June 19, 2021

Passive income: earn money with Airbnb

It's hard to imagine traveling without Airbnb when it comes to finding inexpensive accommodations. Especially if you want to live as authentically as possible. If you're not into anonymous hotel rooms, you'll quickly end up on Airbnb during your research.

But Airbnb can be used not only by travelers. The platform also offers undreamed possibilities as a landlord. The original concept, in which a private person rents to another private person, has become a real business model with which a passive income can be generated. 

More and more young people with an entrepreneurial spirit are jumping on the bandwagon: they rent inexpensive apartments in touristically attractive regions or cities, build and furnish them, and then rent them out profitably to tourists and short-term tenants via Airbnb.

It doesn't matter if you want to rent out your second home via Airbnb or if you're a true globetrotter and want to set up your very own home bases all over the world to rent out while you're away: Airbnb isn't just a great option for travelers, but for anyone who wants to make money with relatively little effort to secure a steady stream of income this way. 

great designed Airbnb
Kelly Brown Photographer, Terreo Studio

Who can become a host on Airbnb?

On Airbnb, anyone can create an account for free and advertise their accommodation. Whether you want to rent out your second home, a single room or even your own apartment while you are traveling yourself: Basically, all you need to bring to the table is a certain flair for decor and good hosting skills. And even if you lack a happy knack for beautiful interiors, that's no reason you can't make money through Airbnb. 

Just leave the furnishing and decoration of your Airbnb accommodation to experienced interior experts. After all, a perfectly furnished and beautifully styled apartment will immensely increase your chances of generating a fast and steady passive income through Airbnb.

Airbnb interior design
Orlova Maria, Alyssa Strohmann

How much money can you make with Airbnb?

That depends on a number of factors. Do you want to rent out the entire apartment or just one room? What is the total area of the rented accommodation? How many people will be accommodated? What kind of equipment is available? In what neighborhood is the Airbnb accommodation located? 

Ultimately, you can set the price yourself. Airbnb will give you tips on what price per night is reasonable for the offered accommodation. This suggested price is a result of the apartment properties you provide and according to how in demand the area where the accommodation is located is. For example, the demand increases significantly when fairs or festivals are taking place. Likewise, an apartment in a city like Berlin is more in demand than one in the countryside.

Tip: If your Airbnb accommodation is located in a city where popular events are taking place, you can set a maximum price for renting during this period. After all, subletting your own four walls then is particularly worthwhile, as there is a lot of money to be made in a short period of time

luxury airbnb
Roberto Nickson, Elizabeth Krueger Design

What are the fees for Airbnb hosts?

Posting a listing on Airbnb is free for anyone. However, if your accommodation is booked by a traveler, 3% of the booking price goes to Airbnb. 

So, for example, if you rent out your apartment for 3 nights at €100 per day, there is a €10 commission that the platform collects. 

So the fees through Airbnb are relatively low, which means renting out an Airbnb accommodation can be a profitable source of income.

By the way, the cleaning fees are borne by the traveler when renting through Airbnb. This saves you quite a bit of money, because after each rental, your Airbnb accommodation needs to be cleaned. 

You can either do the cleaning yourself or have it done by a professional cleaning service. You then specify the cleaning fee when you post your listing on Airbnb, so that interested parties can see it directly when they book.

Airbnb interior
Kam Idris, Roberto Nickson

What do Airbnb hosts generally need to be aware of?

There are no uniform regulations from countries or cities on the topic of short-term rentals. To that extent, anyone seeking an Airbnb rental of their apartment or room should familiarize themselves with the regulations.

First of all, it is advisable to take a look at one's own rental agreement and see whether and, if so, which provisions are stipulated for subletting. 

In addition, if it is not a condominium, the landlord should be informed in any case, otherwise you may be threatened with termination without notice. 

When you get in contact with your landlord, you should explain exactly how you imagine subletting via Airbnb, what your motives are and what safeguards there are through the platform.

This is the only way to create trust and convey to your landlord that you act responsibly and that you care about transparency and openness.

By the way, due to international regulations, residents of certain countries are prohibited from using Airbnb apartments. These include: North Korea, Syria, and Iran.

Airbnb House
Hutomo Abrianto, Armin Djuhic

What do Airbnb hosts need to be aware of legally?

Legal regulations vary by country and city, and may even differ in different neighborhoods. If you want to rent out your apartment or a room via Airbnb, it is essential to know the respective regulations in order not to unknowingly violate applicable laws. Because: the permission of the landlord is not sufficient to offer accommodation for money via Airbnb.

For example, as a host, you are obliged to collect information about your guests and keep it for a certain period of time. In addition, you must comply with the respective data protection regulation of your country and make sure to collect only the data that is absolutely important and that you also have to delete after three years.

