Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be where you are.
I am Daniel Rusteen, a former Airbnb employee who has come a long way since my time at the company headquarters in San Francisco back in 2013. I started my own property management company. To further my understanding of the industry, I decided to live permanently in Airbnbs and have spent over 2,000 nights as a guest on the platform. In addition to this, I have also invested in rental properties to expand my expertise and continue to grow in this field.
My latest book “Profitable Properties: Airbnb Insider Secrets to Find, Optimize, Price, & Book Direct any Short-Term Rental for Year-Round Occupancy” just came out. I previously wrote a best-selling book for Airbnb hosts called "Optimize YOUR Bnb".
How did you first get into hosting and real estate investing?
Losing my job at Airbnb was a challenging experience, but it provided me with an opportunity to explore other avenues in the industry.
During my tenure at an Airbnb property management company, I observed a recurring trend in enhancing listings and boosting their ranking. Having gained valuable insights from my previous role, I was able to apply my knowledge to help the company optimize their listings and improve their overall performance.
This experience has given me a unique perspective on the industry and has equipped me with the skills to identify patterns and trends that can be used to optimize Airbnb listings for greater success.
What advice would you have for newer hosts and investors, just getting into real estate?
As a professional in the short-term rental industry, it is crucial to understand the importance of attention to detail. To succeed in this space, it is essential to learn every aspect of the business, including descriptions, photos, and highly demanded amenities in your area.
The Airbnb market is constantly evolving, so it's vital to optimize every part of your listing to increase your chances of success. By treating your business as a business, you can manage short-term rentals efficiently and profitably. This requires a strong work ethic, a willingness to learn and adapt, and a passion for the industry.
Continuously learning and improving your listing can help you stay ahead of the competition and ensure long-term success.
What's Profitable Properties book about?
Profitable Properties is a comprehensive guide for short-term rental success. The book provides detailed and tactical information to optimize every aspect of your rental business to win in your market year after year. The book covers topics such as removing negative reviews on Airbnb, identifying a profitable market and micro-market, pricing your rental for maximum occupancy and rates, setting up a direct booking website, and optimizing your online listing for conversion.
Profitable Properties is the definitive guide for new and existing short-term rental owners and real-estate investors.
How important is short-term rental insurance alongside Airbnb's coverage?
The short answer: VERY!
Get familiar with terms like replacement cost coverage, loss of use, per occurrence premises, things like that
On Airbnb, the Host Guarantee is not insurance and should not be considered as a replacement or stand-in for homeowners or renter’s insurance. Hosts should consider independent short-term rental insurance to cover valuable items like jewelry, artwork, or collectibles which are subject to limited protection under the Host Guarantee.
One bonus tip you can share with us?
I used to leave all of my guests a welcome gift basket. Not anymore.
Now I give them a departing gift, a sort of goodie bag, when leaving the party (or AirBnB). It works great because that's when guests are going to leave their reviews, so why not finish with a bang?
Keep the guests happy and surprise them right at the end!