Do you live on a boat full or part-time and still own a home on land, whether as a ‘home base’ or rental property? If so, keep reading, because I’m going to share how you can make money renting your home on Airbnb!
When we moved onto our boat in 2012, we chose to sell our house and downsize all of our belongings in order to free ourselves up from the worry of taking care of a home on land.
In retrospect (because hindsight is always 20/20), we may have done things a little differently. Our house was in a developing neighborhood in Nashville that is now one of the hottest places to live. Not only that, our old home has more than tripled in value since we sold it. Ouch!
Many of you still have homes on land, and have decided to use them as home bases or rental property. If that’s you, renting your home on Airbnb may be a smart financial move!
Why I love Airbnb
If you’ve been living in the dark ages and don’t know what Airbnb is, it’s an online marketplace where you can find accommodations and travel experiences. They operate worldwide, and I’ve stayed in Airbnbs in every country I’ve visited!
I love staying in Airbnbs and choose them over hotels any time I can – ESPECIALLY during the COVID-19 pandemic (it feels safer to me). The more unique the Airbnb, the better! We’ve stayed in tiny houses, boats, garage apartments, teepees, casitas in Mexico, and more!
I like it because we usually get a more personal experience, it’s often more affordable, and they usually feel more homey than a hotel. Depending on the rental, you can get something with laundry, a full kitchen, a pool, whatever amenities your heart desires!
Sometimes, the hosts create an even more unique and personalized experience by leaving special treats that are native to their area, or books with local knowledge, things to do, great restaurants, etc. It’s like your own personal concierge service!
Guests and hosts rate each other and the ratings are hidden from the other until both parties submit, which keeps it fair. As a guest, I take my ranking VERY seriously, and go above and beyond to ensure the hosts are happy with me.
Want to use Airbnb instead of a hotel next time you travel? Click the button below to save on your first stay!
Why rent your home on Airbnb
Airbnb makes it super simple and safe to host travelers. You set the price, availability, house rules, and choose how little or much to interact with guests. You also can set parameters that allow you to review a booking first and decline a guest if you choose.
Airbnb also provides every booking with $1M USD in property damage protection and another $1M USD in insurance against accidents. This helps keep you, your home, and your belongings safe.
Listing your home on Airbnb
Airbnb makes it super simple to list your home or room. Here are the basics for getting started.
Step 1: List your space for FREE
Yes, it doesn’t cost a thing to list your space for rent. And by space, I mean anything from your entire home, your living room, a single bedroom, a guest house, a boat, a garage, or even a driveway for someone to park their RV or van!
Step 2: Choose how you want to host
Name your own schedule, prices, and guest requirements. Set the house rules, check-in/check-out times and process, and more. You can rent short term, long term, or both! Your listing is fully customizeable and up to you. You can read more about the setup process here.
Step 3: Welcome your first guest!
Once you’ve set up your listing, you’re ready to start receiving guests!
Tips for success when renting your home on Airbnb
When it comes to renting your home on Airbnb, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. The more you can “sell” someone on your place, the better it will do.
Even if you’re renting an average home in an average midwestern town, think about what might make your listing stand out. Look at other listings in your area or similar areas – how can you make yours shine in comparison?
Use a catchy title that instantly draws people in
Is your home in a popular tourist destination? Is there a college or university nearby? Is there something unique about the place itself?
Be sure to highlight these in your listing title to catch people’s eye and draw attention.
Here are some examples of catchy titles from actual Airbnb listings that I’ve stayed in:
- Tiny House – Close Walk to Joshua Tree Village
- Cherokee South Authentic Indian Teepee! Book Now!
- La casita amarilla: a light-filled garden studio
- Full VIP Apartment, great location
- HISTORICAL CENTER!!! THE BEST LOCATION
Good photos are everything (and lots of them)!
A good title will get people to click on the listing, but good photos will really sell someone on your space!
Professional photography will increase your earnings by up to 40% and because of that, Airbnb offers to connect you with professional photographers in your area as a service. You can read more about that here.
Have a detailed and honest description
When it comes to describing your home, the more information, the better. Highlight the good, but never be dishonest in your listing. I’ve often found it helpful when an owner actually lists the negative, too! One place I stayed indicated that there was some construction noise from the neighbor as a cautionary note. They had reduced their normal rate because of it, but it was nice to be forewarned, even though the construction was beyond their control.
Make sure your space is clean
You don’t need to offer white glove clean, but your space should be up to the same standards you’d want in a rental, especially spaces like the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen (if applicable).
If you’re off cruising or traveling, you can hire property managers and/or cleaning services to ensure that the home is cleaned properly after each guest.
Add special touches
I once stayed in an Airbnb in Nashville and the guest left a 6-pack of locally brewed beer from Yazoo Brewery in the fridge as a gift. Other hosts have left small touches like bottled water, snacks, or local travel guides.
It doesn’t have to be much, but think about how you can make your space memorable. A little can go a long way, and can turn an average review into an amazing review.
Be responsive and friendly!
When I request to rent a space, I’m often looking at more than one in case my first choice doesn’t work out. I once cancelled a request because the host hadn’t gotten back to me in a timely manner so I went with another choice. So be quick to respond!
If you can’t be quick due to the fact you may be traveling, hire someone to manage your bookings for you.
We once stayed in a rental in Guatemala and our first night, there was a massive earthquake at midnight. Our host immediately texted me (within 2 minutes of the earthquake) asking if we were ok and reassuring us that the apartment was specially built to withstand even the strongest earthquakes. This helped us feel safe and secure, and it felt good that right in the middle of the earthquake, his first thought was to check on us.
Additional resources for renting your home on Airbnb
Renting your home out on Airbnb isn’t for everyone, but it’s something to consider if you have a home that you’d like to make some extra rental income from.
If you’d like some additional resources to help you determine whether it’s right for you AND some tips for maximizing your listing for profitability and success, here are a few I found:
- Airbnb Toolbox: How To Fuel Your Airbnb Listing to Work For You: A Workbook for Hosts: Includes Tips, Worksheets, Checklists & Templates
- The Airbnb Playbook: Your Complete Guide to Start and Manage a Profitable Airbnb Business
- Optimize YOUR Bnb: The Definitive Guide to Ranking #1 in Airbnb Search
And if you want to stay in an Airbnb and don’t yet have an account, join here for free and get up to $65 off your first stay!