My life as an Airbnb Host What I've learned from hosting and how I make money using Airbnb

What could you be doing wrong at your airbnb? and Do you need a airbnb manager?


It’s November in London and my airbnb has been busy every day since about August. It had been quiet before that for the best part of 1.5 years because of the pandemic. I’m so happy my airbnb is back the way it used to be – full every day. The other bright spot is that prices have risen (only slightly) so i’m getting a little bit more extra every night per room – only a few extra pounds but this is the first time prices had really risen since I first started doing airbnb in 2004!

What could you be doing wrong at your airbnb?

For the first time in a long time I went on holiday and stayed at a friends airbnb in Istanbul. I had stayed at another one of his airbnb listings some years before but this was a new one of his. Last time I was alone and being a single guy I was not fussy at all about many of the details, but this time I was with my girlfriend and the experience was quite different.

I thought my friends airbnb in Istanbul was perfectly fine. The price was very low so I was not expecting the Ritz. The place was old but had certain foreign charm. It is in central Istanbul and clearly built in another era. But my girlfriend was not so endeared.

Here are some things I personally found not a problem, but my girlfriend said she was unhappy with:-

  1. The place was cold. There was no heating to speak of. I didn’t feel the cold personally but clearly my girlfriend did.
  2. It was dirty. Not obviously dirty as in it had been surfaced cleaned. But my girlfriend is very clean and those dirty corners and the dusty old furniture was unacceptable for her.
  3. Not modern. Outdated decor and furniture.
  4. External noise at night/lack of sound insulation

These were the main issues. Others like no real kitchenware etc added to her general disappointment. To be fair the place was very central and very cheap so its not like we were ripped off. But when my girlfriend said we can never go back she meant it. The thing is what might be acceptable to some might be unacceptable to others. This explains why some people will give a listing 5 starts and others the same listing 1 star!

Do you need a airbnb manager?

I got a flyer through my mailbox for Portico Host – Earn more as an Airbnb host. I filled in the ‘Find out how much airbnb income you can earn’ and it came back £860 per week which depending on if this is net of fees or not (I suspect not) then I guess it’s about right. But in practice there is a lot of work and a bit of luck to get this much. But you should be aware that a house like mine should make about £500 rent for a normal buy-to-let tenant.

Some websites use airbnb data to give you your expected income

I don’t use a manager for any of my listings. Quite simply it’s just not worth it. I’m a busy person, but not busy enough to give sooo much easy money to someone else. Unless your airbnb listing is far away, and that dealing with it is yourself is just not realistic, then you probably don’t need one. I feel the money you will pay to have a manager have one will just dissolve any money you have earned by having one. Unless the price per night of your listing is so good it makes any fee you pay to a manager seem small then your probably just getting by.

About the author


Airbnb host and I live in London.

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My life as an Airbnb Host What I've learned from hosting and how I make money using Airbnb

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