Why Everyone Should Have an Airbnb

If you’re looking to make extra income to support your ministry, one of the easiest and cheapest ways to do this is to have an Airbnb on your property.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking.

“I don’t have a guest house.”

“I don’t want strangers in my house.”

“I don’t have the time to manage it.”

The truth is, Airbnb is flexible. You can make money on Airbnb in so many different ways. Most of your initial objections could likely be overcome.

Since you already own your property (land and home), you might as well make some money off of it & let it pay its own bills.

Let me give you some different ways people make money on Airbnb using their own property.

  1. Rent out a room on Airbnb
    1. Don’t get tripped up here. This is not the only option. But this is a great option for some.
    1. When my parents would drive 5 hours to visit my sister, my Mom would usually stay at her house, but my Dad would find another place to stay to have a bit more room.
    1. One of his favorite places to stay was in a bedroom that a young couple rented out on Airbnb. Basically he got his own bedroom & bathroom in their house & he enjoyed staying with them & getting to know them. Airbnb has a review system, so you can get a pretty good idea reading the reviews if the room-for-rent is safe & clean. This young couple was making $75/night just renting out one of their empty rooms!
    1. You could do this too. If you have an extra bedroom, you could rent it out on Airbnb. You don’t have to rent it out every night. You get to pick the dates. And you don’t have to rent it out to just anyone.
    1. You can vet people before you accept them. You don’t have to let totally unvetted strangers stay on your property (more on this later).
  1. Rent out your entire home while you’re on vacation or for big local events
    1. What about making some money while you’re gone on vacation to help pay for the vacation? You could Airbnb your home just while you’re away.
    1. Or what about getting a hotel room during a big football game or some other local event & renting your house out? I have a friend that has a house near The Masters Tournament in Augusta, GA. Over the years, they have left their house and rented it out during the tournament because of how much money they could make.
    1. Doing this could give you extra spending money or even help cover your yearly property taxes & insurance on your home.
  1. Rent out an attached space like your garage or basement on Airbnb
    1. If you have a habitable garage or basement that is attached to your house, but has a separate entrance, you could rent it out on Airbnb as well. It doesn’t have to be a room inside of your house. It could be a room attached to your house.
    1. Perhaps you have a place like this but it is unfinished. You could finish it out & then rent it on Airbnb. That would be a lot cheaper than buying a full rental property to put on Airbnb (and you can do it without debt).
  1. Rent out a detached guest house or habitable storage building conversion on Airbnb
    1. This is what we’ve done in the last 2 houses we’ve lived in. We converted a storage space on one house to habitable space, and in our current house, we converted a detached single-car garage into habitable space.
    1. If you don’t have a detached structure you can renovate & rent out, why not build one? Check your city codes, but you may be able to build a “tiny home” or small space in your backyard or somewhere on your property that you can rent out. We’ve typically tried to buy houses that already have some kind of detached structure that we can renovate & rent out.
    1. Because our guest house is behind our house on our property, and our children play in the backyard, we don’t want just anyone staying back there. The good news is, we get to choose who stays back there. And you do too! We vet each guest, learn more about their plans while they’re here, and sometimes get references before letting them stay in our guest house. It’s worked out really well!
  1. Rent out your travel trailer on Airbnb
    1. Ever heard of glamping? Ha! It may surprise you that people will rent out travel trailers on Airbnb and do really well, especially with old vintage Airstreams!
    1. Why not rent out your Airstream (or other travel trailer) on your property when you’re not using it? This is very common and can make you some great extra money!
    1. If you don’t have a travel trailer, but you’ve always wanted one, this may be your ticket to having it pay for itself. You could buy the trailer (with cash of course) and then put it somewhere on your property & rent it out. Let it pay for itself. Then take your family on some fun vacations when it’s not rented!
  1. Rent out some other type of creative space on your property on Airbnb
    1. I’ve seen treehouses rented out on Airbnb.
    1. I’ve seen cool tents rented out on Airbnb.
    1. Use your imagination!

In the same way you can get creative with the “type” of Airbnb, you can also get creative with the “terms.”

  1. You can choose length of stay minimums

    In our situation, we don’t want a lot of different guests in and out of our Airbnb each month like most Airbnbs. So, we have a 28 night minimum stay. We really love this! Our current guest is staying about 100 nights. We like fewer guests staying for longer periods so we can get to know them better. Also, if your city doesn’t allow short-term rentals, it usually only means they don’t allow stays less than 28-30 days. In that case, you don’t have to give up on Airbnb. Just set a minimum stay length like us and it will function more like a mid-term rental (not short-term, < 30 days, or long-term, 1 yr+).

  1. You can decide what dates guests can book

    If you have a busy season and you don’t want guests staying with you during that time, block those dates. But don’t let the busy season determine that you can’t ever have guests stay with you. Just open the dates when it’s a good time for you.

  1. You can vet guests as much as you’d like

    If you are really particular about who stays with you, no problem at all. You can turn off Instant Book and vet each guest that requests a booking. If you think someone is not a fit, you don’t have to approve it. If they are, then great!

  1. You can clean it yourself or have someone else clean it

    Each guest pays a cleaning fee, so if you don’t want to clean it after each guest, no problem. You can just hire someone to do it.

  1. You can manage it yourself or hire someone to manage it

    It doesn’t take my wife & I hardly any time at all to manage our Airbnb. But if you’re worried about it distracting you, there are many short-term rental management companies that would be glad to manage it for you.

Each city has different regulations regarding short-term rentals. Some may charge you a hotel tax for renting it out or not allow it in certain parts of the city. Just do some research & you’ll figure out the regulations in your city. And if short-term rentals are not allowed in your city at all, you can always do a minimum stay requirement on Airbnb to comply with the regulations.

Let me conclude with the story about our current guest, which has been a perfect situation for us.

As you know if you read this blog, we’ve been using our Airbnb to host our “adopted” daughters from Afghanistan. They recently moved into the dorms at the nearby university & we were trying to decide what to do with the guest house next. Should we do short-term stays? Should we do mid-term? Should we do long-term?

We decided we wanted to do mid-term stays, 28 days minimum, and we wanted to vet each guest since it’s in our backyard. We put it back on Airbnb and someone contacted us about having their business consultant stay here for just over 3 months while they were opening a new business in the area. We talked on the phone & believed it would be a great fit.

Now, check this out. Our Airbnb is just a little converted single-car garage guest house. It’s about 250 square feet with a single open room and a bathroom. If we put a long-term, 12 month, tenant back there, we could probably make $700-800/mo. This current guest booked just over 3 months at the rate of $2,100 per month. Whoa!

In the 3 months that we will host her, we’ll pay all of our property taxes for the year & most of our homeowners insurance. Think about that! After she’s gone, we could get another guest like her or just pause the Airbnb for awhile and invite some friends to come and stay for free. There are so many options with Airbnb!

I hope this helps you imagine the extra income you & your family could make with an Airbnb on your property!


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