So, you’ve got a little space, a tiny home enough to relax but you’ve moved on. Maybe a special someone came into your life? Maybe a pending baby? Expansion pending, you can’t stay there anymore, and you don’t know what to do with it. Good news! Tiny Homes are super hot right now, if you have a tiny home on hand, consider me green-eyed with jealousy. If you don’t know what to do with a plot of land, a large backyard, or your tiny home – my best money-making suggestion is to put it on Airbnb. If my family had a big land or backyard, we would definitely start up a tiny home for Airbnb. I’ve been a host for 3+ years and it’s just the best of both worlds when it comes to a short-term rental. Hosting a small house on Airbnb gives visitors a one-of-a-kind experience in a well-designed, neatly laid-out space—and that would be a financial win for you and an unforgettable adventure for the guest!
(If you’re worried about the work that comes with being a host, you should read our Airbnb cohost program. Cohosts are like property managers, but for your Airbnb! This means you have full control of your tiny house, without having to lift a finger.)
Some people use it to monetize their spare rooms, while others use it to host their entire houses and it does not necessary to be big! Your 37 square feet little house could earn big with Airbnb!
⭐ Airbnb Must-Knows:
- What Every Host Should Know About Guest Banning on Airbnb
- Airbnb Template Messages for Hosts: Greetings, Check-In Info & Everything Else
- Become an Airbnb Cohost: Extra Income Stream
Table of Contents
What Should I Do First?
Airbnb is an excellent way to bolster your income by renting out your property. Airbnb lets you post your space on their site for free in exchange for using their software and marketing to assist you in booking paying visitors. It can be fun, and a near guarantee way to earn. So, the question, that I know you kept on asking yourself to…is how? Here is a guide on how you could start earning through Airbnbing your tiny house:
Become a Host
Sign up on the Airbnb website and when verified, start creating your listing. Be creative, honest, and conversational as much as possible. Make your listing feels like they are just checking out a family or a good friend. Make sure you are verified as a host, score your first 3 reviews, and make your profile look trustworthy. Make a host biography – I recommend a paragraph or two – approachable and friendly with a sprinkle of humor.
Begin with the basics
Enter information such as your location, the type of neighborhood where your space is located, the kind of property you are offering, the number of bedrooms, and bathrooms your visitors will have access to.
Take pics of your tiny house AND the surrounding area. Including shared areas
When it comes to deciding where to stay, guests like looking at images. When I say images, I mean that something you would feel connected to. So, it is imperative to clean up your surroundings before taking photographs to get the best possible results. Also, do not just post a picture, make sure that you got the right quality of photos that would stun anyone who would visit your listing.
Uniqueness should be highlighted
Consider what makes your location unique when creating the title and description of your listing, such as a view or neighborhood. Also, provide any details in your description that guests should be aware of before reserving. It is important to address to them such things to avoid issues while they are staying in your space. Remember, they rent your space to unwind and relax nit to deal with another petty issue. The same goes for you, you want to serve them smoothly as much as possible.
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When you create a listing, you must commit yourself. So, be responsive and respectful at all times, especially when the person acquiring seems to have a lot of questions. Think that they are just being careful—like how you should, always. Every business requires patience, so if you lack one, think again before doing this business.
Prepare the logistics
Make sure to only get reservations when you are only available to host and keep your calendar up to date. Also, review local laws before listing and always incorporate those local laws in your house rules. You can just send it to them or prepare a printed one and hang it somewhere in your space that it won’t look that awkward. Keep your guests aware of these laws too to avoid unnecessary issues.
Of course, you want to open your own Airbnb because you wanted an extra income, so profitability is one of your top concerns. But, if you are having a hard time deciding how to price, Airbnb has tools—called Smart Pricing with plenty of custom pricing controls to guide you. Pricing depends on you, yes, but always be reminded that the price should be justified.
How To Prepare Your Tiny House for Rent?
Just like any other space for rent, you can’t just accept reservations and wait for the guests to clean the space before they settled in. As an owner, it is your responsibility to maintain your place presentable and tidy. Cleanliness is a big checkmark for the quality of Airbnb when it comes to rating and trustworthiness. Since you only offer a tiny house, it hopefully won’t take you as much time cleaning it. When I ran my entire house Airbnb, cleaning was about 2 hours long. For single rooms, not including laundry, it was only 30 minutes.
- Clean up the whole space, in and out.
- Stock up essentials like linens, tissues, soaps, and towels. Prepare extra in case of emergency. Some guests aren’t shy about using extras.
