A few Million Mile Secrets team members have a small business from hosting on Airbnb. And they love the flexibility it gives them! I asked team member Harlan to share his experience. And why you might consider renting out your spare room on Airbnb.
Harlan: I listed the guest room in my condo on Airbnb a couple of months ago. And it now pays more than half my mortgage!
I put the cash I’m saving toward paying down my home loan even faster. And to travel more often!
Should You Host on Airbnb?
I listed my room for rent on Airbnb in September. By October, I was earning $800+ a month for converting my spare room into an Airbnb listing!
My mortgage is ~$1,400 a month. So renting my extra room on Airbnb covers a huge portion of my loan payment. And I’m even able to stash some cash away for future travel adventures! 🙂
This started out as an experiment. And I’ve heard all the horror stories. But so far, all my guests have been lovely. Here’s what I’m getting out of it so far.
1. Extra Cash Is Amazing!
I thought I’d make a few bucks here and there with an occasional booking. But the popularity of my guest room caught me by surprise! I had 5 bookings in October alone. And the pace has NOT slowed down.
In fact, as I gather more positive reviews, it’s even more in-demand. I wouldn’t be surprised if I hit $900, or even $1,000 in a single month. That would be most of my mortgage payment. And allow me to live cheaply in my own home!
2. New Travelers Are Old Friends
I was concerned about maintaining my schedule while having constant visitors. But so far, I’ve found once I show people the basics (where things are, how to connect to Wi-Fi, the door codes), they don’t need much else.
Occasionally, they’ll ask me for a bar or restaurant recommendation – and that’s an opportunity to share some of my favorites with them! When they return, I find I’m curious to know how their experience was. Sometimes they’ll tell me about new places to try in my own city, which helps me explore more.
I’ve found it’s fun to be a part of someone’s travel story. It allows me to live vicariously through their journey when I’m not traveling myself, which I really enjoy!
3. It Keeps My House Clean
Seriously! I would hate to welcome a guest into a dirty home. Before each booking, I sweep my floors, put away things left on the counters, and tidy up each room.
Before the spare room was an Airbnb, I’ll admit I didn’t go in there for weeks on end. And when I did, it would need to be swept and dusted. Now dust doesn’t have a chance to accumulate.
I also scrub the guest bathroom more often than before, to keep it clean and fresh.
Before, I would clean when I needed to. Now I clean all the time. And honestly, if that extra room weren’t an Airbnb, it would probably just collect dust and clutter. But as a proper Airbnb listing, it gets more care and attention than it otherwise would.
I’m also motivated to address maintenance issues quicker, like a blown-out bulb, paint touch-up, or leaky faucet, because I want my place to look as good as it can!
Are There Drawbacks?
For the most part, it’s been smooth. There have been a couple of times where I’ve scrambled to clean up between guests while balancing my main job. But that was part of the learning curve: figuring out how it would fit into my schedule. After a few weeks, I got into a groove with it.
I was also concerned about my privacy and security. I installed new locks on my bedroom door and moved electronics into my room. Nothing has happened. But I want to feel safe – just in case.
Folks come into town for job interviews, conventions, or weddings. That means early mornings and/or late nights. A couple of times, I’ve heard guests enter or leave at odd hours outside of my normal schedule. It hasn’t been that interruptive. But it’s something to consider if you’re a light sleeper or in close quarters with your guests (like if your rooms are next to each other).
Other than those precautions and observations, it’s been a fun way to earn some money and meet new people!
Team member Harlan discovered hosting on Airbnb can be surprisingly lucrative. And listing his guest room covers a big part of his monthly mortgage payment!
He likes the extra cash, meeting new folks, and keeping his house tidy. And suggests you take precautions like installing extra locks if you consider listing a room in your home. And grab some earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.
Would you list a room in your home to help you pay bills or increase your savings? I’d love to hear your experience if you’re also an Airbnb host!