These are the most popular Airbnb locations in Tampa Bay

Published August 7, 2018

They’re about as varied as it gets in Tampa Bay real estate:

A Hernando mobile home near a private entrance to the Weeki Wachee River, an Old Seminole Heights home with a window to Tampa-living, a Clearwater suite with an in-ground pool, and a Pasco home near the Gulf of Mexico.

Each location, however, rose to the top of popular Airbnb locations in Tampa Bay counties — places most often added to visitors’ “wish lists” for future stays.

It’s no easy task, according to some popular Airbnb hosts.

“There’s a common misconception that you put this thing on the web and start making money,” said Zach Jacobs, one of Hillsborough County’s top hosts on the app. “If you’re not involved, the experience isn’t as good.”

Over 40,000 Floridians list their home or vacation rental on the app and website.

Hosts use a combination of methods to find success in the private properties they rent: take advantage of their property’s proximity to attractions, create getaway themes, or provide an authentic slice of city life.

Deirdre Davis is the woman behind some of the most sought after locations in Hernando County. His “Mermaid and fisherman” the location was the county’s most popular in recent sampling, according to Airbnb.

Davis and her husband bought a trailer a few years ago to put on his property in Weeki Wachee Hills. She had previously successfully rented an A-frame cabin in her family’s olive groves near the Nature Coast.

She owns two Weeki Wachee Village properties near a state park and the river — not far from businesses that offer swimming with manatees or visiting the famous mermaids. It gives all its visitors private access to the river for canoeing and kayaking.

The cabin was recently brought back online after being turned off due to needed repairs in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma last fall.

Related story: Airbnb says it generated more than $45 million in Florida tax revenue last year

“We’re always updating them, adding to them,” said Davis, who lives in Hernando Beach. “It’s fun and the most fun is finding the themes.”

She calls her new location “Captain Ahab’s Weeki Escape”.

Popular of Pinellas Location Clearwater has a Victorian feel that, according to one reviewer, made her and her husband feel like a king and queen.

The plus of Pasco popular place, in Hudson, offers a dock with canal access and is within walking distance of some of the area’s most popular waterfront restaurants.

In Seminole Heights – Hillsborough’s most popular location – Jacobs tries to give visitors a taste of what it’s like to live in a hip Tampa neighborhood.

He and his wife only rented the guest house behind their house, but they have moved to the street and are also renting out the main house on this property.

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To show visitors what to do while there, they even created an Instagram account called @TampaBucketList The account has attracted over 14,000 followers. Jacobs works from home, so he is always accessible to his tenants.

He has special insurance coverage and even makes sure the homes are outfitted in an intimate, yet simple way to make cleaning between guests as easy as possible.

“There’s a ton to consider,” he said, “and the biggest problem is that it’s not as easy as it’s portrayed.”

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Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected]. Follow @sara_dinatale.

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