Many investors have made lots of money in the vacation rental industry. Others, meanwhile, are hesitant to enter this exciting and profitable business because they don’t have the time to buy and manage short term rental properties. If you belong to the second group, you might be considering property management.
In this AvantStay review, we will answer important questions like what AvantStay is, what the company does, how it differs from Airbnb, what services it offers to real estate investors, what customers think of it, and what the biggest AvantStay alternatives and competitors are. In other words, we will evaluate whether AvantStay is worth it for investors or whether they should look for another company that can address their vacation rental buying and management needs more efficiently.
So, is AvantStay worth it? No. AvantStay offers only vague analysis of the investment potential of homes and has an unclear pricing structure, while there are completely free alternatives to many of its tools.
* Awning provides a free Airbnb Estimator available for vacation rental investors. Make sure to try this free option before spending any money on paid tools.
* Awning helps you find and buy the best vacation rental properties in the top US markets. Our top-notch software and in-house brokerage team help you evaluate the performance of a property before buying it.
* Awning completes the vacation rental furnishing process for you to optimize your return. Last but not least, we offer full-service vacation rental property management services to turn your Airbnb revenue into a source of passive income, at an industry low 15% of revenue.
Buying a Vacation Home with AvantStay
The first service that AvantStay offers to busy real estate investors is buying a vacation rental property to rent out. As mentioned above, the platform is available in 11 states and Mexico.
The US markets where AvantStay operates include tourist destinations in:
- New York
- South Carolina
While these constitute some of the most desirable and most profitable locations for investing in short term rentals, buyers need to consider this limitation before deciding whether to work with the company or not.
The information available on the AvantStay website about the types of vacation rental homes which they have for investors is very vague. Upon browsing their website, it is not clear what property kinds they offer and how many homes there are in their inventory. What becomes clear is that listings for sale are not necessarily turnkey and furnished as AvantStay offers this as part of their management services.
An investor has to provide their personal information and contact the company directly to obtain any further information. This is a red flag which you should keep in mind before deciding to buy your short term rental property with AvantStay. A trustworthy company should have all this information publicly available.
What is clear is that these hand-selected homes - as claimed by AvantStay - range in price from $750,000 to $2m+. This is a rather hefty budget, especially for beginner and part-time investors. If you are searching for affordable investing options to get started in real estate, this might not be the best alternative for you.
The services which AvantStay provides related to the vacation home rental purchase include:
Connecting with a Real Estate Liaison
Upon contacting AvantStay, you will be paired up with a dedicated liaison who is a vacation rental market expert in the location you are interested in. They will provide you with one-on-one consultations and make sure that you’re matched with a real estate agent who can best help you achieve your investment goals and aspirations.
Finding the Perfect Vacation Rental Home
AvantStay works with a network of pre-vetted real estate agents who specialize in Airbnb rental property purchases. They will support you throughout the investment property search process regardless of whether you visit the market or decide to invest remotely. It is not clear if these agents are exclusive to AvantStay or are working with clients from other sources.
AvantStay services include hand-selecting vacation rental homes and working hand in hand with investors during the buying process.
Understanding Potential Earnings
Doing vacation rental analysis before buying a property is key. After all, as an investor, you want to make sure that you put your money where it will generate the highest Airbnb profit margin. Estimating the expected rental income and return on investment on multiple real estate properties for sale is a time-consuming process which requires access to reliable sources of data and tools.
The AvantStay team realizes all this and aims to provide buyers with readily available analysis. However, their investment analysis is mostly limited to the potential earnings of homes. While their underwriting team offers a detailed revenue projection with a monthly breakdown based on market performance, this does not include many crucial metrics like cap rates and repair costs, which would help investors compare properties.
A question that’s always on the mind of real estate investors is how much they will need to spend to use a certain service or tool. AvantStay does not make its pricing for buying vacation rental properties available on the website. You need to contact them directly to get a customized offer. This lack of transparency is a red flag that investors should consider.
AvantStay Vacation Rental Property Management
AvantStay offers short term rental property management. They manage both vacation homes bought through them and those purchased through other channels. At the moment they manage 600+ properties which is not a lot considering that this is the core of their business.
The company states that they offer the “first completely hands-off approach” for vacation rental owners and hosts. They focus on creating unique experiences for group travelers which is in line with Airbnb’s recent shift towards experiences as well. However, unlike Airbnb, AvantStay actively works with property owners and on behalf of investors to accommodate the vacation home for a one-of-a-kind experience.
To qualify as an owner, you should be renting out an entire property with a minimum of 4 bedrooms in one of the markets listed above. This is in order to be able to cater to the needs of group travelers and vacationers which is what AvantStay strives to do. So, if you own a smaller property or would like to list a room or two, you have to look a different short-term rental property management company.
Here are the services which AvantStay vacation rental property management includes:
Furnishing Vacation Rental Homes
If you own a non-furnished Airbnb rental property, the AvantStay team will help you invest in furniture, design, and Airbnb improvements which boost your vacation rental occupancy rate and increase your home’s equity. They work with professional interior designers to style a property and make sure it provides the unique experience promised to guests. The company website lists the interior design service as complimentary.
