Can You Make Money With Airbnb

If you own real estate and are looking for ways to make extra money, then Airbnb might be an option.

Can you make money with Airbnb?

Obviously, you can. I have several friends involved in Airbnb’s. One has been established for a while, the other less than one year and the third just in the process of starting up. Each place is somewhat different and offers different features and amenities but they all have one main thing in common – the comfort of their guests.

Before we talk about these three, let’s talk about Airbnb, the company

What is Airbnb and how Does it Work

Airbnb was the brainchild of two designers who were hosting three travelers who needed a place to stay. This was in 2008. Today, covering 191 countries and 81,000 cities, hosts and travellers all over the world are using their services by creating a free account either wanting to host or book accommodations.

It basically offers a service whereby members can arrange or offer lodging, such as home stays, or tourism experiences.

FEATURES:

Trusted Services

Airbnb verifies personal profiles and listings so that sharing is easy and safe. Hosts and travellers are able to communicate with each other and safely collect and transfer payments.

Around the Clock Support

24/7 support is offered in 11 different languages. This support includes refunds, reimbursements, $1 million dollar host guarantee and insurance programs.

Information Resources Available on the Following

  • Finding a place to stay
  • Travel and safety tips
  • Booking requirements, identification and verifications
  • Pre-approvals and special offers
  • Payment methods, deposits, pricing, credits
  • Assistance with your trips, long-term reservations, changing or cancelling reservations by host and traveller
  • How to set up an account
  • How to become a host
  • Business travel
  • Can even tell you if your neighbour is on Airbnb

Advantages and Disadvantages of Airbnb

According to Investopedia, while there are several advantages such as travelers can usually book accommodations for less than a hotel room, there are a few disadvantages such as properties may be described inaccurately, and guests may incur serious damages to the property.

Advantages

  • Wide selection
  • Free listings
  • Hosts can set own price
  • Guests can customize searches
  • Hosts often offer reviews on restaurants and experiences such as sightseeing
  • Payment protection for hosts and guests – Airbnb holds guest’s payment for 24 hours after check-in before releasing to the host
  • Host guarantee program – up to $1,000,000 in damages to covered property in eligible countries

Disadvantages

  • What you get may not necessarily be what you booked. All listings are created by the host (a good suggestion is to read the comments of others).
  • Risk of damage. The host guarantee program might provide some assurance but there have been some horror stories.
  • Extra fees (guest service fee 0-20% which covers Airbnb’s services). Other fees such as credit card issuers or banks can be applied. Hosts can be charged 3% or more for each reservation which covers the cost of processing.
  • Hosts and guests may be subject to a VAT (value added tax) if from the European Union, Switzerland and Norway. US Hosts have to provide taxpayer information.
  • Legality can come into play. Does your local zoning bylaw allow you to rent out your property?

Now that you know a bit about Airbnb, let’s take a look at the three places mentioned in the beginning, starting with the newest one which is just in the process of starting up.

SINGLE ROOM – LONDON AREA

$30/night
Host: Randy

No Rating (not available yet)

This is quite a large room with a comfortable double bed, bureau, closet, and computer desk (future plans include a TV with Chromecast). The location is in a quiet area of London, close to amenities and downtown. Kitchen and 4 piece bath are shared. We know the host well and have actually stayed there before he thought of turning it into an Airbnb and found everything very clean and comfortable.

Map of Viscount Area

Pros:

  • 3 minute drive to shopping
  • 10-15 minutes to downtown
  • All utilities are included
  • Clean
  • Morning coffee/tea available
  • Free Wifi
  • Public transportation – half a block to bus stop
  • Nearby parks
  • Ground level entry

Cons:

  • Kitchen and bath facilities are shared
  • No separate entrance

Conclusion:

Prices for a single room in the London area range anywhere between *$30 a night up to as high as $80. Even at $30/night, if you booked it out a minimum of two nights a week, you could earn an extra $240/month – not bad for very little effort. Also, the cons are not necessarily so – if you are looking for a short stay, then sharing the facilities might not be an issue. Maybe the cost justifies any inconvenience.

*This can vary depending on time of year, length of stay, etc.

Overall Rating: Not rated yet but Randy will make an excellent host. If he puts the comfort of his guests first and foremost, which I know he will, he can make this work.

Contact Randy at mysk8grid@yahoo.ca.

