Do you know how accurate is AirDNA? Before you subscribe to this famous platform for Airbnb investors, make sure it’s worth the money.
The US short term rental market is one of the strongest forms of real estate investment. Even if there are possibilities of a slight housing market crash, experts believe that the short term rentals will thrive and remain profitable. To ensure that you’ll be successful in your venture into vacation rentals, you have to know what the best short term rental markets are.
Table of Contents
- AirDNA’s Features and Pricing
- How Accurate Is AirDNA and Where Does It Get Its Data?
- AirDNA vs Mashvisor: Searching for Airbnb Properties
- AirDNA vs Mashvisor: Rental Property Analysis
- AirDNA vs Mashvisor: Airbnb Property Management
- Is AirDNA Worth It? The Final Judgement
If you consider investing in short term rentals in the US market, you’re probably curious about the leading source of Airbnb statistics. There are several real estate investing platforms available in the market today, and two of the most famous among investors are AirDNA and Mashvisor. Finding which one is the better option is one of the challenges investors face.
The dilemma about which investing platform to choose between Mashvisor vs AirDNA is often the major concern of many new real estate investors. While both platforms have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, experienced investors must choose one to make profitable short term rental investing decisions.
In this review, we will answer the crucial question that many short term rental investors are asking: how accurate is AirDNA? We will also examine how AirDNA and Mashvisor perform and what their differences are. This will help you choose the best real estate analytics software that is most suitable for your unique investing needs.
AirDNA’s Features and Pricing
As a new real estate investor, you may be unsure where to start your hunt for the ideal rental property. Although many first-time investors like to start in their local market, they may be losing out on significant opportunities if they focus on one market only. This is because many out-of-state properties usually offer lower prices and higher returns on investment.
In addition, your home state or city may not be the best location for your rental investment. Just because you live in the area doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best place to earn profitable returns from a short term rental. As an investor, you need to be flexible and open to all possible options, even if that means investing in another city or state.
To find the best markets for short term rental investment, new investors are advised to use a reliable real estate investment platform. The most advanced online real estate software must enable investors to execute nationwide investment property searches, allowing them to find short term rental analytics in a timely and effective way.
What Is AirDNA?
AirDNA is a data analytics solution for short term rentals (such as Airbnb and VRBO), founded by Scott and Will Shatford in 2015. It was designed to assist Airbnb hosts with Airbnb market data, helping them make more accurate and calculated estimations. Previously, it concentrated on two products: MarketMinder and Investment Explorer.
Now, however, it appears that the website’s primary focused services have recently changed entirely to MarketMinder and Enterprise Solution. In addition, the Investment Explorer seems to have been removed from AirDNA’s main homepage. However, after checking its redesigned UI and website, we noticed numerous significant improvements.
How Much Does AirDNA Cost?
AirDNA sets its pricing based on the size of the area you want to access. Prices range from $12 to $599 per month, with one separate custom pricing for the enterprise solution package. It’s worth noting that the larger the market you want to search in, the higher the cost would be.
However, AirDNA provides a free version, which offers very limited data and tools. In fact, investors quickly learn that these free data is inadequate for making informed real estate investment decisions based on good rental analysis.
Let’s take a closer look at how AirDNA sets up its subscription plans. See the areas that you can access and their corresponding subscription rates:
- Neighborhood or city: Starts at $12 per month
- State: Starts at $179 per month
- Country: Starts at $299 per month
- Global: Starts at $599 per month
- Enterprise Solution + Custom Data: Customized pricing—you have to contact AirDNA directly to get a quote based on your custom needs.
AirDNA Cost vs Mashvisor’s Subscription Pricing
When compared to Mashvisor, AirDNA will come out as more expensive. Mashvisor’s subscription plans are substantially less expensive, and they are extremely useful for searching for and analyzing houses across the United States. Plus, you can have access to other features that will help investors make the right investment decisions.
With AirDNA, on the other hand, you must pay to unlock each city market separately. This may be a reasonable option if you already know what market to invest in. However, if you are unsure where to invest in real estate or want to compare a few other areas, the cost can be pretty high. And if you want to access a larger area, you’ll have to pay more too.
