These and other articles are part of our Airbnb Super Host Series. If you haven’t yet made the Airbnb leap, go sign up to see what it’s all about. We are pretty awesome when it comes to Airbnb, and we want to share all our experience with you. But, there are others out there who are just as, if not more awesome than us. Like Jasper Ribbers, who wrote the definitive guide to Airbnb hosting. This is a great one-stop shop for Airbnb hosts. But let’s get started today with a quick Airbnb story!
Donny and Brad lived together throughout their time at Arizona State University. Donny was studying business, and Brad was in accounting. Although they were good friends, living together for the last three years brought with it some animosity and awkwardness.
For instance, Brad’s girlfriend Cindy hated Donny because Donny broke up with her friend a year ago, through text message. I know right? Kids these days.
Cindy wouldn’t be caught dead near Donny, so Brad had to travel 100 miles southeast every weekend to visit Cindy in her hometown of Tuscon, AZ.
Brad did this every weekend for a year, always coming home on Monday mornings, just in time for class.
One weekend, Cindy and Brad got into a fight and Brad came home early. Something about an anniversary scheduling mishap.
But to be fair to Brad, when Cindy said “let’s do something fun for our anniversary,” he didn’t know she meant together. So much for watching the Diamondbacks game Brad.
Arriving home, Brad entered his condo and noticed Donny sitting at the dinner table, with an unusual look on his face. Donny looked like a stunned deer, almost as if he was searching for something to say.
As Brad entered his room, Donny finally decided to speak up, “Brad, wait…” But, it was too late.
Directly in front of Brad, tangled in his sheets, was a naked couple who were equally angry and astonished.
As it turns out, Donny was making side income on Airbnb by renting out Brad’s room while he was away on weekends. Donny actually had it down to a science, with an early warning system and everything. About once or twice a month, Brad would get the following text from Donny:
“Brad, let me know if you’re coming home early, that cute girl from the library is coming over this weekend.”
Now, although I admire Donny’s innovative business savvy, his sneaky hosting is not what Airbnb is about. Needless to say, Brad broke up with Donny that evening…via text. Brad and Cindy quickly made up, and they spent their anniversary binge watching Game of Thrones.
Although you can have fun with it, Airbnb hosting requires work and dedication. And today, we are going to give you a crash course in this money-making endeavor.
“We used to live in a world where there are people, private citizens, a world where there are businesses, and now we’re living in a world where people can become businesses in 60 seconds” – Brian Chesky – Airbnb CEO
“On any particular night, we have guests the volume of New Orleans staying in Airbnb listings” – Chip Conley – Airbnb Executive
Airbnb is one of the fastest-growing business in the world. Available in over 34,000 cities across 190 countries, Airbnb has welcomed over 60 million guests. Airbnb currently offers over 2 million listings worldwide. Starwood-Marriot, the largest hotel chain in the world, has 1.1 million hotel rooms. Almost double!
According to Airbnb, they average 425,000 guests per night. This is over 20% more than the Hilton chains.
Airbnb even has 1,400 listings that are actual castles! Now there’s an idea for your next anniversary Brad.
How can you tap into this cash cow? It’s simple, Airbnb allows you to make money from your property by renting it out on a short-term basis. Stays range from one night to a few months, but typically are one week or less. People will pay you good money to rent a room in your home or your entire home.
Airbnb is one of the most profitable segments of the new sharing economy. The following is a sample of the average income Airbnb owners make in specific cities:
And the list goes on and on. These statistics come from AirDNA, check it out for your city’s statistics.
O.K., we now understand the income potential. Here at the Casual Capitalist we often hear: “But why would anyone want to rent my house?” That’s a great question. Maybe they don’t. But would it hurt to try? Check out Airbnb now and search around your own neighborhood to see if there are current listings. This will take 5 minutes, and give you a clear picture of your local Airbnb market.
Once you’ve decided to become an Airbnb host, the real work begins. Start by registering your property on Airbnb, download the smartphone app, and link your social media accounts.
Research your local market and your particular area of that market. This includes prices, pictures, how listings are written, and the local highlights people are writing about in their listing.
Once you have reviewed current listings and taken notes, you can begin developing your own listing. Your listing will include a written description and photos of your property.
Be sure to emphasize the most important aspects of your property in your description. This could be its proximity to tourist sites, transportation options, or amenities such as Wifi, hot tub, pool, cable TV, free long distance, large backyard, pool table, and so on. Remember, Airbnb users are not only looking for only a place to sleep, but an experience.
You can now upload your pictures and description to Airbnb. Be sure to set a price that is lower than those around you. You can always increase it in the future, but it is wise to start low so you can test the market and get some quick reviews.
Once you have embarked on your Airbnb journey, you will realize that it is a great money-making opportunity. As an added bonus, you get to meet and socialize with fascinating people.
Use the first couple months to get your hands dirty, get some reviews, and familiarize yourself with the process. After this, start fine-tuning your approach to make even more money and become the Hilton or Marriott of your neighborhood.
Airbnb hosting can be challenging at first, but we are here to help you along your journey.
Glenn Carter is a sharing economy expert and is sharing his passion for side income through new digital platforms with his readers.