Airbnb has been facing some tough criticism lately, but they must be doing something right. Recent news is that new investment has raised the company value to $30 billion. Airbnb remains at the forefront of short term property rental - but why are people so enamoured with this format?
1 - Local colour
When people travel, it’s easy to get sucked into staying in the touristy areas. After all, most hotels and hostels are within touristic areas. With Airbnb, you view a city through the eyes of a local, dine in restaurants off the beaten track and immerse yourself in a city, don’t just visit. Excellent hosts will even leave their own personal top tips for how to best enjoy a city. Airbnb’s slogan is, after all, “Belong Anywhere” - their ethos focuses on having a true experience of a city so guest and hosts alike should embrace this.
2 - Amazing properties
Fancy staying in a penthouse apartment with views of central London the next time you visit the city? How about a castle in the country? Well, Airbnb not only makes this possible, it makes it affordable. Make your accommodation part of your travel experience by staying somewhere out of the ordinary, somewhere you would never have imagined you could stay before. This changes the hotel game completely, it’s no longer just about finding a base to dump your suitcase, it’s about finding a temporary home, somewhere you can feel settled.
3 - Social Network
Airbnb started as a model on couch-surfing and air mattresses on stranger’s floors. At the heart of the format is the idea of the “sharing economy”. The benefit of both renting and hosting is that it provides the opportunity to meet people not only from around the world but from your own city. There are plenty of Airbnb love stories circulating online - proving that relationships are built through the economy of sharing.
In a world where we are so focused on our phones and computers, where reading about Brangelina’s breakup or Mary Berry leaving The Great British Bake Off to take priority over real conversations, Airbnb brings us back into reality.
4 - Money, Money, Money
Although the social benefits are clear, the main reason for hosting and renting is economical. As the format grows, some hosts can earn around $100,000 per year and staying in an Airbnb property is far cheaper than staying in a hotel.
Of course, those who reach that status have the time to put the necessary amount of effort in but if you too have the time, the potential is there. By putting the effort in, these hosts get a better reputation and more earning potential. In turn, guests end up having a better stay, leaving positive reviews which increase your rating as a host, gaining more guests and…you get the picture.
5 - Airbnb and the business vacation
Some of the main clients of Airbnb are business people seeking an alternative to a hotel. Hotels are expensive, their free wifi is crappy and they never feel like home. Staying in an Airbnb means you get the home away from home experience - better wifi makes the business element of the trip a lot more manageable and lower prices mean less of a dent in the company credit card.
Much like tourists use the service to escape from other tourists, business travellers can distance themselves from work by staying in their own home-like space, rather than returning to the hotel with the same faces they’ve been staring at in meetings all day.
6 - Personalised service
Better than a hotel, you get focused and personal assistance from the host. The best hosts are known for giving guests tips on the best places to go to eat and what to do in the local area that maybe a hotel wouldn’t. Some hosts even give their own guided tours of their home city! This goes back to the idea of sharing, not just sharing a house but sharing a home and a lifestyle. There’s even a new format that Airbnb has adapted within the home sharing platform, that focuses on sharing experiences. City Hosts is being rolled out in its beta form in major cities like London and New York and should hopefully be launching fully later on in 2016. This encourages people to sign up as a “city host”, where they can show Airbnb guests around local haunts or even take them to a cooking or dance class.
We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with all of the exciting new developments coming from Airbnb. If you too want to get into bed with Airbnb but don’t have the time to be a host, check out our management service and get a Free Assessment. Pass the keys, we’ll do the rest!