The growing home-sharing industry – as popularised by Airbnb – is an exciting prospect for those looking to make money on their unused assets. AirDNA shows that there are now 34,601 Airbnb hosts in London, with many investing from abroad. This sub-sector of the market is incredibly lucrative, but poses a specific set of challenges: to begin with, not everyone can afford the time to travel to the investment property and refurbish it themselves, especially to the high design standards that the modern consumer now anticipates: let’s face it, we no longer expect an Airbnb to resemble a regular home.
At Homewings, we believe that our design packages are a useful tool in this scenario, and we were particularly pleased when a recent project of ours had such positive results for one overseas investor, who is now expecting a 29% ROI.
Cameron is an Airbnb host based in Australia and owns a two-bedroom house in Earlsfield, London, which he once lived in with his current partner. It is now listed on UnderTheDoormat - providing hotel service quality with the personality and care of home living.
When Cameron returned to Australia in 2008, he decided to keep the property, and rent it out on a long-let basis. The problem that this posed was that he couldn’t stay in the property when he returned on family holidays, and so he decided to invest in the short-term letting market, by way of Airbnb. Cameron was able to return to England for two weeks to refurbish the property, but the turnaround had to be fast; the builders gutted the building in 24 hours! Homewings then designed a full refurbishment for Cameron, with our tailored visualisations. We’re glad to have helped turn Cameron’s concept into a reality, and we took a moment to ask him about why, as an overseas short-let investor, he came to us in the first place, and what that experience was like.
What was your main concern when entering the short-let market?
For me, the biggest concern was finding a reliable property manager to really look after the place and make sure that we get high-quality tenants. This is also why we chose to refurbish the property!
What was the biggest lesson you learnt that could help other landlords in the same position?
Speak to others who have experience with short-term letting so that you know exactly what you are getting into. Actively managing a property requires a lot more attention, but I think that getting a first-rate managing agent makes it all worthwhile.
Why was a high-quality and unique approach to interior design a key consideration for you?
My partner and I wanted the house to stand out in online ads – the photos you use to represent your letting really are everything: they’re one of the biggest factors when it comes to getting bookings.
What made you choose Homewings above another interior design solution?
I chose you guys based on the quality of design and the level of style that you achieve. The place looks special, and not like just another furnished apartment.
What return on your investment – if any – have you seen so far?
It’s still early days, but based on the current numbers I expect to see a 29% ROI, which I’ve calculated using the amount I invested in renovating and refurnishing the property.