I run a small vacation rental business relying on platforms like Airbnb to accommodate guests locally and from all over the world.
My experience here spans two years, but it has been a steep learning curve, one that has taught me the full plethora of hospitality management and property management services.
Therefore, I would like to share what I have learned from this innovative way of gaining returns from properties.
At a value of RM120 billion, Airbnb has surpassed the legacy accommodation providers like Hilton and Hyatt. In fact, Airbnb is worth more than Hilton and Hyatt groups combine.
Airbnb able to provide high traffic and has a terrific process that enable hosts to weed out bad guests.
Airbnb allows you to communicate with a potential guest and look at the potential guest’s past reviews before accepting the booking.
Even in comparison to other platforms that allow you to review a guest first before accepting a booking, Airbnb is ways superior.
This is a very important feature as it helps you plan for check-ins and helps you avoid troublemakers.
On top of this, Airbnb has a host guarantee, which is essentially an insurance policy that protects the host from damages caused by guest up to RM4million.
This is the icing on the cake for me.
How are we different?
My approach is vey calculated. I don’t price myself according to what the competition is doing.
I also focus on guest experience. I take genuine interest in every review and feedback. It’s not that I have never had a bad review but I rather grateful for the bad reviews as it helps me to improve.
The thing is, there is always areas for improvement.
Currently I am focused in the KL Metropolitan area.
“My vision is to be a significant contributor to the growth of Malaysia’s tourism industry and to provide our tourists with the best of Malaysian hospitality.”
Ideal property to run an Airbnb business
There is no hard and fast rule for size. I find that studio unit, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom apartments have equal potential in terms of revenue generation.
However, apartments that are too large are at a disadvantage.
This is because, a traveller will be drawn to the cheaper option, which most likely be the smaller apartment.
Even though apartments may have a better advantage compares to landed home, some landed home are able to succeed because they have unique concepts and can be considered outliers.
In Malaysia, service apartments are far better. The layout of a service apartment is friendlier for visitors.
I usually look at the following four criteria:
- Is the property a service apartment?
- How close is the property to tourist areas?
- How close is the property to shopping malls and entertainment?
- How close is the property to public transportation modes?
This helps to decide on where I should focus on property.
Managing the property
Based on my past experiences, I prefer to rent out the whole property as opposed to renting it out on a room basis.
More people prefer the privacy of having a whole property to themselves. So, the market in this sphere is bigger.
You can choose to engage with property managers to manage your property, but you must also be aware that they are not very skilled at setting up an exemplary vacation rental property.
Therefore, their performance will be shaped by the performance of the property you give them.
I do not own any property; do I have a chance to be involved in this business?
If you do not own a property, you can still participate in the vacation rental industry. Don’t worry about that.
One of the biggest misconceptions today is that you must own an asset to control it or derive income from it.
Think about this,
Airbnb is perhaps the largest accommodation provider, but I do not own any of the accommodations listed on its website.
Uber is the largest transportation provider in the world, but it does not own any of the information it provides.
And Google is the largest information provider in the world and it does not own any of the information it provides.
Think about it.
What I can say about Airbnb is, it’s a very handy platform for people who are trying to create another source of income.
All you need to have is open mindset, hard work and perseverance.
With that to be said,
Let’s host the guest!
Leave a comment below and we’ll reach out to you.