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Home Sweet (Not Your) Home: Simple Guide to Making Money on Airbnb

Home Sweet (Not Your) Home: Simple Guide to Making Money on Airbnb

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 for instance, who wrote the definitive guide to Airbnb hosting.This is a great one-stop shop for Airbnb hosts. But let’s get started with today’s Airbnb tip!

“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 25 million guests. Airbnb has over 1 million property listings worldwide. Simply put, Airbnb is one of the easiest ways for someone to make money using their homes.

making money on airbnb

According to Airbnb, they average 425,000 guests per night. This is over 20% more than the Hilton chains.

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 1 night to a few months, but typically are 1 week or less. People will pay you good money to rent a room in your home, or your entire home.

The income potential is appealing according to Airbnb statistics site AirDNA. The following is a sample of the average income Airbnb owners make in specific cities:

  • Orlando, Florida: $2,900/month for an entire home, or $600/month for a room;
  • Seattle, Washington: $1,800/month for a home, or $700/month for a room;
  • Burlington, Vermont: $1,700/month for a home, or $700/month for a room;
  • Denver, Colorado: $1,900/month for a home, or $700/month for a room;
  • Toronto, Canada: $2,000$/month for a home, or $1,000/month for a room; and,
  • Kabul, Afghanistan: Average host makes…okay, you get the point.

And the list goes on and on. Check AirDNA for your city’s statistics.

Making Money on Airbnb

OK, you 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.

The rest is the easy part. Register your property on, 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.

Listing Your Space on Airbnb

The first step is to stage and clean your space before you take photos.

making money on airbnb

You can find online resources to help you with photos and staging. Some of our favorites are here and here.

Now you can write your home/room description. Be sure to emphasize the most important aspects of your property. 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, smart locks and so on. Remember, Airbnb users are not only looking for only a place to sleep, but an experience as well.

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. Now list your property.

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, you can start fine-tuning your approach to make even more money and become the Hilton or Marriott of your neighborhood.

Happy listing!


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