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The Best Places for Airbnb: Make Sure to Put Your Money in the Most Profitable Markets

The Best Places for Airbnb: Make Sure to Put Your Money in the Most Profitable Markets

Know the best places for Airbnb investment in the US today! As the popularity of short-term vacation rentals continues to rise, they’ve become an attractive option for real estate investors. These properties’ potential for high returns and flexibility make them a great addition to your portfolio. However, before jumping into any investment, ensuring you're putting your money in the right places is important.

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Here, we'll explore the most profitable Airbnb locations, so you can start your search on the right foot. We'll also offer some quick tips on how to buy these properties with no money and manage them. So, put on your investor hat, and let's dive in!

Most Profitable Airbnb Locations

best Airbnb markets

So, what makes a location ideal for Airbnb investment? First, there should be a strong demand for short-term rentals with a steady flow of visitors throughout the year. Secondly, it should have favorable regulations for short stays. With that in mind, here are the best Airbnb markets that fit these criteria.

The Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Located in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains offer a picturesque setting for Airbnb investors. With an average of 11.5 million visitors per year, this location has a high demand for short-term rentals. Plus, with popular attractions, such as the Dollywood Theme Park and Cades Cove, there’s no shortage of things to do for tourists.

If you're considering investing in the Great Smoky Mountains, the most popular areas to look into are Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. These charming towns offer a mix of outdoor activities and entertainment, making them a top choice for visitors.

Panama City Beach, Florida

Panama City Beach is one of the most popular beach destinations, not only in Florida but in the entire US. With its crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, and lively atmosphere, it's no surprise that this location attracts millions of visitors per year, making it one of the best cities for Airbnb investment.

Also, the average daily rate for vacation rentals in the city is $226.90, with an average occupancy rate of 46%, according to data from AirDNA. This means that investors can expect a high return on their investment. While there are some restrictions in place, they’re not as strict compared to other popular vacation destinations in the state.

Orlando, Florida

When it comes to tourism, Orlando is a juggernaut. With its world-famous theme parks, including Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, this city also welcomes millions of visitors every year.

If you're considering investing in Orlando, popular neighborhoods to look into include Lake Nona and Winter Park. These areas offer a mix of suburban and urban living, making them appealing to both families and business travelers.

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Another popular beach destination, Gulf Shores is a hidden gem for Airbnb investment. With its pristine beaches and laid-back atmosphere, this location offers a great escape for tourists looking to relax.

Gulf Shores is also ranked one of the best places for Airbnb in terms of capitalization rate (cap rate). According to a report by Yahoo! Finance, vacation rentals here yield an average cap rate of 10.2%, resulting in annual gross rental revenue of around $56,000. This means a high return on investment for you as an investor.

Blue Ridge, Georgia

If you're looking to invest in mountain homes, then Blue Ridge is one of the best Airbnb markets to consider. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this charming town offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and small-town charm.

Blue Ridge is also known for its annual festivals and events, which attract a large number of visitors throughout the year. Plus, with its proximity to Atlanta, it's easily accessible for travelers.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

With its stunning beaches, rich history, and abundance of activities, Outer Banks is a prime location for Airbnb investment. This coastal area attracts over 5 million visitors per year, making it one of the top destinations on the East Coast.

The Outer Banks offers a variety of rental options from beachfront homes to cozy cottages, catering to different types of investors. Plus, with its relatively low property prices compared to other beach destinations, you can find great deals on vacation rentals here.

High Country, North Carolina

Warm country charm and cool mountain breezes make the High Country in North Carolina one of the best cities for Airbnb investment as well. This region encompasses popular towns, such as Boone, Blowing Rock, and Banner Elk, all known for their stunning mountain views and outdoor activities.

High Country attracts visitors year-round with skiing and snowboarding in the winter and hiking and water sports in the summer.

Scottsdale, Arizona

The short-term vacation rental industry in this city is a hot one, and for good reason. With its warm climate, abundance of outdoor activities, and thriving arts and culture scene, Scottsdale attracts travelers from all over the world.

One of the main draws for visitors is Scottsdale's Old Town area, known for its historic charm and vibrant nightlife. This area offers a mix of vacation rentals, from modern condos to traditional Southwestern-style homes.

The city also hosts major events throughout the year, including arts festivals, which bring in a large number of tourists. And, with the city's growing tech industry, there’s a steady flow of business travelers as well.

Broken Bow, Oklahoma

This city is known for outdoor fun and adventure, making it the perfect destination for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Broken Bow is also home to a scenic state park with lakes, hiking trails, and cabin rentals.

One of the main attractions in this city is Broken Bow Lake, which offers a variety of water activities, such as fishing, boating, and swimming. This lake also attracts tourists during the winter months for ice fishing and snowmobiling. Another popular attraction is Beavers Bend State Park, which offers a range of outdoor activities, including horseback riding, zip lining, and bird watching.

