How To Make Extra Money Renting Out Your Home as an Airbnb

AirBnB home rental service
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Airbnb rentals are in demand this summer, according to Guesty, the world’s leading management platform for the short-term and vacation rental industry. “The U.S. is seeing a major increase in Airbnb and short-term rentals in urban cities across the United States during summer 2021,” said Andrew Wasserstein, communications and branding manager at Guesty. According to Guesty, the top U.S. cities for Airbnb rentals this summer are Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas and Austin, with a 71%-294% increase in summer Airbnb bookings compared to last summer.

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And the interest in Airbnb rentals is not likely to die out after summer fades away. Advantages like extra space and amenities that aren’t practical for hotels to offer guests allow Airbnb (and companies like it) to occupy their own unique niche in the lodging industry.

So what should you do if you think your property would make a good Airbnb listing? The simple answer is: Find out what you can potentially make and decide if it’s worth it. Here’s what you need to consider to find out if becoming an Airbnb host could turn into a lucrative side hustle that will help you earn more.

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How Much Can You Make by Listing Your Property on Airbnb?

How much you can make by listing your property on Airbnb depends on several factors. If you want to play around with the numbers, use this Airbnb calculator to estimate what you might make in one month. According to Airbnb, the estimate assumes 15 booked nights each month at forecasted daily prices, which are average prices for listings with a similar location, listing type and guest capacity.

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You can also do your own research to see what you come up with.

“There is a tremendous amount of variability here based on the profile of the property, amenities and of course, location, location, location,” said David Goldberg, founder and CEO of Curos and an Airbnb owner. “If you are considering listing your property on Airbnb or other sites for vacation rental the first step is to do competitive research.”

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Goldberg suggested looking at rental listings for comparable properties in your neighborhood to help you determine your own pricing. Here are some questions provided by Goldberg to help you evaluate each comparable Airbnb listing you find in your area:

  • What is the nightly rate?
  • What is the average nightly rate?
  • Do you see seasonality in the pricing?
  • What is demand like in your area? (You can tell this pretty easily by how booked comparable properties are and what nightly price they are commanding.)
  • What upcharges are comparable properties charging?
  • How much is the cleaning fee?
  • Do they charge for extra guests or perhaps more on weekend nights?

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Goldberg also recommended asking yourself if your property would stand out among the comparable listings. If so, why and would those reasons help you get more for it? If not, what can you do to make it stand out, and what would that cost?

What You Need To Know Before Listing Your Property

Before listing your property on Airbnb, here are few things to consider that could help you have a smoother and more successful experience as an Airbnb host.

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Think Twice About Charging a Much Cheaper Rate Than the Competition

If you’re tempted to price your property much cheaper than other nearby Airbnb rentals in an attempt to stay booked solid, you may want to think again.

“Your price attracts a certain type of people,” said Vivi Dahms of Adventure Your World. “Our friend listed his house (just a two-minute walking distance from our house) for the cheapest price in town, attracting the type of people that would either end up having a party, leave the house dirty or constantly message for the tiniest things. He was always fully booked, yet he had a lot of trouble and was in constant contact with Airbnb. So before listing, ask yourself what kind of guests you want and how much involvement you desire.”

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High-Quality Photos Are a Must

Nick Brennan, founder and CEO of My UK Sim Card, suggests getting professional photos taken of the property you’re planning to list. “I’m also an Airbnb guest, and so often I lose interest in a listing if the photos are poor quality,” he said. “Basically, make your place look like you’re ready to sell it, and then take photos!”

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You May Want To Consider Hiring a Third Party

“Before listing, you need to consider how you’ll manage check-ins and check-outs, laundry and cleaning,” Brennan said. “It’s definitely something you can do yourself, but you might also want to consider using a third-party Airbnb managing company who will deal with everything, and take a percentage of the fee for the booking. That’s what I do, and it works really well. I don’t have to do anything.”

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Last updated: June 25, 2021

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About the Author

Cynthia Measom is a personal finance writer and editor with over 12 years of collective experience. Her articles have been featured in MSN, AOL, Yahoo Finance, INSIDER, Houston Chronicle, The Seattle Times and The Network Journal. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
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