This Teacher Earns $3,000 a Month on the Side by Upcycling Furniture on Facebook

click photo for more information
This Teacher Earns $3,000 a Month on the Side by Upcycling Furniture on Facebook
After a long day of teaching Chinese to middle and high schoolers, cooking dinner for her daughter and husband and prepping her spare bedroom for Airbnb guests, Sara Chen likes to call out to her Echo Dot: “Hey, play some soft music.” This is when most people would plop on the coach and let out a deep sigh of exhaustion. Maybe pour a glass of wine and call it a night. But Chen isn’t most people. She’s just getting started. Soft music humming in the background, she heads to her garage and starts sanding, priming and painting furniture – usually mid-century modern dressers – for her side gig, Sara Chen Design. Until earlier this year, Chen, 40, hadn’t found the right outlet for her strong creative streak. It was by chance that she stumbled upon upcycling furniture, work she finds energizing and inspiring. The extra $2,500 to $3,000 a month is just an added benefit. Finding Furniture, Fulfillment With Sara Chen Design When Chen left her HR job in China to move to the U.S. 10 years ago, she felt like she was taking a step down professionally. “All of the advantages I had deteriorated,” Chen said, noting the lack of parallels in hiring practices between Denver and Shanghai. So she pivoted her career circa 2009 and took a job teaching Chinese. It allowed her and husband Justin Herbertson to raise their newborn daughter, Gemma. She’s been a Chinese teacher ever since, and she enjoys the work. It’s stable. It pays the bills. The health insurance is great. And now Gemma attends the same school. But Chen yearns to be creative. Pro Tip Attaching a sense of purpose to a day job is risky. Namely because you can get fired. The Penny Hoarder spoke to well-being experts for our guide to finding fulfillment outside the 9 to 5. In 2015, she learned about Airbnb, and, by extension, the idea of starting her own gig when the family moved from Denver to Charlotte, North Carolina. Chen jokingly calls herself a “control freak,” and listing rooms on Airbnb allows her to flex both creativity and control. While she gets to curate well-manicured rooms for rent, Airbnb doesn’t fully quell her desire to be creative. Then she got her first taste of furniture flipping. On Facebook Marketplace, Chen found “a steal”: a mid-century modern dresser for $200 that would go perfectly in her bedroom. She brought a friend to meet the seller. “So, I went in and found out she actually had two dressers… both mid-century modern style,” Chen said. “I told my friend, ‘You know what? You should buy the other one.’” Her friend said no. “It looks so ugly,” she told Chen. Chen bought both pieces for $400 anyway. The first piece she kept as is. For fun, she decided to paint the second one. She bought sandpaper, tack cloth and a can of white paint – in all, about a $30 investment. Then she set up shop in her garage and got to work. In two or three hours, the dresser was like new — but better. “Then my friend came over and she was like, ‘Is that the dresser you [tried to] convince me to buy? It looks so good! Can I have it now?’” Chen recalled. On the spot, she made a sale: $350. And that gave Chen the courage to start upcycled furniture flipping as a side gig. “That’s what I like about America,” Chen said. “This is a country that really promotes hard work and creativity.” A Perfect First Customer Chen decided to play it safe with the first piece she made available to the public. To find the right piece to flip, she again turned to Facebook Marketplace, investing