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How to Start an Airbnb Business Without Owning a House in 3 Simple Steps [2023 Update]

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Do you want to start an Airbnb business but don’t have any property to your name? You’re not alone.

Many people don’t think it’s possible to launch this kind of business without owning a house. We’re here to tell you that this isn’t the case at all!

In this guide, you’ll learn all about how to start an Airbnb business without owning a house, from how profitable an Airbnb business can be to what you should consider before starting an Airbnb business without property.

Let’s jump right into it.

How Profitable Is Owning an Airbnb Business Without Owning a House?

Plenty of homeowners clear six figures annually by listing their property on Airbnb.

If you don’t own a house, this doesn’t mean that you can’t rake in the big bucks by using the popular property rental app yourself.

Starting an Airbnb business, even when you’re not a homeowner, is one of the best ways to increase income.

According to iGMS, you can boost your earning power by $100,000 or more a year through co-hosting properties and using a rental arbitrage strategy on Airbnb.

There aren’t many other business ventures that’ll earn you this level of passive income.

What You’ll Need to Start an Airbnb Business Without a House [& Associated Costs]

Before you start reaping the benefits of your Airbnb business, there are some expenses you’ll have to incur and considerations you’ll need to account for.

Here are the basic costs and factors to keep in mind as you’re launching your Airbnb business:

Renting Property

If you’re going to adopt a rental arbitrage strategy for your Airbnb business, the most significant cost you’ll incur is renting the property you’re going to sublease.

The exact rental cost will depend on the size and location of the property you’re going to rent.

Additionally, you should make sure that the property you’re renting can be subleased.

The property standards of some houses don’t allow this.

Furnishing Property

When choosing a property to rent, one of the main factors you should consider is the degree to which it’s furnished.

You should look for houses that are at least semi-furnished. Otherwise, you’re going to have to furnish the place yourself.

This expenditure can set you back up to $5,000.


Another aspect to consider is photography.

If people are going to rent your place through Airbnb, they need to see it first.

Taking high-quality photos that accentuate the property’s ambiance is the first step towards this.

Depending on your budget, you can hire a photographer for this or take pictures with your phone instead.


The next step in getting exposure is to market your property well. This phase will include paying for sponsored ads on social media platforms.

Do I Need a License or Certificates to Start an Airbnb Business Without a House?

Almost every city in the United States allows the operation of short-term rental services like Airbnb.

Most of them require the beneficiary to acquire permits and licenses from the local authorities before they can start doing business.

The specific regulations will vary from city to city. Generally speaking, you’ll need to be granted some variation of a lodger’s license from your local government.

Why You Should Consider Starting an Airbnb Business Without Owning a House As a Side Hustle

You may be wondering if starting an Airbnb business as a side hustle is the best option for you.

To make your decision, you need to know why such a side hustle can be a fruitful venture.

Here are some of the pros of an Airbnb side hustle:

  • Minimal startup capital required: Since you don’t need to own a house to start a business like this, the amount of money you need to launch it is minimal.
  • Flexible working hours: You won’t be reporting to anyone. As a result, you set your work hours, which is a key feature of all great side hustles.
  • Plenty of avenues to explore: Renting and subleasing property isn’t the only way to make some money with Airbnb. You can also be an Airbnb photographer or copywriter.
  • There’s no shortage of work: Regardless of the direction you go in, there’ll always be Airbnb hosts that need your services.

How to Start an Airbnb Business Without Owning a House in 3 Simple Steps

When starting your Airbnb business, you may feel a bit lost in the initial stages if you don’t have a clear vision of what you want to achieve.

Even if you do have the end goal in sight, you may not know how to get there.

Here are the steps that all Airbnb business owners are likely to pass through when building their business:

1. Decide on the Type of Airbnb Business You Want to Build

When you think of Airbnb, you probably have short-term property rental in mind. That being said, this route isn’t the only one you can venture into.

If you do decide to adopt a rental arbitrage strategy, your first task will be to find a property that’s suitable for your budget.

The owner of that property must also be willing to rent it out to you with the knowledge that you’ll be subleasing it to third parties.

Going in another direction with your Airbnb business will involve a different initial step.

For example, going the Airbnb copywriting or photography route will require you to start by creating a profile on a freelancing platform to let potential clients know that your services are available.

