My family’s experience with Airbnb started on November, 27 2017. However, we used the platform as customers before we became hosts.
As we were looking for some inexpensive places to stay on our trip to Europe, one of my family members suggested that we should use the “Airbnb” app, which we had not heard of yet.
As soon as we got home, we easily registered as guests using my mother’s name. Satisfied with the price, we booked the dates we needed at places that caught our attention, and off we went.
The experience we had as guests was so good that we decided to become hosts. We thought it could be a useful source of extra income, so we remodeled some parts of the house like the garden and the living room, invested a little bit more in new towels and sheets, and then listed the two extra rooms on Airbnb.
“Airbnb hosts list their properties – which can be single rooms, suites, studios, apartments, moored yachts, houseboats, entire houses, haciendas or even a castle – on the Airbnb website.
It’s totally free to register and create a listing, and hosts decide how much to charge per night, per week or per month. Each listing allows hosts to promote properties through titles, descriptions, captioned photographs and a user profile where potential guests can get to know their hosts a little bit better.” (Jean Folder, in Investopedia.)
The ad was online, but we were a bit worried because we were not receiving any messages. However, one week later we started to get notifications from people interested in the rooms, and the incoming messages have not stopped ever since! Three or four days later, we realized that a whole month was already sold out!
People usually wanted the rooms for 3-5 days; and as they kept arriving to our home, a learning process started for us as Airbnb hosts. I would like to point out a few pros and cons (according to our personal experience):
- There is a relatively high influx of people
- It is a good opportunity to share meaningful moments packed with culture from different parts of the world
- You do not have to invest a lot if you already have a house
- You turn your house into an asset, a source of income
- This income helps you to maintain your house in good conditions
- Although you’re unlikely to experience any issues with property damage, Airbnb offers a Host Guarantee program, which provides protection for up to $1,000,000 pesos (or equivalent) in damages to covered property in the rare event of guest damage, in eligible countries.
- At some point and if not well organized, it can be quite stressful
- Cleaning can be a difficult task, depending on how you set your ad (e.g. if you allow immediate reservations)
One of the families we met through this app decided to stay from December 31st to January 3rd, which was OK for us since my family was not going to travel on New Year’s Eve. My family’s plan was to have a 5-people dinner and then go to sleep. But with our guest family in the house, it turned out a whole different story!
We talked, cooked, dined and danced into late at night. There was a point in which we were all singing karaoke together! Needless to say, both families ended up very fond of each other and up to date, we still keep in touch!
Of course, you don’t always get the chance to interact this way with every guest, but when it happens, you realize that all that hard work and effort was worth it.
Maybe you would like to try joining Airbnb either as a host or guest, either way it could be a lot of fun!
By Andrés Canul Mendoza.
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