RedAwning Market Report Identifies Austin, Texas as One of the Most Profitable U.S. Cities for Short Term Rentals

Austin saw 30 million visitors and $8.7 billion in tourism-generated revenue in 2018 with alternative accommodation demand making headway on that of hotels

EMERYVILLE, Calif.Aug. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ —, the world’s largest network of vacation properties, today released an in-depth market report that explores the steady rise of alternative accommodation inventory and demand in Austin, Texas. The report highlights the significant impact travel has had on the local economy in Austin as well as the role the alternative accommodation space has played in meeting the accommodation needs of last year’s 30 million visitors.

According to the report, Airbnb alone saw $482K in guest arrivals in Austin in 2018, an impressive 48% growth rate since 2016. Occupancy rates, ADR and RevPar have also seen continued growth, creating an incredibly lucrative market for vacation rental managers and owners in which demand continues to exceed supply YoY.

Austin’s event focus, coupled with the burgeoning business climate, has created a year-round market with a non-stop flow of people keeping occupancy levels fairly high every season,” said RedAwning’s VP of Market Development, Johnathan Robinson. “Regardless of housing type, Austin continues to deliver on vacation rental revenue.”

The report also spotlights the rise of investor attention on the Austin vacation rental market as large companies continue to open offices in the area driving up accommodation demand.

“Key performance indicators continue to trend in a positive direction for RedAwning property managers in Austin with a bookings index increase of 23%. We look forward to seeing continued growth in this region as vacation rental demand continues to make headway in the accommodation market,” said Robinson.

The full report is available to download here.

Recently, Airbnb has updated how your listing photos are displayed to FPGs (future potential guests).

Essentially, they’ve highlighted the photo caption.

Here is where the photo display and photo caption used to look like:


And, here is the updated photo layout with caption.


A huge improvement.


Put The FPG In Your Airbnb

If you can get the guest to picture themselves in your Airbnb, then you’re more likely to get a reservation says behavioral psychology.

I remember I saw one Airbnb in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam with a cute little lofted reading nook with a comfortable armchair and a short ladder leading up to it with an arched rooftop. I’m a big reader (and author) so I was thinking of the future with myself in this nook reading and relaxing in the afternoons.

A well taken photo will do most of the work here, but the photo captions are one aspect that you can optimize to further push you over the edge and above your competition.

Try this photo caption on your Airbnb listing photo of a living room or balcony: “Imagine yourself here relaxing with good conversation and a glass of wine..”

Explain Non-Obvious Or Hidden Features

This will be the most important point. Instead of adding four angle photos of a room plus some close-up photos, use the caption to explain things that are not essential, missing from the photo, or impossible to photograph. For example, do you have radiant floor heating in the bathroom? This would go in the caption. You might also want to call out what is behind that closed door in the photo. Does it lead to a private balcony? To a walk-in closet?

Check out these examples:

Airbnb photo caption - explanation 2Airbnb photo caption - explanation 3

Airbnb photo caption - explanation 4Airbnb photo caption - explanation 5Airbnb photo caption - explanation 1

Highlight Your Most Positive Airbnb Reviews

While Airbnb shows the number of reviews and stars towards the very top of your Airbnb listing, the FPG has to scroll to the bottom for any more information. We know that FPGs start with the photos so why not make it easier for the FPG to know what your prior guests’ thought?

There are three ways to do this. First, take a screenshot of the star ratings and number of reviews:

Airbnb photo caption - highlight reviews 1


Second, take a screenshot of the entire review and ideally one that you’ve responded to as a host.

Airbnb photo caption - highlight reviews 2

I created a video on my YouTube account, Optimize Your Bnb, on how to highlight reviews in your Airbnb listing with a screenshot on your computer.


Third, copy/paste a portion of an existing review into a random photo. I’ve seen some hosts add the name of the review and even the date. I think this is unnecessary as long as you add quotation marks.

Airbnb photo caption - highlight reviews 3Highlight your reviews in your Airbnb photos. Here are three ways to do that.CLICK TO TWEET


Avoid Generic Comments

You do not need to add a caption to every photo. On average, one of every two photos should have a caption. Even though you can add a review quote to all photos, it’s overkill and defocuses the FPGs attention. If you have a standard one-bedroom apartment, you do not need to label the living room: living room.

Sell Your Airbnb

Pay attention! Most of you need to do a better job of this. Elevate your mindset to that of entrepreneur and you will automatically be one the best Airbnbs in your area as you’ll continually think about how to improve and stay ahead. In the example below, it’s obvious that it’s a backyard, but it’s not obvious that this is a highly unique amenity in San Francisco. Now the guest will notice that all of their other options lack a backyard.

