Airbnb has increasingly changed the way people travel. You no longer have to worry about booking your hotel accommodation months before your travel date or worry about exorbitant prices that may impede your desire to experience the world. This site has revolutionized the accommodation and travelling adventure sector by enabling travelers to book accommodations in different places across the world with a simple tap of the button. With such convenience comes several money making opportunities. The most common money-making venture provided by this site is hosting travelers.
You are probably wondering, how can I make money without owning a property? Don’t worry! You don’t need a property to be able to make money through this opportunity.
Sounds good, right?
Let’s start by finding out what Airbnb means and stands for.
Airbnb is an acronym for Air Bed and Breakfast and is an online American vacation rental marketplace. The marketplace is composed of hosts who rent out their properties for either short term or long term visitors. The process of renting out one’s property is pretty simple and involves registering on the site and listing your property with accompanying pictures and amenities.
The best thing about this site is that you don’t have to own a separate property as you are allowed to rent out rooms in your house. You are also allowed to set your own renting charge that is often calculated per night.
Pretty nifty right?
What does Airbnb stand for?
Simply put Airbnb stands for convenience provided through easy access to accommodation and leasing out property.
But what if you don’t have an extra room or property to rent out? Is it still possible to make money on this platform?
The simple answer is Yes!
This is where Airbnb Experiences come in.
What is an Airbnb virtual Experience?
Airbnb has evolved from providing accommodation to travelers to hosting experiences that relate to tours. In the travel industry this is often referred to as tours which denote the process or experience of being shown local experiences by native guides.
Remember the last vacation you took? How excited were you about immersing yourself in the local culture? Most people who travel often want to experience the beauty of their travel destination from a local perspective. If you are an adventurous traveler, you have probably bought a map once you landed at the airport and set out to discover your destination alone. However, some may opt to book the services of a local tour guide who often helps tourists and travelers discover hidden gems, beautiful landscapes, nifty bargains, and amazing local experiences.
Airbnb provides local experiences through this sector of their site by allowing guides to host what they refer to as Airbnb Experiences.
Let’s say you have lived in your current area for more than two years. You probably know which places to avoid, the best restaurants and hangout spots, the places that offer outdoor activities amongst other things. If you are an outdoor person then you have probably explored all these places and even discovered some hidden gems that only the locals know about. Now let’s assume you still live in your childhood area. This means you know the landscape like the palm of your hand.
You definitely know about the best hangout spots and even know about that little stretch of beach that is rarely exploited by the public, or that hiking trail that takes you through a waterfall.
Wouldn’t it be fun to show tourists around and get paid to do it?
When did Airbnb launch online experiences?
Airbnb Virtual experiences were launched in April 2020 to supplement the physical businesses that had been declining because of restrictions on mobility.
How much do Airbnb experience hosts make?
In 2020, the median total earnings for Airbnb Experiences host was $2500. This is quite significant and positive considering that the program was within the first year of its launch.
How many online experiences does Airbnb have?
One month after the program was launched their were approximately 300 online experiences. It is believed that their are currently more than 1000 experiences.
How many Airbnb experiences can you host?
You are allowed to host multiple experiences. However, the system only allows the scheduling of one experience per time slot.
Can a business host an Airbnb experience?
Yes! Businesses and other corporate entities are allowed to host Airbnb experiences. This can be done at the signup process where the business registers and submits any permits that might be needed for their experience.
Examples of Airbnb Experiences
Here are some of the post popular ways of hosting an Airbnb Experience.
Nightlife/Bar Hopping Tour
A significant percentage of tourists and travelers often want to experience the night scene at their local destination. Pub crawls are an excellent way of making this happen while still making a passive income on the side. This form of touring has been around for ages but has been revolutionized by Airbnb by allowing locals to partake in the sector without having to get paperwork regarding your guiding experience!
Essentially, you are getting paid to have a night out and show tourists your local hotspots!
As an Airbnb adventure host, you will help travelers avoid spots they come across in Yelp or Google reviews and provide the best experience by selecting spots that provide the ultimate travelling experience. Let’s say you or your family/friend are a bar or restaurant owner and want to promote your business while simultaneously ensuring that tourists have a great time1 You can list your property on the site, create a niche for travelers who maybe want to experience disco night or Reggae music. This will help you earn money from the sales at your site while simultaneously providing a delightful experience for the travelers.
Hidden Gems Tour
All cities have local spots that are rarely exploited by tourists and are relatively unknown by new people who have moved into the area. It may be a local restaurant or bookshop, or a relatively hidden hiking trail, or even an abandoned theme park or a haunted house. Tourists often want to explore such hidden gems that are not exploited by everyone thereby offering them an exclusive and foreign experience. If you’ve gone one a vacation before, you know how much of a hustle it is to go on tour experiences where there are a thousand other tourists!
