Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Neighbor, but all of the opinions and viewpoints expressed in this post are 100% my own.
I was playing hide-n-seek with my son the other day. He's not quite two, but he's getting pretty good at finding hiding places. You can say that we are well past the hide-behind-your-hands phase.
Anyway... So, there I am, counting to 30 on the sofa. I hear a door slam, and I shout, "Ready or not, here I come!" There are very few places he can to get to in 30 seconds, and the hall closet is the closest door he could have slammed. I open it, and there he is, hiding next to the only thing in the closet, the vacuum.
He shrieks when I say, "Found you!" We both start laughing, and I can tell he's proud of his newly discovered hiding spot. But all I'm thinking about is, "Do we literally have an entire closet for a vacuum!?"
Later on I got to thinking about all of the empty space in our house. My wife and I have a 2,500 square foot house, but I know we're not using all of it. Besides the nearly empty hall closet, all of our attic space is unused, my office closet is completely empty, and most of the time we never park in our two-car garage.
The reality is that all of that empty space is money. I think about things in terms of optimization, and so it really gets me that I'm paying a mortgage, utilities, and general upkeep costs on empty space.
I know, I know... your home is an investment.
But what if you could start earning cash on your investment now, and do it pretty passively?
I did the math, and my unused space could potentially bring in $400-$600/month, and that's with very little effort on my end.
Curious? Let me explain...
Neighbor is a peer-to-peer storage alternative where you can rent out your unused space and generate passive income every month. The Neighbor platform connects property owners (real people like me and you, not corporate storage facilities) with people who need a temporary storage solution.
Think about all of the storage possibilities...
- A sweet classic car stored in your garage
- Collection of bicycles in your shed
- A few jet skis covered with a tarp sitting under your carport
- Your basement could house furniture and boxed-up belongings for a couple who recently sold their house to travel around the country in an RV for the next year
- A recent college student could use your attic to store their stuff while they look for their first apartment
- Or what about a massive Beanie Baby collection store in your hall closet?
Honestly, there are endless possibilities.
Before I get into the details, let me explain all of the different types of spaces you can rent on Neighbor and what you can expect to make with each:
Your empty (or mostly empty) garage can generate $75-$300 in passive income per month. Your garage is a massive asset, especially in areas where garages aren't too common. They can be used to store vehicles, furniture, boxes, boats, and so on.
You don't even need to completely empty your garage to list it on Neighbor. Plenty of people only list the square footage of the available space.
Your driveway can be used to bring in an extra $35 to $100 per month. It's safe to say your driveway would only be used for cars, trucks, boats, RVs, and those types of vehicles.
3. Parking lot
I don't personally know many people who have an actual parking lot to rent out, but you can bring in an extra $35-$200 per month if you have one. Like a garage, you don't have to list the entire parking lot. You can even section it off and create multiple listings on Neighbor.
This would be an excellent option if you own a brick-and-mortar business and wanted to offset some costs by renting out some parking space.
Living in Houston, TX, I haven't had any experience with basements. We have a really high water table, so it doesn't make any sense here. But I understand that basements have a ton of storage potential.
You can list your basement on Neighbor for anywhere from $25-$800/month. That's a wide range, but remember that you are in control of how much of your space is used. $25 could be for a corner in an unfinished basement, while $800 might be for 1,500 square feet of a finished basement.
This one is great for empty nesters who are deciding between downsizing and staying in their family home because a bedroom can bring in $15-$100/month. Bedrooms are nice storage options because it's indoors and climate controlled.
You can rent your shed on Neighbor for $40-$75/month. I can easily picture a shed being rented out by someone who's starting a lawn care side hustle but doesn't have the space to store a ride-on mower, weed whacker, leaf blower, edgers, and so on.
They're getting a secure place to store their business necessities, while you make extra cash. That's a double side hustle win-win.
If you happen to have a warehouse sitting around, you can easily make $100-$350/month or even more renting it out. Having climate controlled storage or a lift would make it the ideal spot for an old car collection or business inventory.
