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The Best Books on Vacation Rentals – Airbnb Investing, Management, and More

Here’s a running list of the best books on vacation rentals. If you want to learn about topics like Airbnb investing, building a short-term rental empire, or how to have success managing your vacation rental business, these are some of the best books to read.

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Optimize Your BNB

The Definitive Guide to Ranking #1 in Airbnb Search. Written by Daniel Rusteen, former Airbnb employee. Rusteen is well known as an industry expert, and he’s distilled down much of his knowledge about how to optimize your Airbnb listing into this book. That said, much of his content can also be found online, and some reviewers complained that the book needed some editing.

Helpful Reviews

As an owner of 6 Airbnbs, I thought I had it all figured out. […] I found this book and figured that if I learned just one trick, I would make my money back in just one rental. Well, I found TONS! Seriously, there were so many things in this book that I had not thought of. The author used to work at Airbnb and even mentions that he manages a few. So, he knows from experience. I’m working on each of my listings now to be in line with his guidance. And I already see the benefits. I highly recommend this book to any Airbnb owner. — Amazon Reviewer “Kaizer Sose”

Very helpful, but most (all?) of the content is from the blog on his site. I’d still buy for making notes and marking though. — R Mitchell

How To Rent Vacation Properties by Owner

3rd Edition – Best Seller Since 2004. Written by Christine Hrib-Karpinski. This book is one of the original and most popular books on vacation rental properties. It’s meant to be a complete guide on how to buy, furnish, manage, rent, maintain, and advertise your vacation rental properties. It’s got a lot of practical advice, even if some of it’s a bit outdated.

Helpful Review

Book reads easily, without too much or too little detail. […] Gave me much more confidence entering into larger concerns, finances of vacation rental realm. I got the impression some chapters were a legacy of bygone times: Details about getting checks from renters, pen-and-ink handling of bookings early in the book, vs. later references to online payments made me wish for an edition written YESTERDAY to address the rapid evolution of internet business and evaluation of current online sites. — Gordon Clawson

The Book on Rental Property Investing

How to Create Wealth With Intelligent Buy and Hold Real Estate Investing. Written by Brandon Turner, host of the BiggerPockets Podcast (#1 Real Estate Podcast). This is a practical guide to rental property investing, with strategies, tips, and actionable ideas.

Helpful Review

There are tons of real estate investment books out there. This is one of the better ones. Written with common sense and a proclivity to action, Brandon Turner gives you all the basic steps to get started in real estate, as well as a lot of fundamentals to plan for and think about. A great book to start with. — Ed Barton

The Book on Managing Rental Properties

A Proven System for Finding, Screening, and Managing Tenants with Fewer Headaches and Maximum Profits. Written by Heather and Brandon Turner, host of the BiggerPockets Podcast (#1 Real Estate Podcast). This book has several personal stories from other vacation rental owners, giving you some perspective along with practical tips.

Helpful Review

This is a great, easy to read book on Managing Rental Properties. It has a good mix of both basic property management for those new to the business, as well as a few helpful hints for those that having been doing this for awhile. I knocked it down a star only because it is a bit basic, but this book would be perfect for those with just a few units or those just delving into the wonderful world of property management. For those with more experience, you could probably take it or leave it, though there are enough original ideas that it is worth the buy and the quick read. — Natasha G

Master of Vacation Rentals

10 Steps to Hosting Success Using Airbnb + Other Platforms. Written by Jeff Pierce. Pierce is an Airbnb Superhost, and this book is his (10 step) guide to vacation rental success. It covers concepts like vacation rental design (and photography), pricing, and promotions.

Helpful Review

Jeff is obviously a very experienced Airbnb super host and wrote a great dummies guide to Airbnb. Everything is laid out from determining the property to use (if you are new or expanding), maximizing income by squeezing midweek bookings and the pricing and discount and incentive best practices or guidelines, and the basics of communicating with a guest like they are an old acquaintance but in a professional manner.
More nitty gritty details are there but not overwhelming and are easily digestible. The writing was succinct, and friendly and a smiled a few times while reading because of a few well placed puns. 

While some of the information found in these books can be found online in forums and vacation rental blogs, sometimes there’s value in having it in book form. Check out our guide to vacation rental marketing, for example, or our other resources.

Here are some other books worth a look:

Have any other good books you’ve read about Airbnb investing, short-term rental property management, or other related topics? Let us know in the comments!

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