According to Neighbor.com, you can make money turning your extra space into into storage.
But is it a legit side hustle? How does Neighbor work — and how much work does it take?
In this review, we’ll explore the pros and cons of Neighbor.com, so you can decide if it makes sense to monetize your unused space.
Ease of Use
Neighbor.com is a legit way to turn your extra space into passive income. But how much you can realistically earn depends on demand.
What Is Neighbor.com?
Neighbor.com is essentially “Airbnb for storage.” It’s an online marketplace that connects people with extra stuff to people who have extra space.
For renters, Neighbor is an alternative to traditional storage units. With month-to-month agreements and your pick of nearby locations, Neighbor aims to be more flexible, affordable, and convenient.
If you have extra space, that’s where the side hustle opportunity comes in.
As a Neighbor “host”, you can list your space — garage, attic, closet, shed, etc. — name your price, and earn relatively passive income storing other people’s stuff.
And unlike Airbnb, you don’t have to worry about houseguests!
Is Neighbor.com Legitimate?
Yes, Neighbor.com is a legitimate self-storage marketplace.
The Lehi, Utah-based company has been around since 2017 and has raised over $65 million in venture capital to fund expansion. Among its investors are Andreessen Horowitz and Tony Xu (co-founder of DoorDash).
Neighbor and Storage Industry Statistics
- 1 in 10 Americans has a traditional self-storage unit
- The average monthly rent for a storage unit is $150
- Self-storage is a $50 billion a year industry
- There are more than 2 billion square feet of traditional storage facilities
- Self-storage has been one of the fastest-growing categories of commercial real estate for the last 40 years
- “Traditional” storage facilities are operating at 95% of their capacity
- 1,290 new self-storage facilities were built in 2021.
All of these are good signs for Neighbor.com and for you, if you have extra space.
What Types of Storage Space Can You Get Paid to Rent Out?
The most common types of storage spaces people are listing on Neighbor include:
- Side yards (good for RV parking)
- Spare bedrooms
- and more
You can even find warehouses, self-storage units, shipping containers, and street parking. Just make sure to check with your city or home-owners’ association before making any commitments on that last one!
What Are People Storing?
What do people store on the Neighbor platform?
Some of the most common items are:
- Cars and motorcycles
- Business inventory
- Household items
- Sporting goods (golf clubs, skis, kayaks, etc.)
As a host, you have the right to approve and inspect everything being stored on your property before you accept it.
And for what it’s worth, certain items are straight-up prohibited on the platform, including:
- Fireworks and explosives
- Firearms and ammunition
- Perishables (like food)
- Dangerous chemicals, toxins, and pesticides
How Neighbor.com Works for Renters
Setting yourself up on Neighbor.com is straightforward for both hosts and renters.
For renters, search your local Neighbor listings to find a viable space nearby. For example, I found dozens of listings near me with a range of sizes and prices.
One thing you’ll notice is that many of the listings are half-off for the first month. This is a way for the hosts to make their listing stand out and attract new tenants.
After you select a listing, you’ll get a more detailed view of the space and a breakdown of the pricing.
Once you hit “Reserve space”, you’ll be prompted to create an account and start a storage request with the host.
How Neighbor.com Works for Hosts
To begin making money as a Neighbor host, you’ll follow a free 3-step process:
- List your space(s) – Clean, photograph, and price your storage space.
- Respond to renters – Review incoming requests (you always have the right to decline if not a good fit)
- Schedule a move-in
Once you receive a booking request, you can message back and forth with your renter to learn more about their items and arrange a drop-off time.
If you don’t approve the reservation within 24 hours, it will be automatically declined.
You’ll get paid every month until the rental is canceled. (Payments are direct deposited to your account through Stripe.)
Fun fact: Even if your renter stops paying, Neighbor still pays you!
How to Create Your Neighbor Listing
The first step is to list your space.
This process is pretty easy, as long as the space is already clear and clean. You’ll need to take accurate measurements and some pictures with your phone.
