Letting property to holiday makers and short-term guests is becoming increasingly popular.

But there is much more to the business than the property itself.

Success on the short-term holiday market comes down to the host or hosting company, location, decor and simply having a bit of soul.

The perfect location in Ponsonby, Pauanui or Papamoa isn't enough to guarantee success, although it can help.


When buying property intended for the short-term rental market, buyers need to take a long, hard look at themselves to determine if their investment will be a success. You can't simply buy a track record.

Being successful as a landlord in this market often means furnishing the property to a high standard and providing extras that range from top-of-the-range breakfast cereals and spreads to free use of a kayak.

Charm and comfort can mean the difference between a successful short-term let and one that doesn't cut the mustard.

When it comes to buying a property that will be successful on the short-term rental market, there is a trade-off between price, location, and amenities.

This means that the holiday let that is one or two blocks from the ideal location is still going to get good occupancy if it's cheaper than the beachfront one — and if the owners build up a good track record of positive feedback.

No area or property style can be ruled out. Auckland's Mangere, which isn't known as a tourist hotspot, sports 55 homes and rooms for rent, all with the word "airport" in the listing.

One Mangere home owner lets a converted garage and a cabin sharing a separate outdoor, albeit modern toilet and has racked up more than 1000 positive reviews on Airbnb and Booking.com for overnight stays.

The two sleepouts can bring in up to $560 a week, and the owners still live in the main dwelling. The house and sleep out has a CV of $720,000.


Or you can buy a property in the best area for short-term rentals and it's a failure.

Auckland Property Investors Association president Andrew Bruce put his toe in the water turning one of his long-term rentals into an B&B apartment but found it to be an unmitigated disaster.

"There is no doubt certain properties work well (as short-term rentals)," says Bruce.

"However, they need to have an X factor with location, views, stunning presentation photographs, etcetera to differentiate them from the competition. (My) apartment didn't fit that criteria."

While landlording of a long-term rental takes work, it doesn't need daily attention as short-term lets often do with meeting and greeting, cleaning and restocking supplies.

Plenty of other apartment owners have found the short-term letting market suits their individual situation. Others return them to long-term lets.

The right property to buy for a short-term rental in the city is different to the beach.

Yields tend to be lower for beach properties that owners buy for lifestyle reasons primarily.

There are a range of different types of properties that do well in the short-term rental market in coastal areas.

Miriam Dawson of Richardsons Real Estate in Cooks Beach says nothing beats a traditional family bach near the beachfront to generate revenue on the short-term market when not in use.

These properties are booked solid in Cooks Beach and surrounding beach areas over the peak of summer, Dawson says.

If, however, you want to make money from short-letting all year round, you'd be much better off buying a newer build that is insulated, such as the properties for sale in the new Longreach development.

These work well for the steady stream of tourists who come for Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove year round.

Dawson, who is an Airbnb host, says properties that do well for short-term lets are those with rooms that can be shut off and let as a self-contained space.
Holidaymakers and tourists are often happy to rent a sleepout or an en suite room with private entrance and to eat out at restaurants.

Homes best suited for this are those that afford visitors privacy.

Local residents who live in the area all year round or much of the year often let one level of their home or a sleepout in this way.

Dawson says owners who live locally tend to let their properties through Airbnb because they can manage the tenants. Absentee landlords tend to favour a mixture of Bookabach for letting and Bachcare for local managers.

Like others, Dawson points out that being successful in the short-term rental market is more than just the property.

The host is just as important.