The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Airbnb Business with No Money Down

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The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
September 5, 2022

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The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Airbnb Business with No Money Down

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About Houst

Houst is a leading property management company specialising in short-term and medium-term bookings in eight countries. With over 7 years of experience and managing over 300,000 bookings, we help homeowners make the most of their properties.

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Airbnb has been up and running (since 2007) as a profitable online marketplace connecting people who want to rent out their homes with people looking for accommodation in certain cities. There are many ways to earn money on this platform, no matter where you’re starting from.

In essence, this post will guide you if you’re exploring the idea of making money from renting out a space, but you’re confused about how to start an Airbnb with no money.

Table of Contents

1. Take Advantage of a Vacant Property You Own

Having a vacant property that you could use for Airbnb rental gives you a massive advantage. However, before fixing up your vacant property for short-term rental, you’ll need to research the demand in your area and double-check that you can run your Airbnb legally.

Maximize Your Earnings: How to Start an Airbnb Business with No Money Using Your Vacant Property

Afterwards, refine the space and make it appealing to your potential Airbnb guests. Your vacant space may be perfect for you but may not be ideal for guests. So some redecorating may not be enough; kick start with a clean slate and take the space to the next level by furnishing with spare furniture owned by friends and family. Also, take high-quality photos, use the Airbnb host checklist, and get your listing up on the Airbnb platform.

Note that listing requires you to consider the type of guest that will appreciate your space the most. Hence, be transparent with what you’re offering and manage guests’ expectations appropriately. It’s also essential that you know how Airbnb works for owners so you can optimise your vacant space properly.

Knowing how to optimise your property while providing a top guest experience can be a challenge; that’s why many people turn to management companies such as Houst.

2. Consider Airbnb Rental Arbitrage Route

There’s no doubt that Airbnb is expanding its offerings. If you are wondering how to start an Airbnb with no money, consider building a rental business using Airbnb Arbitrage because you don’t necessarily have to own property here to earn.

Unlock Your Potential: How to Start an Airbnb Business with No Money Using Airbnb Rental Arbitrage.

Airbnb Rental Arbitrage is a hosting management model that entails renting a property with the intention of subletting it on vacation rental sites. You may persuade a landlord to lend you a house which you then sublease as a short-let on sites. Rental Arbitrage can be a successful model if your earnings from subleasing are higher than your costs for renting and other hosting-related expenses.

Before opting for the Airbnb Rental Arbitrage route in any area, get familiar with legal rules and regulations, as some locales do not allow subletting. Moreover, you should always obtain consent from the landlord before you attempt to re-rent out your rented accommodation. In many cases, long-term rental lease agreements do not allow tenants to re-rent properties on listing sites. Do not breach the agreement to avoid being kicked out.

3. Take up the Role of a Property Manager

The Airbnb industry is versatile, and you can earn as a property manager. Moreover, being a property manager comes with relatively low risk if you know what you’re doing.

As an aspiring Airbnb property manager, you need to find clients. Once you’ve gotten a few hosts interested in your property management service, convince them why you’re the best choice. You’ll also need to brush up on your vacation rental industry knowledge and prove that you’re qualified for the role.

More so, you are only charged with managing the property for the owner, and you aren’t responsible for paying maintenance. Ultimately, your responsibilities include:

  • Confirming bookings and communicating with guests.
  • Scheduling and managing check-ins/check-outs.
  • Optimising listings on Airbnb rental platforms.

Your property manager earnings depend on the fees you decide to set for your guests, location, and services you provide. It could be anywhere between 10% to 40% of the property owner’s rental fee.

This may be a challenging option for many. After managing over 250,000 bookings, we know what it takes to profit from Airbnbs successfully - it’s not as easy as some guides make it sound!

Continue reading: Top 15 Holiday Lettings Agencies in the UK: A Complete Guide

4. Offer Airbnb Experiences

If you don’t have the opportunity to rent out a property, you can earn by providing Airbnb Experiences. Airbnb Experiences entails offering local tours, experiences and high-end excursions to historic and fun locations. If you know any activities in your locale that tourists want to book upon arrival, you can include them as an Experience.

Be Your Own Boss: How to Start an Airbnb Business with No Money by Becoming a Property Manager

In any case, you’ll need to present an application to Airbnb, so your Experience can get vetted. You’re most likely to receive feedback within a week. Afterwards, go ahead to register as a business or obtain a licence if your gig fits within your local area’s rules and regulations.

5. Join the Airbnb’s Affiliate Program

The Airbnb Affiliate Program is one of the best-earning strategies for people looking to earn in the hospitality niche. Airbnb offers an affiliate programme where budding hosts can earn money by referring others to the platform. All you have to do is to refer people to Airbnb and assist them in creating an account and booking their first stay.

In turn, you get a commission if they spread the word that you were the one who brought them to the site. Many affiliates who profit from this scheme use an affiliate link and a proper marketing strategy to encourage those to sign up for Airbnb.

We also offer an Airbnb affiliate programme that you can take advantage of when you’re up and running.

