AirDNA. Perhaps you’ve heard about it; perhaps it’s new to you. Nevertheless, we’ll talk about it in this blog to see if it’s worth looking into.
As a real estate investor who’s thinking of investing in short term rentals in 2023, you must be searching for Airbnb data online. As such, you must‘ve come across several platforms, such as AirDNA and Mashvisor. You’re wondering, what is AirDNA?
Table of Contents
- What Is AirDNA?
- What Is Mashvisor?
- Which Platform Has Better Investment Property Search?
- Which Platform Provides Better Rental Property Analysis?
The vacation rental business has become a very profitable venture in the US housing market. Many investors are jumping on board. If you’re a beginner, you can find many tools online to help you conduct Airbnb data analysis.
However, it’s always challenging to look for the right solutions and tools to use. You want a tool that will help you conduct Airbnb analysis and also provide accurate Airbnb data analytics. Mashvisor and AirDNA are two of the leading platforms that provide essential insights, solutions, and resources for vacation rental investors.
Today, we seek to answer the question: “What is AirDNA?” In this AirDNA review, we’ll also compare the site with the Mashvisor platform, as well as their pros and cons, and see which is the better platform.
What Is AirDNA?
AirDNA is one of the most popular sources of Airbnb rental data. It offers a wide range of tools for investors to find profitable investment properties. The platform provides competitive insights, custom reporting, and interactive dashboards covering over 10 million rentals across 12,000 real estate markets globally.
As a short term real estate investor, you can use the platform to understand and analyze key trends in the vacation rental industry. It allows you to leverage historical data and future predictions to maximize income potential. Its main tools—the Rentalizer and the MarketMinder—allow you to get better insights into different markets and provide certain solutions to investor concerns.
Since the platform is used primarily for vacation rental analysis, some people are probably asking, “Is AirDNA owned by Airbnb?” It is not.
The company was founded in 2015 by Scott Shatford, who was once an Airbnb property owner himself. He had many questions and concerns about the vacation rental industry and decided to take it upon himself to provide solutions to these concerns.
Shatford came up with the idea of starting his own data analytics company in hopes of giving Airbnb property owners like him a better understanding of the market. The information provided by the company has given investors better insights into their respective markets.
Rentalizer and MarketMinder
AirDNA offers two main products investors find valuable: the Rentalizer and the MarketMinder.
One of the main reasons why AirDNA was founded was to help investors optimize their income. AirDNA came up with its tool, the Rentalizer, to help address this concern.
This rental property calculator helps investors perform rental market analysis and come up with profitability projections for a specific property. The Rentalizer scours the immediate vicinity of all rental properties and comes up with a relevance-based index.
Investors use the information to boost their income by making the necessary adjustments based on the search results.
Along with a fairly accurate Airbnb calculator, AirDNA also launched a tool to help optimize an Airbnb owner’s listings. The MarketMinder was created specifically for this purpose and to spot upcoming short term rental markets. With the tool, both beginner and seasoned investors can make smarter decisions as they are given information and insights into markets that aren’t privy to others.
While the Rentalizer is used for calculations, the MarketMinder is helpful for rental data analytics. The solutions prove that AirDNA is a valuable tool for investors. However, some people are still doubting the company. Questions like, “Is AirDNA legitimate?” or “How reliable is AirDNA?” still come to the surface every now and then.
The answer to the first question is, yes, AirDNA is as legit as it gets. It is a company that offers specific services and solutions to investors’ concerns. Many of its users, both past and present, are willing to stand by the company and vouch for its legitimacy. You may, however, find a few reviews that aren’t in the company’s favor.
For instance, AirDNA’s overall rating on TrustPilot is only 3.4 stars out of 5 as of this writing. Most of the negative reviews, however, are coming from users who feel they’re not getting the quality of service they are paying for. On the other hand, the Airbnb community’s given mixed reviews about the company’s data accuracy. Either way, legitimacy here becomes purely subjective.
The second question about its reliability will be addressed later in this blog. To answer it, as well as “What is AirDNA?”, we will take a look at the alternative.
Is AirDNA Free to Use?
Yes and no. With AirDNA pricing, there is a free version. It is to help short term rental investors get started with market analysis. However, if you want to gain full access to all its features and available rental data, you will need to pay a monthly fee.
