Airbnb Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Airbnb Business Plan
You’ve come to the right place to create your own Airbnb business plan.
We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their Airbnb businesses.
Airbnb Business Plan Example & Template
Below is an Airbnb business plan template and sample to help you create each section of your own business plan.
- Executive Summary
Fun Family Vacation Rentals (FFVR) is a startup AirBnB business based in Kissimmee, Florida. The company is founded by Mark Martinez, an experienced AirBnB manager who has amassed millions of dollars for other rental owners over ten years while working at Sunny City Rentals in Orlando, Florida. Now that Mark has garnered a positive reputation for securing high net profits for other rental owners, he is ready to start his AirBnB business renting out properties of his own. Mark is confident that his ability to effectively manage properties and customer relationships will help him to quickly acquire new customers who are looking for a fun AirBnB option for their family vacations. Mark plans on recruiting a team of highly qualified professionals, with experience in the hospitality industry, to help manage the day-to-day complexities of AirBnB business rentals – marketing, renting, financial reporting, maintenance, and fee collection.
FFVR will provide a comprehensive array of services and amenities for all guests at each of its properties. Fun Family will be an AirBnB business offering a home away from home for families vacationing in the Kissimmee area, with each property being fully equipped with household essentials to ensure every guest’s needs are being met. FFVR will be the ultimate AirBnB business choice in Kissimmee for being family and pet friendly, providing top notch customer service, and having management nearby at all times to efficiently handle any issues that come up.
The following are the amenities and services that Fun Family Vacation Rentals will provide for each of its AirBnB properties:
- Guest communication and support
- Cleaning and maintenance
- Advice on local attractions
- Swimming pool
- Washer and dryer
- Toilet paper
- Waste baskets/bags
- Linens and pillows
- Kitchen stocked with cookware and utensils
- Bowls for pet food
- Extra cleaning supplies
- Crib and high chair for small children and babies
- Smart Technology security system
FFVR will target all vacationers in Kissimmee, Florida as one of its key markets. Fun Family will target vacationers looking for comfortable and affordable AirBnB options near all of Florida’s best theme parks and tourist attractions. The company will target families with children and people with pets. No matter the guest, FFVR will deliver the best communication, customer service, and amenities as part of its full-service business.
FFVR will be owned and operated by Mark Martinez. He recruited an experienced office administrator, Anthony Miller, to be the Office Manager and help run the day-to-day operations of the AirBnB business, while aiding in the writing of a winning AirBnB business plan.
Mark Martinez is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He has been working at a local AirBnB business for over a decade as a property manager.
Anthony Miller has been an office administrator at a local AirBnB business management company for over eight years. Mark relies strongly on Anthony’s diligence, attention to detail, and focus when organizing the logistics of properties, schedules, and guests’ requirements. Anthony has worked in the industry for so long, he understands all aspects required to manage a successful AirBnB business.
FFVR will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages and unique selling points:
- Friendly, knowledgeable, and highly qualified team of property managers and guest relations associates who are able to handle all customer requests with care and efficiency.
- Comprehensive menu of services and amenities that allow for each guest to enjoy their stay without having to worry about whether they’ve packed everything they need or the hassle of searching for family-friendly accommodations.
- FFVR offers the best pricing for the value. All of the company’s AirBnB rentals are rented at competitive prices.
FFVR is seeking $800,000 in debt financing to launch its AirBnB business. The funding will be dedicated towards purchasing a third rental property (the owner already owns two other AirBnB properties that will be used for the business). Funding will also be dedicated towards renovating, cleaning, and stocking each unit with essentials and supplies. Additional funding will go towards insurance, marketing expenses, and three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff and rent for the main office. The breakout of the funding is below:
- Property purchase: $600,000
- Renovations, cleaning, furnishing, and supplies for three units: $90,000
- Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities): $90,000
- Marketing costs: $10,000
- Working capital: $10,000
The following graph below outlines the pro forma financial projections for FFVR.
- Company Overview
Who is FFVR?
FFVR is a newly established AirBnB business in Kissimmee, Florida. FFVR will be the most reliable, cost-effective, and efficient choice for guests in Kissimmee and the surrounding areas. Fun Family will provide a comprehensive menu of rental services and amenities geared towards families and people with pets. The company’s full-service approach includes daily housekeeping and on-call maintenance, personalized amenities and accommodations, and family and pet friendly premises.
FFVR will be able to manage all guest requests and requirements to ensure each customer’s stay is memorable, fun, and free of any hassle. The team of professionals are highly qualified and experienced in customer service, concierge accomodations, and guest relations. FFVR removes all headaches and issues of the guest and ensures all issues are taken care off expeditiously while delivering the best customer service.
Fun Family is owned and operated by Mark Martinez, a former vacation homes rental manager who has a Business Administration degree from the University of Florida. Mark has worked for a large vacation company and managed a large portfolio of AirBnB rentals in Florida. Mark’s tenure with the vacation company has given him the skills and knowledge required to start his own AirBnB management company. Mark has begun readying his two owned rental properties for the first guests and looking for a third property to purchase.
Since incorporation, FFVR has achieved the following milestones:
- Registered FFVR, LLC to transact business in the state of Florida.
- Has a contract in place to lease an office space in a centrally located business park that is walking distance to both of Mark’s rentals.
- Began recruiting a staff of accountants, maintenance workers, guest relations associates, and office personnel to work at FFVR.
