What did you do before you were an AirBnb host?


I am an undergraduate at Durham University researching for my dissertation.

I am interested in finding out what Airbnb hosts did before they were hosts?
Is Airbnb now the sole source of your income or is it a supplement?
Is there anything you have had to give up as a result of becoming an Airbnb host?
Are you currently engaging in any other work streams alongside being an Airbnb host?

If you are able to offer any insight into any of these areas of interest that I have highlighted please respond to the thread! If you would prefer to message privately please feel free to reach out. Any information I can collect is extremely useful and I would be really grateful if you could take some time to answer some of the questions!

Many Thanks,
Aashni Patel

I was a high school teacher for 28 years. At about year 26 I began boarding dogs in my home. At year 27 I started doing Airbnb with my guest room. It was going well so I retired early at year 28 instead of at year 30 as I’d planned. Airbnb is supplement as is dog boarding, my primary income is my pension. Hosting sometimes interferes with my social life but not often enough to be a real problem.


Though I have a background in hospitality- ran bed & breakfasts- I have been a stay home mom for 7 years now. This supplements the income my husband earns. I also bake and flip furniture as well nowadays. I havent had to give anything up to run our Airbnb.


Retired Technical Writer and also a Personal Chef. Social Insecurity, Airbnb and the occasional chef gig are my income. Haven’t given up a thing to Host; gain a LOT!


Real estate broker using Air as one of many platforms to manage my investment property.



Pattern maker in the fashion industry. Technical design for production dept. Clothing manufacture. Ready to give up my freelance part time position if Tiny Tiki Trailer Zone does well.
New to hosting, but so far the payback seems pretty good. I love using my design skills in home and rental.
My husband has small sailboat part manufacture here on our property. Yahoo for short commuting feet not long miles!!!


Before hosting: Actor and writer/editor for 30 years
Sole income source or supplement: Supplement
Anything given up: A little free time (and a little sanity, according to the sisters-in-law)
Current work streams: Acting and copywriting

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I do accounting for the City of Seattle. Husband and I have had a few rental properties for years, but turned one into an Airbnb. Definitely couldn’t support us on its own. Only thing I’ve given up is some time and a little freedom, but I enjoy it so much (most of the time) it doesn’t feel like I’ve given up a thing.

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I was a landlord. Airbnb is just a supplement. I couldn’t live on this, not in a small city anyway. I have a full time job. Yes, I had to give up some of the socializing with my friends because I have to clean the house and prep it up for guests.


I’m a real estate broker using Air to manage my investment property and increase income. It is supplemental to other income.

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I retired early from the financial industry to take care of my ill father . I’m also a landlord in addition to the year old Airbb trailer on our property. I love being a host!

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What I did before I was a host: homeschooling mom
Is Airbnb now the sole source of your income or is it a supplement: supplement, but we have become dependent on it and it’s really saved our butts a couple times!
Is there anything you have had to give up as a result of becoming an Airbnb host: occasionally a field trip out with my kids, but that is rare. We can usually make it back in time to clean.
Are you currently engaging in any other work streams alongside being an Airbnb host: I manage two out-of-state rental properties we have (long term rentals), and occasionally drive for Uber and Lyft.

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Before retirement I was a senior executive in a manufacturing operation. My wife and I enjoy the opportunity to meet new people and don’t consider our hosting as a burden but rather fun and interesting. The income is a supplement to our pension and is welcomed to allow us a feeling of satisfaction that we are doing a good job and as well it creates a financial cushion.

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What I did before I was a host: Well before AND now I am also involved in Couchsurfing. In other words: I give up my Airbnb guest room for free to those that are smart enough to use Couchsurfing which is about being social and sharing. However Couchsurfing guests and Airbnb guests are totally different. I find Airbnb guests to be rather quiet and that they like to keep to themselves. Couchsurfing on the other hand you make life long friends with.
Is Airbnb now the sole source of your income or is it a supplement: Nah, it is just a supplement. We both work full time and this is something we just do with our spare guestroom for fun. We love to meet people!
Is there anything you have had to give up as a result of becoming an Airbnb host: Well we have to tell our daughter not to talk about Couchsurfing or couchsurfing guests when we have Airbnb guests here. :slight_smile: And hide that guestbook.
Are you currently engaging in any other work streams alongside being an Airbnb host: Nope.

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Last substantive role as Head of Health and Social Care for joint learning disability and mental health in a London Borough, then five years consultancy/interim management, cleaning up failing services.

Airbnb supplements my NHS and LA pensions. And stops me going mad with boredom, particularly in winter when the garden is quiet.

I gave up more when I retired, enforced by austerity driven changes to Government funded services. Namely, a sense of purpose in changing lives, improving services and ensuring VfM. Being an Airbnb host does not fulfil me in the same way, but my mental health skill set certainly helps with the odd difficult guest, and I enjoy meeting such a variety of people.

I also have a seasonal business growing flowers for local wedding venues, now coming into it’s third year.

Good luck with your dissertation!


Before Airbnb: I was/ am a stay at home mom. Before motherhood I was a journalist and features editor for a computer trade magazine in London.
It has always been a supplement. We rely on my husband’s income. Airbnb pays for extras. Because of increasing restrictions in my city (NYC), I could never host enough to cover all my large family’s needs, though i’ve thought about what I’d have to do if something happened to my husband. (Er, that got morbid. But i’ve been out of the workforce a long time and my mortgage is large, so… I think about it.)
I’ve given up a little flexibility, and i’ve had to work harder to keep my kids quiet (and clothed) when guests are around. But my house is definitely cleaner and I enjoy knowing that i’m contributing to the family finances.
Other work streams… I did create an LLC and bought a rental, but it won’t pay for itself for another year or 3, so i’m not sure it counts as an income stream. But it’s satisfying work. To bring it back to Airbnb, I certainly feel like working with short term guests helped me figure out my landlord persona much faster, and i’ve felt more confident than i otherwise would.


Hi Joan,

Thank you so much for replying to my thread post, my study is actually focused on London specifically so I would love the opportunity to ask you a few more questions, please let me know if this is something you would be interested in, and we can continue the discussion over email or phone? Any more information would be greatly appreciated!

Many Thanks,
Aashni Patel

Thank you all so much for the responses, they have been really useful, if anyone would be interested in answering some follow up questions I have over email or via a quick phone call please let me know, I would be extremely grateful!

Software Engineer/Architect for 30 years.


About 5 hours of free time per week because I do my own cleaning and repairs.

Still work full time as a Software Architect.

Thanks so much for the reply! Would you be interested in answering a few follow up questions I have over email or a quick phone call?