With the free version, you can see the market research metrics in the Overview tab. There, you will see metrics like occupancy rate, average daily rate, and revenue.
When paying the monthly fee, you will need to pay per market, and it gets really expensive to analyze larger markets. For instance, to analyze neighborhoods, you must pay $12/month. But to analyze the whole country, the price is $299/month. The globe? $599/month.
Now, let’s discuss the alternative to AirDNA. Mashvisor.
What Is Mashvisor?
Mashvisor, which is an AirDNA competitor, is a data analysis platform that is extremely popular among real estate investors. It also includes agents, brokers, short term rental hosts, and property managers. But why is it so popular?
Mashvisor helps real estate investors find lucrative investment properties in the US housing market. It provides analytics to show the expected performance of investment properties in any city and neighborhood, both for long term and short term rentals. It aims to make real estate investing easier and more efficient by turning three months of research into just 15 minutes of seamless analysis.
Mashvisor provides many features for investors, including interactive mapping tools, thorough property analysis reports, and short term and long term analytics. It also offers a robust property data analytics tool for Airbnb hosts and investors.
The Mashvisor platform is very strategic and particular in how it organizes and presents its data and compiles them into reports.
It pulls its data from the Airbnb site itself and other real estate resources, such as Zillow, Realtor.com, Walk Score, and many others. It even goes a step further and pulls its data from public records, including that of bank-owned or foreclosed rentals.
In addition, Mashvisor provides you with an in-depth analysis of the property. It gives you an insight into the cash on cash returns and cap rates, sorting the data into two categories: long term rental strategy and short term rental strategy.
Some of Mashvisor’s valuable tools include the Property Finder, heatmap, rental comps, neighborhood analysis, and real estate data.
Mashvisor’s Property Finder is an AI-powered tool that helps investors find suitable investment properties based on personalized factors and patterns. The tool considers other investors and buyers who share the same criteria as you and the properties they were interested in.
To access the Property Finder tool on Mashvisor, go to Mashvisor’s home page. On the top left-hand corner of the website, click on Search Properties. A drop-down menu will appear. Click on Property Finder, and you will be redirected to the Property Finder page. There, you can customize the results using the tools and filters that are on that page.
With the help of AI technologies and machine-learning algorithms, the tool recommends investment properties that align with your specific criteria. It saves you time and effort that would otherwise be spent on searching for and analyzing potential properties.
Related: How Is Mashvisor’s Property Finder Helping Real Estate Investors?
Mashvisor’s heatmap is a tool that provides real estate investors with insights into the local market in each neighborhood. Some of the insights include property price, cash on cash return, rental income, and Airbnb occupancy rate.
The tool is designed to help investors quickly identify high-value areas and low-value areas. It replaces the need to conduct time-consuming neighborhood analyses that cost too much.
Investors can adjust their search results using the heatmap tool by selecting a specific metric of their choice. Once the heatmap is active, the tool overlays a colored map on the screen to highlight areas with the desired metric. It allows a real estate investor to use the tool to identify high-performing neighborhoods alongside their less-than-ideal counterparts.
Mashvisor offers a neighborhood analysis feature that helps real estate investors study in detail the neighborhood in which they plan on investing. The analysis makes use of important property information provided by Mashvisor. They include listing price, cash on cash return, rental income, and the number of properties available for both long term and short term rentals.
To begin the analysis, investors typically filter out properties that do not meet their investment criteria. They include those that are outside their budget or do not meet specific requirements.
Mashvisor also places an emphasis on comparing rental strategies (long term rentals vs short term rentals). It is to help investors decide on the rental strategy that best suits them and that will generate the highest returns for each property.
Now that we’ve understood the basics and seen what is AirDNA, and also, what is Mashvisor, it’s time for us to run a comparative analysis of the two platforms.
Which Platform Has Better Investment Property Search?
When starting your journey as an investor in the real estate market, the most crucial decision you’ll make will be about the property to invest in. This single decision will determine how profitable your vacation rental business will be and whether you’ll succeed. Therefore, when you want to find a property with the best income potential, where do you start?
