I continue to be impressed by the demand for short-term rentals via sites like Airbnb in the Minneapolis market – a market that is not traditionally known for its high tourism rates, especially in winter months. And, honestly, I wouldn’t even characterize the majority of our guests as “tourists”. The point is, there are a lot of reasons for folks to travel to Minneapolis-St.Paul and I wanted to share our experience because I feel like a lot of people make assumptions that a short-term rental may not do well in this market. My experience is quite the opposite.
I think I’ll plan to do recurring posts on this topic to provide updates, maybe quarterly. Here is an update on the types of guests we have had stay at our Airbnb properties over the last 6 months or so (Aug 2016 – March 2017).
- Local Folk – We’ve had a few stays where people who live in Minneapolis-St.Paul area need a temporary place to stay because their home is under repair or they need a work or personal retreat. This has accounted for 3 stays and 15 nights.
- Tourists – There are definitely people traveling to visit and check-out the local attractions. Interestingly, it seems a number of these guests are people who used to live in the Twin Cities, but have since moved, and are coming back for a visit. This has accounted for 6 stays and 31 nights.
- Visiting Family or Friends – A large number of our guests are in town to visit family or friends, either just for a visit or for a specific event like a wedding, birthday or funeral. It is possible that because one of our properties is a family-friendly single family home, we attract these types of guests as opposed to guests in town for other reasons. This has accounted for 13 stays and 65 nights.
- Sporting Event or Conference – As expected, there are travelers who book our places because they are in town for a specific event like a Vikings or Wild game or an industry conference. This has accounted for 7 stays and 23 nights.
- Work Travelers – This is probably our biggest surprise and may be an anomaly compared with other Airbnb hosts’ experiences. When we first listed our duplex property, we had full availability and relatively low prices. To our surprise (and delight) we had traveling professionals book these units for an extended stay (3 months each). Both parties are traveling healthcare professionals. I feel like this demographic is a great demographic to target and market to, though we are still working to figure out the best way to do that. This has accounted for 2 stays and 60 nights so far (currently in the middle of these stays).
It is so interesting to learn about what is drawing guests to our city and our Airbnb! I’m looking forward to comparing the list above with the upcoming spring and summer demand.