Airbnb: Thinking Outside the Box

2 Replies

I hope this will motivate others to think outside the box on your hustling activities, whatever they may be.

Here's the short version...

March gross income from Airbnb hobby $1094
Cleaning lady expense $100
Couch surfing expense $300
PITI $575
Utilties $200
CapEx: Ignoring for the sake of this analysis
Bottom Line ($81)

Snapshot of March 2018: I'm 23 years old, living for $81 and pocketing the remaining $1100+ of my BAH, as well as making $400 for my friends for the assist. Not bad for a side hustle that I run from my phone.

Now here's the full post. Fair warning it's sort of long.

I've been hosting an Airbnb room as a hobby in my primary residence for several months now. In January of 2018 I decided to try listing the whole house instead of just my guest room. I had a light bulb moment and listed the 3/2 house as a 2/1 house by locking up and excluding my master bedroom from the listing (way easier, good compromise for me).

I'm paying my next-door-neighbor-cleaning-lady $25 per turnover. That's $125 in Feb, $100 in March to give you an idea. I've been either out of town or crashing on a buddy's couch on the nights I have guests. I pay $15/night to sleep on his couch, so in March I'll pay him $300 since I have 20 nights booked. My mortgage (PITI) is $575. Utilities $200. Bonus is I'm currently going through 2 months of training an hour away from my house, but only 25 minutes from the couch I'm crashing on. Less commuting distance. When these 2 months of training are over, I'll go back to actually living in my primary residence and house hack from there.

Conclusion: This March I'll have $1094 gross income - $1175 in direct expenses, $400 of which goes straight into the pockets of people I care about (e.g. couch friend and cleaning lady neighbor). I get to live on $81 and build equity while managing the Airbnb business remotely from my phone.

Most valuable takeaway is I'm learning how to both house hack and manage a short term rental for the first time. I'm only 23, so I'm sure this experience will be invaluable in my future RE investing career.

What city is this in? How do you list it on Airbnb, meaning studio/house/apartment? Do you provide breakfast and do you let them cook and use your refrigerator? I am looking at doing this in San Antonio since we have a 5 bedroom home and only really use 3 of the bedrooms. We are close to Sea World and Lackland so I feel we will stay rented regularly. I was going to get a roommate but we have family come down during the holidays. This would allow my family to continue to visit me and when they leave I can continue with Airbnb. Have you heard of TURO? I think that is what it’s called but it’s a site where you can rent out your car also. Just a tip for a way to make even extra cash.

Hi Ben, sorry for the delay in my response. I'd love to chat and help you out however I can. I've helped a couple other friends and family over the phone, and now they're making money. Shoot me a message if you want to chat.

The best way to make more cash with Airbnb hosting is knowing how to run your business, which comes from a few months of practice. I've rented an individual bedroom as well as the entire house, and I've earned more and more money each month I've done it.

I'm in Milton, Florida (near Pensacola). It's sort of in the middle of nowhere. I list the house as an "Entire Place." I provide eggs, milk, assorted dry stores/snacks, coffee, and sometimes beer.  

Yes I let renters cook and use my refrigerator, laundry, living-room, ect. For some renting a "private room", they can use basically the entire house excluding my master bedroom.

If you have 2 extra bedrooms you could make two totally separate listings - one for each room. Start with one and work your way up. Getting decent beds, pillows, and bedding will go a long way.

Having a roommate will probably bring in more money than you could make from one Airbnb "private room", but with two private rooms, who knows. For me I love having no roommate, and the extra work to run an Airbnb private room is totally worth it. Like you said, then that space can be available for your family to visit.

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