Hosting with Airbnb, continued:
As a neighborhood co-host, you are the coordinator, talking with neighbors and finding out who has extra space to rent out, helping to list the space on Airbnb, booking reservations, and restocking supplies like toilet paper and fresh towels. Co-hosts are like Airbnb listing managers, who help get more guests in the door, much like a social media manager gets more likes or followers to a page.
You can also make money on Airbnb by hosting an experience. “Introduce guests to the activities and places you’re most passionate about. We’ll help you design your experience step by step, with plenty of resources along the way,” says the Airbnb site. If you want to host an experience, review Airbnb’s quality standards, which indicate requirements for experiences. Basically, the guest must be gaining access to something, participating in something, and offered an original perspective. After reviewing the quality standards, design your experience and submit it to Airbnb for approval. Once approved, you are ready to publish and host your experience.
Airbnb prices and payments
In addition to the cost of the room, Airbnb charges a guest service fee that typically runs between six and 12 percent. The higher your subtotal, the lower your service fee. Hosts also pay a service fee of around three percent, which Airbnb adds to each transaction.
The price of a room on Airbnb depends on a variety of factors, including location, the quality of the listing, and the amenities. You can find very inexpensive rooms on Airbnb, just as you can find very inexpensive hotels. In cities on the outskirts of major metropolitan areas, you can generally find the best deals. We found a room for $20 in Marietta, which is a city near Atlanta, Georgia.
In most major cities, Airbnb’s rates are more competitive than traditional hotels. In New York City, Airbnb’s average rates are around $119 less than average hotel rates, though in Berlin, Airbnb’s average rates are just $22 less than the average hotel rates. Forbes analyzed eight major cities in the world and Airbnb offers lower rates in each one with an average savings of $68.
Airbnb hosts and guests do not exchange money in person. Guests pay for everything on the Airbnb site when they make their reservation, even having the option to split costs between friends, and hosts receive pay from Airbnb. Airbnb uses PayPal, direct deposit, and other payment methods.
Safety and security
You may have heard reports of a guest destroying a host’s home or a host endangering a guest’s safety. Airbnb has taken some actions to help promote safety and security for hosts and guests, such as having users provide identification, improving profile and review systems, and implementing a host guarantee that reimburses eligible hosts for damages up to $1 million. Airbnb may also conduct public records checks, such as of sex offender registries, to see if a user has a past record.
Airbnb has also just partnered with August smart lock. Now, anytime a vacationer makes a reservation in an August Smart Lock and August Smart Keypad-equipped home, August will auto-generate a customized entry code for the booking time and date. No more need to wait around for guests to arrive, and with a new code populated every time hosts should feel a sense of security.
Airbnb isn’t all underwater aquarium rooms. It has invited its share of controversy. Cities from San Francisco to New York to Barcelona to Chicago to Berlin have clashed with the company, and Airbnb has been attempting to find ways to compromise with places that want to see more regulation. Critics have accused Airbnb of exacerbating the housing crisis in San Francisco, and a judge dismissed the company’s lawsuit against the city.
Individuals have also complained about the service, with some people of color saying they’ve had hosts discriminate against them while trying to find a rental. In response to a review, Airbnb changed some of its policies, such as blocking hosts from accepting guests for a certain date if they’ve already rejected someone else first.
In the latest controversy, Airbnb is being accused of deleting negative reviews after a guest claimed that the home she arrived in looked completely inferior to the photos of the five-star property she booked.
Should you use Airbnb?
One benefit of using Airbnb is the cost, as you can legitimately find a cheap place to stay on the site. Also, you find out a great deal of detailed information about where you’ll be staying beforehand, and you can talk to your host before your stay. The experience is much more relaxed and personal than a traditional hotel or motel.
For hosts, renting a room in your home without a permit is a legal grey area. In some localities, it is illegal. In Portland, Oregon, for instance, the city is raising the fines for renting on Airbnb without a permit from $1,000 to $5,000.
In addition to the legal implications, and the obvious safety concerns, it’s a good idea to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. This means reading the terms, conditions, fine print, and reviews from other users. It’s wise for hosts to review local laws and maintain the necessary insurance coverage before renting out space in their homes. If you decide to book a stay with Airbnb, it’s smart to let a close friend or relative know exactly where you’ll be staying, and follow all of the safety advice and instructions on the Airbnb site.