The only thing better this photo can do is to be taken in the horizontal (not portrait/vertical) position.

Airbnb photo caption - selling

Label The Areas Or Floors

While every photo does not need a caption, keep in mind that the FPG does not know the home as well as you. What might look obvious to you, maybe need explaining especially if there are multiple floors or multiple of the same room (2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, etc.). This is especially true of bedrooms which can sometimes look almost identical to a person unfamiliar with the property. Identifying what is the upper and lower floor is especially important for handicap, families, and elderly travelers.

Airbnb photo caption - labels

What’s obvious to you is not to your FPG. Use the photo captions in Airbnb.CLICK TO TWEET

Bonus #1: Add A Neighborhood Photo or Local Tip

You should have at least ten photos minimum. For standard listings with only a few rooms, this will be difficult. Consider adding a neighborhood photo. I’m not talking about a generic neighborhood photo of a coffee shop or park. See above, sell your listing! If you’re going to add a photo, you might as well sell it a bit. See below for two great examples.

Airbnb photo caption - local tipAirbnb photo caption - neighborhood


Under no circumstances add a neighborhood photo without explaining what it is. Imagine if you saw either of the above photos without a caption? It would make no sense yet this is a common practice of at least 75% of the Airbnb listings with neighborhood photos.


If you have a standard Airbnb, add a neighborhood photo to reach at least 10 photos.CLICK TO TWEET


Bonus #2: Add A Floor Plan Photo

I started using these custom hand-drawn Airbnb floor plans about a year ago. They set expectations phenomenally well. They also make a great cover photo for standard listings without anything to show off in the cover photo.

Airbnb photo caption - floor plan

Add a floor plan photo to your Airbnb listing.CLICK TO TWEET



I want you to understand that your photo caption, along with everything else can be optimized. There is a best way to do things. While it will not likely get you a reservation by itself, it’s just another subtlety setting you apart in every way from your competition.


However, a photo caption is not always necessary. Remember our most important tenant: respect the guests’ attention at all times. When you do add a caption, keep it to as few words as possible.

Instagram is pretty darn hot right now. It’s growth throughout this year has been nothing short of astronomical; and that certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by marketers. But growth, while a key signifier for the importance of a network as a marketing channel, does not necessarily make exposure any easier.

On the contrary, with such an abundance of content brands have to compete for Instagram engagement…

Instagram isn’t a viable marketing channel anymore; it’s a vital community that commands a great amount of purchasing power. 2016 has seen the introduction of enhanced advertising options – unsurprising when you consider that it’s big sister is Facebook. But Instagram has something that the Queen of Social Advertising (FB) doesn’t; a beefy 2.3% follower interaction rate for brands. Sound puny? Facebook comes in at around a tenth of that figure.

So how do brands tap into this inclination to be social? Well, inspiring Instagram engagement is no easy task. If it wasn’t enough that things are crowded, Instagram makes this doubly harder by having fairly elementary features compared to its rivals. This means that strategies are often about increasing the amount of time invested. These are subtle, yet time consuming, strategies that focus on drawing attention to your wares by being loud, obvious, and always present.

With that in mind, here are some basic ways to boost your organic Instagram engagement rates.

Get stalky

Instagram engagement relies on you being active. You could have some of the best content imaginable but ultimately if you don’t take the time to discover and interact with potential followers, you’ll soon find that nothing much happens. If you want to see engagement and tap into that high follower interaction, you need to get stalky. Not the best analogy I’ll admit, but one that fits the bill nevertheless.

Start using relevant hashtags and keywords to search and engage with users who might be interested in what you post and who could potentially become a customer. If you want to see engagement, give engagement. Likes spark likes, comments spark comments, follows spark follows. To be clear, we’re not advocating the use of any spammy automation tools, just good old fashioned social interaction.

Get responsive

It’s not only good etiquette to respond to comments on Instagram, it’s a great way to convert those users into potential followers and brand advocates. Users relate well to businesses and organisations that make them feel listened too. Interaction is incredibly important for growth, and it is a reciprocal thing. After all, it is the epitome of Instagram engagement.

Instagram comments can vary from the good, to the bad, to the spammy, to the spam. When it comes to responding to them in order to see better rates of engagement, it’s all about weighing up those comments and responding justly. We’ve written a whole article on how to respond to Instagram comments – check it out here.

Get better at content

This may be a relative piece of advice, but it’s one that makes a great deal of sense. Instagram is, by its very nature, a visual medium that is defined primarily by the content shared by its users. It’s rebrand was made in-line with this vision to make it a global network over a simple image-sharing app. If you want to see higher engagement rates, post better content. Never settle for substandard quality images (unless they are completely unique). Many businesses can also stand to gain from including a call to action within their image. If you want engagement, make that the action; e.g. follows, likes or tags.

