So you've heard about this crazy, new phenominon they call Airbnb; and you want a piece of the pie. Well here are a few things you may not yet know to help you use your valuable resource – a spare room/couch/air mattress – to make a little money, while learning more about people from other countries and cultures.
1. Meet People From All Over The World
Many see Airbnb as a chance for cultural exchanges, a chance to talk to people from different countries. Guests come from all over the world. It's not uncommon to hosts visitors from the UK, the US, Australia, Germany, France, India, South America and China. It’s a kind of alternative tourism, a new opportunity for tourists to gain a different view of cities. Your local knowledge could mean the difference between a guest having the time of their life or falling prey to many city's tourist traps. If you're into gaining new worldly perspectives and like the thought of sharing your secrets, this is for you. And as a bonus, next time you go travelling you'll have friends happy to host you in an array of exciting countries.
2. You'll Be Busy
Every guest requires a check in time (has to be a little flexible), communication via the Airbnb app, Whatsapp, or your standard phone messenger (so be prepared to need a calling plan), a clean apartment with fresh towels and sheets, advice about the city and plenty of kindness! This requires organisation so certainly keep in mind that running a full-time Airbnb listing may take 5-10 hours per week of your time - which you'll have to somehow work into your existing schedule. In a busy city like Amsterdam, Spain, New York or San Francisco, expect a flood of daily requests, each of which require a prompt response in order to maintain a positive Airbnb ranking (without which, people won't book your listing).
3. You'll Make Money
Stuck in between a rock and a hard place? Airbnb can really help the average Joe struggling to pay for rent or make that daunting credit card payment disappear. In Amsterdam, more than three million people have used the site, while 52,500 people have opened their homes to strangers. A typical host can expect to earn 2,000 Euros in return for renting out a room for 46 nights a year. That's enough to cover that extra room's rent for the following two months when you'd like to use it as a studio or have the house to yourself. Remember however that this is taxable income, pay special attention to your countries tax laws to avoid hefty penalties. Airbnb also takes a few euros/dollars etc. per booking for the use of their service.
4. There Will Be The Occasional Frustration
Cancellations, late arrivals, taxes, floods of daily accommodation requests, noise. These are all a part of human unpredictability and inevitable when opening up not only your home, but your life to global citizens. The odd person will cancel last minute, leaving you profitless for the night or they'll be very late - having you up at uncomfortable hours to do check ins. This is just a part of the unreliability of travel. You may have to tell the odd guest to keep the noise down when you've got an early start the next day and do so gracefully because this person is paying to be in your home, and deserves to be treated how you would like to be treated.
5. Your Personality Will Shine
People are coming to Airbnb for an experience…more specifically a local experience so take the time to bring a bit of yourself and your neighborhood into your space. Some local posters…a box of chocolates from a local candy shop…a bottle of wine from the area…just get something to welcome your guests to your neighborhood. You'll learn about how best to interact with different people and different cultures, learn phrases in new languages, try different cuisines and open yourself up to new friendships you'd otherwise never have made.
Now you're a little more equipped to take on Airbnb with the grace and fines required to shine. Be ready to meet beautiful people, to be busy (very busy), to pay off that credit card, to be be pissed off from time to time - all whilst growing as a global citizen. Happy hosting!
- Do keep in mind that due to it's ability to turn over a lot of money, Airbnb hosts can get carried away and prioritize short term rentals over locals and expatriates that need long term housing. So in cities with housing shortages, Airbnb in Moderation!
- If you happen to have anything priceless/irreplaceable/expensive then you might want to lock it up or place them in a safe. Yes, there is insurance that can cover things, but if you are leaving out your Macbook and a guests spills something on it…that totally could have been avoided.
- Some guests do not want too much interaction from you, but some others might be looking for some company. It is important to understand what your guest wants from you and how can you provide it without crossing the limits of their privacy.
- If you don´t have Wi-Fi yet you might consider getting a $20 router for your Airbnb rental space. All guests are expecting this…I mean they booked YOUR place via the internet…they want access.
Amsterdam community Forum
Festivals: Top 5 Festivals for your next Eurotrip
Amsterdam: Top 5 Waterfront Canal hangouts
Thailand: Mainland Must-do's and Western Island Wonders
What To Do In Amsterdam: An Expat's Top Picks