What is Airbnb? Airbnb is the way to find places to stay for either a one night, a weekend, a week or even a month.
These rooms are not in some Hotel or Guest House but are actual spare rooms in real people’s homes. They can also be on a boat, an igloo, lighthouse or even a castle!
It’s basically a way of making some rental income from your spare room or rooms.
How Does It Work?
People register and list what room or rooms they have available for specific dates then people searching for accommodation can search the listings via any computer, phone or tablet to see what is available.
The number of locations available around the world is enormous, and places can be empty or can still have the host there as well.
At the end of the stay both parties get to leave a review on the website of what they thought.
What Potential Problems Are There?
The Airbnb website has a very nicely made video with a young lady talking about the benefits of using Airbnb to list your accommodation that you have available.
As much as this seems like a really good idea, I do wonder what checks are done on the people that are renting, if any are done at all.
Several horror stories have appeared on the web outlining horrific details of what has happened to unsuspecting people who trust their house and belongings to complete strangers.
Storing your passport, credit card and jewelry in a locked cupboard may appear to be sufficient, but I would have at least thought a safe would have been a better bet.
One Question That Springs To Mind…
Would you trust a complete stranger to stay in your property?
Somehow I don’t think so, but some have and paid dearly for the consequences. Having holiday homes and letting these out to complete strangers is one thing, but definitely not your own home.
Unless Airbnb can guarantee that all clients who are going to stay in your property are properly vetted then I definitely wouldn’t agree to this.
Admittedly not everyone is a completely untrustworthy person but unfortunately they do exist and due diligence should be taken.
What seems to be a very good idea in some ways does for me raise several points:
~ Do take proper care of your belongings.
~ Store or remove expensive items.
~ Make sure you are properly insured or have the appropriate cover.
Overall I do like the concept, being able to stay in some unusual places and meeting different people, but there are clearly some potential issues that should be considered.
Back to the original question…
Is Airbnb a Scam?
I wouldn’t say that it is a scam, but I would advise that precautions are taken to ensure that no unnecessary damage apart from the occasional accidental was done to your home.
From an earning point of view, these points have to be considered if you regard it as an opportunity that will earn you an extra income.
As much as I would like to believe that everyone of your visitors are going to be well behaved and extremely nice, there are obviously going to be times when this isn’t the case!
Neil – WFHW