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Can You Host an AirBnB Without Owning Property?

Yes, you can host an Airbnb even without owning a property. Airbnb is renowned for its cheap alternatives to lodging and accommodation.

With almost everything joining the online train, industries like real estate have also created more platforms for people to earn passive income. Airbnb changed the game, not only in the real estate industry but also in money-making. It is so famous that it has become a disruptor of short-term accommodations today.

Airbnb is an online marketplace well known for its accommodation services. The company was founded by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk in San Francisco, USA. Their story dates back to 2008 when the two founders chose to rent out their air mattresses to pay their rent.

Initially named Air Bed and Breakfast, the founders made very good profits and soon decided to build their vision around it. Coupled with offering cheap alternatives to hotels, Airbnb has shaped its own identity by becoming more than just a lodging company.

The primary objective of the founders was to showcase local experiences in their community. This was clear to see in their first hosting experience where they offered more than just beds. They also provided breakfasts to their guests and showed them around the neighborhood.

This was the vision that propelled Airbnb to what it is today – a renowned business with an estimated value of 31 billion dollars.

Today, Airbnb does not only rent out rooms but also offers homes, apartments, condominiums, and in some cases, castles. This vast range of listings allowed Airbnb to grow its market. Even high spenders are welcome to live wherever they want as long as the property is available.

During its 13-year existence as a company, Airbnb has seen to the needs of approximately five million users. Without doubts, this number is expected to grow as Airbnb’s market is expanding. Of these five million users, note that a good percentage are hosts who offer their properties for rent.

When Airbnb first established itself as a house-sharing website, it encouraged homeowners to rent their properties for additional income. As they progressed in the real estate industry, purchasing vacation rental properties also grew in popularity.

Note that these rental properties are private properties that serve as alternatives to a hotel. These properties can be condos, apartments, villas, cottages, log cabins, beach houses, and any other liveable space. In this present age, people are considering vacation rentals as a passive source of income.

Ways to Start Making Money on Airbnb without Owning a Property

Just like it was mentioned above, you don’t necessarily need to own a property to host or make money through Airbnb. Most often, you don’t even need substantial funds to get started with your Airbnb venture. There are numerous other innovative and sure ways to enter this industry and they include;

  1. Airbnb Rental Arbitrage

Airbnb rental arbitrage refers to when you rent a property with the primary aim of subletting it on vacation rental sites. However, for this business model to work, the money you generate will have to be much more than your rent and other business-related expenses.

You should also take time to consider legal rules and regulations as some cities may not allow subletting. In addition, you should source permission from the landlord before you consider renting out your rented accommodation.

Most often, long-term rental lease agreements may not let tenants rent out properties on listing sites. If a tenant violates the agreement, they face the possibility of being evicted. Nevertheless, if both parties have agreed, rental arbitrage can be a wonderful option to enter the industry.

  1. Become a Short-term Rental Property Manager

Have it in mind that becoming a property manager is one of the most significant ways to make money on Airbnb without owning the property. Since the vacation rental industry is growing at such a massive rate, it also entails that the demand for short-term rental property managers is growing too.

Asides from increased demand, choosing this route also offers flexible working hours. Note that your primary responsibilities will include:

  • Managing the needs of property owners
  • Confirming bookings
  • Communicating with guests
  • Supervising the check-in process
  • Marketing
  • Property inspections
  • Organizing cleaning and maintenance tasks.
  1. Become a Co-host to an Airbnb host

Co-hosts are known to carry out almost the same duties as short-term rental managers. The only well-noted difference is that they will act more like an assistant to a host than a manager. If you are still new to this industry, co-hosting is a considerable place to start. When co-hosting, your main tasks can include:

  • Confirming bookings
  • Communicating with guests
  • Supervising the check-in and check-out process
  • Property inspections
  • Organizing cleaning and maintenance tasks
  • Restocking necessary items
  • Writing reviews for guests.
  1. Become an Airbnb Affiliate

Affiliates are experts who promote products or services they do not own. Have it in mind that these experts have an audience that trusts their judgments, hence, they can influence their decisions easily. As an Airbnb affiliate, you can endorse an Airbnb property or share your experiences on your platforms and make money from commission for every conversion that comes through your Airbnb affiliate link.

Indeed, affiliate marketing is an indirect strategy to make money on Airbnb. You can also meet with Airbnb hosts to experience their property by getting an invite at a discount. Note that this will help you acquire the information you require to promote the Airbnb property online.

