Short Term Rental Real Estate in Vail

Choosing the perfect property for short term rentals can be a struggle. What’s the perfect size? What about price? Does it have to be in a particular area? With so many variables to balance, finding the right real estate can be daunting. Luckily, you’re in the right place.

There’s no shortage of valuable properties in Vail, Colorado. Whether you’re looking for a modern estate or a small cabin, the possibilities are endless. Given the popularity of local restaurants and shops, any location is almost guaranteed to be popular. Additionally, layout options are far from limited with some of the most unique real-estate in the country.

Having certain features in addition to things like location also help ensure an easier short term rental operation. For instance, having ensuite bathrooms allows for better individual room rentals. Options such as these provide flexibility in guest offerings and revenue generation.

Let’s check out the competition. Here are a few options right now in Vail for two guests. The links are current as of 2019 but may be taken off the market at any time, so we’ve put some text in for posterity’s sake. We picked the off-peak dates of October 16–17 for two adults.

The Mainstream: Marriott (

Fair warning, the big hotels have caught on to Airbnb and are now playing for keeps. Your winning move is to stay just as professional (quick responses, beautiful photography) while adding more personality and local color to your listing. This 1 bedroom/2 bath listing is $75 a night after fees and has a 5star rating from 100% of recent guests (15 said it was “sparkling clean”!). The manager, Tony, is also good at responding to guest comments. Tough competition. But can they beat your charm?

Simple But Large: Mountainside Cabin []

A whole condo for $164 (it says $49, but watch that cleaning fee) with several rooms including a kitchen and a bathroom. Modern fixtures, clean, and good location. The listings say the kitchen isn’t quite as stocked as one would hope but the host is responsive and helpful. He’s getting those bookings, and so could you.

Modern and Central: 40 Second-Walk to Vail Ski Lifts! Studio, Sleeps 4[]

You’ll note the description is all about the advantages. 40 second walk, sleeps four…these people know what they’re about. There’s also a smart lock device (which is something, incidentally, we at Away Agents can set up for you). If I had to guess, I’d suspect they also have pre-written response messages and maybe even some automation. The property itself is $261 a night all-in, and has high reviews including one that says “Didn’t want to write a public review because I hope this place stays a secret.” 

A quick search on Zillow might overwhelm you with options. We can provide research on the most profitable picks. Give us a call and let’s talk about your future with a Vail short term rental.

Short Term Rental Passive Income in Vail 

Vail is a strong market for passive income, both in the long and short term rental spaces. The fact that it’s a year-round destination (with both summer and winter seasons about even for number of visitors at 1.5 million each) makes is particularly appealing compared to more seasonal destinations. Plus, the average daily rate of $461 more than offsets higher median house prices. Assuming you are able to afford the down payment, you should be set up for success. Here is what you need to know to navigate the Vail STR market.


Let’s start with a $985,000 property. After putting down a 10% down payment, your mortgage is $886,500. If we assume a 4.3% interest rate and 0.5% PMI, you’ll pay $5,467.33 a month. Note that Colorado has some of the lowest property tax rates in the country, so we’ll assume 40% more for taxes, insurance, and maintenance. That’s $7653.80 a month.

The short term rental rate is $461 a night. If you’re booked 70% of the time, which is not unreasonable, you’re at $9,681 a month. That’s $2,028 in passive income. And after 71 months, you can get rid of the PMI and net another $370 a month. That’s $2400 per month in passive income. Aside from some limited housekeeping and listing fees, that money is yours to keep.


You’re not the only one playing this game. Airbnb and VRBO have a number of active listings in Vail, often with amenities like hot tubs or ski slope access. But these platforms are democratic in that even the little guy can put together a pretty good listing. By getting quality photographs, optimizing text on your listing, and staying responsive to emails, you’ll get the bookings. Remember, some people doing short term rentals are looking for a more personalized experience, which is something big hotels can’t offer. Show some local character!

Local agent requirement

Here’s one wrinkle with Vail short term rentals in particular. The city understands the importance of the hospitality industry, but also the risks of sub-par housing and an itinerant population. So they’ve put the burden on rental owners to take care of things. Vail has a licensing requirement which is, for the most part, simple—avoid noise violations, etc. Where it gets tricky is that they require a local agent within 60 minutes of the property available to take calls 24/7. Will a SWAT Team show up at your door the first time you violate this? Yes.

Ok, no. But you need to have that local presence. If that is not something you’re able to commit to, we offer local representation for Vail property owners. We also manage your listing, take the bookings, handle cleaning, and basically do everything that makes passive income truly PASSIVE. If you are interested, give us a call.

Short term rental passive income is a beautiful thing. If you can master the Vail market you’ll be well on your way to financial freedom.

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