With me managing vacation homes, some worth as much as 4 million dollars… being an AirBnB host was right up my alley. The boat was essentially another property in my eyes. Even better, it was only listed for rent on AirBnB, it was priced under $100, therefore, it wouldn’t require the 5-star amenities that the other properties require, right?
Wrong! While some of the guests were amazing and knew what to expect from their booking, others had a slightly unrealistic expectations of their stay. I knew one particular guest was going to be a problem the moment she said she told her work colleagues, in a rather gloating manner, not to bother her this weekend, because she’ll be on her “yacht.” Lets just say that she expected a Warren Buffett experience. So when she got Jimmy Buffett, she wasn’t pleased.
On the other hand, we had a number of great guests who enjoyed themselves and wished they could stay again. Some were new to AirBnB, others had used the site frequently, but never stayed on a boat. We had a few passer-byers who stayed on our boat for the night before continuing their journey in the morning. Others used the boat as their main attraction and vacation spot.
Like any rental home, guests aren’t afraid to use it. So, by the end of the first month, we had a broken bench on the top deck, a broken shower, a clogged toilet, a bilge area flooded with grey water, left behind tobacco dip spit in a bag… You get where this is going. And, guess who had to fix it all?
If you aren’t familiar with how to clear a clogged head, then I am not going to be the one to fill you in on the details. I will simply inform you that when it comes to dealing with digested dinners, one odor-blocking face mask didn’t do, so I had to double up.
Host life wasn’t all bad though, it was mostly good, and while the frustrations were unique to the boat, the boat didn’t have any more or less frustrations than a vacation rental home would. While I might have spent more time at the boat because we didn’t have an automation system that allowed people to let themselves in, and I had to give them instructions, the boat actually out performed all of my homes in terms of occupancy. Especially given the bookings came in on such a short notice, since we listed it only a week before we started taking bookings.
While the boat had a few hiccups, they were addressed promptly, which was good for guests, and good for us. We learned a lot about the boat’s state from others who used it. And in the end, we determined that hosting on AirBnB is something that we would absolutely do again. It paid three months of slip fees and then some, in only 6 weeks of renting it.
In fact, in terms of ROI, investing in a boat as a rental property here in Southwest Florida will blow a traditional home out of the water… Or in it, rather. But there are a few caveats I’d be glad to share for those interested in the income aspect. Please feel free to reach out for more information if you’d like.
While adding AirBnB hosts to the resume was a huge step, we have still barely scratched the surface, because “D Day” is on the horizon.