How Accurate Is AirDNA and Where Does It Get Its Data?
Now the real question is, how accurate is AirDNA data? According to its website, the platform provides the most accurate and comprehensive vacation rental data and analytics on a number of short term rental markets worldwide. But where does AirDNA really get its data, and how frequently does the platform update it?
AirDNA collects data from around four million Airbnb properties, primarily by scraping the Airbnb website. A minor portion of its data is also derived from its collaborations with vacation rental operators. This enables the website to re-evaluate its data to improve its correctness.
Here are the two major categories where AirDNA sources its data from:
This comes from the server-collected information about the reservations made on every listing on both Airbnb and Vrbo. AirDNA then uses a matching algorithm to determine duplicate properties, which are those listed on both platforms. The system then detects reservations using booked vs blocked methodology and updates its data.
It’s important to note that AirDNA scrapes or extracts short term rental data on over 10 million properties in 120,000-plus international markets using a host of servers. According to the platform, this process is legal because it has mutual partnerships with these booking platforms.
Another source of AirDNA data is the so-called partner data, which is taken directly from channel managers, property management systems, and listing hosts. This data is from over 1.1 million verified properties worldwide, and it is based on actual reservations made.
How Accurate Is AirDNA Data?
Investors should be concerned about the data accuracy of the investing platform. After all, real estate data that’s not accurate will lead to wrong judgments and wrong decisions. If you’re wondering about the data accuracy of AirDNA, let’s take a look at what its website claims.
Based on AirDNA’s website, CBRE estimates that the platform’s data related to the active supply of vacation rentals is 97.5% accurate. Similarly, the data about the revenue earned by hosts is deemed 96.2% accurate.
AirDNA claims that after it gathers information from both scraped and partner data, it finds discrepancies between the two before it updates the data on its system. However, while the process can help provide accurate data, there is also an issue about the updating frequency. It’s crucial to know how often the platform updates its data to determine its freshness.
How Often Does AirDNA Update Its Data?
The frequency of data updates performed by AirDNA depends on the tools. According to its website, AirDNA updates its data as follows:
- Daily data updates: AirDNA updates the information on Market Rates and Smart Rates pricing tools on a daily basis. This allows users to optimize their pricing strategy to ensure that they set the best rates on their vacation rentals. In addition, the Comp Set feature also updates daily, letting investors see the performance of rental comps.
- Weekly data updates: AirDNA updates the Research section of MarketMinder each week, allowing you to see the updated performance figures on occupancy, rates, and revenue. With this, you’ll be able to see a detailed assessment of the recent performance of the market.
- Monthly data updates: AirDNA updates the Invest section of MarketMinder—like the Rentalizer (AirDNA Airbnb calculator), top properties, and market comparison—on a monthly basis. The seasonality feature from the price section is also updated monthly.
While AirDNA updates some information as frequently as daily and weekly, the most important data that investors need to make a reliable decision is only updated on a monthly basis. On the first week of each month, AirDNA refreshes its rental database. That is not an issue for most users, but keep in mind that the AirDNA data is NOT real-time.
As a result, this may lead to inaccurate predictions for the short term rental business. To be more precise, AirDNA’s database is only updated 12 times per year. In this case, no matter how accurate AirDNA claims its real estate data to be, we cannot say that it stays fresh. Whereas with Mashvisor, the data is updated within a shorter time frame.
AirDNA vs Mashvisor: Searching for Airbnb Properties
Now that we’ve discussed how accurate is AirDNA, let’s take a look at how both investing platforms work when it comes to searching for short term rental properties for sale. In the next section, we will discuss the search features of Mashvisor and AirDNA and how each platform helps investors find the best investment property that matches their preferences.
Does Mashvisor Let Investors Search for Airbnb Properties?
Yes, investors can search for available listings for sale that can be utilized as a short term rental investment. Mashvisor has created three different tools that let you search for available vacation homes for sale in your preferred short term rental markets.