In terms of lodging options, Broken Bow offers a mix of cozy cabins, luxurious vacation homes, and even treehouses for rent to provide guests with a one-of-a-kind experience.

Galveston, Texas

With a growing number of visitors each year and a booming real estate market, Galveston is one of the top Airbnb locations in Texas. This coastal city offers a mix of beachfront properties, historic homes, and modern condos for vacation rentals.

Galveston is also known for its historic downtown area, which features Victorian architecture and a variety of shops, restaurants, and galleries. Visitors here can enjoy attractions, such as the Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn Waterpark, and Pleasure Pier

Galveston's warm climate and abundance of activities make it a popular destination for both domestic and international travelers. This means a high demand for vacation rentals and the potential for strong rental income.

Cascade Mountains, Washington

Cascade Mountains is one of the best places to own an Airbnb for many reasons. This picturesque region in Washington is known for its scenic beauty, outdoor activities, and charming towns.

What makes this place great for investment is its ski resorts, such as Crystal Mountain and Stevens Pass, which attract skiers and snowboarders from all over the country. In the summer, tourists can also enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and white-water rafting, while mesmerized by the stunning views of Mount Rainier and other iconic peaks in the Pacific Northwest.

Some popular areas for vacation rentals in this region include Leavenworth, Winthrop, and Snoqualmie.

Branson, Missouri

If you're looking for a family-friendly destination with plenty of entertainment options, Branson is the place to be. This city in Missouri is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," offering a variety of concerts, music festivals, and theater shows throughout the year. In addition to its vibrant entertainment scene, it also boasts numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and water sports.

The real estate market in Branson is booming, making it a great place to invest in an Airbnb property. With a mix of lakefront properties, mountain cabins, and modern condos, there’s something for every investor here.

Shenandoah, Virginia

Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah is a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The Shenandoah National Park offers scenic hiking trails, breathtaking mountain views, and abundant wildlife. This area also boasts numerous wineries, breweries, and quaint towns that attract tourists all year round.

In terms of vacation rental properties, Shenandoah offers a range of options, from cozy cabins to spacious single-family homes.

Buying a Short-Term Rental Property with No Money

 investor buying in the best cities for Airbnb

As you explore the best cities for Airbnb investment, you might also wonder how to buy rental property with no money and if it’s possible. Well, yes—there are actually several strategies that can help you achieve this.

One option is to partner with a real estate investor who has the necessary funds for the down payment and closing costs. This partnership can be beneficial as it allows you to leverage their financial resources while bringing your own expertise in property management and Airbnb hosting.

Another option is to utilize creative financing methods, such as seller financing or lease-to-own agreements. These strategies involve negotiating with the property owner to come up with a payment plan that works for both parties.

Managing Your Airbnb

Finding the best places to buy an Airbnb is just the first step. Once you have acquired a property, it's important to manage it effectively to ensure guest satisfaction and maximum profitability.

The main features of short term rental property management include marketing your property, setting competitive rates, responding to guest inquiries and reviews, and handling maintenance and cleaning. You should also stay updated on local regulations and tax laws related to short-term rentals.

Additionally, having a reliable team of cleaners, handymen, and contractors can make managing your Airbnb much easier. Consider working with a property management company to help with daily tasks and guest communication.

Top Airbnb Locations FAQs

Some of the best Airbnb markets include cities with high demand for short-term rentals, strong tourism industries, and affordable real estate prices, such as those we listed above.

Popular European cities such as Paris, London, Barcelona, and Lisbon are known for having high demand and strong returns for Airbnb properties.

Despite the challenges faced in 2020 due to COVID-19, Airbnb is still a profitable investment for many hosts. As travel restrictions ease and more people become comfortable with vacationing again, demand for short-term rentals is expected to continue rising.

Starting an Airbnb can be a lucrative investment, but it requires a significant amount of time and effort to manage the property effectively. Before diving in, do thorough research on the rental market in your desired location and create a detailed business plan to ensure success.

Start Your Search in the Top Airbnb Locations Now!

Investing in short-term vacation rentals is a highly lucrative venture, especially when you do it in the best places for Airbnb we mentioned above. By choosing a destination with high demand and attractive features for tourists, you’re setting yourself up for success.So, what are you waiting for? Search our extensive listings now and start your journey as an Airbnb host today!

Avery Carl

Avery Carl

Avery Carl was named one of Wall Street Journal’s Top 100 and Newsweek’s Top 500 agents in 2020. She and her team at The Short Term Shop focus exclusively on Vacation Rental and Short Term Rental Clients, having closed well over 1 billion dollars in real estate sales. Avery has sold over $300 million in Short Term/Vacation Rentals since 2017. An investor herself, with a portfolio of over 100 Doors, Avery specializes in connecting investors with short term rentals with the highest ROI potential, and then training them to manage their short term rental from their smart phone from anywhere in the world.

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