Our new Airbnb

Discussion in 'Airbnb & Short Term Letting' started by jodes, 8th Feb, 2017.

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  1. jodes

    jodes Well-Known Member

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    We recently purchased a two bedroom apartment in St Kilda and decided to list it on Airbnb rather than rent it out "traditionally". By way of background, we Airbnb'd our current PPOR for about 6 months while we waited out our lease and had great success- so we are seeing if we can replicate that (albeit from afar!)

    We purchased in early December and soon after listed it on Airbnb with some very old photos we found on the internet and a reduced rate (to attract bookings, and given we had crappy photos and no reviews). During December and January we got quite a few bookings and are probably 75% booked through to the end of June. The rate we listed at still allows us to break even/ make a slight profit, even taking into account the furniture and fittings (and is still much better than the return we would get with a traditional rental).

    We got keys on the 31st January and spent the last week in Melbourne (we live in Sydney), doing some minor renos (painting kitchen cabinets, new bathroom vanity) and driving around Melbourne to pick up our gumtree/ ebay purchases- not to mention countless trips to Ikea/ Kmart/ Target.

    We also found two cleaners who seem excellent. We have a key solution meaning we don't need anyone to meet our guests.

    We have set up a webpage, instagram and facebook page to try and attract extra bookings- they are still in early stages but hoping we have some success with those.

    Our first guest checks in today for 5 days (paying approximately 2x what we would get for one weeks "traditional" rent ), and we have another checking in as soon as they check out.

    There seems to be quite a bit of interest (both positive and negative) in regards to Airbnb so thought I would post our experience- i'll keep you posted with how it goes!

    (Oh and if anyone is heading to Melbourne and needs a place to stay, or wants another account to follow on insta, PM me and I can send you the links- not sure if we are allowed to post them here? :)
     
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  2. pinewood

    pinewood Well-Known Member

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    Hi @jodes. That sounds great! If my property was in a popular location, I would also be inclined to give AirBnB a go.

    I just wanted to comment that recently I booked a trip overseas and found a lot of AirBnB options over hotels. So I have booked about 3-4 different places in various towns. I have yet to tell you if my experience will be good or bad but I really liked the idea of AirBnB when you can have the whole apartment to yourself. However, I can from a potential renter's point of view tell you what I was looking for and how I came to select my accommodation: number of beds firstly, then price in my budget, then location to easy transport, the appearance of the place and then I relied on reviews.

    Make sure your descriptions are detailed and as accurate as possible and your photos are good and ample enough to get a feel for the place and give priority to photos of the space, esp bedrooms and bathrooms, and less on what the surrounding attractions in your location are. As reviews are going to be so important make sure you are on top of everything if you want to do it well like communication, cleanliness, responsiveness to problems etc, reviewers are quite honest and even if something isn't right but you attend to it quickly and aim to resolve it, they will say so, it will let potential renters feel assured and won't put them off.

    As soon as I saw unattractive photos or photos that emphasized other than the space itself and minimal detail in the descriptions I would just dismiss them as it just made me think there wasn't enough attention to detail and to me that would signal the kind of place I could expect. Also too many negative reviews would call also for dismissal so make sure you do a good job to get those good reviews. The reviews that really stand out for me are those when the host appears to really care about helping their guests have a great stay.

    All the best with your guests!
     
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  3. melbournian

    melbournian Well-Known Member

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    Good to know - show us your insta page.
    This is the new way to make dollars hence why I am saying a 1 bedroom in St Kilda, even docklands or southbank can outperform many suburbs just on rental alone from airbnb.
     
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  4. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Sounds great - love to hear about your experiences as a host as you go along!

    I've also just recently started hosting, and it has been mostly positive. I think you've inspired me to share my story about it as well - so maybe a thread coming soon.
     
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  5. Gockie

    Gockie Unicycle anywhere and everywhere... Premium Member

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    @jodes, good luck to you!

    I've just started an interstate Airbnb too, it's called "Beach house in Scarborough" (I'll need to tweak it). First guests check in tomorrow! :)
    Settled the day before Australia day, I had a crazy busy few days. I'll see how it goes.
     
    Last edited: 8th Feb, 2017
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  6. jodes

    jodes Well-Known Member

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  7. Gockie

    Gockie Unicycle anywhere and everywhere... Premium Member

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    Sorry, mine's Scarborough Qld! I'll see if there's anything I can do to make it easier to find in google.
     
  8. wobbycarly

    wobbycarly Well-Known Member

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    I have used AirBNB in Europe, as a guest, and it was great for us.

    I saw two tiny details in your listing that I felt could be improved. Nothing major, just what I think sounds better, as I'm a bit of a grammar nazi.

    First, I've never seen St Kilda written as Saint Kilda, as in your title.

