How to Earn Money with Airbnb (Get Started Now!)

written by local expert Jane Elmets

Jane always knew she wasn't destined for a desk job... She has travelled all over the world and is passionate about noodles, sloths and her hiking boots! When she isn't busy adventuring around the world, you can find her reviewing travel gear and dishing out travel tips to all the places she's visited.

Looking for a quick and fairly easy to earn extra travel money on the side? If you have an unused space, Airbnb is one of the best options available as it allows you to make money from it in a way like never before.

The way you earn money on Airbnb is entirely up to you, which is the beauty of the whole operation. Host a ton and make solid monthly earnings, or host once a year when you take off for a summer on the beach. 

No matter which way you decide to host, using Airbnb to earn extra income is an ideal solution that is suited to just about anyone with a space (not an entire property necessarily) to list.

Airbnb Has Changed the Way We Travel

Airbnb has swept the world and completely revolutionized the way individuals look for accommodation when traveling. Based on a sharing economy, it allows individuals to list a space on their platform for guests seeking accommodation. 

For guests, this often means saving money as well as getting a more local experience of the place they’re visiting. For hosts, this has become a great way to make money from an unused space. 

Today, you can find Airbnbs in all corners of the globe, and eager guests far and wide. There are almost three million hosts on the platform, with an average of 800,000 stays each night. 

colorful apartment building with balconies

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How to Earn Money with Airbnb

While a lot of people are familiar with Airbnb from using it as a service, most are not aware of how it can be a great source of income. As an Airbnb host, you can earn a lot of money by listing your home, apartment or spare room on the platform and hosting guests from around the world looking for a place to stay.

Earning money on Airbnb is ideal for those who have an entire space that’s uninhabited for a long period of time (long-term travelers, those with summer homes, etc) or a spare room, basement or guesthouse that’s longing to be put to good use. 

Instead of finding a subletter or worse, a roommate (*shudders*), you can list your space on Airbnb to make some extra dough. 

Becoming a host on Airbnb is a simple and straightforward process. It’s free to sign up and create a listing. As an Airbnb host, you enjoy flexibility and can set your own terms. When listing your space, you have the ability to set the price, availability, rules, and more, giving you the option to host whenever you want and keep the space to yourself the rest of the time.

If you’re concerned about possible property damage, Airbnb has you covered with their Host Guarantee. This provides you with protection of up to $1 million in damages or loss that meets the terms of the guarantee. This way, you get peace of mind about the condition of your home. 

This is way more flexible than being a traditional landlord. Plus, you get paid on time as Airbnb typically releases your payment after 24 hours of the guests’ scheduled check-in. 

Pretty good way to earn some extra money, don’t you think?

Things to Consider When Listing Your Home on Airbnb

As a side hustle or a main income stream, Airbnb gives hosts the ability to earn a ton of money, but it’s all about being smart about it.

You’re going to want to consider a few things when listing your home on Airbnb to make sure all your bases are covered before people start staying in your home.

What Amenities Are You Offering?

The first consideration to keep in mind is all of the amenities that your place comes with.

While they may seem menial to you, they might be a luxury in someone else’s eyes. When creating your listing, be sure to mention WiFi, air conditioning, washer & dryer, and more special features like a balcony, terrace or pool access.

wooden house looking outside to terrace

Who Is Your Space Best For?

Also consider the type of guests your space is ideal for. 

Is it accessible and ready for an entire family? Or are kids best left at home? You’re also going to want to mention whether guests are welcome to bring their pets along or if your home is human-friendly only. 

These are important considerations because they can make or break it for some people looking for a place to stay.

Charge for Cleaning?

You should also think about charging a cleaning fee upfront per booking so that you can hire someone to tidy up in between guests. Airbnb provides a section where you’re able to list this fee and it will be added to the nightly price of the room when the guest pays. 

How much you charge for a cleaning fee is up to you. It’s generally on the lower end for private rooms, but can go up quite a lot the larger the space is.

Do You Want to Offer a Long-Term Discount?

