What my mom’s SouthPark hotel search taught me about the Airbnb opportunity in Myers Park

What my mom’s SouthPark hotel search taught me about the Airbnb opportunity in Myers Park
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My mom and my dad are staying in Charlotte on an upcoming Wednesday night. We don’t have a guest bedroom at our home.

So I told my mom to book at the SouthPark Marriott or the Hampton Inn at Phillips Place.

She called me and said, “Ted, those hotels are over $300 a night.”

Like an overconfident Charlotte expert, I thought my mom didn’t know how to work the internet to book a hotel. I responded, “Mom, it’s a Wednesday and those hotels aren’t close to Uptown or that fancy, there’s no way they cost that much. Give me a second to look it up.”

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My mom was right, I was wrong (not the first time).

Including taxes and fees, the SouthPark Marriott cost $379.18/night and the Phillips Place Hampton Inn cost $344.60/night. On a Wednesday.

That’s a lot of freaking coin.

My mom recently purchased Warby Parker sunglasses, so I decided to test her newfound hipness and told her, “Just book on Airbnb.”

She did.

After booking, she sent me the confirmation which read, “private room.” I had to explain to her that she’d be staying in a condo with the owner and his wife. She was like, “What, really?” Oh boy. Canceled.

I made the executive decision that mom and dad weren’t ready for Airbnb. We found them a place to stay.

This booking experience led me down one of those internet black holes on Airbnb.

I became fascinated by the lack of supply in Myers Park and SouthPark on Airbnb.

On the Wednesday that my parents were coming into town, there was only a single listing in Myers Park and after fees, it was $192/night.

airbnb-myers-park

via Airbnb.com

In SouthPark, I found four listings.

southpark-airbnb-charlotte

via Airbnb.com

The opportunity

My mom’s use case has to be fairly common – a parent looking to stay in Myers Park/SouthPark area to visit children and grandchildren, but needing their own space.

Because the hotel comps are $340+/night, there’s plenty of margin for a savvy Airbnb host and the host will have little or no competition.

I’d also argue that (a) my parents/people like them are awesome guests and that (b) they would be repeat guests for many years.

A savvy Airbnb host could also cater the listing to people like me booking for parents and/or customize the listing so that it’s less trendy sounding and more catered to old people used to Hampton Inns.

If any any Myers Park or SouthPark residents listen my advice and start printing cash money as a high end, parent-focused Airbnb host, I expect you to give me a cut of your profits – or at least give my parents a discount when they book, :).

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