We recently posted an article on why we think that Airbnb is better than hotels for guests. Since that article, I’ve actually extended my stay in France and I’ve moved into another Airbnb apartment, which I am equally impressed by. So, I’m totally and utterly convinced that from the guests’ point of view, Airbnb is a massive “win”.
However, this made me think: what are the benefits of being an Airbnb host? Is Airbnb a “win-win” or not? Today, we are going to explore this subject in detail.
Let’s start with the reason that most people become Airbnb hosts: money. Airbnb (or other forms of renting out a spare room) is regularly cited by financial websites as a good way to earn a little bit of side income. And rightly so. Let’s have a look at a few examples from my home town of Newcastle, UK.
Say that two guests wanted to stay on the Quayside in an apartment with a private room, but shared facilities, for a weekend in March.
A quick search on Airbnb shows that there are options available from £60 up to £180, depending on the size of the apartment. The option for £60 consists of a spare bedroom in a pleasant Quayside flat, which can sleep 3 people (2 on a double sofa bed and one on an airbed).
The flat looks nice enough and I know the area well as I myself own a flat down on the Quayside. The monthly rent on this flat is probably somewhere between £500 and £700 per month. Therefore, if the owner can get their spare room rented out for 10 days a month, they are probably easily covering their entire mortgage payment!!
The other appealing thing about becoming a host from a financial perspective is that there are plenty of options. You don’t need to have a whole apartment to rent out. You don’t even need to have a spare room!
There is an option on Airbnb to rent out your sofa!
Obviously the income you’ll receive for renting a sofa will be less, but it can still be a very viable option if you live in a good location in an expensive city – London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, San Francisco, etc.
This opens up a wide ranging opportunity for all sorts of people. Like my host in France, maybe you use your apartment for family members when they come to visit, or you need it intermittently for one reason or another. In this fairly common situation, you can’t rent the apartment out on a long-term lease. Instead, this Airbnb is perfect for people who need to pick and choose when to rent out their property and when to keep it for themselves.
And another group Airbnb is very popular with is so-called “empty-nesters”. Maybe you live in a 3 or 4 bedroom house and now your children have flown the nest, and you suddenly have acres of space. Well, why not make some extra income from that space, and meet some new and interesting people.
Which bring us nicely onto the next benefit – the social aspect.
The social network
Whilst most people probably get enticed into becoming an Airbnb host because of the additional income, I think that most continue to use the service because of the social interaction that it encourages. People are nice. Let’s not forget that!
When you read the reviews on Airbnb, most people mention the friendliness of their hosts and their guests and how they really benefited from meeting new people. This can be a huge hidden benefit of Airbnb.
One lady, Tessa Crocket, was diagnosed with ME and was forced to leave the workforce. However, she was not yet old enough to claim her pension and so needed some extra income. She used the London 2012 Olympics as a great starting point and has made extra income ever since by bringing the world into her abode!
Things to consider
However, before you jump in, there are a few things you should consider.
Impact of Taxes: Remember than any extra income you get in through Airbnb will be taxable as income. Equally, related costs of rental should be included in your tax return as allowable expenses. Just remember that taxes will eat into the final amount you’ll be putting into your pocket.
Insurance: Airbnb comes with renter’s insurance, but it’s always recommended that you check this cover and determine whether your property would need additional renters/landlords insurance when renting it out on Airbnb.
Fees: Obviously Airbnb need to make their money as well. With each booking, airbnb will charge the guest a percentage fee for using Airbnb. It’s important to consider this, as with the price of your apartment plus the fees, some guests may be put off and stay in a hotel instead. Therefore, consider these fees when you set the price of your nightly stay.
Could this be a stepping stone to something bigger?
A major benefit of Airbnb as a host is what it could lead to. There is an obvious link to certain entrepreneurial ventures after becoming an Airbnb host. Maybe you want to set up a full time bed & breakfast or otherwise get involved in the tourism and accommodation industry. Airbnb could act as a really useful test if this is your goal.
However, it doesn’t just end there.
For example, two entrepreneurs noticed an opportunity to support hosts on Airbnb and founded Hostmaker, a company which offers hotel-style services for Airbnb hosts. These range from professional housekeeping, linen rentals and creating professional looking welcome packs for guests.
On the other hand, Saima Khan used the income she generated from Airbnb, as well as the experiences she had catering for guests, to set up Hampstead Kitchen which offers custom cuisine for people hosting events in the London area.
So, whilst Airbnb could be a source of future income for you, it may actually open the door to an even bigger venture in the future!
How to become an Airbnb host?
Well, it couldn’t be simpler. To become an Airbnb host today, click on the image below and receive $25 (£16) in Airbnb credit to get you started!
Then, follow the simple instructions to start hosting. Remember to include as much detail about your apartment and neighbourhood as possible. Equally, great photos will significantly increase the number of people wanting to stay with you locksmith car key replacement cost.
Let me know if you’ve signed up as a host and I’ll even give you some feedback on your listing if you want!!
If you want to learn even more about becoming an Airbnb straight from the horse’s mouth, you can read more on the Airbnb blog here.