    "The living room has a ridiculously comfy and large couch perfect for curling up and watching TV, or reading a book. The couch is also convertible into a queen bed, should you need the extra space (over 4 guests). "

    Suggested: "The living room has a large and ridiculously comfy couch perfect for curling up and watching TV, or reading a book. The couch also converts into a queen bed, should you need the extra space (for more than 4 guests).

    Besides those minor items, your listing sounds great. A really good balance between the property description and the location. Good luck - I'm sure you'll have success.
     
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  9. eyespy1

    eyespy1 Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing your story...very interesting. How do you plan to deal with problems such as client cannot get into building ? Let's say the keys don't work or they can't get the keys ?
    Just curious how to deal with problems when you are interstate.
     
  10. jodes

    jodes Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @wobbycarly - I really appreciate the feedback, I will definitely incorporate your changes (agree sounds much better). Re: Saint vs St unfortunately Airbnb lists it like that by default (If you search St Kilda though it comes up still).

    @eyespy1 I'm a risk manager by day so have (hopefully) built in enough redundancies. Our cleaner is located ten minutes away so can go around any time. If she is not available, we have a back up cleaner and if they aren't available (and at a stretch) my Mum and sister both live about 45 minutes away who all have keys :)
     
    Last edited: 10th Feb, 2017
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  11. eyespy1

    eyespy1 Active Member

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    Glad to hear you have all risks considered. Sounds good.
    Do you mind sharing what rates the cleaners charge ? I presume they also would buy and refill toilet paper/shampoo etc or have you got someone else doing that for you ?

    Also love how you've decorated the place, looks amazing!
     
  12. jodes

    jodes Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your kind words, @eyespy1 :)

    We are actually making a loss on cleaning at the moment- we charge $55 and I think the cleaner is going to cost us closer to $100+
    Both cleaners charge $30 an hour and have estimated it will take them 2-3 hours (tbc how long it takes them)- and $40 to wash the linens. They are both happy to buy replacement bottles, as well as the basics we have for breakfast.
    Hopefully once we have a few reviews, we can increase the cleaning price a bit to cover more of the cost. We did have one cleaner quote us almost $200 though! We found both cleaners on airtasker.

    As a side note, for our Airbnb in Sydney, we found a cleaner who was happy to work for $40 (excluding linen) and he was simply shocking- being away, I'm happy to pay more to ensure a good job is done.
     
  13. pinewood

    pinewood Well-Known Member

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    @jodes I think your listing is fantastic! Decor is super attractive and the whole apartment looks really cosy and inviting. You will do well! If I know of anyone looking for a stay in Melb, I'll recommend them to your place. :) Thanks for sharing... btw your labradoodle is seriously adorable!!!
     
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  14. jodes

    jodes Well-Known Member

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    @pinewood - complimenting my apartment AND my labradoodle in one post?! You are definitely my #1 PCer :)
     
  15. Momentum

    Momentum Well-Known Member

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    Looks fantastic, do you mind sharing the purchase price and do you estimate you're making more than 20% doing Airbnb over a traditional unfurnished 12mth lease?
     
  16. jodes

    jodes Well-Known Member

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    @nambis we've been open for a week but listed for about 2 months and are pretty much booked through to the end of April with some decent bookings beyond that. Assuming we continue to be decently booked, we should be able to make approximately 2- 2.5x what we'd make with a traditional rental per week- and maybe more once we hike up our prices once we have more reviews. Obviously there are increased costs including furnishing and fitting out and it's quite a bit of work (which fortunately I enjoy) but it's possible to actually make a profit with Airbnb as opposed to being cash flow negative with a traditional rental (we are in it for the long term CG so any profit or even break even is a bonus...! )
     
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  17. Gockie

    Gockie Unicycle anywhere and everywhere... Premium Member

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    Great stuff... you know what I think? Put your price up just a little bit, as your calendar already sounds solid.
     
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  18. Excalibur1

    Excalibur1 Well-Known Member

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    Second that! You should put the price up!
     
  19. jodes

    jodes Well-Known Member

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    We are off to a bit of a limping start! Our first guest left us only 3 stars overall and his only comment was "noisy on weekends, quiet on weekdays". This is despite him leaving a lovely note talking about now nice the place is, how welcome they felt etc (but there was a party on Saturday night which kept them awake all night) AND despite the fact that he gave us 5 stars in 4 categories and 4 stars in the remaining 2 (which does not equal 3 overall!) Saturday night was also the St Kilda Festival and honestly if you want to stay in St Kilda you should know it's not a quiet residential location....!

    Anyway, we have responded mentioning this and updated the listing to make people more aware of what St Kilda is like so hopefully we can prevent this from occurring again. Our second guest gave us 5 stars and glowing reviews so hopefully this continues :)
     
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  20. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    The exact same thing happened with me! First guest, 3 stars - pretty lame reasons. Ended up being okay as all my reviews since have been great and 5 stars.