How I Made My First $1,000 as an Airbnb Experience Host!

Yes that’s right folks! I have hit the $1,000 earnings mark as an Airbnb Experience Host. Well what do you host Krystle? Well, I’m glad you asked :). I host a two hour Atlanta City Mobile tour.

Photo Credit: Airbnb

On this mobile tour I take guest to the following world renowned destinations in Atlanta, GA:

Mercedes Benz Stadium -Home of Super Bowl 2019

Centennial Olympic Park – Home of the 1996 Olympics

State Farm Arena – Home of the 2003 NBA All Star Game

CNN Center

World of Coca-Cola

Georgia Aquarium

College Football Hall of Fame Museum

Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home

Hank Aaron Drive featuring the 1996 Olympic Torch Statue

The Varsity – The World’s Largest Drive-in Restaurant

Fox Theatre

*And other bonus locations (pending time) such as:

Jackson Street Bridge (*photo opportunity of Atlanta Skyline!)

Jimmy Carter Presidential Center (39th President of the United States)

I offer pick up and drop off for most locations which is highly convenient for those arriving at the airport. I know for a fact the Uber alone would probably cost someone darn near the price of my tour altogether. So why wouldn’t someone want a quick tour of the city before face planting from the plane ride into their hotel bed?

One of the great things about doing this tour is that I get to meet people from all over the world – literally. I’ve toured people from London, Canada, Bermuda and Chile! All while sharing with them the city’s sights, sounds and history of “the city too busy to hate!”

So how did I make my first 1k?

Well, I’ll tell ya…it took some time…about five months. Now I started off doing this full time right after I got fired for the first time. While I was looking for other work, I decided to test the waters to see if I could make a little bit of side money from hosting. I previously purchased an experience tour for myself when I traveled to Costa Rica and thought to myself …hmmm I could probably do something like that. When I looked through the list of offerings in my city’s category and saw that no one was offering anything as it pertained to a mobile vehicle tour. I said to myself – “that’s it!” This revelation had also come at the helm of my 5 hour, 1 day Uber/Lyft driving debacle. No I didn’t have a horror story about an accident or crazy rider, but you can read all about my experience here.

Circling back to the good stuff – how did I even get this Airbnb “experience” thing going?

Well, for starters, you have to submit a written proposal through the Airbnb experience portal. If you want to get started you can click here.

Photo credit: Airbnb

In the portal, they ask you basic questions that you must either type in or select. Airbnb wants to simply know who you are, why you want to do want you want to do and what makes you qualified to do it. Simple as that. They will also want to know what makes your experience unique. They are looking for a unique service that new people to your location cannot easily duplicate themselves. You’ll also need to think about what things you will provide, length of the experience, location, what guests should bring or be aware of and of course what is a good price! You want to stay competitive but also make a profit…after all this isn’t a volunteer project. Keep in mind Airbnb takes a 20% cut off the top; so please factor this in! And yes for those of you wondering if my first 1k includes the aftermath of the Airbnb debo money heist :(….it does. Oh how much more I could have netted! Oh well…hey I figure it this way…that 20% is their fee for marketing; because guess what, it would take quite a bit of time, money and SEO finger magic to gain the reach they so easily and readily provide.

Photo credit: Airbnb

Now, as an fyi I did not market the tour anywhere else outside of the Airbnb platform. I simply let the bookings come to be on its own. Now some would disagree with this passive approach, but because I am really not a social media person (except LinkedIn and WordPress) and just wasn’t ready to jump on there at the early stages of this new venture. I also had quite a few other things going on in my life, so I did not put as much energy into promoting the tour elsewhere. I even picked up another full time job during those five months, which led me to only offering the tour at night or on the weekends. But for those you following my blog, you will see that even that second job did not last for long. After I was fired from the second job, I filled the calendar dates up to offer tours during the day which allowed me more flexibility and a greater offering. Ironically though, I still received bookings for just the weekends. So for those of you thinking that you won’t make enough money because you can only offer a tour on the weekend, think again. There is still money to be made!

So after you submit your proposal, it takes about a week to hear back from Airbnb if you’ve been approved or not. Once you’ve been approved, your listing goes live and it’s t-minus countdown before you get the first booking. Airbnb recommends certain pricing discounts and strategies to gain the first couple of bookings, but I steered away from doing this as I did not want to reduce my cut anymore than that 20% fee that was already going to eat into my take home.

Like anything, getting your first booking is the most nerve racking. But once you do, go out of your way to make sure that the guest leaves without question that they will be giving you a 5-star review. 5-star reviews are crucial to the continual booking game. While you can’t please everyone, at the very least you can do your best to make it so that there is very little to complain about. Aim for the personal connection! As the famous Maya Angelou says: “people will forget what you say, but they won’t forget how you made them feel.” I can honestly say that this is one of my strongest areas for reviews and really the whole point of the Airbnb platform; which is to make strong, immediate and impactful connections with people from around the world. So if you’re not into doing that at the very core, I really believe people will pick that up and your experience will not go as far as it can.

So with eight bookings down for a total of 30 people hosted. My total earnings to date have been $1,492. Now throughout these five months I’ve played around with the booking price and have fluctuated the price between $50-65 per person. I’ve landed on $65 as the go to price and will be sticking with this number going forward. I’m looking forward to more bookings and seeing where this will take me over the next six months. Who knows I may hit the $5,000 mark by then!

If you’re interested in earning some extra cash in your city sign up to offer an experience here. Based on my quick research, the demand is high for any animals experiences; but any good local offering will certainly draw in the attention! Happy hosting!

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