- Has reached out to local cleaning companies to compare rates for ongoing cleaning services for the properties.
The following are the services and amenities that FFVR will provide for each of its AirBnB properties:
- Basic household essentials:
- Industry Analysis
The market for vacation and AirBnB rentals is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.5% from 2021-2016, reaching an estimated USD $168B over the next five years. The rebound in tourism after the pandemic combined with the growing popularity of short term rental homes versus hotels or other vacation accommodation options is a driving factor for overall market growth in the United States.
Market trends in the vacation and AirBnB rental industry include business/leisure tourists, longer stays, and an increase in families vacationing together over the holidays. The average number of stays that are between 21-30 days long have increased significantly last year with families staying an average of 68% longer than in previous years. A growing number of families are also looking for pet-friendly options, with 70% being pet owners and 68% traveling with their pets. Industry operators can maintain an advantage by equipping their properties with the latest technology, unique amenities, and family/pet-friendly environments.
- Customer Analysis
Demographic Profile of Target Market
FFVR will target all vacationers in Kissimmee, Florida. Fun Family will target vacationers looking for comfortable and affordable AirBnB options near all of Florida’s best theme parks and tourist attractions. The company will target families with children and people with pets.
The precise demographics for Kissimmee, Florida are:
FFVR will primarily target the following customer profiles:
- Families with children
- People looking for pet-friendly destinations
- People looking for affordable rentals close to Florida theme parks and attractions
- People looking for an Airbnb experience with all of the comforts and conveniences of home
- Competitive Analysis
Direct and Indirect Competitors
FFVR will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.
Rent Kissimmee is an AirBnB business with multiple properties available in Kissimmee, Florida. Located near key tourist attractions and resorts, Rent Kissimmee offers the most conveniently located properties in the area. The company provides transportation to and from the airport, theme parks, water parks, and resorts. The extensive list of services includes concierge, transportation, event tickets, contactless check-in, and daily housekeeping. Their professional approach appeals to both families and business travelers alike
Rent Kissimmee’s promise is to deliver the best customer service with honesty and integrity, and 24/7 availability of the team. Rent Kissimmee’s team of experienced professionals assures the properties are in perfect condition, ensuring each guest’s stay is perfect.
Florida’s Best AirBnB
Florida’s Best AirBnB is a Kissimmee-based vacation rental company that provides outstanding customer service for all of its guests. Florida’s Best AirBnB takes the risk out of renting a vacation home by providing the best properties at the lowest prices. The company provides a full suite of amenities and add-ons like WiFi, housekeeping, swimming pool, board games, full-stocked kitchen and bathrooms, and washer/dryer combos in all homes. The owners of Florida’s Best AirBnB are property management professionals so they understand how they should be maintained and managed. Guests can depend on personalized services and knowledgeable concierge staff that can provide expert advice on local attractions, restaurants, and events. By choosing Florida’s Best AirBnB for your next vacation, you can rest assured you will have a fun and relaxing stay without the hassle of dealing with the issues that can come with substandard property management.
Best For Pets Rentals
Best For Pets Rentals is a trusted Kissimmee AirBnB business that provides superior service to tourists and vacationers in Kissimmee and the surrounding areas. Best For Pets Rentals is the number one choice for families looking to bring their pets with them on vacation. Most types of pets are welcome at all of the company’s properties including dogs, cats, rabbits, other small mammals, and birds. Best for Pets Rentals has staff experienced in pet care who can pet-sit for you while you and your family are out at the theme parks.
FFVR will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:
- Friendly, knowledgeable, and highly qualified team of guest relations managers who will be able to guarantee all properties are in exceptional condition and all guest requests are met with care and efficiency.
- Comprehensive menu of services and family-friendly amenities so each guest can enjoy a comfortable and memorable experience without all the hassle associated with planning a vacation.
- FFVR offers the best prices for the value compared to similar companies in the area.
- Marketing Plan
Brand & Value Proposition
FFVR will offer the unique selling points to its guests:
- Highly-qualified team of skilled employees that is able to provide a comprehensive set of services (housekeeping, advice on local attractions, fully stocked kitchen, family and pet accommodations).
- Family and pet-friendly vacation homes and amenities (swimming pools, dog park nearby, WiFi, household essentials).
The promotions strategy for FFVR is as follows:
Social Media Marketing
The company will maintain an active presence on social media platforms including LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. The goal of the social media strategy will be to grow the company’s customer base through low-cost user engagement.
Professional Associations and Networking
FFVR will become a member of professional associations in the vacation rental industry such as theVacation Rental Management Association (VRMA), Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association, and VRM Intel. The company will focus networking efforts on expanding its customer network.
FFVR will invest in professionally designed print ads to display in programs or flyers at industry networking events, and tourism publications.
FFVR will create and maintain an attractive website that will be well organized, informative, and list all services and amenities available at each property.
The company’s in-house marketing director will manage Fun Family’s website presence with SEO marketing tactics so that when someone searches for “Kissimmee vacation homes” or “vacation homes near me”, Fun Family Vacation Rentals will be listed at the top of the search results.
The pricing strategy ofFFVR will be moderate and on par with competitors so customers feel they receive value when choosing the company for their vacation.
- Operations Plan
The following will be the operations plan for FFVR.
- Mark Martinez will be the Owner and President of the company. He will oversee all staff and manage client relations. Mark has spent the past year recruiting the following staff:
- Anthony Miller – Office Manager who will manage the office administration, guest files, and accounts payable.
