Author Topic: AIRBNB Experience  (Read 10336 times)

DollarBill

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AIRBNB Experience
« on: June 02, 2014, 06:10:12 PM »
Haven't done this yet but would like to hear your experience...the good, the bad and the ugly. 

geekette

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2014, 06:19:34 PM »
I had a very good experience in Prague.  My niece has used them several times in Europe.  SIL in CA.  All with no problems.

I'm sure some have had bad experiences, but then again, I've stayed in crappy hotels, too.

Daleth

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2014, 07:04:32 PM »
Does anyone here have experience with Air BnB as the owner/renter-outer of the property?

viper155

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2014, 08:21:06 PM »
I'm heading to Dublin next monday on my first Airbnb trip. When I return I'll give you an update.

MgoSam

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2014, 08:40:00 PM »
I used it several times when I was in Denver 6 weeks ago. Had almost universal praise for it, especially since I do spend a lot of time in hotels, it was refreshing to spend some time on the road with other people and dogs. I especially loved staying at this one house that had two retrievers and after a long day I was able to play fetch with them while overlooking Fort Collins.

totoro

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2014, 09:11:42 PM »
Yes, I offer AirBnB for one property. 

I did a test run last year (advertised but did not rent out) to see whether it was worth it.  Turns out it was only really worth it for July and August in the area I live in.

It was also worth it for fill-in at my vacation rental for the first two weeks of July which are sometimes difficult to rent - unlike the rest of the summer.  Those weeks are now fully booked at a slightly lower rate. 

I have rented to one other couple this way before as a test at the vacation rental and it worked great.  They left the place really clean.  There is a lot of feedback encouraged by AirBnB and if you get good feedback you get more enquiries.

firedupdad

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2014, 09:39:32 PM »
We've used airbnb in many places in Europe, from Rome to Athens, to the south of france. Overall it has been a great experience and a much better value than hotels, especially when traveling with kids.

The reviews are probably the most important thing to us when making a selection.

Good luck.

former player

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2014, 02:40:29 AM »
I have friends who let two bed and breakfast rooms on Airbnb.  They are sociable, hospitable people who like cooking and live in a four bedroom house near public transport in a suburb of London, all of which means that it works very well for them.

Kaminoge

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2014, 02:52:08 AM »
I've used it both as a guest and as a host.

All my experiences have been ok. Me staying in peoples' places has always worked really well. When I was a host I had some guests I liked better than others (they were sharing my very small Tokyo apartment with me) but no real disasters. I also used it to sublet my place in Tokyo out over a summer and that worked out really really well for both parties. I got someone to cover part of my rent and they got a great bargain.

I made quite good money out of it when I was in Tokyo. Now I'm in Bulgaria I don't bother. The amount I could charge here wouldn't make it worth the hassle of having people in my home and the washing etc that I'd have to do. I'll definitely consider it in the future though depending on where I end up.

Mrs. Frugalwoods

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2014, 07:50:32 AM »
We've used it as a guest a number of times and been very pleased with the savings and the experience. We're interested in hosting for the additional income, but I can't seem to get past my discomfort at having strangers sleeping in my home (either with or without my husband and me there). People who've hosted, do you have any advice on how to get past this discomfort factor? Or maybe I'm just being overly cautious...

Icecreamarsenal

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2014, 08:09:18 AM »
I'm airbnbing my primary residence now as I'm away in Asia for 2 weeks, with friends and family handling the minimal hosting duties. I'm a little apprehensive being on the supply side, but $100/night helps with subsidizing the trip.  Reassessing the market, I probably could have asked for $150/night. Hindsight is 20/20.
I've been on the demand side 3x times and have had pleasant experiences so far.


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CheapskateWife

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2014, 08:13:29 AM »
I have been renting out my 2nd pad in the city I work in when I am not staying over night.  I haven't had a single guest be awful in my place, but I have written the furniture and contents off in my mind as of no value (I inherited 75% of it from the previous occupant anyway).

AirBNB seems to take advantage of the idea that generally, people are concerned about their reputations and will be on their best behavior in someone else's home.  That ability to review a guest really empowers the host to make sure that your negative experience is not shared....and if you are at all uncertain about a guest, you simply decline.  I had a 5 person band want to rent my place (1BR apartment) for SXSW for one night...that was a no brainer "No thank you."

Generally, it has been a positive experience for me and I have gotten to meet some interesting folks from all over the world!

I always wondered what happens if a guest over-stays their reservation and crosses over into squatter territory.  Anybody have that happen?

nawhite

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2014, 09:23:23 AM »
I just got back from a week long trip to Puerto Rico where we stayed in AirBnB places every night. Great experiences, much cheaper than a hotel and they usually have kitchen stuff available.

