You’ve decided to dive into the exciting world of Airbnb and set your sights on Kissimmee, Florida. Nice choice! Kissimmee is a top market for Airbnb investors due to its proximity to popular theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios, its warm climate, and year-round tourism. But before you take the plunge, let’s prepare you for this venture.
Below we will dive into the intricacies of beginning an Airbnb business in Kissimmee, FL, get insights into the market, necessary steps, and tips to turn your venture into a success story.
Understanding the Airbnb Market
What’s the current scenario in Kissimmee?
In Kissimmee, there’s a healthy demand for Airbnb rentals. The city boasts a large market size with 29,969 active rentals, 96% of which are entire home rentals. The average daily rate (ADR) is $280, and the average occupancy rate stands at an impressive 74%.
What’s the potential return on investment?
The potential return on investment (ROI) in Kissimmee’s Airbnb market is around +7%1. Given that the average home value in Kissimmee is approximately $361,610, this suggests that for every dollar invested, you could expect to gain seven cents in return annually.
However, keep in mind that these are averages, and actual returns can vary. Factors such as the specific location of your property within Kissimmee, the condition and amenities of the property, and the level of service you provide to your guests can all impact your actual ROI.
Planning Your Airbnb Investment
Decide on the kind of Airbnb you wish to establish. This could range from renting a single room in your house, an entire house, or multiple properties. You also need to decide the type of customers you wish to attract – families, couples, solo travelers, or business travelers. This will influence the type of property you rent or buy, how you furnish it, and the extra amenities you offer.
Target Market: The primary market you will be catering to in Kissimmee is likely to be vacation-goers, given its proximity to world-class theme parks like Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. According to the Themed Entertainment Association, Disney World alone attracted over 58 million visitors in 2019. You can thus expect a considerable percentage of your guests to be families and groups traveling for leisure purposes.
Property Type: A large portion of these visitors prefer entire homes or apartments where they can have the whole place to themselves. According to data from AirDNA, 96% of listings in Kissimmee were for entire homes or apartments, and these had an occupancy rate of about 74%. Consider this if you are thinking about the type of property to invest in.
Customer Preferences: Based on data from Airbnb, customers often look for properties that can accommodate a larger group (the average group size for Kissimmee is around 4-6 people), have a kitchen for cooking meals to save on dining out (96% of all rentals), and have a pool (77% of all rentals) – a great selling point for families with kids and generally in high demand for vacation rentals in Florida.
Pricing: The average nightly price for an Airbnb in Kissimmee is around $280, but this can fluctuate depending on the time of year, size and location of the property, and the amenities offered. High-demand periods like school vacations and Christmas can allow for higher pricing.
Competition: Kissimmee is a popular Airbnb destination. There are about 30,000 active listings. This emphasizes the importance of differentiating your property from others – whether that’s through unique decor, exceptional service, added amenities, or competitive pricing.
Revenue: According to data from AirDNA, an Airbnb data analysis company, the average annual revenue for an Airbnb host in Kissimmee is around $53,000. However, your profit can vary significantly depending on factors such as your occupancy rate, nightly price, and operational costs.
Location and Airbnb Property Selection
Location is key in the hospitality business. Properties near tourist hotspots like Disney World or the downtown area may see higher demand. Additionally, properties that are easy to access, have good public transportation links, and are near restaurants, stores, and other amenities are more attractive to guests.
Proximity to Theme Parks: As per reports from Visit Florida, Walt Disney World Resort, located roughly 10-15 miles from Kissimmee, attracted 58.3 million visitors in 2018. Similarly, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando, both within a 25-mile radius, brought in 10.7 million and 4.6 million visitors, respectively. An Airbnb property located in close proximity to these attractions can be highly desirable.
Downtown Area: Downtown Kissimmee is another attractive location due to its dining, shopping, and entertainment offerings. The historic downtown area is known for its events, antique shops, and local boutiques. According to the City of Kissimmee, the downtown area underwent a $32 million renovation project that was completed in 2020, making it an even more attractive spot for tourists.
Public Transportation: While most visitors prefer to drive or use rideshare services like Uber or Lyft, being near a SunRail station can also be beneficial. As of 2021, the Kissimmee SunRail Station will provide a direct connection to downtown Orlando.
Nature Attractions: Proximity to Florida’s natural attractions can also be a selling point. Kissimmee is near several nature reserves and state parks, including the Everglades National Park, which draws over one million visitors annually, according to the National Park Service.
Regulations and Legalities
Check the local regulations about short-term rentals in Kissimmee.
Operators of short-term rentals in Kissimmee may need to apply for a conditional use permit from the city.
Kissimmee enforces building standards covering construction, design, and maintenance, including health and safety regulations. Review the Florida Building Codes or contact the Building Division for more details.
Osceola County levies a tourist development tax on short-term rentals, defined as guest stays under six months.
Lastly, it’s essential to respect other applicable rules such as leases, condo board or co-op rules, and HOA rules. Check your lease agreement and consult with your landlord if necessary.
Prepare Your Property
Once you’ve secured your property, it’s time to prepare it for guests. This involves furnishing the space comfortably and tastefully, providing all necessary amenities (Wi-Fi, kitchen appliances, toiletries, etc.), ensuring safety features (smoke alarms, first aid kits, etc.), and potentially investing in some luxuries (hot tub, game consoles, etc.) to attract guests.
Create an Attractive Listing
Your listing is what will draw potential guests to your property. Make sure to write a detailed and appealing description, highlighting unique features and amenities. Professional-quality photographs are crucial – consider hiring a professional if possible. Be clear and transparent about the house rules, check-in and check-out procedures, and any potential issues (like noise or parking restrictions).
Set Competitive Prices
Your pricing strategy will play a crucial role in your success. While you want to ensure a good return on investment, overpricing may deter potential guests. Consider the prices of similar listings in your area, as well as factors like the season, local events, and your costs.
Get to know How To Find The Best Airbnb Pricing Strategy?
Provide Excellent Customer Service
The way you treat your guests can have a big impact on your reviews and repeat business. Respond promptly and professionally to inquiries and complaints, provide a smooth check-in and check-out process, and consider going the extra mile with personalized touches like a welcome basket or local tips.
Manage Your Business
Running an Airbnb involves more than just getting bookings. You need to manage cleaning and maintenance, handle finances and taxes, and continually update your listing and strategy based on customer feedback and changes in the market.
Starting an Airbnb business in Kissimmee, FL can be an exciting venture. It offers an opportunity to meet people from all around the world, and it can be profitable if done right. However, like any business, it requires careful planning, constant effort, and a commitment to excellent service. Be patient, learn from your experiences, and continually strive to make your Airbnb the best it can be.