Airbnb Brings Unique Career Opportunities to More Sioux Falls Residents

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – It’s National Travel and Tourism Week, a time to celebrate the many businesses that cater to tourists around KELOLAND. This of course includes the many national hotel brands across the state, but a growing number of small business owners are pursuing full-time careers in another avenue of hospitality.

“We call it the Doodle Room,” said Elizabeth Haglund, owner of Sioux Falls Airbnb.

With hand-painted murals, a two-story veranda, hidden tunnels and pink pillars….

“This property is so unique, every piece is a work of art,” Haglund said.

…this one-of-a-kind home has become a much sought-after vacation destination in Sioux Falls.

“We’re looking for different and unique stays, different experiences from your usual hotel stay,” Haglund said.

Before buying their first property, Elizabeth Haglund and her family were regular Airbnb users.

“With a child, it’s just easier to have an Airbnb. Stepping into a fully furnished home has everything you could need for your stay. It made us love Airbnb and made us want to bring one to Sioux Falls,” Haglund said.

Late last year, they bought The Tree House, their first Airbnb property.

“Once we did the market research, we saw that people were actually coming to Sioux Falls for recreation, for work, that we decided to jump in with two feet,” Haglund said.

But in this fiercely competitive housing market, buying a home to use as an Airbnb has become even harder to start a business.

“It’s a brutal market, it’s really tough,” Haglund said. “When we came for our first tour we were also passed by someone else who was going to go through the same Airbnb process.”

Much of the unique artwork and design was already in place by the previous owners who first turned the historic home into an Airbnb, but the Haglunds still needed to make a significant investment to get the property ready to list. .

“‘This house was built in the 1800s, so we’ve had some foundation work, we’ve had some electrical work, some plumbing here and there, the back yard has been a labor of love as well. We invested a certain amount of money in just bringing the house up to standard,” Haglund said.

After the necessary repairs, there is the next big investment…

“Usually I just go through my own house and what do I use and what would I really miss if I didn’t have one,” Sodak Stays owner Kayla Huizing said.

…by ensuring an Airbnb is fully furnished.

“A 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house, I can see $20,000 to $30,000 worth of furniture,” Huizing said.

Kayla and Albert Huizing just closed their first Airbnb property this week and are already beginning the filling process.

“It’s so much work. People underestimate how long it takes to furnish a property,” Huizing said.

But it’s a process the Huizings have learned very well over the past year with their new venture Sodak Stays.

“We take care of everything from customer communications to revenue management and then property marketing and all that, everything in between,” Huizing said.

Currently, Sodak Stays operates 13 Airbnbs in Sioux Falls, including Haglund’s Treehouse.

“I always recommend our owners to name the house or give it a theme. It really helps them stand out among all the listings,” Huizing said.

“There are 350 in Sioux Falls, it’s a big market that surprises most people to find there are so many,” Haglund said.

The Haglunds say Sodak Stay’s marketing of the property has made a big difference in their bookings.

“We work on commission, we get a percentage of each night’s rate, which is a win-win for me and the owner,” Huizing said.

“You know, for example, in July for us, we’re already looking at hitting a profit of $10,000, that’s just with three weeks booked,” Haglund said.

While the Haglunds expect a two-year payback in this Airbnb, it is already supporting their family,” Haglund said.

“It’s our only income,” Haglund said. “That’s how we pay the bills.”

For the Huizings, Sodak Stays has become more than a full-time job.

“I like to say I’m on call 24/7/365, you never know when there’s going to be a problem with a guest,” Huizing said.

But their hard work is paying off with an incredibly successful new business venture in their first year of business,” said Huizing.

“It’s been a lot busier than I thought, but it was also a lot of fun,” Huizing said.

This unique career field has also allowed Huizing to be a full-time mother while running Sodak Stays. She also outsources all cleaning of their Airbnb properties to other stay-at-home moms who have also found flexible and profitable callings in the Airbnb industry.

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