Ever thought about hosting a few friends to crash in your spare room for a weekend?
Okay, well how about starting a Bed & Breakfast?
The other day when I was having lunch with a friend, one of her Sorority sisters happened to drop into the same restaurant. She sat down with us to catch up a bit, and we started talking about her use of this service that allowed her to rent out her condo to make a couple of extra dollars. Using the money to feed back into the unit’s furnishings and appeal, she said it was one of the most unique but well-worth-it ways she’d come up with to supplement her Chicago teaching salary.
It made me think of you.
Air B&B sounded REALLY insane to me when I first heard of it. Basically you create a listing through their company, allowing for guests to room with you. If you live in a pretty cool or interesting place, it’s a cheaper lodging alternative for people, and they may look to sites like this before they book a traditional hotel room.
Safety was my first thought and concern, but, you also don’t have to be present while they’re there. The young lady I met who uses the service, sleeps over a friends’ house on the weekends, and rents her upscale Hyde Park Chicago apartment to parents visiting their University of Chicago students, or those looking to be within close range of the downtown area.
The company verifies your information through a mixture of online and personal identification measures. They also encourage guests to provide detailed reviews, so that more renters will see your score and increase the amount of bookings you get. From what I saw in my brief tour of the site, they’re pretty flexible with your reservations, so let’s say you have to go out of town for business suddenly? You can open your house up to make a couple of extra dollars while you’re away. They also explain pretty thoroughly how to become tax compliant and ensure that your money comes in pretty timely.
The Host Guarantee, is also listed and included to protect you from any damages incurred during a stay:
The Airbnb Host Guarantee provides protection for up to $1,000,000 to a host for damages to covered property in the rare event of guest damages above the security deposit—or if no security deposit is in place.
The Host Guarantee Program does not cover cash and securities, collectibles, rare artwork, jewelry, pets or personal liability. We recommend that hosts secure or remove valuables when renting their place.
I found this review of them online, and it sounded very much like that what I’d heard from the young lady I spoke to.
I think the program is excellent.I’ve had no issues with AIRBNB either as a traveler or a host. The problems have been with the actual hosts of properties I’ve booked. They have been the misrepresentative ones and I now carefully read all reviews and identification process on the people I will be interacting with.
As a host, I screen the requests the same way. Read the reviews and decline ANYTHING fishy. People will try to go around the system to get to your home.
AIRBNB is a tool and with skill of your own it can work well for your purposes.
Similar options for using your home as a fundraiser include VRBO or HomeAway.
I still don’t know that I’m personally comfortable with this service, but hey, you may try it and love it! Just a thought! Could be a pretty interesting way to make that one-day nursery pay for itself! As usual, go research it for yourself if it sounds doable, and if you try it out, don’t forget to come back and let me know how it turned out!