If you’re a homeowner in 2018, there’s a good chance you’ve kicked around the idea of renting out your house through Airbnb. Whether you travel for work or suffer from a perpetual case of wanderlust, you’ve probably thought about opening your house to Airbnb guests while you’re on the road. Maybe you don’t travel, but you’ve considered renting out a spare room to earn some extra money. Either way, you share the same enterprising spirit that helped Airbnb’s founders stumble across a simple idea that changed the way people travel.
Big business with humble beginnings
When a popular design conference led to a sellout of San Francisco hotels in the fall of 2007, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia decided to rent out their apartment to Bay Area visitors. After a positive hosting experience, Chesky and Gebbia saw the potential for success on a larger scale. In August of 2008, the roommates teamed up with Nate Blecharczyk and launched Airbnb.
Since then, the company has brokered more than 260 million guest arrivals and amassed more than 4 million listings across 191 countries. While the global scale Airbnb’s success is impressive, the genius of their business model lies in the fact that it offers average homeowners an opportunity to participate in the $1.6 trillion travel industry.
Make your home work for you.
If you travel throughout the year or have a spare guest room, listing your house on Airbnb can be an excellent way to leverage your investment, generate additional income, and accelerate your progress towards your financial goals. But before you get blinded by the prospects of teaming up with a business that reported approximately $1 billion in Q3 revenue, it’s wise to consider what it takes to be a successful Airbnb host.
Creating an inviting home atmosphere is important, but there’s more to it than that. As with any business venture, there are risks and rewards. Before listing your home with Airbnb, here are a few pros and cons to consider:
- Extra income. We can all agree this one belongs in the “pro” category.
- Cultural engagement. Since Airbnb offers global exposure, you have the potential to connect with people from diverse cultures around the world.
- Improved maintenance. When you routinely welcome others into your home, there’s a greater tendency to keep your house in order even when you don’t have guests.
- It’s a business. Operating a quality Airbnb property requires regular attention to business-related details like marketing, customer communication, insurance, and property maintenance.
- Digital business still involves real people. If you’re not a people person, extended interactions with customers may prove to be frustrating.
- Risk of loss or damage. While you’re careful with your things, guests may not always be as considerate. When you rent your home, you assume the risk of accidental property damage and unexpected repairs (this explains the aforementioned insurance).
When it comes to business opportunities, it’s always a good idea to count the costs before launching your venture. However, if you’re a homeowner searching for an additional income stream to help you establish an emergency fund, pay off student loans, or set aside retirement savings, Airbnb may be the opportunity you’re looking for.