You may choose to follow a traditional approach where you drive through neighborhoods looking for “for sale” signs. However, it will consume a lot of time, as well as resources. In addition, such an approach doesn’t allow you to conduct an in-depth analysis of the property itself. In today’s digital age, it can make you miss out on a few lucrative investment opportunities.
Luckily, there are platforms that can be a good alternative for investment property search. They both offer better solutions to one of an investor’s main concerns: finding the right investment property. Let’s take a closer look at both of them.
Investment Property Search on Mashvisor
The Mashvisor team has developed the essential solution that comes in handy when searching for investment property online in the form of the Property Finder.
Mashvisor’s Property Finder is a tool developed with the modern and savvy real estate investor in mind. It serves both beginners and experienced investors, as well as real estate brokers and agents.
The tool helps you search for property in as many as 10 cities simultaneously. Compared to the traditional approach where you drive through neighborhoods, you can already see how the tool saves you a lot of time and gives you more options from different real estate markets. You can use it to quickly identify the most suitable city with the best property to match your investment goals.
You can also use different criteria to narrow down your property search results. The filters include:
- Property price
- Rental strategy
- Property type
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
Mashvisor uses a set of machine-learning algorithms that provide you with a list of available listings that match your requirements and expectations. Most importantly, the results are listed in descending order based on the Airbnb cash on cash return they offer. In short, properties that offer a higher Airbnb return are listed at the top.
Afterward, it’s time to access a comprehensive Airbnb data analysis of the investment potential for each property.
The Accuracy of Mashvisor’s Property Search Feature
Mashvisor makes property value search easier than the traditional way of doing things. It is because of its massive and accurate database. The investment property search feature on Mashvisor allows users to find profitable investment properties in almost any market across all 50 states. The accuracy of its database is one of the reasons Mashvisor is rated above other platforms.
Mashvisor uses predictive analytics that project future outcomes and trends based on comparative and historical data. It uses data to predict the performance of long and short term rentals, obtaining the data from sources like MLS, Airbnb, and other public sources.
Note that no platform can guarantee 100% accuracy. However, Mashvisor’s database and predictive analytics tools help provide reliable and valuable information to real estate investors.
Start your 7-day free trial with Mashvisor now to learn more about the real estate platform.
What Is AirDNA’s Investment Property Search?
Unfortunately, AirDNA isn’t similar to the Mashvisor platform. While you may not be able to find profitable Airbnb rental properties in any real estate market, the platform offers the AirDNA Rentalizer.
AirDNA’s Rentalizer tool allows you to analyze the investment potential of any property in the US. You can enter the address of whichever property you wish to analyze.
It may be a crucial feature for the AirDNA platform. However, regarding the AirDNA vs Mashvisor comparison, specifically, what is AirDNA, the tool falls short. It is not often helpful, particularly for investors who are unsure what they’re looking for.
First-time investors who are not familiar with the properties on sale may not find AirDNA helpful. It is because they’re usually looking for a platform that offers all the help they can get when searching for profitable properties. Such may also be the case even for experienced investors who may be looking to invest somewhere new where they may not be familiar with the local housing market.
The Accuracy of AirDNA’s Rentalizer
According to AirDNA’s website, Rentalizer uses data from publicly available sources, including short term rental platforms. It uses the said data to provide an estimated nightly rate and potential monthly revenue for a particular property.
However, it is important to note that the Rentalizer’s estimates are based on market averages and do not take into account the specific features and amenities of a particular property.
While Rentalizer can provide a rough estimate of a property’s potential revenue, it is important for you to conduct your own research and analysis. It is necessary in order to determine the true earning potential of a rental property.
Factors like location, seasonality, competition, and property features can all impact the performance of a short term rental property. Therefore, you should only use Rentalizer as a starting point for your analysis.
Which Platform Provides Better Rental Property Analysis?
This section will shed some light on the Mashvisor vs AirDNA comparison regarding which one provides better rental property analysis.
Note that we’ve seen the major differences between Mashvisor and AirDNA in relation to investment property search. When it comes to rental property analysis, the two platforms are quite similar. Both offer the following information:
- Airbnb income
- Airbnb daily rate
- Airbnb occupancy rate
- Airbnb cap rate
- An analysis of startup costs that include closing costs, repairs, improvements, and furniture
- An analysis of recurring rental expenses that include property tax, utilities, insurance, property maintenance, property management fees, cleaning fees, and HOA costs.