- Sandra Smith – Staff Accountant will provide all accounting, tax payments, and monthly financial reporting for the company.
- Christopher Rodriguez – Marketing Director who will carry out all marketing and sales activities.
- Michaela Williams – Maintenance Director who will oversee all maintenance and housekeeping at the properties.
FFVR will have the following milestones complete in the next six months.
9/1/2022 – Finalize contract to lease office space
9/15/2022 – Finalize personnel and staff employment contracts for the team
10/1/2022 – Purchase third property to add to the small inventory of homes
10/15/2022 – Begin networking at industry events and implement the marketing plan
10/22/2022 – Begin moving into the office
11/1/2022 – FFVR opens for business
FFVR will be owned and operated by Mark Martinez. He has recruited an experienced office administrator, Anthony Miller, to be the Office Manager and help run the day-to-day operations of the business.
Mark Martinez is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He has been working at a local vacation home rental company for over a decade as a property manager.
Anthony Miller has been an office administrator at a local AirBnB management company for over eight years. Mark relies strongly on Anthony’s diligence, attention to detail, and focus when organizing the logistics of properties, schedules, and guests’ requirements. Anthony has worked in the vacation home rental industry for so long, he understands all aspects required in managing a successful business.
- Financial Plan
Key Revenue & Costs
The revenue drivers for FFVR are the vacation home rental fees they will charge to the guests for their AirBnB rentals and fees for additional services and add-ons. Fun Family will charge an average of $150 per night for each of its units. This price will vary depending on the season, increasing during high demand periods and decreasing during slow periods.
The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff a vacation rental office. The expenses will be the payroll cost, rent, utilities, office supplies, and marketing materials.
Funding Requirements and Use of Funds
FFVR is seeking $800,000 in debt financing to launch its AirBnB business. The funding will be dedicated towards purchasing a third rental property (the owner already owns two properties that will be used for the business). Funding will also be dedicated towards renovating, cleaning, and stocking each unit with essentials and supplies. Additional funding will go towards insurance, marketing expenses, and three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff and rent for the main office. The breakout of the funding is below:
The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan and write our financial statements.
- Average occupancy rate of each unit per month: 62%
- Average fees per month: $9,000
- Office lease per year: $100,000
Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, airbnb business plan faqs, what is an airbnb business plan.
An Airbnb business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your Airbnb business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target audience, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.
You can easily complete your Airbnb business plan using our Airbnb Business Plan Template here .
What Should I Include in my Winning AirBnB Business Plan Template?
Your winning Airbnb business plan template should include
- Management Team
What is the Main Types of an Airbnb Business?
There are a number of different kinds of Airbnb businesses, some examples include: Home Rentals, Shared Rooms, and Attached Properties.
How to Start an AirBnB Business?
- Create a business entity. To start an AirBnB business, you will need to create a business entity. This can be done by filing articles of incorporation with your state's secretary of state.
- Register your business with the IRS. Depending on your chosen business entity, you may also need to register your business with the IRS by filing for an EIN. This will establish your business as a tax-paying entity.
- Obtain liability insurance. AirBnB businesses are at risk for liability claims, so it is important to obtain liability insurance. This will protect your business in the event that someone is injured while staying in your rental property.
- Register your rental property with the city. In order to rent out your property on AirBnB, you will need to register it with the city. This typically entails obtaining a business license and paying any applicable taxes or fees.
- Write your AirBnB Business plan. You can easily complete your Airbnb business plan using our Airbnb Business Plan Template here .
Learn more about how to start a successful Airbnb business:
- How to Start an Airbnb Business
How Do You Get Funding for Your Airbnb Business?
There are a few different ways to get funding for your Airbnb business plan. You can seek out investors who are interested in the industry, or you can apply for a loan from a bank or other lending institution. Additionally, you may be able to receive funding from family and friends who believe in your business idea, from your own personal savings, or on rare occasions angel investors. No matter which route you choose, be sure to have a well-developed, winning business plan for an Airbnb and present it in a professional manner to increase your chances of securing funding.
Where Can I Get an Airbnb Business Plan PDF?
You can download our free airbnb business plan template PDF here . This is an airbnb business plan template you can use in PDF format.
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How to Write Up an Airbnb Business Plan: Free PDF Template
Having a well-crafted Airbnb business plan is the best way to set your business up for success from the get-go. It outlines your business goals, operations plan, and the timeline for accomplishing all of this.
After all, you don’t want to be flying blind when it comes to the vacation rental industry.
Try not to get too overwhelmed: it’s easier to write a business plan than you might think. In this article, we explain why having a business plan for Airbnb hosting is important, offer best practices for writing an effective one, and provide a free Airbnb business plan template to download.
Don’t see the form to download our Airbnb Business Plan? Click here .
First, what is an Airbnb business plan?
An Airbnb business plan is a living document that outlines the direction you want your business to go in and strategies for getting it there. It will include details such as your target market and customers, financial plan, and goals and milestones.
You’ll be referring to your business plan often as you work to open your Airbnb , so be sure to be as detailed as possible.
Airbnb business proposal vs. business plan
We sometimes see people get confused between Airbnb proposals and business plans.
To be clear, a business proposal is a document that explains how a company’s product or service can meet a specific customer’s needs. Its goal is to attract customers.