While the noise, hustling, and bustling may appeal to some tourists, it does not appeal to others. Some people just want to exploit the local landscape without being pushed every other minute, or have to deal with traders and local “experts.” This is where you come in!
You can list a hidden gem that offers tourists the safe haven that they are looking for in a travelling experience. In the age of social media, everyone wants to be able to create a trend or post a picture in a location that hasn’t been visited by a million other people.
Make your listing standout by pointing out the exclusivity of the hidden gem you are offering!
Nobody likes being taken advantage of. There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of tourists scams that target tourists who may not know the local language. You or a family/friend has probably bought a souvenir on holiday only to find out that it was priced on the higher end because you were deemed a non local and were unable to understand the local languages.
These scams have been exposed over the past few years and often affect the quality of a travelling experience.
Here’s where you come in.
If you are a local you probably know the best shopping spots and have a rough idea of how much things cost. You can offer your local experience by ensuring that tourists and travelers get to experience an authentic shopping experience that is founded on trust. You can list a variety of experiences ranging from flea market shopping to bulk bargains!
Social Media Experiences
You know that local spot that always has tourists and is extensively photographed? The new era of social media has resulted in the explosion of photography. People often want to experience local spots that are renown through the social media sphere. You have probably come across the famous Bali Wings in Indonesia or The renown Cliff in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on social media.
If you have such spots in your hometown or living area, you can make money showing tourists these spots and helping them take the pictures. You can also partner with a local photographer and ensure that tourists have an inclusive experience that stands out amongst all others!
Other popular experiences include bike tours, chocolate/coffee tours, cooking classes, hiking tours, yoga/martial arts/boxing experiences, Paddle boating/Kayaking or canoe experiences, artists experiences, and horse riding amongst others.
Now you are probably wondering how can i make money with the current pandemic situation?
The COVID19 pandemic has greatly influenced how people travel the world and generally reduced the tourists’ experience. It is said only those who can adapt are able to survive.
AIRBNB is one the companies that has been affected by the current situation because the reduction in global traffic means reduction in Airbnb host revenue which had directly affected the company and hosts.
Airbnb Virtual Experience!
How does Airbnb online experiences work?
The brains behind Airbnb have revolutionized the travel industry and created a more adaptable experience through the Airbnb Virtual Experience.
The current pandemic has forced governments across the globe to impose lockdown measures including social-distancing, curfews, and self-quarantines. This has forced millions of people to work from home and Airbnb has joined the league of companies that have provided the opportunity for its experienced hosts to work from home. While most of the people forced to work from home have been binge watching Netflix or catching up on some of their hobbies; others have travelled virtually through Airbnb Experiences.
So what is this?
Airbnb Experiences are live interactive virtual sessions conducted over Zoom by tour guides across the world. These engaging activities are created for the tourists who would otherwise have been travelling during this season and are stuck at home. The experiences usually average between one and two hours and range from activities such as Meet the Seals with a Marine Guide to Coffee Masterclass.
Is this opportunity only for tour guides? No!
Let’s say you are a former bartender who lost their job because of the COVID Pandemic. You can host a virtual experience where you get to show your audience how to recreate famous coffee recipes. There are a number of niches that can be exploited ranging from recreating ratan baskets to crocheting afghans.
If you are interested in this opportunity, read on for a step-by-step tutorial of creating an account on the platform, choosing a niche, and hosting your first virtual experience. This guide also includes the materials needed and how you can drive traffic to your post.
How do you sell your experience on Airbnb?
Airbnb Experiences Requirements
What you will need
Computer (To stream your virtual experience from)
An internet connection (preferable one with minimum download speeds of 25MBps as the site sets this speed as the minimum requirement)
Zoom( software that allows you to stream and connect with guests).
While these are not necessary, they will enhance your virtual experience and help you attract and retain your clients. For instance, if you are hosting an activity that requires regular practice such as cardio workouts or drawing, you will need to retain a significant percentage of your previous clients. This can only be done if you provide a high quality experience. The supplementary equipment needed include:
- A good webcam (If your computer webcam is not of a high quality).
- A microphone to enhance audio quality
How do I run an Airbnb experience?
Selecting a Niche
The first step is choosing a niche. To be able to excel in these experiences, you need to choose a niche which you have in depth knowledge in or are experienced in. Unlike YouTube where you get to wing it and have more flexibility when it comes to selecting a niche and creating content, on Airbnb virtual experiences you need to be well-versed in your art and have in depth knowledge. These are some of the perquisites of creating and hosting an experience on the app.
So how can you choose a niche? That’s pretty simple.
Think back to a time before the pandemic struck. Which industry were you working in? Let’s say your industry was severely affected by the pandemic? Can you recreate the experience for clients at home? Let’s say you were a coffee barista or even a waitress. Can you create content that would intrigue your audience about the profession? Let’s assume you were a waitress at a seafood restaurant. You can host an experience where you show people how to arrange dishes on a platter or even how to arrange cutlery during different dining periods.
