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  • Writer's pictureChris Goff

Starting Your Journey in Short-Term Rentals: A Guide for Real Estate Investors

So, you're keen on exploring the world of real estate investing and are considering short-term rentals as a potential venture. That's an excellent choice! The short-term rental market has exploded in recent years, thanks to platforms like Airbnb and VRBO that have revolutionized the way people travel.

But how do you get started? Here's a step-by-step guide to help you embark on your journey in short-term rentals as a real estate investor.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Before diving into any investment, research is crucial. Understand the dynamics of the short-term rental market. Familiarize yourself with rental laws and regulations in your area or the area you plan to invest in. Some cities have restrictions or require permits for short-term rentals. A great resource for everything short-term rentals is AirDNA.

Who is AirDNA?

AirDNA is a data analytics company that provides data and analytical insights for the vacation rental industry, specifically focusing on Airbnb and Vrbo data. They offer tools and data services for hosts, real estate investors, property managers, and other stakeholders in the short-term rental market.

Their products include MarketMinder, which offers comprehensive market intelligence about short-term rental performance in specific locations, and Investment Explorer, which helps users identify profitable real estate investment opportunities in the short-term rental market.

It's important to note that AirDNA is not affiliated with Airbnb or Vrbo; they are an independent company that analyzes publicly available information from these platforms. Click here to learn more about AirDNA.

Step 2: Find the Right Property

The success of your short-term rental largely depends on its location. Properties in popular tourist destinations, near business centers, or close to major attractions tend to perform well. Consider factors like safety, accessibility, and the quality of the neighborhood.

REIPro is indeed a valuable resource for those looking to invest in short-term rentals. It's a comprehensive real estate investment software that provides tools for lead generation, deal analysis, marketing, and more. With REIPro, you can search for potential investment properties, evaluate their profitability, manage your leads and contacts, and even create marketing materials. Whether you're a seasoned investor or just starting out, REIPro offers a suite of tools to help you find and analyze potential short-term rental deals effectively. Click here to learn more about REIPro.

Step 3: Secure Financing

Once you've found the right property, the next step is securing financing. This could be through savings, bank loans, or private lenders. Be sure to factor in all costs, including purchase price, renovation costs, ongoing maintenance, and marketing expenses.

How to Buy Short-Term Rentals with Seller Financing

Step 4: Prepare Your Property

Short-term renters often expect their accommodation to be comfortable and well-equipped. Furnish the property tastefully and ensure it has all the necessary amenities. High-speed internet, clean linens, and a fully equipped kitchen are often expected.

Step 5: Market Your Short-Term Rental

List your property on popular short-term rental platforms. High-quality photos and a catchy description can help attract potential renters. Highlight unique features and local attractions.

Step 6: Manage Your Property

Managing a short-term rental involves handling bookings, cleaning between guests, dealing with maintenance issues, and providing customer service. If this seems daunting, consider hiring a property management company specializing in short-term rentals.

Step 7: Review and Improve

Finally, always be open to feedback. Reviews from your guests can provide valuable insights for improvement. Monitor your rental's performance and make necessary adjustments to pricing, marketing strategies, or even the property itself.

How Much Money Can You Make with Short-Term Rentals?

The amount of money you can make with short-term rentals varies greatly based on several factors, such as location, property type, and rental demand.

Based on the forecasted average daily rate of $286.91 in 2023, an expected annual income for a short-term rental investment property could be around $60,110.51.

However, it's important to remember that this is just an average figure. Depending on the location and the quality of your property, you could potentially earn more. For instance, some sources suggest that short-term rentals can generate between $1,000-$2,000 per month.

On the other hand, a standard 1-bedroom apartment could reasonably go for $137/night, which means if you rent out your apartment for 30 nights a month, you could potentially earn over $4,000 in a month.

While there's potential for significant revenue, it's crucial to understand that running a successful short-term rental requires ongoing effort, including property maintenance, customer service, and adjusting pricing strategies according to market trends.


Investing in short-term rentals can be a rewarding venture if done correctly. It offers the potential for significant financial returns and the satisfaction of providing a home away from home for travelers. With careful planning, due diligence, and continuous learning, you can set yourself up for success in the world of short-term rentals. Happy investing!


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