5 Best Gadgets For Airbnb Host

Hi, my name is Dave. I am a 33-year-old blogger/entrepreneur and that is building wealth with real estate. I own several rental properties that generate income, you can read about them here, and here. In the last several years I have started hosting my properties on Airbnb, you can read about my experience as an Airbnb host here and how I made over $11,000 in under 5 months as an Airbnb host here. That being said, it’s safe to assume that I have paid my dues as a new host and I can speak from experience when I tell you I know how to make your Airbnb rental better than the rest. I’m going to share with you guys the 5 best gadgets for Airbnb host. If you want to start hosting on Airbnb click here.

5 Essentials For Airbnb Host

Best Thermostat For Your Rental

The Nest Thermostat

best thermostat for airbnb

A good thermostat is one of those “MUST HAVE” items for every Airbnb host. The Nest is that thermostat (Click here to check price on Amazon) Smart thermostats connect to your homes heating and cooling system and can usually connect to wifi to allow remote control from your smartphone. This was essential for me because we live in Florida where it can get pretty hot inside of a house. This meant that in order to have my home at a decent temperature(guest love this) when the guest arrive I would have to leave my unit running full time even if no one was coming for a few days. The Nest smart thermostat was definitely the answer for this. Installation was simple and no different than a regular thermostat but can be controlled by your phone. It has a bright easy to use interface and the guest are usually intrigued with it. Another bonus to the nest is that you can monitor your guest use of your HVAC and even limit the maximum and minimum temperatures.

Best Electronic Lock For Airbnb

Schlage Connect BE469NX

best electronic lock for airbnb

Bottom line and electronic deadbolt lock is a must for Airbnb host. This item WILL pay for itself.  The Schlage Connect BE469NX (Click here to check price on Amazon) is the best electronic lock for your Airbnb rental. This completely eliminates the need to have to meet up for a key. These electronic locks work by allowing you to assign a four-digit code to gain entry. The passcode is required every time the door is closed to get back in. This means that you can lock your door and give new guest the entry code as they arrive. This is less stress on you and less stress on your guest so they don’t have a key to keep up with. Replacing keys can be expensive and as a host I can tell you people lose things all the time.

Best Streaming Devices For Airbnb Host

FireTv Stick or Roku

best gadgets for airbnb host

Maybe I overdo it but in addition to cable, one of my Airbnb essentials is to make sure I have a streaming device in all of my rentals because who wouldn’t want to curl up and see what’s good on Netflix while they were away from home. Roku (Click here to check price on Amazon) and Fire TV stick (Click here to check price on Amazon) are great options but I just usually keep an old school PlayStation 3 with Netflix loaded on it for the guest. That way if they decide to go rent some games from the Redbox they can use it as a console as well.

Airbnb Guest LOVE Alexa

Amazon Echo

airbnb essentials

I’m not gonna lie I LOVE gadgets, but sometimes I can’t justify them for my own home, but as an investment in one of my Airbnb properties, I tend to be more forgiving. The Amazon Echo ( Click here to chek price on Amazon) is one of those things that I probably wouldn’t buy for myself, after all, I have an iPhone with Siri. But there is something about Alexa that my guest LOVE! It’s also great as a wireless Bluetooth speaker or just music streaming in general. We keep ours in the kitchen because it’s always nice to have tunes in the kitchen while you whip up a meal.

The Best Smart Outlet

Samsung SmartThings Outlet

best smart outlet

Smart outlets are a lot like regular outlets with one exceptional difference. The Samsung SmartThings Outlet (Click here to check price on Amazon) is the best smart outlet. Smart outlets connect to wifi to give remote control to its owner. Using a smart outlet with a lamp is a great way to control lights. This is good for making your property look occupied when no one is staying there, and to make sure guest that arrive in the evening don’t have to walk up to a dark ominous rental. Many of my guest with late arriving flight appreciate not having to walk up to a dark house. Most smart outlets can set on a schedule or activated on command via a separate smartphone app.

Conclusion:

Trust me from experience these items will make your time as an Airbnb host easier, less expensive, and efficient. If you found these 5 best gadgets for Airbnb host useful please take a moment to share this post with your friends on facebook. To learn more about how I started building passive income click here.

