Louisville Airbnb listings double in one year; expert host offers tips

Louisville Airbnb listings double in one year; expert host offers tips

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - We're exactly four weeks away from Kentucky Derby 144. If you're not into the tradition, you could get out of town and be making some extra cash in the meantime.

The latest data from AirDNA shows listings in Louisville have doubled in the last year. In February 2017, there were 674 available listings. In February 2018, there were 1,331.

The Kentucky Derby is by far the busiest time of year for tourism in Louisville. Of 1,813 available listings last May, 1,281 were booked.

"In 2007 my husband and I thought it would be a great way to fund our travel habit if we rented out our home to strangers at the Kentucky Derby," Dana McMahan said.

They've been doing it ever since.

Between renovations and upkeep, McMahan said it's become a second job.

"It's a lot of work, but it's a ton of money and that's a good incentive," McMahan said.

The McMahans take in enough money on Derby weekend to pay their mortgage for three months. With so many five-star reviews, she's considered an expert host with Airbnb.

McMahan said it's important for those interested in renting out their homes to do their research. Compare how similar homes are priced when setting your prices. She also said cleanliness is key.

"I recommend hiring a professional if, like me, you're not a good house cleaner," McMahan said.

Most importantly, she said being kind to guests and showing them hospitality will go far.

"Make people feel at home just as you would any guest in your house," McMahan said.

She said hosting travelers is the next best thing to getting to travel herself.

"We get to provide a place that becomes part of their memory and you know it's really fun," McMahan said. "We think about what sorts of things we enjoy when we're traveling and it's nice to provide those for people."

McMahan has a blog where she offers her tips to other homeowners.

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