Airbnb Income Calculator – How Much Money Can You Make on Airbnb?
The rise of technology has given way to lucrative business opportunities. The gig economy has exploded over the past decade, but none more so than Airbnb.
Airbnb, the premier hosting platform, allows property owners to rent out their homes or properties on a short-term basis. Depending on location and season, a host can earn a substantial amount from doing this. The company itself, founded in 2008, is now worth billions thanks to its ease-of-access technology.
How much money can you actually make as an Airbnb host?
Pricenomics did a study on gig-economy services and found that hosts on Airbnb lead in earnings with an average of $924 per month. General task-service platform, Taskrabbit, came in second with $380 per month.
Pricenomics noted that though the average of $924 a month means Airbnb hosts make “nearly three times as much as other workers,” there is a wide range of earners. They continue, saying, “some hosts making [sic] more than $10,000 per month, while others make less than $200.”
But, they dug in a little deeper, explaining the reason hosts have the highest average of monthly earnings. They found a wider range of income distribution on the platform. According to the Pricenomics study (and despite the range of earners), nearly half of all Airbnb hosts make more than $500 per month.
However, despite the money you could make off of listing your apartment, house, private room, or shared space on Airbnb, you have to go into it with a business mindset to reach that same lucrative success.
Why host on Airbnb?
According to a study done by Clever, an online real estate referral and listing service, 82% of the 1,000 people surveyed believed listing your property on Airbnb is a good way to make money. The same survey recorded 54% of people who own their homes as willing to rent it out.
If you’re wondering whether or not travelers are as likely to stay in an Airbnb listed property, the study also found “60% of travelers who use both Airbnb and hotels prefer Airbnb over comparable hotels when going on vacation.” According to Airbnb’s Fast Facts, an average of more than two million-plus people stay in Airbnbs per night.
Tools for finding out how much to charge
Wondering what the value of your property could be?
Airbnb has a handy tool for this on their website. Just plug in your location, how much of your space you’ll be renting out, and the number of guests you can host. Comparing figures with other properties in your area, Airbnb will show you an average value. It’s an estimate, but it’ll give you a sense of what to potentially expect.
You can also go through local listings yourself. Scroll through your location and use the same filters that apply to your property. This approach has the added benefit of giving you a bigger picture of what’s currently being marketed and with what benefits. You can check out the photos of properties in your area, see what amenities are offered, read reviews, and get the breakdown of their property rules.
Airbnb also offers Smart Pricing, a useful service to help your property’s price per night stay relative to regional value and the seasonality of your location. According to Airbnb, Smart Pricing works to keep “your nightly prices competitive as demand in your area changes.”
Smart Pricing uses a variety of different factors in determining value. All the host has to do is set minimum and maximum price. This is a free added feature, so if you decide to maintain your own pricing calendar, you can easily turn Smart Pricing off.
Financial considerations before listing
Hosting can be a side hustle or a full-time job depending on your property.
Before you jump into the aesthetics and upkeep of your space, take into account what you have to pay to run your own Airbnb.
Local taxes and regulations differ from city-to-city. You might have to attain a permit, pay permit fees, or a transient occupancy tax (which is becoming more common but usually passed down to the guest). What you can certainly expect to pay is a federal income tax.
Aside from the taxes, double-check your insurance to confirm it covers property damage or injury.
Also, take into account what you’ll be spending on cleaning, amenities, or any other costs involved with Airbnb upkeeping. If you intend to clean and maintain the property yourself, calculate the value of the time you’ll be putting into that activity.
Increase the profitability of your Airbnb
Fast Company did a study on the most productive earners on Airbnb, also called “Superhosts.” What did they do to increase the value of their listing?
Based off Fast Company’s findings, here are a few easy ways to boost listing value:
- Take great photos: “Photographs are the single most important factor for marketing a vacation property,” says Fast Company interviewee Scott Shatford, “I was sharing my home with everyone from Midwest retirees, to international backpackers, even an NFL quarterback and a president at Starbucks.” Instagram alone can demonstrate how visually driven our society is. Having beautiful pictures of your home or space can undoubtedly improve the chances of consecutive bookings.
- Be reasonable about your prices: You have to remember that Airbnb is not a hotel, so don’t expect to be charging a high amount off the bat, especially if you have zero reviews. Another Superhost, Gary Bearchel, told Fast Company that it’s better to rent your place out for the majority of the month at a third of the price then rent it out once for three times the amount. The reason being, you’ll receive reviews that can boost your property’s popularity and allow you to charge more later on. Guests also turn away from hotels and toward Airbnb because of reasonable rates.
- A great guest experience starts with the little stuff: Most of the time, a comfortable stay comes down to the little things. The first is cleanliness. All guests expect to walk into a clean Airbnb, but when they don’t, they’ll be sure to talk about it in their review. Make sure you have a consistent cleaning schedule, and you take the time to check your property before and after a guest’s stay.
Aside from cleaning, keep your property stocked with the essentials: toilet paper, paper towels, extra linens, and bath towels. It’s not required, but supplying simple amenities like coffee, tea, and water can make a positive impact on a guest’s experience and an overall higher quality Airbnb listing.
The decision to list your house, apartment, private room, or shared space on Airbnb is a big one. When you factor in how much you could make while considering location and rental type, the potential is quite appealing.
Just know that to make your Airbnb as financially successful as you’d like it to be, take into account the key factors above. Great Airbnb stays come down to forethought, guest experience, and feedback.