Airbnb has gained exponential traction since its debut in 2008. The user-friendly online housing marketplace seemed to have left its competitors in the dust. Besides creating a lucrative shared economy business approach, Airbnb has made waves in the Chicago real estate industry while also causing their competitors to re-evaluate their approach.


Owners of Chicago real estate can use the Airbnb platform to connect with travelers and rent a spare room or entire home as a short-term stay. All booking details occur online. The automated process has become so optimized that even the key exchange often won’t even require the host to be there. This give guests and at-home feel when they arrive at their Chicago destination. 


Airbnb’s Impact on the Hotel Industry

As it happens, the larger hotel and hospitality industry isn’t exactly thrilled about the local and global success of Airbnb. A report from Morgan Stanley found that 42% of Airbnb customers had replaced traditional hotel visits by booking using the Airbnb online platform. What’s more, Airbnb hasn’t been subject to regulations and fees common among hotels until recently. 


But hotels aren’t just sitting back and accepting Airbnb’s dominance. Old school brands have been expanding their business models and services to try and compete, but with very modest success. This pushback has prompted a notable shift in hotel operations that will be felt in the industry for years to come.


Though some competitors may have more listings, platform functionality, pricing, and location variety can’t seem to compete. Naturally, Airbnb receives some backlash, but not all of it is from competitors.

How Does Airbnb Effect Chicago Real Estate


A new analysis from the Economic Policy Institute attempts to more comprehensively catalog these local impacts–and measure what, if anything, cities including Chicago, get out of the deal.


Research shows that the added exposure due to Airbnbs in Chicago continues to drive the hosting business and generate revenue to local businesses creating another huge win for the sharing economy. In 2018, Chicago Airbnb hosts earned over $77 million in income, up from $67 million earned in 2017. Airbnb operations in Chicago generated a total economic impact of $345 million in 2017, up from $331 million the previous year and increasing steadily.


However, since the Airbnb business models help homeowners take existing housing stock and turn some of it into short-term units, it, along with other economic factors, have impacted Chicago Real Estate prices by repurposing units that might otherwise be long-term housing, Airbnb is blamed for straining an already supply-short market. Rent rises in the process.

How the Good Outweighs Concerns


Airbnb’s impact in Chicago is a top of debate among property owners, city government leaders, and community members. The news at the beginning of 2018 says that Airbnb raised $2.9 million for homeless services.


Still, some argue that Airbnb rentals hurt the market. It’s said that short-term rentals take away the option for longer-term renters to claim space, leaving fewer rental options and driving up prices. Some speculate that encouraging visitors may take away from the united sense of community. For these reasons, Chicago has put in regulations with the goal of keeping the sense of community and prevent a price influx.


Proponents for Airbnb in Chicago know that the guests bring money into the Chicago communities where they are located. A visitor who might normally choose a hotel in the heart of Downtown Chicago instead chooses a unique rental in a lesser-known neighborhood. The restaurants, boutiques and other businesses in that area earn increased revenue as more guests stay in the area.


For Chicago property owners and investors, the home-sharing market offers a major benefit. In 2017, according to data from Zillow and Airdna, Short-term rentals on average made 40.1% more money than longer-term rentals. Airbnb investment properties give owners a major source of income to offset the cost of the mortgage. For homeowners who rent a room or the whole unit, home sharing is a way to supplement income or help pay for the home. For business owners with investment properties, it maximizes profits.


There are always pros and cons as there are with most things that significantly alter the way people live, spend, and travel. Airbnb was founded on the principles of shared resources and will continue to strive for a balanced economy amongst Chicago’s visitors, homeowners, and locals.

There’s a lot to see and a lot to do when visiting Chicago. Take the 9 need to knows with you in order to make the most of it.


#1 Weather


Chicago experiences all seasons but within those relative seasons, it’s pretty unpredictable. Just know, depending on the time of year, it can really cold, really hot, or really wet. If you’re not a snow bunny, “Chiberia” tends to thaw out around May. Even with that being said, Chicago has seen 75F degree days in November and snowstorms in April. It’s best to bring easily removable and replaceable layers.

#2 There’s More Than Pizza


Yes, you have to try deep dish when you’re visiting Chicago. But, you also have to try samosas, tacos, or treat yourself to one of the 22 Michelin rated restaurants in Chicago. Head to Chicago’s southside for a taste of Chinatown and authentic Mexicano or Uptown for Vietnamese. You can find Italian in Old Town and Ethipopean in Andersonville. You deserve more than just pizza and Chicago offers authentic international fare.

#3 Beyond the Loop


It’s easy to get stuck in the Loop because there are incredibly attractive sights worth seeing. But for the really Chicagoan feel, hop on the L and visit some of Chicago’s 77 distinct neighborhood. Each has its own personality and something unique to offer. It makes for a well-rounded trip to go beyond the Loop.

#4 The First Concrete Jungle


Chicago is birthplace to the skyscraper. Even if you’re not an architecture buff, Chicagos buildings will have you feeling differently. Indulge in an architecture tour to really appreciate your surroundings.

