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Is this a trend you should say "I Do" to?
Not too long ago, a bachelorette themed party was all about mylar balloons spelling out Bride, diamond ring cutouts, and penis straws. Now, maids of honor are looking for a weekend in a pink palace that provides a hub for that unforgettable experience of saluting the bride. The
bachelorette party bar has risen and real estate investors are swooping in to meet the demand, and make a profit, by building, designing, and renting out Bachelorette Houses.
Staying in a themed Airbnb can set the stage for the whole weekend, in part because the idea of a bachelorette party is moving away from raunchy Magic Mike-like shows to a meaningful bonding experience. "The idea is to create an environment where everyone can have a really good time," says Keith Willard, president of Keith Willard Events in Fort Lauderdale, who was recently called in to organize a lifeguard-themed bachelor party. Willard feels that, since "there is no such thing as a totally private event anymore" brides (and grooms) prefer to have a more controlled environment like a private home in which to bid farewell to the single life.
And investors are starting to take notice of the trend. Seena and Kacia Ghetmiri, real estate investors and Airbnb Superhosts, jumped on the opportunity when they heard about the trend of investing in short-term rentals geared toward bachelorettes at an Airbnb meetup. "We saw a need for bachelorette party-style houses here in Denver," says Seena Ghetmiri, who initially got into real estate investing for long-term rentals as a way to produce steady income.
The appeal of catering to this niche demographic is increased cash flow. As Ghetmiri explains it, when a family rents an Airbnb they are making one purchase for the parents and the kids, it comes out of one bank account. But when 12 women show up to celebrate a bride, they are dividing the cost and spending individually. Suddenly a $1,200 per night property is a lot more palatable. This allows the hosts to put more money into decor and aesthetics. “You can charge premium prices for a premium experience,” he says.
The husband and wife team were strategic in diving into this niche Airbnb market. Instead of dousing the entire house in Barbie pink, like the decidedly girly Nashville’s Original Bachelorette House (even the piano is of the bubble gum hue), the Ghetmiris worked with a friend and decorator Sam Dalton to create a more demure Peach House. “We didn’t want to go to hard core,” Kacia says. Inspired by actual peach trees in the back, the decor was more understated, but still carried that fun factor. The five-bedroom rental sleeps 12 in beds (meaning no bridesmaid is relegated to a cot) and has several photo opp walls, including a green living wall with a neon "Just Peachy" sign, a mirrored wet bar across a peach-themed wallpapered nook with velvet chairs and a "You’re like Really Pretty" neon sign, and a mural with “Life is Short, Make it Sweet” written between two hanging rattan chairs. "It’s girly but still high-end," adds Kacia, who also uses the property to host retreats for women’s empowerment events.
They put in about $60,000 worth of furnishings—a mix of Article, West Elm, and H&M home—into the house, knowing that they are likely to recoup the costs because the prestige of a themed Airbnb can allow them to charge between $100 to $200 more than they would for a regular property. According to Seena, the Peach House opened five months ago and is on track to make around $180,000 this calendar year.
With this proof of concept buoying their confidence, the Ghetmiris closed on another house this March, this one dubbed the Champagne House, which will launch any day. Here, they invested in hiring Brianna Michele Interiors, a studio that specializes in rental designs, to add delicate touches throughout like flamingo wallpaper, Deco-inspired velvet headboards, as well as other details including golden lip wall art.
The goal is to promote the sister properties so that if one is booked, the other is a potential alternative. "Once the [bride-to-be] sees it, there is no other option," Seena says. "They want to stay in this house."
Bachelorette party goers definitely do want this Bachelorette Pad experience. According to Google Trends, the top five trending "bachelorette Airbnb" searches are in Las Vegas, Kansas City, Phoenix, Austin, and Dallas. Nashville is crushing it with Insta-worthy rentals like the Dolly House with its cohesive theme that touches on a floral wallpaper ceiling and a rosy shiplap wall with a neon sign, "What Would Dolly Do?" just above a plush velvet sectional, pastel rainbow stairs, and gilded molding in bubble gum pink bedrooms. Oh, and there’s a disco ball too. The House of Cowgirls lassoes guests in with a designated makeup room donned in cow-print wallpaper, a Mario Bellini-inspired couch is adjacent to the photo wall in whimsical wallpaper and the must-have neon sign "Take a Ride on Nashville’s Wild Side."
The Pink Palm Tree in Fort Lauderdale (a house that was flipped about a year ago) sports lip-shaped and flamingo floaties in a pool next to an outside bar with rose-studded wallpaper and a bright pink SMEG fridge, an all-pink kitchen inside and bedroom suites speckled with tropical touches and animal prints. The owner also partners with a luxury picnic company for a backyard soiree, making it practically unnecessary to leave.
In Dallas, the IG-Worthy, Girl Pad by @StayLoveList has its own karaoke room, with dozens of disco balls and plush green velvet seating. While a fuchsia modular couch and coral paint is prominent, the design also takes inspiration from the vibrant green wallpaper of abstract birds, combining the two palettes (there is a pink-and-teal pool table) into a picturesque backdrop.
Realtors across the country are confirming that Bachelorette-themed houses are a rising trend in the rental market. Hilton Head, South Carolina-based broker and realtor Dino DiNenna of Southern Lifestyle Properties says that short-term rentals in vacation spots and popular locations are making a lot of money by hosting bachelorette parties, wedding weekends, and proposal plans. "Airbnb and rental investors have found this area of the real estate industry to be particularly more interesting as the revenue for these properties is as good as $500 to $1,200 a night," he reports. "The most common property requirements include beachside views, swimming pools, large hall rooms, multiple bedrooms, natural outdoor set-up, in-house bars, and flashy wall decor. It’s literally anything that could be romantic and a kick to the adrenaline rush."
Interior designers like Alison Pickart are taking notice, too. When remodeling her Palm Springs investment property, she might not have focused on an exclusive bachelorette party niche, but she did create "an escapist retreat" inspired by the Golden Girls. Her short-term rental went live in January and is book solid until November. "This destination is part of our investment strategy," she says, noting that it’s a natural choice for a design studio to apply its craft to create a special experience. Pickart and her husband started out with long-term rentals as well, but quickly saw that the return on interest for curated short-term rentals with a luxury sensibility was a "no brainer." Her property, which sports CBW Stockwell banana leaf wallpaper in the breakfast nook, is like a magnet for "all the hot gossip to go down." The goal is to create an environment that is lounge ready, a decompression zone for a fun girls’ weekend, a place to have 9 a.m. mimosas. "People want this," she concludes.
But not everyone is rosy on pink palaces. While Google search interest for "how to buy short term rental property" and "best places to buy a short term rental" has nearly quadrupled in the past year, some realtors heeded a warning. "For years we have seen the trend for bachelorette parties using Airbnb rentals opposed to staying in hotels," says Peter Michael, principal broker for Piere Michel in New York. "This model is not a sustainable practice. In the current moment, this interest has increased the demand of short-term rentals and at the same time, led to a decrease in available housing for long-term renters. Unfortunately, it creates a shortage of apartments and drives rental prices up."
Ghetmiri advises that aspiring hosts do their homework prior to embarking on a niche short-term rental makeover. Check city ordinance and the amount of licenses available. Luckily, for the Peach and Champagne house, the area is out of licenses, so they won’t have any competition nearby. A place like Nashville, Scottsdale, and Austin may have a lot of competition, driving up the stakes of investing in a themed niche short-term property. Something to keep in mind, before you say, "Yes," to a new sparkly, confetti-filled, Airbnb venture.
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