Airbnb Hosting Guide:
How To Literally Earn Thousands of Dollars While You Sleep 😀
Today I’m going to show you how I constantly made at least $500 per month for a period of 6 months on the side through Airbnb.
Here’s the thing-
If you’re like most people, your home is probably your biggest expense.
I get it-
Life gets in the way, but after months of procrastinating, I finally decided to give Airbnb a try.
Today I’m going to show you exactly how you can turn your home into an income generating machine!
Using This Bed I've made over
Summers Hot and the Livings…. Expensive
I live in the DC area, and it should come as no surprise that rent is not cheap.
However, I was blown away when I saw the prices of rent in Northern Virginia when I left Florida.
I used to think $1,500 for rent was outrageous….
Oh how I wish we could find a place that cheap now.
All I could think was there has to be SOMETHING else I can do to afford this rent while I look for a job.
I’ll be 100% honest with you.
Before becoming a host, I think I stayed in an AirBnB one time… that my friend rented and absolutely insisted on. I didn’t have the app and when going away, AirBnB wasn’t even an option to me.
I was super skeptical about trying it out, but… desperate times call for desperate measures. And since I had no job at all, and agreed to split rent with Denis, I had to have some kind of money coming in. So it was worth a try.
Top 3 Misconceptions of Airbnb:
It isn’t safe
This is the number one question I get asked from both guests and friends.
IT IS COMPLETELY SAFE.
Before their arrival, each guest is to submit their driver’s license (We know their full name and address) and their credit card number is on file with AirBnB. We also look at their reviews from past hosts. We also usually email back and forth a bit so it doesn’t feel like you are welcoming a complete stranger.
This is not the case at all.
In the app, you are able to schedule when you do not want to rent the room.
For example, my mom came to visit for a week. During that time, we marked the room as unavailable.
After she left, other guests were happy to stay.
I have no control over when people come.
I don’t want my stuff broken/stolen
I completely get this idea- Den and I felt the same way.
In reality though, in all the time we have been hosting, nothing has ever been stolen or broken.
In fact, we have had many guests give us stuff.
Many times, there are people who have been here for a few months and have collected odds and ends and because of weight constrictions on planes, they simply cannot take some things back home.
Therefore, free stuff! And as a former teacher, I live by the phrase, “if it’s free, it’s for me!”
Also, if for some reason, someone steals our TV, AirBnB has insurance options to help protect you.
To become a host, you can sign up here
Things To Make Your Guest Feel At Home:
I try to make an effort to chat to all of our guests when they are staying with us.
After all, they are usually on vacation or a work trip, so it’s nice to have a cup of tea or a glass of wine with someone at the end of the day and chances are they aren’t going to be complaining about their job. It’s also a great time to offer other recommendations, see pictures and get to know the person who is crashing a portion of your refrigerator.
But like the old saying goes, you need money to make money.
This was especially true for us. As we had the room. And that was it, an empty room.
We had to buy some things before we could host people.
Since Denis managed to furnish the entire apartment from Amazon, everything was delivered.
Here Is A Full Breakdown Of Items We Bought
Bed: Tuft N Needle queen bed– Super comfortable, (it’s like sleeping in a cloud) but if you don’t like it, the company prefers that you donate the bed instead of giving it back- an idea I thought was really neat. $575.00
Queen bed stand: $69.00
Queen Bed Sheets: $17.00
Duvet insert: $30.99
Duvet cover and 2 pillow cases: $24.99
(we got white, just because we think it looks cleaner- that’s just a personal preference though)
Gray towels/ washcloths: $17.99
(Pro-tip: get 2 sets, it just makes your life easier)
Little hand soaps/ shampoo/ conditioner: $41.89 We got the 50 pack because it was ultimately cheaper (we thought this would be a nice effect)
Snacks: (water bottle, chips, cookies, pop-tarts) about $30 for about a month’s stay
side note: don’t buy your favorite snacks. This is to reduce the snack sneaking.
I learned quickly that Pop-Tarts were not a good snack for our guests/ my diet.