FULL LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS – TORONTO, ONTARIO

Weekly discount for longer stays
Hosts: Jane & Pete

100% Five-Star Rating

This Air bnb has been operating just under a year and is already booked in advance. While we have never stayed here, we are very well acquainted with both Jane and Pete.

The accommodations are located in an excellent area of Toronto, in a quiet neighbourhood. It is a fully furnished, 2 bedroom basement apartment with free parking, Wifi, Fibe TV, separate entrance, living-room/kitchen, full bath, closet, laundry and storage.

New features added April 2019: Brondell heated toilet seat, large leather couch and a vintage Barcelona chair. Doesn’t this ‘ooze’ comfort?

AirBnB in Don Mills

Pros:

  • Excellent hosts
  • Newly renovated
  • Very comfortable beds
  • Spacious and clean
  • Separate entrance
  • Laundry facilities
  • 3 minute walk to transit
  • 10 minute walk to shopping, banks and restaurants

Cons:

NONE GIVEN!

Conclusion:

This place has a minimum two night policy with a weekly discount rate for stays longer than seven days.

Example of a one-week stay for 2 people: *$778 (including 10% discount and any fees)
(*Prices depend on several factors such as time of year, length of stay, etc.)

This Airbnb already has 40 out of 40 Five-Star reviews with the latest guests describing it as a ‘spa’ experience!!

What makes this Airbnb stand out is the personal contact with the owners who have spared no expense and have included small *quality touches. Common comments by guests are how spotless it is and how welcoming the hosts are.

In Pete’s own words: “We go the extra mile in the following ways: changing stations in both bedrooms, different charging cables for all possible phone types, bottled water and a couple of cold “Heinis” in the fridge, maybe some home baked cookies and a hand written welcome note, fresh cut flowers, extra toiletries such as toothbrushes, mouthwash, razors, body wash and shampoos (even baby shampoo if needed!), a Keurig coffee machine with an endless supply of coffee and specialty tea.” Who wouldn’t want to stay there?

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

Contact Jane & Pete here.

FULL LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS – HENLEY’S DREAM, PORT DALHOUSE, ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO

Weekly discounts for longer stays|
Hosts: Tom and Liza

100% Five-Star Rating

We have actually stayed in this Airbnb owned by Liza and Tom and can definitely give it a 5-Star rating. The home is a bungalow with the airbnb downstairs. There are two bedrooms, with a double bed in one and 2 twin beds in the other, a large rec room with sofas and HDTV, private bath with shower, fully carpeted, beautiful fenced in backyard.

Henley's Dream Port Dalhousie St. Catharines

Pros:

  • Excellent hosts
  • Separate access
  • Clean and very comfortable
  • Self check-in
  • Short walk to shops and restaurants
  • 20 minute drive to Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake
  • 90 minute drive to Toronto
  • Coffee, cereal and toast included

Cons:

NONE GIVEN!!

Conclusion:

Owners offer a discount rate for stays longer than seven days.

Example of a one-week stay: *$605 (including 10% discount and any fees)
(*Prices depend on several factors such as time of year, length of stay, etc.)

The overall consensus is that the hosts are excellent! Again, what makes this place special is the owners themselves whose main concern is your comfort, which I can attest to. With over 93 reviews, many guests stated they wished they could have stayed longer!

I asked Liza why their Airbnb was such a success. Liza responded, “Tom and I think that one of the things that make our Airbnb special is that he has been named “Super Host” a number of times, meaning they have gotten 5 Stars by 90% or more of guests. Super Hosts are highly rated and committed to providing great stays for guests.”

Liza went on to say that she feels they are fortunate to live in such a diverse area which has something for everyone – hiking, golf, Niagara Falls, the Escarpment, wineries, tourist areas such as Niagara Falls On the Lake) – truly a great location!

Even though there are no kitchen/cooking facilities available (there is a bar fridge), they will provide a full breakfast of foods such as cereals, bread, coffee, tea and juice. Think of it as a very large comfy hotel suite!

Contact Tom and Liza here

Final Thoughts

I feel that you can make money running an Airbnb. What I have noticed though – cleanliness, attention to detail, personal touches, going that extra mile – will ensure that you will constantly have guests. If it sounds like a lot of work, in most cases it is, but you have a lot of competition out there so doing the things that will make you stand out will also make you memorable and in high demand!

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” ~ Nelson Boswell

Interesting fact: For those of you who would like to make money as an affiliate with Airbnb, an audience consisting of no less than 1 million monthly visits or app openings each month is required. That’s a whole lot of traffic! If you are interested at easier ways of doing affiliate marketing, take a look at my #1 Recommendation.