 

airbnb investment

How I made $11,604 As An Airbnb Host In 5 Months

This is part 2 of my Airbnb investment experience, start by reading part 1 of my Airbnb experience series.

 

5 months ago I launched the Airbnb investment experience. It was completely last minute random decision, I made during the ending phase of renovations for house number 3. I stumbled upon the Airbnb investment model last year traveling back home to Detroit to visit family. I decided to join the sharing economy, and turn my rental property into an Airbnb vacation rental as an experiment to see if I could make more money then I would as a tradition rental. I wanted to know…

  • Do Airbnb host make money?
  • What kind of occupancy rates would I get?
  • Can you make more money as an Airbnb host, than a traditional landlord?
  • How much do Airbnb host make?
  • How hard is it to be an Airbnb host?

 

My Airbnb occupancy rate as an Airbnb host

The biggest deterrent about becoming an Airbnb host was a bad occupancy rate. The thought of letting a rental sit on the market not earning a dime concerned me, but thinking about investing in decor and furnishing on top of that, down right scared the crap out of me. Luckily, these fears weren’t necessary.

I want to be completely transparent with this occupancy rate, so its important to note, I also listed my property with Airbnb competitors such as Vrbo and Flipkey. This is something I recommend doing, to ensure the best occupancy rates.

Over the course of the 5 months following my initial launch, I found that on average my home was booked approximately 22 night per month. I’ve had a slow month here and there my slowest month was in August I only booked 15 night(Ouch!) but there have been months I have booked 29+ nights, so it tends to vary per month.

I would say approximately a 75% occupancy rate, I find the majority of my bookings are reserved in the current month, which initially freaked me out a litte, popular months do fill up further in advance, my home is in Clearwater, FL so, our winter season, attracts alot of snow birds, and people who just want to escape the harsh northern winters. As you can see in my airbnb calendar below, I was able to book 28 nights for December. I find people book longer stays in the winter months. As you can see I also had a significant amount of days coming from vrbo as well.

airbnb host occupancy

airbnb host occupancy




How much did I make as an Airbnb host?

I have a few answers here as an Airbnb host exclusively I grossed $7404, this was Airbnb bookings only.

airbnb pay out

From Vrbo and Flipkey I earned a combined $4200 gross. So all together in 5 months I grossed $11,604…Woohoo! Let’s break this down.

Lets talk about the expenses, obviously to have a vacation rental, you will have to have the utilities cut on and pay bills. Being the frugal guy I am I want to mention that while renovating this house I had all the lighting converted to LED, for one I like the look of LED Lights, and it saves a lot of money on electric bills. I do this to all my rental properties now, because this is a benefit to my tenants, but its even more beneficial for my vacation rentals to keep the electric bills low.

airbnb nest thermostat

Also I think its important to note that I live in Florida, so the AC is almost always on. My Electric bill has never been more than $130. Having a Nest thermostat is very helpful with this, so I can make sure the air is off when guest check out, and turned so the house is boiling when guest arrive.

 

The water Bill never really changes. This is a 1 bathroom home, so the water bill averages $80 a month

Cable, while its not a necessity for your Airbnb rental, I know this is a must when I travel, and everybody needs wifi, so bright house cable charges me $130 a month, this covers cable, wifi internet, and home phone service!

These numbers fluctuate a little bit depending on the amount of bookings, but only by a minor amount. That being said, my bills average around $350ish a month, so in 5 months generated approximately $1,750 in bills.




As an Airbnb host you must also consider house keeping cost. My wife and I currently do the house keeping, our Airbnb  cleaning fee is $60, which is what we pay ourselves for cleaning. Yes we pay ourselves, I do this for a few reasons, one because this is separate work, and is time-consuming(turnovers take 2-3 hours) and eventually I plan to outsource the cleaning aspect to make Airbnb hosting closer to passive income, and I want to already be in the habit of separating my cleaning fee, instead of pocketing it and calling it income. In 5 months we hosted 37 guest, which amounted to $2,220 in cleaning fees.

Now that we have the numbers lets do the math $11,604 – $1,750 in bills – $2,220 = $7634 net profit. Score!

