If you ever searched for ideas on how to make a profit on Airbnb without owning property, you probably thought that subletting was the only option. That, however, is not the case. There are a number of other ways to earn on Airbnb without being a homeowner or real-estate investor.
According to online data, Airbnb business owners can make close to $100,000 per year, if not more, without owning any properties. From being a co-host to becoming a vacation rental consultant, we’ve compiled the top 10 ideas on how to make money with Airbnb without acquiring a property.
As mentioned earlier, to start making money on Airbnb, you do not have to be a homeowner. Moreover, in most cases, you do not need considerable funds to get started with your Airbnb venture. There are several other smart and creative ways to enter the vacation rental industry and build a profitable business.
In short, Airbnb rental arbitrage is when you rent a property with the sole purpose of subletting it on vacation rental sites. For this business model to work, the money that you generate must be more than your rent and other business-related expenses.
Before you start with this strategy, you will need to consider legal rules and regulations as some cities do not allow subletting. Moreover, you should obtain permission from the landlord before you attempt to rent out your rented accommodation. In many cases, long-term rental lease agreements do not allow tenants to rent out properties on listing sites.
If a tenant violates the agreement, they run the risk of being evicted. However, if both parties have agreed, rental arbitrage can be a great option to enter the industry.
At the end of the day, how much you will be able to earn using the rental arbitrage strategy will depend on the location and the size of your property portfolio. If you do this right, you can generate up to three times more than the sum of your expenses. The key is to search for a property that can make profits of at least $2k per month after all expenses.
According to AirDNA’s data, markets that can earn the highest rental arbitrage premium are Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans, Nashville, and Jacksonville. Their data has also revealed that bigger short-term rental properties offer more rental arbitrage opportunities.
Becoming a property manager is one of the most straightforward ways to make a profit on Airbnb without investing in a vacation rental. As the vacation rental industry is growing at a rapid pace, it means that so too is the demand for short-term rental property managers. Not only is there an increased demand, but the career of a property/Airbnb rental manager also offers flexible working hours while still being a full-time job. Your key responsibilities will include:
To become a short-term rental manager, you will first need to understand the legal requirements of your state. For example, some states will require a real estate broker’s license and/or a property manager’s license, while other states might not require any qualification whatsoever. That being said, it is better to continue your education in property management even if it is not a requirement, as this will help you to set yourself apart from your competition.
As of July 2023, the average vacation rental manager salary in the United States is $43,908; however, the income range frequently ranges from $34,655 to $55,331.
Co-hosts perform similar duties to short-term rental managers. The major difference is that they will act more like an assistant to a host than a manager. If you are still new to this industry, co-hosting is a good place to start. With co-hosting, your main tasks will include:
Co-hosts earn about 10-20% per booking. For example, if you co-host an Airbnb that earns $30,000 per year, you can expect to earn roughly $3,000-$6,000. If you take on extra duties and essentially take care of the entire process, you could earn as much as 25% per booking.
If you do not want to start from scratch, another way to make money on Airbnb is to join a vacation rental franchise. In exchange for paying a fee, local property managers can get a special license from an existing franchise owner to use their resources and sell services under their brand name.
The income will depend on the franchise program that you choose to join. There are various franchise companies and they require different fees. Depending on which vacation rental franchise program you decide to join, you can expect to pay anything from $55,000 to $100,000.
So, when choosing a program, you should be confident in the brand and consider whether the affiliation will bring enough profit to cover the costs.
If you already have some experience in managing Airbnb rentals and would like to help other entrepreneurs grow, you can consider becoming an Airbnb consultant. In addition to being experienced in running short-term rentals, you will need to have marketing skills to build your personal brand.
As an Airbnb consultant, you will help hosts to maximize their bookings, improve their ranking, and possibly to buy and sell short-term rentals. You will also need to identify a specific niche – this is the secret of the most successful consultants. So, be sure to conduct research and keep your own skills in mind before deciding on which specific services you can advertise.
