Building a full time airbnb business

I’ve been hosting on airbnb for a year now and have enjoyed it! I think i would enjoy it as a full time job and i’m curious if any other hosts run it full time.

It seems like the options for building a business are:

  1. rent out apartments and put them on airbnb
  2. buying homes and renting
  3. helping manage other host’s properties and optimize them

What is your experience as a full time host?

With the changing atmosphere in major cities and many states, I would steer clear of renting apartments to sub-let on AirBnb. In many places now that is illegal, or becoming illegal, and penalties can be massive.

Owning property is the “best” way, IMHO, as managing for someone else is just that – someone else’s success, not yours.

In any case, I would strongly suggest staying as a guest at a number of different venues – say 20 or 30 – just so you can have an appreciation of how things really work.


What is an acceptable full-time income to you? What is your market? Are you willing to invest outside of your market?

Check out for intensive data on the American Airbnb market. Like KenH said, regulations are changing quickly so you need to do your homework on where your cities policies are headed aside from just delving into the numbers.

There are also numerous programs for both optimally pricing multiple listings (beyond pricing and wheelhouse) as well as messaging programs that automate responses to save time and to help push your listings higher up the search results.

I’m personally a small-time landlord with 8 rental units total and just one Airbnb that I’ve been running only a few months. I’m hoping to convert one of my long-term rentals soon to Airbnb but scaling up will be impossible soon thanks to my cities proposed regulations to cap short-term rentals to only two per person.

The biggest thing you need to take into account if you branch out to multiple properties is who you are going to use to manage the turnover if you aren’t physically able to do the cleaning, laundry and turnover for every property. I put a rental unit on the market but being a remove guest meant I had to pay someone else for those services which cut deeply into my bottom line despite my cleaning fee. Those people need to be incredibly trustworthy, thorough and care deeply about their job as they hold a lot of the weight when it comes to your reviews. Especially if you aren’t inspecting the property prior to check in. You also have a lot more expenses than you would with a tenant. Wifi, utilities, cable (if you offer it), cleaning supplies etc. are all expenses that tenants typically cover but you have to pay those whether the unit is booked or not so a slow month can mean not much income once you factor in all those other expenses.

I have 2 properties, a 3 bed cottage and 4 rooms in a separate house. Until very recently I was doing everything myself, including all the insane amounts af laundry. It is my full time job obviously! The cottage was inherited and the large house is my mothers. We basically had no choice but to Air them as to have them sitting empty would have been stupid and expensive. I recently hired a cleaning lady who has been my salvation, but she only does the cottage as that tends to be a weekly rent and the changeover is always on the same day. The rooms are more traditional Air, 2 or 3 nights and I take care of them. I also still so all the washing for both properties at my house! I am looking into the co host thing, but its always the laundry that throws a spanner in the works. Unless I have someone to do that, I will still not be able to have any down time during my high season, so I just keep calm, and carry on :smiley:

@Kerensa, I can’t remember where you’re based, but can’t you find a reasonably-priced nearby laundry service? We had one when we had a small B&B in the UK so they’re not just for big hotels. We do our own washing (the husband is the laundryman!) but we do have a cheap ironing service nearby. I actually think I prefer cleaning to bed-changing … I dream of someone inventing throwaway paper sheets!

I am based in Padstow Cornwall, UK. There was a laundry service that I used for a few weeks, but they were unbelievably bad at getting my washing back. I remember one pick up I never saw my linen for almost 2 weeks. Such a shame as they were cheap as chips. The other pro laundry charges £20 per load, a load is big, but really only 2 beds worth, so not economical.

besides finding someone to turnover the properties, what other challenges have you had to deal with for managing properties that are in another city?

The moral dilemma of taking properties off the market for badly needed housing for long-term renters?


You are asking if you should rent out apartments and put them on Air in violation of your lease? Unless you have the express permission of your landlord, you should not be doing Air on their properties. Most standard lease prohibit subletting and you could be evicted for doing so if you are busted.

No im more focused on owning properties or helping other people. I know that it’s not good to sublet without the landlord’s permission