How To Start Airbnb – A Comprehensive Guide 2024

Airbnb serves as a platform linking travelers with hosts who offer distinct and budget-friendly lodging options worldwide. Whether it’s a cozy cabin, spacious apartment, or quirky loft, you can share your space and earn extra income as an Airbnb host.

Becoming an Airbnb host is not only enjoyable, but it’s also convenient and adaptable. You have the liberty to establish your own regulations, rates, and availability and select your preferred guests. If you’re interested in learning how to start Airbnb, this article will assist you in beginning your journey.

Let’s get started!

How To Start Airbnb?

Airbnb connects property owners (referred to as “hosts”) with individuals seeking short-term rentals (known as “guests”). Hosts create property listings, which could be houses or spare rooms with rental rates, photos, and details about amenities. Prospective guests can then search for properties and submit booking requests.

Atrium of the headquarters of Airbnb in San Francisco.
Atrium of the headquarters of Airbnb in San Francisco.

Both guests and hosts have the opportunity to leave reviews, which builds their reputations gradually. This system simplifies the decision-making process of accepting or declining a guest. Additionally, using the platform incurs no monthly fees for hosts, with charges only applying when a guest successfully books a rental.

Follow these steps to start an Airbnb in the right way!

Step 1 – Look for a Place to Rent on Airbnb

One exciting thing about Airbnb is that you can rent out various places. The first step to becoming an Airbnb host is deciding what type of place you want to rent out. A common place to start on Airbnb is renting out a spare room or suite in your home.

Airbnb Logo

But if you don’t have a place to rent, you can still list spaces on Airbnb in a few ways. You could try something called rental arbitrage, property management, and co-hosting.

  • Rental Arbitrage: Rental arbitrage involves leasing a property from a landlord and then listing it on Airbnb for a higher price. Hosts essentially act as middlemen, covering rent and expenses with the revenue generated from Airbnb bookings, aiming to make a profit.
  • Property Management: Property management entails offering your services to property owners who want to list their spaces on Airbnb but lack the time or expertise to do so. You handle tasks like guest communication, cleaning, and maintenance in exchange for a percentage of the booking income.
  • Co-Hosting: Co-hosting is a collaborative approach where you assist existing Airbnb hosts in managing their listings. You may help with tasks like check-ins, cleaning, and guest communication, and in return, you receive a portion of the rental income, making it a way to earn money without owning property.

All three methods let you rent out places that you don’t actually own! Pretty cool, right?

Just keep in mind that each method has its own legal rules and pros and cons. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to try renting out a really unique place. Following are few spaces you could offer on Airbnb:

  • A cool old Airstream camper
  • Your own private campsite
  • A boat that’s parked in a dock (you don’t need to sail it)
  • A place where many people can stay, like a hostel
  • A spare bedroom in your own house
  • Special tents called yurts for glamorous camping

Step 2 – Get Your Airbnb Space Ready

After you’ve organized the location, it’s time to create the setting for your guests. Pick a theme and stay consistent with it. Your theme doesn’t have to be over the top; aim for a stylish and pleasant design. The following are some theme suggestions we strongly recommend to kickstart your journey:

Boho-chic – Think about hanging chairs, warm colors, and modern art that creates a cozy and inviting space.\


Beachside Vibes – Bring the outdoors inside. Furnish your space with wicker chairs, accents made from driftwood, and a bright, airy living room.

Beachside Vibes
Beachside Vibes

Chicago Style – This theme includes modern touches and pops of color with exposed brick walls. Finding the right balance between classic and modern will make your Airbnb unique.

Chicago Styled Room
Chicago Styled Room

Family-Friendly – Comfy sofas, board games, and cozy corners! Make a space that families will love for spending time together. Being pet-friendly is a bonus.

Family Friendly Room
Family Friendly Room

Step 3 – Constructing an Airbnb Team

Next, you need to put together your team. Reflect on what tasks you’ll handle personally and which ones you’ll delegate. Take into account your areas of enthusiasm, your strengths, and your areas for improvement. Building a capable team will be pivotal to your success as an Airbnb host. Here are some people who could join your team:

  • Property Manager
  • Accountant
  • Cleaning Crew
  • Photographer
  • Interior Designer
  • Co-hosts
  • Emergency Contacts
Airbnb Team
Airbnb Team

Although many hosts choose to manage all these aspects themselves, it’s also a strategic approach to concentrate on your competencies and factor in your availability. If you’re adept at hosting part-time, enlisting assistance like a co-host or cleaner can be wise. And if you’re unable to dedicate time to hosting, a property manager might be a valuable addition.

