Starting in November my Wife Courtenay and I started hosting a home on AirBNB. We were under the impression that we could make a fair bit of extra cash which would help pay some bills. The truth behind it is that to make any real money you must go way out of your way to offer something extraordinary for next to nothing, sometimes at a cost to you. For instance we have an amazing 2 bedroom suite which includes living space and kitchen, but because of the area of town we live in as well as a deflated economy we have to rent this space out a cheap rate. Also, you must renovate and change your home to accommodate any guest you might have. For instance, this could include installing railing if you don’t have them and or installing appropriate locks on the doors. You must change your schedule to accommodate added work such as cleaning. Courtenay has done most of the cleaning because she has been on maternity leave. But she averages it out to about an hour of work per guest depending on the length of stay. You also must consider the cost of bills such as the extra insurance and additional utilities. Lastly there is maintenance to account for, for instance the duty on our washer, the usage of light bulbs and other appliances, and mostly if you are constantly washing sheets your washer and your dryer. So, the question is, is it worth it?
It’s almost 2 months later now since we started, sure enough we are doing alright. It doesn’t feel like we are making money. Although we are getting paid and there definitely not enough income that allows me to quit my job. Also, there are a lot of things that are not mentioned when you sign up to host your home on AirBNB such as; There are people staying in your home, people with very different habits from your own. The people staying with you may be clean and reliable people, or they might be pigs that are better suited to live in a barn. The people staying with you are complete strangers, you don’t know them and they don’t know you. The only thing you know is what you read in reviews and on the profiles of the people. Not everyone has good manners, they might respect you and your family or they might not. This week we had a couple staying with us from South Dakota, they were not respectful of our rules or my family. When they checked out you would not believe the mess they left for us to clean. We are talking stains on the linens and food on the floor and counters. We had a second family stay with us who could not be honest with us, they lied thru their teeth so that they would not get in trouble. The interesting part is if they had been honest there would not have been any trouble. They were blowing breakers in our kitchen area but instead of telling us so that we can educate them and prevent the problem from happening again they lied. So, the problem never got resolved and happened numerous times. Luckily this breaker problem only happened with this one guest. My Wife and I spent several hours debating on how idiot proof you must make your home to accommodate your guests. We had a guest who could not figure out how to open our fence and when they phoned to inquire, they could not understand that you merely lift the latch and push open. The good news is that they got the right house.
Not all things about hosting an AirBNB are negative. There are some things that make hosting an AirBNB worthwhile such as meeting new people. Last week we had a group of students from Norway, they were very respectful to me and my family. They politely asked for things when they needed them, they respected the fact that we live downstairs and they went out of there to thank us for letting them stay. Having a few extra dollars however does allow us to do things we would not normally do however it’s also a false sense of security. We may have made a few dollars but we also foolishly spent that money just as quickly because we could. Doesn’t help being that its December and Christmas.