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11 short-term rental books to help grow your business


Owning and operating a successful short-term rental property is part skill and part science, but in such a competitive industry learning the ropes can feel overwhelming. To keep pace with the ever-evolving short-term rental industry, it’s crucial to gain insights and keep your skills sharpened. One effective way to stay on top of your STR game is by delving into the wealth of literature available on the subject. The right short-term rental books can fast track your hosting knowledge and set you up for booking success.

We’ve compiled a list of 11 must-read STR books that provide actionable tips, clever hacks, and insider wisdom perfect for taking your vacation rental game to new heights and fuelling the growth of your business.

1. The Airbnb Story by Leigh Gallagher

short term rental books

Let’s start at the very beginning… this book delves into the fascinating journey of Airbnb - from its humble beginnings, to becoming a multi-billion dollar phenomenon that has provided careers (and lucrative side-hustles) to millions of people worldwide. Gain valuable insights into the strategies that propelled Airbnb to success, and learn how to apply them to your own short-term rental business.

The Airbnb Story is available here

2. The Book Direct Blueprint by Mark Simpson

short term rental books

No STR recommended reading list would be complete without mentioning Boostly’s Mark Simpson! His book brings together some of the short-term rental industry’s most influential leaders (including Touch Stay CEO, Andy McNulty, CMO Kate Stinchcombe-Gillies and Queen of Guest Experience, Tyann Marcink) to explore how to run a successful short-term rental business free from OTAs. 

Learn how to:

  • effectively price your properties 
  • create upsell opportunities
  • earn guests’ trust during the booking process
  • automate your business
  • successfully navigate the slow season
  • identify problem guests before they book

The Book Direct Blueprint is available here

3. Next Level Airbnb by Jill S. Riley

short term rental books

Jill S. Riley's comprehensive book shows you how to manage your Airbnb properties worry-free, and maximise your profits while minimising the effort. It covers some key STR topics - from reducing stress by automating your rental management, to finding a reputable cleaning service. The book also provides 50 essential strategies and tools to optimise your short-term rental business and maximise your guest experience. Discover how to:

  • build an on-the-ground team and be an effective leader
  • reduce the time and energy needed for each property
  • manage your Airbnb expenses to turn a profit each month
  • leverage direct bookings as an alternative method for boosting profits

Next Level Airbnb is available here

4. Get Paid For Your Pad by Jasper Ribbers & Huzefa Kapadia

short term rental books

This excellent step-by-step guide to renting your home on Airbnb teaches you how to prepare your property like a 5-star hotel in a cost-effective manner. Jasper and Huzefa break down various topics like:

  • how to set up a dazzling and polished Airbnb listing from start to finish
  • how to communicate with guests in a professional and responsive way
  • how to scientifically calculate an optimal price point for maximum profit
  • how to catapult your search rank within the Airbnb platform

Get Paid for Your Pad is available here

5. Money Making Vacation Rentals by Beth Carson

short term rental books

Beth Carson's comprehensive guide is a goldmine of practical tips and strategies to maximise your rental property's profitability. From setting the right price to attracting the right guests, this book is a game-changer for any short-term rental entrepreneur. She explains how to:

  • find eager guests ready to book
  • decorate and furnish your home to delight guests
  • build a simple but compelling website
  • win on social media platforms
  • write a description that beats the competition
  • manage your home from long distance

Money Making Vacation Rentals is available here

6. Profitable Properties: Airbnb Insider Secrets by Daniel V. Rusteen

short-term rental books

You don’t need 100 rental properties for short-term rental success. Profitable Properties
is about doing more with less, and maximising the ROI from each of your STR investments.

