The Factory Floor Progress Report
On today’s episode,
Bernadette will be sharing a progress report on her latest Airbnb listing, which is the factory floor.
Listen to Episode 47: The Factory Floor Progress Report
Podcast: Download (Duration: 16:43 — 17.14 MB)
- A 5-star review entitled "Best Airbnb related podcast in Australia"
- Her Wynnum project going into market
- David's Bondi project on auction the 17th November
- What is the Factory Floor?
- Listing it on Airbnb to generate financial income
- How to stand out to other property listings on Airbnb
- A big value add to connect with your guests
- Progress over perfection
- How to take up the notch in welcoming your guests
- Generating pure cash flow by listing your family home in Airbnb
- A path of consistent improvement with an Airbnb listing
00:50 - Best Airbnb related podcast in Australia
02:11 - The Bondi project
02:23 - What is the Factory Floor
03:42 - Figure out what its point of difference is
05:24 - An industrial style chandelier
07:12 - A little reno
09:21 - Facebook marketplace
11:01 - Pet-friendly
13:37 - In terms of income
15:15 - Airbnb masterclass webinar training
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“With Airbnb, I have a motto of “progress over perfection” because if you wait until you've got the space absolutely perfect, you will have missed out on lots of income."
Today's episode is sponsored by My Airbnb Empire. The premium short term rental training and personal coaching program for ambitious women who want to build a six-figure income from short term rental, whether they own property or not. Find out more by going to www.theschoolofrenovating.com.
Well, hello, it's Bernadette. And I'm back with another episode of She Renovates, albeit a few days late. Apologies for the fact that this episode is late in being published. But we're going to make up for it with some awesome content.
Before I get into it. Two things I've got to do. Firstly, thank you to Leon G. The wonderful listener who left us a beautiful 5-star review entitled "Best Airbnb related podcast in Australia" Well, Leon, thank you for that lovely review. And you're in for a treat today because today's episode is also on Airbnb. And it's going to be the last on this topic for a little while.
But today, I'm going to be sharing a progress report on my latest listing, which is the factory floor. More on that in a minute.
Before I get into it, I want to share with you what I've been up to this week or last week actually thought a week ahead of myself. Of course, I took another spin to Queensland to complete our project so it could go to market. Fortunately, one of our Wonderwomen, Sheree Lamb, came with me because it was a pretty hectic couple of days. It was really nice to have some help and also some company that we managed to nail it and get back home.
But it wasn't without some drama when we got to the airport to come home on Thursday night. A flight was canceled. So we ended up spending an unscheduled overnight stay in a hotel in Brisbane before finally getting home on Friday afternoon. All's well and the project is ready to go to market and that will be happening this week. I'm very excited about that.
The Bondi project is doing well. We're getting lots of interest in the project. The auction is on the 17th of November. And so, yeah, we're having a bit of a clear out progress report on the factory floor.
FACTORY FLOOR PROGRESS REPORT
What is the factory floor? It's our latest listing. When Stephen and I downsized, we made sure that our new home had a granny flat, for want of a better word, under the main roof that we could list for additional income.
CREATING INCOME FROM THE EMPTY NEST
We live in a warehouse conversion and the factory floor is the entire ground floor. It's about 75 square metres. It's being rented out on long term, on short term & we've had children living there.
And when the last child left, I decided that I would get serious about preparing it to list on Airbnb and serious about the income. My research indicated the potential income from this property was $59K per annum. And so that's not to be sniffed at and given that it's part of our home. There are no finance costs on it that is pure cash flow, so it's worth having.
The property itself is a large studio with a separate bedroom. However, we've decided not to list the separate bedroom. We'll just list the studio because we're using the bedroom as storage and also because we don't want to have masses of people down there. Our preference would be that it's a couple.
LOOKING FOR WAYS TO HAVE THE LISTING STAND OUT
A couple of months ago I decided to give it a zhoosh up before I listed it. And so the first thing to do when you are listing a property is to figure out what its point of difference is. Because that's the thing that's going to sell your listing. These days there are plenty of listings on Airbnb, you need to do something that's firstly going to stand out and secondly, going to have your guests wanting to come back time and time again.
