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When people are deciding what to invest in, real estate is often one of their top options. You can rent out an apartment, own commercial buildings, or even flip houses. However, people who are more entrepreneurial with their investments might find that tapping into the tourism market is the way to go. If you’re looking to create a comfortable space for guests, you might be wondering whether you should work with a company like Airbnb or start your own bed ‘n’ breakfast. Today, I’ll outline the pros and cons of both, as well as how your process will look if you decide to do either.

Airbnb

If you’re looking to be a host for Airbnb, I first suggest reading this blog. It’s written by a couple who rent out their Dublin home to Airbnb guests, and they list many positives and negatives. However, after comparing their experiences to others’, I have found more to add.

The pros of Airbnb are, first and foremost, income. If you have a 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom home and not much goes on in those rooms, you’re a perfect candidate to make some extra cash by renting out your rooms to tourists. You’ll get to meet some interesting people and learn how to grow a business, as well. Some people also use Airbnb bookings as an excuse to get away for a weekend or a week, giving their guests the place to themselves.

The cons of Airbnb have the potential to be devastating, though. Airbnb is notorious for holding money longer than they should. Plus, claiming damage or theft can be a drawn out process that often results in being paid less than you’re owed, as well as receiving a negative review from the scorned guest. While you can lock up your valuable items, there are no guarantees that your guests will leave your home in one piece. You can find holes in the wall, broken furniture, and more. Airbnb does have systems in place to pay you back for damage, but it can be a hassle and can involve police.

Bed ‘n’ Breakfast

Bed ‘n’ breakfasts are great for people who want more flexibility. However, you will need to do everything on your own — from taxes to business permits and buying insurance — or hire someone to do it for you. Other than that, let’s compare the pros and cons of having your own independent bed ‘n’ breakfast.

The pros begin with setting your own schedule and doing everything your way. You aren’t bound by any rules and regulations of working with a third-party. You also can set your pricing and require a security deposit that would cover any damages to your property. Finally, many people think of a bed ‘n’ breakfast as a novelty, while Airbnbs can feel like a hotel.

The cons are that you are responsible for everything. Marketing is a huge thing that can be difficult to accomplish effectively, especially considering major hotel chains and websites like Airbnb competing against you. Furthermore, you will have to find ways to make your property stand out, and a negative review could ruin your business. The last large con is price. Owning a bed ‘n’ breakfast can be incredibly expensive, while owning an Airbnb might only require decorating one room of your house and minorly revamping the rest.

There’s no definite answer for whether you should run an Airbnb or a bed ‘n’ breakfast. Unfortunately, both have pros and cons that make each more suitable for a different type of entrepreneur. If you’re still unsure about which one to go with, I suggest you take a look at your skill level when it comes to owning a business, customer service, and property management. All of these are crucial to excel at for a bed ‘n’ breakfast, but are much less substantial with an Airbnb. At the end of the day, compare the pros and cons and decide which has the most benefit and the least stress for you.