You can find out exactly what data this is on Airbnb's information pages, although it is advisable to seek advice from a lawyer again to be on the safe side.

In principle, the following applies: If you want to sublet your apartment, you must register as a host in many cities, obtain a permit or apply for a license. There is a lot of information about this on the Airbnb website, as well as an active community where you can get in touch with other Airbnb landlords and get information via video or webinar.

By the way, if the apartment you want to rent out through Airbnb is subject to rent control or social housing, special subletting rules may apply. You will need to discuss these with the relevant office and property management and obtain the relevant permits for this, as well as complete registrations.

Tip: If you rent out your primary or secondary residence regularly and over a longer period of time in order to earn money, you are operating as a business. This means you need to register as a commercial host on Airbnb. Also, unlike those of private hosts, your listings must have detailed information.

Airbnb Living Room
Collov Home Design

What taxes do Airbnb hosts incur?

The income you generate as an Airbnb host falls under taxable income, which is subject to various types of taxes such as accommodation tax, business tax, VAT, service tax and, of course, income tax. The best way to find out more about this is to visit the information pages of Airbnb and the German Federal Ministry of Finance. In case of doubt, it is advisable to consult a tax advisor - that way you are on the safe side.

As an Airbnb host, am I covered for property damage?

If there is damage to your Airbnb accommodation during the rental, the Airbnb host guarantee applies. This covers property damage up to €800,000.

However, it does not cover the loss of cash, jewelry, and securities. 

In any case, it is advisable to store valuables and items of great personal value safely and inaccessibly or to remove them from the apartment altogether.

In addition, you should have good homeowner's and liability insurance to cover you in the event of an emergency.

Luxury Airbnb Design
Trend-io, Nathan Van Egmond

The perfect Airbnb account for instant bookings.

If you are renting out your apartment or a room through Airbnb for the first time, you should focus your attention on good photos and texts first and foremost. 

So, shoot high-quality and meaningful pictures of the accommodation and pack the most important argument for booking your apartment in the title of the Airbnb listing. Also, write an SEO-optimized text that describes the apartment and its surroundings in the best possible way. Use descriptive and value-added attributes, and don't shy away from touting the apartment's USP.

A good title as well as good texts with the most influential SEO keywords have a positive effect on the Airbnb listing and help your accommodation to gain more visibility.

Tip: Do not rent out your Airbnb apartment for just a few days, but set a minimum rental period. Because every rental means a new cleaning, which comes with extra costs and additional effort. 

Once your listing is ready, and you have received the first booking, reviews are the key to your success on Airbnb. Exclusively positive reviews are the perfect basis to make money with Airbnb and generate a steady, passive income. 

With that in mind, your next goal should now be to become a Superhost. Starting with 10 bookings, every host has a chance to become such a super host and thus get preferential treatment from Airbnb. For example, listings of Superhosts have greater visibility and thus better chances of finding interested parties.

How to become such a super host? Shine with exquisite hosting qualities: With a low cancellation rate, a low response time to inquiries, and a good overall rating for your Airbnb accommodation, your chances of earning the distinction are good.

Airbnb Interior
Minh Pham, Sonnie Hiles

How to set up the Airbnb apartment for maximum bookings?

To make your guests feel really comfortable in your apartment, put yourself in their shoes once when it comes to furnishing and designing it. Or rather, think back to the last time you traveled. What did you particularly like about your accommodation? What did you miss?

When it comes to the interior design of an Airbnb apartment, it's a good idea to go for furnishings that are both functional and visually appealing. So always keep in mind that the rooms should be quick and easy to clean. Therefore, for example, prefer to rely on open shelves, because here fewer surfaces can get dirty. Also, do without a lot of unnecessary knick-knacks and reduce decoration to a minimum. However, you should not do without it completely, as small accessories can make a room look much more personal and cozy in no time.

Airbnb Tip 1: Equip your Airbnb accommodation with things that are not standard equipment, such as a smart TV with Netflix or high-speed internet. This will make your listing stand out better from the competition, and guests are likely to positively highlight these little extras in reviews. 

Airbnb Tip 2: Accommodate a sofa bed in your Airbnb accommodation if possible. Placed in the living room, this creates additional sleeping accommodations for up to two people. This way, you can rent out a one-bedroom apartment to up to four people and charge a higher price for it, since the per capita price will be lowered.

CTA: Need help with the interior design of your Airbnb accommodation? Our interior design experts can advise you on how to best furnish and style your home to easily earn extra money each month with Airbnb.

Need help with the interior design of your Airbnb accommodation?

Our interior design experts will be happy to advise you on how to best decorate and style your apartment to easily earn extra money every month with Airbnb.

Airbnb great interior design
Nathan Oakley, Tina Witherspoon

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