Making Money Through Airbnb if You Don’t Own Property


Airbnb is an online service that matches accommodations with potential customers. Since its inception in 2008, Airbnb has become a primary alternative to hotels as the homestays are generally more affordable. 


If you have an available property that you are hardly using, you can register with the service and make money on the side.


The question is, “How to make money with Airbnb?”


Before anything else, here are some of the numbers on the service: 


  1. Every day, there are 2 million people who sleep in Airbnb accommodations
  2. There are more than 150 million users all around the world
  3. There are more than 6 million properties listed in the Airbnb service
  4. Since the service started in San Francisco in 2008, more than 500 million people have already used Airbnb
  5. Airbnb is present in 191 countries. Only North Korea, Iran, Crimea, Syria, and Sudan offer no Airbnb service
  6. By 2020, the company projected its revenues to hit $8.5 billion


The business model is straightforward. 


For each completed transaction using the online service, Airbnb takes a commission from both the guest and the host. The property owner will pay 3% of the booking fee to the company. Meanwhile, guests will pay between 6% and 12% to book on the app.


Listing Your Property on Airbnb


The service will not make you jump through hoops to list your property. Here are the steps to be an Airbnb host:


  1. Register an account with the app. The registration is free
  2. Fill out the form to set up your listing. The website will automatically compute your potential accommodation charge price based on the location, market amenities, and the number of rooms.
  3. Tick the boxes of amenities that your property offers. Aside from the location, customers are interested in amenities like cable, laundry, air conditioning, wireless internet, heating, kitchen, etc. 


Never lie on the information you provide in your listing, particularly with the amenities. Airbnb operates on a review basis. Those that receive high reviews will go up the list of recommendations after a customer query. You are also at risk of being blacklisted for inaccurate information.


But back to the question:


How to make money with Airbnb?


The beauty of Airbnb is the opportunity to run your own business even if you do not own real property.  


The concept is called subletting. Some landlords may frown upon the idea, but others do not really care as long as they get paid.


For instance, you rent two apartments for a total of $3,000. Then you list the apartments on Airbnb for about $120 a night. In a week, you would be earning $1,680 or more than half of your monthly rent. By the second week, you would have made a gross profit of $360.


Of course, there are expenses involved. You would be responsible for utility costs, cleaning, and maintenance. And you deduct those costs from the rent, which reduces your profit.


Also, running an Airbnb business is a perpetual hustle. You need to come up with a sound marketing strategy to make sure your rooms are always full. Or, if not, you minimize the number of days they are vacant. You also have to factor in the off-peak season in your location, and craft a contingency plan. Finally, you need to know about the laws in your state when it comes to subletting. 


But if you do your homework, you can make up to six figures every year with Airbnb.


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