You have heard Airbnb frequently mentioned in the press and maybe your friends have decided to earn some extra money from their home using Airbnb. There are probably plenty of reasons why you would like some extra money too, ranging from a ‘bucket list’ holiday to funding some home improvements.
There are of course a variety of ways to earn extra cash, but if you have a spare room in the house, it seems logical to put it to good use! Before you swing into action, it is worth contemplating the pros and cons of Airbnb.
The pros of using Airbnb
The great news is that Airbnb offers accommodation of all kinds in 191 countries across the globe. Even if you do not think that the location of your home is particularly appealing, it could well be too many travellers as their needs vary and proximity to shops, bus routes and even football grounds appears on many tick lists. People travel around for a variety of reasons and whilst your room might not appeal to holidaymakers, it might well be ideal for a travelling sales rep.
The accommodation you have to offer can be a single room, a suite with private bathroom, an annex or even your whole house! You can also offer the more unusual such as a static caravan, moored houseboat or the family chateau!
- Whatever the size of your room, if it is not in use, can be cleared of junk, given a thorough clean and made comfortable, it can be put to work to earn you money.
- The room does not have to be luxuriously furnished, but it should be comfortable for guests, perhaps with armchairs and a small table and good lighting for reading.
- The room will not cost you loads to prepare. It shouldn’t be cluttered so remove personal ornaments and excess furniture, but add such things as a kettle, drink making facilities, coat hangers and a waste bin. Are there good curtains at the window? Is the room overlooked? If yes, hang a blind or net curtains.
- Giving your room a makeover, needn’t cost a fortune. A fresh coat of paint is not costly and importantly, a really good clean from top to bottom costs just effort.
- Providing an information book with information for your guests costs nothing to prepare. Give details of bus and shop times (especially pharmacies and supermarkets), places of intetest, restaurants and doctors’ surgeries.
- You can set you own price. It is a good idea to look at comparative properties / rooms on Airbnb so that you can feel for the type of price you can charge.
- You can choose when your room is available for rent. Some house owners only rent their rooms during the week. Everyone blocks of bookings for periods when they themselves will be away.
An Assessment of the Cons Using Airbnb
- The biggest negative is that there is a risk that your property could be damaged. Unfortunately genuine accidents with glasses etc are inevitable. It is important to ensure that the room is practically furnished but not over furnished. Remove all family treasures from the room too. Unfortunately, some house owners can tell horror stories of rooms being completely trashed by guests, this is a risk but luckily most house guests are really pleasant.
- Airbnb do charge a commission on each booking, but it is money well spent because it brings you the full Airbnb support system if you have any problems and of course it does bring you the bookings. The Airbnb protection system is multi-layered and there is a feedback facility for both you and your guests.
- You have to enjoy meeting other people from all over the world because many will be ‘larger than life’ in your home and if you are used to peace and tranquillity, this could be a challenge!
At the end of the day, by choosing Airbnb you are joining the market leaders and the company has a proven track record. Spend time researching the Airbnb website and considering the pros and cons.
The idea of stretching out on a deserted sandy beach, listening to the waves can be very appealing – especially if you’re unused room funded your holiday with Airbnb bookings!