How You Can Make Real Money From Airbnb Right Now (even if you don’t own any property)

Did you know that regular people are making money from the Airbnb platform without even owning any property? Did you know that there many ways to create a new income stream with travel returning?

In this article, we’re going to look at how you can make money from the Airbnb app right now.

You may be looking to make some extra money and don’t know where to start. We all know what it’s like to work on a new income stream. You feel frustrated and don’t know what to do. You just want to get paid without waiting for months to see your first dollar.

This is why we’re going to look at how you can make money from the Airbnb platform right away so that you don’t waste your valuable time…

How to make money on Airbnb

Did you know that Airbnb hosts earned more money in 2021 than ever before? The CEO of Airbnb went on record to say that they need millions of new hosts to match the surging demand with travel making a comeback finally.

The last few years have shown us that we can’t rely on one source of income. It’s more important than ever to build multiple streams of income so that you’re protected and not stressing out about money coming in.

I started making money from the Airbnb platform in 2016 when I first heard of the app (read up on how you can list your space with Airbnb right now). Since then I’ve found many creative ways to monetize on Airbnb.

We’re going to take a detailed look at how you can make money on the Airbnb app. The good news is that there are many different ways that you can profit from this app even if you don’t own property right now…

How can you make money from Airbnb right now?

How do you make money from Airbnb? There are some creative options and there are some simple ways to generate income.

Before we start to get a little creative, let’s look at the main options if you want to make money from Airbnb.

There are generally two ways to make money from Airbnb:

  1. Renting out a place/accommodation to guests.
  2. Offering an Airbnb Experience.

We’re going to break both of these options down in this article. There’s plenty that goes into both offering a place to stay and starting an experience on Airbnb.

Option #1 for making money on Airbnb: Listing space on Airbnb.

As the world goes digital, we find ourselves relying on apps like Uber, Airbnb, and others to make life simpler. When we travel, we tend to look up units on Airbnb first to see what’s available out there. We will search for an Airbnb before we even think about seeking out a hotel. We turn to Airbnb because we want to stay in a place that feels like home instead of some stuffy hotel.

We know that Airbnb will provide us with a kitchen and a travel-friendly room to stay at a decent cost (that’s the expectation at least). Airbnb also offers travel experiences that you can’t find anywhere else, like staying with locals in a small town or finding a treehouse in the jungles of Costa Rica.

You can make money by hosting space for potential guests who are looking for somewhere to stay. The beauty of Airbnb is that you can rent out any space that you want to.

What kind of space can you rent out on Airbnb?

  • Your entire home when you travel.
  • Your spare bedroom.
  • A tent in your backyard.
  • Your basement.
  • A portion of your home.
  • A trailer on your property.
  • Something else.

I’ve unfortunately had to learn the hard way that a portion of a room could be rented out to you on Airbnb. I rented a space for a cousin’s wedding out of town. When I arrived at the unit, I discovered that it was just a bedroom in a family home. The entire family was home and we wouldn’t even have our own washroom for the stay. I’m not a picky person, but I certainly like to have my own bathroom for my morning business.

The good news is that you can rent out any space in your home to make some money with Airbnb. You should be clear in the description of what you’re offering so that you get those 5-star reviews.

There are also many different scenarios where you can make money on Airbnb, such as:

  • You can rent your place out when you travel.
  • You can rent your place out during busy weekends.
  • You can rent out the extra bedroom.
  • You can turn your basement into an income-generating Airbnb rental.

Option #2 for making money with Airbnb: Hosting an Airbnb Experience.

What’s an Airbnb Experience?

Here’s the official description of an Airbnb Experience according to the website:

“It’s an activity that goes beyond the typical tour or class, designed and led by locals all over the world. Show off your city, craft, cause, or culture by hosting an experience.”

When you travel somewhere and stay with Airbnb, you’re often given a list of things to do. Airbnb will offer you suggestions for things to do on your trip. These recommendations will vary depending on the location.

When I was in Mexico, the Airbnb app promoted cenote tours and taco tours daily along with many other interesting options.

The images below were a few of the experience options that were suggested to me by Airbnb.

Start an Airbnb Experience

As you can see, there are hosts who are making money from visiting cenotes and showing you where to take the best photos for Instagram. The experiences are also going for a decent rate so if you get a group of 10 guests, you can have a fairly profitable day as an experience host.

When I switched over to the next town, the options also changed with Airbnb Experiences…

Start an Airbnb Experience

The best part of these Airbnb Experiences is that the hosts are regular people who are making money from pursuing their passions or from simple daily activities (like eating tacos!).

You could become a host by simply applying through Airbnb. You can host your own experience on the Airbnb platform where you make money from a unique passion of yours.

