I intend to generate income from my place, using Airbnb. I much prefer the idea of higher-paid, short term rental, rather than having long-term tenants who pay less and may become problematic. Airbnb customers do not become tenants and therefore they don't have the same tenancy rights.
I've had bad experiences with people who stay long-term, but pay short-term, or not at all. People who are vacationing, aren't likely to try to stay at my place forever, while accumulating mountains of junk. They have homes and jobs to get back to. My long-term tenants had none of the above.
So, it's not only a way for me to get into a different type of tenancy, it is a way to attract an entirely different demographic. People who can afford to go on a vacation and stay in a motel. Vancouver Island attracts many international visitors.
I may make some provision to allow people to do some work, in exchange, but I expect to collect the full amount for at least the first few days, in advance, through the Airbnb payment system. If the people are able to make themselves useful, we would go on a day-by-day basis, until they wish to leave.
The tourist season, coincides with the season when garden produce is in abundance. Whenever I am at the property, during an Airbnb stay, I expect to offer at least two meals per day. In this way, I would be able to get far more than retail for vegetables, fruit and meat, without having to run my stuff to a market in town.
For me, this will only work for people who come with their own transportation. I'm 8 miles from public transit and 11 miles from the ferry terminal. Many people rent a vehicle, when traveling the island. I'm 9 miles from the airport, where you can also rent a car. I could accommodate people who arrive by bicycle. They could rent the cabin or go for the much less expensive option of camping by the pond.
Alcohol, drugs and cigarettes.
I intend to make my disdain for abuse of these products, well-known on my profile and on an attached Facebook page. Hopefully, this will help to attract the right crowd.
As with most things I do, I don't intend to ask for permission. I'm going to start doing it, and wait to see if any authority tries to stop me. If they do, I will stop for a time and then start again. I will continue with this, unless fines or some other action seem imminent. The only way I foresee having any problem with the authorities, is if my neighbors were to call. This is one more good reason to have a firm stand on cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. Just about every tenancy problem I have had, in my life, have been related to these things, or people who use these things, even if they weren't using them at the time.
Cigarettes and alcohol are legal substances. I suppose, that this could become a problem, should anyone want to pursue the issue, but it's a risk I'm willing to take. People put their use of these things on their profiles, so any breach, would effectively be a breach of contract, and I don't think it would matter much whether these things are legal for use in Canada.
I intend to take good quality photographs of everything that my visitors get to use. And I will give a clear description of what the neighborhood has to offer. That comes down to the river, and Nanaimo Lakes, that lie about 6 miles north and a few entertainments such as bungee jumping, zip lining and horseback riding. There are many other things on the island, but really not much of it near me. No National Park, no big attractions. I am a pleasant drive from the highway that runs down the east side of the island. I expect that many people would just stay for the night, and then continue on their way, in the morning. It's possible that I would catch people when they're heading north and again when they return to Victoria or Nanaimo, to catch the ferry or plane home................
Do any of you use Airbnb to attract people to rural properties? Are you offering pick up, or do you expect the people to make it to your place on their own?
I ran a B&B / FarmStay in rural WV for 10 years. Personally, I really don't like AirBnB. It never attracted quality people.
West Virgina, has a poor Rep here on the East Coast of the US. Guest from AirBnB would expect the world for pennies. Thinking that because I was in a poor state, I needed to charge basement bargen prices. Other sites I attracted some wonderful people not expecting craziness.
I had far better luck,with FarmStayUS and BBonline. I also structured my website to address ideas I thought were important.
My FB and Google Map Dot are both very clear on what "Mavis Manor" has to offer. Noone else was really doing what I was doing, so it was easy for me to stand out, and I was 5 mins off an Interstate.
I used PayPal, and Propay to accept cards. Would use Google Calender for reservations. (Google now makes this a lot easier) and for part of the year I used a booking company.
Since, when I started AirBnB wasn't around, I also didn't see to much of a positive return on my money spent with them. It's a good site to attract Millenials, but older folks no so much.
I would be more then happy to share my experience with you.
Anyway, Good Luck. Some folks really liked using AirBnB, I was just not one of them.
I just got my rural Airbnb going about 6 weeks ago. It's been nothing but upside for us. Every guest has been extremely quiet and courteous. Two have even left us thank you cards. We don't allow smoking but do allow alcohol as one of the main draws to our area are the nearby wineries. That also has not been an issue. I wouldn't even think of picking people up or providing transportation for them.
Thank you both. I don't intend to have an absolute alcohol ban. I do intend to have a drunkenness ban. I expect that the price of things will largely filter out the crowd that want to build a campfire 50 ft tall , and shoot trees while intoxicated.
I'm surrounded by flammable forest. During the tourist season, it is often quite dry. I have a suitable place for people to cook, and that's what I want them to use.
