Airbnb is a room letting website that provides customers with places to stay around the world. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and has risen to a global giant of peer-to-peer accommodation through the marketplace. Airbnb allows users to lodge their flat or house on the website, working like other holiday booking sites you can select the dates you wish to stay, price range and the type of room. After pressing search, you will be shown the available rooms hosted by other users in a location of your choice around the world. Airbnb has become a very popular choice for holiday goers because of the potential savings someone can make.
Host’s and guests will be able to write reviews about each other, offering new users reliability and trust. If you have a room available in your house all you need to do is register online, take photos of your accommodation, set a price and apply some house rules. You will then be able to build your reputation providing high-quality service for lodgers. The review system is the backbone of the website as it ensures that the element of risk in going to an unknown place is reduced.
Looking For a Place To Stay
Airbnb hosts share their spaces in 190 countries and more than 34,000 cities, so if you are planning on going on holiday on a budget, you will have no problem finding an available place to stay. On average, it costs £25 a night to stay the night in London. Now if you can find a cheaper option in a hotel then I will eat my foot, don’t hold me to that. Not only are houses and flats up for grabs you can even search for villas as well if you have a large number of people travelling.
It’s free to register and you have a choice of registering with an email, Facebook or Google Email. You will only need to enter a few details before you can start searching or hosting. Airbnb wants the whole peer-to-peer system to work seamlessly but they know as much as we do that security still needs to be implemented as certain people like to take advantage of pleasant things.
Once you have registered, it would be recommended to become verified, you will have a verification sign on your profile similar to the image below.
Hosts with verification are much more likely to make a sale as they are considered much more trustworthy. If you want to get verified you will need to provide Airbnb with Identification, Passport or driving licence. Bear in mind any last minute bookings will require guests to provide identification to ensure the protection of both parties.
When you have decided where you would like to stay in the world, the dates that you would like to stay and specifications of the place, press search. Airbnb will provide you with a selection of listings from around the area that you have chosen. Once you see a listing you like, click the listing. then you will be able to see what the host’s conditions are and the information relating to there place.
Airbnb will display all fees and charges on the right-hand side. This may include cleaning fee and a service fee that Airbnb receive for the service. If you are unable to choose from the list provided, you may add it to your wish list so you can compare your favourites later. The last option for you to do after you have gone through the charges and rules is to contact the host or request to book.
Becoming a Host
Airbnb states that people who host their accommodation out usually average out around £395 a week, which is not a bad amount of money coming in at all. After you have registered and completed your profile, the next step is to press ‘Become Host’. You will then be shown three steps, first will be the location and type of accommodation you have. Step two involves taking photos and writing a description of the property. You will be given 500 words, so make sure you provide honest and descriptive content about your place. This is your chance to attract future guests to your place. On the last step, you will be asked to set a price per night, make it reasonable, the average price depends on where you live. If you look to the right of your screen, Airbnb will have provided you with a weekly estimate based on others in your area.
Airbnb will charge hosts a 3% fee for using their service. The fee will be taken out of the money that you have earned. There are many ways that Airbnb accepts payment. However, I would suggest only using Paypal or bank transfer.
Airbnb Superhost Status
Airbnb has implemented a very successful review system that allows users to make a decision on what place they decide to stay. Similar to comparison sites, the reviews will provide you with an understanding of the history of hosts/guests. Playing close attention to the review system is vital as it will play a big part in your experience as the host/guest.
Below is an image of how Airbnb’s review system works. They focus on six experiences that a guest can star out of five at the end of there stay. The star system is based on user experience and the place that they are staying. New hosts will have to make an effort to improve all six experiences so that they can receive high-level ratings. Airbnb is a very competitive market and will mean that a rating of 4 stars or below will not be sufficient to be successful.
Airbnb’s Superhost status is only given to the best hosts on the website. To become a SuperHost you must follow strict criteria that need to be maintained. The bar is very high and increases the level of quality of hosts to ensure they keep to a high standard. To achieve Superhost status you must sustain a 90% response rate, hold a rating of 4.8 or higher, complete at least 10 reservations a year and hold a 50% review rate or higher. Once you achieve this status, Airbnb states that it will improve your search rating and place you on the front page of there website. Therefore leading to an increase in income.
Service Fee – This will be charged to the guest for providing services, this is 3% which is taken out of the reservation subtotal.
Cleaning Fee – This option can be decided by the host if they would like to offer a cleaning service while the guest is staying.
Security Deposit – The host can set a security payment that has to be paid before the guest arrives, this fee covers against damages, unreturned keys and stolen items.