- Repair everything that needs to be fixed. Check the light bulbs, kitchen sink, stove, bathroom, and of course the shower.
- Have some check-in details for the guests. If you do not have any idea how to do it, there are check-in instructions in the Airbnb app.
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How Much Does It Cost to Build a Tiny House?
Are you tiny house dreaming? It’s OK if you’re just exploring the topic. If you are just planning to build one then it would be best if you equipped yourself first about the laws, possible costs you would incur and other labors. The good thing about tiny houses is that it’s commonly built with wheels. With that, you can always move it from one place to another if you feel that its current location is not a good one. There are lots of pre-builts available for sale, consider it as a worthy investment.
So, what are the things you should consider when deciding on your tiny house’s location?
- Centrality: A centralized location is one of the best things to attract visitors. It usually gives them easy access to all nearby locations.
- Way Station: If your target market is travellers, having your tiny house on local way stations is most appealing to people driving across state lines and looking for a one-night stay on a local trip.
- Stay Near Roads: All guests want a peaceful stay, but not in a wilderness or somewhere isolated from neighborhoods. That’s why you need to consider having your tiny house near roads, but not really too close.
⭐ Got Some Space? – Rent out a spare room on Airbnb! This was my claim to fame. I made $71,000 on Airbnb last year while putting in just 12 hours a week. I’m not even joking when I say there are tons of hosts even more successful than I am.
What’s Considered a Tiny House?
While there’s no set rule as to the size of a mini or tiny house, most are less than 400 square feet as a wayward, loose definition.
Some states and localities have zoning regulations that may need a charge to allow for short-term rentals, so check with your local business administration before listing your space to Airbnb. Additionally, if you intend to build your small house yourself, you must ensure that it meets all building codes. Some places are stricter than others, so always double-check with your local STATE government.
The International Residential Code (IRC) for one- and two-family dwellings, which includes size requirements such as rooms (except bathrooms and kitchens) must be at least 70 square feet and ceiling height must be at least 7 feet, has been adopted by the majority of the country’s local building codes.
Zoning rules are depending on additional local factors, and they define the size limits of your property based on the zone in which it is located. To obtain this information, contact your local zoning or planning agency. According to Tiny House Community, many towns and counties have a minimum size requirement of 1,000 square feet or more for new house building on their site.
License & insurance
Airbnb is the insurance provider and policyholder for damages. Every listing is covered up to $1 million in damage. But it won’t cover things like pet damage to property. Remember to read over or call Airbnb for full, up-to-date details. More and more cities need state business licenses to legally function on Airbnb (these come with your ID code given by the state bureau after approval.) Application cost varies widely per state. In Seattle, Washington, it was $85. In San Francisco, it’s $100+ for a short-term rental license. Licenses are good typically for 1 year.
Tiny House Building Costs
On average, building a tiny house on foundation costs between $51,000 and $53,000, but prices could range from $35,000 to $68,000 or more. Building a foundation costs between $4 and $7 per square foot, and for tiny homes, it typically adds $5,000 to $8,000 onto the project price.
One thing to bear in mind is that you will need property to construct on if you are going to create a permanent tiny house. Working with someone who can inspect the land you are interested in first could be in your best interests. The average cost of hiring a land surveyor is $51.
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Below are lists of tiny home manufacturers that you can use for your reference if you are planning to build one:
They are a company that sells small houses on wheels. They begin with conventional designs, but work closely with each customer to ensure that the final design meets their requirements. To avoid feeling cramped, many have wide windows and sunroofs. They have single-story and loft residences available. Below is a model that starts with $44, 750.
They create high-quality Tiny Houses with a focus on personalization. Our idea is built on the notion that shelter should be a place of pride and comfort, yet one of simplicity and affordability, especially for mountaineers, and is nestled in the foothills of the gorgeous San Juan mountains in Durango, CO.
Examples of Existing Tiny Houses on Airbnb
There are two types of tiny homes: a tiny house on wheels, legally considered a recreational vehicle (RV), and a tiny house on a foundation, legally considered an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU.
Rental of a Tiny House on Wheels (RV)
A tiny house on wheels, if registered as RV is not really under any zoning or building codes. You can have it park anywhere you want as long as you don’t get any complaints. You can also have a tiny house on wheels that could accommodate 1-4 persons. Just make sure that the amenities that your guests would need are available too.
Rental of Stationary Tiny House
Concrete slabs, concrete footings, and even wood pilings are all examples of permanent foundations. These can be made in a variety of forms and sizes, giving the builder a lot of design freedom. This type of tiny house can be built within your property (or not) if you want to make it more accessible for you to check your guests. But be reminded that they need some privacy—so always ask before doing so.