2. Get Your Legal Affairs in Order

The next step is to make sure that your business venture is within the confines of the law.

To do so, you’ll need to do thorough research looking into the licenses and certifications required by your local government for short-term property rental businesses.

You should get all your legal ducks in a row at the start so that you don’t suffer a setback just as your business is starting to take off.

3. Promote Your Property or Airbnb Related Services

No matter how attractive the property you’re renting out is or how good your services are, it won’t matter unless people know about it.

Marketing your service is a key aspect of the success of your Airbnb business.

Luckily, there are many marketing techniques that you can resort to, from digital marketing options like social media marketing and paid ads to traditional word of mouth.  

Things to Consider When Building an Airbnb Business Without Owning a House

Before you get your Airbnb business started, there are some factors to consider.

Can You Run an Airbnb Business Without Owning a House By Yourself?

If you’re only renting and subleasing one property, then you shouldn’t face any issues running the business by yourself.

You’ll need other people to carry the load with you if you’re dealing with multiple properties.

The same applies if you’re running an Airbnb cleaning service. As you increase your capacity, you’ll need extra hands on deck.

Getting Insurance

When running an Airbnb business with a rental arbitrage strategy, having reliable insurance is a must.

This is necessary to safeguard you against the financial burden of any property damage or theft that may occur.

How Much You’re Willing to Spend

If you’re willing to spend serious cash on your Airbnb business, there are options to consider such as getting a vacation rental franchise.

This’ll cost you north of $50,000 but will significantly boost your earning potential in return.

INSPIRATION: Airbnb Business Without Owning a House Ideas

When thinking of ways to make some money with Airbnb without owning a house, the first strategy that comes to mind is renting property and then subleasing it. 

While this is a sound strategy, your options for an Airbnb business aren’t limited to hosting on Airbnb.

Rental Arbitrage

This is the most common direction that people go in when starting an Airbnb business without owning property.

It involves striking a deal with a homeowner that is renting their house.

The deal is that you rent the house and sublease it on Airbnb as a short-term rental.

An alternative to this is real estate crowdfunding. It involves pooling your money with other partners to co-own a house, which you can then go on to rent.

Airbnb Cleaning Service

Another excellent idea is to start an Airbnb cleaning service.

Airbnb hosts will inevitably need to clean their property to keep it up to standard.

When that time comes, they seek the help of a cleaning service.

This is where you come in. The earning potential of this venture will depend on the quality of your service and the number of houses you can clean per month.

Airbnb Copywriting

All Airbnb hosts need to market their properties and make them stand out.

They often hire copywriters to craft appealing titles and descriptions for their properties on the platform.

By making a name for yourself on freelancing websites such as Upwork, you could be the one these hosts hire.

Since a lot of Airbnb hosts are offering experiences, your services will be in high demand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Do Airbnbs Make the Most Money?

The numbers show that Phoenix, Arizona, and Lake Tahoe, California are the most profitable cities for Airbnb hosts.

Other hotspots include Miami, Florida, and San Diego, California. This is due to their warm weather and wealth of tourist attractions.

Can You Make a Living Off Airbnb?

While you can make a great living off Airbnb in some cases, it’s often reserved as a side hustle.

The average amount earned per month by Airbnb hosts is $1,000.

While this isn’t too shabby, it’s still not enough to sustain a comfortable life.

Similar Businesses to Consider Starting

In terms of making a great buck, starting an Airbnb business is only one of your options. Here are some alternatives to Airbnb to consider venturing into:

  • How to Start a Real Estate Business: Whether it’s as a real estate agent, a house flipper, or a wholesaler, your real estate business can be highly lucrative. Remember to do your research, find your niche, and develop a sound business plan.
  • How to Start a Rental Property Business: Start small with only one or two properties, develop a sound business plan, and watch your rental property business flourish!
  • How to Start a Car Rental Business: Decide on the market you want to target, get all your permits and licenses in order, and you’re good to go!

Wrapping Up

If you’re searching for ways to earn passive income, starting an Airbnb business is an excellent option.

Follow the guidelines and tips we’ve provided in this guide and watch your Airbnb enterprise take off to new heights!

Let us know what you think in the comments. Finally, if you enjoyed this guide, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family.

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