Thanks to Airbnb, Many NJ Homeowners are Saying, “Be Our Guest”

Many Jersey homeowners are enjoying success as Airbnb hosts. Here’s how to turn your home or apartment into a cash cow.

Metz believes her Airbnb—located in Cape May Courthouse, close to the Cape May beaches— is “a real benefit to the community. We thrive on tourism in this area, and there’s enough to go around.”
Metz believes her Airbnb—located in Cape May Courthouse, close to the Cape May beaches— is “a real benefit to the community. We thrive on tourism in this area, and there’s enough to go around.”
Photo by John Bessler

Ten years ago, few homeowners would even consider the notion of taking in borders or renting their home for the weekend. Then along came Airbnb, an online service that allows you to seamlessly rent a room, an apartment or an entire house to short-term guests. Virtually overnight, it became simple, safe, profitable—even fun—to share your digs with total strangers.

Launched in 2008, Airbnb now offers bookings in 191 countries, totaling 4 million listings—more than the top five hotel brands combined, according to Business Insider. Listings are free. Airbnb takes a 3 percent commission of every booking from the host, and 5-15 percent from guests. Each listing shows photos of the property and details of local amenities. Guests are encouraged to rate their stays; good ratings increase a location’s profile. Hosts, in turn, are encouraged to rate their guests.

A verified ID system confirms the hosts’ and the guests’ identities, assuring safety. The system helps hosts set pricing by indicating averages in their area. There is no exchange of money in person; the guest pays in full when booking.

Airbnb’s listings stretch around the globe. New Jersey alone has more than 300 Airbnbs. You can find anything from a private room in an urban condo to an 11-bedroom house at the Shore.

Naturally, it takes some preparation to list your home—and good practices to climb the ratings ladder. We asked two top-rated Garden State Airbnb hosts to share their success stories.

Rustic in Cape May

Chic in Hudson County

Click here to leave a comment
Read more Home & Garden articles.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.