Airbnb Cracks Down On Memorial Day, Fourth Of July Parties With Restrictions

If you were hoping to rent a house and throw some parties during the upcoming summer holidays, Airbnb just put a pin in those plans. The vacation rental company has announced that they’re instituting strict-anti party measures for the Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends in order to cut down on unauthorized parties.

Guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb will be prohibited from making one-night reservations, while two-night reservations will see more “stringent restrictions,” which include certain local or last-minute bookings by guests without positives reviews. Guests with positive reviews won’t be subjected to these guidelines.

“Anti-party attestations” will also be introduced, meaning guests making local reservations must attest to understanding the guidelines and will be subject to legal action from the company should they break the rules.

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It isn’t the first time Airbnb has instituted a crackdown on sizeable get-togethers. The company attempted similar plans during Halloween and New Year’s Eve of 2020, as well as during Memorial Day and Fourth of July in 2021. Airbnb claimed their attempts succeeded, with 126,000 guests without a history of positive reviews being impacted by the anti-party system.

Certainly, Airbnb’s system — while effective — also runs the risk of losing customers that don’t plan on throwing a party, yet don’t have a history of reviews on the company’s site. They acknowledged the dilemma, saying they don’t take these measures lightly and that it’s a necessary business decision in order to promote safety.

“We also understand that the simple fact of not yet having reviews does not mean that a guest is trying to throw a party — this is a trade-off we are willing to make in the interest of trust and safety.”

Airbnb has had a long history with parties, with some tragic instances included that have emphasized the dangers involved. In April, 11 people were shot, along with two children killed, at an Airbnb party in Pittsburgh that saw around 200 attendees. Many of those guests were minors.

Airbnb condemned the shooting and announced they permanently banned the renter from hosting. In 2019, meanwhile, five people were shot during a Halloween party in California that saw a crowd of 100. “We must do better, and we will. This is unacceptable,” CEO Brian Chesky stated following the tragedy.

Airbnb’s current party and events policy prohibits gatherings of 16 or more people regardless of host authorization, along with all “disruptive” parties and events that create disturbances — such as loud and excessive noise and damages — within the community. In order to ensure those policies were enforced, Airbnb launched a 24/7 neighborhood support hotline.

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These kind of changes haven’t hurt the company’s outlook, however. Airbnb’s second quarter revenue forecast of $2.03 to $2.13 billion growth surpasses Wall Street’s ($1.97 billion) as travel is set to ramp up following two years of intense COVID-19 restrictions.

There’s reason for optimism, as Airbnb is coming off a first quarter increase that saw 120.1 million nights and experiences booked, 1.23 million more than analyst predictions. Chesky also noted they’re seeing “higher than historical demand” for the fourth quarter of this year, a sign that travel will continue to be boosted beyond the summer months.


The Last Blockbuster On Earth Is Available To Rent On AirBnb

Covid-19 has truly put a major pause to all of our vacation plans. In the middle of a pandemic it can be hard to find ways to keep yourself occupied, especially during the season where travel is typically promoted the most. Many are turning to camping or renting Airbnb’s as a means of getting out of their house in distanced and isolated environments so that they can ensure they are remaining safe while still feeling like they’re experiencing the summer.

For example, one of the most unique Airbnb experiences one could go to nowadays is staying in the last Blockbuster video store location in Bend, Oregon. That’s right, the legendary video store brand that’s now become obsolete in an age of streaming services and short attention spans, still exists. In fact, the Oregon location is the only functional Blockbuster store left, and on the nights of September 18th-20th, three groups of people will be able to spend a night in their favorite movie store from the 90’s. 

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Currently, the listing states that the groups can be no more than four people, but the experience would be unforgettable. The listing is also priced at just $4 a night. 

“Over the past few months, we’ve been missing the regular visits from friends, neighbors and tourists from around the world. So, we’re opening our store to three quarantine pods of Deschutes County guests for a socially-distanced movie night, just like those of decades past!” 

The space itself has been transformed to look like a living room right out of a 90’s-sitcom. Nostalgia was the overall goal with the decorating, so customers can expect to see bean bag chairs, a pullout couch with geometric symbols, rugs on rugs, and a multitude of bright patterns. A large television takes center stage, and it’s even hooked up with a DVD and VHS player, so any movie in the whole store will work; oh yeah, they still have all the original aisles of classic movies and DVD’s, giving customers plenty of options to choose from and making the experience as genuine as possible. 

