AirDNA has become one of the most popular short-term rental property analytics platforms on the internet—and today we’re going to answer the question on everyone’s minds: Is AirDNA worth it?
When it comes to owning or investing in short-term Airbnb rentals, using an online Airbnb analytics platform has become the new standard.
This is because of the importance of using data and being up to date on the prices when it comes to a highly competitive and dynamic market like the Airbnb vacation rental market.
So, in this blog, I’m going to talk about the AirDNA Rentalizer, why Airbnb analytics are so important, what are the top alternatives for AirDNA, and what kind of data you should expect to get from AirDNA compared to its top alternative.
Let’s jump into it.
What Is AirDNA Rentalizer?
Before getting into whether AirDNA is worth it or not, it’s important to first explain what the AirDNA Rentalizer is, how it works, and what it costs.
The AirDNA Rentalizer is a tool that analyzes and predicts the earning potential of Airbnb properties. In other words, this AirDNA calculator will tell you how much money you can make from your property if you decide to turn it into a vacation rental.
It’s worth mentioning here that AirDNA’s platform doesn’t allow you to search for properties. Instead, you enter the address of the specific residence that you want to analyze and the platform will give you Airbnb analytics of that property.
The way it works is that the tool will ask you to type in the street address, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the guest capacity of the property.
After that, it will gather a list of all nearby Airbnb rentals in its database to create an index based on their relevance or how similar they are to your property. It also factors in other market-wide metrics such as seasonality, rental demand, and revenue growth.
After that, the AirDNA Rentalizer will give you the following data in its Airbnb analysis:
- Annual Revenue
- Average Daily Rate
- Occupancy Rate
- 12-Month Forecast
- Comparable Airbnb Rental Analysis
While this is all useful information that can help you set the right price on your vacation rental, it’s important to keep in mind other factors before answering the question, “is AirDNA worth it?”
For starters, AirDNA isn’t exactly cheap. With prices of around $100/month for major cities, and the fact that you have to pay PER MARKET, you could find yourself losing more money on the tool than the value it’s adding.
In fact, the AirDNA pricing model has been one of the major points of criticism in previous Mashvisor reviews about the platform, especially when it comes to investors who haven’t decided on a specific market that they want to invest in.
And although there is a 30-day AirDNA free trial available, it doesn’t really help investors who don’t own a property that they can turn into an Airbnb rental yet. Instead, the AirDNA pricing model punishes those potential buyers for being extra careful and taking more time when choosing their market, since if they change their mind and decide to invest in a different market, they will end up paying more.
AirDNA Top Alternatives
Another thing to look into in order to decide “is AirDNA worth it?” are the alternatives that provide you with similar Airbnb data analysis tools.
Some of the noteworthy alternatives to AirDNA include:
Alltherooms is one of the newer AirDNA competitors on the market, and it offers to help Airbnb hosts and property managers in setting the right price on the property in order to compete with others on the market.
One unique characteristic of Alltherooms that sets it apart from AirDNA is that it offers its data as an overview, which makes it easier to read and understand for the average host.
However, this does mean that you will have less access to data that you can analyze and come up with better and more optimizable conclusions, unlike AirDNA which offers its fair share of data analytics.
Wheelhouse is a unique tool that allows you to automate the pricing on your vacation rental based on the tool’s sophisticated algorithm which predicts the market trends by using local Airbnb market data.
While there’s always a certain learning curve when it comes to using automation tools, Wheelhouse is known to have an easy-to-use and user-friendly platform which investors can quickly get accustomed to even if they haven’t had much experience with these kinds of tools.
Another unique feature that Wheelhouse has is called the “Rev. Score”, which basically tracks the performance of a property by comparing its expected income to its actual revenue and grading it based on the result.
Related: 7 Real Estate Investor Websites to Use
Mashvisor vs AirDNA
When it comes to the type of Airbnb analytics and the type of data that AirDNA provides, Mashvisor is the top alternative that comes to mind.
Also, you can read our full Mashvisor vs AirDNA blog.
Since the two platforms offer very similar types of data about Airbnb rentals, comparing the two platforms in terms of their Airbnb data and other features is the best way to answer the question: “is AirDNA worth it?”
What Is Mashvisor?
Mashvisor is a real estate analytics platform that helps real estate investors and property owners set the right rental rates on their properties based on nationwide and local market data analysis.
The platform specializes in both traditional and short-term rental strategies, providing Airbnb statistics by city, neighborhood, or individual properties.
Mashvisor offers many tools and features that can help you start or grow your Airbnb business, including an investment property finder tool as well as an Airbnb calculator.
For more information about our platform, read our Mashvisor Reviews.
From here on, I will be comparing Mashvisor and AirDNA in terms of two main factors: the efficiency of their Airbnb calculator tools as well as the accuracy of their data.
Hopefully, by the time we’re done comparing the two, you’ll have found your answer to the question, “is AirDNA worth it?”
AirDNA Rentalizer VS Mashvisor Airbnb Calculator
One of the most important tools that any Airbnb property owner should use is an Airbnb calculator.
In general, an Airbnb calculator is an analytics tool that predicts the earning potential of an Airbnb property—usually by comparing it to other properties in the market—and that ultimately gives the user an idea of how much money their property is approximately going to make.