#5 There’s a Beach


The lapping turquoise waters of Lake Michigan grace the coast of Chicago offering up a range of 27 beloved beaches. When the city becomes too much, pack a blanket and head to the humble shore to catch some rays. 

#6 Where to Stay


The biggest concern for travelers when visiting Chicago is where to stay. Hotels can be wildly expensive and not ideally located. Fortunately, there are nearly 8,000 Airbnbs spread across every part of the city. Here are some of our favorite places to stay when visiting Chicago.

#7 There are Affordable Things to Do (even free!)


Visiting Chicago, in fact, doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. For those of you traveling on a budget, there are plenty of cheap and even free things to do in the city, even during tourist season. Many museums including (but not limited to) the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture offer free entry. Plus, CTA provides super cheap transportation all over Chicago.

#8 Local Events are Pretty Incredible


No matter the month, there’s probably a festival of sorts occurring in Chicago. Check out this go-to guide for festival dates in Chicago. Treat yourself to an immersive event experience with the locals!

#9 One of the Easiest Cities to Explore


You have access to transportation that can take you anywhere in the city, for abounds at every avenue, from world-class to street smash– some of the worlds greatest art and entertainment are everywhere. Chicago may be a big city but it welcomes millions of visitors with its mid-western charm.



Airbnb’s exponential growth in the U.S., especially bigger cities, is no secret. Airbnb in Chicago has proven to be an entrepreneurs dream. With an average of $1,475 per month in passive income, 7,600 competitive listings, and an estimated 150 nights per year, Airbnb in Chicago has not only become a lucrative business for Airbnb hosts but has brought Chicago visitors closer to different businesses, restaurants, and shopping centers they may have never encountered.


The added exposure due to Airbnbs in Chicago continues to drive the hosting business and generate revenue to local businesses creating another huge win for the sharing economy. In 2018, Chicago Airbnb hosts earned over $77 million in income, up from $67 million earned in 2017. 


Local hosts welcomed 500,000 guests in 2017, a significant jump from the 390,000 guests reported in 2016. Chicago Airbnb guests spent $270 million in 2017, with an average spending per day pegged at an estimated $171.


Airbnb operations in Chicago generated a total economic impact of $345 million in 2017, up from $331 million the previous year and increasing steadily.


Internet-based serve firms like Airbnb, use technological advances to bring needed innovation to stagnant sectors of the economy, increasing the quality of goods and services, and providing typical American families with more options for earning income and making traveling a more viable option. Let’s dive deeper into how hosts, businesses and the local economy continue to benefit for Airbnbs in Chicago


Airbnb in Chicago Creates Economic Benefits


The key potential benefit of being a Chicago Airbnb host today is that property owners can diversify the potential streams of revenue they generate from owning homes. For example, before Airbnb arrived in the windy city, property owners setting up residential rental properties faced transaction costs so high that it only made economic sense to secure relatively long-term leases.


The transaction costs incurred by property owners could include advertising for and screening of tenants and finding alternative accommodations for themselves if they were renting their dwellings. But with the rise of Airbnbs in Chicago, short-term rentals became logistically feasible and affordable. For the first time, it allows these property owners to diversify into short-term rentals as well as long-term rentals.


Another potential benefit is the increased supply (and variety) of short-term rentals available to travelers. This increased supply can restrain price growth for short-term rentals and make traveling more affordable. For the first time in a long time, Americans don’t feel they need to be rich to travel.


Finally, one of the more important benefits of Airbnbs in Chicago is the extra economic activity that results from Airbnb locations that increase visitors carious parts of the city and its surrounding towns. This particularly has benefited the city’s South Side, where growth in guest arrivals in 2017 was up 70 percent compared to the previous year. Much of the South Side is more economically depressed than other parts of the city, and Airbnb looks to be serving as something of an economic stimulant.  


Besides the income generated by Chicago Airbnb property owners, income is generated by these visitors as they spend money at restaurants, entertainment, in grocery stores or on other activities.

It may not be all peach & cream when it comes to getting your slice of the Airbnb business pie. Chicago has many Airbnb rental regulations that are scaring off potential hosts. However, the toughest have stuck around and continue to contribute to the blossoming economy they’ve created.


Think your humble abode can’t become one of the best places to stay in Chicago? Think again. HostlyBnB continues to help short-term vacation rental host like you to achieve their business potential. First, we start with helping you see your rental apartment, condo, or home through the eyes of your potential guests. What do they look for and how can you stack up against the competition?


Here are 5 effective ways to scale your hosting business and rank amongst the best places to stay in Chicago.

Create a Well-Rounded Airbnb Listing


An in-depth, well-rounded Airbnb profile generates more clicks that convert to bookings. So, what’s the secret to mastering your listing to rank as one of the best places to stay in Chicago? There are a few things and we don’t recommend cutting corners.


