Airbnb can be a great money earner, and not just from renting out a room or a property. There are endless possibilities from hosting directly, to sourcing tenants for landlords, or even hosting an experience or event. Plus, you can be as flexible or involved as you like.
Making money from Airbnb in more ways than one
Airbnb launched their short let accommodation booking system back in 2008. It instantly became a hit with travellers and was regarded as one of the world’s most popular accommodation sites in no time at all.
But the question is, how can you earn a good income through Airbnb by not renting out your house?! Here are some useful tips…
Organise an experience for tourists
An increasingly popular way to earn money on Airbnb is to host an experience. This can be anything from leisure activities to events or even a gym class - the choice is yours!
For example, if you know your city and its attractions like the back of your hand, you could arrange a hike for visitors from other countries and cities. Popular experiences include themed tours, which give visitors a different perspective on a city, such as taking your guests on a shopping trip, an expedition to try out the best restaurants, a bike ride around the city or even a trip to see a local concert or live band.
Why not get creative?! If you're a dance teacher, you could invite tourists to your studio and give them a few lessons. You could host a dinner party for the travellers, teaching them how to cook a famous national dish, or simply spend the evening enjoying the food, the warm atmosphere and the pleasant conversation. Yoga classes are also an option, along with cooking classes, photo walks and martial arts classes - the quirkier the better!
It’s not just about short let apartments
You may already be aware that you can find apartments, townhouses and condos on Airbnb, and you can rent these for up to 2, 3 or 4 months at a time. However, you can also find a lot of unusual types of accommodation such as a tree house, a yacht, a tequila barrel and many other exotic and unique types of places. Take a look at Airbnb’s price tips for some inspiration on how to price your accommodation right.
Sub-let through a hosting company
It can take time to host, meet and greet or clean in between guests, and you may not have the resources to do this. This is where a company like Smarthost comes in - you can pay them a fee (taken straight from your rental income) to do the work for you. They can even communicate with travellers via Airbnb, approve reservations and help guests organise their activities, all on your behalf.
Managing the business risks
As with any investment opportunity, having an Airbnb business can come with a number of risks. Therefore, it’s recommended that landlords have appropriate insurance in place for any short-term rentals, and to keep up to date with any rules and regulations within the holiday rental market.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that platforms like Airbnb may not be around forever therefore, you may need to be prepared to switch to more traditional rentals should anything happen in the future.
It can also be useful to budget for any unexpected costs such as emergency repairs and to think about reinvesting any additional profits back into the business - by expanding or paying off your mortgage. This can have many benefits in the long run.
Other important things to consider are
- damaged furniture and appliances
- plumbing issues
- risk of financial errors
- risk of theft
- long periods of non-occupancy
These can all have a negative impact on profits if they are not accounted for right from the outset.
Even if your long term plan is to focus on building a loyal customer base, it is worth bearing in mind that by keeping the property well maintained, and budgeting for any unexpected costs such as cosmetic repairs, plumbing or repairing small appliances, it will always help you to stay one step ahead.
**Please note that this blog should not be taken as formal advice. If you are unclear on any of the information mentioned above, you should always seek professional advice.**