However, there are some differences that draw the line between the two platforms. They include:
Both AirDNA and Mashvisor provide financial calculators. However, when it comes to a mortgage calculator, only Mashvisor offers one, while AirDNA doesn’t. For a real estate investor, this major difference may be a deal-breaker. It is because a good calculator can accurately predict your rental income.
Mashvisor’s rental property calculator allows you to carry out a more in-depth investment property analysis since it also factors in the financing method. If you’re a savvy real estate investor, you understand that your method of financing affects the rate of return on investment significantly.
With the AirDNA Rentalizer, you don’t get cash on cash return estimates for Airbnb properties. On the other hand, the Mashvisor rental property calculator lets you know how much you can expect to make based on the rental expenses when buying the property and renting it out.
Rental comps are an important part of investment property analysis. It refers to the process where you compare different properties of the same type within the same neighborhood. It is essential since it indicates how your investment property will perform by comparing similar Airbnb property performance. Rental comps also give you a clearer picture of the Airbnb demand in a particular area.
Both Mashvisor and AirDNA offer comparison lists for each property you analyze. However, Mashvisor offers more comprehensive and longer rental comps compared to AirDNA competitors. Further, Mashvisor allows you to download a list of comparable Airbnb listings. You can then analyze the data on your own as you see fit and augment the analysis available on Mashvisor.
Related: Rental Comps: What Are They and Where Can I Find Them?
Airbnb Data Analytics
Whichever analytics platform you choose to use for your real estate investing, know that it’s only as good as the data it provides. You need to pay attention to how the data is collected and analyzed, as they are critical. The data’s accuracy is just as important.
Both AirDNA and Mashvisor collect most of their short term rental data from the Airbnb platform. It means that you can rest assured that the analysis you get is based on the performance of actual Airbnb rentals rather than baseless approximations.
However, there’s one other area that sets these two platforms apart: data accuracy.
Airbnb Data Accuracy: Mashvisor vs AirDNA
The main difference between Mashvisor and AirDNA is the different methods the platforms use to obtain their general values. Primarily, AirDNA uses mean values, while Mashvisor uses median values. Do they make any difference?
Yes, it does. Mashvisor’s approach makes it more robust, reliable, and accurate. It is because the median, unlike the mean, eliminates outliers. Outliers can cause problems in statistical analyses since they might skew and misinform the analysis.
Another reason why Mashvisor analyses display a higher degree of accuracy is that it only pulls data from Airbnb listings with three or more reviews on the Airbnb platform. It means that the data is from actual Airbnb hosts who have been renting out the property for a while. It does not include data from homeowners who might still be trying their hand in the short term rental business and are likely to fail.
Also, the data on the Mashvisor platform shows greater accuracy and reliability than the data on the AirDNA website. Such level of accuracy and reliability makes Mashvisor stand out as just not only an AirDNA alternative. What is the reason for this?
Mashvisor pulls its property data directly from the MLS. The MLS is a database established by cooperating real estate brokers to provide accurate data about properties for sale. It allows brokers to see each other’s listings for sale and connect buyers to sellers. The arrangement benefits listing and selling brokers and agents as they can connect, share information, and split the commission check.
You can be confident that the listing information on Mashvisor is not only correct but also up-to-date. It is because affiliated brokers on MLS update the information regularly and create an electronic database with all the houses on sale.
How Accurate Is AirDNA?
Is AirDNA accurate? Well, AirDNA gathers its data simply from public records. The main issue with such an approach is that the data is often prone to error. The best way to provide accuracy is to conduct your investment property analysis based on similar properties. AirDNA’s accuracy has been the subject of debate among its users and real estate market enthusiasts.
While not much can be said about the company’s data on major markets, AirDNA has been called out by several people in the Airbnb community for data inaccuracy for non-major locations. It appears that the company is mostly focused on bigger markets and has yet to turn its attention to smaller regions. This lopsidedness could prove to be problematic for a real estate market data analytics company.
