118. The Hidden Expense of Your Airbnb

Jul 01, 2021

When you’re running a business, keeping track of your expenses is just as important as tracking income. But there are some costs that you’d never think of. We’re going to cover one hidden expense that’s going to give you a real gut check – and that’s your time.

Most expenses are pretty straightforward: how much are linens, how much is WiFi? But when it comes to the cost of time, there’s far more involved. There’s a lot of emotion tied up in how we view our time and, as most of us know, hosting does not have a strict start or end. You’re on call all the time. It’s hard to nail down exactly how many hours you’ll be working.


Tracking Your Time

We start by calculating the amount of time it takes to communicate from pre-booking to checkout. From answering questions, sending check-in instructions, responding to requests or problems, and asking for reviews and follow-up visits, there is a lot of communication day to day. You can’t give a blanket number for every guest, but you need to have a basic idea of what your time cost is.


Coordinating the Schedule

When you’re working with other professionals, you have to work within each other's schedules. This back and forth often leads to a lot of communication and a lot of time spent. And even if you think you’re saving money by being the person who does the cleaning, you have to consider the cost of that time, too.


Valuing Your Time

Your time has a cost. There is an emotional cost, but there is also an opportunity cost. If you are spending your time cleaning, what is that taking you away from? Could you spend more in order to earn more by freeing up your time? It’s impossible to know unless you do the calculation and find what your time is worth.


Don’t leave out the actual expense of running your business. Your time has value. You need to know how much of it goes into operating your business. Don’t leave it out.




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