Creative Guests-on-the-Go Look to Austin's Airbnbs


Austin festivals bring more and more visitors

The festival season is upon us. SXSW, anyone? Music, culture, tech and more bring scores of visitors to the Austin area each year — all scrambling for alternative accommodations at great value. This demand has fueled the short-term rental market in Austin and cities like it across the U.S.

If you're among the adventurous kind with an itch for a comfy bed at a bargain price, the choices beyond your standard hotel/motel/bed and breakfast joint are ever increasing. From tiny homes, container homes, back-yard cabanas and she-sheds, enthusiasts are jumping on the short-term-rental bandwagon as both renters and realtors.

Short-term rentals fill the gaps

Last year SXSW brought in 130,000 attendees. Yet Austin's standard hotel capacity is just 30,000 hotel rooms in the city, and just 7,000 of them downtown. With Austin's property investment rate well below other hot spot cities like San Francisco or San Diego, it's no wonder property investors are flocking to join the fray.

According to the Austin area boasts nearly 12,000 Airbnb listings, booking nearly 81 nights/year at an average rate of $281 per night. 71% of these alternative places to stay are entire homes or apartments to rent. An entire home in Austin can rent for $4000/night in March or September. For creative guests-on-the-go these hot, indie sites might be the best kept secret. Or the worst trip ever!

How do you choose

So, what do you look for as a prospective renter? Do your research. Many of the online services like Airbnb provide a review service. Be sure to read the comments from previous renters. Was the accommodation all it promised or was it lacking. Descriptions and even pictures can be deceiving. Mashable provided a nice overview that compares the pros and cons of Airbnb vs VRBO. Curbed Austin featured a short article in January covering what your $900 rents in Austin right now.

Looking to invest?

This latest market craze has become a sustainable income stream for many property owners or would-be realtors in the Austin market and elsewhere. Looking for an alternative income stream or a way to get out of mortgage debt, folks with a small slice of land can invest in a transportable dwelling space that can potentially pay for itself in just a couple of years.

Luxury boutique experiences have recently breathed fresh air into the hospitality industry worldwide. Pop-up hotels offer anything from a modern urban apartment space to reclusive tree houses in the middle of the forest (, All the comforts of home while travelling, or a one-of-a-kind experience to remember. There's a place for everyone and an investor just waiting to capture and deliver the undiscovered experience. Savvy investors are looking to cash in on the luxury, pop-up, or sustainable trend.

Bottom line

For dwellers or property-owners alike, short-term rentals can be a great way to save money or make money and Austin is just brimming with opportunity.

Photo Credit: Photo by Carlos Delgado on Unsplash