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Written by Elma Steven | Updated on February, 2024

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Find Out- Is Airbnb Business Profitable?

The profitability of your Airbnb business depends on 4 important factors: Industry Prospects, Investments, Revenue Sources, Cost and Profitability. We have taken a deep dive to find out potential profitability from the Airbnb business. 

Airbnb Industry Prospects

As of October 2023, the market capitalization of Airbnb worldwide was $73.34 billion (statista). In 2021, Airbnb’s revenue from listings almost doubled globally from $3.88 billion in 2020 to $6.85 billion. The United States almost doubled in terms of Airbnb gross revenue from 2020 to 2021, generating over $21.4 billion (searchlogistics). The United States is Airbnb’s biggest market by region, with revenue of $22.94 billion in North America alone (helplama). The data indicates significant market value and continued growth for the Airbnb business in the US.


  • Property Purchase: The cost of acquiring the property to be used for your Airbnb. This could be a significant initial investment and is the foundation of your Airbnb business.
  • Renovations and Repairs: Costs associated with renovating, remodeling, or repairing the property to make it suitable for guests. This can include structural changes, updating bathrooms, kitchen remodels and ensuring all electrical and plumbing systems are in good working order.
  • Furnishings and Decor: Investment in high-quality, durable furniture and attractive decor to make the space welcoming and appealing to guests. This includes beds, sofas, dining furniture, window treatments, artwork and other decorative items.
  • Appliances: Purchasing essential appliances such as a refrigerator, stove, microwave, washer, dryer, dishwasher and possibly smaller appliances like coffee makers, toasters and hairdryers for guest use.
  • Technology Upgrades: Investments in technology such as smart locks, a security system, Wi-Fi routers, smart thermostats and entertainment systems (TV, streaming devices) to enhance the guest experience.
  • Outdoor and Common Area Improvements: If your property includes outdoor spaces or common areas (like a backyard, patio, or balcony), costs associated with landscaping, outdoor furniture, grills and lighting to create inviting outdoor living spaces.
  • Bedding, Linens and Towels: Purchasing high-quality bedding, linens and towels in sufficient quantities to accommodate your guests and allow for laundering between stays.
  • Safety Equipment: Installation of safety equipment such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, first-aid kits and possibly security cameras in common areas for guest safety.
  • Signage and Branding: If applicable, costs associated with creating and placing signage or other branding materials that help guests identify your Airbnb property.
  • Initial Marketing and Listing Fees: Costs related to photographing your property professionally for listing, creating a compelling description and any initial marketing efforts to promote your listing on Airbnb and other platforms.
  • Legal and Professional Fees: Expenses for legal advice, property inspections and other professional services required during the purchase and setup of your Airbnb property.
  • Permits and Licenses: Costs associated with obtaining any necessary permits or licenses required to operate an Airbnb in Omaha, depending on local regulations.
  • Energy Efficiency Upgrades: Investments in energy-efficient windows, insulation, LED lighting, or HVAC systems that can reduce long-term operating costs and appeal to environmentally conscious guests.

Investing wisely in these areas can set a solid foundation for your Airbnb business, ensuring that your property not only attracts guests but also provides them with a memorable and comfortable stay. It’s important to carefully plan and budget for these CapEx items to maximize your return on investment.


  • Nightly Rentals: The core revenue for your Airbnb business. Pricing can be adjusted based on demand, seasonality, local events and competition. Utilize dynamic pricing tools offered by Airbnb or third-party services to maximize your earnings.
  • Extended Stay Discounts: Offering discounts for longer stays can attract guests looking for accommodations for extended periods, such as business travelers, families on vacation, or people relocating to the area. This strategy can help fill your calendar and reduce turnover costs.
  • Cleaning Fees: Charging a cleaning fee is standard practice in the short-term rental industry. This fee covers the cost of cleaning the property between guests and can be adjusted based on the size of your property and the level of service provided.
  • Pet Fees: If your property is pet-friendly, charging an additional fee for guests who bring pets can increase your revenue and cover the cost of additional cleaning or wear and tear associated with pet stays.
  • Special Services: Offering add-on services such as airport pickups, pre-stocked groceries, rental equipment (bikes, ski equipment, etc.), or arranging tours and experiences can provide additional income. Partner with local businesses to provide these services.
  • Event Hosting: If your property is suitable, hosting small events like retreats, workshops, or intimate weddings can be a lucrative revenue source. Be sure to check local regulations and Airbnb’s policies regarding events.
  • Photography and Content Creation: Leverage the aesthetics of your property by offering it as a location for photoshoots or content creation for brands, photographers and influencers. This can be particularly profitable if your property has unique features or scenic views.
  • Merchandise Sales: Selling branded merchandise or locally sourced products (like art, crafts, or food items) can provide guests with unique souvenirs and extra income for you.
  • Parking Fees: If your property is in a location where parking is at a premium, offering reserved parking spots for an additional fee can be another revenue stream.
  • Late Check-out or Early Check-in Fees: Offering guests the flexibility of early check-ins or late check-outs for an additional fee can enhance their experience and increase your earnings, especially if you can manage the scheduling without impacting other bookings.
  • Subscription or Membership Services: For guests who frequently visit the area, offering a subscription or membership service that provides benefits or discounted rates for repeat stays can foster loyalty and secure future bookings.