Breaking this down even further if we divide this by the 5 months, we made an average of $1526.80 per month off this rental property. This home would normally rent for $800 per month in this area. This is almost double 🙂

How hard is it to be an Airbnb host?

I guess the answer to this question is debatable. The best answer I can give is it depends on the guest. The majority of people who book my home are absolutely the most considerate group of people I have ever met. But there’s a small percentage of guest that are less favorable than others. I’ve had guest need me to come over to show them how to work the television, or help them “get the cable working”. I’ve had guest request appliances.

airbnb after math

The aftermath of guest that came in town for a wedding

I’ve had guest leave huge messes, although that is a rare occasion. I mention these things because I think its important to keep them in mind.  Having a good deposit amount will provide a decent safety net should you guest, get drunk and accidently punch a hole in your wall.

To be honest, most guest don’t want to ruin your house they just want to have a little fun, to the right is the extent of the mess, I normally have to deal with. I usually come into empty champagne bottles, and beer bottles, its not really a big deal to clean.

Occasionally, a guest stain the carpet, but I find resolve gets out most stains pretty fast!

Here are few tips to help make Airbnb hosting a little easier.

 

 

Other things to consider as an Airbnb host.

A few other observations I have made in my time as an Airbnb host are my initial investment in furnishing the property. I spent $2,000 total on decor and furnishing. I remember cringing spending this money when I first started out. The extra $700+ I averaged per month covered this cost in under 3 months.

Most of the Airbnb  guest fit into 1 of 3 categories.

  1. Family Vacationer – These people are coming in large groups, usually with children. They are in town to do family oriented activities. They usually leave your house in good condition but the leave some minor messes
  2. Business Travelers – These are mt favorite travelers, they come to town for business related matters. They spend the majority of the day, away from the home and return tired and just want to relax. Because they spend so much time away, the house is very usually very clean when they checkout.
  3. BFF Vacationers – These are the best friends who plan trips together, sometimes they come into town for an event or just to explore the city. Either way they generally leave the biggest mess. I often come to find large amounts empty liquor bottles, and unwashed dishes.

I spent $2,000 total on decor and furnishing. I remember cringing spending this money when I first started out. The extra $700+ I averaged per month covered this cost in under 3 months.

Whats Next?

I plan to eventually expand my Airbnb business. I’m hoping to buy more properties with the purpose of renting them out on Airbnb. I also am highly considering remodeling house #1 into an Airbnb rental, but I want to see how this first house works out before I go to crazy with the expansion.

-Will the market get over saturated?

So far the Airbnb investment experience has been equally pleasant and profitable.

All in all so far I LOVE being an Airbnb host. Because I generally earn close to double the amount of income, I will be able to pay house #3 off earlier than I originally anticipated. I am considering purchasing additional properties to list with Airbnb, even though its by no means passive income, it’s proving to be extremely profitable side hustle. Are you considering becoming an Airbnb host? Click here to earn an EXTRA $50 for hosting your first guest. Do you already a seasoned Airbnb host? How do you feel about Airbnb? Let me know in the comments below?

 

Airbnb Investment Experience

The Airbnb Investment Experience

airbnb investment

So May of 2015, I closed on House #4. House #4 was an old bungalow  built in the 40s, that had not been updated since the 40’s.

The original plan was to turn this into another rental to add to my portfolio.

Mid way through my renovations, my pregnant sister, called to let us know that my niece had been born. I had to get back home to Detroit to see her and the baby right away.

My family and I are originally from Detroit, so we visited frequently. We generally preferred the comfort of hotels, but with 2 children, we always sprung for the suites, to have a private area away from the children. The suites at

 

The suites at Motor City Casino are EPIC, but pricey starting around $475 per night. We began to look for vacation rentals and I stumbled across Airbnb. If you are not familiar with Airbnb, it’s an innovative start-up which allows host to rent out spare bedrooms, and entire homes to guest traveling for short periods of time. I stayed in vacationed in rentals from VRBO many times, but Airbnb investment homes seemed to have a cozier at home feel. After searching I found a cute apartment in Dearborn, Michigan(a small suburb east of Detroit) for the low price of $87 per night. The cost for 4 nights was the same as 1 night in a suite.

