Job Hunting – Alternative Solutions
In the past, I wouldn’t have considered vacation rentals a real concrete business (back about 10 years ago) – but now (thanks to the internet), things have changed. Today there are many more options for traveling and renting out a home for your vacation. Since the internet has introduced social networks, a few amazing ‘travel networks’ have emerged. There are three excellent sites out there -couchsurfing.org , VRBO.com (vacation rentals by owner) and airbnb.com. On couch surfing, people let you stay on their “couch” or have a bed at their home for free. Couch Surfing hosts love meeting new people from all around the world and enjoy showing their guests around town and sharing their culture. With VRBO – you deal mostly with long term rentals. You can rent out an entire apartment -condo or house (you also have the option for weekly and weekend rentals too). Airbnb.com, “travel like a human” is the perfect addition to this category. It has the most options I’ve seen. It’s almost like a blend of couchsurfing and vrbo. On Airbnb you can rent anything from a “couch to a castle”. You can stay with your host, or rent their entire apartment for a day/week/month.
Airbnb.com allows the host to choose their price, amount of people who can stay and minimum days. I have been viewing homes on this website for the last few months (since I have been planning trips myself). I’ve seen homes ranging from $20 – $1000+ a night. There are cute, comfy cottages in ireland and beautiful modern lofts in manhattan. I’ve read excellent reviews about homes, it’s great to read reviews and recommendations. You can see a unique kind of friendship forming between hosts and travelers, an incredible generous network being built right before your eyes. The payment process also adds a sense of security. If you pay for a home, it is only booked once the person approves – then it is only processed once you check in at the location. So if something happens during your trip, or if the home didn’t exist, you would get your money back.
I can’t help but get excited, this is really a new business model, something everyone can be a part of. You don’t really have to learn anything new - you just have to be hospitable, friendly and clean. Here are some options:
Mobile Business Owners (Work on the laptop) Buy a apartment, fix it up nice and creative . Start renting it out right away, and travel some where or visit a friend in the meantime.
Work at an office If you work home and need to stay in your city, you can rent out a room, or buy an apartment near by that is used for rental purposes only. If you have a house and have at least one extra room available, you can put that room up for $60-100 a night ( a reasonable price). You could make 1800 a month on the low end. If you have a primary home and you rent out your other apartment/house for 100 – 200 a night, you could make $3,000 – $6,000 a month in total if you keep business moving, and then take it off airbnb for the summer and allow long term rentals on VRBO or craigslist.
**The idea is to start thinking outside the box. We can complain all we want about the economy and no money and shitty job situation, but there is always a solution if you seek one**
So now you have your home up for rent, and nobody knows about it. Well get your act together and start cleaning your place up, invest in some funky furniture, extra sheets, cooking supplies and maybe a skateboard or a bicycle (options are fun!).
Now it’s time for marketing. Get a great photoshoot going of your home with a nice wide-angle-HD lens. Get all dressed up and have a friend come and help you shoot a video of your home, your own”cribs” style video. Edit it in imovie to make it fun.. Share your video on youtube, facebook and twitter. Sign up and share your info on traveling forums, facebook fan pages, groups. You can cross promote with friends by posting an ad for your place on their blogs ( if they are also into traveling and hosting- then you can post their ad on your blog as well!) Sign up to craigslist and other websites too just to get the word out about your place, link to your blog always and your airbnb.com listing.
So that’s a new business in a nutshell. Interested? Get involved. I know I am going to!