There are two ways of doing that. The first way is in the actual listing itself, how you style it, how you theme it.
And the second way is in your service, how you host. Because our home was originally a garment factory. I decided to call it the factory floor to set it apart from other listings in the area.
And of course, I wanted to do a few things to really build on that industrial theme. It's already got the bones , high ceilings, concrete floors, which we had polished in an earlier renovation, but I wanted to take it to the next level.
BUILDING ON THE INDUSTRIAL THEME
Firstly, I did some blackboard art. Got a great big vintage type blackboard and created a welcome blackboard using some blackboard art and also including the Wi-Fi password. To guests, Wi-Fi is probably more important than food and water. And so the minute they get in the door, they want to be connected. So having the Wi-Fi password up on that blackboard is definitely a plus and it's a little personal touch.
We also added an industrial style chandelier, which we made ourselves with the help of our electrician. Also, we created a bedhead made out of upcycled carved doors. I bought the doors on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. I can't really remember. Stephen created a bedhead, stands about 2 meters tall, and behind it is a walk-in wardrobe. It's quite raw and rustic, but that's perfect for the space. And then we painted it with some chalk paint and distressed it.
It's something that's different from anything else that you would find on Airbnb. So it stands out. We also added some ceiling to floor curtains which drawback to separate the sleeping area from the living area. This really softens the area because there's a lot of concrete high ceilings, rendered walls. So to really create some romance.
BIKES AND HELMETS ADDS A LEVEL OF RISK
The other thing we've done is included in our bikes and helmets. Stephen and I have done a charity ride for about 3 years in a row. We've got quite good bikes and helmets which we use for training. And so we have offered those to our guests. It's a little bit of a grey area in terms of the insurance companies. Don't love the idea, but it's a risk we've decided to take because it just really adds to the quality of the stay of a lot of our guests. Some guests, particularly overseas guests, use it as their main mode of transport, they'll ride to Bondi, they'll ride into the city and leave their bikes at the Circular Quay and get a ferry over to Manly. It's a big value add.
We did do a little reno, not a massive one, but mainly it consisted of painting and making over the kitchen. Because it's a warehouse and it only has windows on one side. It can be quite challenging to get a lot of natural light in. We painted the walls white on white, which is my favourite white at the moment, and that really lifted the sense of light and space.
The other thing we wanted to do was makeover the kitchen. It already had an IKEA kitchen in it, but it was looking a bit worse for wear. We decided to change over the doors and drawers. Unfortunately, IKEA has changed its kitchen modules since that one was installed and so we had to employ a bit of skullduggery to get the new doors and drawers to fit. But we did. And so now it has a lovely industrial black kitchen which is quite nice, kept the existing Caesarstone and appliances. It's a pretty simple makeover.
KEEPING THE FURNISHING COSTS TO A MINIMUM
In terms of furnishing it. I have learned to be very restrained with my purchasing of furniture because you can spend a lot of money and it takes a long time to recover that setup cost. I had recently closed down one of my listings, so I still had quite a lot of furniture for that. Certainly the bed. It's important the bed is really good and comfortable because Airbnb suggests that sleeping is a big part of your value proposition. You want to make sure that the bed is comfortable. And I've had really good feedback about the bed on the factory floor.
I bought a sofa in the Facebook marketplace. It was an IKEA sofa with washable covers. However, I've made a loose linen cover so that it can be stripped off and washed and put back on. One thing I do know people do eat on the furniture. The furniture gets marked if it's not leather, so you need some means of being able to clean it frequently and easily. So that's the way the path I've chosen to take.
The TV cabinets, just a metal cabinet from the Facebook marketplace. Tables and chairs. I wanted to get an industrial table, so I once again bought one on Marketplace, it winds up, which is quite cute. Chairs. I wanted cross-back chairs. I was watching. They were going for $75 to $100 dollars each. I didn't want to pay that. So I kept watching until one day I had a set of 6 pop up for $100 for all of them. They were perfect. Exactly what I wanted, black. And so I bought them for $100 hundred dollars. I kept 4 and sold the 2 that I didn't need for $150, so I actually put some money into my kitty.