In addition, all managed houses are turned into smart and secure homes. The company installs smart technology devices like digital locks, noise sensors, and security cameras at no additional cost.
AvantStay aims to optimize the financial gains for their investors. They focus on maximizing the rental income. The company commits to helping vacation rental owners earn 20% more revenue on qualified homes.
Protecting Short Term Rental Properties
AvantStay does everything necessary to protect investment properties while providing the ultimate experience for guests. In this regard, they complement your landlord insurance with their own liability coverage.
Moreover, they carefully vet all guests and do not allow parties on managed properties. The smart technology installed in homes helps monitor compliance and alerts their team in case of any breaches.
Listings Properties and Managing Guests
When vacation rental investors work with AvantStay, they benefit from professional rental property marketing. Properties are listed on 50+ distribution channels including the main short term rental platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, and others.
AvantStay Terms and Conditions
As an Airbnb host, you can choose whether to commit to working with AvantStay for a single year or multiple years. Your home needs to meet certain requirements in order to qualify.
The company website does not specify how much it costs to have your vacation rental property managed by them. This lack of transparency is an important drawback. Openness and transparency are key when you decide to whom to entrust the management of your investment property.
Selling a Vacation Home with AvantStay
In addition to buying a vacation rental home with AvantStay, you can also sell your property with them.
AvantStay offers the following services related to selling a real estate property:
Working with a Top Agent
If you want to sell your vacation home with AvantStay, you will be connected with one of the best real estate agents in the local market. They will help you market your property in the optimal way considering your current strategy. It’s not clear if the agent works exclusively for AvantStay or not.
Getting Market-Specific Advice
The AvantStay team provides sellers with selling tips that are tailored to their market and goals. They take into consideration existing bookings. Moreover, they syndicate your property to investors from their network before your property gets publicly listed.
AvantStay collects offers from its network of investor buyers and presents them to the seller. Then the seller can review all offers and choose the best one in line with their investment goals and expectations.
AvantStay also helps property sellers in the closing process. They even handle existing property bookings for a smooth transition.
However, it is not clear how much the company charges for selling your vacation rental home and how the services are different from those offered by a traditional real estate brokerage.
Before making a decision whether to work with a company, savvy investors need to study and consider the customer reviews available online. AvantStay reviews are present on a few major review websites.
AvantStay has an outstanding average TrustScore of 4.7 based on 492 customer reviews. This ranks the company as excellent on the TrustPilot website. However, as an investor, you should keep in mind that most of these reviews have been provided by guests and not hosts.
Nevertheless, it is important to know whether renters are happy with the services provided by a vacation rental property management company before hiring it.
Overall, guest reviews are overwhelmingly positive, highlighting the quality of the homes, the likeness between what is advertised and what is delivered, and the quick responses from the property management team.
Nonetheless, there are some guests who report issues with the short term rentals which they booked through AvantStay. These are related to canceled reservations, problems with the area, poor communication on behalf of the property managers, and failure to address issues in an appropriate manner. Some even suggest that positive reviews must have been paid for.
AvantStay has an average rating of 4.5 based on 131 reviews on Yelp. Once again most reviews are provided by guests and share a positive experience. But some negative reviews talk about improperly canceled stays due to double bookings, broken appliances, and terrible property management services. It’s important to pay attention to such complaints as an investor as you don’t want to give your vacation rental property to a company with a poor reputation that will cause you to lose money.
Last but not least, AvantStay has scored an average customer review rating of 4.61 on the BBB website, based on 283 reviews. While most AvantStay reviews are provided by guests and share positive experiences, there are some complaints that raise a red flag. We will discuss them next.
AvantStay Lawsuits and Complaints
There are no reported lawsuits against AvantStay. However, there are a number of complaints by both hosts and guests that investors should consider before deciding whether to list their property with this company or one of the most trustworthy AvantStay competitors.
Some guests who have booked stays with AvantStay complain about booking cancellations, poor hygiene, mismatch between listings and actual properties, nonfunctioning appliances, extra charges, stolen personal items, and poor communication and service on behalf of the property manager. Guests also report that they were not refunded for booking cancellations that happened due to COVID-19.
These customer complaints are enough to make vacation rental property owners want to stay away from AvantStay. After all, you want to work with a property management company which offers outstanding and professional services, keeps your vacation home in a top-notch state, and meets all guest expectations. Otherwise, you will be losing money rather than making money with Airbnb.
Furthermore, the majority of the few AvantStay reviews written by property investors and owners are rather negative and provide complaints. Some owners whose short term rentals are managed by the company report mysterious charges, missing home items, no local market knowledge, failure to perform maintenance work on time, no inspections or cleanings between guests, missing bookings, and not taking out the garbage. A few investors claim they have lost Airbnb revenue for the time that AvantStay managed their vacation rentals and that their property portfolio has been ruined.
