I’ve been an advocate for people to become hosts on Airbnb ever since I hosted my first guest exactly 1 year ago.
Well, because it’s so simple. You get maximum payout for minimal effort, and that’s pretty much my life motto right now. Unlike a traditional retail part time job, Airbnb doesn’t require you to drive to a brick and mortar for 5 hours in the evening or interfere with your weekend plans. You don’t have to ask for permission for time off, and more importantly, you don’t have to deal with whining customers. With Airbnb, my only obligation is to make sure my the room is clean and comfortable, as advertised. Even if I have a guest, I can still go out and enjoy a night out with friends.
Can you do that with a traditional retail part-time job?
The Income Report
May 2016: $325
May was my first official month as an Airbnb host. I’d decided to test out the waters earlier in the month by listing my guest room for a weekend when I was going to be out of town with my friends. Depending on how that went, I would determine whether hosting would be a permanent side gig.
I ended up pocketing an easy $325 for a 3-night stay while I was on vacation. How could I say no to this easy money?
June 2016: $690
Since my first guest experience went off without a hitch, I decided to list my guest bedroom for the entire month. Unlike in May where I was on vacation during their stay, this meant that I would be home during my guests’ reservations. I still had some reservations (no pun intended) about being home with them. I mean, I didn’t want to feel like a guest in my own my home, but I knew I’d have to give it a shot in order to find out.
The first part of June was fairly quiet, and I didn’t get any reservation requests until the middle of the month. From mid-June through the end of June, I hosted a total of 4 guests. My first guest was a businessman in his mid-40s who was in town for a few meetings. Once I saw his reservation request come through, I was a little apprehensive. I’m not an overly cautious person, but I felt some kind of way about having an unknown man in my house while I slept just a few doors down. He had several glowing reviews from other hosts, so I gave it a shot and accepted his reservation.
He turned out to be a pretty cool guy. He stayed for 4 nights and didn’t get home until 9 PM most days. We’d chat for about 15 minutes once he got home, and he’d pet my dog while we talked, then he’d wander off to his room and work on his laptop. Completely harmless.
I netted a total of $690.
After my first full month of hosting, I quickly decided to only accept reservations for 2 days or more. Having to flip the room and get it cleaned between guests was quickly getting old, so I changed that requirement to make life a little bit easier. Airbnb hosting burnout is real and I didn’t want to give up a gig that brought in cash flow for such low effort.
July 2016: $1,439
Booking after booking after booking!
Summer officially starts in Seattle on July 5th and my reservation requests were off the chart! My Airbnb app notification was dinging on the regular. I literally only had 2 days without guests during the entire month of July. (This isn’t counting the week I went to London for the Beyonce court!)
I had guests back-to-back-to-back in July which was great for earning additional income. I created a separate bank account for all my Airbnb earnings and loved watching the balance grow. By the end of the month, I earned a little over $1,400.
My guests were all quite lovely and enjoyable people. The last 10 days of the month I hosted a young travel nurse and her husband who stayed with me while they waited for their corporate housing. Their 10-day stay made me realize that I prefer longer reservations because it’s:
1. Guaranteed income
2. Less time spent cleaning the room for new guests
July was my highest earning month thus far. At that point, I was feeling comfortable as an Airbnb host and what I can offer my guests. I was really starting to get into a groove and feelin’ myself. I even increased my nightly rate by $10 per night. Such a rebel!
August 2016: $1,374
August was yet another hot month for bookings. I found myself booked almost back-to-back for the entire month. This month I hosted my first international guests – The first was a guy from London, and the second guest was a girl from Shanghai. Both were super cool individuals with friendly personalities.
By August, I was used to having a steady rotation of guests. While most guests are gone working or sightseeing the majority of the day, I’d started to enjoy the evenings when they tell me about their day and all the cool local attractions they’ve seen.
I enjoy hosting more than I initially suspected I would. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I got a little sad when my guests left. But despite that, it made me feel good to know that I’ve helped make their vacation or business trip as pleasant as possible.
All in all, August was yet another lucrative month.
Make sure to ask the purpose of a potential guest’s trip before accepting a reservation. P.S. I forgot Seattle hosted a Hemp Fest every year. Totally cool, but my home isn’t 420 friendly. Sorry folks!
September 2016: $500
Feast or Famine.
That’s how Airbnb works in the Seattle area once tourist season dries up. You’re probably thinking, “Already?!”
Yep! You’ve got a small window of time to visit during the summer months when there’s consistent sunny weather. After Labor Day, the number of tourists starts declining rapidly, and by October, it’s pretty slow. I only had one booking for September, and that was a nice older gentleman who stayed for three nights over Labor Day weekend. He was friendly and I netted an easy $500.
October 2016: $728
Similar to September, I only had 1 booking during the month of October. My guest was a woman who was relocating to the Seattle area and needed some time to find an apartment, so she stayed at my place for 10 days while she worked and searched for rentals in the area.
Another easy $728 in my pocket.
6 Month Income Total: $5,056
Expenses: Because the majority of guests were gone all day sightseeing, I saw a minimal increase in my utilities. My water bill increased slightly by about 15% or so, but not enough to make much of a difference.
I’ve started renting my spare room out to travel nurses now (a new post about that coming soon), but I love that Airbnb is the reason I first start making money on a room that I wasn’t even using. If you’re thinking about hosting, I’d encourage you to sign up and give it a try. It’s been an enjoyable experience for me, and hopefully will be for you as well.
This post was proofread by Grammarly
Join the newsletter
Join for subscriber only content and giveaways!