CFD 576 – Is It Too Late To Start The “Airbnb Process”? Q&A

If you’re thinking about starting the “Airbnb process” and aren’t sure if you’ve missed the boat, listen up. Real estate is changing but it’s not too late. Airbnb is just one of many marketplaces that we use. Short term rentals are here to stay and if you want to learn how to build your real estate portfolio, now is a great time to start putting the systems in place.

Questions and Answers

  • I’ve been able to get the landlord to agree to the short term rental business model in general but I’m not sure I can make a profit, what should I do? 

Step one always comes down to understanding who it is you want to serve. When you focus on who you want to serve, one of the criteria you’re looking at is their income. That will help you understand what area of town to be in and how much they will pay for certain experiences. All your streams of income will be based on how much income your ideal guest makes. 

Once you know all your potential areas of revenue, you will be able to subtract out all those things and complete the picture of profitability.

It can be difficult to use aggregated data to determine what your prices should be. The spread is so wide that it’s not very useful for identifying a specific case like your listing. Once you complete the exercise of figuring out who you’re serving, it becomes much easier. Keep in mind that your revenue is much more than just your room rate.

  • How do I automate my messaging system?

Lodgify has a rudimentary system for messaging. What we do to shortcut that is provide our guests with a link to an electronic house guide where all the relevant data is included. Everything except the dynamically generated door code because we still want to be able to maintain control of the access to the unit.

  • A question about a listing review

The caller’s photographer did a good job on the photos for the listing. Since the caller has followed the system closely most of the details are on point. One area that could be improved on is the copy detailing the neighborhood. Your listing is your first line of customer service, if you answer the question before the person asks you have one less question to answer later on. This can really help save time once you have a number of different units.

  • Which program should I consider to learn how to manage resort properties?

In terms of execution, resort units are very different from residential. In some ways resort units are easier because the kinds of customers you are serving are more obvious. For this particular caller and his thirteen units, the Mastermind Product is his best choice. Go to cashflowdiary.com/star to learn more.

When it comes to negotiating with the owner of the property, the structure the caller is using is the same one that we use. If the owner wants a cut of the business, they have to be able to contribute more than just the space. Otherwise, renting the property from them is the right way to go.

  • How do you dynamically generate a door code?

It depends on the platform you’re using. Sometimes the software you’re using can integrate directly via an API to create the door code, other times a personal assistant can do it.

  • What’s the difference between leasing an apartment under an LLC or my own name?

The difference between the two is in who is doing the business. What it comes down to is if something goes wrong, who does the landlord have a claim against? You or your LLC? If you’re trying to accumulate assets, it’s generally best to use an entity to shield those assets.

  • Is it too late to start the Airbnb process?

We are not in the Airbnb business, we are in the short term rental business. Airbnb and the rest are marketplaces. It’s not too late but you also have to understand that real estate is changing. Many of the established players in the industry have begun to mimic Airbnb because of these changes. 

Even how we transact real estate is changing due to the technology involved. It’s only becoming more liquid as technology makes the process of transacting faster and easier than ever. Just because you didn’t recognize the change before it started doesn’t mean it’s too late. If anything, now is the perfect time.

  • How are you doing HomeAway pricing?

Right now, HomeAway pricing is being done updated twice a day based on comparable pricing on a set of properties within the software.

  • Did the automated messaging templates come out yet?

Not yet, but existing Mastermind students will have access to the templates very soon.

  • A note on the upcoming holidays

Now is the time to earn some additional revenue and create really great experiences for people. Make sure your security measures are working and everything is up to date. What could happen is not something you want to have happen. Get everything lined up including your pricing, inventory, and team now so you can take advantage of this time of year. 

  • Are there effective ways to approach companies directly about bookings?

There are a number of ways to go about this. The front door method is to look up Concur customers in your area. They are already potential customers for your business. If you’re using the system we suggest, you can also create a promotion that incentivises your guest to refer you to the person that arranged their travel. If they are corporate travelers, they know exactly who you need to talk to and that’s a great way to get your foot in the door.

Links:

cashflowdiarypodcast.com

cashflowdiary.com/star

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