As a response to COVID-19 changing the world in the very beginning of 2020, Airbnb immediately and impressively adopted to these significant changes by pausing all in-person experiences and launching Online Experiences to protect our community and give people the opportunity to engage in activities designed by locals that go beyond the typical tour or class. And now you can host them for anyone, from anywhere. Not only they transferred their already existing experiences online, but they also launched a special collection of Olympian & Paralympic Online Experiences in cooperation and collaboration with the International Olympic Committee and Athlete365, the world's largest athlete community.
I had already started setting up my Olympian Experiences with the help of the friendly, amazing and super supportive Airbnb team, and right after I was approved, the in-person experiences got paused, and I had to adjust to the online experience requirements which, again, was no hassle thanks to the support of the Airbnb team. This is another perk when hosting on Airbnb - you get to work with amazing, kind, helpful, and supportive people.
There are different collections of online experiences to make sure everyone can find something of their interest, like cooking, baking, animals, stretching, fitness, arts & writing, dance, drinks, history & culture, magic, music, wellness, social impact, entertainment...
I've been hosting Airbnb Online Experiences since late April now, and would like to share this absolutely wonderful experience with you by listing 7 BENEFITS OF HOSTING EXPERIENCE ON AIRBNB (of course, there are more than that), and give you a little insight of the application process and requirements to start hosting.
#1 EARN BY DOING WHAT YOU LOVE
This is my number one benefit and reason for hosting online experiences on Airbnb. I've heard a lot, and I'm sure you too, people expressing their wish to quit their job and make their hobby their full-time job or simply start earning extra income on the side by doing what they actually love. There are so many people doing what they don't enjoy 5 days a week and 8 hours a day. And the search results for side-hustle opportunities are endless, which kinda indicates a pretty sad reality for the major part of the society.
So if you have a hobby that you want to make profitable or a passion that you love doing every day and you have the knowledge and wisdom that you want to share with the community, Airbnb Online Experiences is the way to go and your big chance (if you meet their requirements, which I've address later in this post).
People are hungry for communication and fresh knowledge more than ever, due to the effects of lockdowns. And there has never been a better chance to connect with people from all over the world from the comfort and safety of your home. Use this opportunity!
If you wonder how much you can earn, it is completely up to you - the quality of your experience, your interaction with your guests, and eventually your pricing. As for me, I can easily cover my rent and utilities from the income I earn by hosting three online experiences, which usually is around 1.3k/month.
# 2 BE YOUR OWN BOSS
No minimum or maximum monthly hours, no restrictions in scheduling, no strings attached whatsoever with Airbnb.
You and only you determine how often you give your sessions and how much you work in a week, month or year! You can easily add or delete sessions, take some time off if needed, send refunds to your guests, chat with your guests, set automatic messages, edit your experience page, and if you need any help, the Airbnb support team is always there to help.
The only minimum set by the Airbnb is the duration of one session, and it is no less than 1 hour. That shouldn't be a problem though, as I can tell you from my experience, that 1 hour goes by so fast, that I usually go overtime a little bit (sometimes even 30 minutes). The interaction with guests takes more time than you would expect. Of course, it depends on your own interaction skill, but for me, sometimes even just greeting and saying good-bye takes up to 10 minutes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I never rush my sessions and my goal is to give my absolute best in every session I give and to help as many people as much as I can.
#3 GET CONNECTED WITH PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
As I already mentioned it in the benefit No.1, there has never been a better opportunity to connect with people from all over the world without even leaving the comfort and safety of your home! It is especially important at these challenging times when so many of us feel the urge for human interaction due to travel restrictions and lockdowns that keeps us at home most of the time.
Not only you gain new knowledge and experience, and get to know other cultures, but you also can create new friendships!
The world hasn't stopped! Create new friendships online now, and visit your new friends later, whenever everything starts to open up again. That is what I definitely plant to do, since I have received so many invitations from my guests to visit them whenever I'm in their area. How amazing is that?
#4 YOU HELP OTHERS
Education and experience are one of the best ways you can help others while not being in the same room with them. They give people the chance to open their minds to new things, skills, and perspectives, and eventually to implement them in their own life.
Whether it's teaching how to cook your national dish, entertaining, giving an online tour in nature, or giving a workout or yoga class - there is always something good you give to your guests.