These AvantStay complaints suffice to make investors look elsewhere for the best vacation rental management services which their properties deserve. Dealing with such issues is not the way to maximize your Airbnb income.
AvantStay Competitors and Alternatives
In recent years the short term rental industry has seen a real boom. Every service from analyzing and buying vacation rentals to managing them and selling real estate is now provided by a myriad of companies.
Consequently, there are numerous AvantStay alternatives. Let’s look at the major ones below:
Rabbu vs Avantstay
One of the most direct AvantStay competitors in the US vacation rental market is Rabbu. Rabbu offers all the services which its counterpart does, including buying a short term rental property, managing it, and selling it.
While both companies use technology to empower real estate investors, the Rabbu platform appears to be more advanced. Importantly, the Rabbu data analysis is more comprehensive providing estimates of cap rate, gross yield, and cash on cash in addition to the monthly revenue offered by AvantStay. In terms of property management, Rabbu promises to boost Airbnb revenue by 47%, compared to 20% by AvantStay.
A main disadvantage of both companies is that they fail to cover the entire US market, leaving many top investment locations out of reach for beginner investors.
Rabbu is more transparent about costs in terms of searching for and analyzing vacation rental properties for sale. Access to their Property Marketplace costs $299 per month, which is rather costly. However, they don’t specify the property management costs, similar to AvantStay.
Awning vs Avantstay
Another top AvantStay alternative is Awning, which helps investors buy, furnish, and manage vacation rental properties in the best markets for this real estate strategy across the US market.
With a completely free subscription, Awning users get unlimited access to property search tools with comprehensive investment potential analysis provided by both technology and dedicated real estate agents that work exclusively with Awning investors.
The free Airbnb Estimator helps investors determine not only the monthly revenue they can expect but also the profitability that a property will bring. Forecasts are based on the performance of rental comps in the area. You also get access to these comparable properties to deepen your own analysis.
Once you buy a property, Awning supports you throughout the process of designing and furnishing it for optimal occupancy and profit in your market. Additionally, they manage your vacation rental home for a flat fee of 15% with no hidden charges.
Vacasa vs Avantstay
Yet another AvantStay competitor which you may want to consider as an investor in vacation rental properties is Vacasa. It offers help in buying, managing, and selling short term rentals.
Unlike AvantStay, it doesn’t really have access to listings for sale which you can search through and analyze. Itstead, it focuses on providing buyers with the guides and tools they need to make smart investment decisions in Airbnb properties.
With regards to vacation rental property management, Vacasa offers true nationwide US and global coverage.
In terms of selling a property, a big advantage of using Vacasa is that your home for sale gets exposure to their wide network of investors and buyers. This gives you access to short term rental owners who are ready to expand their portfolio as soon as they find a good opportunity.
Similar to AvantStay, Vacasa is not transparent about the cost of their services.
AirDNA vs Avantstay
One last AvantStay alternative we have to mention when it comes to buying and analyzing Airbnb properties is AirDNA. The AirDNA Rentalizer is one of the most popular tools for conducting vacation rental property analysis globally.
Contrary to AvantStay, AirDNA is very clear about where its data comes from: Airbnb and Vrbo. Most customers praise the data coverage and accuracy when compared to other competitors.
However, a major drawback of AirDNA is that it is simply an Airbnb data analysis platform which does not help investors buy and manage short term rental properties.
With regards to costs, access to a single market costs from $19 to $99 a month, which is rather expensive by industry standards.
AvantStay vs Airbnb
Many investors and short term rental hosts think of AvantStay as an Airbnb alternative when they first hear about the services which the company offers. However, this comparison is only partially true.
AvantStay aspires to be a one-stop-shop for those interested in investing in short term rentals without having much knowledge of the industry and without spending time on buying, preparing, and managing their property. For the listing service, AvantStay integrates with the top-performing vacation rental platforms including Airbnb as well as Vrbo, Booking.com, Expedia, HomeAway, and others. In this sense, AvantStay is not a direct Airbnb competitor but rather a complementary service provider.
Another major difference between Airbnb vs AvantStay is that Airbnb covers all global markets, while AvantStay focuses on 70+ locations in 11 US states and Mexico. The US markets where the company operates include tourist destinations in:
- New York
- South Carolina
Importantly, it is the mission of AvantStay to provide the ultimate group travel experience, whether for a family retreat, celebrating an occasion with friends, or a company gathering, as stated on their website. To ensure this, there are specific requirements for homes and hosts to qualify. Meanwhile, Airbnb accepts all types of small and big houses in addition to unusual properties like tiny homes, earth homes, castles, and others to be listed on their platform.
Our AvantStay review shows lack of sufficient data to prove that the company succeeds in providing the one-stop-shop that it aims to offer to vacation rental investors. A major concern is the absence of transparency in terms of available listings, data sources, and pricing. This is forcing many aspiring investors to turn away from this platform and look for more trustworthy AvantStay alternatives when buying, analyzing, managing, and selling short term rentals.