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Looking for a way to make extra money on the side without working endless hours? Starting a rental business could be a great option. In this article, we’ll take a look at why you might want to pursue this side hustle, the best things to rent out to make money, and how to get started.
Taking advantage of the things you already have can be a great way to make money. While there are plenty of different side hustle ideas you can pursue, one of the fastest ways to make money is to sell your stuff.
Another way to make money from your stuff is by renting it out to others. Renting your possessions isn’t just a way to make some quick money. It can also become a regular side hustle that turns your things into income-generating assets. Best of all, it can be a side hustle that doesn’t take much of your time to maintain.
Why Renting Things Can Be a Great Side Hustle
Before we look at the available options, first, let’s quickly talk about why it makes a lot of sense to rent your stuff. At first, you might think you don’t want other people using your property. That’s one factor you’ll need to consider, but the reasons listed below might be enough to convince you to give it a shot.
- (Somewhat) Passive Income. When you’re renting things out, you’ll be making money by leveraging assets you already have (passive income), not by working more hours. You may need to put a little bit of time into the side hustle, but it’s not like you’re trading time for money. This can be a great fit if you have a tight schedule and limited extra time for more work.
- Make Money Outside of a Job. Whether you have a job and need something extra, or you don’t have a job and want to make money from home, this could be a good fit.
- Make Money from Things That Aren’t Being Used. By renting your stuff, you turn something not being used into an income-producing asset.
- Offset the Cost of Your Items. You can essentially offset the cost of buying an item when you make money renting it out.
- Lots of Possibilities. As you’ll see in this article, there are loads of possibilities and many different things you can rent.
- Help Others. While it may not be your primary motivation for renting your stuff, you’ll also be helping others save money since they won’t have to buy the item for themselves. That’s a plus, especially during a challenging time when a lot of people are struggling.
Things You Can Rent for Extra Money
Let’s take a look at some of the options. Of course, the items listed here are really only the beginning. Use your creativity and you may be able to find some other things in your home you can rent out to others.
Throughout the article, I’ll mention several apps and websites that allow you to rent out various items. While those are ideal options, some sites allow you to rent out just about anything. If you have something that you want to rent out, but you’re not sure where to list it, these general rental sites may be a great option:
- Fat Llama – One of the most popular websites for renting just about anything. The site claims that average lenders make $50 per week and top lenders make up to $3,000 per month.
- Loanables – Another general rental site where you can list things like appliances, musical instruments, furniture, and more.
- Rentah – List things like party supplies, tools, sporting goods, outdoor items, fashion, electronics, and more. You can also list some services like child care and entertainment.
1. A Spare Room or Your House
The growth of Airbnb and other similar marketplaces has made it easier than ever to make money by renting out your home, a unit in your home, or even a spare bedroom. Some people make money with short-term rentals throughout the year, and others rent out a room or their house during particular seasons when they can make more money.
Of course, this option will be better for some people than others, depending on your home and property setup. In a past article, I interviewed Riley from Young and the Invested about his experience renting a lock-off unit that was part of his house (read it here: How to Make Money Renting Room with Airbnb).
While Airbnb has made short-term rentals more feasible, renting a room or unit to a long-term tenant is always an option.
You can make a significant amount of money renting a room, a unit, or your home in the right situation. Here are a few sites to consider:
Depending on where you live, you may be able to make money renting your home at particular times of the year. Rent Like A Champion is a site that allows renters to find private homes near games, golf tournaments, races, and other big events. In the right location, you can make great money in a short period by renting your home to one of the thousands of visitors who will be descending upon the area.
You may think renting out a room or unit isn’t possible for you, but with some creativity, you might be surprised by what’s possible. Long Island residents Marsha Kelly, a marketing consultant at Best4Business, and her husband converted their garage into a 400-square foot apartment. They moved into the apartment and now rent out the 4-bedroom house, which generates more than $50,000 per year.
