While you may have utilized Airbnb to find a place to stay during your travels, you may have never considered hosting your home or property on the site yourself. If you have the space and a hospitable nature, renting out your house or an extra room could offer you a cool new way to make some money with little more effort than you already use to care for your home.
Here are seven things you may not have known about being an Airbnb host:
1. You can rent out an entire house or just a portion.
As mentioned earlier, you can rent out your whole house or just a room. If you have a rental property that you’d like to list for short-term rentals, you can do so on Airbnb—but you don’t have to have that much space. Plenty of hosts list a spare bedroom with an attached bathroom for lone travelers who don’t need much space or time in their city.
2. You’ll interact with your guests more than you think.
If you rent out a room in your actual house, your guest will be living with you for the duration of their stay. It’s almost like having a temporary roommate. It may be hard to imagine having someone you’ve never met before in your home for the night, but many hosts enjoy getting to know new people from all over the world this way.
Further, guests can contact you to ask questions at any time. Hosts are expected to be available 24/7, which could be a problem if you don’t have lots of extra time to spare during your regular activities.
3. You can earn more money than you might expect.
Hosts on Airbnb have the potential to earn a lot more money than traditional landlords do. Since Airbnb users rent for short periods, the nightly rates can be higher. If a host is booked consistently, they can earn quite a bit of money per month. You can even use an Airbnb income calculator to estimate your potential earnings.
4. Hosting can be super flexible.
Unlike landlords, Airbnb hosts can temporarily unlist their space at their discretion. If you’re renting out a vacation home and want to use it for yourself or you just want a break from guests and maintenance, you can pause your availability and resume whenever you’d like.
5. You may have to check your city’s laws before you attempt to host.
Unfortunately, Airbnb hosting isn’t legal everywhere, which is why it’s so important to have a full understanding of the laws of the city in which you plan to host your property. Some popular cities have listing or stay restrictions. For example, New York City, in terms of real estate, residents can only host while they’re staying in the house and the stay can’t exceed 30 days.
6. You’ll be responsible for cleaning, making repairs, and helping guests.
Although an Airbnb renter may feel like a personal guest, you are technically serving in multiple hospitality roles during their stay. You will have to clean and repair things throughout your home to provide for their needs and be available for check-in, check-out, and any questions your guest may have.
While you will likely see less damage to your space than a traditional landlord does, there could be a surprising amount of work necessary to keep your house clean and cared for after guests come in and out.
7. Airbnb is not only a short-term rental platform, it’s a social platform.
Guests and hosts are able to rate one another and comment on their respective experiences. This way, if a guest is disrespectful or destructive during their stay in your home, you can let other prospective hosts know. Likewise, if a guest has an issue with you or your space, they will leave a negative review that all future guests can see before they request a stay. Most reviews and experiences will be positive, but it’s definitely something to be aware of as you get started.
These seven facts about Airbnb hosting should help you get a sense for what renting out your space is like. If you’re interested in making some extra money and meeting new people while managing a few responsibilities and rules, this might be the right opportunity for you!