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Crushing It with Rent Arbitrage: Tips from the Pros

Ever thought about dipping your toes into the waters of rent arbitrage but didn’t know where to start? Today, we’re diving deep into the essentials of rent arbitrage and short-term rentals. Our expert panel, featuring seasoned professionals like Kristen the Note Lady, are sharing everything you need to know to get started and succeed.

What is Rent Arbitrage?

Rent arbitrage is simple. You lease a property long-term and sublet it as a short-term rental on platforms like Airbnb. The goal is to earn more from renting it short-term than you pay in long-term rent.

Approaching Landlords

When introducing the idea to landlords, start by emphasizing a few key points:

  • Standard Contract: Use regular lease terms to maintain simplicity.
  • Cleanliness: Highlight the frequent cleanings and upkeep.
  • Long-Term Relationship: Stress your commitment to a long-term relationship and express interest in buying the property eventually.

Analyzing the Market

Before jumping in, it’s vital to analyze the market. Saturation and low profits in certain months can impact your returns. Here’s what to do:

  • Analyze Comps: Study comparable properties to understand the worst and best-case scenarios.
  • Check Regulations: Ensure short-term rentals are allowed. Verify zoning laws, HOA rules, and city regulations.

Handling Low-Season Risks

To mitigate risks during low-profit months:

  • Data Analysis: Use tools to analyze pricing and occupancy trends.
  • Adjust Pricing: Dynamically adjust your rates to stay competitive.
  • Consider Upfront Payments: Offer landlords quarterly or biannual rent payments to make your proposal more attractive.

Navigating the legal landscape can be tricky. Here’s how to stay compliant:

  • Check HOA Rules: Ensure the property’s Homeowners Association allows short-term rentals.
  • Understand Local Laws: Be aware of local zoning laws and deed restrictions.
  • Use Legal Tools: Utilize an umbrella policy for additional liability protection.

Enhancing Guest Experience

Creating an unforgettable guest experience is crucial. Here are a few tips:

  • Thoughtful Amenities: Offer unique touches like welcome snacks, drinks, or custom local guides.
  • Cleanliness: Maintain an impeccable clean standard. Consider using professional cleaning services.
  • Communication: Ensure guests can reach you easily for any concerns or needs.
  • Personal Touches: Provide things like complimentary laundry service, stocked fridges upon request, or even guides with local tips.

Corporate and Extended Stays

Short-term rentals aren’t just for vacationers. Tap into the corporate housing market:

  • Corporate Partnerships: Reach out to local businesses and offer your property for employee stays.
  • Extended Stays: Cater to professionals on long-term projects or training. Offer incentives like extended stay discounts.

Strategic Pricing

Avoid letting Airbnb’s smart pricing lower your rates too much. Instead:

  • Use third-party tools: Consider Price Labs, Beyond Pricing, or Wheelhouse to keep your rates competitive.
  • Special Discounts: Provide special rates for longer stays or corporate bookings.

Handling Reviews and Becoming a Superhost

Reviews matter. Here’s how to keep yours glowing:

  • Go Above and Beyond: Offer exceptional service and personalized touches.
  • Manage Bad Reviews: Don’t let one bad review get you down. Strategize ways to boost your ratings.
  • Multiple Accounts: For varied properties, consider multiple Airbnb accounts to manage reviews and maintain high standards.


Rent arbitrage offers a unique opportunity to generate income by leveraging long-term leases for short-term rental profits. By approaching landlords thoughtfully, analyzing market conditions, and adhering to legal requirements, you can create a successful and compliant rental business. Enhancing guest experiences and strategically pricing your rentals will keep your properties competitive and attractive. 

Whether you’re catering to vacationers or corporate clients, following these guidelines can help you navigate the intricacies of rent arbitrage and build a thriving short-term rental portfolio. Happy renting!

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