December 15

How to make passive income with Airbnb

Making money from Airbnb is insane right!

Discovering a whole new income stream from your home that you never thought was possible is a game changer for many.

But wouldn’t it be even better if you could generate the same income with little to no work?


No more cleaning toilets.  No more time waiting for guests to check-in, and no more small talk!

awkward conversation

This guide will teach you everything you need to become a “Hands off Host”, and how to manage Airbnb in a way that’ll set you free on your path to generating passive income.

In this post you’ll learn:

  • How I let guests into my property without physically being present.
  • How I approached hiring a cleaner.
  • What amenities you need to make sure are provided.
  • How to get your inquiries answered for you.
  • How I make sure I get good reviews even though I’m not there.

So let’s start at the very beginning.

How to let guests into your Airbnb property without being present?

This can be the biggest shift for a lot of Hosts.

The first thing you have to get away from is thinking that YOU are the reason that your guests love coming to your property. Granted this may be the case sometimes, but this is the type of thinking we need to distance ourselves from in order remove our ego’s from our Host role and set ourselves free to enjoy the passive income that your prized asset has afforded you.

So. Back to our first step.

“How do I let a guest into my Airbnb property without physically being present”?

Well, we have a couple of options:

Entrust your house key to a trusted neighbor/ friend.

This can be a great option if you have trusted neighbors or close friends nearby.

It does have its pitfalls, however.

On the face of it, it seems pretty simple to set up, and indeed it is.  But the problems come when the favors start to run out, and they will.

If you’ve followed my steps on HOW TO RANK #1 ON AIRBNB then there is a decent chance that you will be getting seriously booked up.

So what originally started off as a once every two-week favor now turns into a full-time job.

And as we all know, nothing is free in this world.

You should expect to be paying your friend/neighbor for the task of meeting and greeting your guests. A standard fee for such a task is usually in the region of $10+

Nothing is free

It’s not a huge amount to pay, but when your property is churning through 100+ check-ins a year, this fee can start to add up.

Over the year this model could set you back over $1000!

Next. My preferred method…

Set up a remote key lock system to allow your guests to access your home.

This my friends is the very beginning of you setting up your passive income for life through Airbnb. If you can get this part right, then we are well on our way to creating a passive income business model through your Airbnb property.

Things to consider…

Now there are a lot of different remote lock systems on offer out there to choose from, and not all are equal.

Let me explain…

For a coded lock your initial investment will be anywhere from $40 – $400!

$400!!! F*$k!

Now I know this next section is extremely boring but just bare with me…

A few different locks to compare:

Budget Bob: $30+

Cheap Key Lock

Wall Mounted Key Box

Cheap & cheerful. Plenty of room for all your house keys. 4-digit combination lock.

Middle of the Road: $60-100

intermediate lock

Mounted to front-door.

This next step up offers a little more security, it’s actually fitted to your front door. Much more robust than the cheapest options.

Top Dog $150+


In this bracket we can now expect:

Keyless access from your smartphone or pin code entry. Issue and revoke pin codes directly from mobile phone. Super secure dead lock.

This is the way forward


F#*k me that section was tedious.

Sorry to put you through that.

Moving on…

So, as boring as it is.  In my opinion, the only way to truly move towards setting up a foolproof passive income model is to invest in a good remote key lock. Your initial investment will pay you off almost instantly.

churn baby churn

How to hire a kick-ass Airbnb cleaner

This area is often overlooked by newbie Hosts. A good Airbnb cleaner is worth their weight in gold. Literally.


They will become one of the key fundamentals to you receiving raving reviews.

The areas you need to consider are:

How flexible are they?

The number 1 quality you need to look for when hiring your cleaner, above everything else, is flexibility.

This will prove invaluable to ensuring you remain headache free.

For your Airbnb listing to run on overdrive, the one thing you’ll have to embrace is being flexible.

Being able to accept last minute bookings can drastically improve your occupancy rate for the year, and add thousands $$$ to your bank balance.

Are they tech savvy?

Eg. Can they work to a Google Calendar? Are they happy communicating via email? Are they happy taking photos of receipts for your tax records? Can they email out invoices?

The main thing we are looking for here is for you to be able to able to communicate entirely from your mobile phone.

You want to take away any need for physical contact, and you want to have everything set-up to automate as much of this process as possible.

Obviously, not all of the process’ can be automated, but where automation isn’t possible, we want to be using the next best thing.

Are they good at what they do?

This goes without saying.

But setting up a foolproof system with your cleaner to pump out 5* reviews takes a little thought and consideration.

Remember, you could be on another continent and won’t be there to scrutinize their work.  So we need to create a system that rewards and motivates your cleaner to keep super high standards.