Unlike AirDNA, Mashvisor pays close equal attention to both metros and rural locations to bring investors the most up-to-date information and relevant market data needed for a proper analysis. So, between the two, where data analytics are concerned, which is better: AirDNA or Mashvisor? Given how selective AirDNA is with its attention, we’re giving this one to Mashvisor.
While looking for ways of making money in real estate, you can choose to follow one of two rental strategies. The traditional rental strategy is to get a long term tenant who leases your property for, say, six months or one year. The short term rental strategy involves getting guests who stay at your property for a minimum of one night.
Both Mashvisor and AirDNA specialize in the short term rental strategy. However, only Mashvisor also supports the long term rental strategy. It gives Mashvisor an advantage since you’ll be able to analyze both possible rental strategies and decide which one is most profitable for you.
Remember, you may have your mind set on one rental strategy, only for the data and analytics to convince you otherwise.
Another aspect to consider when analyzing Mashvisor vs AirDNA is the financial side and how much the property will cost you.
AirDNA provides a limited amount of its data for free. However, you’ll realize that the free data provided isn’t adequate to make an educated and data-based business decision. If you opt for the paid package, it’ll cost you different amounts for each city separately. The overall cost can turn out to be more expensive than expected if you’re not 100% sure about which city you want to invest in.
Mashvisor is the better option when it comes to pricing. While it may not offer free plans, it’s more affordable when you’re searching for and analyzing different properties across different markets in the country.
When it comes to neighborhood analysis, both platforms offer a range of features that can be helpful for investors looking to find the best investment property in a particular area.
Mashvisor’s Neighborhood Analysis
One of the main features of Mashvisor is its Neighborhood Analytics, which provides investors with neighborhood-level data and insights.
The Neighborhood Analytics page shows statistics and averages of the chosen neighborhood. They include the median price, price per square foot, cash on cash return, and rental income.
Using Mashvisor’s Neighborhood Analytics tool, investors can analyze the investment potential of a specific neighborhood and compare it to other areas. The tool makes it easy for the investor to make an informed decision. With Mashvisor, you can save time and effort by avoiding the need for manual data collection and analysis.
Mashvisor’s neighborhood analysis feature also provides metrics like occupancy rates for short term rentals. It allows the investor to compare and contrast potential investment opportunities and make data-driven decisions.
The tool is better suited for investors starting from scratch who want to find the best possible investment property in a particular area.
AirDNA’s Neighborhood Analysis
On the other hand, AirDNA does not explicitly offer a neighborhood analysis tool. However, AirDNA provides a comprehensive view of the short term rental market by collecting data from thousands of sources.
The data collected by AirDNA can be used to gain insights into specific markets, including neighborhoods, and make better predictions for short term rental properties. Also, note that AirDNA provides various resources and tools for analyzing vacation rental data, like dynamic pricing, customized comp sets, and future bookings.
Overall, AirDNA is better suited for investors who already have a particular property in mind and want to see how well it would perform as a short term rental.
That being said, if you are not sure which property you want, and you just wish to compare properties in order to pick the best one, Mashvisor is the best platform to use.
Related: How to Use Mashvisor’s Airbnb Market Research Tools
Bottom Line: What Is AirDNA? Is It the Best Out There?
Investing in the wrong tool can cost you an arm and a leg. Plus, it can seriously impede your chances of being profitable. A good investment calculator will significantly reduce your chances of incurring a loss on your investment property.
If you’re interested in only short term rental investments, AirDNA will provide you with valuable insights and data. But whether or not it is the best tool out there depends on your preferences.
Mashvisor offers tools like the rental property calculator and detailed investment property analysis in order to make better investment decisions. Assess your specific needs and consider looking at different options before deciding on the tool that best fits your needs.
In this article, we went through Mashvisor vs AirDNA analysis and saw what is AirDNA. Therefore, you’re now in a better position to decide which platform suits your needs better. Among the AirDNA alternatives, we can see that Mashvisor is the best Airbnb data analytics platform on the market. You should give it a try and see that it’s worth it.
If the idea of using Mashvisor for your investment property analysis appeals to you, you’ll be more than pleased to know that we also offer a free trial, as well as a free demo.
Schedule a demo with Mashvisor today and see why it is a better platform than AirDNA.