You might need an Airbnb business proposal if you were, say, trying to get investors for your Airbnb business. However, chances are that what you’re really looking for is a business plan.
Why do you need a business plan for Airbnb hosting?
A well-thought-out business plan for Airbnb is the roadmap you’ll use to steer your business into the future. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider writing a business plan for your short-term rental property.
Helps you meet your goals
It’s easy to get sidetracked while trying to grow your business.
Of course, entertaining new ideas is never a bad thing. But having your original vision in writing
will ensure you don’t deviate too far from what you truly want to achieve. It motivates you to move forward and gives you something to measure progress against, too.
Prompts you to make important decisions
You’re going to have to reflect on your operations strategy, competition, future guests, and more when you sit down to write your business plan.
You may find some of the difficult decisions you’ve been putting off coming up in this process. Now is the time to face them head-on.
Don’t sweat this too much. Remember that you can always come back to your business plan and adjust as you go. It’s an ever-evolving document!
Gives you the framework to communicate your business to others
We all like to think we can handle things on our own. However, the time will come when you’ll need help to run your business, be it from a business partner, investor, or assistant.
When that time comes, you need to be able to clearly and confidently communicate what you’re doing and where your business is headed. It wouldn’t make any sense to order an Uber and not tell the driver where to go, right?
Not to mention that an Airbnb business plan saves you the headache of having to explain every nuance of the business to the person you’re bringing on board. Forward the document and let it speak for itself.
How to write a business plan for Airbnb: best practices
Now you know why having a business plan for Airbnb hosting is so important. But how do you go about writing one?
Grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair. Let’s go over some best practices.
Brainstorm a mission statement
Contrary to popular belief, mission statements are not reserved for major corporations. Before you even start writing the business plan itself, consider writing an Airbnb mission statement for your business.
A mission statement is simply a concise explanation of the business.
Think about how you would explain what you’re doing to a friend at a cocktail party without losing their attention. What vision do you have for the business? Why is this important to you? What value do you provide to your customers?
Take some time to reflect, but keep in mind that mission statements are meant to be quick and to the point.
Airbnb mission statement examples
Here are some examples of Airbnb mission statements for inspiration:
- “The Cozy Cottage provides budget-friendly accommodations to travelers seeking to enjoy the natural beauty of our neighboring national park.”
- “The Little Apple is an eco-conscious studio that gives guests unparalleled access to downtown Manhattan at competitive rates.”
- “The Malibu Oasis offers the ultimate in luxury with a beachfront property, high-end amenities, and services tailored to our guests’ specific needs.”
Recognize your audience
Who will be reading your business plan?
The language you would use with one audience may not be appropriate for another. You might even consider writing different versions of your business plan for different audiences.
For example, a version geared toward investors might use more formal terminology. A version created for a future business partner, on the other hand, might be more casual.
Tap into the power of self-reflection
Starting an Airbnb business is a huge undertaking! Making sure you are ready to take it on is just as important as having a sound business plan.
Take inventory of what skills you already bring to the table and what things you will have to learn along the way. Are there things you should outsource to lighten your load? Do you feel prepared to take the next step with your Airbnb business?
Acknowledge any uncertainties now before you get started. It’s a great way to be honest with yourself and boost your confidence!
Should you push yourself to think big? Absolutely!
Should you set unrealistic and unattainable business goals? Not so much.
It’s all about striking a balance between dreaming big and keeping your feet on the ground. Take into account anything that might go wrong so you aren’t blindsided later on.
What to include in your Airbnb business plan
When it comes to writing a business plan, Airbnb is just like any other business. That’s to say, there are certain things you absolutely must include!
Take a look at our list and stay tuned for our free downloadable business plan template for Airbnb.
An Airbnb executive summary consists of a short description of your Airbnb business. People should be able to read your executive summary and know, at a glance, what your business entails.
To begin, ask yourself the famous five Ws to ensure you cover all the key information:
- Who is my Airbnb for (groups of friends, families, couples, etc.)?
- What is it (family holiday home, beachside condo, bachelor pad, etc.)?
- When is it best to stay at my Airbnb (summer, winter, weekends, etc.)?
- Where is my Airbnb located?
- Why should guests book my property?
Once you have these answers, you can rewrite them into a suitable executive summary.
Your operations plan outlines how you are going to run your Airbnb on a day-to-day basis.
This is one of the most straightforward parts of your business plan. Chances are, you’ve already thought through most of the details.
Here are just a few helpful prompts in case you get stuck:
- Am I going to hire any staff or run the business myself?
- How will I manage inventory ?
- Who is going to clean the rentals between guests?
- Do I need to hire an accountant to manage my finances?
- Who will deal with bookings and customer complaints ?
You broadly detailed where your business is going with your executive summary. Now, you need to further solidify your vision in your goals section.
Are you satisfied with a couple of bookings a month? Or are you expecting a full reservation calendar by the end of the year? You’ll need to set goals to help pin this down.
It might sound elementary, but setting S.M.A.R.T. goals will help your business make progress. Is your business goal specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely ?
Setting good goals is the basis for any successful Airbnb business plan.
Unique selling points
As with any business, you’ll need to detail the unique selling points (USPs) your Airbnb will bring to the existing market. That is, why are customers going to choose your Airbnb over the competition?
Thankfully, finding your USPs is much easier than you might think. Simply analyze your business and consider how your Airbnb provides a better guest experience than other properties in your area. Ask questions such as:
- Is it better than others because of its location?