Total of all supplies: -$806. 86
Now I know what you may be thinking: “Yikes! All that to have a stranger stay with me? No there must be something else I can do to supplement my income.”
Now, let me show you the breakdown of the money that has been made.
*Note- we started in mid- June.
Ok, so here’s how much money I’ve made:
Total (as of November 14, 2017).
I am a big fan of lists. I like to be able to think out the pros vs. cons and be able to see it.
Some great “passive income”
Like I said before, it is super easy money- as long as washing sheets and keeping your place clean isn’t an issue for you.
We didn’t want a roommate per say because we still wanted a place for friends/ family to be able to sleep when they come to visit.
Pro Tip #1: Set Some Rules/ Guidelines First
Staying in an AirBnB is different than staying in a hotel.
If the host is there, you are sharing a space. And let’s face it, people live differently and you really notice it when you’re living with someone. Set some guidelines for your guests to be able to refer to.
At first, I didn’t think this was necessary.
It’s just common decency I thought.
WRONG- this is a relative term and not everyone’s ideas are the same.
Set some friendly, but firm guidelines- this will also make everyone’s life easier.
On ours, we have some information such as where to find the Wi-Fi code, amenities/ restaurants nearby and some simple house rules. You can click here to reference the one I made.
You will want to set house rules. Before you know it, you’re getting calls/ texts in the middle of the night to ask where the trash can is. (okay, this hasn’t happened, but similar events have)
Keep it short- my guidelines page is exactly that, ONE PAGE.
It’s not exactly welcoming to come into someone’s home and they hand you a manual of the DO’s and DON’T’s in their house.
Pro Tip #2: Give Honest Reviews
We live in a reviews based society now-a-days.
We check reviews before we go to a restaurant, buy a TV or stay at a hotel. It is no different for Airbnb. As a host, you want your guest to leave you the best reviews (this is one way to become a super host).
Without any reviews, not as many people are going to want to stay at your place.
When we started, we offered a lower rate, but then asked our guests to please leave a review for us. This helped us build up our credibility.
Then, we did the same for them.
We review our guests honestly; because ultimately, other hosts are going to be looking at our review before they welcome the person into their home. Even if it’s not a great review, at least as a host you can either:
a) mentally prepare
b) politely decline the offer
but at least now you know what is coming your way
So, How Hard Is It To Start?
To Be Honest, Anyone Can Do It.
So just like before, I said my mom was a big fan of the “Stranger, Danger” rhyme, and I’ll admit, I hesitated telling her what I was doing to be making so much money when I didn’t actually have a job.
It started with a bit of a stretched truth “Denis is having work people stay with us to cut company costs and we get paid for it.”
This technically was true. Denis would let them in, and the guests’ company was trying to save costs and we did make money.
Finally – I did come clean and told her what I was doing, and like with most of my stories, there was a moment of silence, then followed by “Wow! That Denis! he sure is engineering on how to make a buck!” (Phew! I think I’m the only 29-year-old that lives 5 states away, yet can still at times, be afraid of my mom.)
My mom was not only 100% okay with the idea (after we told her all of the securities that were in place) but to my surprise, SHE wants to try it too!
You won’t believe it –
Same with Denis’ parents in South Africa. South Africa is the most beautiful country, but sadly, not the safest of places. Even still, Denis’ mom and dad have been successfully Airbnbing out their home advertising:
“Get The True South African Experience.”
So – How Do I Feel?
So, after Airbnb hosting for about 6 months, I have to say… I LOVE IT!
This was the best idea, ultimately Denis, has ever had.
I won’t lie- it was a bit strange welcoming a total stranger into your place at first, but that awkward feeling goes away quickly. (Especially if you’re making a quick $350 for someone to crash in your extra bedroom for 2 nights.)
Will You Host an Airbnb?
Ultimately the decision to Airbnb can be a difficult one.
There can be many trade offs, however I give it an A+ for “passive income” earning potential – you do literally earn money while you sleep but it’s a bit more active than just that.
Will you earn money from Airbnb using your spare bed?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.