When my dad took me to Rams football games at the Los Angeles Colosseum back in the day, he'd bypass the line of cars waiting to get into the expensive parking lot and slip into a nearby residential neighborhood. For $7 a homeowner was happy to let us park in a driveway. Sometimes they would sell a parking space on their lawn. On game days these homeowners could make $25-$30 easily, quite good in 1980s money.
Services have cropped up over the past few years to connect people who want something with people who have it to rent. Some let people rent something they never easily could before, like their own car, while others let people rent out the unexpected, like their backyard swimming pool.
What are the moneymakers around your property? Let's take a look at some apps and services of interest.
Rent Out Your Extra Parking Space
A two-car driveway in front of a one-car home. A condo that comes with two spaces but only needs one. A student apartment that comes with a spot, but the student doesn't own a car. A gravel side yard that can easily host an RV. Whatever extra parking space you have, the Spacer app can help you make money off it.
Listing your parking spot is free. Spacer makes money when it connects you with a renter. At this point the service touts over 76,000 users. "Our community is made up of thousands of local hosts who are helping their neighbors access the extra space that they need," reads the site's About Us statement. "You’ll find driveways, garages, and local parking operators on our platform, and you can pick which ever [sic] car spot meets your needs."
Founded in Australia (where, maybe, whichever is two words), Spacer now serves all major U.S. cities. Some people with an extra parking space to rent are earning as much as $400 a month, says the site.
Hand Over the Keys to Your Car for Quick Cash
As travel ramped up in the wake of the pandemic, the rental car apocalypse that struck Hawaii, Florida, and other popular vacation destinations drove some desperate holidaymakers to discover an alternative source of wheels: Turo. Declaring itself the world's largest car sharing service, Turo connects vehicle owners with those who need wheels for a day, a week, or longer.
The average annual income a Turo "host" earns from renting just one car is $10,516, according to the service. Every host plan comes with third-party liability insurance too, with better levels of coverage optional.
There's no sharing in the sharing economy.
They call it ride sharing, car sharing, and whatever sharing, but make no mistake: These are financial arrangements. It's yet another evolution of good ol' salesmanship to rebrand cold commercial transactions with a gentler, feel-good word like "sharing."
In Turo's precious jargon, a host shares his or her car with a guest. But don't worry; you don't have to make your guest breakfast, nor will they bring you flowers. They are customers, and they pay you to use your car.
Rent Your Unused Storage Space
Do you have unused space in a garage or a large shed on the side of your house? Someone could use it for their collectibles, tools, or heirlooms.
The Educated Landlord says, "People will pay for convenience, and if you have an empty garage they can rent that is just around the corner or even the next neighborhood over, it’s far more convenient than tracking down one of these storage places that may not be as handy."
A detached garage is ideal because it doesn't share a doorway with your home. The renter can come and go with their own key during the hours you agree upon. Likewise, a locked shed on the side of your home is most convenient to a renter and more secure for your household.
How much money can you make? The author at the Educated Landlord says, "I’ve rented single-car, dirt-floor garages for as little as $125 per month, and I have oversized two-car garages that are heated that I’ve been able to get $350 per month for."
When it comes to local laws, renting a garage could be considered renting warehouse space or it could be banned. If it's allowed in a town, it might be banned by a homeowners association. You'll need to do some research where you live. If your town has a landlord and tenant hotline, that's a good place to start. Seeing ads for private storage rentals where you live on Craigslist is a good sign that it's allowed.
From Rags to Rentals
Is your closet overflowing with designer fashions you hardly wear anymore? Did you once have a job that required swanky threads, and now you telework in sweatpants? Your expensive clothes can bring you rental income.
Such sites as Rent My Wardrobe connect women who want impressive, well-made clothes for a special occasion to those who have closets full of it.
Some women have an impressive wardrobe of their own but want something new for the short term, and they become both renter and rentee. "Users have a two-way advantage of saving money on designer clothes they rent and making money on dresses, bags, shoes, accessories, and more [that] they list," says the site.
"It has never been easier to connect suppliers with demanders on such a personal scale."
The Krazy Coupon Lady has used a similar clothing rental service, Rent the Runway, to rent a gown for a wedding. A trial membership is $69. RTR says their clothes come from "the largest designer rental closet," not other people's wardrobes.
Open Your Own Dayclub
Dayclubs, the sunny poolside version of nightclubs, are popular in Las Vegas and elsewhere. Nobody wants to wait till a decent hour to drink when a pool party offers an excuse to do otherwise.
But not everyone has access to a pool. If you do, you can make money renting it by the hour. A service called Swimply hooks up homeowners and would-be pool partiers.
"Homeowners set their own price, which averages about $45 an hour," said rich DeMuro, writing about Swimply for KTLA Los Angeles. "Pools are inspected for safety before they’re listed, and there are options for pool owners to purchase extras including cleanings and maintenance."
Thanks to our always-connected economy, something of value that you aren't using at the moment could bring you fast cash. It has never been easier to connect suppliers with demanders on such a personal scale. Someday you might even be able to open an app and "share" the half of your sandwich you are too full to finish.