Residual income, equity, remote work, these are all buzz words circulating in the covid-era. Owning and operating an Airbnb remotely is a fantastic way to create passive income.
If you’re like me, you might be thinking that buying real estate has an extremely high barrior of entry. Most of us can’t just go around buying houses. The only houses I could afford to buy exist in neighborhoods I don’t want to own a house in.
However, the good news is, if you own your home (including if you have a mortgage), you can launch an Airbnb. The home you live in can be minimized, staged, and turned into either a part-time or full-time Airbnb business. You can rent out your house while you travel the world and run your Airbnb remotely.
Your Airbnb Business
Not all Airbnb businesses are weekend party houses. I personally rent my home for a 2 month minimum. We have been rented to insurance agencies housing local people with destroyed homes, families moving to the area while looking to buy a home, and local people doing major construction projects at their homes.
Generally speaking, the shorter term rentals are more profitable. However, they are also more risky. Short term rentals have a lot of regulations, increased taxes, and more potential for major damage to the home. At any rate, deciding your risk tolerance is an important factor before starting your Airbnb business.
Before Leaving the Country
Getting your home from its current state to renter ready is just a matter of minimizing. Going from Messy to Minimalist can take anywhere from a weekend to several months. You’ll find a lot of free content on my blog about becoming a minimalist.
After your home is renter ready it’s time to take some amazing photographs. I highly suggest finding a local real estate photographer to do this task. Photos are the difference between regular bookings and having potential tenants scroll past your listing.
Your Key Local Contacts
Setting up your operations team before leaving the country is very important. This is your list of local vendors and trusted individuals who can handle issues in your absence. Your team is essential for operating a successful Airbnb remotely.
Most people know that an Airbnb will require a housekeeping company, but you might not realize that this is a very niche service. Many housekeepers won’t do laundry or exterior cleaning, so you will need to find a company who’s ready to take on everything from stocking paper products to changing lightbulbs and managing mountains of linens.
On top of cleaning staff you will need regular landscaping, pest control, and HVAC maintenance. All of those services should be set up and payment arrangements agreed to in order to run your Airbnb remotely. You should also have a plumber, electrician, and handyman on your trusted contact list.
Lastly, I highly suggest you have one local person who is willing to work on contingency for anything else that might come up. If a new stove needs to be installed and the renters can’t be home during the day this is the person who would fill that role. A pipe bursts and the renters can’t figure out how to turn off the water your trusted person would go figure it out. Mail arrives at the house that’s intended for you and it looks important, this person would go get it from the renter. Ideally this person would live very close to your property and have a copy of your house key for access in case of emergency.
It’s time to leave the country. You’ve got a renter moving in and all your key contacts in place. Make sure your renters know what time zone you’ll be living in. If there’s a drastic difference in time zone then consider adding your local contingency contact as a co-host on Airbnb.
Let your new renters know what day garbage pick-up is, when the landscaper comes, and how often pest control will be servicing the property. Be sure to keep them updated if any utility companies contact you about outages or there are weather delays on picking up trash.
Running an Airbnb remotely isn’t difficult but you do need to stay on top of communication.
Run Your Airbnb Remotely
During the lead up to leaving the country someone is going to tell you that a property manager is necessary. Thank them for their advice and let it go in one ear and out the other. Operating an Airbnb remotely does not require a middle man to keep a portion of your revenue.
For the most part I never hear from my renters. They rent a fully furnished house and occasionally ping me if they accidentally dent the Ikea coffee table or break an Amazon Basics dinner plate. I don’t need someone to handle that kind of communication.
Your Airbnb business can start with your primary home and grow to include a portfolio of homes. Every month you create revenue that pays your mortgage and the remainder can be used to fund your international lifestyle.
Click the link below to get an idea about how much income your home can generate. My personal home generates 2 to 4 times the estimated income depending on how you look at it. I have been running my Airbnb remotely for over four years now. I’ve lived and traveled through nine countries while creating multiple six figures of revenue while abroad. [edited September 2022]