Between alumni, parents and general Michigan fans, people flock to Ann Arbor on Saturdays during the fall. The Ann Arbor Airbnb host community has seen this firsthand and earned $1.55 million in supplemental income from 8,900 guests during University of Michigan home football game weekends this season, according to Airbnb. This included the $117,000 in projected income from the Indiana game on Saturday.
The $1.55 million in Airbnb income is up from $1.2 million during the 2017 football season. Janice Cutting, an Airbnb host of several local properties, said she has no trouble finding guests for football weekends.
“If you have a football game, clearly the demand is much higher and you can raise your price,” Cutting said. “But when it’s a little bit slower, you need to lower your prices.”
Cutting is a Superhost, meaning she has a 4.8 rating or higher, a 90-percent response rate and zero cancellations. After staying in above-average Airbnb properties, Cutting said she wanted to provide her guests with an excellent experience. Cutting provides coffee, creamer and soap products for her guests, and she hires professional cleaners between each guest.
“About 80 percent of the time they’re booked,” Cutting said. “When I first started out, my prices were a little bit lower and I used to get them booked up in the 90 to 95 percent of the time. But when I’m pricing it lower I have found that you don’t get quite as nice a clientele, so they didn’t treat the properties quite as well.”
Jack Savas, also a local Airbnb Superhost, decided to use his home for Airbnb because he travels often and his daughter attends college overseas. After four years as a host, Savas said he has learned communication and honesty is essential to finding guests who will respect the property.
“Surprisingly, I’ve had excellent guests,” Savas said. “In many cases, they leave the house cleaner than when they arrive. But I think the key to maintaining a residence that’s clean and immaculate is transparency with the guests and pricing your house at the right amount of money.”
Savas currently maintains two Airbnb properties and is planning on listing a third. Especially for hosts who maintain multiple properties, Savas said Airbnb can present a great opportunity for earning extra income.
“A peak month I did $14,600 but on average on average I earn between $5,000 and $7,000,” Savas said.
Savas said he appreciates the flexibility of being an Airbnb host, as well as how he can travel and invest more in the stock market with his earnings.
“The beauty of the Airbnb business model is the flexibility you have as a host,” Savas said. “You get to determine who comes, how long they stay, the price the pay.”