Airbnb are one of the leading members of the sharing economy. Having recently earned a company valuation of $30 billion which sees them overtake popular hotel chains Hilton and Marriott, there seems to be no stopping them.
There is some serious cash to be made here and we’re going to let you in on how to capitalise on the success of space sharing.
First Things First: What is Airbnb?
For those of you who don’t know, Airbnb is a property sharing format; people rent out rooms, or sometimes their entire homes, to strangers. I know what you’re thinking, it’s totally mad, even the founders knew it sounded crazy but…it works.
Starting in San Francisco, the company rapidly expanded and are now a worldwide brand that has proven to be both lucrative and even a way for people to meet new friends.
You Better Be Prepared To Work!
Running an Airbnb is no small task. As more and more people jump on board with the format (guests and hosts alike) expectations are raised.
Be aware of the work that goes in. It’s not simply a case of giving someone a key and letting them sleep in your spare room for some extra cash…I mean, it sort of is, but there’s more to it than that. You need to list your property, greet the guest, wash and change the linens, be available for contact 24/7. You go away and the boiler breaks, the oven won’t work or the power goes out. Who does the guest call? It’s not Airbnb, it’s you.
On the other side of this, you can have a great time with your guests, there have even been some reports of Airbnb romances.
Airbnb run a pretty tight ship and if your profile gets a string of poor reviews and your rating falls below 3.5 stars, your listing could be suspended. This is great news for guests, as it keeps hosts on their toes and helps to ensure both a pleasant and safe stay. However, maintaining great reviews when you have a full time job can be tough.
Put Your Feet Up.
There are other options out there and one of the fastest growing formats is the Airbnb property manager. Already booming in the city of London and spreading across the country, these companies have spotted a gap in the market.
The City is full of business travellers and second home owners. Imagine, you go away on a trip for a few days and while you’re away, your flat’s empty. Your property manager has already listed your home and booked in a guest. They meet them with the key and handle all communications throughout their stay. They arrange for cleaners to launder the linens, clean the property and by the time you get home your flat is as you left it and your bank balance is a bit higher. Sounds pretty good right?
The catch is that the property manager gets a cut of your rate, but without them your reviews may not be as high, you may not have as many bookings and you, therefore, may not generate a high level of profit anyway. It’s down to you to decide if the cost outweighs the benefit.
So, there you have it! The ins and outs of Airbnb. Hosting and Property Management, the pros and cons. What are you waiting for? Go and make some money! Be a host, let someone else host. Hey, why not even spend some money and be a guest? (#treatyourself) Either way, Airbnb is a trend worth getting into.