Last Updated on June 10, 2019 by Kelly L. This post may contain affiliate links. Regardless, I only recommend sites I've researched and/or used and trust.
Do You Have a Space You Can List with Airbnb? The Answer Might Shock You!
In the quest to beef up your monthly income, stay ahead of all the bills, or pay down that nagging debt, renting out your extra space-or space you don’t use all the time- can be a real income generator. There is a serious demand for one or two night stays – or even weeklong rentals- that don’t cost as much as a hotel room. How can you start earning?
Just as Popular as a Hotel
There is one name in private space lending that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Let’s face it, if you haven’t heard of Airbnb, there’s no way you’ll see this article because clearly you haven’t been introduced to the internet.
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As someone who travels a lot, both for business and pleasure, I have used Airbnb several times for both. Having browsed through my fair share of bookable spaces on the site, trust me when I tell you there is a wide variety, ranging from the extravagant and lush to bare bones or even the truly bizarre. (You can earn cash renting out your driveway too, read my post, Parking Apps That Can Turn Your Driveway Into Cash to get ideas!
Do you think hosting an Airbnb space sounds ingenious, but don’t feel like you have the required space to offer? The truth about the kind of spaces people will book might surprise you as much as it did me.
You Likely Already Have a Bookable Space to Rent Out
There are a vast array of spaces you can advertise on Airbnb, from an entire mansion to a literal closet with a cot or sleeping bag. The site’s listing criteria only requires that the space is:
Intended for lodging purposes.
Semi-permanently attached to a set location (for mobile homes, boats, or other vessels) and parked in a privately owned space for the reservation period.
Accurately represented, located at the predetermined spot, and bookable by the host.
Here is a list of bookable spaces on the site:
- Your entire home while you are away. This will likely be your biggest income generator. If you travel a lot for work, Airbnb could become your new best friend. Customers will pay premium rates for an entire home to themselves. These listings typically come with more amenities such as coffee or tea and available breakfast items they can heat up or prepare. You decide what is available, but make sure to lock up any valuables.
- A secondary cabin or vacation home. If you have a second property you do not use often, it can be well worth renting it out by the week or weekend. This can be especially lucrative if its near a popular tourist location, on a body of water, or in a scenic nature area, such as in the mountains or woods.
- A secondary urban apartment or studio. If you have a private secondary space you use to crash when in the city, depending upon location, it could bring in a serious chunk of change. Bonus points if it’s located near an airpot, downtown area, concert venue, entertainment district, or even public transport.
- A separate-entrance space attached to Your House. A studio or apartment space attached to your house or garage is in high demand on Airbnb. These spots fill up quickly when priced right, because the separate entrance offers guests privacy without having to shell out the dough for a hotel. Offering a private bathroom or living space often allows you to keep it booked while charging more.
- A backyard structure. Your guest house, converted shed, or pool house is a money-making opportunity just waiting to be realized. Yes, people will pay to stay in a converted shed or tiny home, and no, it does not need to come with its own private restroom (though it is generally expected that you offer a shared restroom in the main house or elsewhere on the property).
- Your office space. Traveling entrepreneurs are increasingly looking for affordable office space to rent. If you have a usable office -or space you could convert- this is an often overlooked business opportunity.
There is a Caveat to Cashing in with AirBnB
Airbnb stipulates that the space must be intended for lodging, so you have to indicate a place to sleep, even if the tenant will not be using it. This could be as simple as a futon or sofa. The only real requirements other than that are a desk or table, chair, WiFi, and maybe a Keurig. Prices for this vary wildly depending on quality and available office amenities.
A camper, RV, or even a tent. As long as you provide the space and price it right for what you offer, people will book it. I’ve even seen people list their backyard patio furniture to crash on.
If you live in close proximity to an upcoming event, such as a large music or entertainment. Offering an air mattress, simple breakfast, and transportation to and from the event generally allows you to double your price.
A room or floor within your house. Without a separate entrance or private bathroom, these spaces will not fetch the price of a more private space. However, when priced to move, they will not go unbooked often.
If you keep an eye on events happening in your area, you can charge more for peak times.
Taking this information into account, it is very likely that you have rentable space available right now, or space that could be converted relatively easily. (And if you're trying to clean out rooms or areas of your home to turn it into a rentable space — don't toss your stuff. You can earn selling your unwanted clothes! Read my post, Apps to Sell Clothes – Big List to Help You Start Selling Right Now! My youngest has created a steady cashflow for herself by selling clothing when she no longer wants to wear them anymore.)
The best part about hosting an Airbnb is you are in charge. You decide which amenities will be offered, when the listing is available and for how long, how guests will check-in, and how much you will charge. You do not even need to be present for the check-in process. It can be as simple as giving out a combination for a lockbox with a key in it.
No Space? You Can Still Earn as a Host(ess)
If you do not have a space to rent out, look into being a secondary host or contact person when the host is not available. In some cases, this means going into the house in the morning and preparing breakfast and performing housekeeping duties. How can you make money with Airbnb? Get started – go to the AirBNB website.