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Should I become an Airbnb host?

In this post, we’ll explore what it is like to be an Airbnb host, we’ll compare the positives and negatives of being an Airbnb host, we’ll share our own Airbnb hosting experiences and provide an impartial insiders view.

Truestays

2 years ago

What is Airbnb?

I imagine that most of you will already know, but first let’s just take a look at what Airbnb actually is…

Airbnb began in 2008 when two designers who had space to share hosted three travellers looking for a place to stay. Now, millions of hosts and travellers choose to create a free Airbnb account so they can list their space and book unique accommodation anywhere in the world. And Airbnb experience hosts share their passions and interests with both travellers and locals.

Airbnb helps make sharing easy, enjoyable, and safe. We verify personal profiles and listings, maintain a smart messaging system so hosts and guests can communicate with certainty, and manage a trusted platform to collect and transfer payments.

Airbnb

Essentially Airbnb is a platform where people with property available to let on a short-term basis are able to showcase their property “listings” with people that are looking to book property to stay in on a temporary basis. These “guests” can be holiday-makers, workers, visiting family members and so on. Guests are able to communicate with hosts and book/pay for the accommodation on the platform.

 

Whether you are leaving your house for an extended period of time, have an empty room or are a landlord/investor looking to increase the income from your portfolio, renting out your space on Airbnb can become a great stream of income for you.

Benefits of being an Airbnb Host.

Create a New Income Stream

There are around 4 million Airbnb hosts. They vary from homeowners renting out a spare bedroom, through to professional hosts with 100’s of properties. The primary reason for nearly all of these hosts listing their property and inviting strangers to stay in their houses is to create an additional stream of income or to increase an existing stream of income. And you sure can make a lot! Find out how much your place could be worth.

 

The average host in 2019 earned $924/month (£700/month) on their Airbnb listings. This however varies from listing to listing and includes everything from £30/night bedrooms through to £10,000/night penthouses & villas.

As a good benchmark, a 3 bedroom townhouse in your average city/town in the UK would bring in roughly £2,000/month for a host on Airbnb. When compared with renting out a whole house on a standard tenancy (around £750/month), you can see for yourself the great opportunities that Airbnb can present to homeowners and landlords. Find out how much you could earn.

Gives You Flexibility

In addition to the extra income that hosting on Airbnb can provide, it can also give hosts more freedom. Here’s an example:

You want to go travelling around South America for 5 months but can’t afford to do this AND pay the mortgage. You also want to come back to the property at the end of your travels. You can’t rent your property out to a tenant because the minimum length of a tenancy in the UK is 6 months by law. Listing your property on Airbnb while you are away and paying someone to arrange the cleaning/linen will allow you to earn an income from your property to cover the mortgage (and then some), enabling you to go on your trip.

You are able to block specific dates in the calendar, or only allow bookings up to a certain day, ensuring that the property is available for you when you need it – ideal for people with a second/holiday home that they only use periodically throughout the year.

Meet New People

Hosts can be split in to two key types; standard hosts & live-in hosts. The difference being that “standard hosts” live off-site and the “live-in hosts” lives at the property that the guest will be renting and will mostly be there for the duration of the stay. For both styles of hosting, but for “live-in hosting” especially, one of the great aspects of hosting your property on Airbnb is to meet lots of new people from all over the world.

 

Airbnb is the go-to house sharing platform and thus attracts people from a vast array of backgrounds from every corner of the globe (well… globes don’t have corners, but you catch our drift). Depending on your style of hosting, Airbnb presents the opportunity to meet and become friends with new people every week. 

That being said, you can also run your Airbnb without ever having to meet a single guest through self-check-in and systemising your guest interaction/cleaning processes.

We provide hands-free Airbnb management to hosts in the UK

Downsides of being an Airbnb Host.

Increased Workload

Running an Airbnb property to a high standard takes a huge amount of work and effort and is much more hands-on then a standard tenancy. You have to communicate with your guests and answer all of their questions. You need to ensure that the property is immaculate, with fresh bedsheets for each guest every time. 

 

You need to ensure that you are available to deal with issues at the property… and so on! For an extended list of tasks, click here.

 

Unless you are able to dedicate a lot of your time to running your Airbnb, you will need to find ways to outsource or systemise your process. We might be able to help you out.

Stressful Situations

Hosting your own Airbnb property is not for the fainthearted. From lost keys and damaged TV’s, to frustrating guests and late-night call-outs. You will certainly be put into pressure on a fairly regular basis. Each guest has different expectations and will be disappointed if the experience that you and your property doesn’t live up to it. No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to please everyone 100% of the time.

 

You will question “why did I get into this?” on a regular basis and there will be many mornings where you really don’t feel like facing the day… just like our friend here. For long-term success as a host, it is vital that you have your “reason why?” clear as day. As a side note, here is a great book recommendation on that subject.

Additional Costs

It can be easy to get carried away by learning that your spare room could earn you an extra £700/month or that you can more than double your income from your rental property. But it is vital that you research all of the costs that come along with it.

 

These costs can easily eat up all of your profits if left unchecked, resulting in a venture that creates stress and work, with very little reward.

 

You need to factor in the costs of utility bills, linen purchase and cleaning (or hire), housekeeping/cleaning, extra consumables, furniture & improvements, increased wear & tear, Airbnb’s fees (14% of revenue at the time of writing), and so on…

 

We will soon be doing a post outlining all of the costs associated with being a host, based on our own personal experience. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter or follow us on social media to stay in the loop.

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