A pair in Las Vegas made $ 21,000 in a yr after parking a small home of their yard and itemizing it on Airbnb – that is how they did it

  • After living in their tiny house with their two children for two years, Jilan and Josh Wise decided to buy a traditional Las Vegas home, park their little house in the back yard, and list it on Airbnb.

  • The couple spent $ 1,000 preparing the tiny house for guests.

  • They became Super Hosts on Airbnb for their first 30 days, and in one year they made over $ 21,000 that they used to buy a car and go on vacation.

  • “Part of the success came from keeping it affordable,” said Jilan. “I don’t remember a weekend when we didn’t have anyone with us. It was a constant flow. ”
  • They also had to spend a total of $ 3,500 on thorough cleaning and repairs to damage the tiny house.

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When Jilan and Josh Wise decided to move into Las Vegas, they knew they had to move out of their tiny house.

With local zoning laws preventing people from living full time in a tiny Las Vegas house, the couple had to buy a traditional home. However, they did not want to part with the tiny house they had built and lived in with their 4- and 8-year-olds for two years.

Instead, they developed a plan. First, they looked for properties near Vegas that had a traditional size home and large yard. When they found the perfect property in 2019, the couple parked their little home in the back yard of their new home and listed the 140-square-foot structure on Airbnb so they could have an additional source of income.

The couple had some upfront costs before they could list the house on Airbnb

Since the family lived in the house for two years, Jilan said it was almost ready to rent when they decided to put it on Airbnb. The 140 square meter, completely off-grid house has two loft bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a living room – all of which Josh, who has a master’s degree in architecture, designed himself.

The couple spent $ 10,000 upfront and then put another $ 9,000 on credit cards to build their home. In the first year of their stay in the house, they paid off this credit card debt.

Two years later, when they decided to move out of the house and turn it into a sideline business, they had to put some extra expense into the house, despite keeping it in good condition.

“Everything was nice and neat, and because we are who we are, we didn’t have to buy a lot of extra things,” Jilan said.

To start with, they had to buy new water filters, bed linen, towels, hand towels and carpets. Jilan also said they bought a few items to create a more welcoming atmosphere, like a small fireplace and bookcase.

In total, the couple spent around $ 1,000 in up-front costs to get the house ready for Airbnb.

In their first year, the couple made over $ 21,000 from their Airbnb listing

Jilan and Josh posted the tiny house on Airbnb in February 2019 and they said they were booked almost immediately.

“We booked up so quickly, and I think it’s because we’re in such a niche that we don’t have anything like that around us,” Jilan said. “People said, ‘I’m going to Vegas and I want to stay in this really different experience.'”

They had the Airbnb algorithm adjust prices for the house, which were always between $ 95 and $ 125 a night, and only gave guests a minimum of one night. For the first 30 days, the Wises became super hosts on the platform.

“Part of the success came from keeping it affordable,” said Jilan. “I don’t remember a weekend when we didn’t have anyone with us. It was a constant flow. “

In 2019 there was at least one booking every week. Typically, Jilan said, their listing also attracted people interested in the tiny house move.

“We attracted a very specific kind of person,” she said. “Most of the time, it was people interested in the movement, curious about solar, or excited to see an off-grid unit in the middle of the city.”

They made over $ 1,000 in the first month, which was the lowest income for the whole year, but they made back their upfront expenses. Their best month was May when they made $ 3,500.

By early 2020, the Wises had made $ 21,000 from their Airbnb listing. They used it to buy a new car, pay off debts, go on family trips to California, and pocket their savings.

“When we started, we didn’t want to be dependent on that income,” said Jilan. “We didn’t want to increase our spending so much that when we weren’t fully booked we had to dive into our savings. That was just extra money to play with. “

However, the wise have lost some money

While most of the guests respected and enjoyed the tiny home, Jilan said that some guests did harm.

Although Jilan cleans the device themselves, they had to spend a total of $ 2,000 on thorough cleanings over 12 months. For example, a guest spilled a slurpee that seeped into the floorboards.

Most drastically, however, a guest broke the pipes in the bathroom and flooded the room. The wise men had to tear out the bathroom completely to fix it. He has been able to fix the bathroom himself since Josh built the house, but it still cost her $ 1,500. Jilan said if they had to hire someone it would have cost around $ 5,000.

“That’s why we don’t just spend [the extra income] or rely on it because things like this come up, ”Jilan said.

At the end of the year, Jilan said they had lost around $ 3,500 in total, but Airbnb eventually reimbursed them for half the damage.

“You’re starting to learn how to deal with people so you don’t bleed money, labor, and materials,” Jilan said. “We had a couple of doozies and it was a great learning experience, but we also had a lot of really great people with us. It sure is bittersweet. “

In the end, Jilan and Josh said the experience was well worth the effort

When the coronavirus swept through the U.S. earlier this year, Jilan said they didn’t know how to properly sanitize the tiny house, saying the $ 100 a night income wasn’t worth the risk, so they took their little one Airbnb’s home.

“Because we didn’t depend on that money – that money didn’t pay for our car payment or our mortgage – it was okay to turn it off to protect our family,” Jilan said.

They plan to return to the platform at some point, hopefully with another tiny house with no lofts and a higher price tag.

“They definitely attract another person willing to spend $ 250 a night on an experience, compared to someone who only needs a place to stay for just $ 80 a night,” she said. “If we do that again, we’ll do it a little differently.”

At the moment they are using the break to reflect on the past year.

“We wanted as many people as possible in this tiny house because it is an introduction to this lifestyle that we believe is the future of living,” Jilan said. “It was absolutely worth it. The people we met were amazing. “

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