How to Be an Airbnb Host: Your Guide To Success
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How to Be an Airbnb Host: Your Guide To Success

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Wondering how to be an Airbnb host?

If you want to make cash on the side, have a think about this simple and lucrative money-making way.

Get into Airbnb and become a host.

Side hustle.

Everyone wants one. With the rising costs of living, more people are looking up ways to earn extra cash on the side. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to do that.

One of the best side hustles that you can start today is becoming an Airbnb host. You can do it part-time or expand it into a full-time business.

Want to know how to be an Airbnb host?


Let’s get to it.

What is Airbnb?

It’s a household name now. A very popular one when it comes to travel.

But did you know Airbnb had humble beginnings?

Would you believe it was started in 2007 by a group of guys who couldn’t afford their rent?

Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky needed to come up with cash to pay for their monthly rent. So they had this idea of renting a portion of their unit to earn extra money; kinda like subleasing.

So they bought an air mattress and positioned it in the living room.

But that’s not it. The duo also wanted their unit advertised as a bed and breakfast, making it sound elegant on paper.

Because who wouldn’t want to have free breakfast as part of their travel accommodation?

Their offer seemed enticing then.

Now that they had the plan’ it’s time to put it into action.

Joe and Brian then put together a website.

Their target audience was people looking for budget-friendly accommodations.

The idea proved to be a hit. It was popular with both travelers and hosts.

Today, Airbnb is a popular brand. It is, by far, among the biggest names when it comes to arranging travel accommodations.

How do you use Airbnb?

Simply search for the place you wish to go to. Airbnb will display all listings along with the prices and reviews for each accommodation.

screen shot of airbnb site for tutorial on becoming an airbnb host with outdoor picture with trees and treestand
Now that was for the travelers. But what about for the property owner, the host?

On the other hand, if you wish to host on Airbnb, you can list your property in areas where they are situated. It could be a house, a room, or a hotel. In return, you earn good money.

While Airbnb doesn’t own any of the properties listed on its website, it takes a fee out of every booking transaction successfully made.

It’s sort of a broker’s fee for facilitating the flow of the undertaking.

Why do hosting for Airbnb?

Are you stuck in a large house? Do you have extra space to rent out?

Putting your house on Airbnb can give you additional income every month. That’s money you can use to cover your groceries, gas, utilities, and other essentials.

Hosting with Airbnb is especially beneficial to seniors and retirees who are looking to earn extra to cover for their meds or just get on with the lifestyle they’re used to.

Is Airbnb profitable for hosts?

Yes, it is. But money isn’t the only benefit you can get from running an Airbnb business.

Imagine getting exposed to countless cultures and traditions from around the world within the comforts of your home. Every guest you meet has a story to tell; a description of their country.

You get to meet many personalities; different characters, different background, and different outlook in life. It’s like being in a different place every week.

Airbnb brings to you the world; people from all walks of life. You can have a guest who is a lawyer or a doctor; the next, an actor or entertainer. Who knows your next visitor could be a very important person in his or her place?

As the host, you also get the opportunity to share your culture. It’s delightful to see people, random strangers, making serendipitous connections; individuals you would probably never meet without Airbnb.

Setting up an Airbnb business can be financially rewarding but it’s also enriching to people’s lives.

How to be an Airbnb host?

First, think about what you got to offer. Is it a room or an entire house?

Second, do you own the property or is it a rented accommodation?

These are just some of the factors to consider when you’re planning

Also, another point to ponder, did you know Airbnb doesn’t just include the usual housing units?

You can also rent out tents, pods, campers, and boats. So if you have these available for a short-time lease, you might want to consider listing them on Airbnb.

One of the best tips for potential Airbnb hosts is to use whatever you have. If you live in a home under a mortgage, you can use the proceeds to cover the monthly costs.

You can start hosting for Airbnb in three easy steps.

The process is simple, and it’s free to join.

Go to Airbnb’s website to begin the sign-up process.

screen shot of the airbnb site on the page where you can become an airbnb host with couple folding blanket

First, you list your spaces you’re putting up for lease. Sharing your space is without charges. So you can sign-up as many available properties as you can; from living room space to vacant houses not currently in use.

Second, you decide on your leasing schedule and how much per stay. You may also state your other requirements for your guests.

Third, this is the stage where your listing goes live and welcome your first guest.

Wondering how much to charge for a stay in your space?

If you don’t have an idea of how much you should be able to charge your guests, not to worry. Airbnb has a handy calculator that you can use to do that.

All you need to do is provide the information Airbnb needs to calculate the rate:

  • The area where your space or housing unit is located
  • The number of guests that your space, room, or house can accommodate
  • The type of listing you have; i.e.; a private room, shared unit, an entire house, etc.

As a host, you also need to provide your guests with the following amenities in line with Airbnb’s basic requirements.

  • One towel per guest
  • Soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Pillows, sheets, and linen

You are also expected to give a good and timely response. Airbnb is strict against canceling guest reservations, so this is something you need to look into.

How to start an Airbnb business?