much less the second time around: $70 for a 1930s dresser from Singapore. “My rationale is that I really like this piece,” Chen said. “And if it doesn’t sell, I’m going to use this for myself.” She chose a dresser because it’s a versatile piece of furniture for flipping. It can double as a baby-changing station or an entertainment stand, if needed. And with a robust teal coat, newly installed cup-pull handles and a simple black-and-white liner for the drawers, Chen transformed the piece from rustic to chic. Her first customer drove more than two hours to pick it up. When the woman arrived, she marveled – and shelled out $420. Including supplies, Chen earned about $300 in profit on her first sale. On her way out, the customer encouraged Chen to create an Instagram account to showcase her work. The woman had a large social media following and said she would give Chen a shout-out.  Chen took that advice to heart. In less than a year, with the help of her happy first customer, she has amassed more than 1,700 followers on Instagram. Pro Tip Social media sites are free and often underutilized tools for budding businesses to attract customers. Use these social media best practices to get your footing, the earlier the better.  But Chen’s luck with her godsent customer didn’t end there. “After she got the green dresser, I noticed she was pregnant,” Chen said. “I got another dresser, also from Facebook Marketplace… and then I painted it pink. I added black handles.” “You’re looking for a dresser for your girl?” Chen texted her. “Well, I might have a piece you want.” Chen photographed the new pink dresser and sent over the pictures. Fingers crossed. “This is exactly what I want!” the woman replied. The second piece, which Chen purchased for about $60, sold for $400.    Sale 1: Teal Dresser Sale 2: Pink Dresser Purchase price: $70 $60 Cost of materials (sandpaper, paint, cloth, etc.): $30 $30 Sales price: $420 $400 Profit: $320 $310 And those price points weren’t one-offs from an enthusiastic buyer. Chen’s instincts were dead on. After researching her competitors on Marketplace, she typically shoots for those profit margins with each project. For tallboys, like the pink dresser, Chen spends $40 to $70 and flips them for $325 to $425 on average. The margins for long dressers are even better – a $60 to $120 purchase price and a $475 to $525 sales price. Depending on the project, that means she regularly sees profit margins between 70% and 90%. “You need to find a sweet spot,” Chen said. “I try to keep it in the median-high level. I feel like that’s the right spot [for me].” Flipping Furniture Is All About the Photos After tallying about 70 pieces of vintage furniture hunted, cleaned, patched, sanded, repatched, primed and painted since early 2019, Chen has her upcycling process down to a science. But when the paint dries, her work is only a little past the halfway mark. Next, she stages the piece for high-quality photos to include in her listings on Marketplace or Instagram. It’s now her favorite part of the process. “It’s also probably the most important part,” Chen said. “It’s gone from a regular piece to a stunning piece, and I want people to see that.” FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM How I'm Making Money on Poshmark 12/31/18 @ 4:47 PM C Side hustle from home 10/25/19 @ 10:13 AM Amazon refund 10/28/19 @ 8:56 PM how to make money? 10/30/19 @ 1:21 PM See more in Make Money or ask a money question The added love really goes a long way. When Chen listed the first teal dresser, she added potted cherry blossoms, a wooden vanity tray and a stool adorned with books [...]
2
58