It might not even be the instructions and knowledge you give in the particular activity or event you're offering, it might simply be your energy, your way of perceiving things, or the light you carry with your smile or eyes. There simply is something in human interaction that allows us to feel these things without the need to be physically next to each other. Remember that you have the power and capability to inspire, lift up, and teach others, and you don't need a professional or academic degree for that. And only you have the power to decide and give yourself the permission to spread the good you have to offer, and the light that you carry in your journey.
#5 NEW AND UNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITIES
This is one of the best and most unexpected benefits. To be honest, I am very surprised about how many people and companies have found me and reached out to me thanks to and through Airbnb.
I've been invited to speak at global conferences, to be a brand ambassador and to collaborate with some companies, and to host a session for corporate team building events.
Not to mention that these opportunities lead to other ones because there is always someone watching and someone who's been looking for my services.
If you offer an activity that is highly beneficial for the community, and which has the potential to be interesting for large audiences, you're a winner here!
#6 WORKING FROM HOME
Before the Coronavirus, people were longing to work from home and save on travel expenses. Well, I guess this is a major case of "be careful what you wish for"! So many, if not the majority, are now working from home due to safety concerns.
If you already are doing your full-time or part-time job from home, Airbnb Online Experiences is a great way to supplement your source of income in a fun and interactive way! Whether it's one session a day on weekdays and several ones on the weekends, or the other way around, once again, you have the liberty yo plan your own calendar.
THE REQUIREMENTS TO HOST ONLINE EXPERIENCES ON AIRBNB
To host an online experience on Airbnb, you'll have to go through several important steps. But don't worry too much because Airbnb has made them simple by creating helpful, extensive, and straight forward instructions along the application process. The application process is very easy but requires your careful input to show your experience in the best way possible.
Your experience must meet the Airbnb's strict but reasonable quality standards that consist of four pillars. All experience ideas are reviewed by a small team at Airbnb. If your idea meets their quality standards, you’ll get to add dates and start hosting. If you don't succeed the very first time you submit your experience, don't worry, Airbnb will help you understand what you should improve to get the experience approved. I had to make a few changes too before my experiences got approved. It's worth putting in a little effort into your application. Trust me, it's worth it!
This stands for exceptional skill, ability, or background. You must offer something unique and authentic, and you must be an expert in the activity your offering. Airbnb is looking for passionate storytellers who can share a unique perspective and insider knowledge. This could include being a well-informed enthusiast; having specialized training; or having achievements in your field. Guests value hosts with a distinctive point of view they can’t find elsewhere.
This requirement stands for engaging activities that leap off the screen. Airbnb is looking for engaging activities that are designed for “doing” and not just “watching.” For example, follow-along projects that guests can make at home, performances that include interaction with the audience, questions, games, and interesting conversation. The idea is that guests should feel immersed in the experience the entire time, like they’re an active part of it.
#3 EASY TO DO
Meaning, the activity requires minimal supplies and preparation. Airbnb is looking for experiences that don’t require difficult preparation or special materials, and can be enjoyed by the whole family. For example, a cooking class using simple ingredients, a craft activity using household materials, a concert you can enjoy from the couch. Guests should be able to show up, sign on, and have fun from wherever they are.
#4 TECHNICAL QUALITY
This means your comfort with the Zoom platform and audio/video set-up. Airbnb is looking for hosts who can also master the technical aspects of a great online experience. For example, lighting that helps guests to see you and the activity; sound that is clear and without background noise; fast internet for smooth video without disconnections. This is one of the main pillars of Airbnb's quality standard because Guests shouldn’t be distracted by glitches, and you should be able to patiently guide them if they’re having trouble. You wouldn't want that as a guest ether, right? But don't be discouraged thinking that you need a fancy equipment for this! If your room gets enough daylight and is well lit, the only tools you'll need are: 1) smartphone with good front camera; and 2) a tripod, which is exactly what I'm using to successfully host my experiences.
Click here to join the host community and be directly forwarded to the sign up form!
Hope to see you soon in the Airbnb Online Experience platform among other inspirational hosts!
If you have any additional questions that weren't answered in this article, don't be shy and feel free to hit me an email or a message on social media, and I'll get back to you!
All the best,