Are you looking for an opportunity to earn extra income? Airbnb offers an opportunity for homeowners and even tenants to rent out extra space and make some extra income. The Airbnb website aims at connecting the homeowners who wish to make some extra income by renting a section or their whole home to travelers. Essentially, it is an online community that aims at enabling travelers who are looking for cheaper or better alternatives to hotels, to find accommodations. Reviews on the site offer transparency and help keep everyone trying their best to a be a good host or guest.
So how did the concept of Airbnb start and how can you earn money through Airbnb?
How Airbnb Got Started
The whole idea was originally thought up by two roommates living in San Francisco, who could not afford to raise enough money to pay for their rooms. The two were Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia and they decided to take advantage of the already expensive cost of accommodation for short time travelers who visited San Francisco. Therefore, they turned the room into a makeshift bed and breakfast and strategically advertised it when there was some event coming to town.
Luckily enough, the event was held at a time when the hotel space was limited and they set up three air mattresses in their loft. They advertised on a simple website called “Air Bed and Breakfast” they had come up with. On the website, they posted nice photos of the room and priced it at $80. On the package, they included a free home cooked breakfast. Therefore, they were able to sell a room that night to three guests. That is when the whole idea of renting a space on Airbnb took off. To date, there are more than half a million active listings and the company is doing well.
Use Airbnb as an Opportunity to Earn Extra Income
In Toronto alone, there are around 10,000 plus Airbnb hosts and about 700 of them host clients on their secondary suits. Until 2017, there were no clear regulations on this good opportunity for homeowners to make extra cash and therefore it is still an idea you can take advantage of. Towards the end of 2017, that is when the lawmakers have shown an interest in the already grown industry. However, there is still enough time for you to earn more income especially this time when people are travelling. When the initial plans to regulate Airbnb in Canada began, it was criticized by those already making money from it as a punitive idea. The regulations by the city staff aim to have the short time rentals in Toronto of up to 28 days allowed in up to three rooms anywhere in Toronto as long as the person renting out is registered. So how do you get started with Airbnb and make extra money? Well, let’s see.
Identify the Space to Rent Out and List it on Airbnb
Do you have an extra room in your apartment that often goes unused? Or do you have a second property or inlaw suite that is rarely used? This could be the room you could earn more money renting out on Airbnb. Some people opt to rent out their residential home while they are on vacation and the income can be used to cover the travel expenses partially or wholly. Pack up your valuables in a locked closet and rent your home out when you go away next. Some people have opted to lock an entire room, and as long as it is advertised that way, it is fine. Why pay for accommodations at home and on your trip? You can call your insurance to add this type of rental (in our experience our rate did not increase) and you can qualify the people that request to stay at your place before agreeing to it.
Be a Good & Responsible Host
First check your local laws and any other regulations (such as condo rules) to make sure you can legally rent your space on Airbnb. When you become a host you will have to make sure you follow the proper steps to being safe and responsible. You will want to read Airbnb’s page on Responsible Hosting Hosts in Canada Click Here and Hosts in the U.S. Click Here.
To list your space, you it can take as short as 10 minutes. Remember you can edit your listing at any time and change your nightly rate. Just start by getting the basics up and a few images to get started. Click here and sign up as a host (Nick Carere is your referring host when you use the link). As you list, the Airbnb website will offer you some recommendations on how to improve your profile. Hosts are constantly improving and changing their listings to maximize results. Here are some of the things you need to consider so as to get booked easily.
- Use an Appealing Headline
You need to summarize what is unique about your home in just one sentence. This should be a compelling reason and include the best and unique qualities of your space and location. For example, “Stunning 2 bedroom loft with balcony and fireplace in the heart of Toronto”. Note that Airbnb is a competitive marketplace and so you need to make your listing stand out. The statement you use in the headline along with your nightly price and featured image is what people will see before deciding whether to click on your listing.
- Take Great Photos
The photos are the other strategy to drive more people to your listing. Therefore, you need to take several very good quality images of all the spaces, both indoor and out. Don’t forget any views or special features (such as a hottub or fireplace or air tub for example) that should each have a photo. You can contact a professional photographer to have the photos taken. In some areas, Airbnb will send a professional photographer to your area for free. This is because they found out that having professional photos is the way to improve their bookings online.
- Ensure you Are Transparent
The people booking your space expect to find the features you have advertised. Note that if you post false information, then you will have negative reviews. Therefore, it is important to post the correct information only.
Good Timing is Essential
To get a good jump start, you need to time your launch and therefore you may choose to list for a Christmas or March break or tourist season (if you have one). Or it could be the time there are events being held in your hometown. The time when there is a high demand for accommodation could be the best for you to make more money through Airbnb. This is because the hotels are often fully booked and you can up your nightly rate.
The Airbnb concept is a great opportunity for homeowners in cities like Toronto and elsewhere to make more money. Even existing tenants can get extra income to pay their rent. Create a listing on the Airbnb website and you can be making good money through Airbnb before Toronto regulations on Airbnb or elsewhere come into force. Check with your local laws and other regulators to see if they already have restrictions in place regarding Airbnb rentals. Some condo boards may also restrict this type of rental.
Many people are purchasing properties and cash flowing like crazy with short term rentals on Airbnb. If you want to have some potential income producing properties sent to your email, find a great REALTOR® to send you these. Search by your city name or look on the map to find a REALTOR® that is educated, experienced, and tech-savvy to work with. If you don’t find someone just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. She will connect you with someone that meets our strict criteria for being a top Real Estate agent.
Feel free to leave comments or questions, our team has had some personal experience with Airbnb rentals.