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

How This Woman Turned Her Social Media Presence Into a Lucrative Side Gig

click photo for more information
How This Woman Turned Her Social Media Presence Into a Lucrative Side Gig
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2017. In fall 2014, I was stuck in a career rut. I was well on my way to becoming a researcher, studying neuroscience and working at a lab, but I could no longer see myself pursuing that path. The limited creative freedom and lack of social interactions in the field pushed me to consider other options.  A few soul-searching conversations later, I realized there was one thing I really care about: storytelling. In fact, writing was always the activity that made me lose a sense of time.  I had also always been interested in fashion — when I was 9, I started sketching and recreating my favorite street-style looks — but it wasn’t something I thought I could turn into a career.  But I was wrong — and I’ve developed those interests into a paying gig as a social media influencer. Here’s what I did, and how I make money from Instagram. How I Became a Successful Social Media Influencer While in school, I took on internships in fashion blogging to get as much experience as possible, and I signed up for writing classes to hone my craft.  I discovered new social media platforms that made it possible to share my love for writing and connect with people. That’s how I came to create mini blog posts, or “captions,” on Instagram. I really love photography, and Instagram became my experimentation ground. Around the same time, in August 2014, my sister and I decided to launch a fashion and lifestyle YouTube channel. We also created an Instagram account to document our personal styles and adventures in New York City.  By the summer of 2016, we were taking our project more seriously and treating it as a part-time job on top of our main focuses as an international business student (my sister) and a full-time freelance social media consultant and writer (me).  We now dedicate our entire weekends and five hours during the week to editing our videos, capturing content at live events, modeling, scheduling our posts on social media, pitching brands and bloggers for potential collaborations, along with other related activities.  Our brand now aims to empower women to live up to their potential and do it all in style. We invest in the production of high-quality images and videos — purchasing editing software, working with photographers, booking studio space, directing shoots — to tell stories that delight our audience. I never imagined this project would allow me to follow my dreams. I went from creating images and writing quirky captions to having real influence on people’s decisions about what to wear, where to shop, what to do and where to go. How to Make Money From Instagram If you thought you couldn’t make money from your social media accounts, think again! Since July 2016, I’ve earned an average of $1,600 per month — just from our Instagram account.all . And yes, that’s after my sister gets her share. How do I do it? The answer is in having different income streams. Here are a few streams I suggest tapping into if you want to be a successful influencer.   View this post on Instagram   In Haiti, people will ask about your family faster than they will about what you do. They’ll welcome you to their home, feed you a good meal and dive into the stuff they care about the most: your relationship with your parents, how well you get along with your siblings, the way you live and who you live with. It was an early lesson in not defining people by what they do. I’ve always found it interesting how, in New York, conversations will start with questions about your job and where you live. I’ve even done it too. But as I’m approaching ten years of living in this city, I find myself going back to the values I learned while growing up in Haiti. Remembering that people are more than what they do and going beyond surface level to meaningfully connect. : @patriziamessineophoto A post shared by by Shelcy & Christy (@nycxclothes) on Oct 18, 2019 at 6:43am PDT 1. Create Sponsored Posts It’s not always about your follower count, but the number of people who engage with your content and look forward to each one of your posts. A lot of brands are moving away from working with major digital influencers to leveraging smaller bloggers’ audiences.  When you start, reaching out to brands is a great way to secure a few collaborations. As you gain traction, brands will discover you and email you about different opportunities.  Every company has its specific rules for sponsorship, so do not use a one-size-fits-all approach when reaching out. Do your research and interact with them on social before initiating contact.  The key is to associate only with brands that fit your aesthetic. That way, your readers perceive every collaboration as authentic and buy into what you’re trying to sell to them. Within six months of launching our platform on YouTube and Instagram, we received our first sponsorship opportunity. A jewelry box subscription company found us through a hashtag and reached out. Its reps offered to send us complimentary pieces every month in exchange for a few Instagram features.  We have since received products from Coach, TOMS Shoes, Pura Vida Bracelets and other clothing and accessories brands.  FTC guidelines require you to identify your sponsored posts. We usually include a branded hashtag in our captions (for example, when we collaborated with Coach, it was #CoachHoliday) in addition to the required ones like #ad or #sponsored.  We typically charge at least $75 per sponsored post, but we don’t get paid for all collaborations. Sponsored posts add up to about $600 of our income every month, which we split evenly.  Some brands send their products as gifts; to date, we’ve received $3,000 in merchandise. Because we receive most of our accessories for free from brands, we’ve been able to cut our shopping budgets in half, saving us a combined $500 a month. 2. Sign Up for YouTube Advertising Monetizing your videos on YouTube can earn you a passive income stream. There’s even a bonus if these ads convert! You are allowed to monetize your videos once Youtube accepts you into its Partner Program.  We’ve only made about $50 from YouTube ads so far, but the more your numbers grow, the higher your income goes.  3. Offer Private Social Media Consultations Don’t underestimate the skills you can acquire from a side project. Creating content and growing my social media following helped me learn how to edit with Final Cut Pro and Photoshop, how to create marketing materials like brochures using graphic design tools, and how to advertise on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  I then monetized these skills by offering my services to local business owners and startups. I posted ads on Craigslist, gave out business cards at networking events, leveraged LinkedIn to generate leads and marketed myself in niche Facebook groups.   I eventually landed a consistent gig last summer with a small business owner. I support her handbag company’s social media efforts with content production (creating images and videos) and marketing (running ads on each platform). This gig pays about $1,200 a month.  I also occasionally help other entrepreneurs manage their social media accounts and become more visible online. My rate starts at $40 per hour, and I’ve made about $500 in the three months since I started offering the service. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM I Found Another Way, To Earn Money 9/18/19 @ 7:36 PM Baking business 10/21/19 @ 5:01 PM P Parents of a [...]
1
85

