Jersey City resident Susan Alvarez was at risk of losing her house.

For a while, she ignored her friend's advice to list of a portion of her home on a site like Airbnb in order to bring in some extra money without too much added work.

But with her family's back against the financial wall, Alvarez signed up for Airbnb in 2016 and listed the ground floor of the home as a place to stay. That, she said, was the best decision she's ever made.

"It allowed us financially to be able to afford our mortgage," she said. "It started up right away, and it was just like nonstop."

In fact, when the "studio apartment's" current occupants ship out on Sunday, Alvarez has to quickly turn things around for new guests on Monday.

In New Jersey and nationwide, women make up the lion's share of Airbnb hosts, according to data released this week.

From 2017 to 2018, the number of female Airbnb hosts in New Jersey increased by nearly 16 percent. More than 53 percent of Airbnb's host community in the Garden State are female.

The typical woman sharing her home through Airbnb in New Jersey made nearly $8,800 per year, the home-sharing marketplace said.

"Women have always been the driving force behind our global community, including right here in New Jersey," said Josh Meltzer, head of northeast policy for Airbnb. "Through home sharing, women across the Garden State have not only been able to introduce their communities to travelers from around the world, but have also earned a total of nearly $65 million in extra income."

Overall, New Jersey Airbnb hosts brought in $133 million in 2018. Approximately 744,000 guest arrivals were recorded in the state; Hudson County was responsible for more than 40 percent of that count.
Alvarez said nearly all of the people who book her apartment are doing so for its proximity to New York City.
"I'm just a block and a half from a bus stop," she said. "Within 15-20 minutes, with no traffic, you're in the heart of Manhattan."

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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