65 | Short-Term Rental Tips from a Superhost + Design Influencer | with Catherine Williamson

May 28, 2020


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How do you scale renting a single room into a whole fleet of short-term rental properties? That’s exactly what today’s guest did.

Catherine Williamson is one half of the very popular blog Beginning in the Middle. She and her husband are designers, renovators, and Airbnb Superhosts. In 2013, they moved from New York City to Columbus, Ohio, where they noticed a gap in the market for unique, well-designed spaces. They decided to pursue their passion for design and hospitality and have been working together to restore old homes ever since.

While living in New York City, the pace of the city started to burn them out and they questioned the kind of life they wanted to live. They decided to move to Columbus to have a better life. While looking at their finances, they made the decision to rent out a room on Airbnb to make a little extra money — and they didn’t expect how rewarding it was going to feel.

After a few months of renting out a room, they started renting out the whole house and staying at a cheap motel for the night, and this is what really started their Airbnb journey.

Catherine has a few suggestions for anyone looking to up their short-term rental game:

  • Diversify your platforms. Airbnb is great, but there are so many other sites out there — at one point, 70% of Catherine’s guests booked from HomeAway! There is no reason to limit yourself: make sure you are listing wherever a guest might be searching.
  • Creating a brand or experience helps your properties stand apart from the rest, and gives different properties a feeling of connection that may lend itself to cross-sales. It also helps build a trust factor.
  • Don’t be afraid to charge more for people doing photo shoots or content creation! Get creative about the types of customers you rent to.

As long as people are traveling, short-term rentals will always be a viable business. Check out Catherine’s Instagram for some serious design inspiration and to see what’s possible in the world of short-term rentals! 




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