For guests looking to stay at your place for a little longer, you can consider offering a weekly or monthly discount as an incentive to book. 

I’ve stayed at Airbnbs for over a month before and the ones willing to give me a decent rate through a discount are the ones I’ve chosen time and time again. It’s also nice to have your place booked for longer because it means less turnover aka less work for you in between guests. 

“Instant Book” or Vet Guests First?

If you’re a little worried about having random people staying with you or in your uninhabited home, you may want to consider turning on the option to review bookings instead of letting guests book your place instantly. 

When you turn off the “Instant Book” option, you get to vet guests and read past reviews before deciding whether to accept their booking or not. 

Any Upcoming Plans?

Are there any times that family and friends will be visiting and you’ll need your entire home to yourself? Or do you plan on doing some spring remodeling to prepare the house for summer? 

If so, keep this in mind and be sure to block out the dates on your availability calendar ahead of time so that no one can book. 

woman checking her agenda

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How Airbnb Supports Hosts

Besides thinking about all that you can do to prepare for your guests, it’s also good to know what Airbnb does for you when you list your space on their platform. 

Airbnb offers great host support. The main way this support shines through is their Host Guarantee, which applies to each Airbnb listing and covers up to $1,000,000 in damage or loss. As we’ve mentioned above, having this peace of mind is valuable when other people are inhabiting your home.

Airbnb has also created a user-friendly platform with guided processes that make listing a property and managing guest booking a breeze. Plus, it’s free to use and Airbnb only charges a 3-5% fee for each booking. You can compare this to an average 10 – 20% fee other booking sites charge! 

The large Airbnb user base is also a plus point. This is a serious consideration to keep in mind because many times when you want to list your home on a different website, it can be time-consuming and challenging to find someone to stay. 

Finally, consider the flexibility you have when listing on Airbnb. There’s virtually no commitment and no upfront costs. You can sign up for free, host once and then never again — if that’s what pleases you. Or you can go on to become a Superhost who has their place fully booked through the year. You get to decide when to rent, as well as who to rent and for how much. 

With all of these in mind, there’s no reason to think twice about listing your home on Airbnb and making some extra money!

How Much Money Can You Make with Airbnb?

To find out how much money you could earn by listing your space on Airbnb, try out the Airbnb calculator. This tool allows you to select your location, type of accommodation, and capacity to find out what your listing would be worth, based on average prices for similar listings and assuming it’s rented for 15 nights during the month.

Most Airbnb hosts make anywhere between $500 and $1,000 per month, depending on the factors mentioned above. 

Check Airbnb Calculator

person holding hundred dollar bills

To give you an idea of what it would be like to earn on the lower end of the spectrum, listing a private room in Springfield, Massachusetts (a widely suburban area about an hour and a half outside of Boston) would bring in $688 per month, based on average nightly prices for listing in the area and assuming the room is rented for 15 days.

That’s an extra $8,200 a year!

As you move closer to Boston, the price of the listings increase, with a single private room directly in the city earning hosts $1,478 per month, based on the same factors as above.

Now let’s say you’re renting something bigger and more private than a single room. 

An entire home in Boston that accommodates four guests can bring in as much as $4,700 per month. Moving further outside of the city to a suburb called Newton which is 20 minutes away, you can make slightly less, but still a large chunk of change. Renting out an entire place that fits four people will bring in just over $3,000 a month. Think about it, that’s generally enough for a summer holiday, wouldn’t you say?

Factors That Affect How Much You Earn on Airbnb

How much money you earn on Airbnb depends on a variety of different factors, some of which you can influence and some that are controlled by external forces. 

Here’s a little breakdown of these factors to give you an idea of what contributes to your payday.

Shared Room, Private Room, or an Entire Home?

As mentioned, Airbnb allows you to list different types of properties. You can list an entire house, apartment, private rooms and shared rooms, as well as luxury accommodation and more unique options like a treehouse, yurt, or even a houseboat! 

The more space you offer the guest and the more unique it is, the more likely you can attach a higher price tag. In comparison, a single room will probably mean a lower nightly price. 

