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    How to earn money on Airbnb

    Get tips from Hosts for listing your space and earning money on Airbnb.
    By Airbnb on 23 Oct 2020
    5 min read
    Updated 9 Dec 2021

    Highlights

    Whether you—or someone you know—have a spare room, a second home, or an apartment to rent while out of town, Airbnb makes it easy to list your space and connect with people from across the world. But how do you earn money on Airbnb?

    1. Start by listing your space—it’s free, and Airbnb only collects a small percentage of your nightly rate
    2. Choose what type of Host you want to be (more on that below)
    3. Decide how much you want to charge

    Still not sure if hosting is right for you? These 5 Hosts opened their doors to share what hosting looks like for them, as well as a few hosting tips.

    Elise: The occasional Host

    As a successful photographer and small business owner in Atlanta, Superhost Elise was looking for a new creative endeavor. Occasionally hosting her tiny house became a way to fulfill that desire while allowing her to pay it off at the same time. 

    When Elise and her husband aren’t enjoying their little house in the woods, they’re hosting guests in the cozy space. The tiny house is now another way for the couple to earn money, which they’re investing into their travels and a second tiny house. 

    Hosting is so freeing in such an interesting way. It’s financially freeing.
    Superhost Elise,
    Atlanta

    Elise’s hosting tips:

    • Just do it—you’ll never be 100% ready, but it’s free to list your place
    • Cut down on costs by asking friends and family to share their skills—perhaps to fix a leaky faucet or help decorate
    • Find someone who can help you handle check-ins if you don’t live near your space

    Shinya: The part-time Host

    For Shinya, a Host Advisory Board member and part-time Superhost in Osaka, Japan, hosting is a welcome break from his full-time job as the director of his family’s natural fibers business.

    “I find hosting so refreshing,” Shinya says. “It allows me to connect with people from all over the world—that’s not something I get to do at work.”

    Shinya started hosting in 2016 after renovating a second family home. The house is on the same property as his, making it easy for him to prepare the space between guests while balancing his responsibilities at the office.

    “I spend my free time after work responding to guests and ensuring they have everything they need,” Shinya says. “It’s important that guests feel cared for, and it’s something that brings me so much joy.”

    Shinya’s hosting tips:

    Starr: The full-time Host

    Exhausted from balancing childcare and hectic careers in finance and real estate, Superhost Starr of Charlotte, North Carolina, was looking for a change. After continually seeking relaxing weekends away at a local retreat, Starr and her husband, Brian, asked themselves, “Can we create a place like this?”

    Leveraging experience they’d gained from years spent working together on home renovations and flipping real estate, the couple took a chance and listed one of their properties on Airbnb. Today, they have 5 homes listed in the Charlotte area, as part of their budding boutique hotel and retreat space, the Old Haigler Inn.

    Starr was finally able to leave her job in finance to dedicate herself to their hosting business. “I love knowing that I’m providing families with a place where they can connect,” Starr says of her growing business.

    Hosting full-time is hard work, but it’s also deeply rewarding.
    Superhost Starr,
    Charlotte, North Carolina

    Starr’s hosting tips:

    • Since what you charge is up to you, start low and increase once you get a few positive reviews
    • Research what other Hosts charge in your area
    • Calculate what it’ll cost to prepare your space between guests and add fees accordingly

    Parth: The Co-Host

    “I always wanted to host travelers and show them the city, so I thought, ‘Why not give Airbnb a try?’” says Host Parth of Kaunas, Lithuania. “My apartment is in a great location and I have a guest room.”

    Parth loved the experience so much that, when a friend asked if he would be her Co-Host for several properties, he eagerly agreed. “My work schedule is very flexible, so I can take care of my co-hosting responsibilities—managing the cleaners, engaging with guests—as needed,” he says.

    Co-hosting is now where Parth focuses his energy—he no longer lists his own space—and he’s thankful for the opportunity. “I get to meet so many amazing people through Airbnb,” he says. “I’m always telling others, you don’t have to list your own space to become a part of the hosting community.”

    Parth’s hosting tips:

    • Write an honest listing description to set expectations and help ensure great reviews
    • Ask trained professionals for help with taxes and local regulations
    • Select a payout method to receive your payments, or what we refer to as payouts (Airbnb sends your payout 24 hours after your guests’ scheduled check-in time, but it may take up to 7 days to receive it, depending on which payout method you’ve selected and where you live)

    Burt: The Host of an Experience

    You don’t have to list a physical space to become a Host on Airbnb. Individuals across the world are joining the Airbnb community as Hosts of Experiences. These folks don’t provide guests with a place to stay—they host fun, engaging activities that can immerse travelers into local culture.

    “My Experience is Music mentorship with a Grammy winner,” Burt says. “I host one-on-one sessions in my music studio where I help folks hone their music production and engineering skills, rapping style, singer/songwriter abilities, DJing prowess, and more.”

    For Burt, being a Host of an Experience allows him to help others foster their creative potential while boosting his income.

    “Doing your thing on Airbnb is really like running your own business,” Burt says. “But normally, when you start a business, you have to get a business license or a loan, have some capital, and that can be limiting for a lot of people. But on Airbnb you can go in with an idea and $10 [USD].”

    Want to learn more about how to make money as a Host on Airbnb?

    Highlights

    Airbnb
    23 Oct 2020
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