Do you wish you could get paid to travel? Do you love the idea of earning an income from anywhere in the world without even having your own business? Do you want to do offline work that’s both fulfilling and fun?
If so, you need to get paid for your pad!
This article will show you how to do exactly that. It’s based on the Zero To Travel podcast episode 40: How To Use Airbnb To Make Money and See The World with “The Traveling Dutchman” Jasper Ribbers.
Jasper Ribbers, aka The Traveling Dutchman, is the author of Get Paid for Your Pad. In this article, we’ll go through his best tips for making money to travel by renting out your home on Airbnb, whether you’re a homeowner or a renter.
How Do You Get Paid for Your Pad?
This is a great arrangement because it enables you to make money from what you already have but what you don’t need while you’re traveling (a home!). Instead of leaving your home empty while you’re away, you can rent it out to other travelers, and use the money to fund your own travels.
What’s more, you can get started with this income stream for free. Airbnb doesn’t charge you to list your home, so you can test the waters without any risk. You can’t lose!
What Do You Need?
To get started, all you need is a place to live (to rent out) and access to the internet (to post your home on Airbnb). If your Airbnb business takes off, you can also invest in a cleaner or virtual assistant, but to start with, you can handle everything yourself.
A note for renters: Airbnb is not just for homeowners. While most landlords are apprehensive about letting their tenants rent out their home on Airbnb, there is a lot in it for them too. Ask your landlord to familiarize him- or herself with Airbnb. Show him some positive reviews of guests. Explain that renting your home out will require you to take extra special care of his property. Help him to look past the potential issues and to see the benefits, and he might give you permission to do it.
How To Maximize Your Income
Once you’ve listed your home on Airbnb, you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to maximize the amount of money you make.
Prepare Your Home
To get as many guests and good reviews as you can, you need to make your home perfect for travelers.
To do this, step outside your home and walk back in, pretending you’ve just been on a ten-hour journey to get there. What do you need? What kind of place do you hope this is?
Try to see your home from a traveler’s perspective. Then get what you need to make it more comfortable for guests (a hairdryer, nice linen, spare towels), remove your personal items, and get it really tidy.
Build up a Good Reputation
The first step in building up a good reputation on Airbnb is getting some bookings. To get your first bookings, start off by listing your home at a discounted price.
When your first guests arrive, focus on providing them with a really good experience. Go the extra mile for them and then ask for their feedback. The goal here is to learn as much as you can about providing a great service. The better you get at this, the better the reviews you’ll get, the more bookings you’ll get, and the higher prices you can charge.
Provide a Great Experience
Remember that running a successful Airbnb business is not just about being able to provide accommodation in the right location. It’s about offering a great experience to your guests.
Your guests might be apprehensive about booking to stay at a stranger’s house, so communicate with them before they arrive. Do everything you can to relieve them of any worries they might have.
Give them several ways to contact you and let them know that they can contact you with any questions they have. Thank them for their booking. You could even consider sending them an informative guidebook to your area when they book.
How Much Should You Charge?
Part of being successful on Airbnb is finding the optimal price for your listing. To do this, start by looking at other listings in your neighborhood. Check out hotel prices.
To begin with, use a discounted price to attract people to your listing. You might want to start by making your offering 30% cheaper than your competitors.
See how it goes. Experiment with different prices. If you don’t get any inquiries, try dropping your price. Your goal is to reach a 80-90% occupancy rate. As you reach full occupancy, raise your prices.
You can also change your price according to the time of year, as demand varies. Look ahead to see which special dates are coming up. You can charge more for New Year’s Eve, Christmas, Easter, music events, and conferences.
If you’re in a tourist spot, charge more for weekends. If you’re in a city that’s often visited by business people, charge more for weekdays. If you don’t have any bookings for the next week, lower your prices to attract last minute travelers.
To get an idea of how busy your area is at different times of the year, use Booking.com to look up the percentage of hotels that are booked and which prices they’re charging. Speak to your local tourism office about the demand during the different times of year in your area.
Screen Your Guests
To make the process as hassle-free as possible, accept only guests that you feel are trustworthy. Find out more about potential guests by looking at their profiles and reviews.
If they’re new to the site and haven’t filled out much information about themselves, ask them what the purpose of the visit is and who they’ll be traveling with. Remember that you don’t have to accept a request if you don’t want to.
How To Automate Your Airbnb Business
The good news is that you can put systems in place to automate your Airbnb business, so that you hardly even have to do any work to keep it going!
Once you’re making money through Airbnb, the first thing you might want to do is hire a cleaner. You might also consider hiring someone (or possibly the same person) to handle check-ins and to be on call, should your guests have any trouble.
Consider paying this person a good rate, so you can be sure that will be there when you’re not. Jasper pays his cleaner 60 euros (approximately $80) for all of this. It generally takes 1.5 to 2 hours to clean an apartment.
You could also hire a virtual assistant to handle the bookings process for you. Set up a workflow and some templates, so that, whenever you get a booking, your assistant can send out a sequence of emails to your guests. Create an FAQ to help your assistant handle any questions.
Are You Ready to Get Paid for Your Pad?
It’s as simple as that! List your house or apartment, get it ready for your guests, get some good reviews, experiment with your prices, and automate the system.
If you’re as excited as I am about this potential revenue stream, and you’d like to find out more about getting paid for your pad, check out the resources Jasper’s made on the topic.