On average, the salary for an Airbnb Consultant is $61,000 per year in the United States. Senior Consultant’s hourly pay is approximately $82.46, 62% higher than the national average.
Starting a cleaning service for Airbnb can be a profitable business as it is typically the first task that hosts will outsource. This means that you will have no shortage of work.
To become an Airbnb cleaning service owner, you will first need to do your research. What do other cleaning services offer? What are the industry standards?
It’s also important to find out if your state has any requirements, such as insurance and licensing, and what the standard cleaning costs are. Make sure to factor in expenses as well. Examples of expenses involved in this type of business are cleaning products, equipment, labor, and marketing.
The average hourly rate for an Airbnb cleaner in the US is about $18.72, which is 39% more than the national average. However, for cleaners who are self-employed, a minimum of $25 per hour is considered a living wage.
Per month, cleaners can earn anything between $900 and $7,700. The profit that an owner of a cleaning service can make will depend on the cleaning prices and the number of properties cleaned per month. It can be incredibly lucrative!
Hosting an Airbnb Experience is one of the most creative ways of making money without renting out any property.
Airbnb Experiences is a platform launched by Airbnb in 2016, and in five years, it has helped hosts to generate a steady source of revenue. By joining the program, you can offer a wide range of activities that guests can book during their stays, such as a traditional guided tour, cooking class, or art class. If you have a specific hobby or a program, it can be an excellent alternative to hosting stays.
You can earn anything from $25 to $150 per guest who signs up for an Experience. In 2020, Airbnb introduced Online Experiences, and according to Airbnb data, the top-earning Experience hosts have generated more than $20,000 each after switching to the online platform.
Becoming an Airbnb photographer is another creative way to earn your bread and butter with Airbnb.
To pursue this avenue, there are two options. You can become a freelance marketplace listing photographer and get listed by Airbnb or advertise your services using other platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, or Instagram. If you want to get listed by Airbnb, you can apply via this form.
Whichever approach you take, you will need to know about interior photography. So, be sure to learn more about how to stage sets.
According to a Glassdoor breakdown, an Airbnb photographer’s hourly rate can range from $25 to $68. They can earn about $50,000 per year on average.
Offering copywriting services is another non-trivial way to generate profit without renting out an Airbnb property. Copywriting services are becoming more popular among Airbnb hosts. Similarly to becoming an Airbnb photographer, you can advertise your services on online platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.
As an Airbnb copywriter, you will be responsible for writing catchy titles, engaging property descriptions, and possibly even house rules or reviews for guests.
According to online data, an Airbnb copywriter earns about $90,000 per year on average.
To be ahead of the competition, it’s necessary for hosts to market properties. It’s getting even more crucial if they generate direct bookings and need to attract potential travelers to their website.
As hosts have a lot on their plate, they usually look for external help to set up and implement a viable marketing strategy to promote their rentals. If you already have marketing skills and are eager to enter the industry, it’s an excellent avenue for you to apply them.
However, if you are not proficient in marketing but enthusiastic to get your foot in the door, you can start with social media. Once you’ve mastered this, you can move on to other marketing areas too.
All in all, vacation rental marketers provide the following services:
As a marketer, you can expect to earn about $75,000 per year.
Earning with Airbnb is now easier than ever. In many cases, you don’t even need to rent out or manage a property to make money and achieve success as an Airbnb professional. Even if you don’t have any prior experience, there is a career opportunity for you that can be started as a side hustle or turned into a full-time gig. Some of these strategies are more challenging than others and require more financial investment, but with hard work and commitment, you can make a decent living.
Find out what is the best fit for you.
To prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed, it is a smart idea to invest in vacation rental software, like iGMS, to automate tasks. iGMS will help you to reduce your workload by:
About the Author
Olga Vasylieva is the Content and Social Media Team Lead at iGMS. Olga is on a mission to help hosts and property managers grow their businesses and deliver an excellent guest experience. She is a travel enthusiast and is inspired by life in all its aspects.
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