Seattle, the Emerald City, is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities not just in the United States, but in the entire world. The last decades have seen Seattle blooming and turning into a hot destination for people from all around the globe.
When a city turns into a tourist-friendly destination, Airbnb rentals start popping up like mushrooms after the rain. This benefits both the tourists, who have to gain from the competitive market, as well as the locals who can make an extra income through Airbnb.
What Is Airbnb?
Airbnb is a San Francisco based company that operates an online marketplace and hospitality service. These are accessible online, either via its websites or mobile apps. Airbnb’s users can use its services to offer or access lodgings, mostly in the form of homestays, as well as various touristic experiences.
The company is not the owner of any real estate listings present on their platform, nor does it host any events. As a broker, Airbnb works by receiving a commission from bookings, which is around 3% for hosts, and between 6 to 12% for guests.
Today, Airbnb hosts 800,000 properties in more than 34,000 cities across 90 countries around the world. Every year, it helps over 6 million people find a place to stay during their vacation or business travels.
How Do You Actually Make Money with Airbnb in Seattle?
Competition is constantly increasing when it comes to the rental scene in Seattle, and this is good for all parties involved because competition generates revenue and progress. Tourists will start choosing the best accommodation available on Airbnb from the best price, while Seattleites will start making money through the increasing number of tourists coming to visit their fair city.
Seattle is already in the TOP 10 US cities when it comes to making money with Airbnb, with the average listing for a two-bedroom apartment going for $164 per night and one-bedroom apartments go for an average of $72 per night.
These prices indicate that people can make a profit of approximately $17,000 a year from their listing. So what are your options to make money with Airbnb in Seattle?
Things to Consider Before Renting
Before we can look at the different way people can make money with their Airbnb listing, there are a few things to consider before putting their home up for rent.
Great Photos – It should go without saying that the quality of your photos will make a huge difference concerning you being a successful Airbnb host or not. Professional images help your listing stand out from all the rest, giving you a greater chance of seeing your home being requested by people visiting Seattle. If you don’t have the necessary equipment or experience, Airbnb can help by putting you in contact with a professional photographer in your area.
Cleanliness- Being successful on Airbnb also means that your home needs to make a good impression; otherwise, bad reviews will begin pouring in, and before you know it, nobody will want to rent your place. It means that you will need to be exceptionally thorough, or have a professional help out.
Also, make sure that your listing is stocked with various appliances, cutlery, plates, coffee, as well as paper towels, basic cleaning supplies, etc. You are not required to leave food, but make sure that your guests have everything they would need at their disposal.
House Rules – Everybody will be more comfortable if there are clear expectations provided by both sides. It will make transactions go more for everybody involved. So, before your guests arrive, it’s best if you send them a copy of your house rules. It’s also good if you leave a copy somewhere around the house. But these house rules shouldn’t only contain things that are important to you, but other useful information about the neighbors, city ordinances, etc.
Be of Service – Many hosts never meet with their guests. Nevertheless, the best way to make a great impression and get excellent reviews is to greet them when they arrive and answer whatever questions they may have such as directions, advice, or suggestions. If you have the time or possibility, you can also offer yourself to bring them to and from the airport, at a cost, of course. Most will appreciate the convenience.
Your Taxes – You should keep in mind that the IRS has a 14-day rule. It allows you not to have to pay income tax on what you earn from renting. It applies as long as your guests don’t stay longer than 14 days a year, and that you also live there for at least 14 days of the year.
Likewise, the Internal Revenue Service will allow you to deduct any regular supplies you buy for your Airbnb listing. In other words, you can get your money back on things like paper or cloth towels, light bulbs that need changing, bottles of wine you leave in the fridge, etc. When it comes to Airbnb’s service fee, you can deduct their commission on your 1099 form.
Renting a Private Room Inside Your Home
You don’t need to have an extra property on your hands to start making money on Airbnb. Seattle is such a charming city that plenty of people would like to stay with a local who will offer them tips and tricks about the city. Staying with a local is almost always a plus, not to mention the reduced costs in comparison with renting an entire place, or going to a hotel.
Renting Your Entire Home and Staying at Friends or Parents
While this option may seem a little more extreme, this could be exactly what you need to get started on Airbnb. Rent your place for a few times and test the service to see if it works for you.
During this time, try to calculate your costs and profits and draw the line to see if it’s worth getting into the online rental business through Airbnb, or not. If you decide on becoming a permanent Airbnb landlord, consider renting out a flat for a full year and add it on Airbnb. You will be in charge of managing the bookings and you’ll make money with Airbnb, all from the comfort of your home.
Try Offering ‘Experiences’ to People Visiting Seattle
What are these ‘Experiences’? How do they work? Can anyone participate? Experiences are another innovative service offered by Airbnb to its users. People from a certain city can post different activities they are good at, like storytelling, wine tasting, origami, history, and the list can go on and on.
The next step is to try to turn your hobby or activity into something that people would like to join. For example, you can offer Airbnb users the experience of a good local wine tasting, or you can be their tour guide through the city.
Airbnb is changing and it’s changing fast. It’s offering more and more ways for people to make money and for people to make the most out of their traveling experience. Why not start making money today, straight from your Seattle home?