HOUSTON – Super Bowl LI may still be half a year away, but Houston residents are already looking at ways to cash in on the big game.
Realtor and house flipper Ryan DeGennaro is planning to rent his four-bedroom 3 1/2-bath home for a premium rate during Super Bowl week.
DeGennaro purchased the Heights home for the sole purpose of renovating it and using it as a vacation rental; it sleeps up to 10 people.
"There are 52 windows in this house,” DeGennaro said, motioning to a large, brightly-lit living area. “I remember having to order and measure all of them, it was a nightmare."
On an ordinary weekday, DeGennaro would rent the home for around $600 a night, but for a big conference or an event as large as Super Bowl, DeGennaro and other renters raise the nightly rate, much in which the way a hotel would.
"It’s great for everybody here in Houston, but it's great for me because I know I can increase my rates," DeGennaro said. "I know everyone else can get good rates. I mean it's great that we can compete with hotels."
But the question becomes -- how much?
AirBnb offers some guidance to hosts when it comes to pricing their rentals for big events. The site offers automated price tips for users, and recommends that hosts search for comparable listings on the site to see how much they are renting for, much like a realtor would look for comps when trying to sell a home.
Pricing a home or room for Super Bowl can be a little more difficult.
DeGennaro admitted he hadn’t decided on a final price, but was considering charging more than $3,000 for Super Bowl week.
Susan Knight rents out the bottom floor of her three-level Midtown home, but plans to list her whole property for Super Bowl week to maximize her profit.
"(I would like to host) a football player and his family, or maybe the coach and his family, or maybe even a big sponsor,” Knight said.
"I have a beautiful home and I would love to share that with a visitor to Houston, and then of course the money wouldn't hurt."
According to an AirBnb case study, Austin residents who list on AirBnb raked in almost $8 million during the South By Southwest festival in 2014.
The Super Bowl has the potential to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to a host city, and DeGennaro advises anyone thinking of listing their property as a vacation rental to take advantage.
"What I would suggest for somebody starting out is to look within a 3-mile radius, see what other people are pricing it at, and price it just below that amount. And if you're full 30 days out of the month, then you're too low."