That said, the size of the space is only a single factor going into the money you can earn. 


Besides the size of your listing, where it’s located is also a prime factor when it comes to price.

Listings in large city centers can be exorbitantly priced, bringing in a small fortune for the host. The same goes for listings near tourist attractions, the beach, and anywhere else that tends to draw a crowd.

aerial view of buildings in big city

Even if you’re not located in a popular location, listings near public transportation, bus or train stations and the airport can generate a decent profit.

Time of Year

We’ve covered what and where, but when you list also affects the money you earn. 

For example, if you live in a place that’s warm year-round, you can price it higher in the winter when everyone is trying to escape the cold. The same goes for places that are cold for half of the year and then become beautiful in the summer, creating tourist hot spots and leading to increased accommodation bookings.

You can also increase the price of your listing if there are special events going on nearby like a concert or festival, and of course during holidays like Christmas and New Years’ Eve. 

Because Airbnb prices are dynamic and can be changed whenever you like, letting them fluctuate with the times is a good way to ensure you’re making a bang for your buck. 

Nightly Price Point

Finally, with all of this in mind, you can set the nightly price of your listing, which will end up being what you earn every time a guest books your home.

It may seem like a challenge to take all these factors into account when setting the price for your listing, but if you need a little help sorting it all out, Airbnb has a smart pricing tool that considers everything stated above and gives you a suggested nightly price. 

The best part about using this tool is that you don’t have to do much market research because Airbnb takes into account your competitors in the area. Thus, the suggested pricing for your listing is decided based on this. 

That said, you can always adjust the prices to whatever you see fit. Airbnb will still be there to help if you decide you need some assistance!

Listing Quality

A final factor that goes into determining how much money you make from hosting on Airbnb is the quality of your listing. What your listing looks like, the description and past reviews goes a long way in terms of whether a guest books or not.

And obviously, the more guests book your place, the more money you’ll make.

A good listing should be honest, draw people in, and allow guests to envision themselves in your space. The photos should be clear, accurate and bright, and you should make sure to list all amenities, nearby attractions, and public transit options as well. 

Perfecting your listing is something you have complete control over and can seriously influence how much you make hosting.

The Costs of Hosting

You will certainly be earning while hosting on Airbnb but there are also hosting costs that you should factor in when thinking about how much money you can make.

Don’t forget, you’re still responsible for paying for WiFi, electricity, water and other basic utilities. Since this money comes out of your own pocket even though you may not be living there, you can always factor the cost into the nightly price of your listing.

Similarly, if you don’t have time to do a complete cleaning of the space yourself in between guests, you can pay for someone to come and clean it for you. Airbnb allows you to add a cleaning fee to each reservation to cover the cost of hiring a cleaner without having to dip into your own money. 

And remember, the larger the space you’re offering, the more you can charge to have it properly cleaned!

One last cost that you’ll have to cover yourself is anything that you put into making your space special.

Whether this is purchasing basic preparatory items like fresh sheets and towels or nice pillows for the couch, to more luxury offerings like toiletries in the bathroom or breakfast items, these are costs you’ll incur to make your listing more attractive to potential guests. 

bed with blue bedspread and orange curtains

How much you spend on these items doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but they’ll certainly go a long way in terms of pleasing guests, creating a more enticing listing and leading to five-star reviews which will translate to more bookings. 

That’s something worth paying for, wouldn’t you say?

Beyond the Money

Sure, you’ll spend some money and earn some money while hosting on Airbnb, but what about the other costs and benefits of hosting?

One thing is for sure, becoming an Airbnb host will cost you time. While it’s not extraordinarily hard to list your place on Airbnb, coming up with the perfect description and setting up for optimal photos does take some time, effort, and patience. It also takes some trial and error to ensure you’ve got it just right to draw guests in. 

You’ll also have to devote time to communicating with guests, preparing the space before and after they arrive, as well as replenishing any items that may have been exhausted during a stay. 