Instead of renting a bedroom, how about renting out your kitchen? This won’t be an option for everyone, but if you have a kitchen that would be suitable for bakers, chefs, caterers, and others who need to rent a kitchen, it could be a great way to make some extra money.
The article How to Prepare Your Kitchen for Rental on K!TCHEN Mag is an excellent primer if you’re interested in pursuing this idea.
3. House or Space (for Events)
If you want to rent your home or space, you’re not limited to long-term tenants or short-term rentals for travelers. Another option is to allow your space to be rented for other purposes. Typical uses include filming, photoshoots, parties, and different types of events.
- LocationsHub – You can list your home or property to be rented for filming productions. To create the listing, you’ll need to pay a fee starting at $4.95 per month. You’ll be able to set your price, and you’ll keep all of the money (no commission for LocationsHub). The amount you make will vary, but it’s generally somewhere between $1,000 – $5,000 per day.
- SetScouter – You can list your home to be rented to produce commercials, music videos, and branded content.
- Giggster – List your home or space to be rented for filming or to host a party or an event.
- Peerspace – List your space to be rented for filming or other events like weddings, parties, meetings, and more.
- Splacer – List your space to be rented for filming, productions, weddings, parties, networking events, and more.
- thisopenspace – List your space for photoshoots, events, meetings, and more.
4. Storage Space
Renting storage space is one of the more underappreciated side hustle options. Many people have extra space in their garage, basement, or shed that they’re not using for anything important. Other people who need storage space may be willing to pay you a monthly fee just for the right to keep their stuff in your space.
The storage rental business is obviously massive, with self-storage locations all over the place. Those units’ prices can be surprisingly high, so it’s easy to see why customers would be interested in renting storage space from an individual instead.
Did you know several websites make it easy to list your own space for peer-to-peer storage rentals? Here are several options:
- Neighbor – Peer-to-peer storage rentals.
- STOW IT – Specializes in vehicle storage. Rent your garage, barn, land, or empty spaces for cars, trailers, and RVs.
- Store At My House – Calls itself the Airbnb of self-storage.
5. Office Space
Do you have space that could be used as an office, meeting room, or commercial space? It could be a part of your home or some other property you own. The websites listed below can help you make money by renting space for business purposes.
- LiquidSpace – Rent out some desks, a conference room, or an office.
- Desktime – Allows you to list your co-working space for others to rent.
6. Parking Space
If you live in the right location, your parking space or driveway can be a valuable asset that others will pay to rent. Simply rent it out when you don’t need it for yourself and you can make some easy money on the side. There are several websites and apps for listing your parking space, including:
7. Camping Space
Depending on your property and where you live, you may be able to rent out your land to campers. In the right situation, it can be a great way to make some extra money with little work required on your part.
- Campspace – List your land to be rented by campers. It can be rural or in a city, and only needs to be large enough to pitch a tent. You can also rent out a cabin, yurt, or treehouse.
8. Land for Farming/Gardening
Another way for property owners to rent out their land is for farming or gardening. This can be a great way to make money from your land, again, with little effort on your part.
9. Your Space for Pets
There are also ways to make money by renting your space to be used by pets. Here are a few options:
- Rover – With the help of Rover, you can quickly start your own doggy daycare and charge pet owners to watch their pets. In this case, you’re also providing a service in addition to allowing them to use your space. While this involves more work than many of the other options listed here, it also presents outstanding monthly income potential. Read my interview with Lily about How to Become a Pet Sitter.
- Sniffspot – Rent out your land as a place for dog owners to play with their dogs. Sniffspot says that some hosts are making $1,000 per month.
Peer-to-peer lending platforms make it possible for you to essentially rent out your money to others. While there is some risk involved, many peer-to-peer lenders have successfully generated a nice income from this investment. Investments at Prosper, one of the leading platforms, have an average historical return of 5.4%.
Several years ago, peer-to-peer lending was a better option with more possibilities and higher returns. If you’re looking to get better returns on your investment today, you can use Groundfloor, which is a combination of peer-to-peer lending and real estate investing. You’ll loan money for house flips, and you’ll have the possibility of earning double-digit returns.