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Stay-at-Home Parents: Here are 10 Side Gigs You Can Do With Kids in Tow

click photo for more information
Stay-at-Home Parents: Here are 10 Side Gigs You Can Do With Kids in Tow
Stay-at-home parents have ALL the free time… …Said no one who ever actually stayed at home with their kids. Commanding the homefront is a job with a capital J. And yet, during those hours at home while the kids are playing in the sprinkler, watching cartoons or — heaven bless them — napping, parents often feel like they could be doing something productive. Lucrative even. We hear you, frazzled moms and dads. Here are 10 ways to make money as a stay-at-home parent that you can squeeze in between trips to the playground and running laundry.  Your time is worth a lot, but toddlers don’t pay. These gigs do. 10 Ways to Make Money as a Stay-at-Home Parent 1. Make and sell stuff online Let’s get one thing out of the way: Etsy is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of website. Compared to other online marketplaces, Etsy takes some work. But that hard work can pay off as a profitable side business. And if you’re already inclined toward making crafts or spotting cool vintage finds, Etsy is the ideal marketplace for those one-of-a-kinds. Read our complete guide to selling on Etsy to help you get started. Not the crafty type? You can still make a handsome sum selling through Fulfillment by Amazon. A lot of Amazon sellers are private-label businesses that buy generic products from abroad, brand and pack them, then send them off to Amazon, which does the rest for you. 2. Work on Mechanical Turk Speaking of Amazon, the online retail giant’s Mechanical Turk platform lets you complete small tasks online for a price. According to Michael Naab, who wrote our guide (and a book) on making money with Mechanical Turk, you can expect to earn around $6 to $12 an hour doing Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) on the platform. HITs range anywhere from completing surveys to Excel spreadsheet tasks to audio transcription. 3. Be an online tutor Tutoring has become a prime opportunity for anyone who wants to work from home. Online tutoring companies abound, and there’s often a lot of flexibility around when and how many hours you want to devote. Consider signing on with one of these nine companies and earn money tutoring during the kids’ swim lessons or playgroup. 4. Teach English Online Interested in more teaching opportunities? To fill the demand for English around the world, many companies hire native English speakers to run classes online. In most cases, online teachers can set their own schedules and earn up to $25 an hour. To meet baseline qualifications, all you need is English fluency, a high school diploma and a computer with a high-speed internet connection. Ready to get started? Here are seven legit sites that will pay you to teach English online. 5. Write for a parenting blog You’re already a subject-matter expert in the care and feeding of small humans. Get paid for hard-earned that knowledge by writing for a parenting blog or magazine. 6. Babysit other people’s babies You’re already watching your own kids. You’ve got your house stocked with crafts and snacks and all the outlets are child-proofed. It’s not a new idea for stay-at-home parents to take in other charges, but now there are plenty of sites to connect you to potential clients. For starters, check out Care.com and Sittercity to create a free membership. 7. Babysit fur babies A cardinal rule of staying at home with kids: Get out of the house. While you’re running errands and hitting the library, build in some paying work as a pet sitter or dog-walker. As you might have guessed, there’s an app (or six) for that. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM FlexJobs 9/27/19 @ 5:43 PM s work at home 4/3/19 @ 9:26 PM Shortage in Budget 9/26/19 @ 1:16 PM SSDI Isn't Enough To Make Ends Meet 9/25/19 @ 10:38 AM See more in Make Money or ask a money question 8. Sell home-baked goods Even if you’re not a bona fide pastry chef, there’s money to be made whipping up specialty goodies the rest of the world doesn’t have the motivation to create. We talked to two people with home-baking side businesses about how they found a sweet spot. 9. Rent out your baby gear Strollers, car seats, high chairs, play pens — these are the tools of the stay-at-home parenting trade. They’re expensive and they take up a lot of space in your life. Now there are apps that let you rent out your baby gear to other families in your city and get a little return on those big investments. 10. Check The Penny Hoarder’s Work-From-Home jobs portal If you’re looking for a real job you can do from home, or even if you just want to browse what opportunities are out there, check in regularly with our Work-From-Home Jobs Portal, which is updated regularly with new postings. Many of them can be done from anywhere. Molly Moorhead is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
1
61

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

AmEx Announces Additions and Cuts to Side Perks in 2020

click photo for more information
AmEx Announces Additions and Cuts to Side Perks in 2020
American Express is making adjustments to secondary benefits across its portfolio of cards as of Jan. 1, 2020, adding new perks, tweaking others and eliminating some entirely. “This is part of our effort to offer our card members the benefits they value most,” an AmEx spokesperson said in a statement to NerdWallet. Although you shouldn’t choose a credit card... Robin Saks Frankel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: rfrankel@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @robinsaks. The article AmEx Announces Additions and Cuts to Side Perks in 2020 originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
1
158

