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A Guide for Airbnb Host San Francisco & Top 5 Profitable Airbnb Locations!

Last updated on June 27th, 2023

Investing in an Airbnb in California is an excellent idea as long as you target the right city. Particularly in San Francisco – where the concept of Airbnb started in 2007! With millions of tourist arrivals annually, this city is becoming more and more popular. Some of the iconic landmarks in San Francisco are The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Pier 39. 

If you’re looking for an Airbnb hosting guide & calculate your potential Airbnb income in San Francisco, you’re reading the right article!

We’ll feature some of the Airbnb regulations in San Francisco, a step-by-step guide to hosting, and what to expect when becoming a host. Bonus: We also added the top 5 most profitable neighborhoods in San Francisco – let’s dive in and learn more.

How to become an Airbnb host in San Francisco?

You need to apply for the following requirements in order to become an Airbnb host in San Francisco:

Once your registration is approved, you will need to add the registration details to your listing as part of San Francisco Airbnb regulations. Some of the Airbnb rules in San Francisco will also check your eligibility for hosting. This includes insurance for liability, housing and building codes, and rent control. 

What to Expect as an Airbnb host in San Francisco:

Airbnb hosting can have its own risks and rewards. Owning a property under a mortgage loan is an ideal option instead of renting a property. This is because rent costs in San Francisco can be more expensive! The city is known as the third most expensive city to rent in the USA. Besides, San Francisco is one of the best areas for Airbnb in California.

Here’s what you can expect from hosting an Airbnb in San Francisco:

  • Oversaturated market

There can be tight competition if you choose an area with plenty of existing Airbnbs. Depending on the property’s location, it’s ideal to look for one that’s not too saturated. It can be difficult to promote and pitch your Airbnb and have lesser bookings!

  • Hosting Diverse Guests

San Francisco is known for its cultural diversity. And being an Airbnb host will be a gift that you can take advantage of! You can expect to host various international & local guests in your property. In fact, according to Airbtics, the top-ranking guests in San Francisco are from Germany. Hosting diverse guests is an exciting journey as you learn a thing or two and build connections.

  • Airbnb Profitability: average daily rate, annual revenue, & seasonality

So how much can you earn from doing Airbnb in San Francisco? Airbtics’ data shows that you can earn an annual revenue of $57,059 for operating a 1-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. The following Airbnb data was also discovered:

    • Average Airbnb daily rate in San Francisco: $215
    • Average occupancy rate in San Francisco: 78%
    • Seasonality: 44% (peak season in August)

Best Areas for Airbnb San Francisco Neighborhoods

Targeting the right location for Airbnb will determine your long-term profitability. Discover Airbnb San Francisco neighborhoods and their potential revenue based on the prices for 1-bedroom properties:

1. The Castro District

Home to the LGBTQ community, Castro District is one of the most visited neighborhoods in San Francisco. Tourists can enjoy plenty of cultural surroundings, enjoy the historic movie palace of San Francisco, and explore exciting restaurants. Check out the Airbnb data in Castro District:

  • Average Property Price for sale: $1.78 million 
  • Average Property Price for rent: $2,900  
  • Average Annual Revenue: $57,376
  • Gross Rental Yield: 5.32%
  • Occupancy Rate: 72% 
  • Seasonality: 56%
2. Twin Peaks

If you’re looking to invest in a neighborhood with serene views of San Francisco, then Twin Peaks might be the best one for you! Travelers who want to have a view of Twin Peaks will be able to see the Bay Bridge, and downtown skyscrapers, and even enjoy a smooth hike. An Airbnb host can expect the following expenses and revenue in Twin Peaks:

  • Average Property Price for sale: $1,783,500
  • Average Property Price for rent: $3,391
  • Average Annual Revenue: $96,377
  • Gross Rental Yield: 5.40%
  • Occupancy Rate: 86% 
  • Seasonality: 33%
3. Mission

This neighborhood is popular for its Mexican community – which means excellent Mexican cuisine! The Mission District also offers fine dining restaurants and vintage boutiques. One can certainly enjoy walking by Dolores park and enjoying the murals at Clarion Alley. Here’s what you can expect by being an Airbnb host in Mission District:

  • Average Property Price for sale: $1,350,000
  • Average Property Price for rent: $2,800
  • Average Annual Revenue: $43,941
  • Gross Rental Yield: 3.25%
  • Occupancy Rate: 84% 
  • Seasonality: 39%
4. Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is a perfect neighborhood for travelers with families. Since there are plenty of family-friendly outdoor activities, it’s certainly a pick for hosts who want to enjoy cruises and biking! There are also several excellent waterfront restaurants and shopping centers that tourists can indulge in. Check out the Airbnb profitability in Fisherman’s Wharf:

  • Average Property Price: $1,034,000
  • Average Property Price for rent: $2,604
  • Average Annual Revenue: $43,941
  • Gross Rental Yield: 4.24%
  • Occupancy Rate: 84% 
  • Seasonality: 39%
5. Chinatown

Chinatown is one of the most visited neighborhoods in San Francisco. Known for its cultural diversity, tourists can enjoy several attractions in this area. From visiting Buddhist temples to exploring dim sum and boba restaurants, Chinatown is a definite must-see! Here’s what you can expect to be an Airbnb host in Chinatown:

Average Property Price: $905,000

Average Property Price for rent: $3,500

Average Annual Revenue: $29,612

Gross Rental Yield: 3.27%

Occupancy Rate: 37% 

Seasonality: 73%


Since you have a brief idea of the best areas to start an Airbnb in San Francisco, don’t stop your research here! There are several other neighborhoods that you can explore that can bring the most profit to the Airbnb business.

In summary, Airbnb investments can be risky if market research is not done as the first step. This is where a smart & reliable tool like Airbtics is truly needed! It’s bad enough to waste money and energy on a property that won’t meet your financial expectations. But what’s worse is not taking advantage of resources to avoid losses.

Using an Airbnb profit calculator, you can save time and resources – and strategize based on accurate numbers.


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