An online hospitality marketplace, Airbnb, connects people who are looking for accommodation with the people who want to rent out their homes in that location. It offers lodging, mainly homestays or tourism experiences. Airbnb does not own the real estate listings on its marketplace and does not host events. It acts like a broker between the host and the guest, and receives a commission for each booking. Disrupting the lodging and hospitality industry, it was founded in San Francisco in 2008. Now it spans across 191 countries and 81,000 cities worldwide, creating a travel revolution.
- 1 Pros and Cons of Airbnb:
- 1.1 Advantages of Airbnb for guests and hosts:
- 1.2 Disadvantages of Airbnb for Guests and Hosts:
Pros and Cons of Airbnb:
A platform for great travel experiences, it lets the hosts earn some income from their existing property. For the guests, the advantage is getting comparatively inexpensive accommodations and homestays to truly enjoy the locale.
Like every service there are pros and cons of Airbnb also and here they are:
Advantages of Airbnb for guests and hosts:
Great Range of Properties
Airbnb lets the hosts list different kinds of properties such as apartments, a suite of rooms, single room, villas, houseboats and entire houses amongst others.
This gives the guests the liberty to look and book the space according to their requirements.
Full House Availability
With Airbnb, the hosts can rent out their entire house. With this full house, the guests can access kitchen, multiple bedrooms and washrooms, garden and pool amongst other facilities.
Staying at a place which lets the guests access the kitchen for making snacks, tea or meals helps them save money on food and gives their stay a wholesome feel. All they have to do is get the necessary groceries for whatever they plan to cook.
Hosts on Airbnb do not have to pay in order to list their property. Listings generally include photographs of the property with captions, written description and a user profile. Guests prefer going through this information as it helps them know about the property and the host.
When the costs of a hotel room versus Airbnb options are compared, Airbnb will always be a cheaper bet. It also helps the guests get more services for the money they paid, as they get more space, amenities, rooms and other facilities when compared to hotels. This makes the stay at Airbnb worthwhile.
Hosts can Decide The Prices
Hosts have the liberty to decide how much they want to charge on weekdays, on weekends, per week or per month.
User-friendly App and Website
Airbnb offers a very easy to use app and website to its users. People who are not familiar with using technology can also easily navigate through the app/website.
Guests can search for many things in the Airbnb database such as date, location, amenities, beds, baths, pet-friendly, type of property, price and the language of the host amongst others. Guests can even message the host before they arrive and inquire with their specific questions. They also get to see the reviews for the place and host which lets them know more about the property. There is also a detailed rating system for cleanliness, amenities, value, communication and more.
Protection for Hosts and Guests
As a way of protection, Airbnb holds the guest’s payments for 24 hours after their check-in before releasing the fee to the host.
For hosts, there is a program called Host Guarantee program. In eligible countries, it provides protection for up to $1,000,000 in damages to the property in the rare event of guest damage.
Disadvantages of Airbnb for Guests and Hosts:
You may not get what you see
Airbnb accommodations might not be as mentioned in the description or shown in photographs. As these listings are created by hosts themselves, some of them might not be as honest as they should be. The guests can understand more objectively about the property by going through comments and reviews of previous guests who have shared their experiences.
No Space to Leave your Luggage
One of the cons of staying at an Airbnb property is that the guests will not get a place to keep their luggage after checkout.
If there is a huge gap between the return flight/train and your check out, you will have to carry your luggage with them and it can be irritating.
Read More: Cheapest Time To Book Flight
Hosts can Cancel
The hosts can cancel anytime they want. This is a rare thing and it negatively impacts their ratings and reviews hence most hosts do not do this. Guests have to be careful when they choose a host with less or no reviews.
Airbnb levies few extra charges like other hotels and lodging providers. Guests have to pay a guest service fee of 0% to 20% other than the reservation fee, this covers Airbnb’s customer support and other services. Banks or credit cards might add fees, if applicable.
There is no fee which hosts have to pay to list their properties but Airbnb charges a service fee of minimum 3% for each reservation to them. This covers the cost of processing the transaction.
The biggest risk for the host is the possibility of damage to the property. While most of the stays are peaceful and report no incidents, there have been few cases of houses being damaged by party-goers. Airbnb’s Host Guarantee program, as mentioned above, does provide some coverage but it might not cover everything. Damage to the property can create a lot of inconvenience for the host.
Possible Legal Issues
Hosts have to check their local zoning ordinances to check if it is legal to rent out their properties before they put up their properties for listing on Airbnb. Hosts might have to get specific licenses and permits before renting out their properties.
Depending on your budget, preferences and reviews of the property you like, you can decide whether you should go for an Airbnb stay or a reputed hotel chain.