Money Making Scheme # 5 -Airbnb

‘You talkin’ crazy taking a stranger into your own home?’ 

‘You’ll end up with a crazy guy using your carcass like a sled down Union St.’

‘Airbnb- isn’t that all over now cos Covid-19’

Sharing is caring

We are taught as young children to share. That philosophy seems to evaporate in our teenage years and twenties to be replaced with a Keep up with the Jones arms race. Essentially who can be the Big Swinging Dick (BSD) and Uber around in a Matt Black Bentley? But during the Airbnb battle, it is who has the most spare-rooms that matters.


You don’t need a McMansion with an acre of orchard or even a condo in the hottest part of town. I have a pokey small two up two downconverted 70’s bungalow. No way Airbnb can pay your mortgage? Here is the proof in spreadsheet-o-vision:

I rest my case…

During the peak, I was making an extra £4-5k a year which equates to extra 80 squid a week. More than enough to buy a few bevies on a Friday night at The Bobbin.

Other justification for inaction –

  1. I’m worried about being robbed. To be fair this is a legitimate challenge every day we step out the front door. The reality is that your next guest is incentivised not to steal your beanie baby collection. The review system cuts both ways. Plenty of people said the same thing about eBay and that turned out ok. At the heart of it, people are as a rule good and honest.
  2. Insurance- ‘If this random guy I met on the internet burns place burns down- who do I call?’. Ok, again fair point that’s why I encourage you to occupy the house. Hell you might find they chip in with chores or as a guest from Chennai did- make me authentic curry with authentic masalas (not that canned pish) he’d brought over.
  3. The Bank. What they don’t know can’t hurt them 😉 and with £36Bn in revenue last year- do you think they will go-under if take your balls out for the banker’s jar 5 years early?

Remember Jim Rohn kids ‘ if you don’t have enough reasons you’ll find an excuse’:

House Hacking

All this is to say – If you are still in your twenties the memories/nightmares of sharing at uni are fresh. If you can survive living with a lass or laddie who licks their cheese then you can manage to share with a working professional Mon-Fri.

  1. Interesting folk come to stay. The people who want to avoid soulless Holiday Inn’s are the kind of people who you want to share a cup-of-chai with. Generally, they will seek out adventure and hunger for a (your) local take on a city- Airbnb has capitalised on this tendency and now offers Experiences
  2. Last time I checked George Osborne encouraged it- I think you can earn up to £4k a year tax-free from a spare room.
  3. You’ll find you start to appreciate having some peace and quiet when you don’t have guests. On the flip-side when you do have a booking it encourages you to clean out your closet and get your sh*it together. Anyone else have a tendency to clean up before the cleaner arrives?

2014, 2015,

They say its 7 years feast 7 years famine. It was more like two. ’14 ’15 were the prime years with large demand driven by $150/bbl oil every Tom-Dick n’Harry was going offshore. Supply was also restricted, not many had got into the Airbnb game in Aberdeen- many were forced to stay 60 miles away in Dundee to attend the BigOil conference. Basically, back then Airbnb in Aberdeen was a Blue Ocean!

Gym buddy

It tuned out that it was so early that a properly developer who I shared the local Spin Class with hadn’t heard about it. He was busy renting out via (so 1995;). I did a double-take, this felt like taking Rishi Sunak out for a beer and him not being able to explain GDP! Airbnb most certainly should have been in his wheelhouse. In the end, I came out with a £70 referral fee and he walked away several thousand better off. In the final analysis, we both came out ahead…

Twas ever thus

All good things to an end and oil prices dried up faster than nuns’ ehem…as did the tenant inquiries. Cheaper hotels went up (next to the airport) – the old conference centre across from my house- is scheduled to be knocked down. This drove room prices down to unsustainable levels- £15 a night? Not much point changing the sheets for that is there…

It is a real shame because as well as missing out on an extra bit of diversified income we lost a human connection. You never know who will be staying next and just when I was at my lowest the manager of the university incubator hub came to stay. What goes around comes around.

That’s Airbnb Karma.

Up, Up and Away

Published by BLMWoodWork

Bipolar British artist of Jewish descent. New to woodworking so be nice ! ;)

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