Debi Hertert of Hosting Your Home talks with Todd Brandewie, owner of a whole-house rental near Dayton, Ohio. At the time, Debi and her family were renting Todd’s house for a family reunion. Todd is a single dad and lives in his house with his four-year old son. Several nights per month, Todd and his son move to Todd’s dad’s house, or Todd’s RV, in order to rent out his Dayton house. When Todd got divorced and found himself unable to pay the mortgage, his mom suggested Airbnb. That suggestion saved Todd’s house and has given him a new outlook on life.
[editor’s note]: Many municipalities restrict short-term rentals of whole houses, concerned about depleting the stock of long-term rentals. Todd’s is one of many examples in which homeowners would not choose to share their space as long-term rentals, because it does not fit their family living situations. As communities try to estimate the impact that Airbnb and similar platforms have on long-term rentals, they often rely on unreliable data “scraped” from short-term rental sites, and assume that houses like Todd’s would be available for long-term rental if the short-term options were legislatively removed. It is misleading to count such houses as impacting the long term rental market. A common example is an owner who wants to have space always available for their family who come visit. We are supportive of protecting long-term rentals through good legislation, such as requiring the owner or long-term tenant to live in the home most of the year. Regulators should become aware of these types of sensible uses and make sensible rules.
Debi introduces Todd Brandewie and his mother, who is also an Airbnb host and got Todd started. Deb talks about how well the house is working for her family. When he rents out his own house, Todd vacates to his dad’s, or to his camper which is at his dad’s, or travels out of town. He does a lot of cleaning himself, but does have a housekeeper who helps, and even his friends help if necessary! He really understands how important cleanliness is in vacation rentals.
Deb asks Todd how he manages moving out of his house and back. She tells him this is the first time she has stayed in an Airbnb of this “model” where the owner lives there but leaves when they have guests. Todd talks about the number of nights he likes to book and it covering his mortgage and some utility bills. When Deb asks Todd to “Tell us your story”, Todd talks about thinking people would never come to Dayton, Ohio, but realizes now that there are many reasons people travel, and tourism is only a part of it. Most of his guests are coming to see family. The family focus led Debi to recommend listing on ClanVenture, another vacation rental platform. Access to the Airbnb platform has allowed Todd to keep his house after his divorce. He shares custody of his four-year old son.
Todd told all his neighbors what was going on when he started renting. Most of his neighbors don’t even know what Airbnb even is. He said he gets lots of guests who are new to Airbnb, with no reviews. Deb asked if Todd is worried about anything in his house getting wrecked or taken, and Todd said he doesn’t really worry about anything in the house.
Todd described his one bad experience, which was a group of dog show people who were not respectful of his property. Followed by asking Debi for any suggestions for improvements. She mentioned pillows – the need for choice. 4 per bed, two soft, two firm. They talked about mattresses, and Debi told Todd and his mom about Tuft and Needle, the mattress company that has a promotional program and a waiting list for a free mattress for Superhosts. There was a discussion about sheets, using white for everything so can bleach, getting the little black cosmetics washcloths; Todd gets frustrated about people leaving lights on all the time, and benefits of changing out to LEDs. He expresses his gratitude that Airbnb has allowed him and his son to keep their home.
Deb asks Todd about some memorable guests. He joked about people leaving wine and beer, but then said several people from the Lion King cast rented his house for 28 days and invited him over for a party with the whole cast, and how fun that was. And they gave him 4 front row tickets to the show!
Todd’s house: https://airbnb.com/rooms/12264444
Tuft and Needle: https://goo.gl/PSrHHX