For people looking to make extra money on their space, the secret is out on Airbnb. People have come to recognize that they can earn tens of thousands of dollars a year hosting on Airbnb.

Yet, with the hospitality platform going mainstream, there still aren’t a lot of real estate agents using the platform as a tool to develop better client relationships or even close clients on larger homes.

We thought we’d list out some of the top ways real estate agents are cashing in while helping their homeowners improve their finances as well.

1. The “Better House” Pitch


We’ve all seen those episodes of Property Bros where the couple wants the big house with the pool and the three car garage on at least an acre for say $300K in Los Angeles. I’m exaggerating, but you get the gist. The couples always have to make concessions to hit their spend target.

But, if the couple can actually qualify for the slightly larger mortgage and supplement their income to make up for the difference, why can’t they go for the dream home? Not only are they supplementing income, they’d also have a tax write off. That furniture they purchase and the portion of their home that is used by Airbnb guests are all deductibles.

This is especially true for properties with an in-law unit, pool house, or additional private entrance. 

2. The “Extra Space” Pitch


This angle works especially well with young couples. You know the story. They purchase their first home with extra space because they’re planning on making a few babies over the next few years. There’s currently two of them, but they want at least 3-bedrooms.

That’s a lot of extra space for a young couple. What are they going to do with the extra space in the meantime? Beyond that, kids are expensive. Are they saving up for the extra cost? What if they had something to help their savings out a bit?

Hosting on Airbnb can be the perfect income supplement for them. A small investment in a couple beds, nightstands and Casper mattresses and they could bill their extra rooms out at $100+ a night in most major markets.

In fact, just knowing that they could earn extra money to throw into their savings or reduce their property tax burden might convince them to step up from two bedrooms to three, or from three to four. Give it a shot!  

3. House Not Moving Fast Enough


Unless you’re in an incredibly hot market, like Austin or the Bay Area, some houses can take time to move. If the homeowner is living in the home, they may not be too concerned. But what if they’ve already moved out? Maybe they had to relocate for work or have moved into another place.

If a home isn’t moving, but the client wants to make some money on the property in the meantime, Airbnb hosting is perfect for them!

One of the best things about this angle is that the client can host the entire home, justifying a higher nightly rate and a higher mortgage write-off.

4. No Ones At Home


People travel a lot these days, especially young professionals. What if you sell a condo to a young company that spends a lot of time outside of the country? Or maybe you sold a condo to a single bachelorette who consults during the week.

There are homes like this that sit empty for days or weeks at a time. With housing in such high demand in major cities, this is a major miss for new homeowners in terms of revenue generation.

Many of the “entire home” listings on Airbnb are ones where the homeowner actually lives there. In fact, they are some of the highest reviewed because they actually feel like a real home.

What’s In It For Me?


Most sales 101 classes will tell you that every client’s favorite radio station is WIIFM: What’s In It For Me. As the agent providing this sort of a benefit to the client, there are a few ways that you can earn some money.

Sell A Bigger Home: In the first two examples above, presenting the financial benefit could result in a larger home sell, ergo a larger commission. Everyone wins.

Airbnb Referral Fee: Airbnb has a referral program where they pay up to $300 for referring a new host. They love it when real estate agents or home loan officers join the program since you have so much access to potential hosts. Why not signup and claim that bonus for referring your clients?

Co-Hosting: In the last two examples, there was some massive underused space and the client may not want to go through the trouble of listing the property on their own. Why not help them out and take a cut of the revenue. Airbnb has a co-hosting platform where you can split the earnings between a host (the homeowner) and the co-host (in this case you). You can earn 20 – 30% of the take, or whatever your client agrees to.

Client Referrals: If none of those options really float your boat, just think about how much of your business grows by word of mouth. The more you help out the clients you have, the more they will refer you to new homeowners.

Plenty of agents are making a killing off this. We should have charged for this article. 🙂