- Jared Tye converted his long-term rental in Cross Roads, Texas, to an Airbnb in 2021.
- In 2021, his property made $62,000 with 181 nights booked, but revenue dropped over $5,000 in 2022.
- He talked to Insider about the increased competition he’s observing and his outlook for next year.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Jared Tye, 41, about his short-term-rental property in Cross Roads, Texas, a town about 45 miles north of Dallas.
Tye’s four-bedroom house made him over $62,000 in revenue in 2021, but he has found it harder to stay booked at the same prices in 2022. He is just one of many hosts who have experienced a slowdown in bookings in 2022 as the number of Airbnbs has outpaced the growth in demand for travel to them. Tye provided booking documents to verify his nights booked and revenue.
The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
We already owned the house and had previously lived in it. When we moved out, rather than selling it, we just converted it to a long-term rental.
The house is on three acres in a rural area. The suburbs probably wouldn’t be the best way to put it — it’s a non-destination, non-vacation area.
Tenants would move out there to live in the country, and then after a year, they would want to go back to more suburban areas. It was turning over pretty much every year, and I was tired of dealing with that.
We had a friend who had an Airbnb in McKinney, Texas — a suburban area outside of Dallas — and I thought about it and said, “Let’s try out the short-term-rental thing.” So far, it’s been about two years.
We’d probably get $3,500 a month as a 12-month rental. As a short-term rental this past year, it’s probably been a little over $5,000 a month.
2021 was probably our easiest year to book it. 2022 has been comparable with 2021, although we’re seeing a slowdown in new bookings. We’ve had an overall decline. This period last year, we were booked pretty far in advance, and now we probably have one vacant weekend every month.
[Editor’s note: According to documents provided by Tye, nights booked in 2022 were only seven less than 2021. But revenue numbers were down more than $5,000 from the previous year.]
Our bread and butter tends to be extended families uniting for a wedding or something in the area. What I find really interesting is that last year we didn’t really have competition on that house.
And what I’ve noticed this year is quite a few homes — even more expensive homes — have been coming up on the market.
Our nightly rate varies between $220 up to $400. If there’s a home that looks a lot fancier and it’s the same price as mine, I’m going to lower mine. I do it fairly often.
I adjust my prices depending on my booking levels. If I look at my schedule and I’ve got a vacancy 10 days out, I’ll go on there and search as if I were a guest and I’ll lower my price for that weekend to stand out.
I kind of scratch my head about the competition: Are they people buying $1.2 million homes to rent out for $300 a night, or are these people that perhaps bought these homes for themselves at the peak of the real-estate market to try to offset their buyer’s remorse?
I think there are a lot of owners who are stuck on getting a certain rate per night. They feel like if they get below that, they would be getting cheated. They’re really stubborn with their rates, and they may have a 50% vacancy rate because of that.
Clearly I don’t want to give the farm away, but at the same time, I’d much rather be flexible on my rates than not book.
Are you an Airbnb host whose bookings have slowed this year? Email reporter Jordan Pandy at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story.