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How Much Can I Make as an Airbnb Host? (And should I do it?)

Do Well…

According to Priceonomics, an Airbnb side gig will earn you more money than any other side gig. Hosts make an average of $924 per month. That’s three times greater than any of the other side gigs platforms out there such as Fivver, Upwork and Taskrabbit.

The amount you can earn varies widely: from $200 to $10,000 per month. But the average is $924 per month and the median is $440 per month. My friend covers her vacation home mortgage by renting it out on Airbnb when she isn’t using it. Not bad.

…and Do Good

You know what else is nice about becoming an Airbnb host? You help promote global trust through people-to-people connection and reduce the global carbon footprint by sharing an important resource – your home. Instead of building yet another mega-hotel, wouldn’t it be nice if we became (and supported) mini-hoteliers and earned money in the process? If you’re thinking about starting an Airbnb side gig, here’s a quick start-up guide.

Related content: 7 Ways to Make your Home a Sustainable Source of Income

What is Airbnb?

Airbnb is an online marketplace that helps over 6 million people a year find accommodations in over 90 countries  without using hotels. As a direct example of the sharing economy and reputation economics, Airbnb helps clients find accommodation tailored to their needs around the globe, and hosts find dependable clients to rent their spaces.

Whether you’re looking for a mountain house in the deep countryside of Japan or a penthouse in London, you can probably find it on Airbnb. If you become an Airbnb host, you can participate in the sharing economy and make some side cash. 

How Airbnb improves the travel experience

As a traveler, Airbnb can make your experience:

  • Unique. Rather than the cookie cutter hotel room, you can live locally and find interesting places to stay.
  • Affordable. Being able to rent a house can mean the difference between being able to travel or not for a family of four.
  • Localized. You will have a local contact (your host). Although the quality of the host varies, they can help you interact locally and add color to your experience.
  • Customized. Want to stay on a boat or a tree house? Just looking for a small room to crash in a large city? You can probably find it.
  • Roomy. In many places you will can have access to a kitchen and cut down on your eating expenses as well as enjoy the local shopping experience.
  • Pet friendly. If you travel with your pets, you may be able to find pet friendly accommodation.
  • Convenient. Airbnb is easy to use. Just sign up, search and book.

Should you become an Airbnb host?

Do you have an extra room that never gets used? Are you gone on business frequently? Have your kids moved out? Instead of letting your extra space go to waste, you can use it for extra income. Airbnb is an easy platform that helps you turn unused space into dollars. You can rent your house, apartment, couch, air bed or even tent.

AirBnB reaches a huge audience to share your space with. They offer several protections against loss. Here are some benefits to starting your Airbnb side gig:

  1. $1,000,000 Host Guarantee: insurance in case of damage to your property.
  2. $1,000,000 Host Protection: liability insurance should a guest get injured on your property or cause damage or injury to others.
  3. Trust: all travelers must submit a photo and verify their email and phone. Hosts can also require a government issued ID. As both guests and hosts submit reviews after check out, the ecosystem maintains foster accountability for all.

How do you become an Airbnb host?

1. Create Your Listing

Describe your space, include how many guests you can hold and upload photos. You can use Airbnb’s convenient pricing tool to help you determine a comprable competitive rate, but ultimately what you charge is up to you.

2. Welcome your guests

Get to know your guests on the Airbnb messenger platform before they arrive. Prepare your rental with fresh sheets and towels. Leave instructions with logistics (WiFi passwords, parking instructions, etc.) Meet them with the key or send them a door lock code. Many hosts like to go the extra mile by including a list of local restaurants, grocery stories, or activities.

3. Get Paid

Guests pay before arrival. You are immediately paid via Airbnb’s platform less their 3% fee. Payments can be made through Paypal, direct deposit, or other specified means.

Tips:  Become an Airbnb host that delivers…

  • Before you promote your property, do an honest assessment of exactly what you have to offer. Why should they stay at your place?
  • Include beautiful photos. Remember that Airbnb started as a visual platform, designed by designers. Be sure to include beautiful photos that realistically represent your place and environment.
  • Be honest with your host profile. People that want to use your space will seek it and that’s what you want. Avoid misleading people!
  • Determine what you can do to promote your property listing:  geographic location, amenities, your commitment as a host.
  • Set a minimum stay requirement to make it easier on yourself. All the clean up for one night is not always worth it .  
  • Avoid automatic booking. While Airbnb does an initial check, you want to have the final say on who stays in your space.
  • Be aware that Airbnb reports all your money to the the IRS. Make sure you talk to your tax professional and understand the process.
  • Be sure to check into your HOA, neighborhood and city rules. Some jurisdictions do not allow short term rentals.
  • Reply to client inquiries immediately because response time will affect your rankings.

Bottom line:  Your ratings and rankings will dictate your popularity. This is reputation economics so make sure to keep your guests happy and you will continue to receive bookings.

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[…] additional sources of income. Become an Uber driver, AirBnB a room in your apartment (or your own and stay with a friend for the weekend), do some side consulting […]

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