Turn that spare bedroom into a money making opportunity.
Stop Questioning It – Start Hosting With AirBNB
Bottom Line Up Front:
» We hosted an empty room on AirBNB for 45 days in Southern Pines, NC, beginning as a side hustle experiment to see how much money we could make.
» We initially anticipated little to no requests.
Well, we made $1,500 in 45 days
Bottom Line Up Front:
- We hosted an empty room on AirBNB for 45 days in Southern Pines, NC as a side hustle experiment to see how much money we could make.
- We initially anticipated little to no requests.
- Well, we ended up making $1,500 in 45 days.
Prior to starting, we conducted market research to find comparable listings to what we would be providing. Similar hosts were charging upwards of $60-80 a night. We thought of ways to make our listing as cheap, comfortable and as simple as possible. We decided to own the niche market of easy and cheap stays.
With our plan identified, we cleaned out the master bedroom, outfitted it with a two person L-shaped couch, and listed the room for $30-40 a night. It was official – we owned the cheap “no-frills” market. Within a week, we were nearly 100% booked for the next 30 days. We would have hosted longer if a permanent change of station (PCS) to Korea wasn’t on the horizon. Our AirBNB experience netted us nearly $1,500. Our guests were paying our rent!
We recommend following a few of the steps below to make the most of your hosting experience:
1. Clean the place up
Guests feel more welcome when your space is clutter free and spotless. Make their stay as comfortable as possible. Consider including a mini-fridge, Keurig, water carafe, or location-based goodies like beach towels, umbrellas, etc.
2. Make your guests feel welcome
Include a welcome letter and include some goodies! Our welcome letter contained some of our favorite local restaurants, drinking spots and activities. Consider making a binder with contact info, your WiFi password, various restaurant/nightlife brochures, etc. Side by side with the welcome letter was a $10 bottle of wine and some chocolate covered pretzels. Even if your guests don’t indulge or read your letter, they still feel as if you’re treating them special.
3. Make it convenient for yourself, too
Although not a requirement, we found that having a keypad for the front door made hosting much more doable for our busy schedules. This keypad allowed guests to check-in without us having to be home, creating more flexibility for both parties. This can also be in the form of a coded key box with a spare key for your guests.
4. Don’t smother your guests
There have been guests that we’ve gone out to dinner or grabbed drinks with, but you’re probably not the highlight of their trip. Allow your guests to come and go as they please without making them feel as if they have to talk to you. Every guest is different so you have to adjust how you interact with each one accordingly!
5. Manage your calendar
AirBNB is amazing because it allows you to be your own boss, set your “hours” and block out dates during something else you may have going on. Make sure you’re following up with your calendar through AirBNB so you avoid having to cancel a guest’s trip.
Upon my return to the States, I will be resuming this side hustle with the intent that my guests will continue to pay my mortgage or rent. In the process of making money, we hope to meet some awesome people.
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Featured image by Ali Inay