After our flight, I was anxious to see what our accommodations for the weekend would look like. We jumped in our uber to and headed to our destination. When we arrived, I was impressed. It was 2 bedrooms, I had my own kitchen, and plenty of space for the kids to have there own beds, and I was close to everything. The whole experience was excellent. Having access to a stove, and refrigerator was extremely convenient. The idea of an Airbnb investment intrigued me.

Airbnb Investment Property

When I arrived back to Florida, I was intrigued. I looked on the Airbnb website to see if anyone else was hosting in my city, to my surprise they had quite a few host. I started clicking listing and looking at everyone’s calendars to see how many bookings they were getting. Almost every property had at least 20-25 days booked. I looked where House #4 was on the map and saw a listing around the corner, that was booked solid for $99 a night + $60 cleaning fee, with a lot of reviews. I knew I could rent House #4 for around $850 per month, this was the original plan, however I pulled my calculator out and did the math…if I could book 20 days per month @ $99 per night, I could easily gross approximately $2000 a month. After bills(electric, water, and cable) I could take home $1700 per month from a house that I only anticipated $850 from, literally double my money, not bad for a side hustle. I had to try it. Ill admit I was nervous as hell to spend all this extra money, furnishing, paying bills, and getting all the small items a person would need to feel comfortable. Now one thing I know is how to find bargains.

airbnb investment

I had about 2 weeks left on renovations so i frantically stalked craigslist furniture section for good deals on nice upscale furnishing.

I’m actually proud of my interior decorating skills. I found myself doing stuff guys where I’m from don’t do, such as picking out wall decor, and making sure the furnishing matched the carpet. I spent about $1500 total, on furniture, a few cheap LED TVs from and bed sets from Walmart. I decided order

I found myself doing stuff guys where I’m from don’t do, such as picking out wall decor, and making sure the furnishing matched the carpet. I spent about $1500 total, on furniture, a few cheap LED TVs from and bed sets from Walmart. I decided order

Now one thing I know is how to find bargains. I had about 2 weeks left on renovations so i frantically stalked craigslist furniture section for good deals on nice upscale furnishing.

I’m actually proud of my interior decorating skills. I found myself doing stuff guys where I’m from

don’t do, such as picking out wall decor and making sure the furnishing matched the carpet.

I spent about $1500 total, on furniture, a few cheap LED TVs from and bed sets from Walmart.

Now one thing I know is how to find bargains. I had about 2 weeks left on renovations, so I’m frantically stalked craigslist furniture section for good deals on nice upscale furnishing. I’m actually proud of my interior decorating skills. I found myself doing stuff guys where I’m from don’t do, such as picking out wall decor, and making sure the furnishing matched the carpet. I spent about $1500 total, on furniture, a few cheap LED TVs from and bed sets from Walmart. I decided order

I decided order wall mounts to keep the TVs aways from toddler finger prints. I bought wall art, rugs, dishes, pots, pans, silverware, everything Id need or so I thought. Took a few pictures of my house on the inside and out and listed on Airbnb. Then I sat by my phone and waited for the Airbnb in app to start doing its things….show me the money!

Airbnb Investment Property

my Airbnb rental

After a week of no action I was getting nervous about my investments on the various furnishings and knick knacks, I’d purchased to dress the home up.

I met my contractor at the house to do a final check, paid him and now the house was fully renovated, furnished, and making no money. I remember this day because I was bummed out, I had my home on Airbnb for a week and nothing. I locked up the house and headed home soon as I turned off the street I heard an alert from my iPhone I had never heard before.

I pulled my phone out the pocket to discover a message from Airbnb, someone wanted to rent my house for 5 days :). I had my mojo back, I would be hosting my first guest in about a week and a half. I went home and slept a little better that night knowing at least I was going to see some money this month. When I woke up I noticed I had a new message from

I went home and slept a little better that night knowing at least I was going to see some money this month. When I woke up I noticed I had a new message from Airbnb, someone was in town and wanted to stay at my house that day. They wanted to stay for 6 days, I accepted the request. I still had loose ends to tie up, the TVs I had bought were still in the box, I cleaned up everything the best as possible, I installed a  Schlage electronic keypad on the door, so I wouldn’t have to worry about physically meeting guest for the key exchange. After finishing up I left and let the guest know the home was ready.

