What Airbnb means by letting complete strangers into your home might not sound like a good idea. Neither is staying in someone else’s home while they’re away on business. For many, the concept seems bizarre or even ludicrous. Yet for millions of users of accommodation platform Airbnb, the concept isn’t just great, it’s brilliant.
A Glance at the Past
Established in 2008 by founders Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb experienced a difficult rise to success. Initially, Gebbia and Chesky utilised their own house as a bed and breakfast to help pay rent and make ends meet. Despite showing signs of great potential, the start-up struggled to generate initial investment. Investors simply didn’t take the idea seriously. After undergoing three separate launches, each with little success, venture capitalist Paul Graham invited the founders to join a start-up initiative called Y Combinator. This provided Airbnb with essential cash and training in exchange for a percentage stake in the company. Since 2009, Airbnb has continued to grow rapidly. As of May 2018, the company was worth approximately $55 billion and lists a staggering 800,000 properties across 90 different countries.
So, where did the Name Originate from?
The concept of Airbnb derived from taking risks and embracing change. In October 2007, founders Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky packed their bags and started a new life in San Francisco. They soon realised that all nearby hotels were at capacity due to a major Industrial Design Conference. In 2008, Gebbia and Chesky created the original site under the domain airbedandbreakfast.com. which focused on providing alternative lodging during big events where the demand for accommodation was greater than supply. Transforming their own house into a bed and breakfast, Gebbia and Chesky established the basis of the modern ‘sharing economy.’ In 2009, the company was renamed Airbnb, named after the air mattresses Gebbia and Chesky used whilst renting out their San Francisco home.
Here’s what you need to know about Airbnb:
What is Airbnb and What Does it Mean?
Airbnb is an online marketplace enabling users to rent out their properties or spare rooms to guests in exchange for monetary return. Guests receive good value accommodation at a huge range of price points, from a few dollars a night to hundreds and often in prime locations around Sydney where the cost of hotel accommodation is significantly more expensive. Whether you’re a backpacker on a budget looking for a place to crash for the week, or the CEO of a multimillion-dollar teeth whitening company, Airbnb has accommodation to meet the needs of every budget, big and small.
How Does Airbnb Work?
Using Airbnb is simple. Once you create a free account, users can either list or search for property using the extensive criteria provided. From a shared room to an entire house or apartment, to having an outdoor space and swimming pool to soak up the Sydney sun, users can browse through photos of each property with full map listings and adjust the search criteria to meet their specific needs.
Benefits of Using Airbnb
Being a host on Airbnb has a number of benefits, both monetary and non-monetary.
The platform enables hosts to generate an additional stream of income. However, it may take a while to be recognised. It is important for hosts to create an exceptional experience for their guests to secure positive reviews and additional bookings.
Finding the right balance between work and life commitments is something people continue to struggle with. Whether it’s travelling the world, supporting their favourite football team or starting the vegetable garden they have always dreamed of, pursuing one’s interests and hobbies is an important element in finding happiness and maximising overall utility. With Airbnb, hosts have the ability to choose which days and how long to lease their property, who stays at their property and the price for each stay. The additional income enables hosts to take that extra trip, work fewer hours and pursue their own interests and hobbies.
Meet New People
As an Airbnb host, you will meet a wide variety of interesting people from all avenues of life. These people may become regular guests or even lifelong friends. To receive positive feedback and ensure your property is selected more frequently, it is important to be a good host. By chatting with your guests and ensuring their needs are met, you will also hear stories and develop connections with other people from around the world.
Develop New Skills
Being an Airbnb host provides you with a taste of owning your own business. You will develop skills in marketing, customer service, communication and finance. Hosts are responsible for managing customer reviews, answering questions, processing bookings and dealing with complaints.
Short Term Rental Benefits
The short term rental market has ballooned in recent years, and for good reason. The benefits of renting out property on a short-term basis include:
Ability to increase prices during peak periods to maximise income
The demand for short-term rentals soar during holiday periods including Christmas, Easter and New Year. Adjusting the rental price based on the demand and supply of accommodation in Sydney will enable hosts to make the most of the holiday seasons.
Flexibility of tenant selection
A group of university students, a family with small children or a couple with large dogs. Each prospective tenant comes with their own risks. The university students could potentially throw wild house parties causing damage to the expensive Italian leather sofa. The children might explore their imagination by drawing on the freshly painted walls and the large dogs.. well that’s self-explanatory! The short term rental market attracts a larger audience and gives the host the ability to screen guests, giving them peace of mind.
Ability to move back in anytime
You’ve rented out your apartment for a year but for unforeseen circumstances, have decided to move back home. Where should you stay? Short-term property rental gives you the freedom and flexibility to move back in whenever you like! Additionally, you have full control over when you’d like to lease it out or reserve the apartment for yourself. The choice is in your hands.
A Recent Success Story
Savvy Airbnb hosts are generating thousands of dollars every year from their homes, apartments or spare rooms located in Sydney. Australia’s most profitable Airbnb listing was a five-bedroom house located in Palm Beach. Estimated to earn owner Lynne Champion $249,508 annually, Ms Champion has exceeded all expectations by meeting the needs of her guests and providing the best possible accommodation experience. The property continues to receive dazzling reviews and is constantly in demand. Airbnb provides hosts like Ms Champion, the ability to run their own business without the hassle and paperwork of a traditional hotel.
Is Airbnb Right for You?
For tenants, what Airbnb means is an easy, fun and affordable accommodation alternative. Just like hotels, most homes offer WIFI, local guides and maps, hairdryers and TVs to get you through your stay. For hosts, the benefits largely outweigh the risks. Ensure you’re familiar with the legal and safety regulations and maintain the necessary insurance cover before renting out your property. And last but not least, enjoy the many benefits associated with becoming an Airbnb host. Travel the world, eat good food and spend time with family and friends. You’d be crazy not to right?
To find out more about what Airbnb means or whether it’s the right option for you, contact us at HomeHost and one of our friendly team members will be happy to help!