How to Start An Airbnb | Use Airbnb To Do Market Research

In my past blog posts, I have disclosed a couple of valuable things like my monthly income and the total costs of each unit. I have even included a detailed shopping list for those who are interested in seeing my purchases. In case you missed it, I have it linked below.

  1. Monthly Income
  2. Detailed Costs Per Unit

So far, I have given you every piece of information that you would want to know before committing. Now, the question is: where do I find profitable areas? There are two ways to do research: a free tool, which is not my preferred method, and a paid tool. The free tool will give you just enough information to quickly gauge your market competition and cost per night, but it is less thorough.

How to Start an Airbnb: The Free Research Tool – Airbnb

If you’re not familiar with Airbnb, I’d suggest you check out this blog post. The platform is super user-friendly so the whole process is really straightforward. I will break it down into 8 steps. Each step will not take more than 2 minutes to complete.

How to Start An Airbnb: The Process

  1. Go to
  2. Look up the city that you want to do rental arbitrage. For me, I chose the Bay Area. But for the sake of simplicity, let’s pick San Francisco. Type “San Francisco” into the search on the top left corner. See picture to start an airbnb
  3. Click on “Homes” under “Explore San Francisco”
  4. Scroll to the bottom and it’ll tell you how many rentals are in the market. When you have 300+ rentals, it’s a good sign because it tells you that you have a market-fit.
  5. Click on the “Home type” and filter out “Shared Room” and “Private Room.” This is important because it’ll further narrow down your competition.
  6. Go one step further and filter out places that can accommodate 4. It depends on what you’re trying to go for. I find it that in order to maximize profit, 4 is the max for 1-bedroom and 6 is the max for 2-bedrooms.
  7. Look at your competition with the most reviews and see how much they’re charging per night. If they’re charging 200 dollars per night and can fit 4 people, then it’s good for you to come in at 160 or 170 dollars per night to build out your reputation.
  8. Airbnb gives higher ranking to hosts that have the most 5-star reviews. These hosts show up on the first page of the search engine.

Bonus Step

If you’re a numbers guy then what you could is to add up all the listings and divide it by the total listings. For example, 30 listings at 150 a night = (30 * 150) / 30 = $150 dollars per average night. Again, it’s a bit tedious, but if you like numbers, then I’d go for it!

There you have it! This is how you use Airbnb to do free market research!! Once you have decided to go into a market, then it’s time to create your listing. Be sure to read my making money with Airbnb hosting, the most complete guide on the planet

In my next blog, I will show you how to do research with a paid tool, which is way more thorough. If you’re like me who likes to minimize risks, then please check it out!

Interest in learning how to build your rental arbitrage empire? You can subscribe to my blog and learn tips and insights on my process of creating a profitable 6-figure passive income business using other people’s home.

  • Arturo de la Rosa
    Posted at 02:21h, 29 October Reply

    Hi Sam, I’m in San Antonio Texas and exploring how to get into this business, Liked your site, thank you!

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