How To Make Money on Airbnb Without Owning Property

Real Estate Investing Tips

How To Make Money on Airbnb Without Owning Property

April 19, 2022

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With the internet, inflation on the rise, and a movement for financial literacy, there has never been a better time to look for a side hustle. Living on one income stream is just not as easy as it used to be. People have always turned to real estate as a way to make more money because it is always in need, and there are many opportunities to make a profit. However, housing costs have only risen over the years, while wages have failed to keep pace. By the day, real estate appears to be getting more costly, and for people wanting to get into the business, it may seem like a far-off possibility. So, what’s the solution?

Thanks to vacation rental platforms like Airbnb there are now a variety of ways you can make money from properties without owning them, which is perfect for those of us who can’t afford to purchase property or don’t want the hassle that comes with being a landlord. Here are 8 ways to make money on Airbnb without owning property.


8 Ways To Make Money on Airbnb Without Owning Property

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8. Airbnb Rental Arbitrage

Airbnb rental arbitrage is the process of renting out an already rented property on vacation rental platforms like Airbnb. Typically, the process for rental arbitrage begins with a tenant signing a long-term lease for a rental property and then listing that property on Airbnb for short-term rental periods. Ideally, the renter would make enough money from Airbnb to pay off the rent and make a profit each month. Airbnb rental arbitrage may sound simple but there are a few things that make the process complicated.

Many locations and states throughout the country are putting restrictions on short-term rentals, greatly limiting property owners’ ability to rent out their properties for short periods. Short-term rental regulations can range from a property owner needing a business license to a complete prohibition on any short-term rentals in the area. To avoid legal difficulties, make sure to check the local laws in the area before setting up a rental arbitrage business.

Since you are not the owner of the property, you will need permission from the landlord before hosting an Airbnb on their property. This is easily the biggest hurdle for anyone considering getting into rental arbitrage. Many landlords are not comfortable with the idea of their property being rented out on Airbnb, and some even outright prohibit it in their lease agreement. They also may not like the idea of a tenant making more money than them by renting out their property.

When pitching to landlords, try to sweeten the deal as much as possible. Make it clear how you will manage the property, deal with bad behavior from short-term renters, and how you will deal with repairs and maintenance. Lastly, be sure to get the landlord’s permission in writing so that there’s no confusion on what is and isn’t permitted.

Check out this blog post for an in-depth guide on Airbnb rental arbitrage.


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7. Property Manager

Airbnb hosts don’t always have a lot of time to take care of all aspects of their properties. Often hosts look to hire others to manage their properties for them, and that is where property managers come in. Airbnb property managers are responsible for managing all aspects of the property. They reply to messages on the application, handle check-in and check out, clean the Airbnb, and make sure the amenities are in order.

Property managers usually receive between 10% and 20% for each Airbnb reservation. For example, the average Airbnb cost per night is $137 and the average stay in an Airbnb is for 4 nights. For the average stay in an Airbnb, property managers would make between $55 to $109 in total. Many property managers also work for multiple Airbnb hosts to increase their income even more. Being a property manager is a great option for those who have a lot of free time and an accessible means to travel.


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6. House-Sitting For Airbnb Hosts

When Airbnb hosts go on vacation, they may want to continue renting out their properties while they are relaxing on the beach. In this case, they usually will look for Airbnb house-sitters to continue to manage the property in their absence. House-sitting for an Airbnb generally entails all of the same responsibilities as being a property manager but also includes taking care of the host’s living space as well. The opportunities to be a house-sitter are not easy to come by. Although, there are a few house-sitting websites you can look through for jobs.


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5. Airbnb Co-Hosting

Have you ever wished you could be an Airbnb host but don’t have the time or resources to take on all of the responsibilities on your own? Co-hosting may be the solution you need. A co-host works with property owners or Airbnb hosts and is permitted to handle certain tasks. Co-hosting is similar to being a property manager, except hosts typically attach co-hosts to the listing on Airbnb.

It can be difficult to find co-hosting opportunities but a great way to start is by looking for job postings on websites like Upwork or Craigslist. You can also try reaching out to several Airbnb hosts in your area and inquire about any co-hosting opportunities.


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4. Airbnb Cleaner

Nothing throws off a first impression of a property faster than an unclean and unkempt mess. Cleaning is extremely important for any Airbnb property and is often one of the most time-consuming tasks for hosts. Because of this, many hosts look to hire professional cleaners to take care of this for them. Being an Airbnb Cleaner is a relatively straightforward way to make money. The difficult part is marketing yourself to find enough Airbnb hosts to work with you.

The rate that Airbnb housekeepers vary based on many different factors. The average housekeeper makes $17.99 an hour, according to Indeed. Here are a few factors to consider when determining your rate.

  • The amount of time the cleaning takes
  • The location of the property
  • The costs of living
  • How fast your turnover is for each property


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3. Be an Airbnb Affiliate

An affiliate marketer is someone who earns a commission for marketing someone else’s products or services. Social media influencers and famous YouTubers will often promote products or services and receive a commission for every person they get to sign up. Airbnb has an affiliate marketing program that enables affiliates to promote certain stays, activities, or hosting sites on Airbnb and then earn a commission every time someone books a listing as a result of the promotion.

Not everyone can be an affiliate though. Airbnb has strict requirements on who can join the affiliate program. One of the strictest requirements that Airbnb has is that the website or app proposing to be in the affiliate program needs to get 1 million or more users per month. The content also has to be centered around traveling or hospitality.

Creating a blog, social media accounts, or a YT channel about travel or hospitality can be a great way to get started on becoming an affiliate for Airbnb.


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2. Be an Airbnb Experience Host

Do you have a special skill, hobby, or talent that others may want to learn or take part in? If so, then your path to making money through Airbnb could be as an Airbnb Experience Host! Airbnb experiences are unique activities led by local hosts. These experiences can be anything from giving a tour around the town to teaching how to cook. Here are a few examples of experiences that have been hosted on Airbnb:

  • Sailing on a boat
  • Boxing classes
  • Kayaking
  • Nightlife tour to the best bars
  • Hiking
  • Art classes


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1. Airbnb Referral Program

Airbnb’s referral program is a bit more accessible than its affiliate one. Although the income potential isn’t as high, anyone can use it. The Airbnb Referral Program enables members to earn Airbnb credit toward future stays or experiences by referring new users to sign up and make their first booking on the site. The program provides the new user $55 in Airbnb credit and credits the referrer with $25. However, for stays, the maximum amount of credit that a member can have is $5,000, and for experiences, $2,000 but I doubt anyone will be able to test this restriction.


Making Money Through Airbnb Has Never Been Easier

Whether it was their intention or not, Airbnb has created many opportunities for people to make money without owning any property. The only things you really need to get started are a business plan, time management, and motivation to get started. Extra money is always welcomed, and with these 8 methods, you should be able to start generating some very soon.

If you want to learn more about rental arbitrage, then check out our guide on everything you should know before beginning Airbnb rental arbitrage.