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Track Short-Term Rentals with Stessa
Track Short-Term Rentals with Stessa

With a few custom tweaks, owners of vacation and other short-term rental (STR) properties can use Stessa to efficiently track performance.

Victor Perez avatar
Written by Victor Perez
Updated over a week ago

It's easy to get your vacation rental up and running on Stessa. Just use the new Airbnb file importer to quickly populate your income and expense ledger. Then use Stessa's short-term rental categories to track investment performance and stay organized for tax time.

Set Up Your Short-Term Rental In 4 Easy Steps

1. Download your Airbnb transactions history in CSV format and upload it directly to your Stessa account. Click this link to access your Transaction History directly.

Set your date range as needed and then use the "Download CSV" link (at far right of "Paid Out" line) to get your file. Finally, use the "Import" button on your Transactions Page to upload the Airbnb file without making any changes. Once imported, Stessa will automatically categorize most, if not all, of your Airbnb transactions.

Note that Airbnb reports a top-line gross income amount (Money In) along with a separate "host fee" amount (Money Out). As a result, you will generally see two transactions (one income / one expense) for each stay. The sum of the two line items is your net income.

Note that if you've also connected a bank account to Stessa, you may need to do a quick check for duplicates and delete some transactions. If you have a lot of dupes, you can Use Bulk Transaction Edits to Save Time.

 2. Switch Your Rent Roll to "Short-Term Rental" via your Leases & Tenants page. Input your expected average nightly rate and occupancy for the current calendar year. Stessa will do the rest of the math for you and calculate your expected monthly income from short-term rentals.

3. Enter your expected monthly operating expenses under the "Pro Forma" column on the "Monthly Expenses" card. This will be your baseline against which to compare actual expenses. You'll do this on your Property Details page.

4. Connect the bank accounts into which Airbnb, HomeAway/VRBO, etc. deposit rental income and from which you pay your expenses. If you have a credit card account for your short-term rental, you can connect it as well. This will enable you to automatically capture transactions data, which Stessa will then auto-categorize for you. You'll do this via the "+ Add Bank" button on your External Accounts page.

Key Categories for STR Owners

Vacation rental owners will want to pay special attention to the following Stessa transaction categories, which you're likely to use frequently:

     Rental income: "Income > Short Term Rents"
     Occupancy taxes collected from guests (positive): "Transfers > Taxes to Remit"
     Occupancy taxes paid from collections (negative): "Transfers > Taxes to Remit"
     Occupancy taxes paid from "Income:" "Taxes > Short Term Occupancy Taxes"
     Special discounts, guest refunds: "Admin & Other > Discounts & Refunds"
     Platform listing and booking fees: "Management Fees > Booking & Platform Fees"
     Cleaning services: "Repairs & Maintenance > Cleaning"
     Linens, snacks, soaps, etc: "Repairs & Maintenance > Linens, Soaps & Other..."
     New furniture, TVs, etc.: "Capital Expenses > New Furniture & Equipment"
     Minor and major renovations: "Capital Expenses > Remodeling"

Still Having Trouble Getting Your STR Set Up?

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