All posts by Scott

Big Data Now Available for Airbnb Micro-Entrepreneurs

Los Angeles based RentingYourPlace.com today announced the launch of AirDnA, a new analytics tool that provides performance data to Airbnb entrepreneurs.airdna

AirDnA (an acronym for Airbnb Data and Analytics) provides free data on over 150,000 Airbnb listings in nearly 1,000 cities across the United States. Using a Google map, users can select a state and zoom into their particular city of interest to uncover information such as: average nightly price, number of listings, guest reviews, and the availability of amenities such as air conditioning or cable TV. AirDnA paints a picture of how pervasive short-term rentals have become across the country. From the mountains of Aspen, Colorado, where the average price of the 48 available homes is $705 per night, to the coast of Lihue, Hawaii, where an average home goes for $138 a night. Exploring the presence of Airbnb across the 50 states provides a glimpse into the cost of staying in each town and how much micro-entrepreneurs are capable of earning by renting their own place.

For an additional fee (starting from $19.99), AirDnA provides sophisticated “city intelligence” reports for the more advanced user. By analyzing the performance of over 100,000 properties each week, the dynamic report creates neighborhood pricing guides, recommends reservation settings, and shares insights about the most successful Airbnb hosts.

“Hosts make dozens of crucial decisions when creating and pricing their Airbnb listing” says Scott Shatford, Founder of RentingYourPlace.com and author of The Airbnb Expert’s Playbook. “I developed AirDnA to set the standards and best practices for maximizing each properties earning potential.”

A former Sr. Director of Operations at Korn/Ferry International where he specialized in business intelligence, Shatford created AirDnA due to his own frustration finding a resource that helped hosts make data-driven decisions. “It took me two years of trail and error to increase my revenue by 20%. It should now take the typical host about 20 minutes to see the same results,” he says.

Come check us out! AirDnA – Free Airbnb Data & Analytics

At last.. Airbnb Analytics

Ever wondered why Airbnb doesn’t help you set better prices for holidays, or show you how your property is performing compared to your neighbors? Wouldn’t it be nice to know what the typical cleaning fee is for your type of place, or what the average occupancy rates are in your area. I’ve decided to fill the knowledge gap, grab the data, and answer all the question I’ve encountered running an Airbnb business over the past two years.

By collecting data from Airbnb and doing extensive analysis, I’ve been able to answer questions such as:

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  • Can I make more money by increasing my weekend rates?
  • What exactly is my neighborhoods high, mid, and low season?
  • Does charging a deposit lower my chances of getting bookings?
  • What is the average cleaning fee for a two bedroom apartment?
  • How many more inquiries will I receive with a 5 star rating vs. a 4 star rating?
  • What is average occupancy rate through the summer for my city?
  • What is the standard discount for week and month booking?

With this data I’ve been able to craft my listing, pricing, and fee’s to maximize my occupancy and daily price in order to run an efficient, optimized, and hugely profitable Airbnb business.

Live Data as of June 6th, 2014

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As well as better understanding the big picture, I’ve gained countless insights into the pitfalls most host are falling into. Did you know that 66% of hosts in Los Angeles never change their daily pricing for holidays? Can you imagine how much revenue airlines would miss out on if they didn’t increase their prices around Christmas?  Can you believe that 21% of hosts don’t charge any type of cleaning fee?

With the new sharing economy comes an army of new micro-preneurs ready to realize huge benefits from big data.

What questions have you had about your property? Visit my blog page at rentingyourplace.com and leave a comment.  I may just have the answer you’ve been looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This report is just scratching the surface of what is possible.

Sign up for my newsletter at Rentingyourplace.com to know when you can run your own report for your city.

 

 

 

 

 

Airbnb Competitive Intelligence

Have you ever wondered what the average occupancy rate is for you neighborhood or what’s the best price to charge for a holiday weekend?  If so, then an Airbnb competitive intelligence is the source of all of your answers.

By compiling the information from all of the Airbnb listings in the United States, I have produced a method of guaranteeing at least a 10% increase in booking revenue in less than 30 days.

Here is an example of a live summary report for the my home town Santa Monica, CA.

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Want to get an snapshot of your town? Go to rentingyourplace.com and signup for the newsletter.

The Airbnb Expert’s Playbook

I’ve received so much interest from friends and family on the success of my Airbnb ventures that I’ve written an entire Ebook on the subject called The Airbnb Expert’s Playbook – Secrets of a Six-Figure Rentalpreneur. I spent 6-months researching the sharing economy, Airbnb, and interviewing super hosts to create best practices for everything from interior design, pricing techniques, SEO and tax considerations. You can purchase the book through Amazon now for only $9.99.

 


The Commercial Space Race

It seems like every year another space age technology enters the day-to-day routines of average citizens.   Once awe-inspiring gadgets like the Jetson’s Visaphone and Minority Report’s gesture controlled computers infiltrated our lives to improve our connectivity and productivity.   Now, a new Sci-Fi reality is on the brink of entering the main stream aiming to lifting heads up from gadgets and inspiring a new generation of astronauts.

