Nearly Half of People Using Marketplace Apps Are Subsidizing the Cost of Property They Couldn’t Otherwise Afford

While Julz Maleno was putting herself through school, she worked several gig jobs to pay her bills. She did a stint as an Uber driver, but an accident left her wary of driving for a living. Then she got a job as an acupuncture assistant, but her course schedule required a job with more flexibility. That’s when Maleno realized her large property — including a vacant one-acre lot — could help her earn passive income while she finished studying.

Maleno told Business Insider that she divided the unused portion of her property into three sections and listed them as parking and long-term vehicle storage on Neighbor. Managing her listings on Neighbor only requires about 5-10 hours a month and within two years Maleno has earned $26,700 storing people’s cars, RVs, and trailers.

Stories like Maleno’s are becoming increasingly common. With the rise in sharing economy apps and marketplaces, more and more people are creating passive income streams to subsidize the cost of expensive property like homes and vehicles, offset the effects of rising inflation, and more.

We wanted to learn more about how the sharing economy is financially impacting property owners, so we surveyed 1,000 people who list their homes, vehicles, items, and other property for rent on marketplaces like Neighbor, Airbnb, VRBO, Turo, Campspot, Boatsetter, Outdoorsy, and more (see “Methodology” for a full list of participants’ chosen marketplace apps). Here’s what we found.

Key findings:

  • Nearly half of respondents said they bought a home, car, or other property that was more expensive because they planned to subsidize the cost by renting it out.
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents planned to rent out their property from the time they purchased it.
  • More than 75% of respondents say rental income is helping them subsidize the cost of their property in light of rising prices and inflation.
  • Nearly 40% say the economy (including high inflation and a seemingly impending recession) was at least part of their motivation for listing their property on a marketplace app.
  • More than 80% of property owners outsource at least some of the tasks involved in listing their property, like cleaning or managing property.

More Than Half of All Respondents Joined Marketplace Apps Within the Last 6 Months

One of the less surprising things the survey showed is how rapidly marketplace platforms are growing. Of 1,000 property owners who list their property for rent on one or more marketplaces, 67% said they had listed their property or item within the last six months.

67% said they had listed their property or item within the last six months.

The majority of people also said that they purchased their property or item with the intent to list it for rent on a marketplace.

One reason why so many people are listing their property and items for rent in recent months could be the economy. 79% of respondents said they were looking for rental income to help subsidize their monthly payments in light of economic challenges like inflation.

79% of respondents said they were looking for rental income to help subsidize their monthly payments in light of economic challenges like inflation.

47% Purchased More Expensive Property with Plans to Offset the Cost by Renting it Out

It’s becoming less of a secret that renting property or items out on peer-to-peer marketplaces can be lucrative. What’s surprising is how many people are taking advantage of that fact and buying more expensive options than they can afford, with the intent to subsidize the monthly payment with marketplace rental income.

In our survey, nearly half of respondents said the ability to offset their payments this way factored into their decision to buy a larger home, nicer car, or more expensive item than they originally planned to.

47% Purchased More Expensive Property with Plans to Offset the Cost by Renting it Out

In fact, offsetting the cost of payments and being able to afford something more expensive were among the top 3 reasons respondents said they decided to list their property or items for rent.

offsetting the cost of payments and being able to afford something more expensive were among the top 3 reasons respondents said they decided to list their property or items for rent

For those who use marketplace apps to list their items or property, more than 1 in 4 said they’re able to earn at least half of their monthly payment through marketplace rental income, and nearly 1 in 10 said they earn enough to cover their entire monthly payment.

more than 1 in 4 said they're able to earn at least half of their monthly payment through marketplace rental income

While it seems that most owners earn enough to cover a significant amount of their payment, many also incur additional expenses from listing their property on a marketplace. More than 80% said they outsource at least some of the tasks associated with their listing, like cleaning or property management.

