Got an spare room that sits empty for the most part? Wanna make money renting it out?
No, you don’t have to start a rental property, or worse, a slumlord rental, business!
Companies like Airbnb and VRBO have turned the hospitality industry upside down by making it quick and easy for any homeowner to turn their spare rooms into money making rental spots.
Heck, you can even rent your parking spot to make money these days!
Here’s what you need to know to start making money from your spare empty room or any other extra space in your house really and the best companies and apps to list your empty room with.
Hosting Strangers in Your Home?
The idea of having strangers stay in your home is hard for many people to come to terms with but more and more people are doing this.
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Because it’s an easy way to make extra money from a spare room in your house that otherwise would just be sitting there empty all year round.
And who couldn’t use a few extra hundred dollars – or a few thousand dollars, depending on your location and the size of your room – these days? A lot of homeowners are actually using the money they earn from renting empty rooms to pay their mortgage payments each month. Some people (with houses in highly sought after vacation spots) have even reported paying off their entire mortgage within a few years of renting out a room or two or an entire house.
Now, not everybody is going to make that kind of money from room rentals, but even if your house is not in a popular vacation or travel spot, you can easily make enough to pay a few months’ worth of mortgage payments each year.
There is also another benefit for people who like making new friends. Renting out rooms for cash to strangers means you get to meet all kinds of (hopefully good) people. It’s a great way to make new friends and learn about other cultures and people.
How Renting Rooms in Your House Works
If you are ready to turn your home into a mini hotel for guests, then it is best to start with one of the platforms that were established for just this purpose.
Most of these platforms and apps work the same way.
- As a homeowner you sign up with the platform for free.
- Next, you list your property or room and add all the details (price, locations, rules, etc).
- Renters who are interested will submit a request to rent your place.
- If you both agree on terms, you get paid and they get a place to stay.
Of course, these platforms all do background checks on homeowners and renters. They also have rules and regulations to ensure the safety of all homeowners and renters. The details vary based on the platform, but they all aim to make it easy for everyone involved while making sure everyone is safe.
Best Room Rental Sites/Apps
While there are many room rental apps and platforms out there, if you are just starting out, it’s best to stick with a few trusted and well-established companies.
Here are a few of the top room rental sites based on rating and reviews that you can work with:
9Flats is a fairly new site, but it has already risen in the popularity charts.
The reason for the site being so popular is due to how easy this is to navigate and use. The site is super simple to use, meaning that you do not have to have any technical know-how to navigate it.
The site has reviews on those who have used the service, letting guests and hosts read more about one another before committing to a deal.
The site also arranges the payment, taking out only a small amount to cover their services.
On this site, you can post what you have for guests to utilize while in the area, whether this is a full room or just to sleep on the couch.
The site is very similar to 9Flats. This site does allow hosts who may not have extra rooms to still get in on the money that can be made and the experiences that can be had when hosting guests in your home.
Update: HomeAway is now part of VRBO
Purchased by Expedia in 2015, HomeAway is one of the biggest vacation rental platforms. You can submit your place quickly and easily by clicking the “List Your Property” tab on the upper right side f the homepage.
VRBO is another company that is under the Expedia company umbrella. Listing your property is exactly the same way as it is on HomeAway.
Now you may be wondering, why would I list my place on two sites owned by the same company.
You see, a lot of people may know or search on either HomeAway or VRBO. You don’t want to miss out on potential renters by not having your place listed on both. Plus, it’s really easy (and free) to list your property for rent. So you may as well do it!
FlipKey is a vacation rental site owned by TripAdvisor.
You can set up your free listing in a few minutes.
Guest interested in renting your place will contact you. If you accept the booking, the guest pays through the company’s secure platform. You get paid and the guest gets a place to stay. Easy as that!
Again, there are many other platforms that you can list your property on as well. Although it seems like as soon as a new company starts to become popular, the giants of the travel industry, like TripAdvisor and Expedia, buy them up. Although, to be honest, it’s good for renters and homeowners since these companies already have the infrastructures and the security systems to make things easier and safer for everyone involved.
If you are just getting into renting spare rooms for cash business, I would stay with the big platforms until you you get comfortable with the whole thing and know how to navigate everything properly and safely. Then you can start listing your rental room on other platforms as well.
Over to you now. Have you ever made money renting out your spare room or your whole house? If not, are you considering renting an empty room in your house as a way to make some fast cash?
Let us know in the comments below.