The 5-Step Guide to Airbnb Real Estate Investing

Brad Jamison | July 26, 2021

The short-term rental booking boom is here, and it’s likely to continue for the months and years ahead. There are so many markets that offer a significant return on investment for hosts and investors alike that it can be a challenge to pinpoint the top Airbnb locations. 

Even with a growing number of white-hot markets, getting into the short-term rental space can be daunting — but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve compiled a quick list of essentials aspiring hosts and investors need to know and the tools to tackle any investment in the STR space.

1. Identify The Best Places To Buy Rental Property

In order to get a high-level understanding of markets with the most growth, start your research with AirDNA’s 2020 + 2021 best places to invest report. It reveals the 25 top Airbnb locations in up-and-coming, medium, and large markets. 

The best places to buy rental property in 2021


See the Best Places to Invest Around the World

2. Analyze Airbnb Investment and Real Estate Data In Each Market

Once you’ve decided on your investment’s location, access MarketMinder to dive deeper into its neighborhoods, zip codes, and adjacent markets. Each market you analyze will reveal a Market Grade, average revenue and occupancy figures, quarterly growth, amenities, rate analysis, pacing, and more to spot the market that fits your portfolio, niche, and goals. 

In MarketMinder, you’ll see the following tabs, giving you unparalleled data to determine which zip code or neighborhood aligns with your goals. Be sure to take the time to explore each area and to fully understand your area(s). 




Virtually all markets have high and low seasons. This is especially true for destination markets like lakeside retreats, ski towns, and beaches. Take a look at monthly and daily RevPAR to see when you can expect revenue growth, historical travel trends, and booking windows each month of the year. Remember: if you’re in a highly seasonal market, you’ll want to factor that into your pricing strategy


Pacing tools in MarketMinder show you future demand six months out to get a sense of bookings windows, booked rates, year-over-year comparisons, and occupancy rates in your markets. MarketMinder enables you to compare your markets with average historical rates and market projections to get a sense of Airbnb income potential. 

Short-term Rental Research

While some markets are flooded with vacation rentals, others are hidden gems with high occupancy rates. You can compare the number of active listings with quarterly rental growth, annual revenue trends, occupancy rates per city, and types of amenities to know which property types will fit your portfolio and local competition.

How To Tackle Airbnb Real Estate Investing (3)
Real estate data in AirDNA’s MarketMinder

3. Market Comparison for Annual Revenue Growth

Market Comparison is a hidden gem within MarketMinder, revealing trending revenue and occupancy numbers for each market you explore. If Panama City Beach is your go-to city for an investment property, make sure you analyze top-performing zip codes as well as the size of the property to maximize revenue and make your investment profitable. 

In Market Comparison, be sure to toggle between zip codes and neighborhoods, studio to 6+ bedroom counts, and the number of guests the property can accommodate. Don’t forget to compare trend lines for revenue, occupancy, historical, and year-over-year ADR to choose the most profitable combination.

Market Comparison
Compare Markets Side by Side

4. Estimate Income With The Airbnb Calculator

Once you’ve decided on your market and bedroom count of choice, you’re ready to research rentals for sale. Zillow is a great place to start looking for listings that fit your criteria and can help you reach your rental income goals. Once you filter for budget and property attributes, gather a few addresses of interest, and head back to MarketMinder. Within Rentalizer, the Airbnb Calculator, you’ll immediately see your Airbnb income potential, as well as other essential markers to make your decision.

Enter any address and immediately receive annual revenue and occupancy projections. Take it one step further by entering the cost of the home and your projected major expenses into our financial calculator to receive operating income and cap rate to complete your investment research. With Rentalizer, estimating rent for your short-term property couldn’t be easier.

Rentalizer, the Airbnb Calculator, makes estimating revenue, ADR, and occupancy a breeze
Rentalizer makes estimating rent for your short-term property easy

5. Pricing Your Airbnb Smartly

If you’re at the point where you’re wondering, what are the Airbnb rates in my area like, MarketMinder has the answer. Once you purchase your property and list it on Airbnb, you’ll want to connect your listing to MarketMinder to access customized comp sets. You’ll receive:

  • Competitor insights
  • Personalized property-level pricing
  • Comp set pacing
  • Market-level insights 
  • And more

The data in Custom Comps will keep your prices optimized, occupancy up to your standards, and competitor insights handy to maximize your revenue potential — all in a single, easy-to-navigate pricing platform.

Pricing Against Comps
One benefit to using Custom Comps is to use our dynamic pricing tools against your personalized comp sets. Visualize pricing trends to see if your comps are being booked at higher rates or more frequently than you, with a recommended rates calendar to help adjust your rates 12 months out.

Pacing Against Comps
Not only can you see your comp rates in our pricing feature, but also keep tabs on when they’re being booked, how far out, and rate projections. You’ll be able to spot travel spikes in advance and outsmart your competition for each property you’ve connected to MarketMinder. Filter your comps based on amenities, distance, ratings, reviews, and more, and select a truly personalized comp set.

Excel at Airbnb Real Estate Investing with MarketMinder

Here’s the truth: finding the perfect property and then pricing it competitively can be a total slog without the right tools. Fortunately, Airbnb real estate investing couldn’t be any easier with MarketMinder. 

Whether this is your first glance into the short-term rental and real estate space or you’ve flirted with jumping in for years, MarketMinder gives you the tools, data, and confidence you need to operate a successful short-term rental business.

But don’t take our word for it. Jump into MarketMinder today and see how easy it is to hit the ground running and watch your revenue grow.

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