Related: 20 Best States to Buy Investment Property in 2023
Both new and experienced investors can use the Property Finder tool to discover the most profitable vacation rentals for sale in up to 10 markets at the same time. You may refine your rental property search by using several filters to customize the results, such as:
- Property price
- Property type
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Cash on cash return
- Cap rate
When you’ve defined your criteria, Mashvisor’s machine-learning algorithms will generate a list of available rental homes for sale that meet your exact specifications. What’s more, these homes are ranked in decreasing order based on the monthly short term rental income that they can generate. This implies that the short term rentals with the biggest rate of return will appear first.
In the following step, you can view a complete report of each of these properties’ investment prospects.
Investment Property Search
The Investment Property Search tool allows both seasoned and beginner short term rental hosts to find MLS listings, foreclosures, and off-market houses in any US city. This tool, along with the Heatmap feature, lets you search and analyze one city at a time. You’ll also have access to various filters, allowing you to narrow down your property search to a really precise point.
You can filter your search based on the following criteria:
- Property type
- Minimum number of bathrooms
- Minimum number of bedrooms
- Short term rental income
- Short term rental cash on cash return
- Short term rental cap rate
- Property size
Within the Investment Property Search feature, you can also use the Heatmap tool to generate more optimized search results. The Heatmap tool allows you to filter your search through:
- Listing price
- Occupancy rate
- Cash on cash return
- Cap rate
Choosing any of the shortlisted properties according to your search parameters, similar to the Property Finder, will send you to a page with a complete investment property analysis.
Mashvisor’s Market Finder tool lets investors find the best deals in the most profitable rental markets. With its Mashmeter Score, which is a neighborhood valuation, users can easily and efficiently identify the best markets for investing in short term and long term rentals. This score is built with machine intelligence and algorithms, helping you find rental opportunities in minutes.
With the Market Finder tool, you’ll be able to see an overview of the US housing market. This allows you to determine which are the hottest markets to invest in based on your preferred investment strategy. In general, this feature makes it easy for you to analyze the most profitable neighborhoods in your chosen city.
Start finding the best investment property in your chosen location using Mashvisor. Sign up for the 7-day free trial today.
Does AirDNA Allow Users to Search for Short Term Rental Properties?
The short answer to this is no. While AirDNA is popular for providing short term rental analysis about a particular location, the platform doesn’t allow you to search for properties for sale. If you want to use the platform to study the market AND find listings for sale that match your preferences, AirDNA may not be the best platform to use.
However, if you only need a platform that can help you determine whether a particular market is optimal for short term rental investments, AirDNA may be a good option. This is ideal for investors who already have a specific short term rental market in mind. For example, it’s best if you already own an Airbnb property and you just want to stay updated on your competitors.
To be fair, AirDNA’s dashboard has undergone considerable alterations in the last few years. It now includes new analytics and has upgraded certain parts of the user interface. The user interface should not be difficult for a newcomer to grasp as it was created with the mass market in mind. The interface remains basic so that even a novice user may understand it.
AirDNA Rentalizer: Is It Worth It?
The Rentalizer feature offered by AirDNA is its Airbnb calculator. It is a good tool for planning your revenue and ROI on a property. You can enter an address or zip code, as well as filters such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and visitor capacities to use the tool. Rentalizer forecasts a property’s future revenue and occupancy rate using the data provided.
Rentalizer is free to use. However, keep in mind that the AirDNA Rentalizer analyzes the investment possibilities of every property in the United States, only if you can enter the address of the property. This means that if you are only searching around and don’t know where to invest yet, this tool may not be as useful.
Although the AirDNA calculator is a vital element of the best short term rental analytics platform, Rentalizer is an insufficient tool and may not be suitable for the needs of novice investors. Since first-time investors are generally unfamiliar with available short term rentals for sale, they require all the assistance they can get when it comes to searching for successful prospects.
AirDNA vs Mashvisor: Rental Property Analysis
How accurate is AirDNA versus Mashvisor when it comes to rental property analysis? Unlike Mashvisor, AirDNA does not enable rental property search. Nevertheless, investment property analysis is provided on both investment analytics platforms. Regardless, there are some significant distinctions between the two systems that we should discuss in depth.
