Home-sharing is the most profitable sector of the new sharing economy. People who share their homes on a regular basis earn far more money than other sectors of the sharing economy.
Consider that an Uber driver has to work approximately 14 hours a week to earn $1,000 a month. Whereas, a part-time Airbnb host has to welcome three guests for three days or more a month to earn the same amount. And, Airbnb hosts don’t have to worry about gas or traffic!
In terms of time invested vs. income potential, home-sharing is where it’s at!
Airbnb comprises the vast majority of the home-sharing market, with over 60 million stays since 2008. Airbnb is present in 34,000 cities across the globe. Did you also know that the largest hotel chain in the world, Starwood-Marriot, has just over 1 million hotel rooms? Airbnb boasts over 2 million listings worldwide. Let that figure sink in for a moment.
I love home-sharing websites; it’s how I got started in the sharing economy. It was also my inspiration for my book Secrets of the Sharing Economy, which discusses the various websites and how to earn an income using them.
Today, I would like to share some of that discussion with you. Myself, and my community members, have learned some valuable lessons over our years of working in the sharing economy, and we want to share the most important lesson with you today.
That lesson is: there are hundreds of opportunities to earn income in the sharing economy, limiting yourself to just one is your biggest limitation. Regarding home-sharing, this is particularly true.
There are some amazing home-sharing websites out there, not just Airbnb. Why wouldn’t you expand your renter pool? You’ve already developed an awesome description, taken amazing photos, and developed best practices in renting out your place, why not maximize that experience?
Taking the work you’ve done on one website and moving it to another is a process we refer to as platform stacking. Let me explain.
If you are a regular reader at the Casual Capitalist, you are familiar with platform stacking (copyright pending). Simply put, platform stacking is the practice of establishing a presence on more than one sharing economy platform.
For instance, if you rent your home on Airbnb, why not list it on Tansler, Homestay, or Kid & Coe? You’ve already completed all the hard work. Listing on a second or third home-sharing site will take you no more than 10 minutes. And, in doing so, you are expanding your potential customer base.
By expanding your rental pool, you’re stacking the deck in your favor and increasing your cash-flow. Here are a few ways that current Airbnb hosts can platform stack.
Tansler came to my attention after a community member brought it up in a conversation. Tansler, he told me, is a home-sharing platform, but with a twist.
Tansler employs a reverse-auction style of rental, where the renter picks a price per night, rather than the owner. I know what you’re thinking: “I’m not going to let renters pick their price!” But stay with me for a second.
Tansler has over 50,000 listings and was awarded the “Most Innovative Emerging Company in Travel” at the 2015 Phocuswright Conference. After researching this company, and listing with them, I must say I completely agree.
Here’s how Tansler works:
So, as a host, if you don’t like an offer, you decline it. Simple as that.
As a bonus, any host who lists their property on Tansler gets a $75 travel credit. And, they also allow for referrals, so you can earn travel credits if you refer your host friends. Check it out!
Homestay is another home-sharing platform similar to Airbnb with 50,000 properties in 150 countries.
Like Tansler, there is a twist with Homestay, which turns out is its greatest strength. Stays on Homestay are what you call ‘hosted’. That is, Homestay hosts are available throughout the stay in that they welcome guests, provide breakfasts, and give local advice for their guests.
In this sense, Homestay emphasizes living like, and with, locals. So unlike Airbnb, you cannot rent out your place and leave for the duration of the guests stay. You must be available.
Homestay’s business model is enticing because it gets away from many of the risks of home-sharing and short-term rentals, because the host is present. Those college kids are much less likely to do keg stands if the host is around. Maybe they’ll settle for keg-sits instead.
As a Homestay host you also have access to a video call feature which allows hosts and guests to get acquainted before they meet in-person.
Sound like it could work for you? Learn more here about Homestay and becoming a host.
Kid & Coe is a home-sharing platform developed specifically for families with young children. As the name suggests, Kid & Coe allows families to rent child-friendly homes across the globe.
As a host with kids, you might as well embrace that fact that you have 1.2 million toys strewn throughout your home, and list on Kid & Coe. You will be renting to families anyway, so the more child-friendly amenities the better!
As a parent of 3 daughters, my house is teeming with toys (mostly princess apparel!), and is already a kid-friendly palace. So instead of cleaning all that stuff up before I host, I embrace it and rent to couples with kids who appreciate our toy hoard.
For parents, it’s easy to see the appeal of Kid & Coe:
I’ve learned quickly that Roomorama’s advantage is the number of unique features they offer, including nightly rate estimators, hosting data research papers, calendar synchronization options, and ‘shoutouts’ where renters can publicize their stay requirements for owners to view.
Another neat feature of Roomorama is that they offer a coded payment system. Here, renters are provided with a six-digit code when they book on Roomorama. When they arrive for their stay, renters give this code to the owners, who can then use it to release funds through the Roomorama platform. Cool! This is a security feature that minimizes fraud and ensures host accountability.
As you can see, there are many options out there for home-sharers in the sharing economy. Platform stacking is a process you can use to double and even triple your potential rental pool with minimal effort. You’ve got your listing up on Airbnb with an awesome description, photos, and keywords.
Why not take that exact same listing and put it to work elsewhere?
Happy stacking everyone!
Glenn Carter is a sharing economy expert and is sharing his passion for side income through new digital platforms with his readers.