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The Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon has been a huge source of not only local pride for the town, but also income for the city, as many tourists come through every year and visit local businesses on their way to see the world’s last active Blockbuster location. Sandi Harding has managed the store since 2004, and after Australia’s last store location closed down in March 2019, Harding officially became the owner of the last active Blockbuster in the world. 

Pre-pandemic, the store was still open and actively renting out movies to residents for $3.99, and Harding was also able to make revenue through selling Blockbuster merchandise through local small businesses as well. The Airbnb listing is meant to be a thank you to the local community who have helped Harding keep the magic of Blockbuster alive during an era where everyone has multiple streaming services/easy access to whatever movie they want with the click of a button. 

If you want a chance to be one of the lucky groups to spend a night at the Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon, the listing will be officially posted at 1 p.m. PST on Monday, August 17th. For those who don’t live in the area or aren’t able to secure one of the limited spots, the living room furniture will be remaining in-store until the end of the pandemic, so visitors can still at least go see it for themselves.


Airbnb Hosts Continue To Struggle Supporting Themselves Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Worldwide travel has come to an obvious halt, and one of the largest markets that’s felt the direct effects of that is the tourism industry. More specifically, many Airbnb hosts are planning to sell their properties as a means of making up for the money they would normally be earning from the beginning of the summer vacation season.

The real estate market in general is really unbalanced at the moment. Depending on what part of the country you’re living in, how badly the pandemic has impacted your region, and how many individuals are even still willing to proceed with their real estate transactions while the economy is so low, many aren’t able to bring their real estate realities into fruition. 

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Airbnb hosts are gearing up to lose thousands of dollars in lost bookings, cancelled trips, and an overall lack of business. The struggle comes when it’s time for hosts to pay for things such as housing bills, maintenance costs, mortgage payments, and any other payments that are normally covered by the money they earn from hosting. This is hitting homeowners who own multiple properties especially hard as well. 

“We have been working to support our community through multiple efforts, including committing $250 million to help support hosts who were affected by COVID-19-related guest cancellations and $17 million to our Super Host Relief Fund. Our internal data points to guests’ desire to travel and we are preparing to help hosts welcome them as soon as possible, which includes new cleaning measures as well,” an Airbnb spokesperson said in a statement

Airbnb has had to lay off about 25% of their workforce amid the pandemic, but also began making these major job cuts before coronavirus even entered into the States. In March, Airbnb hosts were already protesting the company they worked for, claiming that executives rely too heavily on its hosts to make money for the company.

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The protests came specifically after Airbnb announced that it would be paying its hosts only about 25% of what they would normally make back from the company after a client cancellation. Normally, if a client cancels they still have to pay a decent fraction of the renting price (a policy that each host must specifically outline), so that the host has some revenue to make from the transaction and lost time.

“[I] shut down two listings during the coronavirus crisis, one of which was pre-planned. Some of the owners [I] work with are considering winding down more properties, or are looking for long-term tenants, further throwing her business into uncertainty. I’m scrambling trying to figure out what I’m going to do, and what’s going to happen in the future. I’m not making money. With the Airbnb business, I am just trying to minimize my losses. Only one of the houses is meeting its expenses, meaning my rent and utilities,” Christina Zima, an Airbnb host in the San Francisco Bay Area, said to CNN.

Some hosts, like Zima, are turning to Facebook Marketplace to either further rent out their untouched properties, or sell their furniture and other goods to make ends meet. However, selling your valuables online doesn’t compare to making a steady income through a business you previously ran rather independently. 

Other hosts are remaining optimistic that as new safety precautions are dealt out for hosts that their renters will begin to book their properties again. For now, like for every other industry in the country, it’s a waiting game to see how much worse the country and its economy gets amid the pandemic.

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Airbnb CEO, Brian Chesky, Pledges More Than $250 Million To Coronavirus Relief Efforts

The major corporation was recently put under fire after refusing to help compensate Airbnb hosts who experienced a multitude of cancellations in order to prevent the spread of covid-19.

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What Does Being An Airbnb Host Really Entail?

Airbnb is one of the biggest unicorn companies taking over the world right now. Unicorn companies are any business that can be valued at over $1 billion, and it didn’t take long for Airbnb to reach that status. Now, there’s a whole slew of online property rental services that allow property owners to temporarily rent out their homes to individuals looking for a little getaway. However, Airbnb still remains the most lucrative out of all of them. 

Being an Airbnb host may not have ever seemed like a feasible idea to you before, but when you consider the benefits, it almost seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up on. Granted, you will need to ensure you have another place of residence to stay at while your property is being rented out, however, what you earn from Airbnb itself might be convincing enough to do so. 

