What we Do
Comprehensive, Full-Service Airbnb Management
Westbrook Hospitality LLC is a full service Airbnb (or short term rental) management company. We are one of the only of our kind and fully specialize in this unique and lucrative market. Managing an Airbnb is incredibly hands-on, so many investors shy away from this great opportunity.
We are here to stand in the gap, to handle all the day-to-day operations of running your Airbnb, so you can sit back and collect passive income, via a direct deposit on the fifth of each month.
Below, you’ll find a comprehensive guide to our process, what you can expect while working with us, information on why you should consider managing a short term rental, and FAQs
*New Service Alert*
Westbrook Hospitality also offers mid-term management, which is the rental of furnished homes for between 1 and 6 months. Contact us for more information.
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Many owners are shocked to find out that Greenville is one of the best 100 cities in the United States to own and manage a short term rental (Data from Airdna, a well-known vacation rental data aggregate).
My personal research comparing returns, real estate costs, occupancy rates, and average daily rates between Gatlinburg, top Florida beaches, and Greenville all showed that Greenville had the higher return on investment!
I believe this is due to many factors:
1. Real estate costs: While real estate costs are soaring in Greenville itself compared to what we are historically accustomed to, we have only just hit the national average. So, while costs are high for locals, they aren’t high at all when compared with a mountain cabin in Gatlinburg or a beach house in Clearwater.
2. Varied Need: If investing in the mountains or the beach, people are usually looking for a few types of properties— 2bedroom and up cabins or beach houses, in a certain style and location, which they will exclusively use for vacation. This causes higher seasonality, and these homes will be the first to be impacted by blips in the tourist market (economic downturn, COVID-19, etc). In Greenville, people are staying in regular homes. They are looking for a cozy space near the city to explore from. They come for all kinds of reasons— a weekend away, a work trip, Clemson games, to visit family, to see a specialist, the list goes on and on. We aren’t a “traditional” vacation destination, and that can work to our favor, as people are almost always coming to Greenville. We have very minimal seasonality, only seeing significant decreases in occupancy during “usual” slow seasons, such as the 2 weeks when school starts in August and the month of January.
3. Hotel Shortage: There is a huge shortage of hotels in Greenville. Most aren’t anywhere close to downtown, and they are prohibitively expensive. This makes Airbnb an attractive, and needed, option for many visitors to our area.
4. The Nature of our Visitors: It’s no surprise that Millennials make up the largest group of people that I see coming to Greenville. It’s a foodie city with a great bar scene, tons of nature to explore, and is super dog friendly. Most millennials will eschew a traditional hotel and opt for an Airbnb to support the sharing economy, have some privacy, or travel with their furry friend. It is important to remember that millennials are now in their mid-twenties to late-thirties, and do have the means to travel. They also make excellent guests the majority of the time.
Why Airbnb… and Why Greenville?
We pride ourselves on a smooth process for onboarding new clients and helping them to launch an Airbnb, or simply explore their options. Here are the steps we go through with all new and potential clients.
Step 1: Revenue Estimate
Usually our clients already have a property in mind, or already own it, when they contact us for our services. At this point, we get the address, relevant photos, and ask several questions about the property in order for us to determine what we think it can generate per month. I use data through various sites as well as my own experience and intuition in setting out what I think the average daily rate should be and an expected occupancy rate. I use these two numbers to calculate your revenue, and provide you with that number, less my commission. At this point, you can easily see if you believe that this is worth the time, effort, and investment it takes to get started. If you don’t have a property in mind, no worries! I am happy to start with you from the ground up! I can work with you or your realtor to provide suggestions revenue estimates in order to help you decide what to buy. I’m happy to meet you wherever you are in the process, and find that our most successful owners get us involved as soon as they possibly can.
Step 2: Furnishing Estimate
If the revenue estimate is to the owner’s liking, we then proceed to the furnishing estimate. My partner, Emily, and I will make an appointment to come see your home with tape measures and clipboard in hand. In a matter of hours, or sometimes less, we will devise a layout and floor-plan for the space and determine what needs to be purchased. If you have any existing furniture, we usually look at it during this appointment and try to work as much of it as possible into our plan. After we leave, I type up a formal estimate, explaining each item that will go into the house line by line. I also add in the photography charge, and our furnishing fee, which is $500 or 15% of the furnishing estimate, whichever is greater. The result is the exact number you will need to spend in order to get your Airbnb off the ground. There are a number of factors that affect the estimate, such as number of bedrooms, common spaces, and outdoor spaces, but a general rule of thumb is that your furnishing estimate is equal to about 3 months worth of revenue.