You essentially get paid to lead people in activities that you enjoy. If you look through an experience page of any city, you’ll find many activities that are designed for tourists to enjoy. You’ll find that you can start your own business with no start-up costs.

[Read our detailed guide on how to start an Airbnb Experience or see how inspiring hosts are making money on Airbnb.]

What kind of Airbnb Experience can you host?

You can pretty much turn anything into an experience on the Airbnb platform. I personally went with a coffee crawl because I wanted to show tourists the cool coffee shops of Queen West.

Once your experience gets popular enough, Airbnb will recommend you as a thing to do for any guests that are coming into the area. Your goal is to get enough reviews so that Airbnb promotes you consistently.

Start an Airbnb Experience

The most popular experience ideas usually are:

  • Food tours.
  • Walking tours.
  • Anything bike-related.
  • Wine tasting.
  • Exploring.
  • Anything unique.

Keep in mind that tourists will usually want to do something that’s interesting or local. Think of any time that you’ve travelled to a new place. You want to see the popular destinations, the hidden gems, and you want to see what the local culture is really like.

Your experience can be anything that you want it to be. You could mix biking and food. You could think of something completely unique. There’s a category for every kind of experience for every kind of traveller out there. You have to apply to see it for yourself.

One more tip about making money with Airbnb Experiences: Every city/community needs its own tours. There could never be enough tours in photography, food, history, and areas like that. People will always want to go exploring. Tourists are always looking for something interesting to do.

You could always put your unique spin on a tour. There’s a gentleman who does stand-up comedy on a historical tour, there are people who do haunted tours, and then there are tours that combine history with food.

Start an Airbnb Experience

As you can see from this image above, people love to explore and take pictures when they travel.

If you want to turn an Airbnb Experience into a real business, then click here to learn more about my Experience Empire program.

You can also grab my Airbnb Experiences guide on Amazon or here. If you’re confident, you can apply to host your Experience here.

Let’s move on to the next point…

What if you don’t own any property and still want to make money with Airbnb?

How to make money on Airbnb

Let’s just say that you down own any property and you’re not sure if an Airbnb Experience is the way to go. You know that there’s money to be made with Airbnb, but you’re a bit stuck and don’t have the money to invest.

What are your options here when you don’t own any property?

You can sublet a property/unit/room/space.

You can lease a place and then list it on Airbnb to make some money. You don’t have to be the owner. You can sublease the place that you’re renting or a portion of it (your spare bedroom).

I actually experienced this as a landlord. I had a tenant who rented out my unit so that she could make money from Airbnb. I charged extra for this option and I put it in the lease agreement.

She was honest about why she wanted to lease the place out. Her goal was to build an Airbnb business and I was in full support of this. She was able to rent out a few units in the same building that she listed on Airbnb until the pandemic hit.

[Side note: Please ensure that Airbnb/short-term lists are legal in your unit and where you live.

What about the legal ramifications? This all depends on your agreement. If the lease specifically states that you can’t sublet then you’re going to want to seek legal advice.]

You can be a property manager for an Airbnb unit.

There’s big money these days in property management and Airbnb management. Many real estate investors don’t have the time to manage tenants and to worry about screening guests.

When my rental property was flooded, I worked with my tenant to secure accommodations. We found a company that managed Airbnb units. This company didn’t own any actual property. They managed the properties for property owners across the city.

Landlords and investors could be too busy to deal with the daily grind of Airbnb rentals. They also may just not be aware that the option to make more money on Airbnb exists.

How do you manage an Airbnb property?

  • You organize the unit so that it’s ready to be listed.
  • You list the unit.
  • You market the unit.
  • You screen potential clients.
  • You handle all of the paperwork/administrative tasks.
  • You deal with guests.
  • You organize the cleaning and the other services.
  • You handle any issues that pop up.

How can you start to manage Airbnb properties?

  1. Host your own place/space to get a feel for the process.
  2. Offer your services online or find landlords in Facebook groups who are looking for tenants.
  3. Build your client base one unit at a time.

Bonus option: you can get very creative with what you rent out with Airbnb.

When I was in Byron Bay, Australia, I stayed in a trailer attached to a property. The family had put a trailer in their backyard and rented it out. Luckily, they added a fan because it was pretty warm in there.

You can get creative with the space that you list depending on where you live. This means that you could set up a tent in your backyard or turn your garage into a spare bedroom.

The caveat here is that you must mention this in the description. You don’t want someone showing up thinking that they’re staying in a home when they’re actually sleeping out back in a tent.

The good news is that you can create a unique living accommodation that would bring in money for you while giving someone else an interesting experience. Many tourists are looking for a different experience when they travel.

What’s the best way to start making money with Airbnb right now?

How can you start making money right now with Airbnb?

Here’s what I would do if I were new to the Airbnb App and wanted to make some money right away.

