How I Make Money on Airbnb Without Owning or Renting an Apartment
This is my story of how I stumbled into making money on Airbnb without owning, renting or investing my own money. Until I get to the main part, I think I need to start a bit further in the past.
A few years ago my girlfriend and I took a year off and went on a journey around the world. And because of the lack of income during that time, our budget was really tight. Hence we used Airbnb apartments A LOT, instead of booking expensive hotels or uncomfortable hostels. And when we came back we tried to think of what we had learned and how we could change our lives in the future. We thought of all the people we had met including our Airbnb hosts. Our hosts were nice, middle class people. They were very hospitable but had no special skills or knowledge. Just regular people, like us.
And then we thought: “Let’s try and start a side-hustle, an Airbnb business. Let’s find an apartment and rent it out on Airbnb. It can’t be that difficult.” Oh boy, were we wrong. We rented an apartment, we bought furniture and decorations, and we created our profile. We had some good guests and some bad guests but overall the business was going well. Within the first month we became ‘Superhosts’ and booked out all rooms. It was everything but easy, but we made it. Until we ran into some issues with the neighbors threatening to sue us, so we had to close shop after just one and a half months.
And then we thought: “Let’s try and start a side-hustle, an Airbnb business. Let’s find an apartment and rent it out on Airbnb. It can’t be that difficult.” Oh boy, were we wrong.
Now, fast forward to a few months back, I get a call from a former customer. He said he had a friend who would need a website for renting out apartments on Airbnb (I work as a freelance web designer). Why he would need a website for THAT was beyond my understanding. Anyways, I asked my customer if he needed professional pictures also. He said ‘Yes’. So my girlfriend, who is a photographer, and I went up to his house. It was a beautiful villa with 6 apartments and a single guest-house. We met with the customer, discussed the details and took the pictures. The guy was nice, so afterwards we sat down with him and gave him some tips on how to run an Airbnb. We told him about our struggles and our achievements, about how you need to communicate constantly with the guests (preferably in English, the owner couldn’t speak English). And he listened and eventually said ‘I thought it wouldn’t be that difficult. You just set it up and rent it out. Easy! ’. I had to laugh at myself at that moment because that’s the same thing I had said just a year ago. He wasn’t aware of the work that was just coming up. He added. ‘An acquaintance of mine offered to manage the Airbnb for 40% of the revenue, but that’s just crazy’. So in response, as a joke, I told him that I would do it for half of that. We all laughed, but I saw the worrisome expression on his face.
I thought it wouldn’t be that difficult. You just set it up and rent it out. Easy!
After we left, a few days passed until the customer called me again. He told me he actually didn´t need a website for Airbnb ( ‘Duh’ ), just the pictures and the texts. And then he asked me if I had been serious about the offer to manage the Airbnb for him. I thought about it and said yes.
So that’s how I got my first apartment listings on Airbnb without owning, renting or investing any of my own money. I organized a cleaning lady, set up the Airbnb profile and the self-check-in systems. My main job is communicating via smartphone with the customer (home-owner), the cleaning lady and all the guests. It takes about 15 min — 2 hours per day (depending on how many bookings come in). This one job gets me up to 1500€ per month. This is not much, but given the working hours and that I work from wherever I want, it’s pretty good. In addition, the customer referred me to a couple of his friends, who are homeowners as well and would like to rent their space on Airbnb. So, currently I am working on multiple projects managing Airbnb profiles.
Over the last few months, I found out that there are plenty of investors who buy or even just rent apartments, houses and even whole apartment buildings for the purpose of renting it out on Airbnb. But they are ‘investors’, not managers. Investors want to invest money and get healthy returns on them, and that’s where I or you or anyone with decent management skills comes into play.
How difficult could it be?
As soon as you find your own investor you can use my referral link to get a bonus of up to 200€ on Airbnb after your first guest.