If you can find a good balance and routine when it comes to being a host, the time commitment shouldn’t be too great. There are also several tools and strategies that make your life as a host a little bit easier such as using a guest checklist, lockbox for self-check-in, or message templates for sending to guests when they book.

Besides non-monetary costs when hosting, you’ll also have some non-monetary gains. The biggest benefit is the chance to get to know people from around the world and share your local expertise. 

When you become an Airbnb host, you open up the door (literally) to the possibility of someone from anywhere in the world spending the night. That’s pretty amazing if you stop and think about it! Getting to meet people from different countries or even cities and states far from your own gives you the chance to learn about local culture or knowledge that you may have never been exposed to before. 

As an Airbnb host, you have the opportunity to make lifelong friends with guests you interact with, especially when sharing a space with them yourself! So beyond just money, you get to make connections that would have never been possible before.

If you’re interested in learning how to become an Airbnb host, check out our complete guide that provides you with a step-by-step guide to what it takes to become an Airbnb host, plus some tips and tricks on how to become the best host possible.

Airbnb Hosting Tips: How to Maximize Your Earnings

For the most part, you are in control of how much you can earn as an Airbnb host. 

Besides having the power to set the price of your listing as you see fit, you can also take several other routes to increase bookings, and thus increase your income.

Is the Price Right?

The first step to maximizing your earnings is to be sure your listing is priced right. If your listing is priced above other similar listings, you’re probably not going to be getting any bookings besides the occasional one as a last resort. 

Having the right price entices potential guests to check out your listing, and then to book when they see that it’s reasonable for what you’re offering.

Some hosts follow the route of listing their accommodation at a lower price point to keep the place booked all the time because it’s the least expensive option. This will affect your total earnings, so it’s a good idea to work out the financials before you do this. 

Given the dynamics of supply and demand, you can make extra bucks if you change the price of your listing depending on time of year or according to any special events or holidays in your area. 

Since most hosts drive their prices up during these times of high demand, you’ll fall right in line with other hosts looking for guests to book their home. This is just something to keep in mind to make sure you’re earning your full potential as a host. 

A good baseline it to check out the prices of similar listings in your area and arrange yours accordingly. That’s certainly a solid first step in making some decent money.

Post Good Photos

As soon as the guest sees that your listing is priced reasonably, they’ll click on it to check out what you’re really offering. When they do, the first thing they’ll see are your photos. This is why having beautiful photos of your Airbnb is absolutely essential to drawing people in and increasing bookings.

Quality photos are such a large contributor to income. According to Airbnb, professional photos can yield up to an additional 40% in earnings. So, it’s certainly worthwhile to invest in a professional photographer to take some shots for your listing. 

To help hosts get the best photos possible, Airbnb offers a service where they match hosts with local photographers who are experienced in shooting Airbnb listings. This is a good way to make sure what your listing includes is the best of the best, as the photographer should know all the angles to really make your spot shine.

The best part of this service is that you don’t have to pay upfront for the photography service! Instead, the photography fee will be deducted from your future bookings. Most hosts pay off the fee within 3 bookings.

If you’ve got some photography skills and a half decent camera, you can take your own photos. If you opt to do this, be sure to photograph during daytime as the light will be best, and take some time to play with the contrast and brightness before uploading to give the space a bright and airy look!

Decorate Well

Decorating is key to making your place come together, and this in turn will draw guests in as well. While mismatched paintings or photos that have been in your house forever are certainly charming, they’re not really what people want to be looking at on vacation.

Pick out some quality prints that you can frame and hang around your house, but make sure they go together! It’s best to pick a theme and stick to it so that you can decorate the entire place accordingly. Some guests love a minimalist feel with simple black and white decorations and sleek features, while others may prefer a more local vibe with decorations relating to the city or country you’re in.

Besides making your walls something lovely to look at, it also doesn’t hurt to toss a few throw pillows and a blanket or two on your couch and other seating in common areas. This will help make the space look inviting — who doesn’t love to curl up with a good book on vacation?

living room decorated with pillows and vase with flower

Finally, if all else fails, go with flowers. Flowers make a space feel bright and fresh, and they’re easy enough to find with a quick trip to the grocery store or florist. 