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

These Side Hustle Podcasts Will Make Managing or Growing Your Gig Easier

click photo for more information
These Side Hustle Podcasts Will Make Managing or Growing Your Gig Easier
Podcasts are often an overlooked resource for entertainment, education and advice on niche topics — side gigs among them. They’re often hosted by everyday people in the thick of things. Some gain cult followings and build supportive communities before the topic goes mainstream. For anyone considering extra work, such feedback and support are crucial. The right side hustle podcast can be the perfect source of both. Need a Side Hustle Podcast to Stay Motivated? How About 9? Despite how side gigs are portrayed, there’s a lot more to them than downloading an app and making money in your spare time. Reality is more complicated. Your gig should be a purposeful endeavor that doesn’t merely cover bills.  Ideally, your side gig should have an exit plan that helps you meet a financial or professional goal. For those currently in the thick of things, you may find that hustle culture is taking a toll on your health or relationships. It can be a lot to stay on top of. But the good news is that there are a plethora of podcasts to guide you along your journey, from voices big and small.  1. The Accidental Creative Since 2005, author and podcast host Todd Henry has been cranking out episodes that include interviews and tips to spur creativity and productivity. New episodes of The Accidental Creative come daily or twice weekly, depending on your preference.  Daily episodes are three-minute snippets of advice while the twice-weekly episodes run for about 20 minutes and include full-length interviews and strategies. 2. Before Breakfast Host Laura Vanderkam dishes out daily episodes of Before Breakfast, a podcast that focuses on time-management techniques. As a mother of four, author, public speaker and host of two podcasts, Vanderkam knows a thing or two about managing time. Each episode aptly runs about five minutes, and it can be easily baked into your morning routine — ahem — before breakfast. 3. Freelance Creative Exchange Every two weeks, CreativesAtWork releases a new episode of Freelance Creative Exchange, a no-frills, tip-based podcast for freelancers, especially international freelancers.  Each episode, which runs about 30 to 40 minutes, takes a deep dive into a different freelance strategy. While the podcast is produced by a Singapore-based media agency, the content is universally applicable — covering such topics as scaling from a few clients to full-fledged business, pricing your services appropriately, using social media to further your reach and much more. 4. How I Built This Hosted by Guy Raz and provided by NPR, How I Built This is an award-winning podcast that’s built on a simple premise: interview the most successful business owners and entrepreneurs of the day and dive into exactly how they achieved success. Each episode documents the struggles and hurdles of the early stages of starting a business, and highlights how many now-household brands started out as side gigs. New episodes are published every Monday. Hunker down. They’re about an hour long. 5. The Rideshare Guy Harry Campbell is the voice behind The Rideshare Guy. The aerospace engineer turned rideshare-driver-podcaster-blogger started driving for Uber and Lyft in 2014. He created a blog and a podcast to dive into the differences of each ridesharing app. Campbell features a diversity of sources related to ridesharing and the gig economy as a whole. Some drivers, some researchers and even some CEOs. Episodes run between 30 and 45 minutes and are released every other week or so. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM WORK AT HOME 8/30/19 @ 2:14 PM T Laptops 9/5/19 @ 1:32 PM Work from home Southern_MiMi 9/3/19 @ 9:44 AM HOW TO START YOUR OWN ONLINE TUTORING BUSINESS? 9/4/19 @ 10:05 AM See more in Make Money or ask a money question 6. Sidegig Previously, Sidegig was more talk show than podcast. Three seasons featured discussions and lessons-learned from three hosts, Preston Lee, Ian Paget, Ryan Robinson, who all ran businesses in addition to their 9-to-5s (and hosting the podcast).  All these episodes are still available to listen to, but starting Fall 2019, the show is getting a revamp: New host Brian Hull will offer up side gig ideas, advice and tips from guests. New episodes will be released every Friday. 7. Side Hustle Pro Host Nicaila Okame seeks to tell stories that no one else tells. So, in 2016, she started Side Hustle Pro, a podcast that shares the journeys of black women entrepreneurs who have created and grown their side gigs into lasting businesses. New episodes air every Wednesday and typically feature an interview with a successful guest. In 40-ish-minute segments, Side Hustle Pro covers big-picture advice like handling imposter syndrome as well as the minutiae like pricing your freelance services to attract the right clients. 8. Side Hustle School To best-selling author and podcast host Chris Guillebeau, a side hustle is all about creating a new opportunity that works for you, not some other business or side-gig platform. Every day, and sometimes multiple times per day, Guillebeau releases a new episode of Side Hustle School with that credo in mind.  Each episode features a unique side gig from his guest and offers resources on how to create a similar gig or business. Sometimes the episodes are hosted by the hustlers themselves. In June, The Penny Hoarder sat down to interview Chris Guillebeau ahead of his new book, “100 Side Hustles,” which is largely based on his podcast series. 9. The Side Hustle Show Every week, host Nick Loper shares advice on everything side hustle — moneymaking ideas, gig-launching tips, progress-tracking strategies and more. (Loper also brought some of his ideas to The Penny Hoarder as a freelance writer in years past.) The Side Hustle Show is now 350 episodes strong. Most episodes run for 40 minutes, but you can opt for edited versions of the massive archive to hone in on certain topics or to get minute-long sound bites. So before you download an app, before you commit to something you haven’t yet fleshed out and definitely before you spend any money on overhead costs, gain some perspective by filling all that empty air with the soundwaves of people who have gone before you. Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
1
98