Do you own an Airbnb or have you used one before? What are your thoughts? Were you impressed or was it just so-so? Let us know in the comment section below.

 

18 comments on “Can You Make Money With Airbnb”

  1. akshaysaxena Reply

    Awesome article, MaryAnn. I have never used AirBnB services yet, but my elder brother is AirBnB guy, he visits US once every 2 months and always utilize AirBnB. I have heard a lot of good things about AirBnB services.

    Also, as you mentioned about earning money through AirBnB, it’s quite tough indeed due to high competition. And, I did not know about promoting AirBnB as an Affiliate. It seems like a good idea, but only after our online business may rise to the top level, it may require some time.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this information. Though it is difficult to earn money through AirBnB, but if somebody is willing they can make a way somehow. Your article will be very useful for all AirBnB enthusiasts.

    • MaryAnn Reply

      It sounds as though your brother has good luck with Airbnb or he would continue using them. As I mentioned to someone else, Pete and Jane had a horrible experience with renters and on the advice of a neighbour, decided to try the Airbnb. They are exceptional hosts and all their guests rave about the quality of service and attention to detail they get. It is this type of Airbnb that will always have customers.

  2. Nate MC Reply

    I’ve heard of loads of people making good money with AirBnb. I also read about a guy who made decent with AirBnb, but then he made even more when he published an eBook/guide providing people with tips on how to make money with AirBnB. And I definitely believe that if people go the extra mile, then they could do very well renting out their place on AirBnB.

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Hi Nate,

      It definitely can be a lucrative business. As you mentioned, going that extra mile can make a world of difference to guests needing a place to stay. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Agnes Reply

    Thank you for the detailed review of Airbnb from both sides. You have given examples as well and I found that useful! I’ve been to London several times – for shorter visits only like max a week, but next time maybe I’ll be considering using Airbnb for my stay. Looking at the situation from the other side, as an owner of a flat: I rather prefer letting out my flat for a year or maybe longer than having guests for shorter terms. I like if I know the person staying in my flat – personally. How are damages caused by guests covered? Summarizing my opinion: I think – for me – it’s better to have less money than having more to do. There’s another aspect as well: the opinion of the neighbours who don’t really like always newer and newer people around. What do you think about it?

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Hello Agnes,

      It is good to look at both sides, especially from the perspecive of the owner. With regards to damages, Airbnb has what is called a Host Guarantee Program – $1,000,000 in damages to covered property in eligible countries. 

      My husband and I house sit instead of using Airbnb’s and we would love a house sit for a year or even six months. The longest one we have had is 4 months.  It is true that you never know what your neighbours are like so we always ask our hosts what to expect from them (the neighbours). We have been able to get repeat clients which is nice because you feel like you are friends. Another thing we do is try and connect with our neighbours, even if it is just to say hello or if we see them outside always talk to them. So far, it has been good for us.

  4. Stella Reply

    The experience I had during my visit to the middle wasn’t a nice one to hear. For my two days lodge, I couldn’t have a sound sleep. All I can do in the night after my long day seminar was to sit at the middle of the bed waiting for the next morning to come as quick as possible. It was an awful and scary moment hearing strange sound at the middle of the night. This is one of the disavantage of getting places like Airbnb to stay. 

    With your presentation, I have seen many nice place one can stay with massive enjoyment. But, how can one be so sure they are the truth. Although, I haven’t had experience with Airbnb before and I wish to explore their package one day. 

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Hi Stella. 

      So sorry you had such a horrible experience. As you can see, there are definitely some nice places out there!

      With regards to your concern about Airbnbs being legit, that is valid. There are a couple of things to look out for such as: if the ‘Airbnb’ hosts ask that you send them money directly or communicate only with them, this would most likely be a red flag and in fact, this happened to people we met in Mexico. They lost a lot of money and were unable to get it back. It is best to follow the procedures that Airbnb provide.

      I would also check reviews as they will provide a ton of information.

  5. Taetske Reply

    Good evening Mary Ann,

    I read on your About Me page that you started to travel 6 years ago. I also love traveling, it broadens one’s horizon.

    This post on Airbnb is very interesting and I can imagine there is a segment in the tourism sector who likes to escape the normal and have a more individual experience.

    For a short moment, I thought about how it would be to offer my organic farm to visitors but then I felt I might not like to have complete strangers in my house. Anyhow, the concept is good and I would go and stay at peoples homes being on holiday.

