3 ways short-term rentals impact Detroit and its residents

Article by Ed Sena
Sharing Detroit Member + Detroit Host

Airbnb continues to dominate in the home sharing market as it continues to expand its cultural influence. The company is growing more than ever with over 160,000,000 guests having used Airbnb in over 65,000 cities.

It’s easy to see why staying in a Detroit short-term rental (STR) is so appealing. Guests have the opportunity to stay in homes with multiple bedrooms, stocked kitchens, offices, yards, and even swimming pools. Many STRs offer a more authentic experience and all at a lower costs to visitors.

As platforms such as Airbnb continue to grow, cities are increasingly interested in deciding how best to address the impact of STRs in their communities. Regulations and ordinances are being implemented at the city, town, and even neighborhood levels. And run the gamut of being common sense win-win solutions to more strict “shut’em down” proposals.

As Detroit city council continues to discuss and draft an ordinance that we hope provides a positive path forward for everyone, we wanted to take a look at how STRs impact Detroit hosts and their families.


Short-term rentals in a good location, thoughtfully furnished, well photographed, with great customer service and management, can generate 2-3x the revenue of a traditional long-term rental. So yes, the money can be very good.

The vast majority of Detroit short-term rental hosts are using Airbnb as a side hustle to generate extra income. We’ve had many memorable conversations with hosts sharing their stories about how their STR revenue has help pay down debt, helped with the purchase of a vehicle, paid for medical bills and school tuition, and even helped with down payments for home purchases.


Think STR homes will be the black sheep of the street? Think again. STR hosts are highly motivated to keep a clean and beautiful space. Success depends on a keeping a great looking home. If someone is running an STR, their space is being constantly being cleaned. Great reviews will make or break STRs and provides the proper motivation to regularly maintain Detroit residences and offer a 5-star experience.

Social & Community

When was the last time your were in the Bagley District or attended a Detroit FC soccer match? Have you ever strolled through the Belle Isle observatory or taken a kayak down the Detroit river?

One of the great joys of being a host in Detroit is we get to show off our city. This social influence creates a sense of community pride and challenges hosts to be aware of new dining options, upcoming events and attractions.  From the experience of having our space in midtown, my wife and I have discovered so many new and amazing places in the area. This past month we experienced Urban Ramen and have been telling guests about our new favorite place.

An increasing challenge in our social media driven society is the ability to create authentic community. Being a local host is one way of creating those real life connections.


Sharing Detroit is committed to building a strong and vibrant STR community. Want to share your story? Send a message or video link to ed@sharingdetroit.com

Checkout this video from our friends at bigger pockets on the pros and cons of being an short-term rental host on Airbnb.  Enjoy!

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