Unveiling the Lucrativeness: Short-Term Rental vs. Traditional Rental Properties

Investing in Austin-area real estate is a strategic move that requires careful consideration of various factors. One crucial decision landlords face is choosing between short-term rental (STR) and traditional long-term rental properties. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, and understanding which is more lucrative depends on various factors. In this blog, we’ll explore key indicators to help you determine if a short-term rental property is more lucrative than a traditional rental property.

Location Analysis

The location of your property plays a pivotal role in its potential for profitability. For short-term rentals, proximity to tourist attractions like Downtown Austin, business districts like The Domain, and popular destinations like the University of Texas at Austin can significantly impact demand. If your property is situated in an area with high tourist footfall or frequent business travelers, short-term rentals may be more lucrative due to higher nightly rates.

Conversely, traditional rentals often thrive in traditional residential neighborhoods where long-term tenants seek stability and community living. Evaluate the local market and consider the demographics of potential tenants to determine the best fit for your property.

Seasonal Demand

Short-term rental properties often experience seasonal fluctuations in demand, with peak periods attracting higher rates. For instance, October is a lucrative time period for short-term rentals with the week-long, internationally renowned F1 race at Circuit of the Americas. As a result of high demand periods, analyzing the seasonality of the local market is crucial. If your property is located in a destination with consistent year-round demand, short-term rentals may yield better returns. However, in areas with distinct peak seasons, the off-peak periods could pose challenges in maintaining consistent income.

Traditional rental properties generally provide more stable income throughout the year, as long-term tenants typically sign leases for extended periods, ensuring a steady cash flow.

Management Effort

Consider the level of involvement you are willing to commit to managing your Austin-area property. Short-term rentals require more hands-on management, including regular cleaning, maintenance, and guest interactions. Platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo offer a wide reach but demand proactive engagement to handle bookings and guest experiences.

Traditional rentals, on the other hand, involve fewer short-term interactions, with leases typically lasting a year or more. This can lead to less intensive day-to-day management but may require more attention when it comes to tenant turnover and property maintenance.

Investing in property management services (shameless plug for TALK Property Management!) could be a wise way to save time and money when it comes to your rental portfolio.

Regulatory Considerations

Research local regulations and zoning laws governing short-term rentals in the Austin area. Some cities impose restrictions or licensing requirements on short-term rentals to address concerns like noise, safety, and community impact. Understanding and complying with these regulations is crucial to avoid legal issues that could impact your profitability.

Traditional rentals are often subject to different sets of regulations, typically more standardized and consistent. Understanding the legal landscape for both options is essential for making an informed decision.

Short-Term Rental Versus Traditional Rental: You Decide

Determining whether a short-term rental property is more lucrative than a traditional rental property requires a comprehensive analysis of your property’s location, seasonal demand, management preferences, and regulatory considerations. While short-term rentals can offer higher nightly rates and flexibility, traditional rentals provide stable, long-term income with less intensive day-to-day management.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your investment goals, risk tolerance, and the specific dynamics of the local real estate market. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial objectives and property management capabilities.

Have questions? We are always here to help–reach out to us anytime: (512) 947-1828 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagment.com.

When Can You Back Out of a Real Estate Contract?

Before buying a home or investment property this fall, here is what you need to know about your real estate contract and how to get out of it if necessary. Each real estate contract is unique and may apply to certain circumstances, so always ask your REALTOR® beforehand. 

During Due Diligence

The due diligence phase in the home buying process is the negotiation period when the buyer can review the house and ensure everything is good before deciding to move forward. We’re in a seller’s market now, so buyers are competing against each other. As a way to close quickly and appeal to sellers, some buyers are skipping this phase and the inspections tied with it. But this is the easiest time to back out of a real estate contract. 


After the due diligence phase, the only way to get all your money back is if a contingency is not met. A contingency is a condition that must be met before the closing date. They’re called contingencies because the closing is contingent on these specific requirements. 

Contingencies are a form of protection as they will protect you if something is found during the home inspection, title process, or if the appraisal goes too high. Again, since we’re in a seller’s market, there might not be time to include these contingencies. 

Another common contingency is a financing clause. The clause will indicate that the buyer will use all good faith to obtain a loan, but if they are not able to qualify for a mortgage, then they can get out of the deal with no consequence. This is why getting pre-approved is so important in today’s market! Sellers fear this financing contingency, which is why they prefer cash offers, even if it’s lower than their original price. 

Earnest Money

If everything goes right and you’re on track to buy the property, you can still back out of the real estate contract, but it will cost you money when it’s this late in the game. Part of what’s included in a real estate contract is how much each side would be compensated if the other party backed out. This is called earnest money. It’s usually 1% to 3% of the agreed-upon sale price but can be as high as 10%, depending on the real estate market. 

Homebuyers will put this earnest money into an escrow account at the contract signing. This deposit will apply to the down payment or closing costs once the sale goes through. If the deal doesn’t go through, though, the seller keeps the earnest deposit as compensation. 

Today’s Market

There might not be time for these contingencies in today’s hot real estate market, which is why you have to be careful. Many buyers are waiving contingencies as a strategy to close on a house faster. With this route, it’s common for buyers to make up the difference if there’s a difference between the offer price and home appraisal. 

As your real estate agent, I’ll help you navigate through this hot market. Contact me! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com

Profits Rising for Home Flippers

While fewer property investors are flipping homes, those still active in the real estate market are earning higher profits. According to ATTOM Data Solutions 2020 U.S. Home Flipping Report, investment returns for house flippers climbed to the highest level since late 2018.

Profits Rising for Home Flippers TALK Property Management Dona Brown

The typical home flip gross profit (defined as the difference between the median sales price and the median sales price paid by investors) rose to $67,902 in 2020’s second quarter, up from $61,900 at the same time in 2019. This resulted in higher profits for property investors. The typical gross flipping profit ($67,902) equaled a 41.3% return on investment (ROI), marking the first year-over-year gain since the fourth quarter of 2017.

While profits are on the rise, real estate investors engaging in home flipping has dropped since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Fewer house hunters were looking for homes, which likely cut into investors’ likely buyer pool. 

However, investors who were able to bring deals to the closing table did far better than they had since 2018, likely due to historically-low interest rates that proved attractive to buyers who remained employed during the pandemic and who were willing to purchase homes despite social distancing requirements and the overall economic environment. 

Homes flipped in 2020’s second quarter were sold for a median price of $232,402, while approximately 6.7% of all home sales were flips during the same period, down from 7.5% from the first quarter.

Whether you buy and hold properties or if you prefer to flip, if you have questions about the local real estate market and how it impacts investors, reach out to me anytime. I’m always here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.
Graph courtesy of ATTOM Data Solutions.