AirBnB – rent out your room(s) for extra $$

airbnb-logoAir, implying virtual, and BnB standing for “Bed and Breakfast”.  You guessed it – it’s an online community of property owners renting out private rooms or entire homes to users online – on their own terms, prices and schedules.  For the host, it’s like having a real Bed & Breakfast but without the formalities related to setting up a new business and the pressures of constant customer service.  AirBnB offers complete flexibility and hosts can decline or accept offers from guests as they please.  Want to host year-round? You can. Or just for 2 weeks out of the year? That works too.

Many farms, whether urban or rural, have the excess space and rooms favourable to setting up new AirBnB quarters.  Here’s the skinny on what guests are usually looking for:

  • a good deal (AirBnB listings generally undercut local hotels and motels)
  • personal touch of host and unique decor or theme to their stay
  • clean, safe accommodations
  • a private bathroom if possible
  • some like kitchen access too

How AirBnB makes money

It’s free to create an account and put up your listings on the website.  AirBnB only makes money if you make money meaning they take a small percent of what you earn from your guests.  All payments are first processed by AirBnB before landing in your PayPal or bank account, and so all dues are paid by the time the money reaches you.  Just so you know, the website cleverly takes a percent from both the guest and the host, these are called guest service fees (6-12%) and host service fees (3%), which can be illustrated with the following example.  Imagine you list a private room for $55 a night, and a guest, let’s call him Tim, decides to book one night with you.  Online, the guest service fee will automatically be included in the price and Tim will see the price of $60 for your room.  He will pay it and the website will process the payment for the regular holding time of 24 hours after the guest’s check-in after which point they pay you your earnings: $53 on your listed price of $55.  That’s the full story, but as the host you just need to be aware that AirBnB takes 3% of your earnings – that’s it!

When considering if AirBnB is right for you, ask yourself a few important questions:

Do you enjoy meeting new people and helping out travelers in your area?

Are you organized and able to stay on track of hosting and room/apartment maintenance?

Is everyone in your household comfortable with hosting?

Food for thought

I suspect that none of this would have been possible if not for Couchsurfing, an international network linking travellers on a budget with hosts who can put them up for free on their couches or spare beds. It is couchsurfing that pioneered a new trust and friendliness between the globetrotting community.  With online reviews and comments left by previous guests, strangers feel much more comfortable hosting other strangers and letting them into their homes.  If not for this breakthrough in basic human trust – we would have no AirBnB to make extra bucks from!

The #1 reason AirBnB makes so much sense

… because you’re making extra income from something you already have!  

Leveraging existing resources to make extra money is simply the smart thing to do.

Read these stories on how regular home owners made extra income from AirBnB: 

“Globe and Mail” – “House guests who pay shake up travel industry”: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/household-finances/house-guests-who-pay-shake-up-travel-industry/article588393/

 The AirBnB calculator to see how much your place is worth: https://www.airbnb.ca/whats-my-place-worth

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