Another really useful tool that is often underused is Instagram stories. These were originally swept under the carpet by marketers for being basically just Snapchat. But in reality they are a great way to diversify and build your Instagram strategy by including a greater variety of content types. Check out our more detailed article on making use of Instagram stories here.

Get better at posting

Again, a fairly flippant and non-committal piece of advice but an important one nonetheless. Your captions are your chance to elaborate and explain the story that your picture already began, encouraging investment by the user. Never waste them. You could include recipes or stories if you’re going for long detail ( maximum length is 2200 characters), or you could opt for shorter captions if this is what your products call for.

And finally, be sure to use hashtags. We know, it’s all fairly obvious now, but Instagram content relies on hashtags for discoverability. Each user has their own preferential way for including their extended list of hashtags. We like to add them as a comment – this way you can delete them and make yourself look uber professional once you’ve got all the likes you need – but don’t tell anyone.


Miami is among urban properties offering very small residences to those who seek an urban existence at lower cost.

It’s no surprise big city life is increasingly favored by everyone from Millennials to empty-nesting Baby Boomers. That’s helping make micro residential units increasingly popular options in cities from Seattle and Denver to Chicago, New York City and Miami. These efficiently-sized and designed residences appeal to newly-minted college graduates “traveling light” who want to live in urban cores. They also lure a smaller cohort of older couples seeking a pied-a-terre near downtown eateries, museums and nightlife.

A study by the Urban Land Institute Multifamily Housing Council found the majority of micro-unit dwellers are professionals 30 or younger, with most of these under the age of 27. Micro units are more popular with males than females. Residents are most often first-time renters who haven’t acquired loads of furnishings and clothing and don’t need as much living space and/or closets. Micro-unit residents often see their bitsy abodes as launch pads for their new careers, as well as for lives spent out in bistros and other gathering spots rather than home. Most transition within two years to larger units.

The Urban Land Institute study learned the definition of micro unit differs depending on the city in which they’re found. For instance, in New York City a micro unit might measure 300 square feet, but in Dallas 500 square feet. Efficiency is perhaps the best descriptive word for the units. They often feature flexible furniture systems, moveable kitchen islands, built-in storage, gadget walls and high ceilings. The buildings in which the smaller units exist are often notable for a wide array of services and amenities.

Location is key

The three key factors in any residential choice are location, location, location, and nowhere is that truer than with micro units. Virtually all respondents in the Urban Land Institute study termed location the key priority in their leasing Lilliputian lodgings. Those settings tend to be near work and/or public transit, exceptionally pedestrian-friendly, and in authentically urban and highly desirable or trendy enclaves.

A case in point is The RIDE at RiNo in Denver. There, the 393-square-foot Marquette and 369-square-foot Keystone both limbo in under a tidy 400 square feet. But the renters in these and other very small apartments are able to step outside into an ultra-popular enclave steps from light rail, employment hubs, craft breweries and nightlife.

Of course, price is a big determinant in attracting renters to micro units. Monthly rental rates 20% to 30% lower than conventional apartments can mean living in a coveted downtown district close to everything, as opposed to a backwater. It can also translate into the freedom of living alone as opposed to the challenges of life with a roommate.

In Miami, the development called X Miami invites renters to participate in the Rent-by-Bedroom program, in which each garners a private bedroom and bathroom starting in the $1,300s. The units start at 400 square feet and feature floor-to-ceiling windows, expansive balconies, built-in closets, Nest thermostats and Alexa smart controls.

Hedging bets

Developers face a mixed bag in creating buildings with micro units. Such residences are more costly to develop and operate. But premiums per square foot more than compensate. To hedge their bets, some developers cleverly designed micro units to allow adjacent units to be combined into larger studio or one-bedroom apartments.

The micro-unit concept is also available in condominium versions. For instance, YOTELPAD Miami’s miniature residences, created by YOTEL, begin at 417 square feet, at prices starting in the $300,000s. That attainable price point is providing opportunity to investors who’ve long hoped to get into the booming business of South Florida short-term rentals, and has enabled the developer of YOTELPAD to outsell other projects in its area.

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Mission Beach
Many properties in Mission Beach are rented on a short-term basis. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Freshman Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath pulled from consideration this year a bill that would have restricted vacation rentals in San Diego County.

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Boerner Horvath’s Assembly Bill 1731 would have barred Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO from listing San Diego County vacation rentals in coastal zones for more than 30 days a year unless a full-time resident was on site.

