If you just got hives reading this post title, you may want to find something else to read.
But if you raised a curious eyebrow, read on–this is something I am really excited about.
About two years ago, I heard about AirBnB and started researching the company, wondering if renting out our house while we went on vacation might be feasible. AirBnb is a owner rental company that has exploded in popularity over the last few years (it’s similar to VRBO, but is more “European” in style–you can rent out rooms in your house or your whole house where you currently live).
We love to travel and the idea of someone paying us to stay at our house (and for our vacation!) while we were not there sounded quite interesting. After discussing this with the family, we decided to give it a try. I was skeptical that anyone would want to rent a house in our Colorado suburb (after all, we don’t live in the mountains or in infamous Boulder), but took the pictures and created a profile.
Within a few weeks people started contacting me. We ended up renting out our house three times that year, once in the spring, summer and over Christmas–all times we were taking family vacations. The experience has been nothing but positive for us.
And…my neighbor caught wind of what we were doing and she started renting their home too. This summer her family traveled all over Europe because they were able to rent their house the whole time.
So you can really know how to do this well, I have included an AIRBNB RENTAL GUIDE PDF at the bottom.
If this is something you might want to try, here are the pro’s and con’s:
ONE: Money! (Of course). We usually make between $1500 and $2500 for our rentals, depending on how many days people want to be in our house. We put this money towards whatever vacation our family is taking–we have found that it allows us have more “yes’s” when we travel, doing the extra fun things that in the past have been outside our budget. For me it takes away the financial stress of traveling. I feel like I have done my work (see CONS) and now we get to benefit by creating great family memories.
TWO: Getting to exercise my “hostess” muscles. I love hosting people in our home–even when we are not here. I enjoy creating a welcome notebook, having soft towels available, and a basket of goodies for our guests upon arrival. It makes me happy knowing that we are providing a comfortable place for other people to make their own memories.
ONE: Prepare to WORK. At least for a few days before your guests arrive. Everyone does their rental differently, but I have found the formula that gives me the most peace of mind (See Rental Guide PDF below). This includes emptying out our bathroom drawers so that people aren’t seeing our personal items, stocking separate towels that are just for our AirBnB guests, and of course having clean sheets on all the beds.
It means putting away ALL the little piles we accumulate throughout the house, along with any personal items (such as banking, mail, dirty laundry, etc). There is also the cleaning out of the fridge and making room in the freezer, packing up the pantry (I’ll explain in rental guide) and of course getting the house cleaned (also explained in guide).
It can definitely get stressful, but I repeat the mantra, “I’m getting paid $2000 for two days of work, I’m getting paid $2000 for two days of work.” Pretty good return right? AND, after a couple of hours on a plane, especially if we are landing on a sunny beach somewhere, I take a deep breath and relax.
TWO: The second con is not having peace of mind. This isn’t a big one for me as I tend not to worry about what’s going on back home. But if this is going to stress you out, you might want to consider if this is the best program for you. We have only had positive experiences and everyone has left our home in excellent condition.
If you think you might want to try this for your next vacation, just download my free Airbnb Rental Guide laying out step by step directions for listing and preparing your house! It has a CALENDAR COUNTDOWN and CHECKLIST for every detail, plus all the tips I have learned along the way! Trust me, it will save you a lot of grief 🙂
Just click here:
Hope you have a wonderful experience!
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