While missions to the moon and mars are already in the planning stages, tickets are now being sold for brief sub orbital site seeing tours.  During a dinner with Michael Mole, CEO of Space Expedition Corporation, it was difficult not to be energized by his account of the next big thing in adventure travel.   Taking off in a rocket ship and breaking the speed of sound in less than a minute, accelerating to Mach three in another two, shooting up to an altitude of 100KM to suspend weightless for five minutes before hurdling back to earth with 4G’s of pressure against your chest; decelerating into a glide back to earth landing just one hour after take off.

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The thrill of a lifetime comes with an equally gut wrenching sticker shock.  Prices range from $100,000 – $250,000 per seat.  The price includes an array of flight simulators, zero-g flights, and G-centrifuges that teach you tricks for coping with the different levels of gravitational forces.   Don’t be expecting Groupon discounts anytime time soon, Michael says,  “the price has been set buy the good old principles of supply and demand.”   As long as the number thrill-seeking millionaires outnumber the number of available seats this excursion will be left to the deep-pocketed adventure seekers.

The next few years are sure to define a new era in travel and thrill seeking.   The race is heating up and the question is longer if, but how we’d like to enjoy our journey into the space.  Virgin Galactic is scheduled to be the first commercial operator to launch ships by the end of this year and Richard Branson plans to be aboard the first shuttle.  Spacexc is taking reservations now for flights launching in Q3 of 2014.

These are the only two companies taking reservations for trips into space in the next year… here’s a quick comparison of the experience.

Virgin Galactic ($250,000) –

Pro’s – Out of seat weightless experience, 3hr trip, larger shuttle so you can share the experience with your polo pals.

Con’s – Small porthole windows to view the world below you.

 Spacexc ($100,000) –

Pro’s – You’re the co-pilot.   You have full 180 degree view during the flight.  Single aircraft makes the ride seamless, price.

Con’s – Only 1 hour trip, the small 2 person aircraft is too small to exit your seat to do zero gravity somersaults.

Crack your Genetic Code for only $99

For the last decade I’ve followed news about genetically modified foods, gene based therapies, and genetic predispositions.   All this research and development seemed best left for the geeks in white lab coats, but thanks to Sergey Brin and his wife, every Dick and Jane can now sequence parts of their DNA to better understand their genetic puzzle.

The website is 23andme.com, and for only $99 you can send your saliva in to be tested against over 1 million known markers that affect everything from male pattern baldness to Parkinson’s disease.    The amount of personalized results you’ll receive on increased health risks, reactions to drug therapies, and personal traits is astounding.  You will find that you are a recessive carrier of some disease you’ve never heard of and begin digging into research.  Looking into the latest medical trials and going back through a timeline of discoveries, the endless pages of facts and preventative care act like a personalized WebMD that opens up the world of anatomy and biology to those of us that left the subjects long ago at the high school doors.

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Beyond the vast amounts of illnesses, and genetic sequencing there lies another component of humanity.   By comparing my DNA to that of early inhabitants I found that I am 8.2% Neanderthal… my mom assumed that number to be much higher. Looking further into your ancestry you can see your maternal lineage is Basque or believed to come from the Viking invaders into Northern Europe around the 8th century…  a perfect reason to brush up on that European history.    But, perhaps the biggest astonishment came from the number of relatives that can instantly be linked to you based on the % of exact DNA strains.   It only took a couple days for a message to arrive from a third cousin in Ireland.   Maybe it’s just me, but everyone seems so much more interesting when you think of them as fibers from the same impossibly complex family tree.

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I’m continually shocked that most people I’ve spoken to about getting the test done explain they, ‘just don’t want to know’.   To me it’s an odd paradigm where in a world of infinite information that we would chose to avoid exploring our most fundamental data.  I guess people have enough fear pumped into their daily lives without the knowledge of an impending disease.  But, If were told I had a high probability of Alzheimer’s, I can only imagine I’d make a point to create more vivid memories.

Cutting the Cord – Sticking it to the cable Man

As a long time channel surfer, I had serious anxiety about ditching the safety of the 600 channels offered from my local cable provider. But, when my introductory rates expired and my monthly bill went to $160 I searched for a better solution to my nightly entertainment needs.

Finding the right mix of streaming hardware, recording devices, antennas, and apps was at first mind numbing.  There and an endless amount of configurations of these device that require different amounts tech expertise.  Some tech wizards have networked their homes to run everything off of their mobile phone for free.  But, I’ll save that blog for another day and cover the most basic ways to cut the cable, keep your internet, and save yourself at least $100 per month.  And just in case $100 doesn’t sound like a enough money for your trouble.. if you take that $100 (add inflation) and reinvest it over 40 years you’ll save yourself at least a million dollars.

The 4 Pieces of the Puzzle

Streaming Content Providers – (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, YouTube)

I’ve used all of the above and each has it’s strong suite.  Start with Netflix, Hulu, and grab your moms HBO GO password – you’ll be a happy couch potato for months to come

If there are TV shows you can’t live without, you can find who offers it at Can I Stream It.  