There’s a lot to like about Groundfloor. It’s possible to get started with as little as $10, so it’s an opportunity for anyone.
If you have an RV, renting it out can be very lucrative. In fact, this is one of the best income opportunities covered in this article.
There’s a big market for RV rentals from campers and travelers, and this can put a lot of extra money in your pocket. Rather than letting your RV sit around when it’s not being used, why not make some money from it?
RVs are very expensive to purchase and renting yours out may help to offset the cost.
The demand for RV rentals dramatically increased in 2020 due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, and that seems likely to continue into the near future.
Several websites allow you to list an RV for rental, including:
- RVshare – Earn $120 – $365 per day.
- RVezy – Make $1,400 per week.
- Outdoorsy – Estimates $420 – $840 per rental.
- Campanda – Earn up to $45,000 per year.
If you have a car you’re not using all the time, renting it out can be an excellent way to make extra money. Renters can choose to rent from you and save money (as compared to the leading rental companies), and you can make easy cash.
This is an excellent option because you keep the car to yourself when you need it and rent it out when you don’t. Cars typically drain a budget, but this way, you can make some money back.
- Getaround – Claims that the average owner makes more than $1,000 per month by renting their car.
- Turo – Another excellent option for renting out your car.
- Riders Share – Motorcycle rentals.
To learn more, please read my interview with Justin about how he makes $2,000 per month by renting two cars: How to Make Money with Car Sharing
13. Advertising Space on Your Car
Want to make money from your car without renting it out to other drivers? How about allowing companies to rent your vehicle as an advertisement?
Some companies will pay to place a temporary ad or full wrap on your car. How much you can make with this approach will depend on where you’re driving and how much you’re driving, but it’s possible to make hundreds of dollars from one ad.
Here are some sites to check out.
- Carvertise – Pays $100 – $200 per month, plus you may be able to park your car in high-visibility locations and get paid $30 per hour.
- Wrapify – Pay up to $400+ per month for a full wrap.
Warning: There are a lot of scams related to car advertising. The companies listed above are reputable, but if someone contacts you about getting paid to put ads on your car, be cautious. You should never have to pay to have the ads installed on your vehicle.
Do you have a pickup truck or work truck you could rent out when you’re not using it? This can be a great way to make extra cash. Here are two sites that allow you to list your truck for rental:
If you own a boat, chances are, it’s sitting around and not being used most of the time. Did you know you could make money by renting it out? Here are a few sites where you can list your boat for rent:
- Boatsetter – Powerboats and sailboats.
- GetMyBoat – All types of boat rentals, including jet skis, houseboats, paddleboards, and more.
- U Rent Me – Boat rentals, in addition to RVs, ATVs, and motorcycles.
16. Jet Ski
Do you own a Jet Ski? If so, you probably only use it occasionally. You can put it to good use and make some money by renting it out.
A lot of people would love to be able to use a Jet Ski, but very few people own one. This makes it the perfect opportunity if you happen to own one. Try these websites:
17. Golf Carts
Depending on where you live, there might be a market for people who want to rent a golf cart. John Holloway, co-founder of life insurance platform NoExam.com, and a business partner started renting out their personal golf carts to people in town for weddings (they live in a golf cart-friendly neighborhood with a venue that’s popular for weddings). They’re making a few hundred dollars per month with this side hustle.
Don’t have a car, truck, boat, or RV to rent? How about a bike? You can make money by simply renting your bicycle to others.
19. Tools & Equipment
Tools are perfect for a rental business. Many people need a specific tool but don’t want to buy it because they may not need it again in the future. If you own the tools, you can rent them as a way to make money.
This applies to all types of tools, from saws to drywall lifts to chainsaws. Lawn and landscaping equipment like mowers and leaf blowers are also good options.
Most towns and cities have equipment rental businesses, but you could also start doing this on a small scale.