The bill passed the Assembly, and had passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee with a 6-1 vote on Tuesday, when Boerner Horvath decided to hold it for the next session.

“I was elected to create sound public policy, not score quick political wins,” she said on Wednesday. “That is why I made the decision today to hold the bill and take more time to work on it through the next year.”

Boerner Horvath, a former Encinitas city councilmember who represents the 76th District in north coastal San Diego County, said her bill is designed to address “the hyper-accelerated conversion of available housing into full-time short-term vacation rentals made possible by web-based platforms.”

The bill would have particularly affected coastal communities like Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla. It only affected San Diego County, but Boerner Horvath said it would be a test case for California as a whole.

“This bill has always been about slowing the bleeding when it comes to our housing stock and returning some semblance of control to our local communities,” Boerner Horvath said.

While the bill passed the Assembly, it was opposed by Assemblymember Todd Gloria, whose district includes the coastal communities in the City of San Diego. Gloria said controls on short-term rentals are better handled at the local level.


If you’re planning on investing in Airbnb Nashville, there’s something you need to know first.


It seems like wherever you’re investing today, if you’re choosing an Airbnb rental strategy, you need to take into consideration that there might be some regulations set in place. How strict these regulations are depends on the real estate market you’re investing in, and how its regulators feel about short term rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO saturating their communities and neighborhoods with rental properties.

While some cities support and welcome short term rental operators seeing as they support the market and economy, others have a different perspective. Nashville, TN is one of the cities which seems to be against the Airbnb wave and because of some strong push-back from the city council, real estate investors now need to be careful with where and how they invest in Airbnb Nashville.

Related: 4 Best Cities to Invest in Tennessee Vacation Home Rentals in 2019

Enforcing Nashville Airbnb Laws

So did these regulations just come out of nowhere? No. The city has been trying to regulate Nashville short term vacation rentals for quite some time and is now reinforcing original laws as well as new regulations. What should you do as an Airbnb Nashville investor (or a future one)? Well, seeing that the Nashville Metro Council is cracking down on illegal rentals in the city, we recommend you seriously study the Nashville Airbnb laws and the short term rental ordinance. First, start by understanding what the city believes is a short term rental.

Defining a Short Term Rental

A short term rental property is a residential dwelling unit which has a maximum of four sleeping rooms. This property must be used or advertised for rent for transient occupancy by guests. These dwelling units cannot be rented out to the same occupant for more than 30 consecutive days. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be considered a short term rental property.

Now that you know what qualifies as a short term rental for your Airbnb Nashville investment, it’s time to talk about permits.

Applying for the Right Permit

Something many real estate investors tend to ignore is the importance of running a licensed Airbnb Nashville property. The city is currently facing the task of cracking down on 1000s of illegally operating short term rentals. The Metropolitan Government requires short term rental operators to obtain an operating permit. There are two main types of short term rental permits: owner-occupied and non-owner occupied.

Most Airbnb Nashville investors will find themselves having to apply for the non-owner occupied permits. From the name, you can understand that these are for short term rental properties in which the owner doesn’t reside in said property. These rentals, like owner-occupied rentals, have a limit of a single party of individuals. Last year, 2,188 short term rental permits were granted. This year, only 756 permits have been issued so far.

Real estate investors must also comply with zoning restrictions as new non-owner occupied permits aren’t allowed in residential (R or RS) zones. Note: Existing permit holders in these zoned districts are grandfathered under state law and may be eligible for permit renewal. If the Metro locates any illegally operating Airbnb vacation rentals, the property owners are sent an initial violation notice and are then fined $50 day.

Bill BL2019-1633

This bill was recently introduced in the city and it’s definitely something Airbnb Nashville investors need to be updated on. Bill BL2019-1633 proposes the elimination of multi-family (RM) zoning from the list of zones which allow for non-owner occupied permits. Another thing real estate investors need to know about this ordinance is that it is a starter bill, meaning the city might be planning on banning short term rentals in even more zones.

The Tennessee state law protects current permit holders in the RM zones, but if there is a transfer of ownership, this permit expires, therefore losing its grandfather status. The bill is set to go into effect starting in May 2020. So investors can still apply for non-owner occupied permits in these zones as the Codes Department website states that they will issue permits until the effective date.

Other Short Term Rental Requirements

Whether you’re planning on investing in an Airbnb Nashville property or you’re already operating a short term rental in the Nashville real estate market, there are a couple of rules you should keep in mind:

  • The permit holder is responsible for the guests of his/her property. All guests must abide by any applicable noise restrictions and waste management provisions.
  • Short term rental property owners are responsible for collecting and remitting all applicable room, occupancy, and sales taxes required by state law or the Metropolitan Code.
  • Changing ownership of the property will cancel the permit. You must renew your permit before it expires (expiration is 365 days after its issue).
  • There is a maximum of 12 occupants for short term rentals. The principal renter of this unit must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Short term rental operators may not be compensated by a guest who occupied the unit for less than 24 hours.

