Buying to let abroad is a fantastic way to make money and is something that I myself plan to do later on. In my research, I have learned that one website is the king for making money off of this practice and that website is Airbnb. Having stayed in Airbnb properties all over the world, I have seen how investors are purchasing properties in markets that may not necessarily be as expensive as the United States or the United Kingdom and are letting them out to tourists, those completing study abroad programs, global internships or any long term housing solution where the individual does not want to sign a lease.
This is precisely why I have used Airbnb so many times because it eliminates the permanency aspect of leasing and acquiring the necessary furniture to setup an apartment. Additionally, it allows the tourist to live the life through the lens of a local given that these apartments are owned in some of the residential neighborhoods that are near the main attractions of the city.
Here is how the prospective property investor makes a living off of Airbnb based on my recent experience renting a luxury apartment in La Paz, Bolivia:
- The Owner Has a Door Man and a Cleaning Service Monitoring the Guests for a Low Price: This is one of the key benefits in a market like La Paz. The property owner works through a local company that lets in the guests, cleans, and also is a doorman. This allows the owner to reside anywhere in the world and be making a profit off of their investment.
- Consistent Flow of Guests While Charging Premium Rates: By listing the property on many sites including Airbnb, the property owner is going to establish positive feedback and tailor their property to the perfect and ideal guest. In our apartment in La Paz, there were local guidebooks and recommendations for tourism in Bolivia. It was an all in one luxury furnished apartment hotel with two bedrooms and two baths. The property additionally had a floor to ceiling view of the La Paz skyline, which was beautiful. An apartment such as this goes for $60 per night in Bolivia, which is the same price as a luxury hotel. The property owner by making the space chic and engaging to guests, makes a very nice profit off of what they are charging locals to manage the property.
- Affordable Exposure Based on Airbnb’s Website: Airbnb has very low fees for users and it is entirely feedback based. Thus, by allowing guests to stay, the property owner is making a fortune and paying very little for their Airbnb membership. This is the most brilliant form of global advertising to appeal to a larger market of consumers.
Having stayed in many Airbnb’s, this is where global real estate investment is heading for years to come in my opinion because it allows the expat who invested to make capital on their property until they are ready to live there themselves. Additionally, if the expat does not want to live in their property, they have a great cash flow for very little post-investment after the property has been acquired. Many hosts on Airbnb have multiple properties and then use the earnings from those properties to buy new properties making Airbnb a wonderful investment scheme that is actually legitimate and legal for the prospective real estate investor.