Airbnb rents out 500,000 rooms on average per night, so it’s no wonder why they’re the top player in the space. Maybe you’ve wanted a piece of the action, but don’t have any extra space to rent out. Well, the good news is you can host experiences on Airbnb without having to rent out part of your home!
But can you make real money selling experiences on AirBNB? Yes, you can earn money by hosting an experience on Airbnb. Hosts on average earn $25-$150 per person, but that number can increase depending on the type of experience you offer and your location.
So let’s get down to business and look at what it is, what’s required of you, how the whole process works, and how to make money at it.
What is AirBNB?
At the most basic level, Airbnb is a site that connects travelers to people who are looking to rent out their homes (or rooms in their homes) in order to earn some extra money.
Beginning in 2008, it’s relatively new to the scene. It basically started when two people rented out some extra space to three travelers searching for somewhere to stay. And ever since then, it’s grown to a huge online marketplace with millions of hosts and travelers all around the world!
What’s an AirBNB Experience?
Airbnb isn’t just for those who want to earn a quick buck by giving strangers a place to lay their heads. You can also earn money by selling an experience.
An experience is something put together by a local (you) with the purpose of showing off unique aspects of your city, culture, or other specialty talent you have that would otherwise be left out of a traditional tour.
Some examples would be hosting a cooking class with locally grown rarities, or leading a nature hike to the most striking (and most secret) waterfall in your area.
Basically, if you have some knowledge, insight, or talent that traveler’s would be interested in that they couldn’t get on just any tour, this would be a great way for you to capitalize and earn some extra dough!
How To Start Selling Experiences on AirBNB
If that sounds right up your alley, then you’ll be happy to know that there’s only three easy steps you need to follow to get started:
- Learn AirBNB’s quality standards
- Create an experience page
- Start hosting your experience
1. Learn AirBNB’s quality standards
The first step is fairly simple: just go to AirBnB’s website and click on “Host Experience” at the top of the page, then click “Let’s Go.”
It’ll immediately take you to the experience host onboarding page. During this, it will ask you a variety of questions, including why you’re interested in hosting an experience.
Then, it’ll go over the qualities AirBnB is looking for from you and your potential experience. They’re looking for things like:
- Experiences led by knowledgeable and passionate hosts
- Experiences that let guests participate
- Experiences that offer quests access to a special place or community
- Experiences that offer the unique perspective of the host
In other words, what they don’t want is this:
- Impersonal and excessively large tours/experiences
- Experiences without a clear host
- A service, like transportation to/from a hotel
- Experiences that guests could find on their own – something not unique
If you and your experience meet those criteria, you can move onto the next step!
2. Create an experience page
The next thing you’ll want to do is create your page. To do this step, you’ll have to create an account (if you don’t have one already).
You’ll be asked to enter information about your experience, like:
- Where it’s located
- The main theme (arts, food, nature, etc.)
- Specific experience type (backpacking, camping, parasailing, farm animal, etc.)
And because Airbnb is looking for hosts that have expertise on the subject of your experience, you’ll have to answer some questions to prove that.
After all that’s done, you’ll fill out all the details of your experience. Things such as:
- Your language
- Language requirements for travelers
- Intended audiences (families, people with pets, etc.)
- Your skills & level of expertise in those skills
- How much experience you have (time-wise)
- What exactly your experience entails
You’ll also be prompted to add photos. After that, you’ll get to price your experience, then submit it for review.
3. Start hosting your experience
If you are approved, your experience will be published, and you can start hosting! Travelers will be able to start booking any of the dates you’ve made available.
When someone does book with you, you’ll get an email notification with the guest’s profile and contact information. The traveler will be sent a confirmation with details regarding the experience’s time and location, as well as any items they might need to bring.
You can also send your guests a quick message just to introduce yourself, which will not only make them feel more comfortable, but also might add in boosting your review ratings after their experience is over.
How Much Can You Make?
How much money you can make depends, but you do get to set your own rates. You’ll want to keep in mind, though, that Airbnb takes a whopping 20% service fee from your reservations. So, you’ll definitely want to account for that in your pricing.
To give you an example, though, for how much you can make, experience hosts earn (on average) anywhere from $25-$150 per person.
Obviously, that number will depend on what your experience actually is, how long it lasts, and your location. If you have a can’t-miss experience to share in a big city, and no one else is offering the same thing, you can probably charge more, and you’ll likely see more success.
But you’ll want to keep in mind that, if you do have competition and they charge less than you for a similar experience, you might not get as many people to book with you. So, you should always offer a fair price, and not try to overcharge people.
What Are The Startup Costs?
There’s not really any startup costs, unless your experience is costing you money to host.
And if you’re wondering about getting some insurance to cover your rear in case something goes south during one of your events, don’t bother! Airbnb provides it, and you’re automatically covered when you agree to their Terms of Service.
Their Experience Protection Insurance covers up to $1,000,000 per experience. It covers things like:
- A guest falling off their bike during a city tour and breaking their wrist
- Fire damage if someone in your cooking class accidentally started a fire
It doesn’t, however, cover all types of accidents. Certain things that wouldn’t be covered are things like:
- Car accidents
- Property damage from things like mold or pollution
- Something done intentionally
If you want to get your own insurance policy, you can opt out of their coverage and go get your own, but that would be a startup cost that you would need to factor in.
- Little to no startup costs
- Can get paid to do something you genuinely enjoy
- Get to set your own prices
- Airbnb takes a 20% fee
- Limited to areas where people travel frequently
- Don’t get to pick who you’re dealing with
Overall, selling experiences on Airbnb can be a great way to make money for the right person. Especially if you’re someone who likes the idea of giving personal guided tours.
If you’re extroverted and have a passion for a unique niche in your area, you’ll likely find lots of success. Of course, being in a tourist-friendly big city doesn’t hurt, either.
But, if you live in a rural area, are introverted and shy, or don’t have a lot of expertise that can readily be shared on this type of a platform, you might be better off investing your time somewhere else.