If you have thought about sharing your home with travelers on Airbnb, check out these things we learned while hosting guests right here in Milwaukee. In the summer of 2017, we rented out our 1 bedroom, 1 full bath upper unit in a duplex we own. You can see the property here.
This is what we discovered:
You have the potential to make money
We’re pretty confident that this is the main reason why anybody ponders the idea of hosting Airbnb guests, so we’ll start here.
Yes, you do have the potential to make money. During the months May-September in 2017, our 1-bedroom unit made $3674.35 for a total of 25 nights. Considering the unit was also being habited when guests were not using the property, it was pretty decent supplemental income.
You have the potential to lose money
However, if you’re leasing out your property on a full-time basis, you do have the potential to lose money or your opportunity cost is too high. Recognizing that our 1-bedroom apartment over a 5-month period could have made $5000.00 ($1000.00 per month), without the furniture included, it is clear that the much better option for us would have been to draft a more traditional lease.
That being said, there are a variety of ways where it could be the other way around. Location, the price of each night, and the type of events going on all contribute to how much can be earned from Airbnb. If you’re thinking about hosting guests vs. a traditional lease, it’s best to weigh all your options and evaluate your individual property.
You will need to clean or hire a cleaner
Shocker here! People can be dirty. Even if you have guests stay for one night, the entire property will need to be deep cleaned, bedding and towels will need to be washed, and someone will be scrubbing that toilet that people never seem to be able to aim correctly into!
You will need to purchase some items
There are a few things that you just don’t want to share with people. Towels, bedding, and blankets are the biggies! Additional items include lock-boxes and toiletries. We recommend taking a look at our article, 8 items to have before you host Airbnb guests.
You will have to put in some work
Cleaning is the biggest part of the job. But even if you’re able to hire that part out, there is still some work involved in setting up your place and continuing to host travelers.
This includes creating an attractive listing to draw attention to guests who are traveling in the area. Great looking pictures and writing a good description go a long way in separating your listing over the others.
Additionally, communicating with guests is another important part of the process. You have to set aside some time to talk with upcoming guests, coordinate how they are able to enter your property, deal with any issues that may arise while they are in town, and answer any questions they may have.
Our overall thoughts about hosting on Airbnb in Milwaukee.
Airbnb is relatively easy to setup and list your house for travelers to find. We believe the app is simple to use both on the traveling and hosting sides.
If you’re going out of town for a couple weeks, it allows you to host a few guests while you’re gone and earn some supplemental income. We definitely recommend giving it a try!
However, we believe it would be difficult (but not impossible) to earn market value for your rental hosting through Airbnb in the long-term in Milwaukee. If you own a vacant property, It would be much easier to setup a traditional lease.