Have Your Clients Considered the Benefits of Airbnb?

darren-nolander-airbnb-featuredThe summer is upon us. Outside of the winter holidays, this is the biggest time of year for travel, which oftentimes comes in the form of vacation rentals. Whether it’s a cabin in Lake Tahoe, a shingle-style home in Nantucket or a condo with a rooftop deck in Downtown Seattle, millions of Americans will be looking for temporary dwellings as they soak up the sun.

Gone are the days where our only options were run-down hotels or couch-surfing with friends or family. Today’s travelers have the world at their fingertips thanks to companies like Airbnb. Whether you’re a fan of sharing a space with a hospitable local or not, there’s no denying this online lodging service has disrupted traditional travel accommodations.

And that’s a good thing.

Build Wealth in the Sharing Economy

Airbnb’s recent report notes that 60 percent of U.S. hosts say the site has helped them offset some of their home’s costs. The New York Times even notes that the service generates “hundreds of millions of dollars in rental income every year.” Annual median earnings can equate to about $5,468 – but that’s for the average host. FAM’s sophisticated relationship with home investors and fix and flippers means our pool of professionals are often experts at crafting the right housing product to maximize their rental income.

Airbnb also provides a wealth of information for new hosts on how they can safely and responsibly begin to earn income off their property through the site. Though it may be the biggest and most well-known, Airbnb isn’t the only game in town. Sites like HomeAway, Tripping and FlipKey also allow homeowners to rent out all or part of their homes to long- and short-term renters.

While the idea of vacation rentals is not new, the variety of platforms allows millions of more Americans to become comfortable with the idea of staying in a fully furnished, privately owned home. There can be many benefits to these dwellings over hotels, and these sites are doing a great job of educating consumers everyday.

Knowledge is Power

We need to do our part to inform our clients on the rental income potential they may accrue if they’re interested in such ventures. Those looking to purchase an income-producing property should be aware that a minimum one-year lease or vacation rental listed in the local newspaper are not the only ways to put your property to work. Even traditional homeowners who would enjoy earning a few hundred dollars toward their monthly mortgage may be keen to hear about the options available to them.

Keep your eyes and ears open this summer as you enjoy your vacations. Maybe spend some time browsing these sites to see what the typical homeowner can pull in per stay, and then begin contacting the relevant clients in your area who may be interested to hear what you’ve discovered.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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