Have it in mind that Airbnb affiliates get paid in commission for every booking the property receives from their recommendations. The affiliate can also have discount codes that help them easily drive bookings.

  1. Join a Vacation Rental Franchise

For individuals who don’t intend to start from scratch, another way to make money on Airbnb is to join a vacation rental franchise.

Note that in exchange for paying a fee, local property managers can get a special license from an existing franchise owner to leverage their resources and offer services under their brand name. Note that with this business model, you get access to processes that have been tried and tested.

Also, the territory in which you will be operating will be defined and protected, and you also get training and ongoing support. However, note that you will not have total control over everything as you are expected to follow branding guidelines established by the franchisor. You will also have to pay an initial fee to join the franchise program.

  1. Host an Airbnb Experience

Hosting an Airbnb Experience remains one of the most innovative ways of making money without really owning the property. Airbnb Experiences is a platform started by Airbnb in 2016, and in five years, it has been credited with helping hosts amass a steady source of revenue.

Note that by joining the program, you can offer a vast range of activities that guests can book during their stays, such as a traditional guided tour, cooking class, or art class. In addition, if you have a specific hobby or a program, it can be an excellent alternative to hosting stays.

According to reports, you can make around $25 to $150 per guest that signs up for an Experience. In 2020, Airbnb also introduced Online Experiences, and according to Airbnb data, the top-earning Experiences hosts have amassed more than $20,000 each after switching to the online platform.

  1. Become an Airbnb Consultant

For individuals who already have experience in managing Airbnb rentals and would like to help other entrepreneurs grow, becoming an Airbnb consultant lets you earn revenue without actually owning the property. Coupled with being experienced in running short-term rentals, you will also require extensive marketing skills to grow your brand.

As an Airbnb consultant, you are expected to help hosts grow and maximize their bookings, improve their ranking, and maybe buy and sell short-term rentals. Also, note that you will have to identify a particular niche – this is the secret of the most successful consultants.

  1. Join the Airbnb Referral Program

Have it in mind that one of the fastest ways to earn on Airbnb without owning a property is through the referral program. Without a doubt, it is more user-friendly than affiliate marketing as any Airbnb user can access the program and make money.

Note that with the Airbnb referral program, you earn rewards when someone makes a booking from your unique link. A unique referral link is available for you once you sign up for Airbnb. Also note that you can share this referral link with your friends, family, colleagues and get paid for doing so.

Immediately anyone signs up on Airbnb and successfully books an apartment for the first time, they receive a $55 credit and you receive a $25 credit for use in your next booking. You can also choose to convert the Airbnb referral credit to cash.

  1. Start an Airbnb Cleaning Service

Without argument, offering Airbnb cleaning service is a lucrative way to make money from Airbnb without really owning the property. Have it in mind that cleaning services are typically the first task that hosts will outsource, and it entails that you will have no shortage of work.

However, to become an Airbnb cleaning service owner, you will first need to do your research and understand the sort of cleaning services you can offer. Also take your time to find out if your state has any requirements, such as insurance and licensing, and what the standard cleaning costs are.

Remember to factor in expenses as well, like cleaning products, equipment, labor, and marketing. The average income of a cleaner is about $25 per hour. Per month, cleaners are known to make about $800 on average. However, the profit you make will depend on the cleaning prices and the number of properties cleaned per month.

  1. Learn the Craft of Vacation Rental Marketing

To ensure that they stay ahead of the competition, it is crucial for hosts to market properties. Have it in mind that the industry competition is getting very intense; therefore it is becoming a necessity for owners to generate direct bookings and also attract potential travelers to their page.

Since hosts have a lot on their plate, they usually seek external help to set up and implement a viable marketing strategy to promote their rentals. Owing to that, if you already have marketing skills and are eager to make money without owning the property, this is the best route to consider.

However, if you are not adept in marketing but very eager to get your foot in the door, you can begin with social media. Immediately you’ve become conversant with this, you can move on to other marketing areas too. Vacation rental marketers are expected to provide the following services:

  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Content creation
  • Blog posting
  • SEO
  • SEM
  • Lead generation
  • Website design


Making money on Airbnb is quite easier than most people think. A good number of people believe you need to own a property, but just like it was explained above, that is not the case. Airbnb offers a wide array of opportunities, and it is expected to grow more in the next couple of years.

Some methods are quite harder than others and some will need a little sales pitch. However, if you can put your head down and be very willing to work hard, you can quit your 9-to-5 job and make a business out of Airbnb.