The Airbnb Challenge – Converting the Living Room into our Bedroom

ECA and I have been hosting on Airbnb for nearly two years now.  We have a townhouse with two bedroom suites upstairs which works very well since we don’t need to share a bathroom.  We have been managing everything, and cleaning the room between guests to maximize our profits.  Last year, we grossed around $20,000 and after considering extra expenses such as utilities, we made around $16k before taxes.

Which really got us thinking, what if we could expand this?  Considering our expenses, if we were able to double this amount, we could theoretically maintain our lifestyle off of the income from Airbnb alone (although we don’t plan to do this), and if nothing else, we could make a considerable amount of money.  So, we set out to convert our living room into a third bedroom and try to open our suite on Airbnb.

Confounding Factors:

Now, our first floor is extremely open.  There are no walls separating the living room from the kitchen or the dining room.  It’s all just one big room with the front door on one side and the back door on the other.  To divide the room, we hung a curtain separating the living room from the kitchen, which made our studio plenty large enough for us even with the couch still present.  But, as you might imagine, a curtain is just not sufficient to separate a room…  That’s not the only issue though!  We also only have a half bathroom downstairs.  Which is fine enough, since we have access to showers at work.

And the Results:

After trying this set up for a little over a week, we have decided that there’s no way this is going to work long term!  Although our guests have been very courteous and quiet when they come and go (as they always have been), being on the first floor, every time someone came in or out, they would often wake us, or just as bad, they didn’t want to turn on the lights when going up and down the stairs, which worry us that they may trip and fall trying to not wake us.  It was also very surprising how loud the guests taking a shower was.  Normally, we don’t even really notice the guests in the other bedroom, but being under them, made a huge difference as the house is just not set up for this situation.

After breaking even, (well, maybe making a little money) we have given up on this idea!  It’s simply not worth it.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with experimenting!  And while if we had to do this, it is a viable option, but the sacrifice simply was not worth it.  We’re going back to having the spare suite as an Airbnb because that has worked and has been rewarding, but I don’t imagine us going back to sleeping in the living room!


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