Opening up your home to Airbnb guests may seem like an obvious perfect side hustle. You’ll be earning extra cash, meeting new people, and finally get to practice those awesome hosting skills you’ve always known you have. But before you start placing miniature chocolates on the pillowcases, consider these points about what you need to think about before you offer up a room.
You May Not Legally Be Allowed to Do an AirBnB
As AirBnB becomes more popular, local governments and other oversight organizations are making more rules about hosting with AirBnB. Check with your town hall or city hall to find out what the rules are, even if you already checked a year ago. Laws change often, and it’s important you stay on the right side of it. In addition, if you live in an HOA community, your HOA may have rules against being an AirBnB host. If you infringe, you could be liable for monetary penalties, get a bad AirBnB rating, or even be forced to move.
There’s an Inherent Danger in Doing AirBnB
AirBnB does a stellar job of ensuring transparency for hosts and guests. The rating system helps both parties to have the best possible experience. Still, the fact is that a stranger will be in your home or on your property while you and your family sleep. You should be aware that that flies in the face of logical safety measures. It’s imperative that you retain a sense of caution so that you or your property doesn’t fall victim to a random act of malice or mischief. If you aren’t comfortable with this scenario, or have a lot to lose, AirBnB might not be for you.
Don’t Skip the Cost Calculations
Don’t rush in to opening up your home just so you can start earning extra cash. Every side hustle requires an investment, and AirBnB is no exception. If you skip the actual cost calculations, you could end up losing money or at best breaking even. Hidden costs include things like additional insurance for your home and/or vehicle if you provide one to guests. Utility bills will be higher during times when you have an AirBnB guest. You will probably have extra costs for laundry and cleaning supplies. You’ll need to invest in furnishings and/or repairs to those furnishings. If meals are included, you’ll need to budget for the extra groceries. Figure these things first, before you come up with a rental rate.
You’ll Need House Rules
There are all kinds of people in the world, and you’ll encounter all of them during your tenure as an AirBnB host. Some of those people will take advantage if given the opportunity. Allowing your guest to use your car for a beach excursion doesn’t mean they can day trip in a 300-mile radius around your property, but some guests may think it does. You’ll need to come up with a reasonable set of house rules and post them along with your AirBnB listing. This protects you and enables potential and existing guests to ensure they receive a good rating too.
Finally, AirBnB is for guests who need temporary housing or who enjoy traveling and learning. As long as you enter the engagement with your eyes open, the experience can be a positive one for everyone involved.
About The Author
Kathleen S. is a real estate expert with over 10 years of experience writing in the real estate industry. During the day, she works as a real estate assistant, specializing in high end and luxury homes. With over 25 years of experience in writing, Kate has honed her skills in a wide variety of writing mediums. Her work has appeared in such publications as Top Agent Magazine, Parents Magazine, Business.com, Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, Mashable.com, Realtor.com, SheKnows.com, and many more.
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