If you’re looking for an easy, convenient way to make money on the side while you travel, Airbnb may be just what you need. Not only can it help you generate additional income for your household budget, it also offers the perfect opportunity to get to know locals and adventurous travelers alike. But where do you even start? Matador spoke with Travis Morris, who with his wife Kelsea runs this Airbnb rental in Los Angeles, to provide a comprehensive guide to making the most of this service, as part of a series shedding light on how more and more homeowners are finding success with Airbnb.
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MATADOR: Did this start as a side hustle, and is it still a side hustle in addition to other jobs/sources of income?
TRAVIS: Originally both my wife and I were working. She is a Sheriff’s Deputy and I am an Executive Director for senior living. Kelsea decided to quit as a Deputy and we started thinking of ways to supplement our income. She was able to quit and this Airbnb completely replaced her salary and then some all while she was able to go back to school.
Do you make enough to live on, or do you feel you could if you got another property/retrofitted this one?
Because we have more than one property, kids, and expenses, we still need to work.
How hard was it to work with local regulations to get registered?
The process is fairly easy. The portal is user-friendly. It does take a while if there are issues due to a slow response
And how hard is it to stay within regulations now?
As long as you keep up with monthly costs and renew on time, you are fine. If you miss renewal (like we did) it took four months to reconcile as they restricted our short-term stays.
Is the process of keeping the unit clean and turning it over quickly a pain, or is it easy to get into a system with hiring a local service/doing it yourself?
A quality cleaner is everything when managing the unit remotely. We share our calendar with our cleaner and she manages the turns very well. When we were managing it ourselves, it can be quite time-consuming. The only benefit is that you can keep the cleaning fees as income. If doing it yourself, it would be wise to move your minimum stays to two days.
What was it that put you over the edge on doing an Airbnb?
Quality of life for Kelsea. We wanted more balance and to be more present for our kids and our own self-care.
How did you overcome any hesitations you had?
We talked to others who host and based on the success felt like the reward was worth the risk.
Does owning an Airbnb give you more ability to travel more frequently/for longer periods of time?
Yes, we have more time to explore, vacation, and plan. We have income that does not require many working hours per week.
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