For a more comprehensive list of any rules and restrictions which may apply to your Airbnb Nashville investment property, click here.

Where Can You Legally Operate an Airbnb Property?

where can you operate an Airbnb Nashville property

There are a couple of zoning districts where you can get a non-owner occupied permit for your short term rental. This zoning district land use table clarifies which zones permit these investment properties. The strict restriction on Airbnb Nashville and new zoning laws makes it difficult to confidently say that an investment in some of the top performing neighborhoods for Airbnb Nashville will remain legal.

If you do wish to pursue the Airbnb rental strategy in Nashville, start your search for a profitable investment property now.

Alternative: Opt for a Long-Term Rental in the Nashville Real Estate Market

We will be using Mashvisor’s data analytics to list some neighborhoods in which you can operate profitable long-term rentals; this is also a successful rental strategy in the Nashville housing market.

Porter Heights

  • Median Property Price: $334,933
  • Price per Square Foot: $165
  • Monthly Traditional Rental Income: $3,025
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 6%

Brentwood Downs

  • Median Property Price: $226,300
  • Price per Square Foot: $166
  • Monthly Traditional Rental Income: $2,004
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 5%

Treppard Heights

  • Median Property Price: $249,450
  • Price per Square Foot: $156
  • Monthly Traditional Rental Income: $1,898
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 5%

To start looking for and analyzing the best investment properties in your city and neighborhood of choice, click here.

The Bottom Line

Do you have a certain investment property in mind and are considering it for an Airbnb Nashville rental strategy? Don’t forget to check if it complies with the zoning restrictions. You can further analyze your investments with Mashvisor’s data and tools. Do you have questions about Mashvisor? Read our FAQs to learn more.

Related: Your Real Estate Investment Guide to Airbnb Rental Properties: Where Is Airbnb Legal?


Vacation rental owners, is your business on Facebook?

If you answered no to the above question, you could be missing out big time when it comes to capturing and converting new guests.

After reading this post, you’re going to start recognizing the undeniable importance of the world’s biggest social network when it comes to promoting your vacation rental.

Why do vacation rental owners need Facebook?

Because Facebook is huge. And that’s no exaggeration. The social media site has more than 1.7 billion monthly users, and half of all travel brands on Facebook admitted that their presence has increased bookings.

So, what are the top 10 ways Facebook can help you as a vacation rental owner?

  1. You can increase your exposure to potential guests and keep in touch with those who have stayed with you previously.
  2. You can boost the credibility of your vacation rental business by simply setting up a profile – especially useful considering 82% of consumers trust a business more if they’re on social media.
  3. You can use Facebook Messenger and autoresponders to communicate instantly in real-time with interested parties,
  4. You can get more people interested in where you are located by asking guests to check-in on Facebook Places so that you show up in Facebook search results.
  5. You can use your Facebook Business Page to update past and upcoming guests with news about your vacation rental, as well as promote special offers, discounts and competitions.
  6. You can use Facebook to nurture guests who have previously stayed with you and convince them to return by sharing enticing photos, videos and other content.
  7. You can start a fan community by asking everyone who has stayed with you to share their experiences. Once you have a good following, you can do surveys or polls to get even more feedback.
  8. You can tailor Facebook Adverts to target web users of certain demographics who may be interested in staying at your home.
  9. You can use the clever remarketing pixel to show ads to users who have visited your site but not followed through with a booking – remind them why you’re the best choice!
  10. Perhaps most importantly of all, you can send traffic onwards to your vacation rental website! Share content that actively drives visitors to your own website and you’ll have more chance of converting them.

But what if I’ve never used Facebook before?

That’s completely fine! There are plenty of tutorials and guides for even the most beginner users out there.


An  eBook designed especially with the goal of helping vacation rental owners make the most of Facebook marketing.

Download the FREE eBook to read even more benefits to using Facebook for vacation rental owners. It includes a step-by-step guide and useful glossary to help you with setting up your Facebook for Business Page, plus expert tips which will show you how to really grow your reach using Facebook. What’s more, there is even a beginner’s Facebook Adverts tutorial for owners who are looking to go that extra step further.

About the Author of  Vacation Rental Owners, Is Your Business On Facebook?

Lodgify is an innovative software-as-a-service solution for lodging owners and managers, allowing them to easily create their own beautiful mobile-friendly website with a “Book Now” function.


“I don’t show up on page one of Airbnb search!”

