Meet the Queen of Airbnb in Philly

Forget the teaching, being an Airbnb property manager is much more profitable.

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Jen Jordan is arguably the busiest in Philadelphia Airbnb host. She drives around town – from Fishtown to Fairmount to South Philly – cleans bathrooms, makes beds, and leaves tourist brochures on low tables. She carries a computer at all times so that she can respond to inquiries immediately. She also makes sure to receive Airbnb notification alerts on her phone.

But there’s one thing that’s different about her: Most of the properties she manages don’t belong to her.

“I’m definitely not the average Airbnb host. I do it like a small business, ”Jordan said. There are two listings under his Fishtown apartment – one for his couch ($ 25 to $ 30 per night) and one for the whole house ($ 110 to $ 150 per night). When she rents all her accommodation, she stays with family or friends.

But most of the time, she handles other people’s announcements. She has 15 listings in total on her own profile, but manages the properties of other Airbnb hosts.

In July, Philadelphia legalized Airbnb rentals, making it the largest city in the United States where residents can legally rent their homes on a daily basis. From April to September, Philadelphia saw a 270% increase in Airbnb listings, News week reported in september. While most Philly Airbnb hosts use the website as a secondary source of income, Jordan has built a full-time career out of it.

Prior to becoming a professional Airbnb manager, Jordan, currently in his 30s, was a high school art teacher. Two years ago she started renting her own apartment in Fishtown and saw the profits start to flow.

“I made my own house for two years. Then people started to see that I was successful, ”she said. This has led friends and others to seek his advice. It didn’t take long for her to manage other people’s Airbnb listings. She also posted an ad on Craigslist saying that she would manage other people’s Airbnb properties for a small fee.

On the west coast, companies like Airline concierge provide professional Airbnb management services. However, in Philadelphia there are some traditional rental companies running Airbnbs next door, but there aren’t many independent management companies, which allows Jordan to thrive. In fact, she was the only local independent Airbnb property manager we could find after browsing the Airbnb listings in Philadelphia.

When asked if there are a lot of professional Airbnb property managers, an Airbnb spokesperson said, “In the United States, the majority of our hosts rent out their primary residences in the communities they have lived in since. almost 20 years.

As a professional Airbnb manager, Jordan is responsible for writing the property profile on the Airbnb website, adjusting availability according to the owner’s schedule, responding to traveler requests, register or prepare keys in a post office box and clean the house. It also gives a suggested price range to homeowners and adjusts prices daily to maximize occupancy rates.

“I know Airbnb and the rules well. I help optimize occupancy. I call Airbnb all the time to help me out, ”Jordan said.

She charges a commission fee “equivalent to the average property management fee,” she said, refusing to disclose the exact fee. Since the start of the year, Jordan has rented over 160 nights among all of its listings, she said. Her Airbnb income is enough to cover her living expenses, although it varies from month to month. (She also declined to disclose her average monthly income.)

All of her clients are owners, not tenants, she said. Some rent their homes because they have a second home or travel frequently for work.

“One of the people I help works in Philadelphia and New York City,” Jordan said. “So when they’re away, I rent their house. When they return, they have their home.

The Airbnb system allows users to split rental income across two different bank accounts, so Jordan immediately calculates its percentage from certain listings. Other times the owner sends him a check. Some of the properties used to be traditional rental apartments with year-round leases, but now owners are going the Airbnb route.

“They can make even more money,” Jordan said, adding that renting on Airbnb gives the owner more freedom to change the colors of the walls, furniture and other decorations. For some clients, Jordan also helped design and decorate homes and suggested purchasing equipment, such as coffee pods, water filters, and cleaning supplies.

Beth (who declined to give her last name) lives in a one-bedroom house in South Philly and hired Jordan to rent out her apartment when she was away from Philly last summer. Since Beth keeps her listings under her own name, when travelers contact her, she sends them back to Jordan. Beth also got some advice from Jordan, who suggested that she write a welcome letter with information about the WiFi passcode, trash nights, local restaurants, and nearby grocery stores.

“She’s more experienced with the Airbnb system. She’s my eyes when I’m away, ”Beth said.

Second-year Airbnb host and Philadelphia real estate agent David Moody owns and operates all six of their homes. When away from the city, Moody also uses Jordan’s services to manage his properties. He came across his ad on Craiglist.

“She’s good at what she does,” Moody said. “When you give someone the key to your property, you really have to be careful and make sure they do a good job. “

He pays Jordan a fixed cleaning fee plus a commission based on the rent.

“So, hypothetically speaking, last month, when we were in Ithaca all month and our friend Jen took over our property, she received a cleaning fee for each room, which was $ 35 each time someone ‘one was staying in one of the rooms, “Moody said. “And then she kept 12% of the total taken, so she got about $ 900 or $ 1,000 more.”

Moody understands the time and responsibility it takes to be a full-time host – and he’s happy to pledge that on Jordan.

“If you do it right, a property can take eight or more hours a week,” he said. “If you have four or five properties, that really turns out to be a 40 hour a week job.”

For Moody, renting properties on Airbnb brings in more profit than a traditional lease, even after Jordan takes his share of the money.

“Some of our houses can probably be rented for $ 2,200 per month. But if you do Airbnb in that property, you can earn between $ 3,000 and $ 6,000 a month on short-term rentals, ”Moody said.

Moody said other than Jordan, he hasn’t met any full-time professional Airbnb manager in Philadelphia.

“This is not something to be taken lightly, as most properties [she manages] worth three, four or five hundred thousand dollars, that’s a really big responsibility, ”Moody said. “Well done to Jen.”

When asked if she would start an Airbnb management company in the future, Jordan thought about it and replied, “I have a very high standard, like how to make a bed. If I am ready to grow, I need to have the right kind of assistants.

But for now, Jordan is happy with his one-woman show. “I’m still on call, but I live a very free lifestyle.”

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