The Ultimate Guide to Airbnb Property Management in Galveston

When it comes to investing in real estate, Galveston, Texas, is a popular option. For short-term rentals, Texas provides investors with a lucrative and thriving market. However, while Texas features a promising STR market, it’s important to learn about state-specific laws and regulations that every property owner must know to run a profitable short-term rental business. 

With the country’s beautiful beaches and scenic views, millions of tourists are drawn to Galveston each year. The area’s STR real estate market offers a greater potential compared to the surrounding areas. If you’re interested in investing in a short-term rental to rake in the passive income, but you’re still hesitant about investing in an Airbnb in the Galveston area, keep reading to determine whether this type of real estate investment is right for you and your investment goals. 

Why Invest in Galveston Airbnb? 

Galveston has plenty to offer tourists, which is what makes it a great place to invest in an Airbnb. With millions of tourists each year, the city has all the markings of a successful Airbnb business and is a great choice for buyers in search of a lucrative rental property. In Texas, the housing market is more reasonably priced, while Galveston itself offers affordable properties in popular locations that can ensure STR owners will make a profit off the millions of seasonal tourists that visit the bustling city each year. 

Other reasons why Galveston is a hotspot for Airbnb investors include: 

Airbnb owners can enjoy lower property taxes. In Galveston, TX, property taxes are 2% lower than the national average. 

During the holidays, vacation rentals in the city are in high demand 

Because the city enjoys millions of tourists annually, Airbnb hosts can enjoy consistent bookings

Galveston is located close to major cities, including Austin, Houston, and Corpus Christi 

Running an Airbnb in Galveston

When many people consider investing in an Airbnb, they often fail to consider the laws and regulations involved in managing a property. Before you purchase a property in Galveston to turn it into an Airbnb, you need to familiarize yourself with state and city laws. In Texas, and Galveston, short-term rental laws apply. These laws are always changing, depending on the area. In Texas, it’s legal to host an Airbnb, however, certain fees and permits must be paid to rent your property. In addition to Texas regulations, the city of Galveston has its own set of unique rules and regulations that apply to property owners who want to use their property as an Airbnb rental space. 

Galveston's Short-Term Rental Regulations 

While it’s common for guests to only stay at an Airbnb for a few days or a weekend, keep in mind that Galveston has a permitted length of stay for Airbnb guests. In Galveston, the city limits the rental period to a maximum of thirty days. This means that a guest or a group of guests under a single booking are not able to stay in an Airbnb or another type of short-term rental property for more than thirty days under the city’s short-term rental regulations.

How to Register Your STR Property

For an Airbnb to accept guests legally in Galveston, Texas, they must register their property as a short-term rental through the Galveston Park Board. This step is important, as it gives the property owner a Galveston vacation rental number that must be used when taxes are filed. All short-term rental owners are required to register their properties. The registration process is quick and easy and can be done online. 

Airbnb property owners are required to renew their registration each year, by 12/31. The cost of registering a property for both new properties and renewals is $250. Registering an Airbnb or another type of short-term rental property can easily be done online through the Park Board of Trustees of the City of Galveston website. 

The Hotel Occupancy Tax 

In Galveston, Texas, there is a hotel occupancy tax of 9%. This tax should be charged on gross revenues and includes the daily rate, smoking fee, pet fee, damages, and cleaning fee. The Airbnb property owner will be responsible for collecting and remitting the hotel occupancy tax to the Galveston Park Board of Trustees. 

Other Fees and Rules

Airbnb hosts are required to report and pay taxes on both a quarterly and monthly basis. Reports are due each month by the 20th. If a short-term rental property does not generate over $1500 per quarter or $500 a month in taxes, it can be reported every quarter. Airbnb owners are required to fill out a report even if they have not generated any revenue. The failure to make the minimum quarterly report is a fine of $25. 

Airbnb hosts are also required to list their Airbnb registration number in any advertisements for their property, including their listing. 

Understanding the Local Airbnb Market

Galveston, Texas, is a popular tourist destination spot, attracting visitors from all over the state and country. The city’s historic sites, beautiful beaches, and natural beauty make it the perfect location for a STR property. 

Because the city is located near major cities such as Austin and Houston, it makes Galveston an accessible getaway that’s perfect for both tourists and locals who are in search of an affordable beach vacation. 

In Galveston, tourists can find a wide range of vacation types, ranging from apartments and vacation homes to beachfront condos. This variety makes Galveston appealing to a wide range of tourists, from families and couples to business travelers. 

Galveston is also the host of many festivals and popular events throughout the year, including beach-related events, the Galveston Island Food & Wine Festival, and Mardi Gras Galveston. Each of these events attracts a large number of tourists each year, creating a high demand for Airbnb rentals. 

The city is a major cruise ship port, with many tourists arriving one to three days before their cruise departs or remaining in town a couple of days after their return. This alone creates a high, consistent demand for Airbnb rentals in Galveston. 

Meeting Guest Expectations 

Millions of tourists visit Galveston each year. If you own and operate an Airbnb in the city, it’s important to ensure you provide your guests with all the information they need to make their time at your rental property even more memorable. Provide information about the best places to shop in the area, popular landmarks, upcoming events, and local secrets. Consider including information regarding location transportation options and spots that are family-friendly. When you offer this information to your guests, it allows them to plan out their trip, while showing that you care about the guest experience. 

To give your property an edge over the competition, it’s also important to carefully research your competitors to ensure you offer the same types of amenities and features, at a competitive rate. Amenities can vary based on the type of rental space. For example, if your listing caters to couples, highlighting features such as hot tubs, private outdoor spaces, and fireplaces is sure to capture a potential guest’s attention. With the guest’s experience in mind, you can include all the important features and amenities that will enhance their experience at your Airbnb, while encouraging repeat business and positive reviews. 

Contact Us Today! 

If you’re in Galveston, Texas, and looking for a short-term vacation rental management company with a reputation for handling every aspect of an STR, making ownership an almost hands-free process, contact the team at Vello today. We have years of experience helping individuals turn their properties into successful short-term rentals and know what it takes to create an engaging listing, maintain an STR property, and meet the needs of each guest. Contact us at Vello today to learn more. 

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