Airbnb Room

How To And Who Should Become An Airbnb Host Right Now!

As an Airbnb owner, or Airbnb host, the thing I get asked the most is “do you have a valid Airbnb coupon code for me? (peoples priorities eh?) and then usually something along the lines of “but aren’t you a bit worried about letting random strangers into your home?” Well I can answer that quite easily, yes and no.

Have I cleared that up for you? no didn’t think so, so let me explain what I mean. And by the way, yes, I do have an Airbnb coupon code 2017 which gives anyone who signs up as a new host some credit to spend. But ill explain more about that in a minute.

Firstly let me start by explaining how I got into Airbnb hosting. I am english but I live in Barcelona which is a beautiful city and a hugely popular holiday destination. I cant remember the exact number of tourists that visit per year but by just looking around its pretty crazy and its not hard to see why. Barcelona is an extremely vibrant city that has almost everything you could want from a holiday. Culture, sport, architecture, bars & clubs, nature and even the beach (which is very rare for such a big city).



So it didn’t take long for me to want a slice of the pie to get to know some of these visitors as traveling and meeting new people is what I do best. This way though, the travellers would be coming to me and I would be making some much needed additional cash.

A friend who had already started hosting pointed me in the right direction and off I went.

So now I’ve hosted over 100 individual Airbnb guests in my home, hopefully I’m in a position to pass on some of what I have learnt. I rent my spare room out, not the whole apartment, so I’m actually living with my guests during their stay.

Airbnb example listing

An example of how I set up my guest room just to add that extra touch (note the map where guests can mark where they are from).

The Pros of Becoming an Airbnb Host:

  • Extra money – Lets face it, its probably the reason 99% of people sign up to become a host in the first place. As fun as meeting new people is, its rarely the initial reason for becoming a host. That tends to come after you ease into it, become more comfortable and find your own hosting style.
  • Meeting new people – Its a strong second on the list but it is second for a reason. After hosting your first few guests you actually start to enjoy the excitement and unpredictability of who will be turning up next.
  • Learning about the place your living in – It might sounds strange at first but you will pretty much become a tourist information point for your guests. So, if like me, you live in a place you were not born or brought up in it forces you to learn more about the area. Im amazed at how much I may have missed if it wasn’t for the research I’ve done for my guests or the stories I get told by them at the end of a long day exploring.
  • Satisfaction – Job satisfaction ranks pretty high for most people when talking about their lives. Theres no two ways about it, Airbnb hosting is a job. Maybe not a full time job but it is a job for sure. Introducing people to an awesome new place and seeing their reactions is pretty satisfying if you ask me.
  • Money – Did I mention that before? Well done right, hosting can be very rewarding… Lets quickly get through the list of cons and I will explain everything.

The Cons of Becoming an Airbnb Host:

  • Washing – Omg the washing, you better have a good washing machine. If you set your minimum stay on Airbnb to 1 night (like me) you could have new guests checking-in 3 to 4 times a week. Thats a lot of bedsheets and towels.
  • Security – This is probably the big one for most people. Yes ok there is a chance you could wake up and all of your things are missing but as long as you take the appropriate steps to cover yourself you will be fine (more on this further down).
  • Privacy – If you value your privacy then this may concern you. From my experience though, you will hardly ever see your guests. They are on holiday and they wont be sitting around the apartment or house all day they will be out and about. Ive had guests who checked-in then I didn’t see again until they check-out more often than you would think.
  • Flexibility – If you don’t have the flexibility to meet your guests because of work, or you don’t have anyone who can check them in for you when you are not able to, this could impact your ability to host. You could avoid this by only accepting guests who’s check in times fit into your schedule but it will have a big impact on your potential earnings. Something to think about.

So You’ve Decided You’re Going to Give It a Go?

Great! I did and haven’t regretted it once. So the big question: HOW MUCH MONEY CAN I MAKE?

Well that all depends on where you are located, if you have a spare room big enough for 2 people or just 1, the quality of your accommodation and the attractiveness of your Airbnb listing.

Without going into specific figures, I make about the same from Airbnb as a lot of my friends do in full time employment. But I accept almost every request I get from travellers, I allow any duration of stay and in general I am very flexible on everything (check-in/check-out times especially).

Once you get some good reviews under your belt, and hopefully plenty of 5 star ratings, you should be able to charge more. But keep it more or less in line with other similar listings in your area. Do some research!

If you were thinking about finding a new roommate you could be making 3 times as much (or more) with Airbnb.

Airbnb Listing Atributes

An example of my listing on Airbnb (click to enlarge)

Security

Ok firstly check with Airbnb what the rules and regulations of your area/city are. If you comply with all of them, Airbnb provide a host guarantee which states:

“We’re committed to creating a safe and trusted community around the world. Though property damage is rare, we understand you may need protection. The Host Guarantee will reimburse eligible hosts for damages up to $1,000,000.”

For more info on the Airbnb host guarantee go to: www.airbnb.com/guarantee

Another simple thing you can do for peace of mind is install a lock or a door handle on your bedroom door that has a built in lock. Ive done this and although I very rarely actually lock it, I know I can put my valuables in my room and lock it up if I feel the need to.

Conclusion

So my original answer of yes and no is a simple case of weighing up the pros and cons. Everybody’s circumstances and preferences are different so you will have to decide for yourself if Airbnb hosting is for you. For me the pros completely outweigh the cons, in fact after so long doing this I kind of forgot what the cons are until I wrote this post.

If you are in a position to do it and you have the space, go for it! The biggest thing I’ve learnt from hosting is that people are actually pretty cool, I’ve never once had any major problems. In fact I’ve actually gained about 3 hair dryers, 10 towels and a lot of friends along the way. Not to mention I haven’t had to buy shampoo for the last year. So much for things going missing.

So now for the famous Airbnb coupon code 2017: CHARLIEG3192 if you do use it when you become a host we both get a little credit to spend on traveling with Airbnb.

I hope that helps anyone thinking about signing up. If it did, or if you are already doing it, let me know in the comments sections below i’d appreciate it. Or even better, SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter to get more info on travel related topics and to check out some of my travel photography! Just follow the link in the menu bar (top right) or use the sign up box somewhere on the right hand side of this page!

Happy Hosting!

 

Charlie Gardiner
Article by Charlie Gardiner

Charlie, originally from the UK but currently based in Spain, is a travel photographer and the founder of World of Travel Photography. For the last few years he has been making a living from his travel photography which has enabled him to see more and more of the world. Check out his Instagram and Twitter accounts below to follow his latest adventures.

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