By leveraging a combination of these revenue sources, you can not only increase your average earnings per booking but also enhance the guest experience, encouraging positive reviews and repeat business. Remember to clearly communicate any additional fees or services in your Airbnb listing and during the booking process to ensure guests are well informed.

Cost of Services Sold

  • Cleaning and Sanitation: The cost of cleaning the property between guest stays, including labor costs for cleaning services and the purchase of cleaning supplies and materials. This is one of the most significant variable costs, increasing with guest turnover.
  • Laundry Services: Expenses related to laundering bedding, linens, towels and any other washable items provided to guests. This can include in-house laundry costs (water, electricity, detergent) or fees for professional laundry services.
  • Welcome Amenities: Costs associated with providing guests with welcome amenities such as snacks, beverages, local guides, or small gifts. These costs can vary depending on the level of hospitality you wish to provide.
  • Restocking Consumables: Expenses for restocking consumable items like toilet paper, paper towels, soaps, shampoos and kitchen supplies. The cost depends on the number of guests and the length of their stays.
  • Utilities: Variable utility costs such as electricity, gas, water and internet that increase with guest usage. For example, heating or air conditioning costs can vary significantly between vacant and occupied periods.
  • Maintenance and Minor Repairs: Costs for regular maintenance and minor repairs that arise from wear and tear due to guest usage. This includes things like fixing leaky faucets, replacing light bulbs, or repairing damaged furniture.
  • Payment Processing Fees: Fees charged by Airbnb or other booking platforms for processing guest payments. These fees are typically a percentage of the booking total and thus vary with the revenue generated.
  • Guest Supplies: Expenses for providing essential supplies to guests, including kitchen essentials (like cooking oil, salt and pepper), bathroom toiletries and any other items that need regular replacement.
  • Property Wear and Tear: Although more difficult to quantify on a per-guest basis, allocating funds for the depreciation of furniture, appliances and the property itself due to guest use is a consideration in your overall cost of services.
  • Linens and Towels Replacement: Setting aside funds for the periodic replacement of linens, towels and bedding that wear out over time or become damaged.

By carefully managing these variable costs, you can maintain a healthy profit margin for your Airbnb business. Strategies such as investing in durable goods, monitoring utility usage and providing a level of amenities that align with your pricing strategy can help control these expenses. Additionally, optimizing your cleaning and maintenance processes can ensure high guest satisfaction while keeping costs in check.

Operating Expenses

  • Property Mortgage or Rent: If you don’t own the property outright, the monthly mortgage payments or rent for the property used for Airbnb are significant fixed operating expenses.
  • Property Taxes and Insurance: Regular payments for property taxes and insurance premiums, including homeowner’s insurance and possibly additional short-term rental insurance to cover liabilities specific to hosting guests.
  • Utilities: Fixed utility costs for the property, such as water, gas, electricity and internet, which are essential for keeping the property operational, outside of the direct cost associated with guest stays.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Costs for the upkeep of the property and repairs that are not directly caused by guests but are necessary for the general maintenance of the property, such as HVAC system servicing, roof repairs and exterior painting.
  • Marketing and Advertising: Expenses associated with marketing your Airbnb listing beyond the platform’s listing fees, such as professional photography, website maintenance for a direct booking site, social media advertising and search engine marketing.
  • Software Subscriptions: Costs for software services used in managing the Airbnb business, such as property management software, accounting software and any tools for dynamic pricing or market analysis.
  • Professional Services: Fees for professional services including legal advice, accounting and tax preparation services that help in managing the business, ensuring compliance with local regulations and optimizing tax liabilities.
  • Cleaning Equipment and Supplies: Investment in durable goods for cleaning purposes, such as vacuum cleaners, mops, brooms and other equipment that has a longer life than consumable cleaning supplies.
  • Office Supplies and Expenses: Costs for running an administrative office for the Airbnb, including stationery, phone bills and any other administrative supplies.
  • Training and Development: Expenses related to attending workshops, courses, or conferences to improve your knowledge and skills in hospitality, business management, or marketing relevant to running an Airbnb.
  • Host Fees: Airbnb charges hosts a service fee, typically a percentage of the booking subtotal. While somewhat variable, it can be considered an operational expense due to its regular occurrence with each booking.
  • Amenities Upgrades: Costs for non-essential upgrades and improvements to enhance guest experience and property appeal, such as adding a hot tub, upgrading the entertainment system, or landscaping improvements.
  • Travel Expenses: If you manage your Airbnb remotely or own multiple properties, travel expenses to visit and maintain your properties can be considered an operating expense.

Efficiently managing these operating expenses is crucial for maintaining the profitability of your Airbnb business. Regular review and optimization of these costs, negotiating better rates for services and implementing cost-saving measures can help maintain a healthy bottom line.