  • Discover your unique selling proposition for your property and highlight it with an eye-catching headline. For example: “The Only View Like it!”
  • The layout of your description should be written in a storytelling format. Limit bullets or dashes. This is boring and what so many Airbnb listings are doing wrong. Storytelling is a creative way to provide a glimpse of what their Airbnb experience would feel, look, and sound.Be descriptive and explain every detail on what the best place to stay in Chicago is actually like.
  • Photos are a HUGE selling point and a great way to let your listing shine. When it comes to your Airbnb listing photos, two rules apply- the more the merrier however quality over quantity. Before you go clicking away shots of your bathroom, check out our article on how to professionally stage your Airbnb.
  • Most listings will have AC and Wi-fi and other essential amenities. This isn’t too exciting. You’ll need more to really have an edge on the competition. Consider offering any of the following additions and features that help your Airbnb listing compete: Keurig with ample K-Cups, semi-stocked fridge or pantry, city guides, local takeout menu, any promotions you have access to, a guest Netflix account. Yes, these are additional business expenses but the return on investment is significant.


Use Local Events to Promote Your Listing


Any chance you have to promote your Airbnb–take it! Events are an especially opportune time to make consistent bookings happen. From sports games and concerts to conventions, seminars or trade-shows, there’s a chance for you to customize your marketing to target attendees. 


Types of event calendars to keep on your roster include:


  • Corporate events are common here in Chicago and other big cities. Many companies provide a budget for their travelers to have nice accommodations. What’s better than your business ready Airbnb?
  • People often attend seminars in groups and are looking for an Airbnb that is comfortable and close to their destinations.
  • Sports events are a huge part of American culture and some of the best take place in Chicago. Fans travel the country in hopes of watching their team dominate. Save your potential guests from turning to cheap hotels or a tent to accommodate their pre-game celebrations. Oh, and be sure to party-proof your Airbnb!

Hire the Pro’s and Watch Your Ranking Soar


Last year 3 of our Chicago Airbnb’s were rated among the top 50 Airbnb’s out of the 7,000 in all of Chicago! As excited as we are about the news, we are more grateful that with the help of the Plus badge, potential guests can have that little bit of extra peace of mind when booking. We were even able to share this excitement in a brief interview with the Chicago Tribune.

Allow HostlyBnB to expand your Airbnb business by creating and implementing Airbnb marketing strategies, optimize your operations, help your listings rank and so much more.

Ready to be amongst the best places to stay in Chicago? Reach out now for a free discovery call and let us help!


Chicago is hospitable and diversify and we expect nothing less than Chicago’s favorite short term vacation and business rentals. As unique as its pizza and inspirational as its art, there are a few things a Chicago Airbnb just can’t be compared to. Here are 10 things to love about a Chicago Airbnb and what you can look forward to every time you visit Chi-Town.

Access to Public Transportation

Whether you’re enjoying a staycation or here for a business meeting–you’ve got places to go! A Chicago Airbnb is almost always close to a train line, cab, or city bike. Home to one of the worlds best public transportation systems, a Chicago Airbnb will have a guide to help you get anywhere.

There’s Always Good Food Nearby

Chicago is home to some absurdly delicious food. From India, Lebanon, Italy, and good ol’ America you’re palette will be able to travel the world within just a few blocks. You’re never too far from a Michelin rated restaurant or some exotic street food.


Even if you just want to stay in, your Chicago Airbnb will hook you up with every important phone number to the best take out grub in your area.

A Suburb or City–Your Choice!

Chicago Airbnbs are stretched all over the city. Don’t think that you have to stay in Lincoln Park to get all the action. If you want the extra space of a house or a safe neighborhood for your kids to play outside, Chicago suburbs are just as exciting as the city but usually has a bedtime.


Chicago Airbnb guests have been known to sleep in the suburbs and train into the city for the undeniable vibes. Either way, it’s impossible to escape good food, good people, and a good time when you’re in Chicago.

The Views

Chicago is filled with modern Airbnbs that offer unobstructed views of downtown, famous parks, or even great lake Michigan. From high-rises to art and natures beauty, almost every spot in the city will be Instagram worthy.

Chicago Airbnb Hosts Have Style

Like the locals, Chicago Airbnb hosts style their homes with flair and swag. There is always an intentional and sophisticated touch of personality and comfort when you stay in Chicago.


Arriving at an Airbnb that’s got that added touch of luxury makes traveling that much more relaxing and enjoyable. You’ll never have to worry about weird smells, stiff sheets, or outdated paintings to haunt your vacation.

Looking For a Unique Airbnb in Chicago?

So maybe modern art and throw pillows aren’t your thing.


Chicago is known to have some of the quirkiest and unique Airbnbs in the country. From treehouses, themed houses, and laps of luxury or a hipsters paradise find the most unique Airbnb’s in Chicago by applying the “unique stays” filter on your Airbnb search bar.

The next time you’re here, skip the hotels and claim your temporary home in the city at a Chicago Airbnb. Not sure where to start? Here are some of our favorite Airbnb’s in Chicago equipped with everything on this list. Enjoy your stay!