Both Mashvisor and AirDNA have such tools.
At the start of this blog, I talked about the AirDNA Rentalizer and the kind of metrics that their calculator gives you. So, in this section, I will focus on Mashvisor’s Airbnb Calculator and the metrics we use to see if AirDNA is worth it compared to Mashvisor when it comes to this particular tool.
Mashvisor’s Airbnb Calculator
Mashvisor’s calculator is, in my opinion, a superior tool, especially when taking into consideration the entire platform and how the calculator is connected to the other features that you’ll be using.
To start off: unlike AirDNA, Mashvisor allows you to search for and browse Airbnb properties that are listed for sale in any US market.
Using the Property Finder tool, for example, you can search for any type of property that you’re interested in buying based on your investment criteria and the property’s details.
Additionally, the platform allows you to view each property to see more details about it, including its price, traditional and Airbnb monthly rental income, traditional and Airbnb cap rates, property type, size, number of rooms, and much more.
More importantly, each property’s page has an Airbnb calculator that shows you all the values that you need to know, including but not limited to:
- Airbnb income
- All costs and expenses related to owning an Airbnb
- Other expenses (as many as you wish to add)
- Airbnb cash flow
- Airbnb cap rate
- Airbnb cash on cash return
- Airbnb 10-year payback balance
Additionally, the tool will also give you a comparative report that showcases properties in the local market that are similar to the property you’re looking at.
Is AirDNA worth it in terms of its Airbnb calculator tool when compared to Mashvisor?
My answer is a definitive no. Mashvisor’s tool simply offers more features, including a mortgage calculator that is linked to the Airbnb calculator to give you the most accurate and relevant results.
Additionally, Mashvisor’s calculator provides the same metrics that AirDNA’s Rentalizer uses, but it adds more important metrics such as the cap rate and the cash on cash return, which are very useful for real estate investors and rental property owners.
AirDNA vs Mashvisor in Terms of Data
When it comes to Airbnb analytics tools, the accuracy of the data that these tools offer is the most important factor that will directly affect the well-being of your investment and your profits or losses.
Both platforms, in this situation, obtain most of their Airbnb data directly from the Airbnb platform. However, AirDNA also collects data from VRBO and HomeAway, while Mashvisor collects additional data from the MLS and real estate agencies.
This means that both platforms offer analysis that is based on the actual performance of short-term rental properties that are listed for rent on Airbnb.
So, to decide if AirDNA is worth it or not, we must look not only at where both platforms get their data from, but on how they use this data to show their results.
How Does AirDNA Use Its Data?
There are a few issues with the way that AirDNA uses its data that can make it unreliable for many users.
For a start, AirDNA’s calculator looks at the means instead of the medians—this means that outliers in the market can have an impact on the results.
For example, if there’s one comparable property in the local market that is generating significantly more than all the other properties around it, it will lead to inflated calculations because it’s raising the average.
This means that if you’re using the AirDNA Rentalizer, you will need to back it up with your own research to basically verify the calculations and fix any mistakes in the results. And when it comes to investments where you might potentially lose a significant amount of money, you will want to use data that is more reliable from the start.
Another issue that AirDNA has is that while they tell you how much money a property is going to make, they don’t tell you what that means in terms of investment value.
This used to be much worse until recently, as their AirDNA Rentalizer tool didn’t include the running costs and expenses associated with owning an Airbnb rental.
All of these issues make it really difficult to trust AirDNA and use their data confidently, which means that for many serious investors, the answer to the question “is AirDNA worth it?” is a firm no.
How Does Mashvisor Use Its Data?
On the other hand, Mashvisor’s calculator uses the median averages, which makes its results much more reliable.
Additionally, since Mashvisor’s platform has access to some MLS’s, our data is updated often and on a regular basis and includes a bunch of additional information about each property, such as all costs and expenses related to it.
When it comes to Airbnb properties, Mashvisor makes sure to maintain a high-quality standard by only listing verified Airbnb properties that have three or more reviews on the Airbnb platform.
This means that the properties we showcase on our platform are properties that have been rented out for a long time, have a lot of real historical data, and have realistic non-inflated rates.
Finally, since Mashvisor is also a real estate investment property search tool, you can use it to find the best Airbnb markets to invest your money in, all based on this accurate and up-to-date data.
Bottom Line: Is AirDNA Worth It?
The answer is – it depends on what you want to use it for.
If you already own an Airbnb rental and you want to improve your property’s performance, then using AirDNA might not be a bad idea since you will be able to easily verify any inaccurate information that they might have about your property and adjust the data accordingly to see the most realistic results.
In this case, however, you’re basically just using the calculator tool without making use of the data behind it – and depending on the market you’re in; if it’s a large market, then you will have to pay a hefty AirDNA subscription fee since their fee depends on the size of the market.
So, in my opinion, Mashvisor is simply a superior option that is cheaper to use, offers more tools and features including the ability to search for properties nation-wide without an additional cost, and provides more accurate and reliable data to use. To get access to our real estate investment tools, click here to sign up for a seven-day free trial of Mashvisor today, followed by 15% off for life.