How to Start a Business Running Airbnb Properties

Renting out one Airbnb can be profitable, but the way to earn real cash doing this is to turn it from a part-time thing into a full-time enterprise. Business.com posts that there are more than six million of these rental listings, but the majority are offered by part-time hosts. It’s not easy to manage a rental if you’re working another part-time (or especially a full-time) job, and the decision to make the switch isn’t always easy either. Here is some information that can help you make up your mind and possibly take the plunge.



Questions to Ask Yourself

Let’s face it; not everyone can be a full-time Airbnb host. It’s not a get-rich quick scheme, and requires careful thought, planning and hard work. Ask yourself if you have good communications, don’t mind dealing with strangers, are well-organized, have business acumen and knowledge about the hospitality industry − many hosts learn these skills by doing Airbnb part-time. You’ll also need to invest money in this venture and remember, you won’t be earning money right away. And while there’s always the potential to earn a lot, just 10 percent of Airbnb hosts earn $2,000 or more a month.


You’ll also want to research your market before making any decisions. Properties cannot be sublet without an owner’s permission, and there might also be legal barriers to renting. Your location also needs to be desirable to potential customers; is it near a beach, large city or other attractions or at the end of an isolated dirt road? If you don’t have a good location or can’t afford to buy property, don’t despair though; there are other Airbnb opportunities worth exploring (more about that later).


Establishing an Airbnb Business

If you want to start taking steps to open up an Airbnb business, IGMS recommends coming up with a budget first. In addition to purchasing a property, there are costs associated with property taxes, insurance, furnishings, utilities, repairs and marketing. The best Airbnb locations are usually where tourist demand is high, but don’t let that be your only guideline. You can rent out single rooms, apartments, townhomes, single-family homes, trailers, campsites and even boats.


It's also important to estimate what you can earn on a property by looking at competitor listings in the same area. Look at how much they charge, and incorporate your startup and ongoing costs into an analysis. You can use tools like AirDNA, Transparent and Alltherooms for this. And if the property needs to be financed, you can opt for a traditional mortgage, cash-out-refinance, a home equity line of credit or a reverse mortgage. Hosts also need to register for taxes, get legal permission and licenses and purchase vacation rental insurance.


Preparing the Airbnb for Renters

Airbnbs need to have great amenities to attract the most guests, like soft linens, WiFi boosters, workstations, nice toiletries, warm blankets, kitchen cooking supplies, cleaning supplies and whatever else will make them the most comfortable. Distinguish your business by providing welcome packages with things like gourmet coffees, teas and snacks and greet guests in person if you can show them around and make them feel welcome. You’ll want professional photos and appropriate content for your listing too; the most successful Airbnb hosts also know how to market their properties effectively.



Once you have an Airbnb property up and running, you can look into expanding. This will require more money of course, unless you want to explore other options. Hostfully explains Airbnb rental arbitrage, which involves renting properties and then subletting them to rent; for example, you could sign a $2,000-monthly rental lease and sublet it for $800 a week as long as the owner permits it. Many will not allow it even if it’s legal, but some can be convinced.


Other options for starting up Airbnb businesses is to offer property management or other services. These can include managing rentals and guests, offering home cleaning, remodels, pet sitting, and Airbnb experiences like kayaking trips and cooking classes. These don’t involve significant investments, and can help you save up enough to purchase or rent Airbnb properties.