Airbnb's have become the modern hotel. In lieu of a continental breakfast and concierge, travelers are going for personable and cheap. Airbnb started in 2008 with the notion to make explorers feel at home in a foreign city. The entire operation is run just like Uber where, instead of getting your stay from a well-known hotel chain, you are renting a room out for the night in someone else's home.
In order to run an Airbnb, homeowners have to go through a background check and a bevy of other prerequisites to ensure safety for their guests. It's become a lucrative side business for Airbnb hosts, with some making as much as 10,000 a month. Besides their steady income, here are 10 other things that Airbnb hosts don't want you to know.
When it comes to business, everything is negotiable. Hotels have a set price that they have to list their rooms at, with those numbers coming from corporate or the hotel owner. You won't be able to swindle a deal from a hotel front desk agent, but you might be able to spark a deal with your Airbnb host. The hosts have full control over the price settings, so if you can be convincing, they have the authority to lower your rental rate.
Airbnb hosts have to pay hotel taxes for renting out their rooms. Those taxes are generally covered in the overall room or house stay so that their renters are paying at least some of that fee. However, if you book your stay for a few weeks or even months, then your stay could be considered a rental so those hotel taxes don't apply. This is a sweet deal for your host, so they will probably be willing to give you a lower rate for a longer stay.
Along with cleaning up after each guest and getting any damages repaired, Airbnb hosts have to take the utility bill into consideration. Most places will leave notes in the app to tell their guests to be sure to turn off all lights and the AC when they leave so that they aren't left with a monumental utility bill. Of course, not all guests are so considerate. To make up for this, hosts have implemented lights that can be controlled by their phones-- no matter how far away they might be. So if you come back to your room to find the lights off, it's just your host trying to save on electricity.
This isn't hidden too much. Anyone who purchases an Airbnb is given an itemized receipt detailing what is charged upfront by their hosts. However, it's not a detail that everyone notices. Even if you don't leave a mess, the host is still responsible for changing out the sheets and giving their rooms a general wipe down before the next guest. So if they choose to do so, they can charge a cleanup fee upfront and there's no way to avoid it.
Many people who try Airbnb for the first time are under the assumption that they will be treated with the same care and consideration that they get at hotels. One of the perks of an Airbnb is that they are usually rated cheaper than hotel rooms. The downside to this is that your Airbnb host does not have to be at your beck and call. If you need to know where the local grocery store is or need a bar recommendation, it's not really their responsibility to plan your stay. Your host doesn't owe you anything except a clean and viable place to stay.
Airbnb hosts have the privilege of being able to turn away certain guests. The app allows for both hosts and guests to be given a rating. This means, that if you left a mess or were a handful at other Airbnb spots, other hosts are going to see that and turn down your stay.
When homeowners first decide to invest in Airbnb opportunities, one of the most vital first steps is getting decent pictures of their room for rent. Some people even pay for professional photographs to be taken. However, photos can be deceiving and it isn't unheard of for hosts to use older pictures or use Photoshop to manipulate what the room actually looks like.
Another thing that Airbnb users should know, but often don't realize, is that they can ask for a price-match. It's recommended that you shop around for local hotels and other B and B spots, so you can get a feel of what the price tag for that particular area is. If you find an Airbnb you like, but notice the price is a little higher than others, point this out to your host. They may just be willing to match the price of other room retailers from the app.
This might go without saying, but if you are staying in a large city, then your Airbnb host is more than likely going to charge you a higher rate than your standard Airbnb stay. They know what their competition is like in terms of hotels; and although they're still charging less, they recognize that tourists are there to spend money and they take advantage of that ideology.
Another helpful tip (that can be stressful on an Airbnb host's end) is that you are able to see your room before you book it. If you are already in town and looking to change up your scenery, tell your host that you would like to see the room before you commit. This means that your host might have to jump to action to make sure the place is in tip-top condition. But if you're willing to pay for a room, they might just do it to convince you.