Peak only homes or homes available a few times during the year are different from Airbnb homes we manage throughout the year. The one is set up for guests with a track record and the other is where the owner lives during the year with no track record. Let’s consider a few more:
- Living in the home during the year gives us no real opportunity to establish issues the home may have. And the last thing you want is for guests to strain the home and then complain. Various issues may arise; one example is where pets live on the property. Even if they are taken to a kennel they tend to leave a mark; these can be resident and dormant fleas. Now, this is an extreme example but it has been an issue. Many other issues specific to these high peak homes have caused a lot of stress in the past.
- Because the house is not regularly booked out we don’t know how the owner would react to guest complaints, how quickly the owner will address issues and how open the owner is to people using her home.
- The owner will not be in the immediate area to manage the property. And we will manage. In many cases, the owner’s domestic will assist with cleaning, etc. This helps. As long as we set the responsibilities clearly. These domestics need training.
- A lovely 3 bedroom with a pool will be an ideal home if it’s rented out throughout the year. But the management costs and risks involved with renting out the same (unproven) lovey 3 bedrooms for 7 or 10 days during the year is not worth it.
- We must consider uniqueness; the more unique the higher the rates and the higher the demand. In general, most Airbnb homes in Cape Town are three bedrooms. Therefore lots of supply. The higher the supply the lower the rates. Making it difficult to rent out at a fair rate.
- Obviously you get 3 bedroom properties that defy everything I said above. Like Mbali (see it here). This is what I call very unique . These kinds of 3 bedrooms are in high demand and get’s high rates.
- Days available: The longer your home is available the better. Ten days over peak is okay. The problem is the lack of flexibility. How do you fit a square into a hole? The longer you have available the easier it is to do a nice long booking of ten to 14 nights. But if you only have 10 nights you may battle to get a 7-night booking. Very little money for the risk.
- If your availability excludes New Year you are not making it easy to get a booking.
- How do you increase the demand for your home? Obviously you cannot change the location, but the number of people you sleep may change. If you can go from a six sleeper to an 8 sleeper you have moved into more uniqueness. If you have a three-bedroom with a room with one single or three-quarter bed you are throwing money away. If you have a pink kids room with small girl stuff you are reducing your ability to rent it. Make the home neutral, let two people sleep per room. An office is great for a working family but a sleeper couch for two kids in the study can increase the demand for your home.
Summary: If you live in your home – rent it once or twice a year, and it’s a relatively small home with a pool or less it must be extremely unique, remarkable, wow, or whatever you call it and have reasonably long availability (14 days or more) before we consider it.