Planning

The Best TV In Our Airbnb: We’ve Bought Five!

TV mounted on the wall with Netflix

The best TV for an Airbnb is cheap, has every feature a guest could want, and it’s super easy to access everything.

Kate and I currently host more than $70,000 a year in Airbnb stays between our three properties. We’ve used a handful of TVs in the last three years, but now we exclusively use TCL Roku TVs.

We have five of them in a few different sizes across three properties. They have the capability to support every feature a guest could want, they are easy to use and we’ve never had a single issue with any of them breaking down..

Options Your Airbnb TV Needs

Before I talk more about the TVs we use in our Airbnbs, these are the things your guests may expect your TV to do.

1. Streaming services

We pay for a Netflix subscription for all our Airbnbs. But even if you don’t do this, your guests should be able to log in to their own streaming services.

That means your TV should have access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and any other major streaming services. That doesn’t mean you need to provide access, just that your guests should be able to log into their own account if they want to.

It’s also nice if the TV has access to YouTube.

2. Local stations/cable

The only thing we’ve ever had guests request is local TV stations. The first time was during the 2018 Winter Olympics. We keep an antenna handy just in case someone asks.

The antenna gets shuffled between our Airbnbs depending on who wants it. It doesn’t happen very often, but 2-3 times a year I’ll run the antenna over to someone. Truth be told we should probably just buy one for each property so it would be there. I guess I’ll have to get on that.

3. Video games

I grew up playing video games. Through my childhood and into adulthood I’ve acquired a SNES, N64, Playstation 2, Xbox 360, and an Xbox One. When we first opened our first Airbnb I put in some of the old consoles and it turned out to be a good way to reuse them.

Video games are definitely not a must, but I do think they add great value if you have some old game systems you don’t use anymore.

4. DVD/Blu-ray

DVD and Blu-ray players are great, but the truth is they don’t add anything more than a paid streaming service. But again, we have lots of movies that we very rarely watch anymore and have reused some old DVD players in our Airbnbs as well.

I don’t think a movie player is necessary either, but it’s another way to reuse old electronics.

Best Low Budget: TCL 40 inch Roku TV

  • Simple remote, easy user interface
  • Streaming services built in
  • Tested in our Airbnbs
  • Low cost

We have one of these TVs in all three of our Airbnb listings. I haven’t tested all the TVs out there, but I know this one is everything an Airbnb needs for a very low price.

First of all, this TV comes built in with all the streaming services (as long as you have login information), which in my opinion is the one must-have for short term rentals. But plenty of TVs these days come built in with streaming services.

The reason I love these TVs is how simple they are to use. Here’s a picture of the remote:

Roku TV remote

Netflix is the number one thing guests use our TVs for, and these remotes have a Netflix button! I mean the remote has like 10 buttons. Almost everyone can figure out how to use this TV. And that’s exactly what you need in an Airbnb.

Paired with this super simple remote is an equally simple user interface. When you turn on the TV you are met with a screen full of boxes. Each box has a label, like Netflix or Hulu, and some boxes can have custom labels. For example if you have a Nintendo 64 plugged into one of the inputs, you can label it “Nintendo 64.” All a guest needs to do to use the N64 is click on that box and turn on the game console.

We use the TCL Rokus because they are affordable, easy to use and hard to break. And that’s exactly what you look for in your Airbnb appliances.

Best Big TV: TCL 65 inch Roku TV

  • Big version of the 40 inch TCL Roku
  • Streaming services built in
  • Same simple interface and remote

This is the big version of the TV we keep in all our listings. I don’t think we actually have a 65 inch in any of our homes, but we do have a few different sizes of the TCL Roku TV and they are all great.

I don’t have much more to add about this one. All the TCL Rokus have the same remote control and the same simple user interface. And they are all affordable and long lasting.

Lessons Learned

If you’re starting your first Airbnb, then you may be able to save yourself some headaches by learning from my mistakes.

First thing to know is that simpler is always better in an Airbnb. We started with a multiple controller setup. Of course we immediately learned that our guests had trouble figuring out what each remote did.

So we put some labels on the remotes, but even then switching between the blu-ray player and Netflix and local channels was not intuitive. Unless we were willing to write out instructions for how to do everything, it was time for a TV change.

The simplicity of the Roku TVs helped solve this problem for us.

Second is that fancy features, like voice activation, Alexa compatibility or 3D technology are pretty much worthless in an Airbnb, so don’t pay for it.

Most guests don’t require much from the TV. One of our Airbnbs literally only has Netflix on the TV, and after 16 months and more than 80 guests we’ve never had anyone request anything more. Part of being a great host is giving your guests a great experience while also minimizing the number of problems you have to deal with. Sometimes that means providing fewer features.

Last is that mounting the TV on the wall is better than setting on a table or entertainment center. It’s not a huge deal, but mounting helps prevents children from causing accidents. And it usually helps create some extra space for a game console or blu-ray player.

Conclusion

I try to only recommend the products we actually use in our Airbnbs, which is why I’m only recommending the TCL Roku TVs. We have several of them in our listings of different sizes and they’ve never given us a reason to buy anything else.

They have everything we want in a TV. They are easy to use, hard to break and they are cheaper than pretty much everything else that’s out there.

Happy investing.

Michael

I'm living the path to financial success and sharing everything I learn in this blog. I believe in the power of cash flowing investments, due diligence and time. This is my journey so far.

Before 2016: Just living my life, working full time and trying to get by.

2016: Kate and I start to discuss the possibility of getting into real estate investment. We read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad and listen to the Bigger Pockets Podcast. We find a Realtor and start looking at property. We even make an offer or two, but nothing happens.

2017: Kate and I continue looking for property. We meet with banks and find lenders willing to work with us. In one month (August), we turn our basement into an Airbnb and list it AND we purchase our first long term rental property, which is a triplex. We can't find good tenants for our triplex.

2018: In April, we finally get our first tenant in the triplex, our second in June and get it fully rented in July. Our basement Airbnb makes so much money that in September we decided to buy another property to exclusively rent out on Airbnb. It makes us even more money than the first one!

2019: Kate decides we should put together a mastermind group. So we get in touch with people we know who care about money and start sharing knowledge with each other. Our triplex is profitable, but our two Airbnb properties are making way more money, so we buy another property to put up on Airbnb and VRBO.

2020: Coronavirus hits in March and all the guests booked at our Airbnb properties cancel. We freak out, but after a few weeks everything comes back and we're making money again. Discussion and research from the mastermind group makes me want to investigate online business as an investment strategy. Kate and I started Unbound Investor with plans to purchase a website in 2021.

2021: Our Airbnbs hit new highs after Covid causes more travelers to be wary of using hotels. I spend about 6 months attempting to purchase a million dollar online business with an SBA backed loan only to have the deal come crashing down at the last minute. The experience makes me re-evaluate and I ended up purchasing a small blog instead. I also start a new website. At the end of the year I begin hiring writers and investing in online content in order to grow the online revenue of my 3 websites.

OK you're all caught up!

I learned everything I know from books, podcasts, conversations with friends and family and of course through real world experience as a cash flow investor. And I'm always pushing to learn more.

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