A popular website is a high-tech take on an old-fashioned idea: renting a room in your house to travelers and other strangers.
Thousands of people, including many in Middle Tennessee, are now using the internet to turn their extra space into a mini-hotel.
Airbnb.com is one of several websites that lets people pick from spaces ranging in size from spare rooms to entire homes and apartments.
In Nashville alone, there are nearly 200 properties from which to choose, including Rachel Hamilton's home in east Nashville.
"Since we both work in nonprofits and we want to live in this great area, it really makes living here affordable. It's a pretty lucrative business," Hamilton said.
Only 3 percent of the rate goes to the company, so Hamilton and her partner are using their profits to help pay down students loans.
"Being that we are kind of new transplants to Nashville, having people in and out of our house is just like having good friends, old friends, to visit on a few-times-a-month basis," Hamilton said.
Airbnb works by first allowing travelers to select a city on the site. Next, they can look over pictures of homes, profiles of the hosts and reviews from past guests. Then, they can message the host to see if the place is a good fit.
Airbnb also has a 24-hour hotline for hosts, and the site covers them with a guarantee for any damages.
Setting up a profile is free, and hosts can set their own prices.
To see the service for yourself, and for more information on how to register a room in your home, visit: http://www.airbnb.com/.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.