Written by former Airbnb employee, Superhost, guest of 2,000+ nights on Airbnb, and author of best-seller Optimize YOUR Bnb, this book is an all-in-one guide for new and existing short-term rental owners and property investors. Discover how to:

  • master pricing (and customisations) with a simple two-step strategy
  • remotely manage your rentals with only one hour per week
  • take better photos with your smartphone
  • identify profitable markets, micro-markets, and properties to get a 90% return
  • easily implement interior design techniques with the biggest ROI
  • increase demand with a direct booking website

Profitable Properties is available here

7. Mastering Vacation Rental Marketing by Conrad O'Connell

short-term rental books

Conrad is a seasoned expert with a proven track record in vacation rental marketing, and has created this strategic guide designed for vacation rental managers, hosts, and STR professionals eager to scale their business without becoming overly reliant on OTAs, like Airbnb, Vrbo, or

This book illuminates the path toward building a sustainable marketing machine with an unforgettable brand that magnetises repeat and referral business.

Structured into sections - Featherweight to Super Heavyweight - this clear and practical book guides you through every phase of your business journey, offering relevant case studies, actionable tips, and a strategic roadmap to guide you from where you are to where you want to be.

Mastering Vacation Rental Marketing is available here

8. Short-Term Rental, Long-Term Wealth by Avery Carl

short term rental books

CEO and founder of The Short Term Shop, podcast host, STR influencer, and - most importantly - Touch Stay user Avery Carl shows you how to choose, acquire and manage a short-term rental from anywhere in the world. Plus, she explains how to avoid common pitfalls and overcome obstacles that keep many would-be investors from ever getting started! Learn how to:

  • identify the best markets for short-term-rental investing
  • analyse potential income and profitability of a short-term-rental property
  • self-manage a short-term rental from your smartphone
  • build a local boots-on-the-ground team for a remote investment
  • automate your management systems
  • use the income from short-term rentals to scale your investment portfolio

Short-Term Rental, Long-Term Wealth is available here

9. Building Lucrative Income with an Airbnb Business by Sarah L. Carter

short term rental books

This book teaches you how to start and run a profitable Airbnb business - even if you don’t have any business experience! Discover valuable insights, including: 

  • things to consider before starting an Airbnb business
  • how to list your property to make it appealing to potential guests
  • the 3 types of Airbnb customer and how to provide each a memorable stay 
  • how to make your property appeal to a specific type of guest
  • how to create a host profile that will build trust with potential guests
  • how to analyse the Airbnb market
  • 10 ways to market your Airbnb business with no budget

Building Lucrative Income with an Airbnb Business is available here

10. Airbnb Listing Hacks by Alex Wong

short term rental books

Discover insider tips and tricks for optimising your Airbnb listings with Alex Wong's practical guide. From boosting your bookings and maximising profits, to crafting compelling descriptions and taking eye-catching photos, this book equips you with the tools to make your listing stand head and shoulders above the rest. Learn how to:

  • create a profile that stands out in a crowded market
  • ensure guests can find your listing
  • find an effective market position
  • write attention-grabbing titles
  • write an irresistible summary of your place
  • compile effective house rules
  • take great photos

This book sold quickly, so physical copies are now a little difficult to track down - however, it’s still available to download as an eBook or PDF.

Airbnb Listing Hacks is available here

11. Start Your Own Travel Hosting Business by Entrepreneur Media & Jason R. Rich

short term rental books

If you’re keen to make more intelligent renting decisions, take appropriate actions and precautions, and deal with realistic expectations, then this book is for you. It will help you quickly acquire the core knowledge needed to become a successful travel host, and it teaches you how to:

  • create a listing that generates the highest possible revenue using tips from Superhosts
  • attract a constant flow of short-term renters and business travellers with the perfect nightly rate
  • apply a variety of tools and resources that will make handling your responsibilities as a travel host easier
  • interact with your guests, earn the best possible ratings and reviews, and avoid the most common pitfalls and mistakes made by first-time hosts
  • calculate your expenses, understand your tax obligations, and generate the highest possible revenue

Start Your Own Travel Hosting Business is available here

While there are many others out there to choose from, these 11 books form a powerhouse of knowledge for anyone looking to elevate their short-term rental business. By absorbing the insights, strategies, and experiences shared by these authors, you'll not only stay ahead of the competition, but also lay the foundation for sustained growth in the competitive world of short-term rentals.

For an additional short-term rental hosting win, try a Touch Stay digital guidebook to reclaim your time and elevate your guest experience.