When you don’t know what you don’t know, it’s easy to believe the myths. Every industry has them, the Short Term Rental industry is not excluded.
What do I mean by a “myth?” A myth is an assumption or generalization someone makes, or a misconception they have, due to lack of knowledge, one bad experience, or something they saw on social media or heard on the news.
Some of these myths about the Short Term Rental industry might scare entrepreneurs away from investing in STRs, and some of these myths might discourage customers from renting them.
That’s obviously bad for business AND it’s a shame that people might miss out on a great experience staying in a STR.
Right now, I am going to clear up some of those myths and replace them with actual facts.
Myth #1: STRs are harmful to the local economy.
This isn’t true at all. For one thing, most STR owners are locals themselves. When you pay them to stay in their unit, you’re helping the local economy. That’s just common sense.
And whether you’re targeting a business traveler or those traveling for leisure, your guests are spending money in local restaurants, bars, stores, and with other local attractions during their stay. That can be a big boost for a local economy—that wouldn’t otherwise happen.
This myth is an easy bust.
Myth #2: STRs aren’t good for neighborhoods.
False. You might hear an occasional story about neighbors getting upset about an STR in their neighborhood, but there’s really no good reason for it.
If your STR is in a neighborhood or subdivision, you’ll let guests know that there are guidelines and expectations for them during their stay, whether that’s keeping noise levels down or keeping the yard clean or whatever. In most cases, the neighbors won’t even notice your guests are there.
Myth #3: STRs don’t pay off.
Well, they definitely have for me. And for a lot of people I know, many of whom have taken my Short Term Rental Roadmap to Retirement.
There’s always a risk involved when you’re buying a property and renting it out, but the risk is actually relatively low, and the return on your investment gets higher and higher the more properties you own.
Even during a global pandemic, people still need temporary housing, and this is a great time to find properties at incredible prices.
The STR market is here to stay.
Myth #4: STRs are just for tourist/leisure destinations.
This is absolutely not true. STRs are way more than just beach houses for families. In fact, the highest percentage of STRs are apartments.
Before the pandemic, the majority of my customers were business travelers—people who were coming from other countries and different parts of the U.S. to do business in the city.
Urban markets have been developing rapidly the past few years and you can find STRs in all kinds of cities, not just ones that attract tourists.
Myth #5: STRs don’t offer the level of service hotels do.
I would argue that you get even better, more personal service when you stay at my STRs than you would in a hotel. My staff provides exceptional housekeeping, helpful recommendations, welcome gifts, privacy, and a host of other personal touches.
When done right, you’ll make your guests feel more at home than they’ve ever felt in a hotel.
Myth #6: STRs are commercial enterprises making wealthy owners richer.
Anybody can own and operate an STR. Some people just own one or two and use the money to help pay their own rent. Some do it as a side hustle. I do it full-time, and it’s my proven and chosen path to retirement.
No two STR owners are the same, but a vast majority of them are small business owners and entrepreneurs—not commercial enterprises.
Myth #7: STRs bring down property values.
No way. If anything, STRs bring property values in an area up. No one is going to rent from you if your property is rundown or neglected. Smart STR owners make sure their units are looking good and functioning well. Regular maintenance and upkeep is par for the course and good for property values.
Myth #8: STRs won’t survive this global pandemic.
Yes, they will. The Short Term Rental industry will survive and even thrive. I’ll say this for as long as I need to—probably forever. The need for short term housing isn’t going away.
Even if fewer business people are traveling and fewer people are taking vacations, there will be students who need housing, health care workers who need a place to live short term, and senior citizens who need a place to lay their heads.
The options are limitless, and it may look different than it ever has before, but that’s okay. We’ll adapt, we’ll pivot, and we’ll make it work.