If you have a hobby such as crocheting or knitting and can design items like tourists souvenirs. For instance, if you can design and create a circular rattan bag that is often regarded as tourist souvenirs in places like Bali, then you can host a virtual experience.
Don’t have a hobby or experience that seems touristy? Don’t worry! The experiences hosted on the site provide a more “outdoor experience” than a tourist one. These experiences help people relieve activities that would often be conducted without regulations put in place because of the pandemic.
You can host virtual experiences ranging from writing tutorials to arts and drawing.
Tip: Browse through Airbnb Virtual Experiences and check the niches that are posted. Select the ones that appeal to you or you have the most experience and knowledge in.
Now that you have already selected your niche, let’s move on to creating an account.
How do you sign up for Airbnb Experiences?
Creating an Account
- Head over to Airbnb Virtual Experiences
2. Click on the Get Started Button. You will be redirected to a second webpage that contains the welcoming message and information about the site and opportunity.
3. Click on the continue Button. A popup screen will be initiated with the prompts for registering an account. There are a number of options that you can use to register an account including using your email, google account, or social media.
4. After you select an option from the above itemized options, you will be promoted to finish the sign up process by entering your date of birth and name. MAKE sure your name and date of birth are a match to the ones on your government identification.
5. After you finish this process, you will be prompted to agree to Airbnb’s terms and conditions. If you agree with the terms and conditions, click on agree and proceed to the next step.
6. You will be asked to either create a virtual or in person experience. Since you are interested in hosting the experience from home, click on online experience and you will be prompted to submit the technicalities of the experience.
7. Go through the process and fill in the prompts that begin with the location of hosting. This is to make sure that your city is supported. You will then be asked to select a theme. Themes also mean niches and they are displayed with a range of sub niches attached to it. For instance, the first theme is Art and Design, which has 45 sub themes.
8. After selecting a theme and sub theme, you will be prompted to add a secondary theme. This is because the most unique themes/experiences on the site have secondary themes. For instance, you can choose to host a cardio class and a cooking class. This combined experience will help the audience exercise and prepare nutritious meals that fit their fitness goals.
9. The site will then let you know what they are looking for. This is comparable to a job description as each segment highlights the bare minimum requirements needed to create a virtual experience.
10. After going through the requirements for the site, you will be asked to fill in your details which include the languages you speak that are selected from a drop down menu, your target audience which has the options of everyone and specific audience, if you have ever hosted the experience before, if you have experience with Zoom conferencing, the length of your experience (with options ranging from less than a year to 10+ years), maximum download internet speed (hosts are required to have a minimum of 25Mbps), and when you are typically available to host.
11. You will then be asked to describe the experience and include any extra information. For instance, if you chose to host a cooking class you will be asked on the type of cuisine you want to host and the example name of a dish and a brief description of the activity (a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 1400 words.) The prompts that follow require you to provide information about yourself, what the guests need to bring, the location where you will be hosting from, title of the experience, and pictures of the experience.
12. After filling in all required information, you will submit it for review. You will be contacted by Airbnb if the experience is suitable or not for the site.
13. Once you have been approved, you will be listed on the marketplace for virtual experiences where guests can begin signing up for the sessions in the maximum number you allowed. You will be allowed to set the schedule for your sessions with the maximum number of people allowed to sign up per session and the price per person. This information is all up to your discretion.
Driving Traffic to your hosting experience.
Now that you have been approved for your hosting experience, how will you convince people to sign up? The good thing about Airbnb is that it’s a self-promoting marketplace. Unlike other marketplaces, Airbnb already has its base of clients that frequently visit the site for listings. This means that you are on a platform that is self contained. You do not need to do excessive promotion to drive traffic to your listing. However, making the first sale can be daunting.
So how can you drive traffic to your virtual experience?
The secret traffic source that is rarely exploited by many people is Pinterest’s and We Heart It. These two social media platforms are dominantly visited by women between the age of 18 and 25 who are the target audience for a variety of online experiences.
Create an attractive pin using tools like Canva and Adobe and post it on Pinterest. You can also repost the exact pin on We Heart It. Other social media platforms that you can exploit for promotion include Instagram and Facebook that have pages and platforms designed to reach wider audience bases. You can also share your listing with friends and family. Share your listing across all your social media platforms to gain more visibility and appeal to potential clients and guests.
Once you get your first few sales and are reviewed, your ranking on the site will increase and you will be more visible to other guests and potential clients.
Which video conferencing software do you use when you host Airbnb online experiences?
Airbnb experiences are hosted on Zoom. As such, you are required to have fundamental knowledge on using the software and platform.