    Regards, Taetske

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Thank you for reading the About Me page. My only regret is that I took so long to do it. Since you like to travel, maybe you would find some interesting articles on my TheTravellingLife.com website.

      I don’t imagine everyone is comfortable letting their house out to strangers. We do a lot of house sitting and, other than the repeat clients, we are complete strangers to each other. If you are not comfortable with the idea, you probably shouldn’t do it, otherwise you would be cosntantly worrying instead of enjoying your travelling

  6. Pentrental Reply

    Great post! Airbnb definitely is an example of a great idea that became reality, hosting, as you’ve referenced well here, travelers in 191 countries and 81,000 cities. Trust is very important and Airbnb has done well to develop trust with it’s users. I really like how you’ve listed your advantages and disadvantages of Airbnb in bullet points. You’ve brought to light some important questions, especially in regard to local zoning bylaws, which I imagine not all people take into consideration. You’ve provided two solid examples in London and Catherines, well done. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts, thank you!

    • MaryAnn Reply

      That is a lot of countries and cities. It was a great concept when they first introduced it. You are right in saying not everyone would consider zoning by-laws but it could come back to bite them. 

      Not all systems are perfect though, so Airbnb does have a few disadvantages, but overall, they are definitely thriving.

  7. LearnToEarn Admin Reply

    This is a novel way to make money online from those who live in a different country and for them to see your country to learn the culture and language!  What an amazing opportunity to meet people from other nations too!
    I wouldn’t mind staying at Jane and Pete’s in Toronto, they seem to be the hospitality king and queen!  Wow! They really go out of their way to make you feel at home and comfortable.
    If I were to make this a success, I would definitely embrace the mindset of giving the people more than they expect, it will pay dividends down the road when they recommend you to their friends – word of mouth has been proven the best way to build a quality network and respect.

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Yes, that is a good feature of Airbnb – the opportunity to meet people from other countries. Most people are friendly, so there would definitely be some interesting conversations.

      Yes, even I would love to stay at Pete and Jane’s. They are definitely an exceptional couple. Going that extra mile is waht is making the world of difference to them.

  8. Rasa Reply

    Hey, Mary, I felt like sharing. 🙂

    I and my husband have had the experience of staying in an Airbnb. Overall, it was a pleasant experience given the fact that the whole thing was a pretty cheap one and we both were struggling students at the time. The beds were just beds with poor matrices. Other than that, I believe the place had the same cons as the Randy’s place – all of the facilities were shared, and of course no separate entrance. Also, something like a proper wardrobe was pretty much out of reach and the room we had was really barely enough for two people. I remember the doors having a somewhat ridiculous placement, you couldn’t open it fully. So much so that getting our stuff into the room was somewhat of a struggle. Glad we’re both lean, haha.

    Overall, I mean, we did only need a place to crash, and that’s pretty much all that the place was good for. And it was cheap. Which was our biggest ‘for’ at the time. It was also in London.

    Have a Wonderful Day!

    Rasa

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Hi Rasa.

      Glad your Airbnb all worked out in the end. Randy’s place does have a good closet and easy access in and out of the room. Thank goodness. I did suggest to him that he try and get single people instead of a couple so they would have more room. But, like you said, if you are just needing a place to lay your head for a couple of nights,it can work. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Matiss Reply

    Hey, Mary!

    Thank you for sharing the article, I found it really insightful.

    I have used Airbnb in the past but recently been looking to help my father to establish as a host. He does have some rooms to spare, thus, instead of just straight out renting it out I suggested he experiment with some Airbnb as it’s likely to bring in higher income. Naturally, I’ve been delegated to do all the logistical stuff and research.

    In that sense, I did find some Gold Nuggets among the information you provided. Useful also was it to compare with the already well-established hosts. 

    REALLY LOVED the idea of giving attention to detail and improving comfort. One extra mile does not really ask too much but the return can be great. Also, the quote I found extremely relevant.

    Thank you! Cheers, and have a Great One!

    Matiss

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Thanks for stoppig by. I think it is a wonderful idea for your dad (even though you get to do most of the work). Our one example, Pete and Jane, went through a horrendous time when they rented out the space to two girls. Turns out they were the renters from H___!! Pete started talking to a neighbour who suggested the Airbnb. Once they finally were able to get the renters out, they went ahead and haven’t looked back.

      They think that by doing all the extra touches, it has attributed to their success. 

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