I hear this daily. Unfortunately, it’s almost always a waste of time and energy.

Airbnb search is not static like Google. Any two people who search ‘women’s shoes’ in Google are going to get the same results. But, any two users who search or an Airbnb in ‘Williamsburg, New York City’ on Airbnb can and do see vastly different search results.

Don’t believe me? Search ‘Smartbnb review’ on Google and tell me who comes up second or third? It’s going to be my website. No matter where you are in the world, you are going to see me within the top few positions on Google.

This is true because on a traditional search engine like Google, you will target specific keywords to rank high for (ie ‘accommodations in Williamsburg, New York City’). On Airbnb, you are trying to target the FPG, not the keyword. (There are ways to target the FPG which are out of scope for this article. Should I write an article on this topic? Tell me in the comments).

Google creates its search results based by using a robot to ‘crawl’ all internet web pages to render some of those web pages which it doesn’t control as search results.

On the other hand, Airbnb controls almost all of the content on their website and can see directly into the end users account (viewed listings, reviews received and given, prices paid, searches, etc.).

Another big difference between Airbnb and Google is that Google does not face a limit of results. Any piece of information can be viewed an unlimited number of times while Airbnb can show a listing only until it’s booked.

In fact, a better search engine comparison would be to eBay circa the 1990s and early 2000s. Unfortunately, they’re no longer relevant in 2019.

While it’s true that some listings tend to consistently show up towards the top of Airbnb search and others consistently show up towards the bottom, knowing the exact search position doesn’t exist except on a search-by-search basis and depending on dates and filters selected.

A much better indicator of listing health is your calendar’s occupancy rate.

What Is Static Search?

Think of websites. Most websites are static, meaning all users see the same information (excluding language translations).

A static search means that all users see the same results as in the above example search of ‘smartbnb review’.

For the search of ‘women’s heels’, everyone is going to see the same results on Google. These are static search results.

This works well when the user (not the platform) knows best what they are searching for. The ‘women’s heels’ searcher may want black heels with white laces and red soles in size 7, but searching this specifically would actually exclude many relevant results. Instead, the user searches something generic and quickly identifies their preferred choice among the results.

Static search like Google works best when the user knows best what they want

The user knows exactly what they want.

However, static search results start to become less useful is when the user is not exactly sure what they want. We run into the paradox of choice.

Enter dynamic search.

What Is Dynamic Search?

Let’s say you want to go to Kiev, Ukraine (where I’m writing this blog post at the moment). However, unlike our search for ‘women’s heel’s, the user has never been to Kiev, Ukraine. They do now know where they want to stay, what the average prices are, etc.

In this case, the search engine (Airbnb) knows better than the user what they want. And this improves with more information the search engine has about the user.

This is dynamic search.

Airbnb uses a dynamic search based largely on artificial intelligence. Any two users will see different results. The results can be slightly different or vastly different. A single mid-week business traveler in Chicago is going to see different results than a family of six for a weekend vacation in Chicago.

Airbnb uses dynamic search based largely on AI, any two users can see vastly different search results.

The best listings will always appear towards the top of search results. However, as most markets have hundreds of tops listings (sometimes thousands), it’s Airbnbs job to deliver the user the most relevant listings so they can make a quick decision and are more likely to click that ‘Make a Reservation’ button.

Why Does Airbnb Use Dynamic Search?

It’s about delivering the user the best experience.

Unlike Google, Airbnb can track the user’s behavior with 100% accuracy from the initial search to post-reservation review.

Airbnb knows if you usually travel by yourself. They know what your typical price range is. They even know if you seem to prefer balconies or backyards.

Artificial intelligence at Airbnb knows whether you prefer balconies or backyards without using filters.

It goes further. Based on photo recognition technology, Airbnb even knows if you prefer a bohemian or minimalist design.

Based on your prior behavior on the platform, Airbnb can start to deliver highly curated and relevant results for each user.

They do this for two reasons.

First, it earns the company more money. If the Airbnb user sees their dream home and they can book it for their upcoming vacation, do you think they’ll book it or the generic hotel?

Dynamic search earns the company more money by increasing the odds that you will make a reservation because they are only showing you listings on the first page that you probably will like.

Second, it increases the user experience. Remember the last time you went to purchase toothpaste? There are a million choices and it’s hard to understand which is best for you. You can think of this as static search (all shoppers are shown the same toothpaste options). On top of that, if you’ve ever been to a foreign country, buying these common amenities is even more difficult (think of our example trip to Kiev, Ukraine)! In fact, I once purchased what looked to be normal butter, but it was actually butter infused with chocolate. You end up purchasing randomly either by price or name-brand.

