Starting an Airbnb business is a great way to make money in real estate.
You can be an Airbnb host while keeping your full-time job. Or you can buy multiple Airbnb rental properties and travel the world. Or you may want to buy an Airbnb property in a more lucrative vacation rental market than where you live. This would mean getting into long distance real estate investing.
In these cases, you have to think about managing an Airbnb remotely once you list it. It would be the logical thing to do when you cannot meet your Airbnb guests, clean and maintain the rental property yourself.
This guide covers how to find out of state real estate investing opportunities that will generate a good return on investment and includes tips on managing an Airbnb remotely.
Long Distance Real Estate Investing
When starting an Airbnb business, you need to find a profitable Airbnb property. If your home town Airbnb market is bad, too saturated or there are strict Airbnb regulations in place, consider an out of state Airbnb investment.
Buying a rental property out of state makes sense but it is hard because you might not be familiar with the market in other locations. No need to worry. A good Airbnb investment analysis tool like Mashvisor will help you do Airbnb market research and find the best out of state Airbnb investment for your rental income goals.
Mashvisor is a platform that lets you explore real estate listings for sale from many sources. You can search by area of interest and see the listing prices as well as estimated returns from Airbnb rental property including the cash on cash return and Airbnb occupancy rate. Mashvisor’s Airbnb data comes straight from the site as well as the MLS and it is verified using data from real Airbnb hosts. So, it is very reliable.
A great feature is the valuation analysis that lets you compare a chosen investment property to other Airbnb listings nearby (Airbnb comps) by metrics like nightly rate, Airbnb occupancy rate, rental income, and ratings. This way, you can choose a lucrative Airbnb investment property for yourself.
Now, how can you run an Airbnb remotely?
Managing an Airbnb Remotely
Being a remote landlord means you need a system in place that completely replaces you being physically present to check in Airbnb guests, clean, etc. Automation is your friend- automate as much as possible.
Remote host communication
- Automate communication with ready email templates at reservation, confirmation, one day before check-in, etc. Streamlined communication makes remote hosting a whole lot easier because you would not miss anything important.
- Install an electronic (smart, keyless) door lock. It uses a numeric code to open the door of your Airbnb rental property and you can change it between guests. You get notifications when people check in and check out as well as when the cleaner comes in. Bonus points for the ones with a camera. They let you see who exactly comes and goes – this is helpful if you have a strict “no party” policy, for example. Some guests would invite friends to stay with them outside the Airbnb’s capacity. So this is a great security perk whether you are managing an Airbnb remotely or not.
- Have a backup key box in case the battery of the smart lock dies out. This precaution saves you the hassle of sending someone to open the door for locked-out guests.
- Be on Viber or a similar messaging or call service for when your Airbnb guests need to contact you. If you travel internationally, try to set convenient check-in and check-out times for the time zone you are in because this is when guests need urgent help the most. Unfortunately, managing an Airbnb remotely includes being available on the phone.
- Compile a Welcome File with all the info people would ask on arrival: good restaurants and supermarkets nearby, pharmacies, emergency phone numbers, building rules, public transportation maps and passes, locals’ favorite spots. Even better, you can make an electronic one complete with map links that is easy to share. Managing an Airbnb remotely does not mean you cannot be a good host and provide the needed information for a pleasant stay. This will earn you extra points in the Airbnb reviews.
- If you want to position yourself as a super friendly Airbnb host especially in the beginning, guest gifts help. Local candy, drinks or packaged drinks are good options as well as small souvenirs featuring a landmark. Have some ready for the cleaner to put out for each new check-in.
Cleaning and maintenance
- Make cleaning arrangements with several people in case one is not always available. A neighbor is a good choice with an added benefit – they can let you know if anything suspicious is happening around the Airbnb rental property. You can use a shared calendar of check-ins and check-outs so they know their work hours in advance.
- There will be urgent requests sometimes. To stimulate your designee to promptly respond even with short notice, offer them extra pay. About $25 per call should be alright.
- Get an automatic vacuum to leave the cleaner more time for other tasks like laying out a breakfast table and stocking on toiletries. Also, have a washing machine on the property to save time and costs – and minimize downtime between guests. All these small things will earn you review points.
- Sign up for supply delivery. It can be Amazon or a supermarket chain, but when managing an Airbnb remotely, you need to be able to restock cleaning products and toilet paper with a few taps on your phone. It would help if you have an easy way to order replacement towels and sheets too. Choose an online retailer and reorder instantly. Also, keep one cupboard in the Airbnb for storage (you can have a lock on it so only the cleaner has access).
- Have a list of handymen to call in case of an emergency. Managing an Airbnb remotely can be stressful when you cannot get there immediately when an issue pops up. So having maintenance people to respond to burst pipes, clogged toilets or a leaky roof is important. If you can, sign up two or three for each job in case the first choice cannot take it on short notice.
- Set up to make remote payments with Venmo or PayPal. This will save you time paying your service people, and money if you are traveling abroad enjoying the life of a remote landlord.
- Get your Airbnb rental property insured. All Airbnb hosts are automatically included in the Airbnb Host Protection Insurance program. It covers up to $1 million in property damage or third-party claims. But extra caution when owning an Airbnb out of state would not hurt.
As you can see, managing an Airbnb remotely is possible with the right prep work. But if you are not willing to do it all by yourself, there are plenty of remote Airbnb host services you can hire to manage an Airbnb for you. They typically charge a flat fee and/ or a percentage of the earnings. One thing is for sure, though – if you can find a good investment property, your Airbnb income will be good.
Ready to become a host? Then check out our guide on becoming an Airbnb host.