Step 4 – Determine Your Price

Consider what people can afford, who your guests will be, and the market conditions. Most hosts on Airbnb pay a fee of 3% based on the booking’s subtotal. If you’re an Airbnb Plus host, or if you have a strict cancellation policy, the fee could be higher.

Airbnb provides data to compare your nightly rates with other nearby listings. It also helps you decide when to adjust your prices for specific days or high-demand periods. You can set a minimum number of nights for guests to stay, which can help cover cleaning and maintenance costs. You might also want to charge extra for additional guests or services like cleaning, equipment rental, pet accommodation, or tours.

counting cash dollars

Guests pay Airbnb before arriving, and you’ll receive your money through your chosen method (like PayPal or direct deposit) 24 hours after check-in. Remember, you can’t accept cash payments for your Airbnb. You can take Visa, Apple Pay, Mastercard, debit cards, American Express, Google Pay, and PayPal payments.

There are other factors to consider, too. It includes providing discounts for extended stays or during specific periods, and adjusting prices for weekends or holidays. You might also need to compensate co-hosts if you have them and handle value-added tax (VAT) in certain locations outside the U.S.

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How to Increase Income from Airbnb?

There are several important aspects you should focus on to make more on Airbnb

Be Honest While Listing

When you describe your space, be completely truthful. Don’t make things sound better than they are or leave out any problems. This helps set realistic expectations for your guests and prevents any misunderstandings.

Stand Out from Other Listings

What makes your space unique? Maybe you have a cozy fireplace, a stunning view, or a beautiful garden. Highlight these special features so your listing grabs attention among the many options available to guests. Further, if your space is a bit noisy because of nearby traffic, it’s better to mention it so guests know what to expect.

Accessibility Features

If your space is easy for everyone to access, like having ramps or an elevator, mention it. This can be a big help to guests who have mobility challenges. It’s important to let them know they can comfortably move around your space.

Use Great Photos

Good pictures are worth a thousand words! Take clear and well-lit photos of your space from different angles. Include pictures of every important area, like bedrooms, bathrooms, the kitchen, and the living room. This helps guests get a clear idea of the size and layout.

Great Photos
Great Photos

Find Co-Host

Think about getting some help – maybe a co-host. Working together with another person can be really useful for a few reasons:

Emails and Messages: Answering guest questions and talking to them can take up a lot of time. When you have a co-host, you can reply to messages quickly.

Fixes and Requests: Sometimes, unexpected things happen, like a broken appliance. If you share responsibilities with a co-host, you can fix these things faster.

Urgent Problems: Now and then, there are urgent issues, like guests getting locked out. With a co-host, you can solve these problems right away.

Local Tips: Your co-host can tell guests about the best places to go in the neighborhood. This helps guests have a better experience during their stay.

Checking In: You can be busy when guests arrive at different times. A co-host can help them check in and feel welcome.

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Airbnb Experience

If renting out a property isn’t feasible for you, an alternative is to become an Airbnb experience host. Airbnb Experiences is a platform that offers guests the opportunity to engage in distinctive, highly localized activities guided by knowledgeable hosts.

These activities span a range of unique offerings, such as practicing yoga beneath the Eiffel Tower, receiving surf lessons at Venice Beach, participating in a Harry Potter-themed walking tour in London, or attending a pasta-making class in Rome. It’s important to note that Airbnb Experiences may not be accessible in all cities.

As a host, you have the flexibility to set your own schedule, determine how frequently you’re available to lead an activity, specify the group size you can manage, and establish your preferred rate. To initiate this endeavor, you’re required to submit an application to Airbnb. They will assess both your suitability as a host and the proposed experience. Typically, you can expect a response from Airbnb within a week.

Keep on Working

Listing your property on Airbnb is just the start of a successful rental business. Owners need to keep an eye on guests for a good experience and positive reviews. Guests often check reviews before choosing where to stay. To get good reviews, ensure your listing matches the property, have smooth check-ins/outs, and answer guest questions. Also, keep an eye on the property’s condition between visits to maintain it.