But what if your personal expert was there to hand you the best option(s)? This is dynamic.

Dynamic search increases the user experience by making the decision-making process quicker and helping identify a good fit for the guest better than the guest can do for themselves.

Airbnb dynamic search eliminates the paradox of choice dilemma.

When I search for an Airbnb, I’m often presented over 300 possibilities even after I’ve selected dates, price, and a very specific neighborhood on the map.

If Airbnb can delivery me a listing that they know with a high degree of accuracy that I’ll give a 5-star review to upon check-out, I’ll be more likely to make a reservation in the future and I’ll be more likely to tell my friends about Airbnb when the topic undoubtedly comes up.

How To Track Your Airbnb Search Rank

In a truly dynamic search environment, it’s not reasonably possible to track your Airbnb search rank because of the number of possible search results based on filters.

If we look simply at the date search filter, you would have to see a result for each day, plus each two-day period, plus each three-day period, etc. based on your maximum limit. Even if you knew this for a particular date, your search rank will change based on any upcoming reservation, modifications, and cancellations to existing reservations. And that’s ignoring any future listings that will go live. Keep in mind, all new listings get a search rank boost.

In a static search environment like Google, your website’s search rank is virtually known in the short term. But on Airbnb, a new and professional listing can go in 30 minutes and rank on page #1.

However, there are tools that attempt to track your search rank. They provide valuable information, especially to property manager’s who need concrete numbers to present to their property owners.

It’s a piece of the puzzle. Knowing your rank or not really makes no difference. Regardless of knowing this information, you should still be trying to be the best host you can be, trying to offer the guest the best experience you can, and try to continually improve for those 5-star reviews. By doing this, your rank takes care of itself.

However, if any of the below tools gives you a bonus insight into your hosting which can further increase your success then I’m for it.

The three tools in no particular order, are…

Smartbnb is a message automation service that I highly recommend and provides a Market Report. This is a basic report emailed to you daily with your rankings over the next 60 days for differing number of nights. As I am a big fan of Smartbnb, I have used this report and it’s included with any paid subscription.

smartbnb market report search rank analysis

Your Porter is a property management system and provides an Airbnb Rankings Report. You can sign up for one report without being a paid user and receive a weekly email. If you’re a paid user, you can receive unlimited reports. The report is slightly more robust than Smartbnb showing more metrics. I have used this service.

yourporter airbnb ranking report


RankBreeze is software that continually monitors your Airbnb search rank kind of like search engine optimization for a website. I have not used this service, however, I have talked with the founder who is an Airbnb host and has experience on ranking websites in search engines.

rankbreeze airbnb search rank analysis



This week brought fresh evidence that the hotel and home-sharing industries are converging.

Marriott announced it‘s expanding its home-rental pilot to worldwide. Meanwhile, Airbnb announced it‘s developing 10 floors of for short-term rentals in a hotel-like offering. That comes on the heels of its deal to buy , an online booking site.

“We‘re already seeing that convergence happen,” and that is benefiting consumers with better prices and more selection, says Lorraine Sileo, senior vice president of research at Phocuswright, which tracks the travel industry. Other hotel chains, including Accor, Choice and Wyndham, have already ventured into home sharing, with varying success.

Historically, the businesses have catered to different markets: Home sharing markets itself for its unique properties, while hotel chains have thrived by offering reliable service and uniform accommodations. But recent acquisitions have blurred those business lines.

Expedia, for example, acquired HomeAway and Vrbo, and it now lists hotel rooms and rentals side by side in search results. Similar deals tied up Booking with Priceline and ActiveHotels.

“You really do need to think of it as ‘lodging,‘ ” not hotel versus home rental, Sileo says. “I don‘t think we‘re going to have these definitions a few years from now.”

Marriott and other hotels‘ recent investments in home renting are a testament to how popular — and threatening — Airbnb‘s business model has become.

“I think what we‘re doing here is an example of a 91-year-old company kind of disrupting itself,” says Stephanie Linnartz, chief commercial officer of Marriott International.

The global hotel business is still about $500 billion, or more than three times the size of the home-sharing industry. However, home sharing is growing twice as fast, at about 20 percent a year, says Dan Wasiolek, a research analyst with Morningstar.

At the same time, going head-to-head isn‘t easy.

For one thing, Airbnb, Booking and Expedia already control 80 percent of the home-sharing market and, more critically, have millions of homeowners who rent their homes on those sites.

“It‘s certainly going to take time and cost if Marriott wants to get anywhere near where those guys are,” Wasiolek says.

Marriott says it‘s focusing on a narrow niche. Its initial offering includes 2,000 luxury homes, but customers staying there can earn loyalty points.

