Look around your neighborhood. Not far away one of your neighbors may be raking in some extra cash on the side.
Vacation rentals are on the rise. Websites like Homeaway, VRBO and AirBnB have given right to an entirely new industry of accommodation sharing.
How large is it?
Expedia recently purchased Homeaway for $3.9 billion, and AirBnB valuations are in the $10-$30 billion. Its a real industry where anyone can rent out their room, home, yard or even treehouse... and start making money immediately.
And to be clear, this ENTIRE industry is made up of private citizens with homes or rooms to rent. You sign up, list your property or room and travelers will come to you.
How does it work?
As a homeowner you can quickly and easily sign up with any of these website platforms and begin listing immediately. You will typically pay out a commission everytime someone books your property. But with millions of visitors to thaot websites every day, people have a high likelyhood of seeing your house/room.
Also depends on the type of renting. Typically Homeaway, VRBO.com and larger vacation rental sites focus on vacation homes that are not primary residences. The travelers stay longer (5-7 days on average) vs. AirBnB which encourage room renting and see a much lower nightly stay (typically 2 days).
How much money?
It really depends. Location to popular destinations, saturation of other hotels or lodging products, pricing, look and feel. With the industry so large- vacation rentals have obviously started to take the place of the standard hotel offering, and its becoming more popular. Expect to get at least 5-10 bookings your first year though as an average. Could be an easy $1,000. Nightly room rentals vs. whole house rentals can vary in price.
Don't even have to own your own business
Travelers love vacation rentals, and vacation rental owners love people staying at their places. Haven't tried it yet? You should on your next trip. Only word of caution is to look into your local ordinances and laws as it relates to "short term rentals". Some cities have regulations around renting your place.