- Is the price of your accommodation better?
- Are the interiors of your property different or better than the rest?
After all, once you are confident in your strengths, your guests will be, too!
Your guests are how you are ultimately going to make your money. So, it’s incredibly important to understand and target them properly.
This starts with creating buyer personas to outline the types of guests you want to attract. As profiles of your ideal customers, buyer personas should be as detailed as possible to help your business grow down the road.
When considering your ideal guests, ask yourself questions such as:
- What’s their name?
- What do they do for work?
- How old are they?
- Do they have a family?
Understanding and visualizing your ideal guests enables you to prepare for their specific needs and pain points.
For example, if you’re tailoring to young digital nomads , you’ll want to offer fast and reliable Wi-Fi, a designated work area, and suggestions for laptop-friendly cafes in the area. If your ideal guests are families with young children, on the other hand, you’ll want to make sure your property is child-safe .
It’s not all about your own business. No business plan is complete without some competitor research as well.
Take a look at the market to find your direct competitors (these are the properties that might win bookings over you). Then, analyze them to see how you can put your own Airbnb on top .
For example, ask:
- How much are my competitors charging per night?
- What standard of accommodation do they offer?
- Do they offer airport transfers/pickup services?
- Do they offer a wide range of amenities in the house?
Explain which marketing strategies you will use to target your key markets and achieve bookings. Think about both offline and online marketing , as well as any campaigns or promotions you plan to run externally.
This is when the buyer personas you created earlier will come in handy. If you know the people you’re trying to target, you’ll know what type of marketing will be suitable for them.
Here are some questions that can help you sketch out your marketing plan:
- What methods of online marketing should I use?
- What methods of offline marketing should I use?
- Do I have a direct booking website ?
- Do I have business cards ?
How are you going to finance your Airbnb ? You’ve probably given this lots of thought by this point (or even stayed up at night stressing about it).
But now it’s time to get serious. Will you self-finance your Airbnb or take out a loan ? Is financing unnecessary because you’re simply renting out a spare bedroom?
These questions form your financial plan . As we all know, money doesn’t grow on trees—so you need to know where yours will be coming from. To that end, estimate your expenditures and projected income for the first five years.
So, what kind of information makes up a financial plan?
- Will I need to take out a loan?
- What will the interest rates be?
- Do I have savings I’m ready to invest into it?
- What level of monthly loan payments can I manage?
Milestones and goals
When you start any project—whether it’s going back to school, losing weight, or starting a business—tracking your progress is essential.
So, outline your plans and goals for your business, plus what key milestones will help you achieve these targets. You can refer back to this section later on to ensure you’re on the right track.
Here are some good milestones to use for your Airbnb business:
- How much do I want to make each month?
- How many guests do I want in the first quarter?
- What rate of growth do I want in my bookings year-over-year?
- How many returning clients do I want each year?
Mistakes to avoid when writing an Airbnb business plan
Like we mentioned above, your business plan is a living document. So, you don’t need to worry about making it perfect on the first try. And you will have to update it over time.
That being said, you’d do well to avoid these common mistakes the first time around.
Don’t be too vague
Avoid making big, vague claims that you can’t quantifiably measure. Claims like this will only make it harder to see where you’ve succeeded and where you can improve.
After all, the point of a business plan is to give your business a sense of direction. Your future self will thank you for being specific about your goals and plans.
Also, don’t be too specific
We know—we just told you the exact opposite. But hear us out.
If you get too specific in your plan, you don’t leave yourself very much wiggle room. Yes, you want to have a clear direction of where your business is going. But you don’t want to close yourself off to other possibilities.
Be firm about the destination (your business goals) but flexible about the journey (how you will achieve those goals). There’s a sweet spot in there somewhere.
Airbnb business plan example
Sometimes the easiest way to get started is to see examples of others’ work. We’re also providing an Airbnb business plan template you can follow below. But in case it helps, here’s a sample business plan for Airbnb, based on the fictional business of “the Cozy Cottage”:
- Executive summary: The Cozy Cottage is a cottage located in the small town of Green Meadows. The Cozy Cottage is perfect for couples and small families looking to enjoy the natural beauty of the greater Green Meadows area.
- Operations plan: I will be able to manage guest communications and turnover myself, as I am semi-retired and live on the property adjacent to the Cozy Cottage. I’ve contracted a local accountant to handle my finances.
- Business goals: We intend to have every weekend booked by the end of the year, and a full reservation calendar within six months of opening.
- Unique selling points: The Cozy Cottage’s location (equidistant between the historic downtown and the nearby national park) is especially attractive to visitors. The property also provides a fully stocked kitchen, making it ideal for longer stays.
- Target customers: The Cozy Cottage has one bedroom with a queen bed, as well as a sofa bed in the living room. The space’s size and offerings make it perfect for small families or couples.
- Competitor analysis: Green Meadows has only recently become a popular tourist destination, meaning that competition is still scarce. Most existing Airbnbs in the area have higher price points and cater to larger groups. We plan to differentiate ourselves by catering to smaller groups and offering similar amenities at lower prices.
- Marketing plan: Our initial marketing plan consists of tapping into Airbnb’s customer base, posting on Facebook and Instagram , and distributing print materials in local businesses .
