Airbnb has become an incredibly popular way for people to earn extra income by renting out their homes or spare rooms to travelers. While typically you need to own property to list on Airbnb, there are still numerous clever ways to make money from Airbnb without being a homeowner.
If you’re savvy and creative, you can absolutely make $500 or more per month from Airbnb without having to buy or mortgage real estate. From subletting other people’s spaces to becoming a co-host and property manager, the opportunities abound if you think outside the box.
Follow along as we detail the top strategies for generating at least $500 in monthly Airbnb earnings without having any properties under your name.
Rent and Sublet Someone Else’s Space
One of the simplest ways to make money from Airbnb without owning your own home is to rent or sublet someone else’s space and then list it on Airbnb yourself. There are a couple approaches you can take:
Rent an Apartment and List It on Airbnb | Make Money From Airbnb
In many cities, you can find lease terms that allow short-term sublets or are flexible enough to accommodate occasional Airbnb guests. Search for month-to-month rentals or sublet listings to find apartments where the owner will permit you to list the space on Airbnb when not using it yourself.
Screen the lease carefully to confirm there are no restrictions against short-term guests. Be upfront with the landlord about your plans to Airbnb the apartment when not occupying it. Many will be agreeable as long as you pay rent reliably, keep the space in good condition, and don’t disturb other tenants.
To maximize earnings, look for a small apartment in a desirable location near major tourist attractions. List it on Airbnb as an “entire place” when you’re away on trips or visiting friends and family. With smart pricing and good reviews, you could easily surpass $500/month by renting out a centrally located apartment for 3-4 nights per week while using it yourself the rest of the time.
Sublet a Room in Someone’s Home
If renting an entire apartment is too expensive, consider becoming a long-term housemate instead. Search rental listings for rooms in shared homes that explicitly allow Airbnb subletting.
Many homeowners are now open to this arrangement as it helps subsidize the rent. Be upfront that you intend to list the room on Airbnb when traveling. As long as you pay rent on time and keep common spaces clean for housemates, most landlords will be perfectly amenable.
The key is finding a property in a popular area so you can command good Airbnb rates. Depending on the market, you may be able to rent out a private room within a home 3-5 nights per week and easily clear $500+ in profits after paying your share of the rent.
Co-Host Airbnbs with Homeowners | Make Money From Airbnb
Another excellent option is to partner with a homeowner as a co-host. Essentially you help manage their Airbnb in exchange for earning a percentage of the profits. This is an awesome way to get your foot in the door without having to buy or finance real estate yourself.
Become an Airbnb Co-Host
Many hosts struggle to keep up with all the work required to successfully run an Airbnb property. From cleaning between guests, answering inquiries, scheduling check-ins, laundering linens, and maintaining the listing, it quickly becomes a time-consuming endeavor.
This presents a perfect opportunity to offer your assistance as a co-host and make money from Airbnb. You’ll take over most of the day-to-day hosting duties in exchange for a cut of the revenue, typically 30-50%.
Most co-host arrangements involve serving as an on-site manager at the Airbnb property. But it may also be possible to handle all the remote hosting work as an off-site co-host. Shop around to find the right opportunity that suits your schedule and skills.
With the right property in a popular locale combined with good hosting and marketing, you could absolutely net $500+ as a co-host getting 30-50% of the proceeds. Plus you gain invaluable short-term rental management experience.
Manage an Airbnb for a Set Fee
Alternatively, you may be able to earn a flat monthly fee as a short-term rental manager. Many Airbnb hosts despise the work involved with turning over rooms between guests, responding to inquiries, greeting arrivals, handling issues during stays, changing linens, restocking toiletries, and keeping the property clean.
Offer to take all of that work off their hands for a set monthly rate, allowing them to take a mostly passive role collecting the profits. This creates a much more predictable income stream for you compared to the variable co-host model.
Determine a monthly fee that makes it worthwhile for you and profitable for the host based on typical monthly Airbnb earnings for that listing. This works best for higher-end properties pulling in several thousand dollars per month in revenue.
For example, you might charge a flat $750/month to manage and host duties for an Airbnb that brings in around $2000-$3000 per month. That allows the host to net $1250-$2250 per month in profits while you make $750 for your work.
With savvy screening, you may even be able to secure multiple short-term rental management contracts and multiply your earnings.
Provide Additional Services for Airbnb Hosts
You may also be able to earn $500+ per month providing ancillary services to Airbnb hosts without having to act as an on-site co-host or manager. Consider specializing in key areas hosts often need help or outsourcing with:
Professional Listing Services | Make Money From Airbnb
Many hosts struggle to write compelling listing descriptions, take flattering photos of their properties, optimize amenities and availability calendars, and attract repeat guests.
