So what exactly is Airbnb and how does it work?
If you are a property owner and looking to rent, Airbnb is simply an online platform that enables you to rent out your empty property for short or medium term lets. It does this by creating an online profile for your property which can then be viewed and booked from anywhere in the world. It might sound like many other online property booking services but in fact Airbnb has a lot more to offer. To sign up all you need to do is create a profile for yourself and your property, fill in your availabilities, prepare the house for rentals by giving it a good clean, lock away any valuables and clutter and you're ready to go.
If you are someone looking for accommodation, Airbnb is an online platform that offers a huge variety of properties and holiday lettings set in some of the most incredible spots around the world. It enables you to find and book accommodation anywhere and is very attractive to holiday goers because it offers an alternative to expensive hotels and expensive short term lets. For the same price as a hotel room in London you can get your own house with Airbnb! To sign up all you have to do is create your own profile and setup your account and you're ready to search and book.
Airbnb has also given rise to a new breed of property management agencies which ultimately benefit both hosts and guests. At Bedspoke.com we manage properties throughout the whole rental process offering a 24/7 service to guests in case they have any issues with the apartments and offering hosts the possibility to take on a large number of short term lettings which would otherwise be impossible.
So what are the major benefits of Airbnb when compared with other booking services?
One of the greatest benefits is actually the amount Airbnb invests in marketing, this guarantees a much greater exposure for property owners and a much greater pool of potential guests. For guests this means a greater choice of properties and more competitive prices, so it ultimately benefits all parties.
Airbnb also offers an incredibly easy to use interface that gives you complete control over your offering and availabilities, you also get the chance to develop your presence on Airbnb by gaining reviews and references from other users and past hosts and guests you have dealt with in the past. This increases your legitimacy on Airbnb and in turn increases your chances of greater bookings as a host and creates a much smoother booking process as a guest.
The key benefits for hosts & homeowners
The obvious benefit of Airbnb is that it enables you to generate an income from an otherwise empty property, even if it is for those 2 weeks you are off on holiday. Airbnb's unique approach means that you can rent out your home for those weeks you are away without having to prepare your home for long term lets.
Free professional photography - You can get free professional photography from Airbnb for your new property listing. This is available in most areas and provides clean professional photographs that will look attractive to potential guests viewing your property.
You also have the possibility to vet who stays in your property. When potential guests sign up they have to confirm their identities. This increases accountability on their behalf and is a reassurance for the property owner. Guests and hosts alike have the possibility to generate reviews after each stay which enables guests to create a strong profile and enables hosts to increase the popularity of their listing.
The key benefits for guests & holiday goers
The huge attraction of Airbnb for guests is that it offers a unique collection of properties, located in some of the most stunning areas, and all that at a very competitive rate. For the price of a hotel room you can now get a whole apartment all to yourself! Located in the heart of the city! It also lets you experience the city in a completely new way, more than anything you get to be a part of the city, where your host property feels more like your home away from home. You are after all renting someone else’s home, with its personal touches and unique setting and community.
The choice of host properties is not only restricted to houses and apartments, Airbnb acts as a gateway to a whole new world of experiences and unusual destinations. You can book a stay on boats, in castles, tipis, private islands and even tree houses!
So where did it all start?
Airbnb was founded in 2007 in San Francisco by 2 flatmates, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia. They were short on money and were looking for a means to pay their rent so they came up with the idea to rent out air mattresses in their sitting room with homemade breakfast included. And so the concept of air mattress & breakfast was born. Air mattresses turned to apartments and homes and eight years on the company is now valued at over $24 Billion.