How To Start An Airbnb With No Money (Or Not A Lot Of Money) 

Profiting off a rental seems like an excellent idea.

Airbnb makes it possible for wannabe landlords to rent out spaces with little to no investment.

You could even get in on the action without owning property

In the sections below, I’ll show you how to generate money on this platform with little to no investment.

As I previously stated, many people who are now generating money from Airbnb don’t own property.

Of course, if you already have the spare space, it’s still a lot easier to optimize your profit potential.

how to start an airbnb with no money

What Is Airbnb Anyway? 

Airbnb has solidified itself as a juggernaut in the real estate industry, connecting property owners with guests. 

These guests are usually interested in learning about diverse cultures and activities.

They want to stay in authentic homes instead of characterless hotels. 

Airbnb, a popular short-term home rental business, provides new alternatives for homeowners and travelers.

Airbnb hosting can make you a lot of money if done correctly. 

It could be a terrific way to supplement your income or even turn your passion into a full-time business.

Related Reading: The Best Airbnb Tools – Learn About The Tools That Can Help You As A Host.

video about airbnb essential supplies checklist

It’s Not Only For Property Owners 

One of the most widespread myths about the platform is that you must own property to make money on Airbnb.

That’s not true.  

Many people on this platform use Airbnb property management software and other ways to make money without owning property.

On the other hand, owning property is still the most straightforward approach to your earning potential.

Ways To Start An Airbnb Without Money 

Ways To Start An Airbnb Without Money

Do you think you have what it takes to be a successful Airbnb host?

Then check out the following ways you could put up listings without putting out a significant investment. 

1. Use a vacant property you already own. 

Do you have a spare space that you could rent out on Airbnb?

Then you’ve already gained an advantage over your competitors! 

With vacant property, all you have to do is create a profile and start marketing it.

Using Airbnb’s features, this is, of course, a lot less daunting than it appears. 

Look no further if you’re wondering how to establish an Airbnb business with little to no funds. 

Clean up the rooms, take photos, put out the Airbnb host checklist, and get your listing up on Airbnb.

All that’s left is to wait for guests to book their stays. 

2. Join Airbnb’s affiliate program. 

Customers can earn money by recommending others to Airbnb’s site through an affiliate program.

Invite your friends and family to Airbnb and help them set up an account and book their first stay. 

If they indicate that you were the one who introduced them to the site, you get a hefty commission.

Many affiliates that earn from this strategy will send a personalized affiliate link to a large number of people.

Having your following, for example, can allow you to do so safely and legally. 

Just don’t be the person who shares their link on social media.

Nobody wants to be bombarded with links. 

3. Become a property manager. 

When you’re driving around your neighborhood and come across open rental signs, think of it as a business opportunity.

These kinds of rentals might also help you make some money.

Simply speak with the property owner about the possibility of listing the home on Airbnb.

They most likely are, but the owners refuse to put up the extra work.

It is possible to start an Airbnb with no money and make some extra money this way.

4. Take advantage of Airbnb Experiences. 

Airbnb Experiences is the quickest and easiest method to register an Airbnb account.

You can do so without spending any money and start making money right away.

Airbnb offers premium local tours and experiences in locations all over the world.

Excursions to odd locations and one-of-a-kind experiences are examples.

You might know some activities in your area that tourists want to book right away when they arrive.

Then you might want to create a free Airbnb Experience for them and start marketing them straight away.

5. Rental arbitrage 

A technique comparable to house hacking is rental arbitrage.

However, unlike house hacking, you do not own the house in Rental Arbitrage. 

Instead, you persuade a landlord to lend you a house, which you then sublease on sites like Airbnb and VRBO.

In multifamily houses, duplexes, or triplexes, rental arbitrage is a great way to make money.

You may quickly pay off your lease with the cash from your short-term rental while also profiting. 

This may be a full-fledged business in and of itself if done correctly.

It is relatively simple and easy if you own a duplex or triplex.

You can live in one portion of the house while renting out the other.

This is referred to as “home hacking.”

People use this technique after taking out a mortgage on a home and using the rent to pay it off.

The short-term rent assists you in paying for the house’s long-term lease. 

This allows you to keep the difference after paying for the long-term lease at the end of the month.

Property managers are among the highest-paid workers on the Airbnb platform.

All property managers don’t need to own their property.

Property managers usually have a website that attracts property owners looking for help with time-consuming tasks.

Airbnb property management companies with a local presence, including Whome in Portugal, are ideal examples of this type of service.

These companies handle all of the tedious tasks like maintenance and establishing income goals.

They also take care of concierge, cleaning, key service, etc. 

Related Reading: How To Make Money In Real Estate – Click Here To Learn More.

Does Rental Arbitrage Have Initial Costs? 

Does Rental Arbitrage Have Initial Costs

Yes, but these costs vary from city to city. It is normal to expect to spend anywhere from $3000-$5000.

These costs should cover everything from furnishing, legal paperwork, deposits, amenities, and fees to the LLC Incorporation. 

Depending on the sort of property you lease, you may be able to execute Rental Arbitrage for even less.

Still, it’s a lot less expensive than buying a property and taking out tens of thousands of dollars in loans.

Plus, you won’t be responsible for property upkeep costs or be trapped in debt for years.

However, this does not imply that Rental Arbitrage can be carried out on a shoestring budget.

You will have to pay some upfront expenses. 

It’s also beneficial to have some additional income.

It will assist in paying off the lease in less profitable months if reservations do not come in immediately.

Here are the typical expenses relating to rental arbitrage: 


Preferably, it would help if you went for a semi-furnished rental.