First, the Neighbor website or app will ask you for some basic property information.
For example, you’ll be able to check if your space:
- is climate controlled
- is smoke free
- has smoke detectors
- has a private entrance
- only accepts items from one renter
- is locked
- is pet free
- has a security camera
- requires stairs
In my case, I was listing some attic storage, so I just selected smoke free and that it was a private space with just one renter.
(Even though our dog would never go in the attic, I didn’t want to over-promise, so didn’t select “pet free.”)
Next, you’ll enter your address.
Important Note: This is not publicly visible and is only shared with renters after you approve their reservation.
After that, you’ll enter a description for your space. Neighbor recommends being as detailed as you can about what will fit and what access to the space is like.
Show some personality and sell it!
From there, you’ll answer a few more questions and enter the measurements for your space.
I added a couple of pictures (lighting was a little rough in the attic), a profile picture for myself, and a short bio.
Pricing Your Neighbor Storage Space
Before your listing goes live, you need to decide how much to charge. Neighbor will present you with two options:
- Smart Pricing
- Fixed Pricing
If you have a specific rate in mind, you can set your own price with fixed pricing. The challenge is if you price too high, you’ll never get booked, and if you price too low, you’ll be leaving money on the table.
Since I’d never run a storage operation before, I opted for Smart Pricing. This is Neighbor’s algorithm-driven pricing model to maximize host earnings.
For my unfinished, non-climate controlled attic space, Neighbor suggested a starting monthly price of $55.
If I had 100% occupancy that would mean $600+ a year for storing somebody’s boxes — I’m cool with that!
Next, Neighbor will ask if you want to offer a 50% discount on your first month to attract renters. I chose yes.
Within 24 hours, my space was approved on the site. According to Neighbor, most hosts receive their first storage request within 30 days.
How to Make More Money with Neighbor.com
I wanted to share a few best practices to maximize your earnings with Neighbor.
Add At Least 4 Pictures
Since renters can’t see the space in person, the more pictures you can add, the better. Neighbor recommends adding at least 4 pictures from different angles to showcase your space.
List Multiple Spaces
If you have a garage, RV/boat parking, attic, shed, and a spare bedroom, create separate Neighbor listings for each of them.
Having more options on the site increases your odds of getting booked.
Neighbor’s internal ranking algorithm favors hosts who respond quickly to messages.
Be Personable and Professional
In your listing description and bio, you can share more about your space, your living situation, and your goals.
Are you saving for a trip? Putting your kid through college? Include that in your bio because it personalizes your listing compared to a generic traditional storage facility.
Ask Friends for “Vouches”
A new Neighbor listing is a lot like a product on Amazon without any reviews. People are hesitant to buy because they don’t know if it’s any good!
The workaround Neighbor has in place is to ask friends to “vouch” for you that you’re a good neighbor and host.
Download the Neighbor App
The free Neighbor app (iOS | Android) is the easiest way to communicate with renters and manage your listings. At press time, the app had a 4.5-star rating in both app stores from over 1000 reviews in each.
Refer Your Friends
Finally, Neighbor will pay you $50 if you refer a friend who also lists their space. The company is aggressively trying to increase its inventory of available storage, and incentivizing hosts to spread the word is one way they’re doing it.
Safety and Security on Neighbor.com
Like Airbnb, Neighbor requires a level of mutual trust on both parties. Thankfully, Neighbor.com has several safety and security features to protect both renters and hosts.
First, both renters and hosts need to complete a basic identity verification before they’re allowed to interact on the platform.
When a reservation request comes through, hosts can view the prospective renter’s profile and make a decision based on the list of items they’re requesting storage for.
Hosts and renters can exchange messages to get to know each other and work out if they’d be a good fit.
Every Neighbor reservation includes $1 million worth of personal liability protection for the host. It’s important to note this is secondary coverage that would kick in after your homeowner’s insurance.
Property Protection Plan
During the reservation process, renters have the option to purchase a Property Protection Plan. The rates depend on what you’re storing, but covers “reasonable repair or replacement costs” if your items are damaged or stolen while in storage.
