Holidays have gotten a whole lot easier with the advent of Airbnb. Simply work out where you want to go and start searching for accommodation for rent that suits your needs and…voila. A great property for a great price and everyone is happy.
But what happens when you are on the flip side of this negotiation? If you are looking at renting out your home while you go on holidays yourself, or perhaps you are looking at renting out a room in your home while you are living there?
Whatever your situation, we look at the good, the bad and the ugly of renting out a room and/or your home on Airbnb.
If you’re not already aware, Airbnb is an online marketplace that enables you to rent out your home (or a room in it). As you would expect, they do take a cut in it all, which is 3% of every booking from hosts and 6%-12% from guests. But you get to set the price, so you don’t have to settle for anything less than what you want (as long as you find someone willing to pay!)
1. The Money
So let’s start off the with most obvious – money! After all, we could all do with a bit more of this in our lives. Airbnb can make the perfect side hustle.
If you have a spare room lying around not being used, why not make it useful and get some cash for it? Think about it, your overhead is low (you already have the space), and there is a whole site dedicated to people willing to pay for it so you don’t even have to look hard. It takes very little effort from your part to set it up, plus you would earn more than if you were to get a permanent roommate.
Or perhaps you are heading off on holiday and are leaving an empty house behind. Wouldn’t it be better to get some money for it while you are away? This money can help pay for accommodation on your trip.
Or you might have a vacation home that you aren’t using all the time. Don’t let it just sit empty until you go back to it. Whatever your situation may be, lets get it listed on airbnb!
The system is completely safe: guests pay in full beforehand, and this money is held and released to you 24 hours after the guest moves into your place.Over 6m Airbnb listings worldwide, 81k cities, 191 countries, 500m guests all time, 2m stays on average per night. AirBNB...only the finest home prostitution! #SideHustle #AirBNBProstitutionFTW Click To Tweet
2. The Flexibility
If you’re even considering the option of renting out a room on Airbnb, it means you have the space to do so. This can be for a number of different reasons:
- You have moved into a two-bedroom unit and don’t want to commit to a housemate: voila! Have one when you feel like it and enjoy the peace and quiet when you need it. We get it, not everyone is big on commitment. This way you can make the rules. And have the flexibility of fitting it around your needs and your lifestyle.
- You and your partner have just moved into a bigger house and now have a guest room just sitting there. Let’s be honest, how often do you actually have guests stay? Once a year, maybe twice? 90% of the time that room would be sitting there gathering dust, but the fact is, you need it free when Grandma comes to town. Airbnb is perfect for this. Rent out the room when you don’t need it, keep it free for when you do. You choose!
The flexibility of the arrangement is a massive advantage, as it means that you call the shots and can work it around your lifestyle and what you are looking for.
This also works for any planned trips you have. Who doesn’t hate heading overseas for a long overdue vacation, only to remember you are still paying rent on your place back home, which is essentially wasted money.
Instead, you choose when you travel, you lists your dates, and you get someone to move in! Easy!
3. The Baggage
Ok, so we have talked you through the different perks of renting out your room on Airbnb, but it’s also important to think about the downside. After all, you are inviting someone to live in your home, so there are going to be challenges.
When renting out a room while you are living there as well, there are a few things to consider. You may have to share a bathroom and come in each day to see nail clippings on the floor, hair stuck in the shower and the toilet seat left up. Will you be able to handle this and turn a blind eye? Let’s face it, people have weird habits, and you just never know what you are going to get. If you’re not the kind of person who can handle sharing and letting the little things go, you may want to rethink renting out your room. Of course, everyone is different and everyone you let into your home is going to be different as well, so you have to be open to it.
Similarly, when renting out your whole home while you are away, you have to be ok with the fact that people will be living there and using your things. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, you may end up spending the whole trip worrying instead of enjoying yourself.
4. The Stranger
That’s right. Renting out your room or your home means living with a stranger or at least letting them into your home. Unlike a roommate who you vet and get to know over a period of time, when renting, people come and go and often aren’t there long enough for you to get to know them well.
Don’t worry, there are things you can do to put your mind at ease about this situation. You can use Airbnb to actually verify their identity beforehand, so you have some idea of who is walking into your home. You can also set up a chat with them, giving you the opportunity to get to know them before they arrive. There is also a peer-review system on their site that allows you to read reviews other hosts have left to get an idea on this person’s character.
If you don’t feel comfortable, you can bail!My friend got a pet elephant for vacation. Then it got lost in our AirBNB somewhere. Amazing how spacious that place was. Oh yeah, we found the elephant bathing in the pool, of course! #SideHustle #AirBNBelephant Click To Tweet
Final Thoughts before Airing on Airbnb
So is renting out a room in Airbnb for you? Let’s be honest, it’s the perfect side hustle that will earn you some quick cash for doing very little – what’s not to love about it?!
Plus, Airbnb has a 24-hour helpline and has recently introduced an insurance policy for any loss due to theft or vandalism. This should help put your mind at ease when it comes down to it and you know what, if hundreds of thousands of other people are enjoying the perks, why shouldn’t you?