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6 steps to making a side income with Airbnb


If you’re looking to pay down your mortgage or save some extra cash, making a side income with Airbnb is a perfect idea.  The great thing about Airbnb is that you don’t need an entire spare property to get started. If you have a spare room, you can easily turn it into a money making machine with Airbnb. Otherwise, you can have your room listed for times when you’re away or can stay at a friend’s place.

1.  Clean and declutter

The first thing you need to in order to make your Airbnb appealing to potential guests is making sure your space is clean and decluttered.  This is particularly important if you’re renting out your own home. Make sure to remove any personal items or have it locked away when there are guests staying.  You might consider hiring a cleaning service since most guests will already be expecting to pay this fee.

2.  Design and decorate

One of the most important things that separates an Airbnb from an average hotel is a unique design.  To stand out from the crowd, try adding curated artwork, lighting and furniture. By creating a story, you allow your guests to connect with your Airbnb and give them an experience they wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. However, be careful with giving your space too much of a personalised style since this could deter guests.

3.  Stock with amenities

In the same way that guests will expect your space to be clean and decorated, they will also expect it to be stocked with all the necessary amenities.  This includes the essentials such as towels, toiletries and linens. However, you might want to go the extra mile to make your guests feel at home by supplying amenities such as tea bags, breakfast and robes.

4.  Calculate your finances

Before you go ahead with making a listing, it’s crucial that you’ve figured out all the costs involved. Make sure that you do research on the sharing economy and tax in Australia and check to see if there are any specific regulations in your area.  You also need to consider the cost of maintaining your Airbnb. How much of the management will you do on your own and what things will you outsource?  Weigh out what’s worth your time and what’s not.

5.  Take professional photos

Having professional photos taken of your space can make a world of a difference. If your budget allows for it, an interior or editorial photographer will help to put your Airbnb in its best possible light. If you can’t afford this initially, try your best to include high quality images that showcase every part of your space.  You can always ask a friend or family member for a second opinion on your photos.

6.  Make an engaging listing

The last thing you need to do is get your space listed!  Along with your photos, this is your chance to emphasise your Airbnb’s unique characteristics.  You’ll want to highlight any features such as location, easy commutes and local destinations. Of course, you’ll also want to describe the design and what amenities you have on offer.  A great description will undoubtedly increase the interest from potential guests.

Depending on different factors such as the demand in your area, you might be able to attract guests immediately.  Though you can definitely make thousands a month from Airbnb, it’s safe to assume that this won’t be a case for at least awhile.  There will be a different learning curve for every host but once you get a handle on everything, you might be able to outsource the management of your Airbnb, making this both a side income source and a passive income source.

Guest author: James Pointon is a Commercial Manager at OpenAgent.com.au, an online agent comparison website helping Australians to sell, buy and own property.


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  • As COVID-19 continues to spread, we would like to take a moment to let you know what Financial Spectrum is doing to respond.

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