What a couple of years I’ve had as the Property Manager of a successful and profitable Airbnb! I wanted to tell you about this experience as it’s given me so much insight that I think you’ll find beneficial.
Alongside Ebb, Flow & Grow, my husband and I also run a luxury holiday let which offers high-end amenities, catering for large groups and offered stunning views of the countryside – it’s a truly beautiful experience.
During our time managing the property, we have full responsibility for the business, including day-to-day property management, marketing, sales and bookings. Over the last few years, we’ve seen the impact of the pandemic first-hand, where cancellations and reschedules were common. The market fluctuated and wobbled massively. In year two, we saw a huge uplift in revenue, as overseas travel was a no-go and staycations were a hot new trend for a getaway in the UK.
Thankfully, I didn’t jump into this role without any experience. I’d worked for an international tour operator for five years prior to launching my own business. I knew a vast amount about hospitality, thanks to my degree and having grown up in a family-owned restaurant. My husband also had a lot of experience in retail and leisure, which was a huge advantage going into this project.
You might be thinking, but Laura, you’re a coach, why Airbnb management? Let me tell you, it’s been so useful running a real-life bricks and mortar business. What it has enabled me to do as a coach is understand more than just the online business world.
I have first-hand experience in dealing with consumer hesitation – impulsive bookings didn’t really happen so much during this time. We had a few, but nothing in comparison to the number of hesitant customers we had booking. They came with their questions, with concerns of another lockdown, cancellation policies, worries around catching COVID and cancelling the trip. There has been so much consumer hesitancy than has ever been seen before in the travel industry.
So, what have I taken away from my time managing this Airbnb? I will break this down into a few points.
Running this Airbnb was not all sunshine and roses. You need to anticipate complaints, expect damages… The worst thing for us was a broken hot tub cover and actual vomit in the hot tub itself! But, make sure you are covered for these situations.
This type of business can be profitable but unless you have a Property Manager, it’s definitely not a passive source of income. There are lots of logistics, and the bigger the property, the more management you need. There are areas you may or may not have thought about such as gardening, hot tub changeovers, cleaning, maintenance, emergency callouts, sales, marketing, admin and accounts. It is a huge operation but can be great as additional income if you are interested in this type of industry.
If you are managing an Airbnb or are considering doing so, take into account the previous tips listed.
If you are yet to kickstart your own Airbnb venture and would like some tips on starting your own business, head over to our blog where we share some insightful information to help you on your way
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