No matter what you do, at least do something to turn your space into somewhere guests are going to really feel at home. This will increase the chances of an awesome review and future bookings in turn. 

Leave Personal Touches

There’s nothing guests love more than a little personal touch in the Airbnb. You are supposed to be the local expert after all, so it will go a long way if you provide guests with nearby restaurant recommendations, instructions on how to get around, and even a map.

Doing this makes guests feel as if someone is looking out for them, and that’s certainly a quality the best Airbnb hosts possess. 

Go Above and Beyond

To make as much money as possible with the space you have, it’s going to take some work and investment to really drive people to it. Going above and beyond really makes guests feel like you care about your space and them staying there.

Going above and beyond doesn’t have to be anything crazy — you can simply have a fully stocked bathroom or a kitchen equipped with an espresso machine and easy breakfast items. 

You can also up the ante by providing guests with optional extras such as airport pick-up or drop-off, equipment rental, and anything else you can provide. By charging guests for these extras, you’re not only making their lives easier, but you’re also making some money by charging them for your services! 

It’s a two-way street, and you’ll end up with a thicker wallet after the fact.

Buy in Bulk

When it comes to maximizing your earnings as an Airbnb host, you have to be conscious of your costs as well. This means managing your investment into the place so that you can still make a profit.

One of the best ways to manage costs as an Airbnb host is to buy in bulk. If you want to provide guests with extras like small toiletries in the bathroom or eye masks and ear plugs on the bed, you can buy large quantities of these items at a very low cost. Knowing you have a steady supply instead of having to purchase everything separately will make hosting a breeze and save you a ton of money.

Even if you’re looking at purchasing others items like towels, bed sheets and breakfast items, you can also always find these at a much lower cost when you buy a larger quantity..

Provide an Inviting Guest Experience 

A last point is that most of the people coming to stay at your home are likely taking a vacation, so it’s nice to make them feel as such, no matter the price they’re paying.

Providing small touches of indulgence at the price you’re offering is key. Providing guests with fluffy towels and a plush duvet will stick out in their mind, believe me. Even better if you can provide slippers and toiletries too! 

Or perhaps you can offer a simple but hearty breakfast, or full access to tea and coffee-making facilities. 

coffee maker and tea kettle on kitchen counter

With these small but thoughtful elements, it doesn’t matter what kind of space you’re providing as guests will be swept off their feet by your laid-back, warm hospitality. 

And you know what comes with good hospitality: good reviews and more guests!

Unable to List Your Home? Host an Airbnb Experience Instead! 

If you can’t list your home or having people stay in your home isn’t something you’re interested in, but you like the idea of getting to show people from all over the world your neck of the woods, you can host an Airbnb experience instead!

Airbnb experiences are still a fairly new concept that allows locals to connect with guests who are interested in a deep-dive into the local area. This could be taking guests on a tour, teaching them a new skill, or providing a service that’s related to the host’s passion and expertise.

You can find Airbnb experiences all over the world, each of them unique and offering something different. From cooking classes to bike tours to having a photoshoot with guests in the best local areas, hosts are able to utilize their skills and location-based knowledge while making an income and interacting with loads of different people. 

person tossing vegetables in a wok

To host an Airbnb experience, you sign up and create a listing the same way you would with a home. After going through the verification process and creating a captivating description and posting photos, you should be ready to start turning your passions into profit, with or without a home! 

And by the way, Airbnb provides up to $1,000,000 in experience protection, so no need to stress if you’re taking guests off the beaten path.

After reading this, I hope you can see how easily you can make money with Airbnb. There are so many perks to listing on this platform, the main ones being potentially high earnings, flexibility, and good support. 

With just the right amount of effort, you as the host can create a beautiful space and experience that guests are waiting to book when they visit your city.  And always remember: what you put into hosting, you’ll get out of it as well.

Ready to turn your space into extra money? Sign up as an Airbnb host today!

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