I had a pretty interesting experience at a Breckenridge AirBnB though. Stayed in the spare bedroom of a guy with a ski in ski out condo. He was a medical marijuana "care giver" (and an illegal grower) who gave my friends all the free weed they wanted and then proceeded to tell us all about how he got busted for having multiple grow houses all using the same paper work, ran away to the Caribbean then came back and was planning to claim jump (pan for gold illegally on land you don't own the rights to) to make money off the grid. He also had a plan to pay for flights for some of his girlfriends to Thailand where he would buy super cheap pearls, string hundreds of them onto jewelry and have his girlfriends wear the jewelry through customs so that they wouldn't get inspected/taxed at customs and then resell them for a huge profit in the US.

Basically probably the most interesting host I think I'll ever stay with. Also a little crazy but aren't we all a little crazy?

rujancified

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2014, 10:17:47 AM »
Used in Montreal in 2013. Great experience. Place was as-advertised and in a great, central location. I have a friend who uses it to rent her 2nd bedroom and has had great luck.

Kaminoge

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2014, 10:52:14 AM »
I always wondered what happens if a guest over-stays their reservation and crosses over into squatter territory.  Anybody have that happen?

I've never had anyone actually become a squatter but I did have a few people keep asking to stay longer and longer. And once they're there it's kind of hard to ask them to leave (well it was for me anyway). With one girl I did eventually have to say that she had to leave and it got a bit awkward.

Quote
People who've hosted, do you have any advice on how to get past this discomfort factor?

It's never really been an issue for me. I did a lot of hosting through couchsurfing before Air BnB and compared to that hosting when you're getting paid is a snap. I have had one or two guests that made me a little uncomfortable but there's no real evidence they ever had less than honorable intentions. And that was largely based on being a single woman sharing a fairly small space with a stranger. I guess if you want to do it you just suck up the initial discomfort, try once or twice and then if you decide it's not for you at least you've given it a go.

totoro

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2014, 10:57:33 AM »
The places that I rent are not my primary residence and are not shared.  I would not do a shared AirBnb - I'm too introverted. 

As far as having other people stay in your place, I've done a home exchange and it worked out fine.  This may be a personality preference that you could test out with one experience and see how it goes. 

Some people just are not suited to it due to feelings about personal space and home.  Having a lock-up closet that you put all your personal items in is pretty common and might help a bit. 

I have a lot of friends who absolutely do not want anyone else sleeping in their bed and vice versa (although hotels are okay which is kind of weird).

FIence!

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2014, 12:19:56 PM »
I always wondered what happens if a guest over-stays their reservation and crosses over into squatter territory.  Anybody have that happen?

I've never had anyone actually become a squatter but I did have a few people keep asking to stay longer and longer. And once they're there it's kind of hard to ask them to leave (well it was for me anyway). With one girl I did eventually have to say that she had to leave and it got a bit awkward.

Did the people who stayed longer pay for the additional nights and it just got inconvenient, or was it a "letting me stay here another night for free would really help me out of a jam" kind of thing?

BrakeForTurtles

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2014, 01:37:40 PM »
I've used Airbnb for a while now as a host, and I'm using it for the first time this weekend as a guest. I think it's a great system, and works really smoothly and efficiently from the host's perspective.

I really liked this article about Airbnb and other similar services. http://www.wired.com/2014/04/trust-in-the-share-economy/ I especially appreciate the point about how the fact that money is transferred separately to the actual service means that you feel more of a connection with people. It's a lot more like having a friend of a friend stay over, and there's no awkward money conversations.

As for people over-staying their allotted time, we did have that happen once. They wanted to extend a three-day trip by a week, which was a little inconvenient. It's also a little hard to turn someone down when they're already in your house (at least if you try to avoid confrontation with strangers, like me). But they paid for the extra nights, which ended up making it worthwhile. I think normally people are travelling for a set amount of time so it's not an issue. Plus there's always the "oh but I have more guests coming after you" excuse.

I definitely recommend Airbnb as a easy and entertaining way to make money on the side!

Koogie

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2014, 01:52:14 PM »
Used it in NYC once.. great place, good people and nice alternative to paying stupid NY hotel rates.

DollarBill

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2014, 03:55:03 PM »
I'm so going to start using this. I read a lot of the ad's and the people sound really interesting. I saw one where the girl had two dogs and wanted you to feed them if she was gone. That's pretty trusting of her but I would be willing and enjoy having the dogs company. Plus you can get the inside scoop on the area. I don't think I would ever use couchsurfing...I read some of the horror stories.

surfhb

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2014, 05:21:55 PM »
I'll never use a hotel again!    The big plus is talking with and hanging with locals who live there

avongil

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2014, 06:18:21 PM »
Used it twice. It was awesome both times. Once in NYC and once in Baltimore.  There is no better way to travel in my opinion. You really feel like you are living in the city you are visiting.

expatartist

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2014, 06:31:30 PM »
Been using Air BnB as an owner of a small holiday flat for nearly two years, and have been very pleased. I haven't even looked at another service for renting out the place, but may try out Homeaway or similar next year.

Here's a nice breakdown of a landlord in Atlanta, Air BnB vs. a standard tenant. She's been generally happy so far: http://affordanything.com/2014/05/27/the-airbnb-experiment-how-much-did-i-make/

Trirod

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2014, 07:23:15 PM »
I used it several times when I was in Denver 6 weeks ago. Had almost universal praise for it, especially since I do spend a lot of time in hotels, it was refreshing to spend some time on the road with other people and dogs. I especially loved staying at this one house that had two retrievers and after a long day I was able to play fetch with them while overlooking Fort Collins.

