Making Extra Money with Airbnb

Nothing beats creativity. Making money, for example, is not an easy thing to do but there are limitless ways to do it.

In mid-2008, Brian Chesky and his roommate found a way to earn some extra money. They bought three airbeds to be rented out, using a website to promote it. This idea later evolved into Airbnb, which has not only helped people get extra money as hosts but made it possible for travelers to find low-budget accommodation.

You could also earn some extra money by joining as a host in Airbnb!

Want to know how it works? Read some of these useful tips.

Reach the Standard

Airbnb is currently available in more than 190 countries, including Indonesia, and has established a number of rules or standards for hosts to follow. If these standards are met (or exceeded), hosts will benefit because it would help to increase their sales, as guests can rate the hosts after their stay. These ratings are your best promotion!

In order to compete with hotels, you need to meet traveler’s basic needs, such as clean bed sheets, tissue paper, body wash, and towels. Airbnb also reminds hosts to list down other complimentary facilities that their guests can enjoy in your profile page and make sure that you deliver on it.

Yuli, who previously stayed in an Airbnb accommodation in New York, more or less understood what she should get as a guest of Airbnb.

“Airbnb is not Couchsurfing (a site that offers free accommodations for tourist around the world), so I want my host to be contactable, able to give complete information, including maps, address to the nearest police station, as well as facilities like towels, blankets, or extra pillows,” she says, adding that hygiene is also an important criteria for her.

There is more. Answering questions from your guest-to-be is a plus point for a host. Friendliness is also very important.

“Short yet honest conversations is the most important quality for me,” says Anna, an owner of a villa in Bali, who has been a host in Airbnb since 2002. Anna was born in the Netherlands but has moved to Bali years ago and speaks fluent Balinese. She even willingly helps her guests by pointing them to local tours they may want to take. When she cannot accompany her guests, she would give the contact of her neighbor who is willing to help and cook meals for her guests.

Asti, who used an Airbnb accommodation in Singapore, says she was disappointed when finding out that her host was not flexible in terms of check-in/out hours and other things.

“The owner of the apartment was not around and she put strict rules like her place is a hotel. I would rather stay in a hotel with the same amount of price,” she says.

Pricing Strategy

Remember that Airbnb guests are not only looking for local adventure, but they also tend to have a limited budget for accommodation.

Anna does not spend a lot on marketing, but her occupancy rate is good because she offers value to her guests, compared to houses within the area.

“I did some research on some other small villas in the area and cut Rp 100,000 off their rent price,” Anna says. She offers around Rp 270,000 for a studio room and Rp 400,000 for a villa per night. For solo travelers, she would give more discounts.

Tourists like Yuli often compare Airbnb accomodations with hostels and dormitories. 

“A hostel would cost around USD 80 a night, while an Airbnb accommodation would cost around USD 55 a night,” she explains.

Feels Like Home

Eric, a loyal Airbnb guest, likes hosts who are accommodating and treat him as a friend. He likes the concept of staying in someone else’s private living space.

“It is more personalized, because usually the room is unique and the host adds personal touches to the decorations,” says Eric, who considers a hotel design as “boring”.

The range of facilities provided by the host would also help to make the guests feel at home.

“Complete facilities like what you would find in a house, from a washing machine, water heater, cooking utensils, to bed sheets and blankets, cable TV, Wi-Fi and air conditioner,” says Rheta, a host who is renting out her apartment in West Jakarta area.

If you would like to understand more about the "culture" of Airbnb and what you can offer to travelers, you can try stay at an Airbnb accommodation within your city – or the one located in your next holiday destination – before finally create a solid customized service of your own.

Read also: How to Make Money While on Holiday

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