Hosting on Airbnb means sharing what is most loved by you with others — your home.
Clearing Farm has been on Airbnb since 2014. It’s an amazing platform because Airbnb transforms your space/home into something that strangers can enjoy as well. It’s rewarding on a personal level to welcome people into your life like this. You’re opening up the most important space in your life to the world.
Hosting on Airbnb is also difficult. Homeowners know how difficult owning and maintaining a home is. Now add the complexity of strangers every week staying at the house. It’s a lot of questions. It’s a lot of maintenance. It’s a lot of work and the furthest thing from passive income.
We’re often asked tips for starting up an Airbnb or VRBO listing. Yet before we offer tips, we always like to ask: Do you actually want to be an Airbnb host? And go through all the pros and cons of what being an Airbnb host is all about.
- Making something bespoke. Good Airbnbs aren’t hotels. They are unique manifestations of your personality. Letting others experience something you’ve built is an exhilarating and rewarding feeling.
- You make something where people create everlasting memories from family vacations to engagements.
- The excitement of getting a new booking. It’s like getting a new follower on a social media platform. But more meaningful because they’re staying at your home and paying you money.
- Return guests feel like family. Making them happy and have the best time ever is such a positive high.
- Testing out new products from cleaning supplies to kitchen appliances to furniture is a highly creative process.
- No day is ever the same. You’re shocked all the time by things that happen at your property. It’s both exhausting and invigorating.
- As general rule, the only people making money on Airbnb are running arbitrage schemes or scaled multi-property companies. Bespoke hosts are lucky to break even. The reward is in building something valuable and learning from your guests. The financial reward feels like a myth or something very far down the line.
- You learn a lot about human nature. Mostly the good parts, but the worst parts, too.
- Dealing with angry guest over issues that are out of your control. For example, a guest complaining or angry at you for a power outage. When you can’t help, and your guest needs you to help is one of the worst scenarios for Airbnb hosts.
- Needing to be available 24/7 and glued to your phone. Whether you’re out on date night, or trying to go on vacation, you have a constant anxiety that a guest needs you. Making matters worse, you leave your phone behind for one night. And that night a guest does indeed have a legitimate issue that you missed. Worst. Feeling. Ever.
- Guests that break your rules, when your rules are reasonable. For example, we ask guests to extinguish fires before they checkout. Once we walked into our house and a gigantic fire was raging. Another example: A guest saying they don’t have pets and then showing up with pets.
- Maintenance costs on an Airbnb are excruciating. Particularly, when you’re committed maintaining the highest standards and quality control.