After graduating Auburn University, Andy Bibliowicz spent the last nine years marketing beer. Coming from an entrepreneurial family motivated him to launch his first Airbnb property with an understanding of how to meet customers’ expectations. From that, he is building a formidable short-term rental Airbnb portfolio, which led to his acceptance into the highly touted Georgia Tech masters in real estate development program.
Bibliowicz, who was born in Ecuador and is a graduate of North Atlanta High School, explained. “My motivation came from a necessity to learn and find happiness in an industry – ultimately construction and housing. I executed many of these projects in a way that allowed me to learn. It was very apparent going to Tech’s orientation that my experience in short-term renting was the main component of acceptance, as I was one of two students with little history or previous studies in construction, architecture, development, or city planning.”
His properties cater to larger groups, with three-plus bedrooms, sleeping 10 or more. A decade ago, there were not many major city options for short-term rent. The few that were available were expensive, leaving many choosing a subpar hotel. A family of 10 might pay $900 a night on hotel rooms compared to Bibliowicz’ places at half the cost with a full kitchen, dining room and living room.
For owners wanting to enter Airbnb as a renter, he warns, “Those thinking of modifying their current home into a short-term rental should [have an] understanding how the renter will feel as they enter; what they will see, smell, expect from photos versus what you actually provide. Having and creating realistic expectations on both sides is key to renting a space that you may be sharing.
“The amount you put in is also the amount you get out. Small touches make all the difference and defining a connection with guests is important. Hot points are comfort, overall design and a great master space, which is where the guest is most likely going to stay.
“Privacy is, by far, the most important. Keeping your home consistent to the photos is also key. While you might not have the same linens, it’s important that they get what they saw in the photos online or the dissatisfaction can be immediate. Something as small as the design of the duvet covers or that coffee and snacks are provided.”
Bibliowicz’s financial strategy has been to cover full mortgage and costs in two weekends. He finds homes with relatable mortgages, efficient utilities and considers additional factors, such as cleaning.
“The reality is that weekends will be the most popular time. Focusing on that for what you need [to cover expenses]. Then ‘take home’ everything else. It is not as uniform as it sounds, but weekends, when at the right price, will book consistently while Monday through Thursday can’t be predicted.
“Airbnb defines homes by size, number of people the space fits, and location. Understanding those parameters, expect your pricing to be in the range of your local competition.”
Bibliowicz’s mindset has been to provide homes for two or 12 guests. His main goal is to hold onto and maintain the property over making huge profits. He consistently makes 200 to 300 percent on mortgages, and claims the benefit of Airbnb is that there aren’t full-time renters wearing out the carpets or blasting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
“Truly understand your underlying costs and potential risks,” he said to potential Airbnb homeowners. “My greatest fear isn’t a renter throwing a party, [it’s] the water heater not working. An undisclosed party’s damage is covered by Airbnb, while a water heater isn’t. Being prepared for the inevitable is part of creating a budget and setting expectations.”
Bibliowicz recalled that COVID initially closed the short-term rental business. As people found a need to travel again, they began comparing Airbnbs to hotels and found that the independent property as opposed to essentially rooms stacked on top of one another at a hotel provided them an additional level of comfort.
“My first goal is to get to 10 homes while maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Taking what I learn at Tech and combining it with my experience will be my next big goal. Conceptualizing space differently than the norm and seeing how to create value in more minimal but equally satisfying rental spaces – container homes, tiny homes, etc.”