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.
Table of Contents
- What Is AirDNA?
- What Is Mashvisor?
- Which Platform Has Better Investment Property Search?
- Which Platform Provides Better Rental Property Analysis?
- Bottom Line: Is AirDNA the Best Out There?
As a real estate investor who’s thinking of investing in short-term rentals in 2022, you must be searching for Airbnb data online. As such, you must have come across several platforms, such as AirDNA and Mashvisor. You’re wondering, what is AirDNA?
The vacation rental business has become a 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 this site with the Mashvisor platform and their pros and cons, and see which of the two is the better platform.
What Is AirDNA?
AirDNA is one of the most popular sources of short-term rental data. It also 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 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 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 has two main products that investors have found 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. It scours the immediate vicinity of all rental properties and comes up with a relevance-based index. Investors use this 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 this tool, both beginner and seasoned investors can make smarter decisions as they are given information and insights into markets that aren’t privy to other folks.
While the Rentalizer is used for calculations, the MarketMinder is helpful for rental data analytics. These solutions have proven 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. A lot of its users, both past and present, are willing to stand by the company and vouch for their 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 3.3 stars out of 5. Most of the negative reviews, however, are coming from folks who feel they’re not getting the quality of service they are paying for. On the other hand, the Airbnb community has mixed reviews about the company’s data accuracy. Either way, legitimacy at this point becomes purely subjective.
The second question about its reliability will be addressed later in this blog. To answer this as well as, “What is AirDNA?”, let’s take a look at the alternative.
What Is Mashvisor?
Mashvisor, which is an AirDNA competitor, is a data analysis platform that has become extremely popular with real estate investors, agents, brokers, as well as short-term rental hosts and property managers. Why has it become so popular?
The Mashvisor platform is very strategic and particular in the way 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, Auction.com, Walk Score, and many others. It even goes a step further and pulls its data from public records, including rentals in the areas that are bank-owned or have been foreclosed.
After that, 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, then sorts this data into two categories: traditional rental strategy and short-term rental strategy.
Now that we’ve understood the basics and seen what is AirDNA, it’s time for us to run a comparative analysis of the two platforms.
Which Platform Has Better Investment Property Search?
When beginning 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. 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, this will consume a lot of time as well as resources. In addition, this approach doesn’t allow you to conduct an in-depth analysis of the property itself. In today’s digital age, this approach can make you miss out on a few lucrative investment opportunities.
Luckily, these platforms 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 look at them both.
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.
The Mashvisor 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 both real estate brokers and agents.
This tool helps you search for property in as many as ten cities simultaneously. Compared to the traditional approach where you drive through neighborhoods, you can already see how this 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
- Property type
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of 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.
After this process, it’s time to access a comprehensive Airbnb data analysis of the investment potential for each property.
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 short-term rental properties in any real estate market, the platform offers the AirDNA Rentalizer.
AirDNA’s Rentalizer tool allows you to analyze the investment potential on any property in the US. You can enter the address of whichever property you wish to analyze.
This may be a crucial feature for the AirDNA platform. However, when it comes to the AirDNA vs Mashvisor comparison, particularly what is AirDNA, the tool falls short, especially for investors who are not sure 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.
Which Platform Provides Better Rental Property Analysis?
We’ve seen the major differences between Mashvisor and AirDNA in relation to investment property search. When it comes to rental property analysis, both 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 Homeowners’ Association costs.
However, there are some differences that draw the line between the two platforms. They include:
Both AirDNA and Mashvisor have 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.
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. This process is essential since it’s an indicator of how your investment property will perform by comparing similar Airbnb property performance. It also gives you a clearer picture of the Airbnb demand in that 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 the 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.
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 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 the mean values, while Mashvisor uses the median values. Does this approach make any difference?
Yes, it actually does. Mashvisor’s approach makes it more robust, reliable, and accurate. This is because the median, unlike the means, eliminates outliers. Outliers can cause serious problems to 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 and 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 displays a higher degree of accuracy and reliability than the data on the AirDNA website. This 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 (Multiple Listing Service). The MLS is a database established by cooperating real estate brokers to provide accurate data about properties for sale. MLS allows brokers to see each other’s listings for sale and also connect buyers to sellers. This arrangement benefits listing and selling brokers and agents as they can connect, share information, and split the commission check.
Because affiliated brokers on MLS update the information regularly and create an electronic database with all the houses on sale, you can be confident that the listing information on Mashvisor is not only correct but also up-to-date.
How Accurate Is AirDNA?
Meanwhile, AirDNA gathers its data simply from public records. The main issue with this 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 could 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.
The final aspect to consider when analyzing Mashvisor vs AirDNA is the financial side.
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, you’ll have to pay for each city separately. It 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 have free plans, it’s more affordable when you’re searching for and analyzing different properties across different markets in the country.
To learn how to take advantage of Mashvisor’s different real estate analysis tools, make sure to book a demo as soon as you can.
Bottom Line: What Is AirDNA? Is It the Best Out There?
We’ve gone through a comprehensive comparison between Mashvisor and AirDNA and have seen what is AirDNA. 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.
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 have a free trial.
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.