Maximizing Your Airbnb Earnings: How To Increase Income By 100% With A Pool Or Hot Tub | Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
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Maximizing Your Airbnb Earnings: How to Increase Income by 100% with a Pool or Hot Tub

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How Adding a Pool or Hot Tub Can Increase Your Airbnb Earnings

airbnb earnings by adding a pool

Introduction To How A Pool (or Hot Tub) Can Increase Your Airbnb Earnings

If you’re an Airbnb host, you know that every little edge can make a big difference in attracting bookings and boosting your Airbnb earnings. One feature that can really set your property apart is a pool or hot tub.

I’ll share Airbnb data, showing Cape Town accommodations with pools tend to have higher daily rates and, from our experience, they book more frequently and further in advance than those without. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the numbers and see just how much of a boost a pool can give your annual income. Obviously, you need to examine the expenses and space constraints that come with adding a pool. In the follow-up article we will consider the cheaper, smaller option of adding hot tubs to double your income.

Will Adding A Pool Really Increase My Airbnb Earnings?

If you ask me if Airbnb hosts should add a pool or a hot tub to increase income? Then I’ll blindly shout Yes! But by how much? I started by saying you can double your income. In some cases you will.

I believe for Airbnb guests, there’s nothing like booking a short-term rental with the added bonus of a pool or hot tub. Secondly, if you have an integrated outside social area with seating, a nice shaded area, and braai you’ll beat the competition. Guests want to imaging the fun they will have in the Cape Town sun. They will buy on emotion. Not logic. The one increases income. The others fight it out on “best price” deals. It’s all about differentiation.

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I made all kinds of promises. And some Cape Town accommodation owners may disagree. And some have by saying,

Why Have A Pool? There’s An Ocean! It Will Not Increase My Airbnb Profitability

Or say,

Look there, do you see that big blue ocean? Why do they need a pool if they have all that?

Well, sure, the ocean is a beautiful feature to have right outside your doorstep, but a pool offers a whole different type of relaxation and recreation for guests. Plus, having a pool on your property means that guests don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to take a dip and cool off. They can enjoy the convenience and privacy of a pool any time they want, without having to worry about sand, waves, or sunburn. And while maintaining a pool can be a bit of a hassle, that’s where we come in! As a professional property management agency, we take care of all the upkeep and cleaning so you don’t have to. That way, you can sit back look at the ocean and enjoy the increased bookings and Airbnb earnings that a pool can bring, without any of the stress.

Let me summarise a few objections with responses from an optimistic Airbnb expert and SuperHost…

6 Common Objections To Adding A Pool To Your Airbnb

Objection Response
Cost: Adding a pool can investment and you may be concerned about the upfront and ongoing costs. While it’s true that adding a pool can be a significant financial investment, the potential returns can be well worth it. You’ll read how accommodations with pools tend to demand higher daily rates and book more frequently than those without. You can offset the costs with increased demand and higher Airbnb earnings.
Space: The owner may not have sufficient space on their property to accommodate a pool. You don’t need a large backyard to accommodate a pool. There are many options for smaller, above-ground pools that can be installed in a relatively small space. And even a small pool can make a big impact on your bookings and income. Alternatively, you could consider adding a hot tub, which takes up less space and can still be a desirable amenity for guests.
Maintenance: Maintaining a pool can be time-consuming and requires regular cleaning, balancing of chemicals, and repairs. While it’s true that maintaining a pool can be time-consuming, there are ways to make the process easier. Hiring a professional property management agency to handle the upkeep can take a lot of the burden off your shoulders.
Liability: The owner may be concerned about the potential liability of having a pool on their property and the risk of accidents. It’s understandable to be concerned about liability when it comes to adding a pool to your property. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk. Make sure to follow all local laws and regulations regarding pool safety, and consider purchasing additional liability insurance to protect yourself. A professional Airbnb property management agency can also help you mitigate risk by ensuring that the pool is properly maintained and all safety measures are in place. Read about Aircover for hosts.
Lack of interest: The owner may not believe that a pool is a necessary or desirable feature for their guests. So even if a pool isn’t a feature that interests you, it could still be a great way to attract more bookings and increase your income.
Personal preference: The owner may simply not be interested in having a pool on their property, either for personal or aesthetic reasons. Adding a pool is ultimately a personal decision, and it’s important to consider what you’re comfortable with. However, it’s worth considering the potential benefits of a pool in terms of increased bookings, income and increased property value by 15%.

