AirDNA Review [2022]: Boost the Performance of Your Short-Term Rentals

AirDNA offers valuable market insights and tools to help you select and price your vacation rentals.
Last updated Feb. 28, 2022 | By Lindsay Frankel | Edited By Michael Kurko
Woman holding iPad with Airbnb listings

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Location is everything when it comes to investing money in real estate. But how do you pick the best city, find the right property, and set the right price to get consistent income? Being a successful Airbnb host requires you to do all three with confidence.

Luckily, AirDNA lets a property owner look up the revenue earning potential of any address and compare the rental demand of different markets. You can also get help with dynamic pricing and much more. Read on for our full AirDNA review.

In this AirDNA review

What is AirDNA?

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Denver, Colorado, AirDNA is a data and analytics company for short-term rental markets. CEO and co-founder Scott Shatford started as an Airbnb rental owner and quickly grew his business into a multi-unit operation. In the process, he recognized the need for competitor data to know whether he was maximizing his income potential.

AirDNA tracks performance metrics for more than 10 million Airbnb and Vrbo properties in 120,000 global markets. Using each vacation rental data set, AirDNA’s algorithm can help you determine whether a property is a good investment. Over 50,000 customers use AirDNA for their analytics needs.

AirDNA

Founded

2015

Cost to owner

$19-$599 per month

Integrations

Futurestay

Services offered

Market research, dynamic pricing, performance benchmarking, investing guidance

Ease of use

Very intuitive

Data sources

Airbnb, Vrbo

Mobile app?

No

Best for...

Short-term rental investors

How does AirDNA work?

AirDNA MarketMinder is an integrated platform of tools that gives you access to millions of data points so you can make informed decisions. The following tools are available for members to use. Keep in mind that most tools are only available to paid members — you can unlock one market for a monthly fee or pay for global access. Without paying to unlock a market, you can still see the average daily rate, occupancy rate, and revenue for a particular city. You’ll also be able to see a score for rental demand, identify which booking site is used most frequently, look at the average rental size, and more.

Market research

AirDNA’s rental market research tool provides interactive maps and graphs with historical data about cities, neighborhoods, and individual properties. You’ll be able to learn the following about the market you’re researching:

  • Average daily rate
  • Historical occupancy rate
  • Average monthly revenue
  • Booking lead time
  • Average number of bedrooms/guests
  • Rental channel distribution
  • Rental growth over time
  • Typical Airbnb ratings and cancellation policies

AirDNA’s investment explorer also gives each market a grade for the following categories, which can help you estimate the success of a property in a particular market:

  • Rental demand
  • Revenue growth
  • Seasonality
  • Regulation
  • Investability

Dynamic pricing

AirDNA’s Smart Rates pricing tool gives you customized pricing recommendations based on real-time market demand. You get to choose between a balanced, conservative, or aggressive pricing strategy and set minimum and maximum daily rate price parameters. Smart Rates even shows you the factors that influence each recommendation, such as holidays and seasonality.

You can also select a set of properties to see how your direct competitors are pricing their properties. This could help you change your pricing strategy and stay ahead of the game. AirDNA also integrates with vacation rental property management software Futurestay to automatically push Smart Rates directly to your booking platform.

Investment tools

If you’re just beginning to research how to invest in real estate, AirDNA’s Rentalizer tool can help you estimate what an address would earn as a short-term rental. You can also customize your plan to include multiple markets for side-by-side comparison. Both features could be beneficial to real estate investors who need help deciding on a particular property or location.

What’s more, Rentalizer lets you see the top-performing properties in a given market and analyze what they’re doing well. This could help you figure out whether certain amenities, home sizes, and policies do well in a particular market.

AirDNA also offers a full report on the best places to invest available for purchase. It also shows a full list of the most profitable cities for Airbnb anywhere in the world. Some of the information in that report is available for free, and you can download a sample or get a quote if you want to purchase the full document.

Performance benchmarking

AirDNA’s My Property tool allows you to compare properties with similar criteria (quality, amenities, rental size, etc.) so you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. This can help you estimate your future occupancy, booked rate, and lead time. You’ll also be given a booking performance score (ranging from A+ to F) to help you assess the success of your property compared with active listings and active rentals in your area.