Remember how I said that the only thing in my hall closet is a vacuum? I could be renting that space out for $15-$90/month!
Because I don't know anything about basements in homes, attics are what I think of as the place to store off-season holiday decorations or boxes of old toys. But your attic has far more potential than just that when you rent it on Neighbor for $70-$200/month.
10. Street parking
When I realized you can rent out street parking on Neighbor, I immediately searched for how much street parking goes in New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. The costs ranged upwards of $100-$200/month. Even if you don't live in one of those cities, you can still list street parking for $25-$75/month
11. Unpaved lot
An unpaved lot is considered any space that is outdoors, uncovered, and unpaved. That means it could be a corner of your family's property, the double lot you own next to your house, or a spot in your backyard. You can make $50-$130/month with your unpaved lot, and because it's so exposed to the elements, it will likely be used to store vehicles or free standing storage containers.
Carports exist somewhere in between a garage and driveway in terms of storage, but that's what makes them worth anywhere from $30-$190/month in extra income.
Are those the only spaces I can rent out on Neighbor?
No! Those are the most common types of spaces listed on Neighbor, and here are other types of spaces you can list:
- Shipping container
- Self-storage unit
- RV pad
- Office space
Spaces aren't required to have electric or heating and cooling. It simply needs to be a space you own and that can be made accessible to renters.
Should you list your space on Neighbor?
I want you to do what I did and make a mental list of all of the space you could potentially rent on Neighbor. I came up with a two-car garage, attic space, and two closets, which has the potential to make me $600/month.
Now you do the same.
Do you have a basement? Empty corner in your backyard? An extra bedroom? Carport? What if you decluttered a little, what other space could you find?
Use the costs above and estimate how much extra income you could make listing that space on Neighbor, and think about what you could use that money for.
My estimate of $600 is a car payment, student loan payment, savings for family vacation, part of a mortgage payment, or a way out of credit card debt.
The coolest part about that income is that it takes very minimal work. You will have to create a free listing on Neighbor, communicate with renters, and make sure the space is available for them when they need it. Even if I estimated that it would take 1 hour a week to manage a Neighbor listing, that's still $150/hour.
Just so we're clear, here are a few important details:
- Neighbor charges a small processing fee of 4.9% + $0.30 per payout.
- You are paid monthly, any payments are processed through Stripe.
- Neighbor protects hosts with its $1,000,000 Host Guarantee to cover any host liability.
- The storage space owner is allowed to inspect anything the renter plans to store and can reject any offer.
- There’s a restricted list of items, including firearms, fireworks, dangerous chemicals, waste, animals, and more.
Neighbor won't be for everyone, and that's okay. I recommend reading our Neighbor review to answer any other questions or concerns that you might have.
But if you are interested in starting to earn passive income, this next section is just for you.
How to list your space on Neighbor
Here’s how you can list your space and make extra money with Neighbor:
- Step 1: Go to Neighbor and hit the “Become a Host” button on the top right.
- Step 2: Enter your sign-in information (name, email address, password, and phone number).
- Step 3: Answer a short series of questions about your space. You’ll be asked about size, address, how often renters will be able to access their storage space, and what kinds of features your space offers.
- Step 4: Neighbor will recommend a prize for the size, location, and type of space, and they’ll also recommend offering a discount for the first month. This is helpful for first-time renters who don’t have any reviews yet.
- Step 5: Verify your identity and enter payment information. Again, it’s free to list on Neighbor, but there is a 4.9% fee plus $0.30.
- Step 6: Prospective renters will respond to your listing, and you can approve or reject them at your discretion. You should ask questions about what they’ll be storing, and you can even meet up in person before agreeing. They’ll probably want to meet you just as much as you’re interested in meeting them.
All communications happen through the Neighbor app, so there’s no concern about strangers having your personal information.
The final word
I'm a huge fan of passive income, and it's not too often that you find a source of passive income that has such a low barrier to entry.
I mean, you can literally make an extra $90 a month with an empty closet. That's wild!
Now it's time to find that extra space in your house and start thinking about what you'd do with the extra money, and then sign up with Neighbor.