traffic are encouraging homeowners with a room for rent to search for quality-made construction products, such as those from Acme Brick.
Smart homeowners know how important low maintenance, energy efficiency and quality home improvements are to any residence. And because it is a high-traffic space, incorporating these construction materials and quality upgrades in an Airbnb rental unit is even more important. They help reduce both the replacement expenses and energy use that can affect the profitability of this type of sideline business.
For centuries, homes and additions constructed with brick have required less maintenance and better energy efficiency. This translates to less expense for upkeep and utilities. Both factors are important for a positive host experience.
Home improvements, which enhance the aesthetics and health safety of a rental suite, are also important to consider. For example, thinBRIK accent walls, antibacterial tile in bathrooms, porcelain pavers in pool areas, and luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout are also good investments because they enhance the appearance of the entire home and help withstand the wear and tear of constant traffic in the rental space.
Meet an Airbnb Host
When contemplating becoming a host, it is important to remember that Airbnb is not for everyone. This article reveals that there are some legal ramifications in putting one’s home in the Airbnb network. “With many cities pushing back against Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms, as well as potential violations of homeowner association policies or even a homeowner’s insurance agency, there are many ways hosting could equal liability. Some cities even require specific licenses and registration to operate an Airbnb.”
The best source for understanding the benefits and challenges of this sideline rental business comes from a family that has chosen to be a host. We asked Devin & Negar Kidman, who have an Airbnb property in Austin, Texas, why they decided to join this network and how “business” is going.
“We became hosts in order to earn extra income,” Negar Kidman said. “When we rebuilt our home, from the ground up, we added the Airbnb suite to the structure. It is a ‘hotel style’ rental unit of about 500 square feet and our home is located just south of downtown Austin.”
If someone wanted to convert a part of their home to an Airbnb space, what process would they need to go through?
“It will vary from city to city,” she said. “For Austin, they would need to obtain a short-term lease license from the city. They would then need to apply and be approved by Airbnb. In our case, we qualified as a “super host.” This was based on our meeting or exceeding the company’s lodging and marketing requirements. Having professional photography of the property was a part of meeting these marketing elements.
“Airbnb helped us determine the price for the rental based on the quality of the space and the location of the home.”
There is also the question of insurance. Sources note that typically hosts need to take out additional coverage from their existing homeowner’s insurer and that can be expensive.
How has the revenue been with your rental?
“The revenue depends on the time of year,” Kidman said. “Because we are in Texas, the summer months tend to be slow because it is so hot in Austin. Even with this challenge, we typically have guests 15 to 28 days per month. In terms of rates, our rates rise if there are special events such as University of Texas sports events or the “ACL Music Festival” occurring, and we increase our rate on weekends.”
“Overall, our experience with Airbnb has been positive. However, this might not be ideal for everyone. We don’t mind having strangers close to our home, while others don’t want that sort of traffic in their living space. We love meeting new people and everyone has been respectful. Plus, since we have strict guidelines and rules for renting, our guests know what to expect.”
For homeowners who are interested in becoming an Airbnb host but do not have a spare bedroom available, here are two other budget-friendly options to consider from “House Beautiful”:
Converting an existing structure such as a garage or shed.
- The costs for this range from $6,000 to $21,000, with the national average for this type of project falling around $13,075.
Buy one, ready made
- A modular structure that comes as a kit of parts is the cheapest option—some products are marketed as low as $5,350.
If you’re considering building a new home with a rental component, guest house or refurbishing an area as an Airbnb property, check with the brick construction and home improvement experts at Acme Brick. Click here for more information.