Did you know you can list as many properties as you want?

Running an Airbnb business is free of charge. However, the website will take a fee equivalent to 3 percent of the booking amount as service charge.

The good thing about hosting with Airbnb is that you can choose your price for your property.

When coming up with the price, you can rely on the website’s calculator.

Or you can disregard it completely and put up the price you want for it.

You may look at the other listings of properties near you and compare them with what you have to offer in your space.

A good rule to follow in determining how much to list your property is the level of inconvenience it brings to you.

If you are going to share your home with a couple of strangers, then you better bump up the rate above the usual. Of course, you need to deliver the perks for your guests’ satisfaction and value for money.

Here’s a checklist before getting started.

Wondering how to be an Airbnb host?

It’s easy and it doesn’t take much to get started. However, there are certain things that you need to check first before running your business.

While you may want to rush things so you can start earning already, it’s crucial that you take it slow and double-check on your stuff first.

For starters, there may be costs that you need to shoulder; nothing big, just minimal amounts. However, it is important for you to understand these bits from the start.

What costs, you might ask?

Well, for starters, Airbnb imposes the standard 3-percent hosting fee of the booking amount as service charge.

Other costs may include your basic supplies (toilet roll, soap, etc.). There’s also the cost of cleaning your unit, which includes laundry.

There’s also what’s known as host protection insurance, which covers any damage incurred as a result of accommodating guests in your home or space.

Lastly, you need to cover for the taxes.

Of course, you can cover all these costs by fixing them into your fees. So you don’t have to worry about incurring these expenses.

Here are other things you need to look into before getting started.

Check the laws and regulations in your area.

Cities have different statutes regarding the lease and use of the property. So you might want to take a look into the pertinent laws in your area when it comes to your listings.

Some regulations may affect your ability to transact business. In some areas, you will need to register and obtain a business permit before you can put up your listing.

If you live in an HOA there also may be restrictions on offering nightly rentals.

Taxes are another legal matter you need to look into.

Taxation can be a complex matter but a necessary aspect that you need to consider if you’re going to engage in business.

When it comes to taxes, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You need to look into what laws and regulations are applicable to you.

Check with your local taxing authority regarding the requirements in your area as it relates to income or sales tax, goods or service tax, and value-added tax.

Secure insurance for your protection.

Look into Airbnb Host Guarantee, which provides protection up to a million dollars for damages you incur as a result of accommodating guests.

This insurance protection will cover any damage above what is covered by your guests’ security deposit.

However, the insurance coverage will not include cash, jewelry, or other valuables that may be stolen or destroyed by your guests. For your protection, it is best that you store away your personal items, including pets, before your guests come.

For your added insurance protection, you may want to secure another policy.

You also need to do your market research.

See what other nearby listings have to offer. You might not want to veer off their prices for the same accommodation.

Price it too high and you might drive away potential guests instead. On the other hand, if you price it too low, then everything won’t be worth the inconvenience.

Don’t forget to provide the necessary details about your property.

Is it an entire house or just a living room space?

Your potential guests would want to know what you have. So enter the type of accommodation you’re offering in your listing.

If the space you’re offering is also where you will be residing during your guests’ stay, you need to state it in the listing.

Other information you need to provide include the amenities you have to offer:

Will there be Wifi or cable TV?

What are the sleeping arrangements?

Will your guests have their own bathroom.

Provide these details on what your guests need to know about your place.

Add photos to entice your potential guests into staying.

Wondering how to be an Airbnb host that is constantly booked out?

Put pictures in your listing. It’s a great way to entice people into staying at your property.

Did you know the majority of Airbnb bookings are based on images?

So get decent photos up on your listing. Ideally take photos during the day, exposing your property to natural light.

Give a brief summary of your listing.

You have an allotted 500-word count to create a good description of your listing. Make sure it’s good by using attention-grabbing words.

Not sure what to write here?

Check out other hosts and their listings. See what they put in theirs. Then you can just tweak it to make a good description for your listing.

Specify your guest requirements.

What’s great about Airbnb is that you can choose who your guests are.

You can set up reviews and check on interested individuals before accommodating them as your guests.

Now comes choosing how much to charge. Look to other listings to get a good feel of the best rates in your area for the type of accommodation you’re offering.

How to be an Airbnb host and a good one at that?

There’s only one simple rule. Be as good a host as you can be.

Be helpful, courteous, and quicks to respond.

When you’re a good host, you get good ratings. With your good ratings, you can secure more bookings in the future. That means more potential business for you.

Have you ever thought about becoming an Airbnb host?

social media graphic with a beautiful blue bed and the text how to become an airbnb post a step by step guide

McKinzie Bean
McKinzie is a mom of two, and a personal finance enthusiast. She loves teaching other moms how to save money, make money, and take control of their financial situation. She has started five profitable businesses and in college, she double-majored in Financial Planning and Psychology. You may have seen her in publications like Forbes, The US Chamber of Commerce, Yahoo Finance,, The Penny Hoarder, & more.

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