Obviously every space is different, and will be valued according to specific qualities such as location, room numbers, amenities, and historical trends that local competition has priced itself at. Most first time Airbnb hosts use the startup Eliot & Me or any other rental pricing calculator to determine how much they should be charging per night to renters. 

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If you have access to any local real estate agents, don’t hesitate to ask them to appraise your property for rental pricing as well. Individuals in the real estate industry will know better than anyone what your home should be valued at, even for short-term renting. Airbnb customers can make anywhere between $2,000 – $10,000 after renting their properties out just once, depending on the duration of stay and cost per night.  

Airbnb prides itself on professionalism and keeping the renter/client relationship cordial. Individuals who rent out their homes are automatically paid exactly 24 hours after a guests check-in time. This is meant to ensure that neither party is scammed or has any major issues before a concrete money exchange is made. 

Many individuals who are privileged enough to rent out one of their properties multiple times in a given year can rely on Airbnb hosting as their primary source of income. However, it’s important to note that while this sounds like it may be an “easy” career path, as a host you need to understand that this is still a job, and you’re expected to run your “business” as a host efficiently, just like any other job. 

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So what are some of the responsibilities that come with being a host? First and foremost, you should respond rather promptly when an individual states their interest in renting out your property. Answer any questions clearly and concisely, remember, how you interact with each person who rents your property will be reflected in their online reviews afterwards, which future clients will see. 

When you actually lock in a rental for the future and it comes time for your new guests to arrive, make sure your property is clean and everything is set up as expected before their arrival. Any accommodations that you listed on your profile should be pre-prepared for use. Accuracy is the key when it comes to hosting, so make sure every room matches its picture and your personal belongings are out of sight. 

The pictures on your profile are arguably the most important part of your listing, as well as your ability to host. Obviously these photos will play a major role in your potential guests decision making process, so make sure they really showcase the essence of your property. You don’t have to live in a huge mansion to properly show off the pieces of your property that anyone would enjoy on a temporary stay. 

Honesty, professionalism, and promptness will get you far in any industry, and when it comes to renting out your own house, these factors couldn’t be more relevant. If you’re still unsure if being an Airbnb host is right for you, do some research, ask around and find people who have rented out properties for short-periods of time before. Even if it wasn’t through Airbnb, they’ll still have amazing insight into what it’s actually like to leave your home for a little while for financial gain. Talk to real estate agents and search up some chat forums on the topic, before you know it, you’ll be ready to host your first guests!


Airbnb Officially Banning All ‘Party Houses’ From Its Site

Airbnb is officially banning “party houses” from their platform after the tragic shooting that took place at an Airbnb renter’s Halloween party, took the lives of five people. The woman who rented the home off Airbnb in the San Francisco Bay Area lied to the owner and said that she simply needed a home that her and her family could take refuge from the Kincade fires. Instead over 100 people erupted in utter chaos when gunshots ensued at the Bay area rental on Halloween night. 

“Starting today, we are banning “party houses” and we are redoubling our efforts to combat unauthorized parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct, including conduct that leads to the terrible events we saw in Orinda. First we are expanding manual screenings of high-risk reservations flagged by our risk detection technology. Second, we are creating a dedicated ‘party house’ rapid response team. Third, we are taking immediate action against users who violate these policies, including removal. We must do better, and we will. This is unacceptable,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky announced in a series of tweets on Saturday. 

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Chesky went on to tweet the logistics of how the company plans on implementing these new policies in a quick and efficient way. Chesky directed Margaret Richardson, an Airbnb Executive, to oversee and run the party house rapid response team, and also directed her to do an accelerated 10 day review and revision of their current policy to ensure these changes were put into effect as quickly as possible. 

Chesky mentioned that the rapid review and revision of their policy is extremely necessary, as the house where the shooting occurred was already listed on Airbnb as a “party free” house. Both the rental and the user who rented the property have been removed from the sight permanently. The property owner Michael Yang was the one who actually initially called police after checking his security camera footage and seeing there was way more than just a family attempting to escape the fires in his home. The police call was made at 10:25 pm, according to the Los Angeles Times, and 20 minutes later officers arrived at the home to chaos, as the shooting had already begun and patrons were rushing into the streets. 

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The response from Airbnb also comes from the fact that this house in particular had been subject to noise complaints brought on by renters in the past. In February a renter exceeded the 13 person maximum every rental property is required to follow in the city of Orinda (LA Times). While that was the last complaint made since this past week, the fact that the regulations weren’t more strictly followed and regulated meant that further action had to be taken. 

