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Airbnb hosting could be the best way for you to earn extra income from home. Should you become an Airbnb host?

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10 Important Things You Need to Know Before You Start an Airbnb

Learn how much money you’ll need to start an Airbnb, how much you can earn, & what it’s really like to take care of complete strangers

I'm Sabrina, a short-term rental host coach who knows starting your own Airbnb biz can quickly get waaaay too complicated. But it doesn't have to be. I help first-time Airbnb hosts like you go from overwhelmed to "Yes!! Another  booking!"
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One of the best ways to earn more money is to start an Airbnb.

Read on to learn how much you can expect to make as an Airbnb host, how much you’ll need to invest, and what it’s really like to take care of complete strangers.

After reading this post, you’ll be able to answer the question – should I start an Airbnb?

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I’m not affiliated with Airbnb in any way (other than being an Airbnb host, of course). Read my full disclosure policy here.

A cozy spot to curl up by the fireplace at my Airbnb. | The Realist

10 Important Things to Know Before You Start an Airbnb

1. How much does the average Airbnb host make?

First, remember: your Airbnb business is exactly what you make it.

Have one spare room in your house? An empty basement no one’s touched in years? An investment property you only visit twice a year?

Those are all great opportunities to make a little extra cash while covering the cost of your mortgage.

The actual income Airbnb hosts earn varies widely based on the type of property, its location, and many other factors. All of these factors together determine how much you can get as your nightly rate and how much your overall occupancy rate is.

And, occupancy rate and nightly rate are everything when it comes to determining how much you earn as a host.

All that said, on average, Airbnb hosts make $924 per month.

But, forget about the average number. What you actually take home will be determined by so many factors, it’s not very helpful.

The best way to understand the revenue potential of your specific property is to use AirDNA’s forecasting tool.

Pro tip: One of the best ways to maximize your revenue is to optimize your listing.

2. How does Airbnb income compare to other side hustles?

Okay, so I know I just told you to forget about that average monthly number.

But…I take it back.

One thing that number is useful for is comparing all of your potential side hustle opportunities. After all, you need to decide where your time is best spent.

If you’re considering any other business opportunities in the sharing economy – like TaskRabbit, Lyft, Uber, Postmates, or Fiverr – you’ll find that Airbnb is by far the biggest moneymaker.

Airbnb has the highest income potential by a long shot. At $924 per month, the next highest-earning side hustle opportunity is TaskRabbit where the average income is just $380 per month. Get the average income of nine top side hustles in this Earnest article.

Recommended: 5 Must-Know Ways to Maximize Your Airbnb Revenue With AirDNA

3. How can I make six figures?

Even though the average Airbnb income is far from six figures, it is possible to make over six figures a year when you start an Airbnb.

For example, after a little over six months of hosting, my Airbnb brought in over $43,000. That’s over $7,000 per month as a first-time host. I’m on my way to earning over six figures this year. With only one property.

And many other hosts successfully make over six figures by owning multiple properties.

I grossed just under $19,000 in my first month alone. Read everything I learned in that first month.

The key to making six figures is to plan ahead. Use AirDNA to forecast the revenue potential of any Airbnb property you’re considering. And get all my tips to manage your Airbnb exceptionally.

Pro tip: One of the best ways to maximize your revenue is to optimize your listing.

4. How much time does Airbnb hosting take?

Unfortunately, the amount of time hosting takes swings drastically week by week.

Those swings are mostly based on the season. If your property is in a heavily touristy area, during high season you could find yourself spending as much as 20 hours per week talking to guests and problem-solving issues that come up (based on my personal experience as an Airbnb host.)

Off-season can be a completely different story. This off-season, my monthly occupancy rate dropped to just 10% (sometimes less). During these months, I might spend as little as one hour per month managing my Airbnb.

So, if you’re managing your property yourself on top of having a full-time job, you’ll want to make sure your 9-5 is flexible. You’ll need time to address unexpected issues that come up.