Many outdoor events use large tents, and very often, the tents are rented. If you own a tent, you can easily make money by renting it out for events.
This is an opportunity that could be a side hustle to make extra money every now and then, or it could be scaled up into a full-time business. You could purchase tents to rent them out.
21. Bounce Houses
Here’s another opportunity that could be turned into a full-time rental business. Bounce houses are popular for birthday parties, carnivals, and community events. You could start a bounce house rental business and meet demand that already exists.
- Roncevich, Tim (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 110 Pages - 01/09/2009 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
How about renting your clothes and/or accessories when you don’t need them? Other people may be willing to pay to rent your clothes, rather than buying them new.
This is the perfect opportunity if you have a closet full of designer clothes you don’t want to get rid of.
Here are two sites/apps that make it possible:
Falling into the same category, you can also make good money by renting out your wedding dress. Obviously, there are a lot of brides looking to save money on a wedding dress, and renting one is a great way to do it. If you’re not overly sentimental about your own wedding dress, this could be a great option.
23. Baby Gear
Have you ever traveled with a baby or toddler? If so, you know you need to bring A LOT of stuff with you. BabyQuip makes it easier to travel with babies by allowing parents to rent baby equipment instead of bringing everything from home.
If you have baby gear, you could make extra money by renting them to people who are traveling to your area. This is an exceptional possibility if you live near a tourist attraction, but it can work in just about any town. People may be visiting family members in your area and not able to bring everything they need.
24. Photography Gear
Photography gear is expensive. In some cases, it makes more sense for photographers to rent specific items rather than buying. Maybe they only need the item for a short time, and buying it doesn’t make sense. Perhaps they’re traveling and it’s easier to rent as opposed to bringing everything with them. Maybe they can’t afford to purchase the item right now. Or perhaps they want to try something out before making a buying decision. These sites allow you to make money by renting your photography gear:
This can work with cameras, lenses, drones, and other related gear.
25. Musical Instruments
Musical instruments can be expensive purchases. Many people are interested in renting an instrument instead of buying one because:
- They may not have the money to buy it.
- They prefer to try the instrument for a while before buying one.
If you have instruments you’re not using, this could be a perfect option for making more money. Maybe you bought a new one and don’t use your old one, or perhaps you’re not playing anymore but you still the instrument.
Fretish is a website for peer-to-peer instrument rentals. List your gear, and someone else will be able to find it and rent it. Of course, you could also do it on your own if you know someone who’s interested.
If you love music, renting out your instrument can make it possible for others to experience music for the first time. It might be rented by a student getting his or her first experience with the instrument.
26. Sporting Goods
Sports equipment presents another good opportunity for a specialized rental business. You could rent out items you already have, or even look to purchase sporting goods to rent them out.
There are no websites or gig economy apps explicitly dedicated to peer-to-peer sporting goods rentals, but you could use one of the general rental websites or apps or build your own business independently. This article on Rentrax includes tips for starting a sports equipment rental business.
27. Fishing Gear
Like sporting goods, a fishing gear rental business would present similar opportunities. You may have gear that you don’t use very often, or you could buy equipment that you want to rent out.
There are a few outdoor gear rental websites, but none that have much of an established audience. Your best options would be to use a general rental website/app or work on building the business on your own.
28. Sewing Machine
Some craft and fabric stores rent out sewing machines. Many customers have a temporary need for a sewing machine but don’t want to buy one. You could offer to rent yours out to make some extra money.
Many people that own sewing machines use them from time-to-time, so if you have one, you could easily rent it out when you don’t need it.
Here’s an entirely different option most people are not aware of. There’s an online business model referred to as “rank and rent” which involves building a website, getting it to rank on the first page of Google, and then renting out the website or specific pages on the site to businesses that want to get exposure from Google searches.
The rank and rent model typically targets local searches. For example, you could build a site that targets the phrase “Philadelphia personal injury attorney”. If you’re able to get it to rank on the first page, you can approach attorneys who might be interested in renting the site from you.