- Financial plan: The property on which the Cozy Cottage sits is already paid off, as it was part of a family estate. The initial investment for furnishing , decorating, and stocking the Airbnb will come out of my personal savings. According to my projections, the Airbnb should be paying for itself within one year of opening.
- Milestones and goals: We hope to be booked every weekend by the end of the year and self-sustaining within one year of opening.
Your own business plan will likely be longer, much more detailed, and backed by real data. However, this Airbnb business plan sample should give you an idea of what your own document might look like.
Download our free Airbnb business plan template
We’ve created a free Airbnb business plan PDF that you can download and customize to get started. This business plan template for Airbnb was designed with three specific pain points in mind:
- Why do I need a business plan in the first place?
- What do I need to do before I can start creating my business plan?
- What should I include?
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The Complete Vacation Rental Business Plan (+ Template)
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What’s in this article?
Creating a vacation rental business plan isn’t just about securing financing or finding properties to manage; it’s also about having a roadmap for business growth.
Business plans anticipate possible mishaps so that you can prepare for them in advance. They also let you set milestones to guide your business development. Finally, vacation rental business plans can help you secure financing to fuel your business’ growth.
A business plan takes time and it can be intimidating to know where to start, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re wondering where to begin or what to include, we’ve got your back! Using this comprehensive guide, you can develop a vacation rental business plan using the downloadable template provided.
Click to download (It’s free!)
Vacation rental business plan template.
What is a vacation rental business plan?
A vacation rental business plan describes the steps to reach your financial, marketing, and business goals . It should assist you and potential investors in understanding your short-term rental business’s profitability.
Along with describing the goals, strategy, and tactics, you should also use this plan as a guide to ensure you’re headed in the right direction.
Why do you need a vacation rental business plan?
A vacation rental business plan prepares you for the future as it anticipates goals, milestones, and possible mishaps. But a vacation rental business plan can also help you secure financing, plan for the long term, set clear goals that increase your chance of success, and budget sensibly.
1. Secure financing
Just like you wouldn’t lend your car to a friend who doesn’t know how to drive; banks won’t lend you money if you can’t prove that you’ll pay them back.
A vacation rental business plan is a way of letting potential investors know that you have a strategy in place to build a profitable business.
2. Plan for the long term
Planning for business growth allows you to choose tools and systems from the beginning that will scale with you. For example, without long-term planning, you might end up having to change your property management system (PMS) in the future as the needs of your business outstrip the feature set of the cheap solution you chose without future growth in mind. Being able to plan for what you’ll need as you grow will ultimately save you time and money.
3. Set clear goals
It’s easier to achieve success if you first define what success looks like and give yourself clear goals to work towards. These goals should be measurable and achievable, for instance, establishing you need a 60% occupancy rate in your first year to cover costs. If you’re succeeding in meeting some of your goals but falling short when it comes to others, you’ll be able to identify where you need to make changes in your business.
4. Budget with confidence
Running the numbers and having a plan that backs up your vacation rental property investment reduces the luck element of buying real estate. Having a business plan with financial projections allows you to allocate a realistic budget for renovations, furnishing, decoration, software, permits, and staff.
A business plan will help you anticipate cash flow issues you may face. For example, as your reputation builds, your property may have fewer bookings at first, so some expenses will be out of pocket.
What to consider before creating a business plan for your short-term rental business
Before you start writing your business plan for your STR business, you should:
1. Do your research
Make sure you research to understand local laws, the challenges presented by the location of your properties, and the types of units you’re going to be investing in.
Review local laws, regulations, or restrictions before buying a second property or turning your home into a short-term rental business .
You should also look into what’s being discussed in the media about the market you’re researching. There may not be a law yet, but there are rumors that vacation rentals will be prohibited and you should know about it.
Location can also determine your rental’s profitability. If you buy or manage a vacation property in an up-and-coming location, or a place that has a nearby attraction, your place might be in high demand. Location is also important when looking for possible cleaners or maintenance workers. A cabin in the woods sounds nice until no one wants to drive there to clean it or fix a broken pipe.
Type of unit
You should look at the market to understand which types of units you should be managing and what challenges they present, as well as how profitable they might be. You can rent nearly anything:
- Tree houses
- Glamping domes and yurts
- Apartments of different sizes
- Family homes
- A night in a Tesla parked in your garage ( yes, really )
Compare existing listings against similar units in your location to get an idea about how much guests are willing to pay to stay in them, how much demand exists in your area, and what amenities will set you apart from the rest.
Furnishing and renovations
Determine how much money and time you’ll need to renovate and furnish your unit. Find out what sort of amenities are expected in your area and what extra things you could invest in to give yourself a competitive advantage.
2. Choose your business model
If you’re buying properties to rent rather than simply managing properties on behalf of owners, there are several different business models to consider:
- House Hacking. If you’re accessing a loan for buying your primary home, you might get to invest less money but you’ll need to use the property as your home. In that case, you can use house hacking to rent your guest room or your studio to reduce the mortgage out-of-pocket payments.
- Glamping. Some countries offer loans for purchasing glamping domes or yurts. It’s also less expensive than purchasing a property and it can be quite profitable. You can rent your dome or yurt from $150-400 a night.
- Rent your property. If you take out a loan for a vacation home , you can rent the property to pay for the mortgage and make a profit.
- Rental arbitrage. This STR business model requires almost no initial investment from your end other than the costs related to renting an apartment. In the rental arbitrage model, you sublet an apartment on Airbnb , Vrbo , or any other OTA to pay for rent and make a profit. Your landlord should be notified and give you written consent if they approve.
