Late last year I was writing an article on how to earn extra money for Christmas, and while I’d researched great opportunities I realised that I had never tried the top 3 myself!
To rectify this problem, and ensure integrity in my writing and coaching, I spent the last 2 months road-testing:
- Selling on eBay;
- Working as a Christmas casual: and the topic for this blog
- Hosting on AirBNB
Although AirBNB may not suit, or be possible for everyone, I found it to be an easy and rewarding income stream. I will caveat this by saying I only hosted for a short period of time and my guests were wonderful, so hosting felt effortless.
What did I host on AirBNB?
I hosted a bedroom, with its own bathroom, in my home. The features I advertised were:
- large bedroom and large bathroom with a bath
- close to train station with direct line to CBD
- free street parking (in Sydney, rare!)
- sunny deck
- free WIFI, plus TV in room
- me, because I’m awesome, and my cute Pug dog Hugo, more about him later!
Day 1 – my listing goes up and I had my first booking that night, so great, and ahhhh, SCARY. Gulp, real people will be staying with me, and I’ll be the host! Cue:
Fast forward and I had more bookings, most for 2 nights each, plus a lovely couple who booked 9 nights when they moved from Brisbane. Everything went smoothly, no Fawlty Tower moments, and AirBNB paid promptly.
- Additional income, I averaged $50 a night for very little effort
- The AirBNB site is easy to use and offers plemtymof assistance
- You decide on the guests, Its a trust system with both host and visitor ratings
- Nil upfront costs and you only pay a small fee, deducted from your host income
- You meet some really great people
- My house has never been cleaner! Plus, you can charge a cleaning fee, so I finally get paid for cleaning my house, winner!
- Gifts from guests. I do worry that one gift was a book on meditation, I mean how did they realise so quickly that I need to calm my mind more often?
- People you have never met before are staying in your property, although if you look at this as an opportunity to meet new people, then you won’t find this an issue.
- If you cannot be home when the guests arrive you need to make arrangements for access. I sourced a PIN coded key box, which met my need for security and the guests need for accessibility.
- Additional cleaning, including washing sheets and towels after each guest leaves.
- Guests provide feedback, and some may not be positive! My only constructive feedback was from my first guest who didn’t think the ad was clear about my dog. OMG feedback on my beloved!! Initially I got a bit upset as my ad stated I had a dog and I included a photo, plus you complained about my FURBABY!! Once I calmed down I took it on board and contacted all my other guests to be very clear that I had a friendly, inside pug dog and understood if they wished to book elsewhere. Simple!
- Have a positive attitude, including when guests take the time to provide feedback
- Be welcoming to your paying guests
- Check with your landlord, or if in an apartment, your strata
- Check insurance
- Provide a guest information sheet
- Ignore the AirBNB horror stories, I’ve used AirBNB overseas and, like me, most guests are clean, courteous and respectful.
Hosting on AirBNB was a positive experience, and with an average rating of 4.8/5 it seems my guests agreed, making me feel all warm and fuzzy.
If you have a spare room/apartment and would welcome guests in to your home, give AirBNB a go.
So what did I do with my extra cash? Thanks to AirBNB and the other idea’s I road-tested I was able to book my next holiday, To Cuba baby, best road-test ever!
In the next blog, I will briefly discuss selling items on eBay for extra cash, and then you’ll hear about my experiences as a Christmas casual.