Step 1: Look at what options you have.

Do you have an extra room in your place? Do you have an Airbnb experience idea that you would love to launch?

What’s your best option for making money with Airbnb with your resources?

Figure this out and follow through on it. Your options will depend on your personal situation and where you live.

  • If you live in a popular part of the world, you can easily start an experience that attracts tourists.
  • If you have space in your home, you can turn that basement into a rental income on Airbnb.
  • If you travel often, you can list your space whenever you go away.
  • If you enjoy dealing with people, you can get into the property management side.

Step 2: Test out different ideas for profit.

As you may know, Airbnb is location-based. It’s tough to tell you what the best option for making money is if I don’t know anything about your community.

In Toronto, I was able to make decent money from renting out my unit nightly and from hosting a local coffee crawl. The population and logistics allowed me to make money from the app.

What are different ideas that you can test out?

  • See what similar units are charging on the Airbnb platform.
  • Look over popular experiences in your town and look for what’s missing.
  • Apply to host a space or an experience. See what the demand is like.

Your goal is to figure out what you can do to make money on your own.

When I was in Mexico, I noticed some major issues with the property management companies. There were some excellent companies. Then there were companies/hosts that had no clue about what they were doing.

Here are some issues that I noticed with Airbnb management companies:

  • They didn’t have clear instructions for checking in or finding the unit.
  • The description wasn’t adequate.
  • They had slow response rates.
  • The units weren’t as advertised.
  • They didn’t provide basics (like toilet paper).

Step 3: Outsource where you can to maximize income from Airbnb.

You don’t have to do everything on your own with Airbnb. You could outsource certain aspects to maximize your time and to free up your schedule.

What can you outsource with Airbnb?

  • You can hire a co-host for your experiences and run multiple experiences.
  • You can hire a cleaning company to handle the clean-up of the unit.
  • You can list your space through a property management company.
  • You can automate the entire process by using a key box system.

Step 4: Find gaps where you can make money in your community.

As I set up my business ventures on the Airbnb platform, I discovered many opportunities for generating an income.

The trick is to look at related services that you can offer. There are many services that you can offer on the Airbnb platform.

Here are possible opportunities for making even more money with Airbnb:

  • You can create a property management service.
  • You can offer cleaning services or coordinate the cleaning of units between guests.
  • See what kind of experience is popular in other parts of the world that haven’t been brought to your town yet.

Once you get into the flow of listing units on Airbnb or hosting experiences, you can then find a gap in the local marketplace to see how you can make money.

What else should you know about making money on Airbnb?

So you’re convinced that Airbnb is the way to go. You’re ready to start getting paid. You’re just not 100% sure about this.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind about making money on Airbnb.

Everything will depend on reviews with Airbnb.

Your goal is to get 5-star reviews consistently (as a host and guest). Your profile/description and reviews are absolutely critical since this is usually the first thing that guests look at.

How do you get 5-star reviews?

  • Explain everything clearly on the platform. You want to explain everything from the check-in process to the wi-fi situation.
  • Offer suggestions. I’ve always been pleasantly surprised to find suggestions of things to do and even restaurant recommendations. As a traveller, you’re going to want to know the basics.
  • Respond promptly. This one is key because travel can get stressful and guests may need immediate assistance.
  • Everything should be as advertised. Don’t get too creative with the photos.

You have to stand out to maximize your revenue.

With there being more competition in the Airbnb space, you have to work a bit harder to differentiate yourself. The good news is that a little bit of effort will go a long way.

Here are a few tricks for standing out on the Airbnb platform:

  • Offer something extra. Can you provide bikes for your guests? Can you add some coffee? Think of something extra that you can offer.
  • Be prompt with your responses. You want to try to be as helpful as possible with guests and potential guests.
  • Cover everything in the description. Don’t assume anything. Most tourists would like to have more information than less information.

Go through our previous articles on Airbnb for more tips on getting 5-star reviews.

You have to understand local regulations.

As common as Airbnb is, not every part of the world has been so quick to adopt it. There are places where listing a unit on Airbnb isn’t allowed. It’s on you to know the local regulations.

On that note…

You’re responsible for your own taxes and finances.

You’re self-employed and everything is on you. It’s important that you keep track of all of your documents from Airbnb (they send you everything). You have to ensure that you comply with local tax laws so that your business doesn’t get shut down.

Good luck with your Airbnb journey. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about making money with Airbnb.

4 thoughts on “How You Can Make Real Money From Airbnb Right Now (even if you don’t own any property)”

  1. I wasn’t even aware of the experience hosting opportunity on Airbnb. What a cool way to make money on the platform without having to rent out a space. Very cool that they allow digital experiences as well!

    Thanks for sharing.

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