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Live in San Diego? You Could Make Money With This Side Gig All Year Long

click photo for more information
Live in San Diego? You Could Make Money With This Side Gig All Year Long
So you live in San Diego, the land of beaches, beautiful weather and a bunch of tourist attractions. Have you thought about becoming an Airbnb host? In a region that’s so expensive to live in, home sharing can be a great way to supplement your income. Thousands of Airbnb hosts list places in and around San Diego, according to data from the home sharing platform. “There’s so much to do here — the beaches, the harbor, all the microbreweries. Within one hour from here, you could be in the mountains or the desert,” says JoAnn Jaffe, a 60-year-old Airbnb Superhost. “It’s just a great place to be. There’s always something going on here.” Between the beaches, attractions like SeaWorld San Diego, and annual events like San Diego Beer Week, there’s a demand for space year-round. If you’re curious to see how much money you could make by listing your San Diego space, use the Airbnb calculator: Then, follow our step-by-step guide to set up a listing in the San Diego area. How to Create the Best Airbnb Listing in San Diego Before becoming an Airbnb host, you’ll want to check your local laws and prepare your space for guests. (We’ll get into that later.) Creating a listing itself is simple, but you’ll want to put some thought into it, so your space stands out from all the others. We’ll walk you through the process, plus share some pro tips from Jaffe, a yoga instructor and nonprofit organizer who lists a three-room suite in her historic home near the San Diego Convention Center. She’s been hosting since 2014. Answer Some Quick Questions About Your Space/Amenities In this first part of setting up your listing, you’ll answer some basic questions about your space, which could be anything — an apartment, an extra bedroom or house, a campsite, yurt or even an RV, depending on your local laws. Basic questions in this section include the number of guests your space can accommodate and the included amenities. If you don’t have an entire place, list your spare room. Set the Scene With Photos With Airbnb listings, photos are everything. “Have a good photographer,” stresses Jaffe, whose listing highlights the beauty of her restored historic Victorian home and its remodeled kitchen. The platform offers some basic photo tips, which include utilizing natural light, avoiding flash, and shooting in landscape mode from the corners of rooms, so you add perspective. Think about what makes your space and your location appealing, and illustrate those elements through photos. You might also include photos of the surrounding neighborhood and nearby tourist attractions. If you’re near the beach or the San Diego Zoo or the Gaslamp Quarter, include a picture of that!  Write a Description Once you hook people with your photos, continue to lead them through your listing with the description. Here, you’ll be able to highlight what makes your space unique — in Jaffe’s case, it’s the historic nature of her home and the availability of a three-room suite.  If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at other Airbnb listings in your area to see what other hosts highlight. In San Diego, hosts’ listings often make a point of noting exactly where in San Diego they’re located. So you’ll see titles like “Small Room Gaslamp/SeaWorld” or “RV near Mission Bay.”  After you host several guests, you’ll get to know your audience, so you can lean into that.  Name Your Listing This might seem like a small task, but naming your listing is just as important as nailing your photos. Airbnb urges hosts to create a title that highlights what’s unique about the space. Jaffe’s listing is named “San Diego Historic Victorian Private 3-Room Suite,” which highlights the most appealing things about her property. A three-room suite isn’t always easy to find on Airbnb, and the historic nature of her home appeals to certain travelers. Set House Rules Airbnb has a set list of rules you can opt into if you’d like them included in your listing. A few of these include: suitable for pets, smoking not allowed and whether events or parties are allowed. You also have the option to write in additional rules. Jaffe, for example, prefers to be present when her guests first arrive. “I’ve chosen not to have anyone come here when I’m not here to greet them,” she says.  