Streaming Devices – (Roku, Apple TV, Boxee, Smart TV’s)

These doohickeys come in all shapes and sizes with the same goal of bringing you a clean user experience to naviagting between all of your steaming content.  The reigning champ at this point is the Roku.  It’s super clean UI, ability to search for programs between all of your apps, and headphone that plug into the remote so you can refrain from subjecting everyone else to your insomnia

The challenger could be the new Google Chromecast.  For only $39 you can send what you’re watching on your computer directly to your TV.  Just released, I think this is a better option for that spare bedroom at this point.

It’s worth noting that almost all new TV’s are ‘Smart” and internet ready with most of the streaming content apps preloaded.

HD Antenna’s – (Moho Leaf, everything else)

Don’t worry you won’t need to replace that thing on your roof or ruin your living room decor with a four foot space transponder.  These antenna’s look nothing like those mental images from your childhood.   They have come along way and will go long way in improving your cordless experience.

If you are within 50 miles of civilization the Moho Leaf this should be an easy choice for getting your local channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX..).  The Moho leaf combines performance with aesthetics and removes the need for tweeking those rabbit ears.  You should visit TV Fool to make sure you are within range of your local broadcasting transmitters. You may need to Tim “the tool man” Taylor it if you are far from the station transmitters.

A good antenna is a must for those days you just want something quick to watch while your eating breakfast,  vegging on the couch for Sunday football, or just don’t feel like selecting that perfect movie.

DVR’s – (TiVo, your old PC)

DVR’s are something that most people are going to do without when cutting the cable cord.  The monthly service fee that TiVO requires goes against everything this uprising stands for.   That being said, if being current on the latest episode of American Idol, The Bachelor, or CSI is a must than Tivo is a great plug and play solution.   The Tivo will provide you with all of the programing information to schedule your recordings just like your current box – minus the 580 channels of garbage.

There are other creative ways to record TV using an old computer as your hard drive that will save you the monthly subscription fees.  Some of those options are listed here.

I hope you all enjoy the voyage into the next generation of in-home entertainment.

 

Maximizing your AirBnB profits

In an attempt to recoup some of my overhead during an extended trip to southeast asia, I decided to list my Santa Monica apartment on Airbnb. Six months later I’ve grossed $35,000 and have moved into a second house. Is Airbnb a micro-prenuer business that will be squashed by regulations? Will the market be flooded with units until there is no margins left for the average host? Or will Airbnb be the biggest disrupter in the history of travel?
I’m betting on the longterm success of Airbnb and will share a few tips on how you too can pay the bills by renting out your apartment.

Pictures – Airbnb offers a free professional photographer for your listing.. Use it! They will want to use as much light as show as much color as possible. So grab those throw pillows and replace those burnt out bulbs. Make sure the place shines and is free of nic naks and as many personal belongings as possible. People want to imagine your home as their own.

Pricing – Research all of the places in your neighborhood for different dates a couple months in the future to make sure you have the largest number of units in your search results. Do the standard location and size comparisons and price your place 25% under market value to get started. Once you’re up and running, price your available days over 30 days in the future at a higher price than what you have available this month.  Many vacation planners and are willing to pay a premium to secure the perfect place far in advance.  Lower you rates for the gaps in the reservations and for the upcoming week to ensure that you have as close to 100% occupancy as possible.

Greeting Guests – Don’t waste your time meeting every guest that comes to your place. It will drive you crazy waiting around for people stuck in traffic and take to much time out of your day. Have hideaway keys or remote entry available. Most guests will appreciate skipping the awkward walk through after their red-eye.   Create a detailed House Guide that answers every imaginable question.   You can also include maps of the area and local recommendations to create some personal flare.

Cancel your Cable – Get all of your cost on your place as low as possible. Like running any business, make sure you have all of your cost contained. Get a Roku and share passwords with your home account for all you streaming content. Almost no one is going to book your place because of the basic cable. Your losing $5 a day by having it.   Maybe even try to cozy up to your neighbor for a WIFI password to cut out as many utilities as possible.

Cleaning – Do it Yourself! Get your hands dirty when turning the apartment around between guest and have a cleaner come in only once per month. 95% of cleaning between guest can be done in an hour. Cleaners in my area will charge $70 to do the same thing. Get your hands dirty and have a professional get the bathroom scum once a month. I average 6 turnovers per month. It saves my bottom line $400.

Positive Reviews – People want to see that other have had a great experience and the guest on AirBnB are more than happy to enthusiatically endorse you. Make sure you leave every guest with a nice note and follow up with them after thier stay to make sure they review your place

Buying in Bulk – It seems ridiculous when your walking out of Costco with 500 rolls of toilet paper but it will get used and people expect there to be plenty of these household goods. Save yourself the weekly trip to CVS.

I think you’ll find becoming your own real estate tycoon is much easier than you’d expect.  Try it on your next vacation and see where it may take you.