More than 80% said they outsource at least some of the tasks associated with their listing, like cleaning or property management

53% of Homeowners Purchased a More Expensive Home with Plans to Offset Their Payments with Rental Income

53% of Homeowners Purchased a More Expensive Home with Plans to Offset Their Payments with Rental Income

Of owners who list their homes on Airbnb or VRBO:

  • 67% listed their property for rent within the last 6 months.
  • 62% earn enough to cover at least half their monthly payment. 11% earn enough to cover their entire monthly payment.
  • 65% purchased their home with the intent to list it on a marketplace.
  • 53% purchased a more expensive home with the intent to subsidize the payments with rental income.
  • 79% said they considered inflation and other current economic challenges when considering whether to list their property.

87% of Vehicle Owners Listed Their Vehicle to Help Offset Rising Costs and Inflation

87% of Vehicle Owners Listed Their Vehicle to Help Offset Rising Costs and Inflation

Of car or truck owners who listed their vehicles on Turo or Get Around:

  • 68% listed their vehicle within the last 6 months.
  • 60% earn enough to cover at least half their monthly payment. 8% earn enough to cover their entire monthly payment.
  • 76% purchased their vehicle with the intent to list it on a marketplace.
  • 58% purchased a more expensive vehicle with the intent to subsidize the payments with rental income.
  • 87% said they considered inflation and other current economic challenges when considering whether to rent out their vehicle. Gas prices are likely a big influence for vehicle owners.

41% of People Who Rent Out Spare Space Listed it Within the Last 3 Months

41% of People Who Rent Out Spare Space Listed it Within the Last 3 Months
Of respondents who listed spare space on Neighbor, Peerspace, or Your Parking Space:

  • 68% listed their space within the last 6 months. Of those, 41% listed their space within the last 3 months.
  • 59% earn enough to cover at least half of their monthly payment. 9% earn enough to cover their entire monthly payment.
  • 68% purchased their home or property with the intent to list spare space for rent.
  • 53% purchased a more expensive home or property with plans to subsidize the higher payments with rental income.
  • 81% said inflation and the economy were considerations when deciding whether to rent out their space.

More than 1 in 10 Boat Owners Earn Enough Rental Income to Cover their Entire Monthly Payment

More than 1 in 10 Boat Owners Earn Enough Rental Income to Cover their Entire Monthly Payment

Of boat owners who listed their boats on Get My Boat or Boatsetter:

  • 64% listed their boat for rent within the last 6 months.
  • 67% earn enough to cover at least 50% of their monthly payment. 12% earn enough to cover their entire monthly payment.
  • 76% of boat owners said they purchased their boat with the intention of renting it out.
  • 58% said they purchased a more expensive boat with plans to offset the higher payments with rental income.
  • 87% said the economy and inflation were considerations for them when choosing whether to rent out their boat.

70% of RV Owners Purchased their RVs with the Intent to Rent them Out

70% of RV Owners Purchased their RVs with the Intent to Rent them Out

Of RV owners who list their RVs on Outdoorsy or RV Share:

  • 69% listed their RV within the last 6 months. 14% have been listing their RV for rent for more than a year.
  • 68% earn enough to cover at least 50% of their monthly payment. 12% earn enough to cover their entire monthly payment, with nearly 5.5% earning more than their monthly cost — one of the highest percentages profiting off their property.
  • 70% said they originally intended to rent out their RV when they purchased it.
  • Only 48% reported purchasing a more expensive RV because of their plans to offset the cost with rental income —fewer than in other categories like homes, cars, and boats.
  • 83% of RV owners said inflation and the economy factored into their decision to rent out their RV.

Methodology

Using Pollfish.com on June 18, 2022, we surveyed 1,000 American adults who list property or items on one or more of the following peer-to-peer marketplaces:

  • Airbnb
  • VRBO
  • Turo
  • Neighbor
  • Peerspace
  • Campspot
  • Hipcamp
  • Swimply
  • Tulerie
  • Quiver
  • Get My Boat
  • Boatsetter
  • Your Parking Space
  • Spinlister
  • Get Around
  • Outdoorsy
  • RV Share
  • Style Lend

Respondents were 55.2% male and 44.8% female. Their ages were as follows:

  • 18-24: 18.6%
  • 25-34: 41.6%
  • 35-44: 30.5%
  • 45-54: 6.4%
  • 55 and older: 2.9%