(Prior to December 2021, Neighbor included a $25,000 “Renter Guarantee” with every reservation. This has since been replaced with the optional Property Protection Plan.)
How Much Can You Make With Neighbor.com?
Depending on your location and space available, Neighbor could be worth anywhere from $0 to $1000s of dollars a year. The best way to find out is to create your listing and see what storage requests you get.
Top hosts earn up to $10,000 a year with Neighbor, but the results vary widely based on a number of factors.
- How much space you have to rent — the bigger the area, the greater potential income.
- Where you’re located — hosts charge more in higher cost of living areas.
- Premium features — security systems and cameras, climate control, and private access may also command premium rates.
Browsing the local listings, you can get a sense for what people are charging. The most expensive listings near me are for parking spaces in Seattle, which run $200-300 a month on Neighbor.
In a dense urban area, it makes total sense — parking is hard to come by. But if you’re renting out a small closet in the suburbs, your earning power will be a lot lower.
To give you an idea of how much you can make, here are some sample rates for various spaces:
- Garages – $150-$500 per month
- Driveways – $150-300 per month
- Closets – $20-50 per month
- Sheds – $75-200 per month
- Spare bedrooms – $250-$500 per month
Neighbor.com Scam? Concerns to be Aware Of
Several Neighbor app reviewers accuse the company of being a scam. It’s not, but it’s still best to exercise caution when dealing with strangers.
The complaints are almost universally on the renter side of the equation, describing bad behavior by the hosts.
In one review, the renter had paid for indoor storage for their vehicle, only to find it left outside covered with debris. Others accuse hosts of renting out spaces they don’t own, and the vehicles getting towed.
So yes, unfortunately scammy, awful humans have taken advantage of other people on the Neighbor platform. As a renter, do your due diligence to protect yourself.
And as a host, just be an honest and decent person! It’s not too much to ask!
Thankfully, the company is quite responsive on social media customer support and genuinely cares about taking care of their customers. They recognize that mutual trust is essential for their business to succeed.
Neighbor.com Fees: How Does Neighbor Make Money?
Like other peer-to-peer marketplaces, Neighbor makes money from service fees tacked on the listing price.
From hosts, Neighbor charges a 4.9% processing fee and $0.30 for every reservation.
For renters, Neighbor charges an 8-20% service fee on top of the advertised rental price.
Neighbor could be a great way to offset your rent or mortgage with relatively little effort. But it’s not the only way to make extra money.
Here are some alternatives you might consider.
One thing I noticed on Neighbor was people renting their spare bedrooms as storage space. If you’re willing to host a roommate instead of just someone’s stuff, you could earn 3-4x more for the same space.
But then you’d have a roommate, so … tradeoffs.
Rental Property Investing
Some of the most successful Neighbor hosts are landlords who use the service to increase the cash flow of their properties. Could you add a cash-flowing rental or two to your portfolio?
Sites like Roofstock make it easy to shop for “turnkey” rentals, often with tenants and property management already in place.
Other Unconventional Rentals
You can rent out tons of stuff you don’t need all the time, like cars, RVs, bikes, and more. In fact, one Side Hustle Show guest earns thousands of dollars a month from his “fleet” of portable hot tubs!
25 Other Unconventional Rental Ideas
What else could you rent out for a profit? Here are some ideas!
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Before Neighbor, it was a lot more difficult to turn your extra space into extra income. Now, you can put that space up for rent on a fast-growing marketplace and potentially unlock some new cash flow.
If you have an unused space in your home, it’s definitely worth a shot.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Cancellations Work on Neighbor?
Hosts must give renters at least 30 days notice before the renter’s belongings can be removed.
If the belongings need to be returned before then, you’ll be charged an inconvenience fee, and the renter will receive a full refund for the month.
How Is Money Kept Safe While Using Neighbor.com?
Neighbor.com uses Stripe to automatically and securely direct deposit monthly rent payments into the host’s account.