Recommended: 3 Surprising Things to Know BEFORE You Start an Airbnb

One of the highlights of my Airbnb: the expansive couch. | The Realist

5. How much time does it take to set up an Airbnb?

So, now you know how long Airbnb hosting can take each week.

But you also need to know that setting up your Airbnb can take a very long time.

Between getting the proper permitting; planning, buying, and assembling all your furniture; renovating…the time it takes to get your Airbnb ready for guests really adds up.

But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

In this blog post, I’m laying out every single thing you need to do to get your Airbnb ready for your first guest.

Recommended: How to Start an Airbnb: 7 Key Steps to Set Up Your Rental

6. Is it necessary to have a property solely dedicated to Airbnb’ing?

Absolutely not! When it comes to the property itself, you have several options:

  • Rent out an unused room in your house
  • Rent out your house when you travel
  • Rent out your basement or guest house

That said, if you can cover the upfront costs, having a property solely dedicated to your Airbnb business is a great option. That way, you can get consistent rental revenue while investing in a great piece of real estate.

Before you invest in any property, make sure to use a property profit calculator. These tools calculate how profitable a property is before you invest any of your hard-earned cash.

Recommended: Buy Airbnb Property With Confidence: Get My (FREE) Airbnb Calculator

7. How stressful is hosting?

Hosting can definitely be stressful at times. I’ve had one guest in particular who made me so stressed that I wanted to quit before I even hosted for one full month.

For me, there’s always a certain amount of stress when I have guests because I want everyone to have an exceptional experience.

Getting locked out, not having what they want, or something breaking are all things I worry about when I have guests staying with me.

But, taking a financial risk is always going to be stressful. Every business opportunity you take will be challenging, stressful, and uncomfortable. That’s what it takes to reach the financial freedom you’re dreaming of.

Recommended: 3 Surprising Things to Know BEFORE You Start an Airbnb

8. Will my house get destroyed?

Probably not.

And, if a guest does do something that creates additional expenses, you can request that they cover the cost. You can read all about how to recover additional costs incurred from guests here.

Additionally, you should make sure your homeowner’s insurance covers you for short-term rentals or purchase additional insurance.

Recommended: 6 Proven Tactics to Earn More with Your Airbnb Business

9. I’ve read horror stories from Airbnb hosts. Will hosting be a nightmare?

It won’t be a nightmare.

Those horror stories you’ve read do happen, don’t get me wrong.

Chances are you’ll have terrible guests from time to time. But you’ll deal with it.

You’ll learn from it and be better for it.

There are 4.7 million Airbnb hosts worldwide. There simply wouldn’t be that many if hosting was a pure nightmare.

Recommended: 100 Latest Airbnb Statistics [2022]: Every Stat Airbnb Hosts Need for Success

10. Can I afford the startup costs?

Between mortgage payments, furniture, insurance, Airbnb host fees…the cost of starting an Airbnb can really add up. Before you commit to starting an Airbnb, make sure you’re ready to cover the cost first.

Recommended: Airbnb Startup Cost: A Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Hosts


If you want to earn extra income, one of the best things you can do is start an Airbnb.

There are tons of different factors that go into determining whether or not you should start an Airbnb, many of which we’ve covered in this post.

If after reading this post you’re thinking, ‘Heck yes! Let’s do this!’ then you’ve got to check out these other posts:

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Read This Before You Start an Airbnb

Do you have any questions about how to become an Airbnb host? Let’s chat in the comments.

Disclaimer: All content on this website is for informational purposes only. You are taking all provided information at your own risk. We are not financial, real estate, legal, investment or other professionals. Nothing on this website should be construed as professional advice. We will not be liable for any loss or damage of any nature. For more information, read our disclaimer.

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I grossed $160,000+ my first two years Airbnb hosting. Now, I’m sharing all my Airbnb hosting tips so you can build your own insanely profitable business.


I'm Sabrina,
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