I bought a new floor rug from Temple & Webster because the floors are concrete. It's important to have a little bit of warmth. And I also bought a new coffee table. I wanted to go for a long bench style because the room is only 3 meters wide. I didn't want to, I guess, block the thoroughfare with a big coffee table and that's working really well.
PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION
With Airbnb, I have a motto of “progress over perfection” because if you wait until you've got the space absolutely perfect, you will have missed out on lots of income. So once I'd got it to a point where it was near enough, I listed it.
I do still have some work to do. I haven't tiled the splashback in the kitchen and I need to bring our builder back to do some repairs in the bathroom. But it's fine for now and it's already up and cranking.
BEING DOG FRIENDLY
One of the things that I did to add an extra drawcard to our listing is I made it pet-friendly. People who travel with pets or particularly dogs find it really hard to find decent places to stay. And because we have concrete floors, making it pet-friendly is no big deal. And I've certainly had a lot of feedback from our guests.
I guess probably every third guest comes with a dog and they absolutely love it because it's a beautiful space.Normally if they're relying on pet-friendly spaces, they're not always that nice. And we're very close to a dog park. So there are great facilities for the dog as well. Plus, there are plenty of pubs and cafes around here that allow you to take your dog.
PAMPERING THE GUESTS
In terms of welcoming guests, once again trying to take our service up a step. One of our team members, Fiona, used to own a cleaning company that cleaned a lot of Airbnb. So she's full of lots of good ideas. And so my welcoming routine is compliments of Fiona.
What we do in the cooler months we'd put the heater on, but the need for that has passed. But we put the Google home on SPS chilled music. And also I set an oil burner going with some beautiful oil that I bought from the golden door in the Hunter Valley. A really lovely, warm welcome for our guests even if I'm not there.
We also include some treats like some delicious Swiss chocolate and some savory snacks and milk and fruit so that they can sit down and have a cup of tea as soon as they arrive and before they go and get themselves organised with their stock for the kitchen.
TRAINING THE CLEANER
In terms of the cleaning, I didn't have my cleaner do it for the first few weeks. I liked to do it myself just to get the routine down pat so that when I trained the cleaner to do the property, I am across the nuances of that particular property. But now she has taken over. It's a pretty quick clean. It takes a bit over an hour to do. And linen is always the issue with the cleaning, managing the linen. Basically what she does is she washes the linen and the towels because it's not very much while she is there and then puts them in the dryer so that I am not left with a lot of work to do once she's gone.
THE FIRST MONTHS INCOME
Okay. In terms of income for the first month. Remembering the research indicated that our income would be around $60K a year, which is about $5K a month. But the first month it was $3.5K, which I am really impressed with. So remembering that we've got no real costs coming out of that. It's pretty much pure cash flow.
THE PATH OF CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT
Now comes a period of tweaking and improving to get that income up to its full potential. I thought that I would report in periodically to just let you know how this is going and just give you an idea of how you really are on a path of consistent improvement with an Airbnb listing.
My two next steps now are to firstly to list it on platforms other than Airbnb so that we drive the vacancy rate down. Although our vacancy is zero at the moment. I've just put the price up because if you are fully booked, its clearly leaving money on the table.
The second thing I want to do is tap into some influencer marketing. My next step is to set up an Instagram account for the listing and also invite an influencer guest to come and stay. I have someone in mind with the hope that they will share their experience in the factory floor and hopefully encourage others to come and stay.
That's the plan with the factory floor. I hope you have enjoyed this episode. Before I go, I want to let you know that we are running a training ,an Airbnb masterclass at The School of Renovating. So if you would like to learn more, please feel free to register. You will find a link to register in our show notes. And of course, please, if you haven't already done so, can you go and leave us a review and help us to share the reno and the Airbnb love. See you next week!