I've never found it possible to get a handle on the behavior of those who smoke, no matter what they smoke. I've found there's a general attitude, that they think I should have no say in this matter. Thus, the filter.
Having been in the hospitality industry, here are some thoughts for you:
Unless you are a smoker, you will have the best experience with non smokers. They will not stay where a smoker has stayed. They will complain if they smell smoke. So by only excepting non smokers you will have a larger amount of people applying.
Cleaning, washing and changing bed linens. Will you have a reliable person available who will clean the accommodations between visits and wash and change the linens?
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines. Stephen Herrod Buhner
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work. Stephen Herrod Buhner
I have stayed at Air BnB and similar accommodations, as well as traditional bed and breakfasts, in the US, the UK, and Europe.
My one takeaway is: They vary a lot. That is both their strength and their weakness. I'd suggest you decide on a personality for your property, which should be something distinctive -- which I don't think will be a problem for you -- and run with it. You probably don't want to compete with the people running essentially small corporate hotels, and attracting like-minded folks may reduce issues.
Some bed and breakfasts will be happy to arrange transportation, including simply meeting or picking a guest up at a station. This is especially the case in rural areas, where the place might be a ways from the train station. While distance of that sort is not a factor in your plan, offering pickups or transport for a fee might be a way for you to generate more money from a given guest. You could have pre-pay, just like for the accommodation. Or you could partner with an Uber type driver to offer the service. Anything that adds convenience may be a plus, especially for people arriving on a long flight.
I don't think a no smoking policy will be a problem. I don't think any of the accommodations I've stayed in of this type allowed smoking, except one apartment in Paris that didn't mention it but didn't have ashtrays out, either. I don't know how you'd enforce a ban on alcohol or drugs, though, especially if Canada goes through with the legalization of cannabis. In US states with legal marijuana, edible versions have apparently become popular. How could you prevent someone from buying and eating a pot brownie at the place? Just a thought.
Finally, I kind of like Air BnB and I'm neither a millennial nor a spring chicken.
Two reasons: #1, Love them or not, the big platforms generate a lot of users and user feedback, which I find invaluable. Properties that aren't as advertised are impossible to identify otherwise, as those of us who remember the bad old days know. I may or may not actually gain from reading others' feedback, but it gives me more confidence about what I'm getting. #2, When I had a problem, Air B&B was surprisingly responsive. They worked things out quickly and very very smoothly. I wouldn't necessarily expect that experience with a small site, where you're at the mercy of the owner and the site management. In the short term, that might seem like a benefit to the property owner, but long term I think the service is important.
It's a fact that I -- like other travelers -- will pay more for a good location and less for a less-desirable one, but that's simply how real estate and related things work: "Location, location, location." Vancouver shouldn't be a problem for that. It's also another way for the personality of your property to add value.
I don't live there all of the time, so I don't expect to offer transportation. Anyone without transportation would be sort of a prisoner out in the bush. They will want to travel to the various attractions. I expect my place to be a stopover.
I will feature some of the more unique aspects of my property. Masonry stove, biogas, stocked pond and 10 different types of wild berries. In the beginning I will definitely use the word rustic and camp. I will even suggest that living in the cabin is a camping experience, with a solid roof over your head. I expect that there will be some people who come and go without me ever meeting them. My tenant, and my ex-wife will be given keys, to hand over to visitors. In the beginning, I will probably let my ex-wife deal with room cleaning and key exchange. She will get to keep most of the money. I need to find a way for her to make more money anyway so, there you go.
Five-star accommodation is not an option right now, and it may never be. If I'm there, people will have the option of eating with me, but if I'm not they will be on their own. I may put a lock on wood burning appliances, during the summer. They would have to use the gas stove.
The smoking issue is long settled for me. I definitely won't ever have people smoking in the buildings. I may occasionally allow European tourists to smoke outside. There are some places where smoking is endemic and it's not so much of a social indicator. Here in North America the 90% correlation is something to keep in mind. For those who aren't familiar,
Approximately 90% of IV drug users smoke cigarettes.
Approximately 90% of alcoholics smoke cigarettes.
Approximately 90% of the prison population, smokes cigarettes
Approximately 90% of those who commit suicide, smoke cigarettes.
And the list goes on, whether it be house fires, spousal abuse etc This may be entering cider press territory now, so I'll stop. These things are quite searchable, and perhaps this should be a separate topic.
I strongly encourage everyone who smokes anything, to take some time with mr. Google, to see what sort of company you are in. It's not just health, it's demographics.
I was going to suggest you look into https://www.hipcamp.com/ but it appears that's a US only thing for now. Bummer. I have a few friends that use it for rural properties with good success here in California, usually renting out camping spots, tipis, and rustic cabins. I wonder if there's something similar for Canada?