3. Consider financing options
Your vacation rental business plan is also a way to pitch your company to potential investors. If you’re about to start a property management company , creating a business plan is a great way to formalize it.
Depending on your business model , you’ll have access to different financing options that have very different initial payment rates. When you know how much money you can invest upfront and who your target investors are, you can tailor your vacation rental business plan accordingly.
4. Determine profitability
Before you buy or agree to manage any rental property, you should run a competitive analysis to determine if it’s going to be profitable. You can use tools like Vrolio or AirDNA to estimate expenses, nightly rates, and estimated occupancy. Make sure you run your calculations on cautious scenarios. Never estimate 100% of occupancy. If it’s your first STR, estimate vacancy at around 45-50% .
Even Rob Abasolo from Robuilt who has various successful STR properties doesn’t run estimates assuming a perfect year. “I wouldn’t calculate my numbers based on a 100% occupancy rate ,” Abasolo shared. “When I’m running the numbers to see if a deal works, I’m typically running my calculations at an 80% occupancy rate .”
What to include in your short-term rental business plan?
Your business plan is a living guide that contains all your goals for your business and how you plan to achieve them. That’s why it contains goals, milestones , and an initial financial forecast. It’s an outline of what you’re planning to do, why you’re doing it, and how you’re going to succeed. You can present this as a one-pager or a longer form shareable document.
1. Executive summary
This section is an overview of your business, you should mention:
- Who you or the property owners are
- The skills you excel at
- Your experience in the business
- Your short and long-term objectives
- The location of your vacation rental (mention nearby attractions)
- Your business model (house hack, glamping, second home, or rental arbitrage)
- A broad description of your guest persona
- If it’s a seasonal rental, for example, a beach house for summer
2. Company description
In this section, you should get into more detail about your company. Talk about your mission statement, unique selling point ( USP ), and value proposition (more on this later!)
If this is your first investment property, create those statements and include them here. You can adjust future plans as your business grows.
3. Business goals
The first two sections of the business plan give readers a broad overview of where your business is headed. Here is where you get to explain in detail what you’re aiming to achieve with your vacation rental.
You can follow any goal-setting methodology that you prefer—S.M.A.R.T, H.A.R.D, or W.O.O.P. The important thing is that you set objectives for different aspects of your business. Answer the questions below to get some ideas:
- What’s your minimum acceptable CoC return?
- What’s the minimum occupancy rate you need to meet your expenses?
- What’s your expected monthly profit?
- What percentage of your total revenue goes into operations and expenses?
- Do you need to hire a team? If so, how will you rate their performance?
- What are the tools that you need to learn how to use?
- What aspects of your business can be automated?
- How are you planning to improve the guest experience?
- Are your listings SEO optimized? How are you measuring success?
- Will you promote using a mix of niche and popular OTAs ?
- What’s your plan to increase direct bookings?
- Are you using social media to promote your listing?
4. Guests personas
A huge part of marketing your property is defining who you are talking to. Do you want your property to be used by families, expats, digital nomads, or college students?
Defining your guest persona allows you to determine your value proposition , unique selling points , and marketing strategy . Include their:
- Behavioral characteristics
- Booking habits
- Preferred OTA
If you have a pet-friendly property and you want to attract dog owners, then, your marketing strategy will be more successful if you promote on niche listings like BringFido along with global listing sites.
5. Value proposition
Your value proposition is how your guests will perceive your property compared to others. Why should guests choose your property? What’s your added value?
Maybe you offer flexible check-in or you offer a discount to the local museum. Define how you’re improving the guest experience and write it down, that’s your value proposition .
6. Competitive analysis
Analyze your competitors and the industry to determine what makes your property different from others and how you can position that difference as a unique selling point ( USP ). This is different from your value prop. Your USP is how you’ll differentiate your property and listing when you’re selling it; the value proposition is how you’ll improve the overall guest experience.
For example, let’s say you bought soundproof windows and a memory foam mattress that guaranteed a good night’s sleep, that’d be your value proposition. If you offer one free night to guests who book a three-day stay, it becomes your unique selling point.
You can use tools like Zillow and AirDNA to look into your local competitors and ask yourself if your property is better than other competitors because you:
- Is it easier to access using public transportation?
- Is it closer to the beach or the main city attraction?
- Is it downtown?
- Is the price -value ratio better than the competition?
- Does it have discounted rates on certain days of the week?
- Does it have better amenities?
- Does it look clean and new?
- Does it have a copy that converts?
- Is the description clear?
- Does it have professional photography?
You should also define which listing sites your competition is using and see if there’s any room for improvement.
7. Operations and teams
Your operation plan is a rundown of how you’ll operate your business, how much it’ll cost, and which tools you’ll use. Some tasks you should outline include:
- How are you going to account for everything that’s in your property?
- How are you planning to restock the lost or broken items?
- How many times a year will you do an inventory check?
- Are you hiring a team to work full-time on your property?
- Did you already hire a cleaning and maintenance agency?
- Are you managing your Airbnb using software ?
- How are you managing different channels and distribution?
- Are you outsourcing your operations to a property management platform like Hostfully?
- Do you have a tool to keep track of your accounting?
- Are you hiring someone to do it for you?
- How are you keeping track of your escrow, insurance, and taxes payments?
- Are you adding smart keyless locks, plugs, and lightbulbs to save time and power?
