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The Brave New World of Airbnb | By: Fellow GDREIA Members

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The Brave New World of Airbnb
By Larry D. Hudson
Imagine opening your rental home to prospective tenants you’ve never meet. Imagine you don’t even talk with them on the phone – but limit your interaction to text and email.
Welcome to the world of Airbnb.
Longtime Greater Dayton REIA member Peggy Rahe has been discovering the potential of the Airbnb business over the past year.
Rahe told Greater Dayton REIA’s First Wednesday meeting for March (3/1/17) she had a rental house that wasn’t working out so well. That is – until she hit upon the idea of marketing the house as lodging for visitors to the Dayton area an alternative to hotel rooms and bed and breakfast rooms.
She decided to adopt a theme in decorating the house – a bicycle logo. Soon she filled the house with bicycle-themed nicknacks.
“Bicycles as in the Wright Brothers,” Rahe told Greater Dayton REIA’s First Wednesday meeting for March (3/1/17).
Soon she was setting up the other necessities for the Airbnb lodging. She included a fully-equipped kitchen a smart TV and WIFI service. She found a good cleaning crew that could quickly turn the property around between visitors.
“That’s one of the most important things,” Rahe said.
Also important: marketing the house, which she named Willow Grove House, after the Kettering street where the house is located.
“The key is marketing,” Rahe said, “including a lot of good photos on the website.”
Lodgers who stay at Willow Grove House check themselves in and check themselves out, with
security deposits and lodging payments automatically deducted from a credit card posted with Airbnb, Rahe said.
Both Willow Grove House and potential visitors are subject to ratings on Airbnb, Rahe said, which provides a powerful incentive for both. Airbnb operators like Rahe live and die by the ratings, she said, and potential guests do, too.
“If they have bad ratings, I don’t take them,” she said.
After nearly a year in the Airbnb business, Willow Grove House appears to be doing well, Rahe said.  
“We’ll know more when we finish preparing our taxes,” she said.
In the meantime, Rahe is continuing to resist Airbnb’s messages urging her to lower the nightly rate for Willow Grove House, a rate she admits are well above the competition.
“We’re having little trouble staying booked,” Rahe said. Click Here


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