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How to Accurately Predict Your Airbnb Revenue and Avoid Buying a Money Pit

Cover Image for How to Accurately Predict Your Airbnb Revenue and Avoid Buying a Money Pit
Ramon L.
Ramon L.

In the world of Airbnb investing, nothing is more soul-crushing than realizing the property you poured your savings into and were counting on for rental income is actually losing money every month. Yet this is exactly what happens all too often.

The culprit? Not having an accurate system in place to predict the actual annual revenue potential on an Airbnb property before making a purchase. But with the right step-by-step process, you can accurately assess the profitability of any property to gain full confidence before you buy.

In this guide, we’ll walk through a proven 6-step system for precisely predicting your potential Airbnb revenue. Follow this process and you’ll never accidentally buy an unprofitable lemon again.

Over years of working in data analytics to evaluate profitable short-term rental markets and properties on behalf of multi-million dollar funds, here is the bulletproof system I’ve developed to accurately predict revenue:

Step 1: Review Every Single Detail of the Property

This step is all about understanding your property inside and out. Walk through the entire space, making careful notes on aspects like:

- Location – proximity to key attractions & amenities
- Lot/land – flat, sloped, beachfront, etc.
- Common spaces – living room, dining area, kitchen sizes/layout
- Bedrooms/bathrooms – sizes, views
- Outdoor space – patios, decks, pools, landscaping
- Bonus features – game room, hot tub, fire pit
- Overall condition, layout, design, style

Look at every photo, brochure, or listing info available. Get intimately familiar with the property’s pros, cons, constraints, and opportunities. This deep analysis forms the foundation for later extracting truly comparable listings.

Step 2: Add Filters & Sort Data in Strprofitmap

With a firm grasp of your property details, it’s time to dive into the data. In Strprofitmap, apply geographic and listing filters that mirror your property:

Filters like:
- Location/submarkets
- Property type
- Square footage
- Bedrooms/bathrooms
- Accommodates (# guests)

This rapidly narrows down the analysis to more comparable listings.

Additionally, sort by metrics like:
- Highest annual revenue
- Most reviews
- Highest occupancy

Organizing the data this way helps reveal overarching market patterns.

Step 3: Understand Good Data from Bad

In predicting Airbnb revenue, the quality of the data you analyze makes all the difference. With tons of listings on platforms like Airdna, it’s crucial to vet and extract only good comparable data.

Good data has:

- 250+ days of availability tracking
- 20+ reviews
- Full-time host
- Airbnb listing

Listings not meeting these thresholds should be filtered out as likely inaccurate or non-representative data points. STRProfitMap already does the work for you and only list reliable listings in all cities it covers.

Focus only on the quality, apples-to-apples data.

Step 4: Extract Truly Comparable Listings into a Spreadsheet

The heavy lifting of this revenue prediction process. Manually pull out each comparable listing’s metrics into an organized spreadsheet, like:

- Link
- Annual revenue
- Days available
- Average nightly rate
- Occupancy
- Bedrooms/baths
- Guests accommodated

Try to extract 10-20 relevant comparable listings captured in Strprofitmap which mirror your prospective property based on data quality, physical details like size and layout, and location.

Use the export to spreadsheet feature in STRProfitMap to do this in one click.

The goal is gaining multiple reference listings expected to achieve similar performance. Comparing to isolated examples leaves too much room for outliers skewing analysis.

Step 5: Compare Your Property to the Comparables

Here is where making detailed notes on every comparable listing proves invaluable. Compare your property against each one, component by component.

Assess if your property would likely perform better or worse than the comparable on factors like:

- Location advantages
- Curb appeal
- Layout/flow
- Styling
- Condition
- Features/amenities
- Outdoor spaces

Rank the comps along these comparison dimensions to gauge which your property should handily beat in revenue, roughly match, or trails considerably behind.

The output is a clear picture of where your property fits into the market hierarchy.

Step 6: Predict Your Annual Revenue Range

Now for the final analysis phase. With an informed perspective on how your property stacks up to local high performers, you can narrow down an accurate expected annual revenue range.

I frame this around 3 key range benchmarks:

1. Top comp(s) - Listings with clear performance advantages yours cannot exceed. Defines your best case scenario ceiling.

2. Base comp(s) – Listings you are fully confident your property will out-earn once operational. Defines your worst case floor.

3. Your expected performance among mid-tier comparable listings which your property should roughly match or slightly beat. Gives a narrower annual revenue estimate.

Based on overlaying these 3 reference points from your comparable analysis, you can reliably predict both a conservative case and aspirational revenue range to plan against.

Of course, actually realizing your forecasted results depends on flawless execution getting your Airbnb unit up and running. But you are now equipped with an invaluable tool to avoid getting blindsided by a money-losing lemon. Just by following this 6-step system to home in on objective, data-driven revenue projections before buying.


Hopefully this guide has broken down an easy-to-follow methodology for leveraging market data to accurately predict the profitability potential on an Airbnb rental property. While still requiring diligent upfront work, having confidence in the numbers based on apples-to-apples comparable analysis is worth every bit of effort.

Just remember, predictions are only as good as the data behind them. By filtering carefully for quality comparable listings, reviewing every detail, and overlaying your property’s specific strengths against other local offerings, you now have a proven framework for sound forecasts.

No more unpleasant surprises of properties bleeding cash month-after-month rather than financing that early retirement. Follow this 6-step system to validate investments, maximize revenue opportunities, and avoid buying an Airbnb money pit at all costs.

The power is now in your hands! Time to find that diamond in the rough to fund your dreams.

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