Ooh! Ooh!  I think that's the exact house we're staying in when we hit Fort Collins in a couple of weeks as part of a one week Rocky Mountain vacation!

My only other Airbnb experience was an apartment in Valparaiso, Chile, which was fantastic.

Trirod

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2014, 07:27:00 PM »
My sister-in-law had an airbnb room booked recently in Glasgow (Scotland) but when she got there the owner called her to let her know he was stuck at work and wouldn't be home until after midnight to let her in her room. This was around 6 in the evening, which meant she ended up scrambling to find another place.  So i guess things like that can happen when it's a side job.

Kaminoge

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2014, 01:40:53 AM »
Did the people who stayed longer pay for the additional nights and it just got inconvenient, or was it a "letting me stay here another night for free would really help me out of a jam" kind of thing?

They paid (I should have been clearer about that) but when an original 3 night stay (or maybe 5, I can't really remember) had turned into over 2 weeks it got old. It didn't help that this girl was incredibly messy (in the dropping food on the floor and not wiping it up type of way). Really it's my fault for not just saying "no" when she wanted to extend but there is this discomfort level of upsetting someone who has the keys to your house. Probably paranoid of me but I always felt a bit that way.

cambridgecyclist

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2014, 12:30:12 PM »
My SO and I had a mixed experience using AirBNB. We rented an entire apartment; the location was great and we felt like we were part of the pulse of the area we were staying in. Having a private apartment for less than the cost of a hotel room was excellent.

However, one of the main reasons we went with AirBNB was so that we could prepare our own meals while traveling... and the kitchen sink drain was clogged. I made a reasonable attempt to clear it but the trap needed disassembly and the host wasn't a handy type of person who had a toolbox in an obvious place.

Our upstairs neighbors rent out their rooms on AirBNB occasionally. I don't mind that they do this, but it would be helpful if they let us know when they were sharing keys to their apartment with a new face, since we have unsecured storage in a shared area in the building.

One concern I would have with being an AirBNB host is liability. Most renter's or homeowner's policies don't cover liability when renting a home as a commercial activity. It's a calculated risk, and realistically in most cases there wouldn't be any issues, but it's something to consider.

totoro

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2014, 01:12:54 PM »
My SO and I had a mixed experience using AirBNB. We rented an entire apartment; the location was great and we felt like we were part of the pulse of the area we were staying in. Having a private apartment for less than the cost of a hotel room was excellent.

However, one of the main reasons we went with AirBNB was so that we could prepare our own meals while traveling... and the kitchen sink drain was clogged. I made a reasonable attempt to clear it but the trap needed disassembly and the host wasn't a handy type of person who had a toolbox in an obvious place.

Our upstairs neighbors rent out their rooms on AirBNB occasionally. I don't mind that they do this, but it would be helpful if they let us know when they were sharing keys to their apartment with a new face, since we have unsecured storage in a shared area in the building.

One concern I would have with being an AirBNB host is liability. Most renter's or homeowner's policies don't cover liability when renting a home as a commercial activity. It's a calculated risk, and realistically in most cases there wouldn't be any issues, but it's something to consider.

You can get short-term rental insurance in Canada provided it is no more than a certain number of days per year.  Plus AirBnb provides $900 000 in insurance coverage for this purpose: https://www.airbnb.ca/guarantee

MgoSam

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2014, 01:22:15 PM »
I used it several times when I was in Denver 6 weeks ago. Had almost universal praise for it, especially since I do spend a lot of time in hotels, it was refreshing to spend some time on the road with other people and dogs. I especially loved staying at this one house that had two retrievers and after a long day I was able to play fetch with them while overlooking Fort Collins.

Ooh! Ooh!  I think that's the exact house we're staying in when we hit Fort Collins in a couple of weeks as part of a one week Rocky Mountain vacation!


Does the host lady's (don't remember her husband's name) first name start with an A? Does the place's description mentioned a home theater? It would be cool if it is the same place!

theglobetrotter

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2014, 03:34:38 PM »
Used it in England and France and no problem! Just make sure you rent from one with great reviews and should be ok.

nawhite

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Re: AIRBNB Experience
« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2014, 04:07:34 PM »
You can get short-term rental insurance in Canada provided it is no more than a certain number of days per year.  Plus AirBnb provides $900 000 in insurance coverage for this purpose: https://www.airbnb.ca/guarantee

Be very careful with that guarantee. It doesn't cover what you think it does. The insurance AirBnB provides covers damage to your stuff from renters. It does not cover you if your renter trips and falls down your stairs and sues you. Or if your renter steals your neighbor's stuff and they sue you. Or if your renter catches your house on fire and an ember catches your neighbors house on fire, your house might get paid for from the $1 Mil but your neighbor's house wont.

You should still have your own personal liability insurance. Your homeowners policy will not provide it out of the box.