The hotel giant also does not want to risk cannibalizing its existing business, which relies heavily on franchisees whose business would compete more at the lower end of the market. “We see it as very complementary to the hotel business,” Linnartz says.

The risk of straying too far from the legacy business goes both ways.

Airbnb isn‘t getting into the traditional hotel business, because doing so would jeopardize what made the site popular in the first place, says Chris Lehane, a spokesman for Airbnb.

Instead, the company‘s hotel business is focused on independent boutique hotels. “If [customers] had come on the platform and their stay had been a cookie-cutter stay, they‘re just far less likely to want to come back … and certainly far less likely to want to come back and do one of our short-term rentals,” Lehane says.


AirBnB Pre-construction Condo Opportunities in Miami

It’s no secret that there’s money to be made in short term vacation rental investments, particularly in a year-round sunny location with great beaches, awesome nightlife, and legendary shopping, such as Miami. In fact Airbnb rental hosts in South Florida welcomed some 1.47 million guests in 2018, earning about $315 million in the process. And business is booming as more and more tourists visit South Florida yearly.

Miami a Top Pick for Airbnb Investment

Ironically, while Miami is an ideal location for Airbnb investment property, Airbnb did not exactly encounter a welcome committee in Miami, and particularly in Miami Beach, where the local hotel industry wields lots of power and influence. In fact, the city of Miami Beach and Airbnb have been in litigation for a couple of years now. Property owners have been fined as much as $20,000 for listing their properties on short term rental sites such as,, and others.

New Airbnb-approved Condo Projects Have City’s “OK”

Luckily, Miami is known for its brilliant and versatile development solutions. In fact, several new Airbnb-approved condo projects are currently under construction or in pre-sales, providing a Airbnb rental investment strategy for interested buyers looking to buy a piece of this market by purchasing one or more short-term rental investment properties.

Here is a list of Miami’s up and coming projects that are approved for short-term vacation rentals, where you can get a great deal by paying pre-construction prices.

Smart Brickell

229 SW 9th St, Brickell

Smart Brickell (Artist's Rendering)

Smart Brickell is Miami’s first totally Smart development, featuring three towers, and inspired in a smart living philosophy that integrates technology with contemporary design and versatile usage. Designed for young working professionals, condo units start at 538 square feet and prices start in the low $300,000’s.

Only two blocks from Brickell City Center, Smart Brickell provides plenty of pedestrian-friendly access to Miami’s top dining and shopping options. Properties are approved for short-term rental, incorporating a new Airbnb platform designed to simplify the rental process for investors, and even include custom furniture.  As of this writing, the developer has announced that sales in the first tower are already nearing 90%.

Yotelpad Miami

227 NE 2nd Street, Downtown Miami

Yotelpad Miami (Architect's Rendering)

Yotelpad is a project currently under construction that has taken investors by storm, with 90% of its 231 residential units already sold, making it one of the fastest selling projects in Miami history (according to them). The project will also include 222 hotel rooms, and is set to open in 2021.

With easy access to Wynwood, the Downtown Arts District, and Brickell, Yotelpad is optimally located. Buyers will have no restrictions on rental of their units, including short-term rentals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, through sites such as Airbnb,, and others. Unit owners may also rent out their units through the building’s hotel rental program. Unit prices range between $319,000 and $439,000.


190 NE 6th Street, Downtown Miami


Located in the heart of rapidly transforming Downtown, Natiivo is an Airbnb-branded hotel-condo property with 48 stories and 600 units, including 400 condos and 200 hotel rooms. Airbnb is collaborating on design for the building’s interiors and common areas. Unit owners may rent out individual rooms or entire units through the Airbnb platform, either on their own or through the building’s hotel rental program. Natiivo is scheduled for completion in spring of 2022, and unit prices start at $300,000.

Oleta House

1700 NE 164th St, North Miami Beach

Oleta House (Architect's Rendering)

Off the beaten path in North Miami Beach, Oleta House offers 328 Kosher-friendly condominium units and 8 Penthouse units priced between $240,000 and $1,309,000. Located near Aventura, Sunny Isles, and Bal Harbour, and a short drive from South Beach and Downtown Miami, the building houses efficiently designed residential units combining luxury and comfort at an affordable price. Owners may rent out their units through Airbnb,, Vrbo, and other sites, and rental terms may be by the day, week, or month.

Miami is a Haven for Short Term Rental Investment

Not only is it a wise investment to purchase a pre-construction condo that can start generating income for you from the moment construction is completed – the additional perk for these Airbnb-approved condos is that you can also save money by using it to host your own vacations as well as renting it short-term to out-of-town guests, which means you’ll get the absolute profitability from your Airbnb investment.