Hustle Game Strong: AirBnB

Desperate times call for desperate measures…..or do they? I guess it depends on who you ask. After resigning from my management position that also paid for the majority of my housing arrangements, I was left to foot these expenses on my own. And let me tell you, living in a small prestigious college town can get expensive. Easily. So what do you do?

a) Move back in with the parentals?

b) Sell your body on backpage?

c) Get your hustle on.

Although I could easily live rent free with my parents, at the exclusive excitement of my mother, I knew that this was really not an option. One of my favorite quotes: “Go hard or go home”. I hadn’t “gone hard” yet so I wasnt about to go home. I’m horrible at writing sex ads and wearing lace lingerie, which I assume are requirements for a successful backpage. Process of elimination done, I choose (c). In the words of Rick Ross,

everday-in-hustling-slide

 A neighbor and I were discussing our spring break experiences one evening when she mentioned couch surfing and AirBnb. She said that she and her boyfriend had couch surfed before and had obviously, not died. I was intrigued. I pulled out my computer and did some research on both sites. My hustle instincts perked up when I researched AirBnB. My neighbor convinced me to at least give AirBnB a try as a host so I agreed to do my due diligence.

For all of those who may not have a clue what AirBnB is, it is the new innovative alternative to traditional hotel accommodations. Its focus is on the experience and cultivating the spirit of community that we have seen arise in our share economy. Instead of only having the option to stay at an hotel, you now have the option of staying with a local when you are traveling. Families across the world sign onto AirBnB to open up their homes for travelers across the globe at their own price. With the aid of technology, AirBnb‘s ease of use and functionality serves it well. One can browse, save, communicate with the host, and book in a matter of minutes. The clean interface and attractive web design lures you in, even if you are not an expert digital native. Hook, line, sinker. Somebody knew what they were doing. And based on what I read about the creators, they seemed to not have a clue at first, but somewhere along the way, probably on a random couch, they found one.

The Hustle

I live in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment. I of course have the master suite. I wanted to make money off of my second bedroom while still maintaining control and privacy of my home. AirBnb allowed just that so I pimped out my second bedroom for a couple hundred dollars every weekend.

I outfitted the room with standard furnishings with a touch of my personal flair and wa-la!

Took some pics, set my price, sat back and “rubbed hands like bird man.”  Let the booking wars begin. And begin they did. My first month after setting up my account, I made over $800 USD just for pimping out my second bedroom on the weekends, a total of only 8 nights that month.

I stocked up on cleaning supplies and cleaned up after every guest: washing linen, cleaning the bathroom, and restocking.

I responded to mishaps and guests inquires promptly and racked up some positive reviews. This isn’t to say that it was perfect but for the most part given my small initial startup investment, this business had a pretty good ROI. Not to mention, it also paid my rent for the 3 months I was out of a job. Like a boss.

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