Someone could do short-term rentals with a completely furnished home. 

In addition, decorating a property from the ground up might cost anything from $3000 to $5,000.

Rental arbitrage might get more expensive if the wrong property is chosen, so choose carefully.

If the apartment is only partially equipped, your best bet is to shop for the remaining items on the cheap.

You can get low-cost goods from stores like Home Depot and IKEA. If you look closely, even Walmart can have hidden gems. 

Cleaning Services 

This isn’t a start-up fee, but it’s something you’ll have to pay for later.

If you have the abilities and knowledge, the greatest approach to saving money is first to do it yourself.

You might not have any previous experience or don’t want to spend time cleaning a space.

Then hiring a professional cleaning will be your best option.

Depending on the size and location, this can cost anywhere from $50 to $250.

Rental Deposits 

One of the first and most significant expenses will be a rental deposit.

To qualify for a long-term lease with the landlord, you’ll need money. 

You’ll require a security deposit and the first and last months’ rent.

You may be able to work out a deal with your landlord, though.

You could suggest using the first month’s rent as a security deposit.


You might not need to put out funds for this one.

If you have a decent camera, you could take photos yourself.

Even iPhones have high-quality cameras. 

Keeping a professional relationship with a real estate lawyer in the Airbnb industry can be highly beneficial.

Regulations for Airbnb are constantly changing, and you’ll need legal advice on how to change your business correctly.

They may also be worthwhile if you have legal difficulties with your landlord or visitors.

They can also assist with damage claims and insurance in the event of an accident.

video about pros and cons of airbnb hosting

Preparations and Reminders 

how to start an airbnb with no money - Preparations and Reminders

If you want to start an Airbnb with no money, then you must familiarize yourself with the stuff below: 

Regulations and Legalities 

For starters, familiarize yourself with the Airbnb rules and regulations.

Sure, running an Airbnb business might be lucrative.

However, it’s vital to make sure your property listing complies with the law and Airbnb’s rules.

What’s the first step in determining if your listing will be approved under Airbnb standards?

You have to learn what rules and regulations apply to short-term rentals in your area. 

Some cities outright ban Airbnb and home-sharing, while others restrict it through business licensing, zoning rules, and hotel codes.

To assist you in getting started, Airbnb has created several local help pages.

Try contacting your local government authorities if you can’t obtain this information on the internet. 

When you do this, you may find that the restrictions differ depending on where you live.

You might even discover that your city only has a few (or no) restrictions on vacation rentals.

Licenses and Permits 

You’ll need permissions and a business license before starting operating an Airbnb business in parts of North America.

While the rules may shift, there is usually no difference between renting out a room and advertising multiple properties on Airbnb.

Your local authorities will classify you as a real estate business owner.

Depending on where you live, these documents are known as a ‘business license,’ or a ‘lodgers tax license.’

They may also be called a ‘land use authorization,’ or a ‘TOT certificate.’

Let’s say you own multiple residences in the same state.

You may need to get different licenses or permits for each one before listing them on Airbnb.

Taxation Regulations 

In particular tax jurisdictions, Airbnb must collect the local occupancy tax on your behalf.

In other countries, it is the duty of Airbnb hosts to ensure that the relevant taxes are taken from their earnings.

You might have to register for a tax identification number to pay these taxes on time.

It’s important to remember that tax obligations aren’t often clearly stated in Airbnb policies.

However, you’ll still have to pay them.

Insurance and Safety Regulations 

Once you’ve determined what documentation you’ll need to start an Airbnb business, you’ll need to get your property up to code.

Each municipality has its own set of safety rules for tenants. 

For example, you have to ensure that smoke detectors are installed and that the home has a fire exit.

These considerations must be taken care of to protect Airbnb visitors in an emergency. 

To protect the safety of your visitors, make sure your property has undergone the necessary repairs and is appropriately insured.

Neighborly Rules 

Aside from safety requirements, Airbnb laws require you to be mindful of your neighbors.

That means you’ll need to double-check that your community’s or building’s policies don’t conflict with allowing Airbnb visitors to remain. 

For example, your building might have noise, smoking, parking, or pet policies.

Be sure to include them in the House Rules section of your Airbnb listing profile.

Listing Transparency 

Be cautious while crafting descriptions and names for your advertising.

Airbnb places a premium on honesty and precision.

As a result, don’t try to brag too much about your property.

The Content Policy at Airbnb is straightforward.

Any listing that is misleading or contains any inaccurate information will be removed from the marketplace.

To put it another way, your property’s images, description, and title should all exceed guests’ expectations.

Related Reading: Airbnb Investing – Learn How To Operate Airbnb Rentals Here.

Final Thoughts 

As I’ve explained in this post, anyone may quickly learn how to start an Airbnb with little money.

The most challenging obstacle is owning property or being willing to work for someone who does.

It is often breezier to make money on the site if you own property.

Good news if you already own property and want to generate money on Airbnb without constantly investing additional money!

Hiring an Airbnb property manager is usually the best option in this scenario.

Disclosure:  this article might contain links to the resources discussed.
Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning that I will make a small commission if you purchase a product or service by using the link. You get the same price whether you use our special link or not, and sometimes I’m able to get you an even better deal through my relationships!  More info in my privacy policy.

Brooks Conkle Banner Image
Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an Entrepreneur, Sponge, Father, Husband, & Follower of the Golden Rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a BSBA in Finance from Auburn University. He’s addicted to growing new business ideas and any food that includes chocolate and peanut butter. Brooks is a firm believer in creating multiple streams of income and creates content here on to help other hustlers in the areas of marketing, online business, personal finance, and real estate. 

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