Airbnb is an online marketplace and hospitality service that connects people who want to rent their homes with people who are looking for accommodation. Therefore, Airbnb users are both hosts and travelers. Hosts list their unused spaces and travelers search for and book accommodations. It is as simple as that. Airbnb does not own any lodging – they are rather a middleman because they receive percentage service fees from travelers and hosts in conjunction with every booking. Airbnb offers its services in 191 countries with over 3,000,000 lodging listings in 65,000 cities. Airbnb has become an alternative to hotels because of its obvious advantage – the cost. But let’s take a thorough look at what this service has to offer and whether it is really better than hotels.
Cost Let’s start with the cost. Statistically speaking, Airbnb accommodations are, for the most part cheaper than hotels. A lot cheaper, like fifty percent cheaper. But that’s not always the case. If you are looking for expensive luxurious apartments you’ll find accommodation that’s costlier than any other hotel in the area. It all depends on what you are looking for which is also great. If you want a more premium experience you’ll find it but if you are looking to save a buck or two, Airbnb will do that for you. Airbnb has proven to be quite successful since some hotels list their rooms on Airbnb to attract more guests. Users can also write reviews so that potential tenants know what to expect. There are also tons of photos where you can see what the apartment looks like. Many hosts claim that they had no idea how easy it would be to list their property. There are almost no bad experiences with tenants and the whole process of listing is simple.
Property management companies
There are even people who can manage your property for you. For example, you are living in Sydney and have an apartment that you are not using at all. Can you make money off of it? Well, if you need help with Airbnb property management in Sydney, there is a good chance that you’ll be able to find managers who will do all of the work for you. You aren’t satisfied with visibility on the website? You have no time to list your property and go through and compare the prices in the area? Don’t worry, there are companies that will manage your property for you.
Look before you book!
On the other hand, there are some things that you should be aware of. As we’ve said Airbnb has photos of apartments that are available but people sometimes upload misleading pictures. Even though this really doesn’t happen often, some lodgings are more run down and dirty than they appear. However, you can always look for the reviews and some property management firms also offer thorough descriptions of their lodgings. You should be careful because you want to find the picture that paints the exact same story to reality. It happens rarely and most hosts really put in a lot of work to make their property as clean as possible. If you find yourself disappointed after the whole experience you can always check the Airbnb’s Guest Refund Policy.
Lost in translation
We’d also like to underline that even though most hosts on Airbnb are alright, some travelers stumbled upon few communication hick-ups. Take into consideration that most Airbnb hosts are not professionals (except real hotels of course). However, you can always tell what kind of person you are dealing with before actually booking. Some users met wonderful people and made friends but some described their hosts as a little hit and miss. But as we’ve said those experiences are quite rare.
All in all, this is an awesome thing for all those who are looking to save money and not splash out on unnecessarily expensive hotel rooms. Airbnb was used only by tourists in its early days but now even businessmen and professionals go to Airbnb to find accommodation. It is that good. Of course, there are certain risks but if you want a unique and memorable experience for a small amount of money this is the right solution for you.
Marie Nieves is a student and a blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. Marie loves to share her experiences and talk about practical solutions. She is an avid lover of photography interested in interior and exterior design and regular author on Smooth Decorator. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and G+.