How to Become an AirBnB Host: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners in 2020

Updated: May 11, 2020

You have a room or property for rent.


But tenants aren't coming easily.


Perhaps you want to squeeze more money out of your rental property.


Maybe you're a people-person who wants a more exciting and fun way to be a landlord. A way that will occupy your time and give you opportunities to meet people from all over the world.

AirBnB guest having breakfast in bed

If so, you're probably thinking of joining the over 650,000 other AirBnB hosts worldwide and open your doors to guests from all over the world.


You're wondering, how to become an AirBnB host?


It sounds exciting. You've heard of the insane profits some hosts make. You think you've got what it takes to be a good AirBnB host.


But...


You've also heard murmurings of low bookings in recent times.


Stories of horrible guests and experiences have reached you.


AirBnB has been banned in some cities or countries.


To make things worse, you've gone to AirBnB's website and attempted to sign-up as a host but all the options and settings are just plain confusing.


You're in a dilemma.


AirBnB sounds like.the perfect opportunity to make money, meet new people, and show-off your skills as a host but it could also turn into a nightmare.


Now, the million-dollar question:


How do you become an AirBnB host, profitably tap into the estimated US$30 billion market for hosts and at the same time avoid the pitfalls?


Do not fear, this comprehensive guide is going to help you ace this.

Table of Contents


1. Is AirBnB Profitable for Hosts?

2. How to Start Hosting (+ Bonus Video Tutorial)

3. How to Start a Profitable AirBnB Business

4. How to Become an AirBnB Host Without Owning Property

5. 9 Rules for Every First Time AirBnB Host

6. 5 Tips for Making Money with AirBnB

Is AirBnB Profitable for Hosts?


You may love meeting new people and you're probably a great host. But if you're going to be expending your own money, time, and energy towards this, it better be profitable.


Which leads us to this question…


How Much Can You Make as an AirBnB Host?


On average, hosts make about $924 per month. This according to research by Earnest, a financial institution.

Making money as an AirBnB host

The variance is wide though. Because of the number of variables. The size of your house, the services you offer, the location you're in, the segment you're in, and the number of people you can accommodate will influence your revenue.


So, is there a more precise way of estimating your potential revenue instead of relying on a global average? You bet.


AirBnB Calculator: How to Quickly Gauge Your Potential Revenue


AirBnB has a nifty tool that allows you to instantly get an indication of your income potential based on your geographical location and the number of rooms you have. This calculator tool is free.


Head over there now and key in your city or town in the "find out what you can earn" section. You'll see what your monthly income potential is. If it is within your expectations, things are looking good for your hosting career.


Cool Tip: The AirBnB Calculator is a rough estimate. For more accuracy, AirDNA is the best tool. Their paid service provides you with details on occupancy, growth, prices, and more in over 80,000 cities. The data here is invaluable for professional hosts.


How Long Does It Take to Become an AirBnB Host?


Theoretically, you can do it in 3 steps and in under 1.5 hours.

Signing up to become an AirBnB host

There is no tedious approval process you have to go through, no document submissions that you have to make (except to verify your identity) and no physical contracts you have to sign and mail back.


When you sign-up as a host, you will be asked to verify your identity by uploading any form of government identification. That can be done in less than 5 minutes.


The responsibility of complying with all your local laws and regulations lies on you. AirBnB makes this very clear in their Terms of Service (which you automatically agree to by using their service).


How to Start Hosting (+ Bonus Video Tutorial)


You’ve checked your potential income as a host and it looks promising. You’re feeling more confident. You’re telling yourself, “I can do this.”


So, let’s get started!


AirBnB Host Login: Create an Account


Visit AirBnB's host setup page. Click on "Get Started" and you'll be on your way to becoming a host within the next hour. After you’ve registered your email address and password (I don’t recommend using your Facebook or Google Account to sign-in), there are 3 broad steps to getting started as a host.


I'll walk you through every step in the video tutorial below.


Please note that AirBnB regularly updates their interface. Therefore, some variance between the video tutorial and the actual AirBnB website may occur.

That was easy wasn't it? Let's move on.


AirBnB Hosting Fees (Hint: It’s the Cheapest in Town)


What percentage does AirBnB take from hosts?

AirBnB's fee percentage

AirBnB (with some exception) charges the cheapest fee in comparison to other platforms like HomeAway, Agoda (Priceline), Expedia, and Booking.com.


Most of the time, you will be charged 3% of the booking subtotal which includes your nightly rate, cleaning fees, and other guest fees but excludes taxes and AirBnB fees.


You could be charged a little higher if you have a strict cancellation policy or if your listing is in Italy. If your listing is in Mainland China, the hosting fee is 10%.


You can read more on AirBnB's host setup page by clicking "Financials" at the top menu. Onward!


AirBnB Application: Download the App for Your Mobile Phone


If you’ve not already done this, it is an important basic step that you should complete. 


Your response times to inquiries and problems can make a big difference. With the app installed on your smartphone, you will receive notifications every time an inquiry comes in or every time a guest sends messages to you on the platform.


The app is available on Apple Store or Google Play Store.