Both the AirDNA Rentalizer and Mashvisor’s investment property calculator, in general, provide a pretty similar analysis of the income potential of short term rental properties. Both tools offer access to the anticipated:
- Short term rental income
- Short term rental daily rate
- Short term rental occupancy rate
- Short term rental cap rate
- List of startup costs that are broken down into the following categories: closing fees, repairs, and improvements, and furniture
- List of property tax, insurance, utilities, property management costs, property upkeep, cleaning fees, and HOA fees as recurrent rental charges
Given this information, how does Mashvisor’s rental analysis calculator differ from AirDNA Rentalizer? Let’s take a deeper look at Mashvisor’s rental calculator tool and its features.
The presence of a mortgage calculator is a significant distinction between the AirDNA financial calculator and Mashvisor’s real estate ROI calculator. AirDNA does not offer a mortgage calculator, whereas Mashvisor does.
Mashvisor’s rental property calculator can generate a more complete investment property analysis because it considers your planned financing method for acquiring the property. For example, as experienced investors understand, whether you pay for an income property in cash or with a mortgage produces quite different results in terms of ROI.
If you buy a property with a mortgage, you need to take into account your monthly mortgage payments as it can affect your cash flow. Your method of financing can also affect the cash on cash return you can generate from an investment property.
Unlike Mashvisor, the AirDNA Rentalizer does not estimate the cash on cash return for short term rentals. This implies that by using Mashvisor’s real estate calculator, you will know precisely what returns you can anticipate on the money you spend on buying and renting out a home. This is especially true if you use a mortgage to finance your purchase.
Related: 7 Best Loans for Investment Property in 2023
Comparable rental properties in the same neighborhood as your property are critical in property investment evaluation. The performance of similar vacation rentals is a good predictor of how your own short term rental property will fare in the market. You will also get to know how your competitors perform so you can strategize your investment wisely.
AirDNA and Mashvisor provide a list of short term rental comps for every examined property. Nonetheless, Mashvisor’s list is substantially longer and more complete—thus providing a more comprehensive and competitive market analysis.
This lets you quickly get a list of comparable vacation rentals and study the data on your own to supplement the platform’s analysis.
Another factor that makes Mashvisor’s rental property calculator more competitive is the ability to analyze both long term and short term rental strategies. This allows users to determine which investment strategy is more optimal for a specific rental property. On the other hand, AirDNA’s Rentalizer only analyzes the property’s potential as a short term rental.
With this feature, investors will be able to compare side-by-side the data generated for both investment strategies. You will find how much income you can generate if you use the property as a short term rental versus renting it out for the long term. This way, you’ll find out if your chosen investment strategy is what works best for the property.
Data Accuracy: AirDNA vs Mashvisor
When it comes to data accuracy, which is better: Mashvisor or AirDNA?
Most AirDNA and Mashvisor’s short term rental data comes straight from the Airbnb website. That means the research is based on actual Airbnb properties’ performance instead of assumptions and guesses.
What is vital to distinguish is the mechanism used by each of these platforms to acquire the average numbers.
For example, Mashvisor looks at the medians, whereas AirDNA focuses on the means. That makes Mashvisor’s technique far more precise, stable, and dependable because, unlike the mean, the median excludes outliers that could distort and misguide the analysis.
So, how accurate is AirDNA data? As mentioned earlier, AirDNA data is pretty accurate when it comes to sources. However, we could not say the same when it comes to its freshness.
Therefore, Mashvisor’s real estate data is considered more accurate when compared to AirDNA. This is because it only uses confirmed short term rental listings with three or more Airbnb ratings. This assures that the data comes from actual and active Airbnb hosts who have been renting out for longer, rather than individuals who tried but gave up on Airbnb.
The data available on the Mashvisor platform is more accurate and reliable than the property data on the AirDNA site. The explanation for this is that Mashvisor obtains property data directly from the MLS, but AirDNA gets it through public documents, which contain some inaccuracies. Moreover, Mashvisor regularly updates its data on the system, keeping it fresh.
Another easy method to ensure accuracy is to base your investment property study on remarkably similar properties. With Mashvisor’s comps and neighborhood analysis, more comparable properties are being considered, resulting in more reliable analytics.
Learn more about how Mashvisor works. Schedule a demo today to experience Mashvisor.