Step 3: Signing and Payment
After we present the furnishing estimate, we will also share our contract. Our contract is simple— we ask for a three-month commitment from you to let us prove our methods and get your property going. After that, you can cancel the contract at any time with 2 weeks notice, or through the last reservation, whichever is longest. We then require full payment up front for the furnishing estimate. As soon as this is received, we get to work on turning your home into an Airbnb.
Step 4: Furnishing and Listing
We can usually have an Airbnb launched within a week-and-a-half to 2 weeks of receiving your furnishing payment. This timeline has been somewhat effected by corona shipping delays, but we always keep you informed of a launch day. Once I receive all the estimated shipping dates, I schedule photography, and we work to make sure the home is ready to go before that day. Once our photographers have shot the property, it takes several days for them to edit the photos. Once I receive them, I get the property listed right away, and we are LIVE.
Step 5: Going Live!
Your property is now live on Airbnb and bookings usually begin to pour in within the first few days. We will give you an option to opt in for text notifications for when you receive a booking and give you a link to a master calendar, so you can see when it is booked. You'll also receive your very own owner's portal to track your earnings. The first 3 guests get 20% as an incentive for staying with a new property, and those tend to go pretty quickly. Our area books more last minute than super far out, so don’t get too nervous if the calendar is looking barren for the upcoming weeks. It usually fills up nicely.
Step 6: Getting Paid
On the fifth of each month you will receive a report detailing your reservations, average nightly rate, occupancy rate, etc as well as your payment amount. The payment amount is as follows: 80% of the net payout (after Airbnb takes their fees) - the cleaning fee, which goes directly to E + E Cleaning Services, LLC. This amount, less any expenses you incurred throughout the month (eg snacks, toilet paper, maintenance etc), will be deposited into your account on the 5th. You will also receive receipts of items that we have purchased on your behalf, except those that are in our usual inventory, which we have set rates for and buy in bulk.
Step 7: Repeat!
Enjoy this process month after month as your home continues to get more bookings and becomes a favorite among our guests :) And hey— maybe get another one? Who knows :) No matter what your goals, we are here to support you.
Frequently Asked Questions...
What if I want to stay in my home? Can I?
Yes, absolutely! It is your home, and we want you to be able to enjoy it as well. I simply ask that I receive a request to block dates in writing (email or text is fine), and I will reserve it for you. In order to ensure quality control, we do ask for you to pay the cleaning fee after your stay. In some cases this could be reduced based on the number of people who stay at your home. Then, you can leave it just like a hotel— no stress, no laundry, no tidying up, and we can ensure it is ready and at our standards for the next guest.
How do taxes work with my payments?
I am paying you (or your business— you tell me) as a contractor, and will therefore give you a 1099 of all that I have paid you at the end of each year. You'll take this to your accountant, deduct your utilities, interent, mortgage, etc and then are good to go.
Is there a contract or formal agreement?
Yes, I do have a property management contract that all owners sign. I’m happy to provide this for you upon request for your perusal.
Can I use my regular homeowner’s or landlord’s policy for Airbnb?
The short answer is, no. A landlord’s policy is only really half a policy— as the tenant carries the other half. homeowner’s policies do not have commercial liability, nor do they cover business activity. I have a company as well as a local agent that I recommend to assist you through this process and provide further details in our Owner Onboarding Guide, which I share with all interetsed clients and new owners.
Do you manage places outside the Greenville area?
Yes! Currently we are managing property in Greenville, TR, and Easley. We are open to expanding to Pickens, and Pickens County lake properties. We are not open to other locations at this time.
How often/when am I paid?
Owners are paid monthly on the fifth via direct deposit. Please see Step 6 above for more explanation.
How quickly can I get started?
A conservative estimate would be 3 weeks from the first day I talk to you, but it all depends on if you have the home, the state of the home, and the speed with which I’m given payment, and shipping times. I will let you know through every step what our ETA is for launch.
What is your commission? Are there additional fees?
I charge a 20% commission for this service. I have owner's usually estimate $150/mo which will be deducted for supplies. Additionally, I recommend a Facebook advertising budget of $60-90/month to help us keep your property ranking well. However, this is not always needed. The only other thing to be aware of is the initial furnishing and listing fee. All new listings do have a one time furnishing + listing fee to cover the labor and time involved with setting up your property. This fee is either $500 or 15% of the furnishing estimate, whichever is greater.
Any other questions? Feel free to reach out!