- How are you communicating with your guests?
- Are you building any automations ?
- Are you using a vacation rental management platform like Hostfully to automate guest messaging?
List all of your fixed and variable costs including:
- Mortgage payments
- Staff members (if any)
- Hospitality tools like property management system, channel manager , and dynamic pricing
- Utility bills (water, power, internet)
- Credit card installments for furnish
- Taxes and insurance
You should have that information from your research stage and your profitability analysis. Then, based on your total expenses, you determine the minimum and maximum nightly rates that you’re able to offer based on a safe estimated occupancy rate .
So, let’s say your expenses are $2,300 a month and you’re estimating a 60% occupancy rate . That means that you’re expecting your property is booked for at least 18 days each month. That makes the minimum nightly rate $128. If you compare against similar properties and your rate is too high, you should look into a different market, see where to cut expenses, or offer a premium experience.
9. Pricing and revenue management
There are tools like Vrolio that allow you to define your base nightly rate based on your expenses and your competitors automatically. A good tip is to launch your property with a low nightly rate to get eyeballs on your property, get momentum, and start collecting reviews.
Having a pricing strategy for your vacation rental lets you start with a low nightly rate and once you have a set of positive reviews that make your listing more accurate, you can start adjusting your prices . A great way to ensure your prices are adjusted to match demand is by using a dynamic pricing tool. If you’re using Hostfully as your property management software, you can do revenue management from the same platform due to our integrations with:
10. Financial plan for growth and scaling
This is the section that investors really want to see. It’s what determines if your STR business is a good investment. If this document is for personal use, this section is still crucial for defining milestones and keeping track of possible cash flow issues.
You should tell your previous history by managing your personal or business finances. At this point you need to answer these questions:
- Are you taking out a loan? What’s the interest rate? Is it fixed or variable?
- Do you have savings?
- Are you splitting the costs with someone else?
- What’s your expected yearly ROI?
- What’s your expected CoC return?
- What’s your cash flow forecast?
- What’s your expected monthly income after expenses?
- What’s your loss projection?
- What are the yearly milestones that you expect your business to reach?
- Did you do a cost analysis?
11. Marketing and distribution
Just like you would with any other business, you should think about marketing your property. For vacation rental businesses, marketing and distribution go hand-in-hand. Each listing site or online travel agency ( OTA ) has its own audience. For example, Vrbo is targeted at families, while Airbnb is more suited for millennials and freelance business travelers .
For your marketing plan you should answer the following questions:
- Where does your guest persona search when looking for a place to stay?
- Does your guest persona plan trips based on location or based on the property? (For example, are your guests staying at your place due to location? Or because you have a cool property?)
- Which online marketing channels are you using? Paid ads, social media , SEO ?
- Are you listing in niche and global OTAs ? Which ones?
- Is your listing copy snappy and inviting?
Every business plan should contain an appendix. Here’s where you should add any relevant documents, graphs, calculations, and pictures. You can also include additional information that supports your background or business experience.
Common mistakes to avoid when creating a short-term rental business plan
Whenever you’re writing a business plan for your STR, you should beware of these common mistakes and try to avoid them:
It’s common to allocate less money than needed to:
- Pay for software like a PMS, channel manager , and dynamic pricing tool
- Staff (if you have any)
- Furnishing and decorating your property
- Renovations if you buy a fixer-upper
It’s common to think that if you target everyone you’ll get more eyeballs on your listing and that will translate into bookings. That might happen once or twice, but if your potential guest can’t relate to your listing description they’re not going to book it. Targeting your listing to your guest personas and promoting your property in the right distribution channels is a more effective use of your time and money.
Everyone thinks that their property is better, prettier, and more comfortable than the others. It’s a common mistake to underestimate the competition. Doing a thorough competitor analysis is a good way to prevent this.
Unattainable financial goals
Short-term rental businesses are often profitable, but they’re not magical. Make sure the goals you’re setting for your business in the financial plan are attainable and realistic. For example, make estimates based on your least expensive nightly rate and the minimum needed occupancy rate .
Do you need a vacation rental business plan?
Whether you’re financing or using your savings to pay for your vacation rental property , you need to make a business plan to forecast growth. Your business plan should include:
- Executive summary and company description
- Business, financial, operation, marketing plan, and goals
- Guest personas and value proposition
- Competitive analysis of your competitors and the industry
- Expenses, pricing , and revenue management
- Appendix for additional information
If you’re planning to automate parts of your business, consider incorporating Hostfully into your operations plan . We’re a vacation rental software that lets you automate your day-to-day admin tasks, manage different channels, and do dynamic pricing all in one place.
Frequently asked questions about vacation rental business plans
Do i need a vacation rental business plan.
You need a vacation rental business plan to outline your business milestones and goals. This document will be your guide in terms of how to manage your STR marketing, operations, and finances.
Having a vacation rental business plan helps you anticipate cash flow issues and see progress toward financial goals.
What does a vacation rental business plan include?
A vacation rental business plan includes twelve different sections to outline your strategy and tactics to make your business profitable. These sections are:
- About section or executive summary
- Company description
- Business goals
- Guest personas
- Value proposition
- Competitive analysis
- Operations and teams
- P ricing and revenue management
- Financial plan for growth
- Marketing and distribution
- Press & Podcasts
- Affiliates & Referrals
- Partner Promotions
- Customer Support
- API Documentation
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