A system I have used in the past to good effect is as follows:

I pay my cleaner a base fee for each clean of the property and reward a bonus for every 5* cleanliness review that I get.

I also make sure that all reviews, good and bad are shared with my cleaner.  That way they have a vested interest in keeping the property immaculate.

Having a system like this in place can have a huge impact on the quality of their work.

A word of caution…

Cleaners can get very offended even by the notion that their work wouldn’t be of 5-star quality.  So approach this area with a little tact.

Are they trustworthy and reliable?

It’s imperative that your cleaner is trustworthy and reliable.

They will be given full access to your home when you are away, and you need to know that they can be relied upon to carry out their work without supervision.


I can’t emphasize this point enough.

It is the key to you killing it with your Airbnb property.

(One thing to consider, is to have a back up cleaner in the event that your number 1 choice can’t do the changeover. I have used back-up cleaners in the past and they have saved my skin numerous times).

What amenities should I provide to my Airbnb guests?

As a minimum requirement, you need to provide bedding and linen.

However, we can go so much further than this. Remember, we are creating the killer airbnb property that manages itself, churning out 5* reviews without us lifting a finger!


That’s right. That’s why this is one area that we are going to go above and beyond to make sure that our guests can’t help but give us a 5* review.

All properties are unique in their own way and appeal to different demographics, but below are some things to consider:


We need to make sure as a bare minimum that all of these essentials are present for your guests:

  • Fresh Coffee
  • Wifi
  • Tea
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Bath towels
  • Tea towels
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garbage bags
  • Toaster
  • Kettle


Now, in order to keep getting those 5* reviews we need to make sure we go above and beyond what our guests expect.  Below I’ve outlined some additional extra’s that can go a long way to creating that wow factor.  Pick and choose what you think will appeal most to your demographic.

  • Fresh Milk
  • Dressing gowns
  • Hair dryer
  • Cereal eg. Muesli, Cornflakes etc
  • Selection of preserves
  • Iron and Ironing board
  • Hangers
  • Netflix
  • Apple Tv / Chromecast
  • Microwave
  • Washer / Dryer
  • Fresh towels
  • Spring Water
  • Small bottle of Champagne
  • Fresh flowers
  • Welcome card


One of the main things we are looking to achieve with any additional amenities is to build value.

How to get your inquiries answered for you.

Now this is a controversial one, as most hosts like to maintain some sort of control over their Airbnb inquiries.

However, if done right, this can give you truly stress-free passive income year on year.

Before you start letting someone else answer your inquiries, you are going to want to have had a decent amount of experience as a host with all the different types of questions you’re likely to receive.

A good start to outsourcing the answering of inquiries can be to friends or family, or better still your cleaner (that way they are always up to date with new check-ins / check-outs as soon as they come in).

Now it goes without saying that this person needs to be an extremely good communicator.

Being a host that doesn’t physically meets their guests, you are up against it to receive 5* reviews for communication.  However, well thought out, genuine reply’s can win over even the most confrontational guests.

The other more controversial way to outsource your enquiry responses is to use a platform such as is basically a platform built around outsourcing your work to the world market.

Now that could mean anywhere from USA to Australia, Bangladesh to Egypt. You literally have the whole world of freelancers at your fingertips. There are many great options for digital personal assistants out there.

But my personal favorite is to use automated software which takes roughly 80% of the workload of responding to inquiries and sending reminders to cleaners etc.

The program I use which I can’t recommend highly enough is SmartBNB.

SmartBNB has revolutionized the way I automated my Airbnb business and I strongly recommend you at least check it out.

I’m considering writing a whole post about this topic alone, so if you’d like to know more just hit me up in the comments.

How I make sure I get 5* reviews even when I’m not there!


This point is kind of a roundup of all the previous points outlined above.

The whole process from start to finish needs to be flawless. It is all about going above and beyond and adding value.

It all starts with your initial contact and doesn’t end until after you have received your guest review.

A killer host knows that all of the above steps need to mastered to create an Airbnb passive income model that is headache-free and churning money on overdrive.

Anything that I have missed? Anything you’d like me to expand on?

Chuck it in the comments.

I personally reply to every comment 🙂

About the author 

Rowan Clifford

Hey, I'm Rowan.  I'm a bit of a nerd, and froth a little too hard when it comes to Airbnb. And, I LOVE anything that makes my life as a host easier and more lucrative (which is pretty much exclusively all I write about on this blog). Tools, tips, tricks and sneaky hacks are my kinda thing...

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  • Hi
    I’m decided whether Air BnB or longer term rental is most cost affective for my property. How does income tax work when using Air BnB as for most it’ll be classed as a second job resulting in having to pay a bomb on tax!

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