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What Makes A Great Airbnb Property

What Makes A Great Airbnb Property

Are you thinking about buying a vacation rental to make extra money? We work with investors all the time at American Heritage Realty and the question we are often asked is…  Is there a secret to Airbnb property success?  We are sharing with you what makes a great Airbnb property.

Now you might be thinking, wait.. Airbnb in East Central Indiana?  We don’t have a market for that!  You’d be wrong.  East Central Indiana attracts millions of visitors each year.

Hoosier Gym

Knightstown’s Hoosier Gym attracts more than 60,000 people annually!  Guess what? Those visitors have almost nowhere to stay.  According to the DNR, Brookville Lake attracts over 1 million visitors each year! That’s only 2 places in East Central Indiana and we’ve accounted for a million people and thousands of them need a place to stay.

Additionally, Covid has accelerated the interest in small communities.  According to Airbnb,  historically, the most common type of summer travel on Airbnb has been one or two guests visiting a big city. But the summer of 2021, the most common travel booked on Airbnb is a family leaving a big city to visit a smaller destination. The reality is road trips, local travel, and small destinations are what visitors are looking for post covid.

What Are Market Conditions For Short-Term Rentals?

Average Annual Short Term Rental Revenue

According to AirDNA, the year 2021 was the best on record for short-term rental performance. On average, U.S. short-term rentals achieved 62% occupancy, which is up 5% compared with 2020 and a full 10% higher than in 2019. U.S. short-term rentals are earning an average of 39% more annually than they were prior to the pandemic, benefiting from significantly higher average daily rates (ADRs) and occupancy, as well as fewer competitive listings in many areas. 

More research suggests that the revenue potential of small city/rural areas, like many of those we have in East Central Indiana, has risen 55% since the start of the pandemic.

So, now that we can all agree we have a market for vacation rentals in East Central Indiana, lets get into what makes a great Airbnb property.

What Makes A Great Airbnb Property?

If you’ve owned other rental properties you might think a vacation rental is the same but, they are not.  Rental properties are meant to house people for long periods of time and those needs are different than vacation rentals. The average stay of a short-term rental in our area is 2 nights.

When you are shopping for an investment property you want to keep your target traveler in mind.  By target traveler, we mean the kind of person or people who you hope to attract to your rental property.  Are they young or old?  Do they have children?  Will there likely be 2 people or 4, 5, or 6 people traveling?

As we go through our list of what makes a great Airbnb property, you will want to keep your target traveler’s needs in mind.

Reasonable Per Night Cost

According to Airbnb’s report on travel living dated 2021, when they asked travelers What are your most important considerations when you are planning a trip? the number 1 response was a reasonable price.

So, you don’t want to overspend on the property which could price your nightly rental cost out of the market.  Know the local average nightly rental cost before you look for a property.


When you are shopping for investment properties in East Central Indiana, the cost is one factor but the safety of the neighborhood is another. The location of the investment property matters. Remember, most likely, travelers have never been to the community and they are placing their trust in you as a host to provide them a safe place to stay.

Chosen Charm and Unique

Okay maybe we overdid it with a hobbit house but being unique helps your property standout over other short-term rentals.  Look for historic properties, uniquely designed houses, or homes that can be easily renovated to create a different experience for the visitor.  Remember, people love to share their experiences online and if your property is cool they will make sure everyone knows about it.

Keep It Clean

If there’s one thing visitors will not tolerate is a dirty rental.  So, when you are shopping consider what it will take to keep the property bright, clean, and airy.  Think about the color of the floors and walls.  Consider how easy the floors are to wash. Even, consider the material of the cabinets.  The property will need to be deep cleaned after every stay. This means you’ll want materials that can handle excessive use of chemical products.

In Summary

East Central Indiana is a great place to own a short-term rental property.  Here at American Heritage Realty, we serve every county in East Central Indiana so we can help find the right property.

Owning a successful vacation rental can be a wonderful investment when done right.  Finding the right property location that appeals to visitors is our expertise!  Ensuring the nightly rental cost is affordable, adding a unique spin, keeping it safe and clean is your way to success.

Experience, Expertise, Ethics Matter

There is so much to consider when you are looking to buy an investment home, that is why you need an agent you can trust! Our expert Realtors will lead you through the process. If you are interested in purchasing a home or selling a home in East Central Indiana, learn more about American Heritage Realty. We have been in operation since 1977, and we have the expertise and technology to help you buy a home or sell a home. Get to know us 


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