The benefits of hosting in your own home are numerous. The obvious benefit is extra money, but there are many other benefits too. I have several Airbnb properties where we host the entire property, but I also host a room in my home too. Let’s take a look at what the benefits of hosting in your home are.
1. The financial difference between hosting in your home and hosting a whole property can be marginal
People often under-estate the prices that people are willing to pay for renting a room in someone’s home.
Every market has a price ceiling for any property. What I mean is, that for a 1 person stay in New York or London, the price is virtually unceiled. People will pay $1000 a night at a high-end hotel, but if, like me, you live in a smaller town, for 1 person $150 is just about the very most you will pay to stay in even the most luxurious of establishments.
What this means though, is that if you price a whole apartment at $100 I have found that people are quite willing to pay near that price for a room in my house, on average $70. In other words, people have a budget and as long as their needs are fulfilled, they will spend it on a room in your house.
So it’s a mistake to think that just because someone is renting “just” a room, that you can only charge $30/$40 a night. You can charge a lot more – as long as it’s in proportion with the price ceiling of your area.
2. The amount of cleaning is vastly reduced if you’re hosting at home
This, for me, really is a key benefit of hosting people at your home. The fact is, that you will clean your house anyway right? My wife can’t stand mess and dirt, so the house stays at a pretty high standard. So the house cleaning is done whether or not you have guests staying with you.
When it comes to servicing the Airbnb room, this is so much faster and quicker than servicing a whole apartment.
Our Airbnb room consists of a nicely sized King Bedroom with ensuite shower and bathroom. This is what our clean consists of, and it takes literally 15-20 minutes:
- Run our ILife robot Vacuum cleaner – link to Amazon here (trust me this is absolutely brilliant. It gets all the dirt and mess up and also makes the carpet look vacuumed).
- Clean the bathroom. Now because we do this every couple of days, it never ends up getting really dirty. Every time we spray and clean the basin, toilet, mop the floor and put down a fresh bathmat. So it’s both hygienically clean and also looks clean.
- Clean the shower: This gets sprayed down with sanitizing spray, and then the doors and glass are buffed off, but again, because this happens two or three times a week, there simply isn’t a build-up of limescale or dirt.
- Make the beds. (We keep a stock of 5 sets, so wash them all just once a week). This takes I guess about 5 minutes to make the bed nicely – and gets quicker with practice.
- Leave a nice bottle of Evian water beside each side of the bed.
- Check that the windows are clean.
- Air the room.
- And voila. It’s done.
Now compare this to cleaning a whole apartment. This is a 20-minute job, compared to at least 2 hours to clean a whole apartment, and for perhaps only a 30% drop in revenue.
3. You get to meet varied and interesting people
We have met people from all over the world. We’re near a hospital so we meet a lot of doctors, nurses, surgeons etc, but we’ve also met artists, photographers, pianists, you name it – we’ve met them!
Now it’s true, not everyone wants to socialize, and that suits us fine as we have two living areas, but we’re quite sociable people and I find it fascinating meeting new people. We’re quite happy to share our evening meal with our guests and give them breakfast, and quite often they’ll bring a bottle of wine or something else as a nice treat.
One family from Australia last summer kept us up until at least 3 am in the garden regailing us with their hilarious stories from their travels. It was a wonderful evening, and we kept in touch. And the best bit of it was, they stayed for 2 weeks and paid £80 a night. So that was 2 of our mortgages paid for the month!
4. You monetize spare space in your home
We happen to live in a 5 bedroom home, but there’s just myself my wife and my daughter. There was a time when I rarely went up to the third floor for weeks. It was simply wasted space, so if you like meeting new people, and you don’t mind strangers in your home, why not monetize it through Airbnb?
5. You get to make new business connections
As well as making friends, I’ve met a lot of business people who’ve stayed with us. They could have stayed in a hotel, but they, like us, enjoy the Airbnb process of meeting new people, and for my various business interests I’ve made a ton of connections and stayed in touch. There’s nothing like having a good chat with someone over a bottle of wine in your home to make a connection. Now, of course, this isn’t why we do it, but it’s a great by-product!
6. Your mortgage is paid for you
As I’ve mentioned already in a couple of the points above, listing one of your spare rooms on Airbnb can be extremely lucrative. If you’re making an extra $2000 a month by doing this, for almost no outlay at all, then in a year that’s $24,000. That’s enough for (half the price of) a decent car, half a deposit for a new flat, or an extremely nice holiday.
7. You have to keep your home clean
Of course, this forces you to keep your home clean. Now many people (i.e. my wife) will keep it clean anyway, but some won’t and there have been direct correlations to a clean home and good mental health (see this article for more information) so this is yet a further benefit.
Q: So I can see there are lots of advantages, but what are the downsides?
Of course, there can be downsides to hosting one of your rooms. Whatever quality of communication and information you receive beforehand, there may be guests who are a bit “off”. So this needs keeping in mind, and you need to know what you will do if this happens.
Also, hosting a room in your own home might not suit everyone. If you’re a more private person, then maybe this isn’t for you, and you’d be better off hosting a whole property.
Q: What else should I consider?
A: Insurance is something you should make sure you are careful about. Let’s say in the worst-case scenario, someone is harmed by an electrical fitting in your home, you need to make sure you are covered by insurance for this eventuality (and make sure the space is completely safe in the first place).
You’ll also need to look into your local planning regulations and with your bank to make sure that this is not prohibited by your mortgage (if you have one) or there are any other legal aspects to watch out for.
Q: Are there any other advantages?
Well, I’ve written quite a lot about reviews on this blog, but one of the major advantages of hosting people in your homes, is that unless people are serial moaners, the chances are you’re going to get great reviews, because if people feel welcomed by you and your room is high quality, then why wouldn’t they?