Offer your listing services to local hosts for a flat fee. A single high-converting listing can be incredibly valuable and worth the investment for hosts to professionalize their listing.
Housekeeping and Cleaning
Keeping properties clean and presentable between guest turnovers is one of the biggest pain points for Airbnb hosts. Offer to handle deep cleans and laundry services so listings sparkle for the next arrivals.
You can also specialize as a “turnover pro” strictly handling the quick changeover cleans required each time one guest leaves and the next arrives on back-to-back bookings.
Photography and Videography
The visual content often makes or breaks an Airbnb listing’s appeal and conversion rate. Provide professional photography and videography services to give listings the polished edge for higher bookings.
Local Tour and Activity Planning
Many Airbnb travelers want insider recommendations for local attractions tours by cars, restaurants, tours, activities and more. Offer to create custom guidebooks, maps, and itineraries guests can purchase through the listing.
Welcome Packages and Stocking | Make Money From Airbnb
Assemble custom gift baskets and welcome packages hosts can purchase to surprise and delight guests upon arrival. Offer to handle stocking bath and kitchen essentials so they never run out between guest stays.
Start Your Own Short-Term Rental Property Management Company
Once you’ve gained experience co-hosting, managing, and providing services for Airbnbs, you’ll be equipped to launch your own short-term rental management company. This allows you to formalize the business and expand your client base.
Create a website showcasing your breadth of short-term rental management experience and services. Reach out to hosts directly or list your company profile on sites like Guesty and Pillow to connect with more clients.
Set up systems to efficiently oversee cleaning, maintenance, listing optimization, pricing adjustments, booking reservations, guest communications, arrival logistics, and all other aspects of successfully operating short-term rental properties.
Structure your fees to earn sizable recurring revenue from multiple short-term rental management contracts you secure. This aussi recurring income business model can potentially bring in well over the goal of $500 per month, especially as your client base and reputation grows, and in result make money from Airbnb.
Team Up with Home Builders Developing STR Properties
A creative way to piggyback off real estate without having to finance it yourself is partnering with builders who construct properties specifically designed as short-term rentals.
Look for builders and developers planning Airbnb investment properties, vacation rentals, corporate housing units, or other short-term lodging accommodations.
Approach them to come onboard early in the process as a co-host, manager, or exclusive hosting provider. That gives you the opportunity to earn profits through their properties without any capital risk.
Negotiate an attractive compensation plan based on the expected nightly rates and target annual occupancy. With multiple new short-term rental units in the pipeline, you can multiply your recurring management income.
FAQs About Make Money from Airbnb Without Owning Property
Is it possible to make $500 per month or more from Airbnb without owning my own home?
Absolutely! While having your own property listed provides the highest profit potential, there are numerous creative ways to generate $500+ monthly from Airbnb without being a homeowner. You can rent and sublet someone else’s space, co-host other people’s listings, provide ancillary services to hosts, start your own management company, or partner with builders developing Airbnb investment properties. With cleverness and hustle, hitting $500 per month is very feasible.
How much can I realistically earn as an Airbnb co-host?
Airbnb co-host earnings vary widely based on the specific arrangement, property, and market. Typically co-hosts earn 30-50% of the listing’s revenue. So if you co-host a property bringing in $2000 per month, you could earn $600-$1000 as a co-host. Higher-end properties in popular destinations offer greater earnings potential. Multiplying your income by co-hosting multiple Airbnbs for different owners is very possible.
What are the pros and cons of being an Airbnb co-host versus rental property manager?
As a co-host you earn a variable percentage which could be lucrative with a popular listing but unpredictable. As a rental manager you earn a fixed monthly fee which provides reliable income but is capped based on the fee. Co-hosting offers more potential upside but also risk. Management offers stability but less potential windfalls. Assess your risk appetite and skills before deciding.
How much should I charge for Airbnb hosting and management services?
Review the local market rates for similar hosting and management services based on factors like location, property type, and duties covered. Typically cleaning and co-hosting services command $15-$35 per hour. End-to-end management services warrant $50-$200+ per month. Professional listing services may range from $100-$1000+ depending on deliverables. Set competitive yet profitable rates based on your personal expenses, time investment, and the value derived by hosts.
What skills and traits make someone successful at Airbnb hosting and management?
Strong attention to detail, hospitality, communication skills, time management, and service orientation. Meticulous housekeeping and cleaning abilities. In-depth knowledge of the local area. Photography/videography skills and listing optimization expertise also highly desirable. Personable yet professional demeanor. Ability to follow procedures and service standards reliably. Willingness to adapt to dynamic guest needs.