New York investment banker Levi Helms recognized this emerging market and jumped into the tiny house rental business as well. He wanted to offer a unique experience at an affordable price and purchased the tiniest Tumbleweed to keep his costs low and reached out to Anita Hirth for advice on setting it up. From $49-$149 per night, Levi’s rental is by far the least expensive and his income is just over $2,000 per month. Even with lower revenue than the others, Levi has managed an amazing 15% capitalization rate and is currently working to open a 10-15 unit Tiny House Hotel.
Pictured above: Chris’ Tiny House Rental (see inside)
Chris Hall developed a 22 space tiny house community in Hermosa Orchards. This summer, he launched his tiny house rental to give perspective tenants the opportunity to try before you buy and make some additional income on the side. Grossing about $3,000 per month from his rental, it is substantially more than the $500 lot fee he would ordinarily receive.
All four of these owner/operators manage the bookings through Airbnb, a website that allows anyone to easily and affordable run a vacation rental business on the side. Chris and Arie both do the cleaning themselves, whereas Anita and Levi hire it out. Confirming what every tiny house owner knows, Chris states, “Other than making the loft bed, it’s pretty easy to clean.”
Besides cleaning, each owner needs to budget for regular costs. According to Arie, electricity is about $50 per month and insurance is about $65. In addition, Airbnb has additional coverage up to $1,000,000 for slips and the like. Upkeep is another consideration; over the years linens and plates need to be replaced and upkeep to the tiny house needs to be performed. Anita say it’s mission critical to keep the water running; no matter what.
Get your tape measure ready before you furnish your tiny house rental. Arie learned this the hard way when his wife bought a chair that wouldn’t fit through the front door. He solved this life size Jenga puzzle by cutting off the chair legs and hand crafting new ones. Anita says “Tumbleweeds come ready to go, but a couple of cute pictures, dishware, and linens add up pretty quick”. All told, these owners report spending anywhere from a few thousand to $10,000 outfitting their tiny homes. From tea cups, to a coffee maker, to toilet paper, you can find a full list here.
With hundreds of 5 star reviews on Airbnb, it’s obvious that people love renting these tiny homes. And the occasional bad review? Well the space is just too small for some.