It’s also a good idea to check whether there’s a high demand for vacation rentals in the area where you plan to open your business. Learn how to appeal to specific categories of travelers, such as health and wellness enthusiasts and millennials, with your vacation rental. Also, be aware of SEO tricks to guarantee that guests looking for a vacation rental can quickly locate yours
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How Much Can You Make Renting a Tiny House on Airbnb?
It truly depends where you live, but I have seen little houses on Airbnb for as low as $45 per night and as much as $330 per night. It all depends on where your small house is, how well it is maintained, and what facilities are available.
If there are any other little houses in your region, or at least in a neighboring or comparable location, that you might look at? Check to check whether these small houses have any reviews or bookings to ensure that their prices are appropriate for the region. You may also compare your pricing to that of adjacent motels, hotels, and campsites to see how similar and competitive it is.
There is no real answer to this question for an individual because there are at least a dozen other factors that impact earnings. The best way to see is with Airbnb’s smart pricing, and if you think the smart pricing is wrong, flip to guest view and see who is your biggest competitor.
Reasons To Host a Tiny House On Airbnb (Pros):
- All the regular pros of Airbnb like extra income and flexibility.
- Stellar money for your investment; traditional houses are much more expensive.
- Less leverage/ No mortgage.
- You can start with a smaller budget.
- You can make use of excess land.
- Hip & trendy with Millennials and Gen-Zs.
- Separate from your main family home and dwelling (safer, less noise, less awkward run-ins if you’re shy.)
- Scalable (if you have land for it, just drop a second tiny home nearby.)
- Can become a long-term living property if you do everything up to code. It’s attractive to a large portion of Americans who need lower rent costs or are flying solo.
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Cons of Hosting a Tiny House on Airbnb (Cons):
- Not legal everywhere. Possible permits and inspections needed.
- There are still people on your land so it’s not fully private or risk-free.
- Maybe families with kids will not find tiny homes as comfortable.
- Regular maintenance is required by hosts.
- Legality + must be up to local codes
- Limited income (you can’t host large groups, its a tiny house after all, best for 1-2 people.)
- Damage may be pricey (because contractors don’t specialize in tiny houses much. Replacing parts damaged may be less expensive because of size or very expensive because of customizations.)
- Tiny houses have resale value, with wear, it could go down.
- Hip & cool now, but will it last?
- Less leverage/mortgage – this is a pro as well as con. It’s not a equity that can grow your money invested like a traditional house so it’s not fully considered real estate investing.
How To Market Your Tiny House on Airbnb Properly…
So, you decided to list your tiny house after thorough research, and now, you are thinking about how you can market your tiny house given that there are lots of tiny houses on Airbnb already. Below are some guide lists that might help you sort out your marketing strategies:
Bookings are more likely to come in if you have high-quality photos that convey the beauty of your tiny house. No one likes to see images that are blurred, boring, or dark!
The way you describe your small house will have an impact on the number of reservations you get. So, if you are not into writing, try researching first how to caption your listing effectively.
What is the distance between you and the nearest supermarket? What type of attractions can you find in the area? Consider some of the reasons why individuals would wish to book their tiny home.
Wine, coffee, tea, hygiene kit are just a few of the extras you also need to consider. Make it more sustainable and usable. You can also partner with another local supplier for an exchange promotion.
Catchy, Descriptive Airbnb Name
Give your little house a name! Give it a catchy name that people will remember and talk about. Because the catchier name you have, the better retention you will get.
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Create an Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook account or a website for your small house. People enjoy looking at photographs of small houses! So always feed them with little snaps about your tiny house as social proof. Keep in check with your host reviews and keep an open mind on improvements suggested by visitors.
You don’t have to invest a lot of money or fill every surface with trinkets, but a few amusing pieces of art for the walls, especially if they’re relevant to the location, and other personal touches may go a long way.
Not only does this make the house feel cozier (more Airbnb, less generic hotel) when the visitors are there, but it also makes the house picture better–and photos are what get people interested in your property in the first place. Making them feel cherished by providing extras will also make them fall in love with your tiny house as if it were their own.
Tiny Homes of the Future:
There is a lot of pressure on local governments to change zoning restrictions. There is movement at the national level as well. Tiny house advocates are currently pushing for a tiny house code to be included in the International Residential Code (IRC), which would serve as a model code for all tiny houses used as primary dwellings in the US. Therefore, there is a good future waiting for anyone who just started tiny house rentals.
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