Pros and cons of AirDNA

Pros

  • Revenue estimates are 96% accurate (according to AirDNA)
  • Easy to use
  • Free version lets you explore the profitability of various markets
  • Automatically pushes price updates to booking platforms

Cons

  • Must pay to unlock each market
  • Relatively pricey for larger markets
  • Some negative reviews regarding customer service
  • No mobile app
  • Total revenue includes cleaning fees, which can be misleading

How much can AirDNA increase your rental income?

AirDNA reports a 24% revenue increase for Smart Rates users when compared with their original pricing strategy. In one case study, a user was able to get $100 more in revenue on weekend nights using Smart Rates. Your actual results may vary depending on your current strategy, but it could be profitable to use AirDNA for insights.

FAQs about AirDNA

Is AirDNA accurate?

AirDNA is committed to data accuracy, and the company claims it’s the most reliable source for short-term rental data. For example, when predicting the revenue Airbnb owners would make in each city, AirDNA was 96.2% accurate overall based on their own research. Measuring year-over-year changes in nights booked, AirDNA’s estimate was 97.1% accurate.

Is AirDNA owned by Airbnb?

No. AirDNA gets its data from Airbnb, and AirDNA CEO Scott Shatford is an Airbnb pro, but AirDNA is not owned by Airbnb.

What is a good AirDNA score?

AirDNA reports that any AirDNA score above 60 indicates a fairly good investment property, but also recommends looking at individual properties and neighborhoods because individual investments can vary widely. AirDNA’s scoring scale ranges from an A+ (94-100) to F (9).

How to sign up for AirDNA

You can use the demo version of AirDNA by creating an account with your name, email address, and password. But to access the paid features, you’ll need to unlock the market you want to research. To do this, search for the city and state where your property is located or where you’re planning to invest and click “Purchase.”

Depending on the size of the market, you’ll pay either $19, $39, or $99 per month to unlock AirDNA data for that market. You can also save 40% on your total price if you pay annually.

  • $19.95 per month per market with less than 100 active listings (or $143.95 per year)
  • $39.95 per month per market with 100 to 1,000 active listings (or $287.95 per year)
  • $99.95 per month per market with more than 1,000 active listings (or $719.95 per year)

If you want to ‌view any market in the world and compare unlimited markets with one another, that will cost you $999.95 per month (or $599.99 per month billed annually). You can also pay to unlock several markets individually for comparison.

Other rental management platforms to consider

AirDNA is one of the most robust tools in the industry, but it’s not for everyone. Another alternative is Beyond, which not only provides insights and dynamic pricing, but also comes with expert guidance. You can even build a direct booking website and sync your listing across multiple online travel agencies.

Beyond charges 1% of your bookings revenue (or 1.49% if you choose to have the money deducted when the stay occurs). But you get 30 days to try it out for free.

Learn more in our Beyond review.

Mashvisor could be helpful if you have any long-term rental units as well, as it pulls data from rental listing websites for traditional comps in addition to Airbnb data. Its pricing is also more affordable if you want to conduct research in many markets.

The bottom line on AirDNA

AirDNA offers many tools to help you manage your bookings, track market trends, and competitively price your short-term rentals. You can even compare Airbnb vs. Vrbo listings in your area to see which rental platforms perform better.

Although AirDNA is relatively easy to use, its fees can be steep, especially for larger rental markets. Nonetheless, the platform could help you maximize your bookings and revenue with its powerful automations and data tools.

DiversyFund Benefits

  • Co-own a professionally managed portfolio of real estate assets
  • Create your free account in just 5 minutes
  • Use code FB50 and get a $50 Amazon gift card when you make your first investment

Author Details

Lindsay Frankel Lindsay Frankel is a Denver-based freelance writer who specializes in credit cards, travel, budgeting/saving, and shopping. She has been featured in several finance publications, including LendingTree. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors, playing music, or cuddling with her rescue pup.