6. Utilise Open Rentals in your Area

It may seem like a stretch idea, but if there are many open rental properties in your area, this could be a business opportunity for you. Just because people aren’t taking long-term lets in an area doesn’t mean there isn’t a demand for short-term lets.

All you have to do is to approach and get the owner’s consent; some may not be willing to invest extra time in Airbnb. Then, to convince them, offer that you’d take the stress off their plate by listing the property on Airbnb and earn them more money than if they stayed with long-term renting.

7. Become a Co-host to an Airbnb Host

An Airbnb co-host is someone who is hired to manage a listing or multiple listings. Co-hosts are responsible for maintaining the property on behalf of the Airbnb host.

As a co-host, you are charged with confirming bookings, staying connected to guests, supervising the check-in and check-out process, inspecting properties, and restocking supplies.

One advantage of co-hosting is that your working hours will be more flexible, and you do not need a licence to become one. Interestingly, you earn about 10-20% per booking. However, if you take on extra duties and take care of the entire process, you could make as much as 25% per booking.

8. Start a Side Hustle

Short of money and wondering how to start an Airbnb with no money? Start a side hustle to build your savings until you can start an Airbnb rental business. Everyone starts from somewhere.

Once you’ve built up some savings, there are some excellent areas in the UK where you can invest in buy-to-let properties cost-effectively, such as Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester and Brighton.

Get Creative: How to Start an Airbnb Business with No Money by Offering Unique Experiences to Guests

This article explains that anyone may quickly learn how to start an Airbnb without capital - executing it isn’t as easy! Now that we have explained how to start an Airbnb with no money, let’s explore some critical factors you should note in order to optimise your earning potential.

CHECKLIST: How to start an Airbnb with no money.

✔️ Do you have permission?

Generally, you must understand the rules and laws governing rental services in your locality before you start making money from Airbnb. In many cities, it’s part of the zoning and administrative codes that you must register, get a permit, or obtain a licence before you list your property or accept guests.

Certain short-term bookings may be prohibited altogether, and penalties may be enforced in some cases. Additionally, in some tax jurisdictions, Airbnb will take care of calculating, collecting, and remitting local occupancy tax. In any case, you must stay updated on Airbnb’s terms and conditions.

✔️ Have you listed the property on Airbnb?

Whether you’re a property manager or you’re taking advantage of rental arbitrage, you must optimise your Airbnb listing. Write a clear and honest listing without exaggerating or withholding information about possible inconveniences.

Stand out from your competitors by highlighting what’s distinctive about your rental space. Also, include accessibility features and use high-quality photos, as these will help your guests get an insight into the property’s size and features.

✔️ Have you considered your pricing strategy?

Your Airbnb earning potential income depends on your location, property value, and amenities you offer. It is also influenced by your ability to design an effective pricing strategy.

To determine your pricing for the property or apartment you want to short-let, consider the season and the demands of similar rental spaces in your area. Thankfully, Airbnb allows you to set different prices for any given day. So you should take advantage of this flexibility to maximise your revenue.

Earn Money with Airbnb: How to Start an Airbnb Business with No Money by Joining Airbnb's Affiliate Program

Ultimately, other factors may have an effect on how much profit you get, including weekly or monthly discounts, weekend or seasonal pricing, or VAT. Better still, you can determine the accurate price rate for your Airbnb property using our free estimator tool at Houst.


Airbnb is an increasingly viable way to make money and has a variety of flexible full-time, part-time, and seasonal work opportunities. In many cases, you can earn money without incurring great risk.

Some of these strategies described are a little more challenging than others and may require a bit of a sales pitch and business plan. But if you put significant effort into planning and strategising, you can be confident of making a tangible profit from Airbnb.

If you have additional questions, kindly contact us at Houst for more information on how to start and manage your Airbnb in a professional manner.

Starting an Airbnb FAQs

Is it worth it to be an Airbnb host?

It is definitely worth it to be an Airbnb host. When you set things up right, get a property with a good yield and delight guests, things will snowball, and you will have an excellent reputation for providing a great experience.

We have managed over 250,000 Airbnb bookings, so we understand what it takes to be an Airbnb host. To work out whether it is worth being an Airbnb host in your area, check out our Airbnb price calculator today.

Is it hard to start Airbnb?

Starting an Airbnb without knowing what to do and having the proper support can be highly challenging. But, there’s a reason why the platform has over 5.6 million active listings worldwide - when you get it right, it’s highly profitable.

That being said, nothing worth having comes easy, and there are many things you must consider when starting an Airbnb. Some things to consider are:

  • Your pricing strategy: How much are you going to charge at different stages in the year (i.e on-season vs off-season)
  • Management: Are you going to manage the property yourself and sort all cleaning, supplies and communication, or will you hire an Airbnb management company like Houst?
  • Guest satisfaction: What will you do to ensure your reviews are as good as possible and your Airbnb grows a reputation? As there are likely thousands of listings in your area, what will you do to stand out? Often ensuring the utmost guest satisfaction is the best way.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team provides up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals to help navigate the world of short lets. If you're interested in publishing your content, please get in touch with us at

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