Of course, this approach is most ideal for someone who has experience with building websites or blogs and search engine optimization (SEO). But even if you don’t have experience, it’s something you could learn if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.
The rank and rent business model could be done part-time for some extra money, or you could scale up by building several sites to turn it into a full-time business that generates a steady income. This can be a very lucrative business if you’re successful.
To learn more, read How to Rank and Rent Websites by Matt Diggity.
Are you looking for an easy way to make a small amount of extra income? If so, renting out excess bandwidth could be a good option. You’re not going to turn this into a full-time business, but you can make some extra money on the side each month. The best part is, it’s relatively easy and passive.
There are a few different websites and apps that make it possible to rent out your bandwidth, including;
For a more detailed look at this topic, please read Sell Internet Bandwidth for Cash at This Online World.
The last option we’ll look at is unique and not a possession like most other things on this list. You can rent your friendship and others will pay you to spend time with them.
It sounds a bit weird at first, but there are many situations where it makes sense. Someone may be looking for a companion to go to the movies, a concert, a play, a game, or some other event. Or the person could be looking for someone to go on a hike or just spend some time together.
RentAFriend.com is a website that allows you to create a profile so people in your local area looking for a friend can hire you. It’s completely non-sexual and legal, and some friends make great money by doing it. The website claims that some friends are making over $2,000 per week full-time. Of course, you don’t need to do it full-time.
How to Start Your Own Rental Business
Think About the Things You Already Have
It’s best to get started simply by renting out some of the things you already have rather than buying anything new. By using something you already have, you can get started with no out-of-pocket expense, and your business will be profitable as soon as you start getting renters.
As you’ve seen throughout the article, there are many different things you can rent out. Take a look at the possibilities and think about what you have that you’re not using to decide on a good starting point for your rental business.
Decide What You Want to Rent Out
Aside from thinking about the things you already have, you should also consider your financial goals for this venture. Are you looking to make a little extra money on the side, or do you want to build a business that generates a full-time rental income? Some options offer more potential than others.
Choose a Platform
There are apps and websites that you can use to rent out all kinds of different things. General rental sites like FatLlama can be used to rent just about anything, but you also may be able to use a specialized platform like Neighbor or RV Share, depending on what you’re going to rent out.
Consider your options and decide on any platforms you want to use. In the beginning, you’ll be trying the app or website, so remain flexible and be willing to make a change if needed.
Market on Your Own
While rental apps and websites can be helpful, you don’t have to rely on them exclusively. You can also market the rental business on your own. This could involve posting to Craigslist or local bulletin boards, distributing flyers in your local area, or advertising in some other way.
Once you’ve got some renters and your business is off the ground, the next step is to expand. If there’s enough demand for whatever you’re renting, you might want to consider buying more items specifically to rent them out.
If possible, consider buying used items to keep your costs to a minimum.
You can also consider expanding by adding other types of items that you’ll be renting.
Frequently Asked Questions
It depends on your goals. If you’re looking to maximize your income and grow it to a full-time business, Airbnb is an excellent option if you have the space to rent. Some other options that offer significant potential include RV rentals, storage space, tents, and bounce houses.
It’s possible to get started without spending any money at all. If you’re renting out something you already own, you could start making money with no investment. Investing a lot of money when you’re getting started comes with added risk, so it’s usually best to get some experience before investing.
Think about the things you already have that you could rent out, decide what you want to rent, choose a platform to promote your item(s), continue to market on your own, and then expand.
Insurance coverage provides protection from liability and/or property damage. Finding an insurance policy if you’re just renting a few random items will be difficult, but it’s easier once you’re established. Some rental platforms offer or provide some sort of insurance, so be sure to look into those possibilities for any platforms you’re considering.
What are you going to rent? Now that we’ve taken a look at many options, hopefully, you have a few ideas of things you could put to good use to make a little extra money without too much effort. All of the sites listed in this article can be useful for generating income, so pick the ones that seem like the best fit for you and get started.