AirDNA vs Mashvisor: Airbnb Property Management
Both AirDNA and Mashvisor assist Airbnb owners with Airbnb property management. AirDNA offers the Smart Rates tool, which helps hosts set the right price for their short term rentals. Similarly, Mashvisor offers the Dynamic Pricing tool which lets users connect all of their Airbnb accounts to set the most optimal rates using just one system.
Knowing what rate to charge to your renters per night is crucial so you won’t miss out on opportunities to earn maximum revenue. If you set your rate too low, you’ll waste the chance to earn more profits. However, if you set your rental rate too high, you might end up not getting your property occupied at all.
The Airbnb rental property management tools that both Mashvisor and AirDNA offer help you set the right rental price per night based on several factors. Let’s take a look at how each tool works and how they differ from one another.
AirDNA’s Smart Rates
AirDNA Smart Rates is a smart pricing tool that helps short term rental owners find the perfect rental rates for their vacation homes. Since Airbnb is a seasonal business, setting the right price based on seasonality is crucial to one’s profitability.
This Airbnb pricing solution aims to provide a detailed pricing recommendation on a daily basis, so investors will know what rate to set. To determine the best short term rental rates for an investment property, AirDNA uses comparable data. This allows you to set the right rental estimate per night based on rental demands, bookings, and seasonality.
You might be wondering how accurate is AirDNA when it comes to its rental comps. Similar to its MarketMinder product, the AirDNA Smart Rates tool also uses information from both scraped and partner data. Based on its website, such information is accurate as rated by CBRE.
Related: 8 Factors That Affect Rental Rate Calculation
Mashvisor’s Dynamic Pricing
With Mashvisor’s Dynamic Pricing tool, investors can connect their Airbnb accounts. They can then set the rental rates on the Mashvisor system, and the rental prices on Airbnb will be updated. This way, you will no longer need to switch from one account to another to update your rental rates.
This tool also lets you assess your competition with its provided market insights—allowing you to check out the performance of similar properties in your area. You can determine how much they charge per night and how profitable they are, letting you strategize your investment properly so you can stay ahead of the competition.
With this tool, you can either set your rental prices manually or get AI-powered dynamic pricing for your Airbnb rentals. It also features a dynamic calendar for setting prices, which considers historical data as factors like demand for short term rentals, local events, seasonality, and booking history.
What’s more, Mashvisor gathers its data and market analysis from extremely reliable sources. Plus, it regularly updates its database, ensuring that the information stays fresh and relevant. If you use Mashvisor, you can have easy access to high-quality data and AI-powered pricing solutions to generate accurate computations.
Is AirDNA Worth It? The Final Judgment
AirDNA is generally a fantastic tool that will come in handy if you already know where to invest. If you’re still asking how accurate is AirDNA, the answer will generally depend on your needs. When considering investing in a rental property, AirDNA data can be accurate and valuable in making better judgments based on its research and analytics.
However, AirDNA’s post-purchase features fall short of delivering the most accurate data when managing a property. When compared to Mashvisor, the freshness of AirDNA data may not make it as accurate as it claims to be since it is not updated regularly.
In addition, AirDNA’s tools, like the Rentalizer calculator, do not have as comprehensive features as Mashvisor’s calculator. It does not offer mortgage calculator functions similar to Mashvisor’s investment property calculator. Moreover, you cannot search for listings for sale within the AirDNA platform. In general, AirDNA data falls a bit short relative to Mashvisor.
When AirDNA was first introduced, it was a genuinely groundbreaking tool. It put power in the hands of hosts and provided them with a means to utilize data and increase income. However, given the present market conditions, AirDNA has lagged in keeping up with some of the new and unique tools that allow hosts to do more with data.
So, how accurate is AirDNA, really? AirDNA is a good platform—however, there are alternative solutions on the market that provide more precise data and a lot more statistics with less effort. With AirDNA, you’d have to put in a lot more effort and have a thorough understanding of your location or the area for which you’re analyzing.
Based on tools, features, and data accuracy, the best alternative to AirDNA is Mashvisor. Mashvsior offers several functionalities that are not provided by AirDNA. Plus, it is much less expensive in the long run because of the functions and markets that you can access.
To get access to our real estate investment tools, click here to sign up for a 7-day free trial of Mashvisor today, followed by 15% off for life.