If you’re thinking of investing in short term rentals in the US market, you must be wondering about the best source of Airbnb data. In this case the dilemma AirDNA vs. Mashvisor will inevitably come to your attention. While both platforms offer unique pros and cons, savvy investors have to pick one to make profitable Airbnb investment decisions.
In this article we will take a look at the similarities and differences between AirDNA and Mashvisor in order to help you select the best Airbnb analytics platform for your investor needs.
Investment Property Search
As a beginner real estate investor, you often don’t know where to start your search for the best rental property. While many first-time investors prefer to get started in their local market, they might be missing on major opportunities as out of state properties frequently offer more affordable prices and higher return on investment.
Thus, the best real estate software platform needs to provide investors with the ability to conduct investment property search nationwide, in an efficient manner.
Searching for Airbnb Properties with Mashvisor: Available
The Mashvisor team has developed two tools which serve this purpose.
First, beginner as well as experienced investors can use the Property Finder to search for the most profitable Airbnb investment properties for sale in up to 5 markets simultaneously. You can narrow down your rental property search using different filters such as:
- Property price
- Property type
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
Once you’ve set up your criteria, the Mashvisor machine-learning algorithms will provide you with a list of available rental properties for sale which match your exact expectations. What’s really important is that these properties are ordered in a decreasing order of the Airbnb cash on cash return which they offer, which means that you will see on top the short term rentals that will bring you the highest rate of return.
As a next step, you can access detailed analysis of the investment potential of each of these properties.
Second, aspiring Airbnb hosts can utilize the search engine available on Mashvisor to search for MLS listings, foreclosures, and off market properties in any US city. With this real estate investment tool, you have access to a wide range of filters, so you can make your property search really precise. You can set up:
- Property type
- Financing method: Cash vs. mortgage
- Minimum number of bathrooms
- Minimum number of bedrooms
- Airbnb rental income
- Airbnb cash on cash return
- Airbnb cap rate
Similar to the Property Finder, clicking on any of the properties that get shortlisted based on your search criteria will take you to a page with comprehensive investment property analysis.
Searching for Short Term Rentals with AirDNA: Not Possible
Meanwhile, AirDNA does not provide you with tools to search for lucrative short term rental properties. Instead, the AirDNA rentalizer allows you to analyze the investment potential of any property in the US housing market whose address you enter. While this is a crucially important feature of the top Airbnb analytics platform (to be discussed in the next section of our article), it does not suffice to meet the needs of beginner investors. First-time investors are not usually familiar with available properties for sale, so they need all the help they can get in searching for profitable opportunities.
Rental Property Analysis
Whereas AirDNA does not support rental property search, unlike Mashvisor, investment property analysis is available on both Airbnb analytics platforms under investigation. However, there are some major differences between the two services that we should further analyze.
Generally speaking, both the AirDNA rentalizer and the Mashvisor investment property calculator offer a very similar analysis of the investment potential of short term rental properties in the US real estate market. With both platforms you get access to the expected:
- Airbnb income
- Airbnb daily rate
- Airbnb occupancy rate
- Airbnb cap rate
- Breakdown of startup costs including closing costs, repairs and improvements, and furniture
- Breakdown of recurring rental expenses including property tax, insurance, utilities, property management fees, property maintenance, cleaning fees, and HOA fees
One major difference between the AirDNA financial calculator and the Mashvisor Airbnb calculator is the availability of a mortgage calculator. While the former does not feature a mortgage calculator, the latter does.
This means that the Mashvisor rental property calculator is able to produce a much more detailed investment property analysis as it accounts for the financing method. As savvy investors know, whether you pay for your income property in cash or with a mortgage yields very different results in terms of return on investment.
That’s why the AirDNA rentalizer does not provide estimates of the cash on cash return for Airbnb properties, whereas the Mashvisor app does. This means that with the Mashvisor rental property calculator, you can know exactly what return to expect on the cash that you spend on purchasing a property and renting it out.
Rental comps – or comparable rental properties in the same area as your property – are of crucial importance in investment property analysis. How similar Airbnbs perform is a main indicator of how your short term rental property will do.
Both AirDNA and Mashvisor offer a list of Airbnb rental comps for each analyzed property. Nevertheless, the list provided by Mashvisor is significantly longer and more comprehensive. You can easily download the list of comparable Airbnb listings and analyze the data on your own to augment the analysis available on the platform.
In real estate investing, an analytics platform is as good as the data that it manages to collect and analyze.
AirDNA and Mashvisor obtain the majority of their short term rental data directly from the Airbnb.com platform. This means that the analysis is based on the performance of actual Airbnb properties rather than guesswork and approximations.
Data Accuracy: AirDNA vs. Mashvisor
What is important to differentiate, however, is the method which each of these platforms uses to obtain the average values. AirDNA looks at the means, while Mashvisor uses the medians. This makes Mashvisor’s approach much more accurate, robust, and reliable since the median – unlike the mean – eliminates outliers, which might skew and misinform the analysis.
Another reason why Mashvisor’s Airbnb data is more accurate is that only verified Airbnb listings with 3 or more Airbnb reviews are used. This ensures that the data comes from actual Airbnb hosts who have been renting out for a long time and not from homeowners who gave Airbnb a try but gave up.
Last but not least, the property data available on the Mashvisor platform exhibits a higher degree of accuracy and reliability than the property data on the AirDNA website. The reason for this is that Mashvisor pulls the property data (such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms) directly from the MLS, while AirDNA takes it from public records which feature a certain degree of error. Basing your investment property analysis on very similar properties is the best way to assure accuracy.
While both AirDNA and Mashvisor allow investors to analyze income properties to be rented out on a short term basis (through Airbnb), the latter also supports the analysis in case of renting out a property on a long term basis (as traditional rentals).
The ability to analyze both rental strategies is the most important advantage of Mashvisor over AirDNA. If you’ve decided to invest in an Airbnb rental property, you might be thinking that you don’t need data on long term rental properties. But here are the reasons why it’s always a good idea to know what your property can generate as a traditional rental as well.
First of all, while Airbnb rental properties generate a higher return on investment on average, they also face stricter regulations and restrictions. Many areas in the US market have limited or even prohibited short term rentals. Others are joining this trend all the time. This means that you may buy a property where Airbnb is legal today, but this might not be the case tomorrow. In this case you may find yourself forced to switch your rental strategy to stay on the legal side.
Second, you may now be thinking that being an Airbnb host is the right investment path for you. The truth of the matter is that this strategy involves a lot of hard work. While hiring an Airbnb management company solves this issue, it comes at a cost. As a result, a few months or years down the road you might decide that becoming a landlord is the better choice for you.
As a smart real estate investor, you should be prepared to tackle both cases described above. That’s why it is ideal to search for a property which offers above-average rate of return for both rental strategies.
Last but not least, when we look for the best source of Airbnb data in the US market, we should consider the price.
To begin with, AirDNA offers some limited data for free. However, investors soon realize that the free data does not suffice to make educated real estate investment decisions based on solid analysis.
Meanwhile, Mashvisor is significantly more affordable for searching for and analyzing properties nationwide. With AirDNA you have to pay to unlock each city market individually. So if you are not 100% sure where to invest in real estate or if you want to compare a few markets, the price becomes quite steep.
Now you know the main advantages and disadvantages of AirDNA vs. Mashvisor, so you can make an informed decision on the best Airbnb analytics platform for your investor needs. If you decide that Mashvisor has everything that you need to start making money from Airbnb, sign up for a free trial now.