Are you one of those practical folks who like to earn money on your things that are just “sitting there”? Do you have an extra room in your home or a basement that isn't being used? Would you be comfortable listing that space for other people to use, even for short periods of time? Then maybe you should check out Airbnb.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is a site where people from almost 200 countries log in to find places to list their space. The reasons for wanting to list their space is as varied as the individuals themselves. Some are world travelers who are gone from home more than at home. Some are artists or performers who need to travel with their work. Then there are those retirees who like to live part of the year in a different climate.
These individuals also don't mind making the extra cash by offering their places out and in doing so are what Airbnb refers to as “hosts”. The hosts aren't just limited to listing out traditional spaces such as houses, but are also allowed to list apartments, entire Bed & Breakfasts, log cabins, yachts, castles, caves, igloos, and teepees. Imagine what an exciting stay that could make for someone!
Not only do travelers like the adventure of staying in some of these types of places, but they also feel less that they are living out of a suitcase and more like they are connecting to their surroundings. A family can also host them and even help them navigate the area.
When Airbnb was first founded it was used mostly by budget-conscious tourists. Then companies began to realize that they could also save money on travel expenses for their business travelers.
What Benefits Does Airbnb Provide to Travelers and Hosts?
Airbnb's website provides travelers with information on how to get the most out of their stay. It also provides hosts with a “getting started” guide and other information on how to list their properties on the Help page.
There are also tips on using photographs and keywords to promote your property as well as tax information.
What Type of Information Do Hosts Have to Provide to Airbnb?
Before allowing you to host, Airbnb will need to verify your:
- bank account
- location of residence
- phone numbers
- tax information
Airbnb also offers up to $1,000,000 in insurance protection for your property. This will insure you should your property become damaged, but you should still have some type of homeowner's insurance.
How Much Money Can You Earn Renting Out Your Space at Airbnb?
That will all depend on the space you list (residential home, yacht, Bed & Breakfast, etc.) as well as:
- your location
- the traveler's duration of stay
- the amenities you provide (Wi-Fi, dishwasher, etc.)
- the host language (English, French, Danish, Spanish, etc.)
How Could an Interested Individual Sign Up at Airbnb?
You can sign up to become an Airbnb host here. Also, it wouldn't be a bad idea to go to your local zoning commissioner and get a copy of any and all county laws on parking or zoning.