Property owners typically turn to Airbnb to make money on short-term rentals. Airbnb might be the popular option for property managers looking to go this route, but it is not the only alternative. The option presents different challenges for property owners and managers because they have to do the hard work of managing their properties without any guarantees of income, especially when they are not able to market their properties effectively. The good news is that several Airbnb alternatives are adequately suited to such situations.
UpperKey is an upscale property management company offering a convenient living experience for modern travellers and tenants. They offer full concierge services for property owners by leasing out their whole properties and becoming the primary tenant. Once they do so, they guarantee your rent for the lease period.
In contrast to Airbnb services, the property owner does not need to find clientele or manage the property as UpperKey will do that for them. Their services stretch to property and buildings in different cities, with the contracts lasting up to three years depending on needs, requirements, and agreements.
Their full-service property management arrangement means you never have to worry about taking care of the property. UpperKey will take care of everything from ensuring the electricity bill is paid on time to maintenance being done on time.
To get started, property managers and owners can reach out to UpperKey for an assessment. If the property fulfils certain criteria, UpperKey will arrange a viewing which will kickstart the evaluation process. Managers and property owners of properties that pass the assessment and opt in can expect six months of rent upfront and a steady monthly income thereafter.
The Benefits of Opting for UpperKey
UpperKey provides property owners with several advantages beyond guaranteed income. The first is that they do not have to do any tenant screening. If you decide to use your property for Airbnb, you have to screen occupants or rely on the platform to do this for you. This is a less-than-ideal arrangement because you do not know who ends up leasing or occupying the property.
You will have to handle any problems that arise yourself and even in cases where Airbnb intervenes, they might not deal with the matter how you like them to. By having a single primary tenant like UpperKey, you will not have to worry about these issues. The company will also screen potential occupants and clientele on their end to eliminate headaches on their end which might come back to you.
Property owners also do not have to deal with repair and maintenance emergencies. These types of emergencies can crop up at any time, especially in older buildings or those with rotating occupants like Airbnbs. UpperKey will handle these things for you, ensuring all repair and maintenance work is completed by qualified and experienced professionals.
UpperKey will also make your property more attractive to an international clientele. International clientele wants the best services, whether they are staying in a hotel or short-term rental. By ensuring your property is in top shape, the company will make it more attractive to these types of clients.
Vrbo is an online platform and property management company that connects homeowners to holiday rentals. They typically cater to those looking for something more than a hotel or an Airbnb.
One difference between the former and the latter is that while Airbnb does provide rentals and occupancy agreements for occupied spaces, Vrbo does not. Instead, it provides individualised spaces for individuals or families.
Vrbo also provides property management services for property owners not interested in listing their properties on Airbnb. To this end, they have a service that helps you transfer your property from any other listed service to their service.
Being part of Expedia allows Vrbo to give properties exposure to millions of travellers and vacationers who already use Expedia to plan their vacations.
As with Airbnb, Vrbo does not give any income guarantees, but they will give you an estimate of what to expect. They also do not actively go out of their way to find tenants or occupants for your property, instead relying on their online presence to do that for them.
Agoda is another online platform that allows people to find hotels, homes and private stays. As with Vrbo, it relies on its main website to get people interested in your property, but it will not manage the property for you. This is not much different from Airbnb.
The main difference is that Agoda does not charge anything for listings. It doesn't take commissions for signing up, listing and using the various property management tools on its website. They give property owners total control over the pricing of their properties as well as other management features and tasks.
Agoda also lets property owners list their properties as singles or as multiple properties (flats, apartments, etc.).
If you are looking for an Airbnb alternative, the only thing Agoda has going for it is its zero commissions. You still have to manage bookings, communicate with guests, deal with issues that come up and generally take care of the priority.
It works as an Airbnb alternative, but property managers and owners who would rather not have a hands-on approach to property management would be better off with UpperKey or Vrbo.
Spareroom is a somewhat different service that sits between an Airbnb and a managed property. Spareroom helps people rent out their spare rooms and other people find these rooms. Their primary task is matching the two groups of people, doing people checks to ensure their users are safe and then facilitating the moving in.
When working as an Airbnb, it allows people to find rooms and houses for rent and short-term occupancy even though they would be living with a roommate. As a property management company, it helps list your room or property so other people can find it.
For the latter, you can list your property as a live-in landlord, live-out landlord, flatmate or current tenant and agent representing a landlord or property owner. The property owner or flatmate is expected to take care of everything concerning the management of the property.
Property owners can also list their whole property with no existing flatmates on a single contract. In doing this, the arrangement becomes more of a property management arrangement rather than the company trying to help landlords or roommates find people to occupy any available space in a property.
Homestay is very similar to Spareroom in that it helps travellers find a local host with a room to rent wherever they are travelling. They pride themselves in helping travellers find cheap accommodation. Even though this is the main benefit, some people are not comfortable with these arrangements.
Homestay also allows those with room to spare to earn extra income. They can lease this space for different periods to tourists, international students and professionals looking to stay for a few days or even a few months.
As with Airbnb and some of the other alternatives we have looked at above, property owners have to manage everything to do with their property. They have to set prices, liaise with their clients and take care of complaints or issues.
Airbnb is a great platform, but it has numerous downsides that make people look for alternatives. For property managers, the hands-on approach and no income guarantee are concerning, especially in slower seasons. For those looking for accommodation, cost is one of the main factors that make you look for an alternative.
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