With Airbnb's (NASDAQ: ABNB) stellar IPO, it's clear investors see great value in the property rental company. Indeed, renting out your property through Airbnb can be a lucrative endeavor, particularly if you own a place in a vacation hot spot. But according to a recent thread on Reddit, you can still make it as an Airbnb host even if you don't live near the beach, the ski slopes, or in the heart of a city. Here's how.
How to rent your Airbnb -- no matter where it is
When it comes to marketing your rental property, it's all about location, just as it is with real estate sales. But unlike homebuyers looking at a convenient location for the long term, a renter only needs a prime spot for the short term. And as Airbnb hosts have come to learn, there are many reasons besides vacations people book overnight and short-term stays.
If you're in a nonvacation spot, you can still make it as an Airbnb host, especially if your city or town has any of the following.
If your property is in a sleepy town that wakes up for an annual festival, you might have a good opportunity on your hands. Some have found the income generated during festival season is enough for the entire year, making for a low-maintenance approach to Airbnb hosting. Best of all, the Masters Rule -- which gets its name from the annual golf tournament -- waives federal taxes on income from properties rented for 14 days or fewer each year (state taxes may differ).
Speaking of golf...
Sports complexes and golf courses
If the property is near a sports complex or golf courses, you could cash in on out-of-town fans and golf enthusiasts looking for a place to crash. Collegiate sports especially have die-hard fans who come in from all over -- you could make a killing from Homecoming weekend alone.
Colleges and universities
Of course, you don't have to live in Big Ten Country to make it as an Airbnb host. Any college town has opportunities for short-term rentals -- think student orientation, parents' weekend, homecoming, and graduation. If you live close enough to a college campus, your rental might even be a good option as temporary housing for new faculty or staff who have recently moved to town and need a place to stay as they're getting settled.
If you live in a town where there's a healthcare facility that attracts out-of-town patients, you might have a market for your Airbnb. Caregivers who want to stay close to loved ones can rent it out, but don't forget about visiting doctors and staff -- they might be looking for something cozier than a hotel room near their temporary workplace.
You can attract travelers and flight crew looking for a quick commute to the airport.
If you live near a vineyard, wedding reception venue, spa, or any other attraction, you could cash in with out-of-town guests -- especially if your rental prices beat those of nearby hotels.
Other options for your Airbnb
If none of the above apply to your location, fear not. Here are two other ways you can market your Airbnb.
A unique experience
Some properties are so incredible that the renter might not want to leave the premises. In that case, geography doesn't really matter at all. For example, there's the Hobbit House of Pawling in Pawling, New York, a village in Dutchess County about 70 miles north of Manhattan. Renovated and furnished so that it looks like Bilbo Baggins' house, the Airbnb hosts bank on Tolkein fans booking this themed property night after night. As long as guests can feel like they are in Middle-earth, it doesn't matter where they are on the map in the real world.
Home (away from home) for the holidays
Whatever your location, if you've got a large house or a luxury property, it'll make a family's holiday that much merrier. In the listing, be sure to point out the home's spacious dining room, gourmet kitchen, huge patio, or any other feature that will attract families seeking a change of scenery for their holiday gatherings.
The bottom line
While a location in a vacation hot spot could make it easier to fill up an Airbnb host's calendar, there are plenty of opportunities for property investors to make money in nonvacation spots as well. Look around your area -- and your home itself -- to see what might attract people, then market your property accordingly.