Do you have an extra room in your house? How about an empty rental unit or a separate living area attached to your home? If so, you have a potential cash cow on your hands!
With the increased price of both business and leisure travel, many people are looking to cut costs as much as possible. One great way is with reduced lodging expenses through home sharing and home rentals in the travel market.
A win-win for everyone
When you rent out a room in your home to tourists, you’re earning money while they save it. As long as you’re careful about choosing a safe, reliable avenue for your rental efforts, you can easily make $100s, especially if you live near a major attraction or urban area.
The best part is that these suggestions are for short-term rental situations–no roommate horror stories here!
How it works
Basically, the idea is similar to that of an online dating site: You set up a profile that lists photos of your space, you write about the area the space is in (maybe including local attractions, transportation options, etc) and guests can search you based on location or proximity to a major area/attraction. Once a guest chooses your space, they initiate contact by sending a message stating their interest. You can choose to reply or ignore the message after reviewing the guest’s profile and attached reviews.
If you both come to an agreement about length of stay and dates, the reservation is set via the online site/platform. In most cases, the online company takes care of the payment portion of the process and you receive a direct transfer once the funds are available in your host account.
Right now, one of the most popular avenues for short-term rentals is Airbnb. With Airbnb, you list your room or apartment on the site’s online marketplace and travelers can contact you/reserve your space at the price you set. There aren’t any fees to post your profile and Airbnb will send a professional photographer to your home for free in most areas (you post a variety of photos to entice vacationers to choose your listing), but they do collect 3% of any confirmed reservation as a processing fee.
The Airbnb client list includes working professionals who are in town for business, vacationers, people in town for special events, locals looking to explore their own turf and people who want to check out an area before potentially moving there. As far as what you can list, the Airbnb options include a simple listing for a bed or futon all the way up to listing an entire home. They even have a special listing category for spaces such as tree houses and castles! 🙂
In terms of safety, Airbnb offers 24/7 phone support, a $1M host protection plan, reviews and an elaborate messaging system for hosts to communicate with their guests. Obviously, you want to take the time to carefully screen any potential guests prior to their arrival!
For payments, the money is directly transferred from Airbnb to hosts usually within 24 hours of the guest’s arrival.
Other rental platforms
Airbnb may be one of the most recognized names in this industry, but they aren’t the only ones who offer this type of short-term rental service via an online platform. Other companies you can use to list your space include:
Good luck, Penny Hoarders!