Our Experience With Pool Homes: They Demand A Premium

From our Cape Town Airbnb management experience (from 2009 – even before Airbnb) it’s clear that most homes with pools reserve well before homes without pools. And because they have higher occupancy guests are willing to pay more. They make a lot more money.

The question is how much higher?

How Much Can Airbnb Earnings Increase When Hosts Add A Pool?

In Cape Town, you’ll see that homes with pools can potentially and conservatively increase daily rates by 140% or more. Yes, I know, daily rates is not the best indicator when occupancy is poor. Unfortunately, we have no way of comparing two exactly the same properties next to each other. But I have some Airbnb info that may help.

Pool Airbnbs: Daily Rates In Greater Cape Town

Let’s have a look at all available homes in greater Cape Town, for February 2023, with pools sleeping 4 and more guests. These Airbnbs are from the cheapest to R100000 per night. The average rate per night is R9578. (Don’t judge what you get for your home based on these rates as they are inflated by Camps Bay and Clifton villas. The average for these suburbs are R30 000 per night).

Airbnb earnings price range per day


The Average Daily Rates For ALL Homes (Pool And No Pool)

airbnb earnings graph

The average daily rate for ALL available homes sleeping 8 or more is R7000 per night.

Let me stress, this last graph includes All Airbnbs (with a pool and without a pool). Unfortunately, I cannot calculate a no-pool-only average.

In other words…

If I could exclude pool-homes the average for non pool homes would be (a lot) less. Why? The pool homes inflate the ALL homes’ average. Got it?

To keep it simple: The daily rate gap between homes with pools and homes without pools is more than I show here today. But let’s be conservative and rather underestimate the potential Airbnb earnings when a pool is added.

Suburban Impact Of Pool Vs All Homes

  • In high value suburbs almost every home has a pool.
  • In other touristy suburbs like the Southern Peninsula and Blouberg area, with a mix of high value and lower value properties there is a distinct difference between pool-homes and All homes. (The nightly rates are R6800 and R4800 respectively, for pool homes vs ALL homes).

Case Studies In Pool vs No Pool Airbnbs

Unique Two Bedroom Airbnb In Simonstown With A Pool

airbnb earnings for clan-cottage-with-pool

Clan Cottage is a lovely two bedroom Airbnb in Simonstown. Have a look at it here and read the reviews.

It generates twice as much as other two bedroom no pool Airbnbs (examples here and here). And even more than some fancy 3 no pool bedrooms.

ONE Bedroom Penthouse With Pool Making More Than Some 3 Bedroom Properties

360 airbnb profit with a pool

360 Penthouse is a one bedroom in Vredehoek. Many people would not think Vredehoek is the ideal Airbnb area. Well, unique design and an entertainment area with a pool beat many 3 bedrooms in more touristy areas.

A 3 Bedroom Airbnb With A Pool Making More Money Than Fancy No Pool 4 or 5 Bedrooms

Mbali Lodge with pool. Very profitable Airbnb

Mbali is relativity far from the sea. In a lovely estate on Constantia Nek. And here the pool, the sun loungers, the interior and the view steals the heart of guests. They pay a premium to stay here. And many fancy 4 and 5 bedroom Airbnbs without a pool can only wish to achieve.

The Dressage Horse Farm Story: 3 Airbnbs And A Shared Pool In An Expensive Suburb.

Let’s look at 3 Airbnbs sharing a pool.

Our host has a horse farm with one French style converted Silo 4 Bedroom Airbnb, a romantic one bedroom and a lovely two bedroom apartment. The pool is a short distance away from the Airbnbs. They all share the pool as well as with the owner.