After the guest arrived I made him aware that this was my first time as a host, he told me he loved the place :). I let him know if he needed anything to call me I wanted this to be a positive experience. After a few hours he called me let me know a list of things that he needed, this is when I realized just how much humans require(he asked for a mixing bowl, toaster, coffee maker, and tea kettle). Yikes now I’m spending more money, I thought, but I obliged, I was sure these items would be helpful in the future anyway. A few days later, my first guest left. I had to clean the house, I was charging $60 for a cleaning fee, so I didn’t mind but it’s a bit gross to clean up after other people but, I was getting paid for it so I just did it.

The first time it took me 5 hours to clean the home. Later that day The first guest left me my first review…5 Stars!!!! I was proud of myself, I had a new guest checking in the following day, and before I could pat my own back I had a new guest request for the 8 days starting the same day the next guest would check out.

After the guest arrived I made him aware that this was my first time as a host, he told me he loved the place :). I let him know if he needed anything to call me I wanted this to be a positive experience. After a few hours, he called me to let me know a list of things that he needed, this is when I realized just how much humans require(he asked for a mixing bowl, toaster, coffee maker, and tea kettle). Yikes now I’m spending more money, I thought, but I obliged, I was sure these items would be helpful in the future anyway. A few days later, my first guest left. I had to clean the house, I was charging $60 for a cleaning fee, so I didn’t mind but its a bit gross to clean up after other people but, I was getting paid for it so I just did it. The first time it took me 5 hours to clean the home.

Later that day The first guest left me my first review…5 Stars!!!! I was proud of myself, I had a new guest checking in the following day, and before I could pat my own back I had a new guest request for the 8 days starting the same day the next guest would check out.

After the guest arrived I made him aware that this was my first time as a host, he told me he loved the place :). I let him know if he needed anything to call me I wanted this to be a positive experience. After a few hours he called me let me know a list of things that he needed, this is when I realized just how much humans require(he asked for a mixing bowl, toaster, coffee maker, and tea kettle). Yikes now I’m spending more money, I thought, but I obliged, I was sure these items would be helpful in the future anyway. A few days later, my first guest left. I had to clean the house, I was charging $60 for a cleaning fee, so I didn’t mind but its a bit gross to clean up after other people but, I was getting paid for it so I just did it. The first time it took me 5 hours to clean the home. Later that day The first guest left me my first review…5 Stars!!!! I was proud of my self, I had a new guest checking in the following day, and before I could pat my own back I had a new guest request for the 8 days starting the same day the next guest would check out.

I ended up renting my Airbnb investment property out 5 times that month for a total of 22 days at $99 a night with 5 cleaning fees at $60 a piece. This broke down to a gross monthly payment of $2500. The bills for the first month were $98 for the electric, $62 for the water, $120 for cable/internet totaling $280, plus I had to pay myself for cleaning(I don’t work for free, not even for myself lol) another $300. I was looking at $2500 – $580 = $1920 net. That is $1070 more income than if I had turned this property into a traditional rental. The Airbnb investment was successful!  I decided at that moment I needed more of these. I am considering turning my townhouse investment property into an Airbnb once the current tenants lease is up This was better than my projections. Airbnb was a game changer! If you would like to earn money renting your space on Airbnb sign up here and earn $50 for hosting your first trip!   I am currently LOVING the Airbnb Investment business model,  although my main investment goal is to be able to live off of passive income, and Airbnb is not truly passive, if success continues I will be converting House #1 and the Townhouse investment property aka House #2 into Airbnb Investment rentals as well.   P.S. To use my Airbnb coupon code click here, if you use it you get $35 of your first stay, and they will give me $35 off my next trip as well, so it would be really cool if you used it!

 

Are you an Airbnb host? Would you turn your rental property into a vacation rental? Let me know in the comments below!

 

UPDATE:

5 months later find out how the Airbnb investment experience is doing and how I made over $11,000 in 5 months in Part 2 of the Airbnb Investment Saga