Airbnb App
Airbnb App

If making your Airbnb better takes too much time, you can hire a property manager. They can help with guest communication and upgrades. If you use a property manager, consider their fees when figuring out profits. There’s no one way to run an Airbnb, but by improving things over time you can make sure your property succeeds.

Different Ways to Earn Money on Airbnb

Even if you’re not a property owner, there are ways to make money on Airbnb. Let’s have a look at some suggestions:

Become a Co-Host

A co-host helps with various tasks related to the rental. This could include talking to guests, cleaning the property, checking things, and making sure there’s enough soap and toilet paper. How much you earn depends on what you agree on with the host.

Some hosts pay 10% to 20% of what they get from renting, while others pay a fixed monthly amount. Your payment also depends on what you do. For instance, cleaning might earn you more than other tasks

Manage a Property

Property managers do the same things as co-hosts, but they also take care of advertising. This needs a special license from the state real estate board or as a property manager, but it can earn you more money. A property manager can get up to 50% of the money from renting.

Host an Airbnb Experience

An Airbnb experience is an activity that guests can do when they book a place to stay. There are all sorts of activities, like guided bike tours or going to different pubs. First, check Airbnb’s rules to make sure your idea is allowed.

Also, look at your local rules and get any licenses you need for your business. If everything’s okay, you can make a page for your experience, add pictures and explanations, and start taking bookings. If you set your prices right, you can start making money right away.

Start an Airbnb Cleaning Service

If there are a lot of Airbnb listings where you live, you can earn money by cleaning these places. The average cost to clean a one-bedroom place is about $60. For a two-bedroom, it’s $78; for a three-bedroom, it’s $106. When you work for clients, remember that you need to get your own cleaning stuff. Think about this when you plan your business and budget.

Cleaning Services
Cleaning Services

Earning Amount from Airbnb

Usually, Airbnb hosts in the United States earn between $9,000 and $15,000 per year, but this can vary. Some hosts go to the extent of purchasing or leasing multiple apartments or homes and renting them out all year round. It means your earnings depend on:

  • The price you decide for your space.
  • How often you can get guests to stay?

These two factors rely on the time and money you put into making your space comfortable and well-maintained.

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Starting on an Airbnb journey offers not just extra income but also a chance to showcase your unique space and hospitality skills. From choosing the right property to setting competitive rates and maintaining top-notch service, success lies in attention to detail. Whether you’re a property owner or exploring co-hosting, Airbnb provides versatile opportunities to monetize your space. So, don’t just dream, “Airbnb” your way to financial freedom – it’s time to turn your space into a “host” of opportunities!

How to Start Airbnb? - FAQs

Can I make money on Airbnb without owning property?

Yes, you can. Apart from rental arbitrage, property management, and co-hosting, you can also consider becoming an Airbnb Experience host or starting an Airbnb cleaning service in areas with a high number of listings. These options allow you to earn without property ownership.

Is it possible to list unconventional spaces on Airbnb, like treehouses or houseboats?

Yes, Airbnb embraces unique and unconventional listings. Treehouses, houseboats, caves, and even castles are all welcome. Unusual spaces can often be highly sought after by adventurous travelers.

How can I handle unexpected situations like guest cancellations or property damage as an Airbnb host?

Airbnb offers a host guarantee and host protection insurance to cover property damage and certain liabilities. Additionally, clear cancellation policies and open communication with guests can help manage unforeseen circumstances.

Are there any tax implications I should be aware of as an Airbnb host?

Yes, income earned from Airbnb hosting is usually taxable. It’s essential to understand the tax regulations in your location and keep records of your income and expenses for tax reporting purposes.

Can I provide additional services like guided tours or in-house dining as part of my Airbnb experience?

Yes, you can offer extra services to enhance your guests’ experience. These might include guided city tours, cooking classes, or spa treatments. Just be sure to communicate these offerings clearly in your listing.

Bilal Ahmed Vohra
Step into the world of extraordinary travel experiences guided by Bilal Ahmed, a globetrotter and esteemed travel writer offering readers with a genuine and immersive travel experience. With a diverse history of travel and a reputation for unearthing hidden gems, Bilal has become a trusted source for wanderlust seekers around the globe. His enthusiasm for crafting engaging narratives will transport you to the heart and soul of each destination, making you feel like you're right there by his side. You will often find him wandering through new travel spots, travelers' problems, and sorting out their up-to-date solutions!