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By now you’ve probably heard of countless people turning to Airbnb as a way to make easy money or even as a full-time occupation. You might be interested in the idea of cashing out and travelling the world or quitting your 9-5 day job and making enough income from renting out your second home. While these are all desirable goals, the question we all want to know the answer to is: “Exactly how much can I make from my short-term rental?”

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In order to answer that question, we at Pillow have done some thorough research on the potential earnings you can make listing your apartment on Airbnb. It’s important to keep in mind, however, earnings vary widely city by city and that there are likely certain regulations on short-term rentals specific to your city that may affect your short-term rental activity (i.e. limits on number of “unhosted” nights, zoning restrictions, taxes). Furthermore, how much you can make from your rental really depends on the amount you can realistically charge for your apartment. If what you have is a beautiful, newly furnished unit located in the heart of the city with stellar guest reviews on Airbnb, you could probably get away with charging a high nightly rate. However, if what you’re trying to rent out is a slightly older unit in the middle of nowhere with few positive reviews on Airbnb, chances are you’re going to have to work your way up by making improvements to your listing. You can use Pillow’s tool found on our website which uses your specific location to get an estimation of how much you could earn from a short-term rental in your area.

Results & Findings

At Pillow, we compiled data on the average earnings of your standard apartment units with various types of bedrooms across the US. We used the results to determine each of the average earnings for apartments with four different floor plans: studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom. Based on our results, we found that a standard 1 bedroom apartment could make you an average of $4110 if you rented out your entire unit for 30 nights a year. In other words, you could earn around $137 per night for listing your apartment on Airbnb. The average nightly rate increases to $178 for a standard 2 bedroom and $304 for a 3 bedroom apartment. For a studio apartment, you’re looking to make around $118 per night.

You Could Easily Make Double Your Rent!

As you can see, you could easily cover the amount of rent you pay each month if you were to rent out your unit for just a couple of days a month. For example, for a 2 bedroom apartment that has a monthly rent of $1800, you could probably charge guests somewhere around $170 per night. With a 90% occupancy rate for that month, you could earn approximately $4600, which is more than double your monthly rent. In other words, it may be worthwhile to rent out your unit even if it’s just a few days every couple of months or so when you’re visiting family for Thanksgiving or you’re gone on a business trip just to have the chance to earn back part of your living expenses.

Start Making Money with Pillow

The home-sharing economy provides us with a valuable and unique way to make extra money.  However, these kinds of transactions where we rent out our apartments on Airbnb require us to be familiar with local regulations, which frequently change, and sharing our assets and personal belongings with people we’ve never met before. Short-term rentals can seem like a daunting and time-consuming ordeal, but if you do it the smart way and trust Pillow to walk with you through the whole process, you could earn thousands of extra dollars a year!

Don’t have Pillow in your apartment building yet? Use this link to refer your building to the Pillow program so you can start hosting on Airbnb and make extra income, which you can use to travel, help save for expenses, or use however you please!

Want to find out more about the short-term rental industry? Check out our Facebook and LinkedIn pages, or subscribe to Pillow’s blog.


Written by Harry Lee · November 30, 2017

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