Top Tips for Buying an Airbnb Investment Property

The financial benefit of an Airbnb property is clear; you can make more money from short term rentals, not to mention the tax benefits, the minimal wear and tear and the flexibility for you and your family and friends to use the property. With the increasing popularity of Airbnb and the exploding short let market, the profits can be amazing.

So, how can you ensure this really is a smart decision for you?

There are a number of factors to seriously consider. To be really successful with Airbnb, you have to ensure all the pieces of the jigsaw are a perfect fit. There are lots of factors to think about, starting with the property itself.

Buying for Airbnb

Every location is different so you need to understand your area and therefore your market. Check out Airbnb and other portals, such as Booking.com, to see what is already available in the area. Airdna is also a good resource. Consider the seasons, local events and local attractions as these can greatly affect your success throughout the year. These can result in profitable peaks but also quiet troughs over the course of the year.

Location is important, yes, and you need to be clear (and always completely honest!) with your guests about this, for example, "Just a 5 minute stroll to the beach". Even by the sea, a successful Airbnb doesn’t have to have a sea view. Brighton, for example, is a small city so nowhere is actually that far from the beach so you may opt to forego the sea view for a parking space - and you might want to charge your guests extra for this.

Neither does it have to be super, super central; this is not necessarily always a bonus. Consider noise implications for some central city locations for example. In addition to location, think about the practicalities of the property itself particularly in relation to noise, neighbours and maintenance. A little further away from the central city area and you may find yourself in a bigger, better, quieter property more suitable to a broader range of guests. You might event get a parking space, a terrace or a garden. In which case, you could even add in a hot tub!

What to buy?

If purchasing a flat, it is essential to check the terms of the lease. Many leases are old and interpreting them in today’s property market can be ambiguous. You may wish to seek legal advice and discuss your plans with the freeholders and the management company. Leases can be updated with agreement from relevant parties at a reasonable cost. Also, carefully consider your mortgage and insurance products. Both are growing markets with new providers eager to access the market.

Buying a house immediately relieves you of lease considerations and complications. You’re also more likely to get some outside space, which may be a consideration for families or the group market wanting somewhere to dine, play or smoke (please don’t allow smokers inside your Airbnb!) etc.

If purchasing in London, you need to consider the 90 day rule. And, amid all of these considerations, you will also want to get your neighbours on-side.

The Space

An apartment on the ground floor will reduce the traffic flow of guests through communal areas to other floors. Likewise a basement flat is likely to have its own entrance. One bedroom flats are great for couples and the busy weekend market but they will also capture the professional market and these guests tend to stay longer and repeat book; remember to provide the right amenities for professionals. Two bedroom places that sleep up to 6 (don't forget the sofa bed) are also great and attract a broad range of low risk guests including families and groups of friends. Bigger places of say 4-6 bedrooms for the group market can charge a weekend premium throughout the entire year in many locations and may work for contractors during weekdays who may book for longer or return stays.

Purchase the right property and set it up correctly and you’ll attract guests across all market sectors which will massively help to drive your income and your occupancy all year round.

For further help and guidance contact Airhost For You, Brighton's Airbnb and Short Let Experts since 2015: info@airhostforyou.com / 01273 005087.