Short-term rental agreements will be up for debate and discussion at an Orinda City Council meeting this week, and in the meantime policies all throughout California in general are being modified. For example Los Angeles enforced new rental terms this past July that only allows property owners to rent out their properties if it’s their primary residence, meaning they live in it for more than six months of the year. Short-term rentals are really the only type of at home renting that’s allowed to occur under these regulations. Additionally, all property owners who rent out their homes, regardless of what website they do it through, must register with the city of Los Angeles and pay a fee, according to the LA Times. 

Part of Airbnb’s policy modifications will include a streamlined enforcement of Los Angeles’ regulations on their website. Under this new system in LA, new renters will have to be approved by the city before they can rent out their properties, and any existing listings without the official documents and approvals from the City Council will be removed from the site.


Airbnb’s Top 5 Places To Travel To This Year

The holiday season is right around the corner and as it approaches you and your family are probably gearing up for a month of family gatherings, holiday shopping, and the annual office Christmas party. When all is said and done though, where will you go to unwind and relax during your actual holiday break? Christmas time/December in general is one of the most popular times to travel, and as it gets closer and closer, more people are trying to book their holiday getaways. According to Airbnb, the best time to book a flight or make travel plans for the holidays is September and October, that’s when flights are typically going to be cheaper if you’re “last minute” booking something. However in order to book a flight you need a destination, so where are your travels going to take you this year? Airbnb also just released their top trending travel destinations for December, and for 2020 in general. All of these locations are meant to be underrated destinations that will help you ring in the new year with a slew of new and surprising experiences. Here are their top 5 choices of future travel destinations for you.

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5. ROMANIA   Airbnb reported a 298% increase in year to year booking for this Eastern European paradise. A trend that you’ll notice with the top locations for travel is that all of them offer some sort of eco-friendly element. This was a major factor in the decision making process when compiling this list, as travel in general can really hurt the planet, however, depending on the means of travel and how you spend your time in these special places, your carbon footprint on the planet should remain relatively low on these getaways. Romania ranks number 15 of places in the entire world with a vital ecosystem. There’s plenty of landscapes encompassing vast hills, rural villages, traditional details and classic architecture. It’s the perfect “off the beaten path” getaway.

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4. SUNBURY, AUSTRALIA  Sunbury is like Melbourne’s cute country side sister, in fact the two cities are only 20 miles from each other. The city saw a 356% year-over-year increase in bookings, according to Airbnb, part of that increase is due to an increase in interest in cricket, the sport that is. More and more tourists look for traditional values in the places they visit, and what’s more traditional than going to the birthplace of one of the biggest cricket trophy competitions in the world, The Ashes. The Ashes is the name of a series of cricket matches between England and Australia and if you follow the sport, you know that that’s one of the biggest rivalries in the sports history.

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3. BURIRAM, THAILAND – Buriram is the spot for any history buffs looking for a new journey. The city is 200 miles from Bangkok, and contains some of the most well-preserved and treasured relics and artifacts from the Khmer empire of Southeast Asia. The Khmer empire embraced major aspects of both Hinduism and Buddhism, making the city one of the best places for ancient representations of what those religions were like when they first originated. The city has seen a 383% year-over-year increase in bookings, according to Airbnb, and has become a hot-spot for sporting events. It has begun hosting many MotoGP racing events and has announced the beginning of a country wide marathon that will begin taking place in the city. So if you’re really into sports, history, religious relics, rich ancient Thailand culture, or all of the above, Buriram should definitely be on your radar.

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2. BILBAO, SPAIN – In 2018, Bilbao won the European City of the Year award, and if you were to visit you’d know why. The city is known for it’s exuberant colors, and thriving art community/cultural values. The famous Bilbao Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry, brought major media attention to the city back in 1997 when the museum opened, and ever since the city has been known as a hub of thriving European culture and art. “Next year, Bilbao will also become a top destination for sports fans: it’s one of the host cities of Europe’s most beloved soccer competition” called Athletic Bilbao, according to writers for Airbnb. This city in particular has seen a 402% increase in year over year bookings.

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1. MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – Milwaukee reigns in at the number one spot with a whopping 729% year over year increase in bookings. The city was recently listed as one of the most underrated travel spots, and with good reason. The city is a historical hub of American culture, and also has some of the hottest bar and restaurant spots in the country. Milwaukee is also known for its beer and cheese, can you get anymore American?The urban areas of this town are cosmopolitan and sophisticated, but the roots that make this classic American town so great remain strong.

For the Top 20 list of Airbnb’s travel destinations, Airbnb.