Set up Your Calendar Taking time to set up your calendar is important, because if you cancel on your guests, Airbnb will charge you a penalty fee. A few questions you’ll answer include: How often do you want to have guests? How much notice do you need before a guest arrives? When can guests check in? How far in advance can guests book? How long can guests stay? You’ll be able to adjust these settings as you go, so you can find out what works best for you. Price Your Space Airbnb has a Smart Pricing tool, which you can opt into to automatically adjust the price of your listing according to demand. For example, when the demand spikes during San Diego Beer Week every November, Airbnb will likely increase the price of your listing automatically. You can set price minimums and maximums, so your listing won’t dip below a certain amount or spike to something unrealistic. Although Airbnb will suggest these amounts when you’re signing up, Jaffe urges new hosts to do their own research. Here are a few tips to help you determine these numbers: Consider your expenses, i.e. utilities, cleaning and any maintenance requirements. Be realistic. Search other Airbnb listings in your area and price just below those. When you’re starting out, you’ll want to price your place lower, so you can get guests in and accumulate reviews, which will help increase bookings in the long run. Note Your Local Laws You’re almost done setting up your listing! Now Airbnb will remind you to familiarize yourself with your local laws. San Diego officials have long debated restricting short-term rentals in the city, but there currently are no clear restrictive rules. In the city of San Diego, you have to get a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate, which you can do online. You also have to pay a 10.5% tax on your rental income, which Airbnb collects and remits on behalf of hosts. Also Consider… In addition to hosting laws, you’ll also want to check with your homeowners association or landlord to make sure short-term rentals are permitted. Also note that short-term rentals could invalidate some homeowner’s insurance, so check these policies with your provider. Airbnb also includes liability insurance for up to $1 million, but Jaffe suggests setting aside some money for damages.  As you start booking guests, you’ll also want to keep tabs on expenses and revenue for tax purposes. She also reminds hosts to take advantage of tax deductions. Because she has guests staying in her space, she can deduct many charges as business expenses, including utilities, furniture, home improvement, even electronics — basically anything guests will also benefit from or use. Listen to Feedback from Your Guests If there’s anything about your guests’ experience you need to improve, they’ll let you know. All you have to do is listen. “Guests would tell me things, and I would accommodate them,” Jaffe says. “Someone would say, ‘You need a hook for the towels right by the bath,’ or ‘You don’t have enough wine glasses.’ So I went out and bought wine glasses.”  “I didn’t take the comments personally. I used them to inform how I was going to be a good host.” Ready to Give This Whole Hosting Thing a Try? How are you feeling? Like we said, listing your place on Airbnb is simple — but it does require some creativity and strategy. The good news is you can adjust or change your information and settings at any time, so you’re not locked into anything permanently. Jaffe’s favorite part of hosting has been all the interesting people she’s met. “Everyone who comes here has been genu [...]
1
192

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Citi to End Price Rewind, Multiple Side Perks Across All Cards

click photo for more information
Citi to End Price Rewind, Multiple Side Perks Across All Cards
Say it isn’t so, Citibank! The issuer is the latest to announce that it’s eliminating a variety of credit card benefits. Perks being discontinued across its lineup of Citi credit cards include Citi Price Rewind, as well as trip cancellation and interruption protection. Depending on what Citi card you have, you could be losing a lot more, too.  The... Robin Saks Frankel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: rfrankel@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @robinsaks. The article Citi to End Price Rewind, Multiple Side Perks Across All Cards originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
1
324

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?