Airbnb Experiences: How Do You Become A Host Without Owning Property And How Much Can You Make?

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Written by Dana Sanchez
Airbnb Experiences

If you want to host for Airbnb but don’t own a home or lodgings to rent out, there’s another way to make money off the massive international community built by the online accommodations marketplace.

You can become an Airbnb Experiences host, leveraging your local knowledge, extensive experience of your city or a unique perspective on the place you live into a travel guide business.

Airbnb sells the Experiences concept by saying there are “no upfront costs.” It offers up to $1 million in insurance coverage for most activities. As an Airbnb Experiences host, you have access to millions of people who are perusing the 6 million places to stay on Airbnb. Already, there are 30,000-plus activities run by hosts in more than 1,000 markets around the world.

 

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Airbnb launched Experiences in 2017 to offer activities designed and led by locals. These experiences go beyond typical tours or classes available to anyone with online access. The Experiences are supposed to immerse guests in each host’s world. “It’s a chance to share your hobbies, skills, or expertise without needing an extra room,” according to Airbnb.

For example, DJ Jigue is an Afro-Cuban DJ and producer who shares his passion for Cuban music as an Airbnb Experience host. His tour includes visiting a Cuban home studio for a front-row seat to the modern music scene. Guests learn about the history of music in Cuba through personal stories and visit a record store inside the home of a local music aficionado. Tourists can rummage through stacks of vintage records.

Experiences range from a few hours to a few days long and range from foraging for edible plants in Santa Cruz to a scavenger hunt in Oakland or hearing untold stories of Dublin’s LGBTQ history.

Excursions, classes, tours and more are booked separately from lodging you might book on Airbnb (although some hosts may also offer Experiences such as artists opening up their home studios for classes). Experiences may cost as little as $20 per person up to the hundreds of dollars, according to The Work At Home Wife.

Airbnb takes 20 percent of your fees as an Experiences host — steep compared to the 3 percent it gets from home bookings. However, they handle the payment processing, provide insurance coverage and give you space to promote your service and eyeballs on their platform.

The average person earned $2,500 per Experience listed in 2018, but some of the top hosts are earning more than $300,000 a year hosting Experiences, according to an Airbnb press release.

Airbnb has reported that Airbnb Experiences featuring food and drink are the most popular and most booked. It also said that many of Airbnb Experiences are not offered on any other major online platform, Skift reported.

Here are some tips on how to list an experience on Airbnb from the Work At Home Wife:

  • Once you’re sure that you have a winning idea, start working on your listing. The most successful ones include photos, enticing descriptions, details and all other information required by Airbnb such as category, title, time required and more.
  • Check out other Experiences offered on Airbnb. Pay attention to what they do.
  • Check out Airbnb’s blog, especially articles like “How to Build a Magical 5-Star Experience.”
  • Read through all the extensive information Airbnb provides covering standards and what not to do. Read about insurance coverage provided or required. For example, if your Experience involves driving or food, their insurance may not cover that.
  • Check your local laws to determine whether you need a business license to offer the Experience you’re planning.
  • Submit it to Airbnb. They’ll review your listing and decide if they want it on their platform. Once you’re accepted, you can set up your availability.