Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Finance and Commercial Law

First Advisor

Laurel Ofstein

Second Advisor

Colleen Stano


When large groups of people–like a group of friends on vacation, a bachelor or bachelorette party, or even just a group looking for an exciting weekend stay-cation–are looking for a place to stay, it can often be stressful and overwhelming. Hotels are not ideal because not everyone can be together, and it also tends to be expensive. For many reasons, people usually turn to Airbnb when looking for short or long term lodging and accommodations. However, the struggles with finding a good Airbnb for large groups can be many. Factors such as location, price, and number of people it sleeps are the most obvious. However, there are many other things to think about that make staying in some Airbnbs better than others. In my experience, many Airbnbs lack enough of basic amenities, like dishes, silverware, towels, pillows, and blankets. When staying in large groups, having enough of those things is very important. Fighting over the best/most comfortable beds and not having enough space for everyone to get ready are also common. Because of my personal experiences, as well as others’, my goal is to own and operate an Airbnb that will accommodate large groups and parties in the most effective and comfortable way, all while being aesthetically pleasing. People will no longer have to fight over towels or who gets the most comfortable bed to sleep in. There will be enough mirrors and counter space for everyone to get ready at once. It won’t be necessary to wash dishes after every meal. There will also be aesthetically pleasing backdrops and spots for group photos, an added bonus but will make the place stand out even more. Ideally, the place will be walking distance to many attractions as well. I will keep all of my goals in mind when searching for a place to purchase. Since I am a licensed real estate agent, I have market knowledge and access to multiple listing service databases. This will be extremely helpful and will give me an advantage when choosing a property in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I also have knowledge of different property management firms in the area, which I intend to use eventually. Since I am currently in the area, myself and my dad, a contractor and owner of Jonkman Construction, will take care of property maintenance initially.

The main barrier to my business plan is finding a suitable home that fits my vision and complies with zoning laws, all for my budget. The competitors include hotels, VRBO, and other Airbnb rentals. My Airbnb will be good value for money and will stick out among competitors by marketing as a fun getaway to large groups of people. My listing will be descriptive, unique, and eye-catching. There will be professional photos taken that show off the best features. I will strategize to ensure my listing is showing up near the top of the search results, and I will encourage everyone to leave good reviews who stay there. At first, I will collaborate with influencers to bring attention and market my listing. Social media is a great tool for travel marketing, and will be a great asset. I will stay in good communication with the guests throughout their stay, and provide help as needed.

My Airbnb will make money through guests booking it. I will charge a nightly rate between $200-500 dollars, as well as Airbnb’s fees and a cleaning fee. By having the guests pay for the fees, I get to put the rest towards the mortgage, utilities, and supplies. My estimated mortgage payment and utilities combine to about $2,145 per month, so if the nightly rate was $250, the Airbnb would have to be booked 8.57 nights per month to cover those monthly expenses. This cost structure is variable and depends on nightly rates depending on busyness, how many nights per month are booked, and the actual cost of utilities. I have enough money saved that a mortgage will be my only loan. If the Airbnb didn’t work out or was not profitable, I could make it my own primary residence or use it as a long-term rental property instead of a vacation rental.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted