The Airbnb Host: There are many ways to make money with Airbnb. The “original way” is hosting a guest in your own place. A bigger way is Airbnb “as a business” using condos or apartments you buy or rent from others. Best to check building rules and local laws as part of your planning. Confirm that being an Airbrb host is allowed. The average Airbnb host makes $924 a month according to Priceonomics and Travelandleisure.com, which is over $10,000 a year – enough to really help most investment plans. According to a story about Airbnb “as a business” in fastcompany.com, someone having six apartments running at 90% occupancy and getting $4,000 rent per month less costs of $2,000 per month, can make $12,000 a month and $144,000 a year. Wow.

Who does this? The Airbnb gig works the “original way” for people who have an extra room, apartment/condo or house that is in a location attractive to visitors. The Airbnb host can be as selective on setting pricing, available dates, limits on number of guests, house rules and more. Some people suggest starting gradually until you find your groove on being an Airbnb host.

How to start: Airbnb hosts obviously need a condo/apartment or room to offer. Best that it be in a location attractive to visitors. Setup tips include posting good pics and keeping the place super clean. Try to keep the rent rate from being too high compared to local choices, maybe with a higher cleaning fee. Most importantly, be a great host when guests arrive. Getting good reviews is key to getting maximum occupancy and getting high rates. One bad review can hurt. There are many more tips available online, including suggestions for setup, good towels and toiletries, decoration, pics, pricing, info in the listing, making the check-in / check-out process smooth. We will say it again…. getting good reviews is key.

How Much Work? Good news, this is flexible. You can offer your space only on busy dates that are in demand and make higher income per day, or offer your space more regularly to build your Airbnb rating and get more steady income. Best to make time for daily account monitoring and replying to messages.

The Numbers. Assuming you have your own place, it may cost you almost zero to get started. You could get $75 to $150 or more for a room per visitor/day, depending on location, and space you have to offer. An entire condo or house could rent for $300 to $500 or more per night. Just be sure to do some online research and reading to make some good decisions about how to setup your place, pics, pricing and dates to offer. Be sure to check Airbnb for similar offerings in your area, and make your listing as good as you can. In a busy month, you could get over 20 visitor days, which translates to around $2,000 in profit. Another popular way to list and rent is on VRBP “Vacation Rentals By Owner” which began as the name suggests.

Is it worth it? Although it involves work, an extra $10,000 or $144,000 a year looks very appealing. Look at it this way…. Airbnb, VRBO and similar services have grown because so many people have had good experiences as hosts and as guests.

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