The small one and two bedroom Airbnbs do well. I believe small places expect to share a pool. The 4 bedroom home does reasonably well. But compared to other similar Airbnbs it’s slow to reserve and during high season it is amongst all our luxury 4 bedrooms the last to get a reservation. Being slow to get reservations, with last minute reservations over peak, is an indication that guests are getting a better deal elsewhere.

What is the cause?

One of our previous guests, at this home, said that,

I love home. But for peak season, with my whole family, I would prefer the pool to be private.

This I believe is a common objective. This house is beautiful. It should be a killer. It can be.

The owner has a double whammy. The shared pool is a cause. But during peak season this mostly pool-homes suburb is flooded with extra school holiday only homes. These are owners who go away for peak school holidays. And they offer better value (and a private pool).

I spoke to the owner and she wants to add a private pool at the 4 bedroom villa. Hopefully I can convince her to add hot tubs at the cottages (and double her Airbnb earnings) – even if space is an issue she can set the hot tubs further away from the cottages. If she decides not to add hot tubs, the cottages can share the pool.

What Are The Pool Vs No Pool Consequences On Your Potential Airbnb Profit?

  1. You will generate more money. It can be 140% or more.
  2. If you have a fancy home in an area where most accommodation comes with a pool yours will be slow to reserve – and your rates are under pressure. These are areas like Camps Bay, Clifton and Constantia.
  3. Slow to reserve means your rates are always under pressure.
  4. When you have last minute availability due to low demand guests tend to ask for a discount – know your place is running out of time.

Should I Heat My Pool?

  • When it’s the worst season in Cape Town? Winter? Correct? Why it’s cold and wet.
  • Who are your most likely guests? Locals? Yes. Why do they want to get out of the city? it’s cold and wet?
  • How many Airbnbs have heated pools? Some. But most are not? Does this differentiate you from your neighbours? You bet! Will be able to increase you rates? You should but first try to increase occupancy. Why? Increasing rates is no guarantee guests will stay.
  • Will you pay more with expensive and useless Eskom? Yes. Therefore, go solar. It may not be as effective but it’s better than nothing. Or go for a wood-fired hot tub.

Evaluate How Profitable Is Your Airbnb?

How Long Will It Take To Pay Back Your Pool?

This depends on size, type and how fancy you want to go with nozzles, deck and stuff like that. A fancy wood fired hot tub will be about R80 000. A 2.5 by 4 meter pool between R70 000 and R120 000 for fiberglass and in the order of R200 000 for a gunite pool. Let’s keep this simple:

  1. If your annual income is currently R1 million without a pool. With a pool you may get R1.4 million. And you pay the R200 000 pool back in six months.
  2. If your turnover is R500 000, at a 140% increase a pool would increase your total to R700 000. And you pay a R200 000 pool in one year.
  3. If you currently do R250 000 per year adding a pool will take you two years to pay back.

Obviously, this means that you will pay back the pool and pocket more money every year. You increased the value of your place. The guests stay there because they like your pool and not because they like your cheap rates.

Conclusion: Should Airbnb Hosts Add A Pool (or Hot Tub)?

In conclusion, adding a pool or hot tub to your Airbnb property can be a fantastic way to boost your bookings and income. While there are expenses and space considerations to keep in mind, the potential returns can be well worth it. Airbnb data shows that accommodations with pools tend to demand higher daily rates and book more frequently than those without, and this holds true across various locations and seasons. If you’re an Airbnb host looking to take your income to the next level, consider the benefits of adding a pool or hot tub to your property.

You will reap the benefits quickly. In most cases in less than two years. Even sooner. Conservatively they can increase turnover over 140%. It can even increase turnover by 200%.

The cheaper option is a (hot) tub for all weather. Wood fired hot tubs are small, cheap and Eskom proof.

Have Fun

Johan Horak

At CapeHolidays where we strive for being a 5 Star Airbnb SuperHost Agency unhassling Airbnb for Cape Town Owners. Get our monthly newsletter here .

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