Beach House Business Model: Finding, Optimizing, and Profiting From Short-Term and Vacation Rentals

Physical Copy:

By: Automated Retirees

Rating: C+

We have stayed in several Airbnb’s or vacation rentals while on vacation over the past few years. Largely, it has been a great experience. Going on vacation to fun places and staying in beautiful and interesting houses is a blast. I am curious about the business model and at what point they are profitable. This book was pretty unsophisticated and a do everything yourself kind of book. It did have some good rules of thumb and checklists that you can use. For now, we will continue going to different places on vacation and exploring new houses. There are too many places I haven’t been to yet to pick just one.


Chapter 1: Why Airbnb Investing is the Fastest Way to Retire Early

  1. Airbnb Review System
  2. Affordability and Adventure
  3. The concept is unique
  4. Airbnb supports a free market

Cleaning Up:

If you don’t have that kind of free time, then you’ll need to hire a maid – not just any kind of maid. You’ll need one that knows to wash all the sheets, take note of missing consumables, and a host of other tasks.

No matter who you hire, you should have a maid checklist.

Chapter 2: The Two Best Airbnb Investments

The list below touches on a few reasons why opting for an Airbnb condo is the better choice (especially for newbie property investors).

  1. Condos Tend to Be Cheaper
  2. Condo prices appeal to more guests
  3. Condos offer more convenience
  4. A house is more maintenance
  5. Other Airbnb Investors stay away from them

Chapter 3: Six Steps to Purchase the Perfect Property

Step 1: Make a List of Places of Interest

Beach towns make a lot of money in the summer and spring. Beach season starts picking up in March and hits its peak in July. By lowering your prices in slow months, you’ll make money all year with beach towns.

Focusing on beach and mountain towns is an excellent option for a first-time investor because these places are popular hot spots for travelers. Since I like to focus on vacation areas, this is the obvious choice.

Step 2: Find a City to Invest In

The Free Way

The free way involves three tools:,, and

The Fast Way

Go to Buy a middle-of-the-road package.

You’ll see a dropdown in the top left-hand corner. You can look at things like a heatmap for “Airbnb Cash on Cash Returns.

Step 3: Check the Law

The first and best resource is Airbnb’s website. They have a section called “responsible hosting: that stays apprised of laws for many larger cities worldwide.

Step 4: Look for Competition

Go back to We want to look at our potential competition and size them up. To do this, just put in your prospective investment city (leave everything else blank) and click the magnifying glass.

First off, make sure there are active Airbnb listings.

Next glance through all of the pictures, looking for trends.

Now, look at the cancelation policy. You’ll want to pick an area that predominantly has a moderate or strict policy.

Consider overall ratings. Search for very close to if not exactly 5 star properties.

Make a note of the average daily rate, the number of rooms, and what types of properties are popular here.

What amenities are common?

Step 5: Compare Home Prices

Step 6: Separate Yourself From the Competition

The one thing I recommend you shy away from is water, at least for your first property. Pools and hot tubs will set you apart, but they are also a liability.

Chapter 4: The Perfect Purchase… And Your Contingency Plan!

Property Managers:

A host who doesn’t want to deal with anything, should outsource all the work to a property manager.

Property managers charge anywhere between 10% to 35% of your monthly earnings, but they are responsible for taking care of your guests, optimizing your listing, and even coordinating your cleaning and maintenance crews.

Your first deal:

When making a real estate investment, there are two sides to consider: 

  1. What will that property pay you? I.e. How much money are you going to make?
  2. How much will this property cost?

You need to research these cost categories specific to your property:


  • Property Tax
  • Persona//Business Tax
  • Lodging Tax
  • Maintenance
  • Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Consumables
  • Cleaning
  • HOA fees
  • Mortgage


Your income will be based on two factors: occupancy and nightly rate. You can estimate this by looking at similar Airbnbs in your area.

Is your Airbnb property legal?

Get the necessary permits and licenses. Some cities ask you to apply for permits and a business license before you list your property. You may be asked to submit documents for each property. 

Chapter 5: Pictures & Listings & Reviews, Oh My!

“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at.”

Three Major Guest Types:

Family: they want to know good food at family friendly restaurants, great activities like zoos, beaches, and theme parks etc.

Adult: Could be a single guy, bachelor party, or a big group of adult friends. They want to know about the nightlife.

Businesspeople: They’ll want nearby food and maybe a drink or two. But the most important thing is a quiet place to work.

Bonus: Final Touches

List of House Rules to include in guest packets:

  1. No parties!
  2. Smoking areas (if you allow smoking)
  3. Quiet hours for the neighborhood.
  4. The cleaning procedure the guests should follow before they leave (like putting their dirty dishes in the dishwasher or putting all towels in the washer.)
  5. Absolutely no more guests than what they have included in the booking. If they have more guests than their booking states, you might not be covered under Airbnb’s insurance.
  6. Any off-limit areas in or around the home.
  7. Any rules about the lights and heating. Should they turn the lights off before they leave each day? Do you have temperature controls?
  8. Anything else that you can think of that would make life easier for your maids, guests, and neighbors.

How to Become a Superhost!

Superhosts get superpowers where SEO is concerned, as the algorithm will see you as a trustworthy host, sending your listing to the top of the heap!

  • Have at least 10 bookings or 3 medium term stays with a total of 100 nights booked in one year.
  • A 50% review rate – at least half of your guests left a review.
  • A 90% response rate – you respond to 90% of the prospective guest’s questions within 24 hours.
  • Zero cancelations except in extenuating circumstances.
  • Have a 4.8 star rating.

Next Actions:

Keep trying Airbnbs in different vacation destinations!

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