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airbnb

Airbnb CEO Asks Hosts to Lower Their Listing Prices

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky is asking hosts on the short-term rental platform to lower their prices. In an interview with Bloomberg on Monday, Chesky said that he wanted the app to be able to compete with hotels.

“We want prices to move and to be more competitive vis-à-vis a hotels—that is really important. When our hosts provide better deals, they tend to make more money.”

Part of his solution includes giving hosts proper rate comparison tools for nearby hotels, which the app currently lacks.

“We’re [currently] giving tools to hosts to compare the prices of their listings to others in their neighborhood—and while we don’t yet have a hotel comparison, we do encourage them to look at rates for hotels in their area just so they have a sense of what travelers are getting on other platforms.”

According to Chesky, the company will also work to fix problems with pricing, transparency (by not showing customers the total price for each listing), and fake listings. Chesky’s remarks come as Airbnb has had a tumultuous year.

On the pricing front, the promise is to provide hosts with insights that ensure competitive nightly rates while also showing customers the total price per listing. These prices will include clear and lower cleaning fees, a frequent point of contention.

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Additionally, the app’s search feature was enhanced with new filters for king-size beds and pet-friendly homes. There is also a new listing verification system to decrease calls to customer service by identifying and removing fake listings.

“We need to get our house in order,” Chesky says.

“We need to make sure the listings are great, we’re providing great customer service, and we’re affordable. And I’ve told our team that we can get back to creating new and exciting things once we’ve fixed that foundation.”

The year 2022 marked the first year of profitability for the business. However, in March 2023, many hosts took to Twitter to express their frustration with declining bookings, increased competition, and shrinking profit margins. The perceived short-term rental bubble was dubbed “Airbnbust.”

Jamie Lane, an economist at vacation analytics firm AirDNA, told Insider in 2022 that there was an increase in supply, causing demand to spread out over more listings, leading to “occupancy decline.”

In September 2023, New York City also cracked down on short-term rentals, implementing a set of regulations that made it much harder for users to book an Airbnb rental.

The new rules mandate hosts register with the city to guarantee that their listings adhere to the city’s occupancy and building code regulations. According to Bloomberg, the company is expected to lose thousands of listings in one of its biggest markets.

Officials claim that illegal short-term rental listings, often with inhabitable conditions, contribute to New York City’s affordable housing crisis by taking homes off the market.

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Chesky claims that part of the app’s current struggles are due to the platform originally being “designed for a much smaller company,” before rapidly growing in popularity.

“To use a precise metaphor, it’s kind of like we never fully built the foundation. Like, we had a house, and it had four pillars when we needed to have 10.”

The company is using AI for quality control of its listings. According to Chesky, hosts are being asked to upload photos of the property’s interior and exterior as part of the listing process, with the intention of using computer vision technology to analyze the images and compare them to other databases, such as Google Earth, in order to generate a trustworthiness rating.

Any listing with a low score is sent to a human reviewer.

Chesky told the Financial Times that the company will also venture beyond short-term rentals, including offering long-term rentals.

“Travel is our sweet spot. Eventually, the big frontier for Airbnb is to go beyond travel. There’s an eventual opportunity for Airbnb to become a greater part of your daily life. Not just once or twice a year.”

 

Katelyn Moskos Northern Living

Northern Living: Redefining Vacations in the Enchanting Lake George Region | Katelyn Moskos

Lake George is found in the picturesque Adirondack Mountains and has long been a cherished escape for vacationers seeking respite from the daily grind. However, in the wake of pandemic fatigue, the need for rejuvenation and family bonding has become paramount. Katelyn Moskos, a visionary entrepreneur and founder of Northern Living, started her business to help families make those meaningful memories.

travel

Fall Vacations Increase By 40% As People Search Online For A Getaway

With the summer months coming to a close and the crisp autumn breeze beginning to fill the air, people are still looking for that perfect getaway. 

According to Travel Pulse, a recent study showed that the online searches for travel destinations this fall are higher in comparison to 2021. 

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Travelers from the United States are increasingly setting their sights on international destinations.  Barbados, Ho Chi Minh City, London and Munich among the most popular,  have seen triple-digit increases for fall travel,” stated recent data from Expedia. 

After the recent spikes in flight and travel prices due to a busy travel season throughout the summer, the study also found that the ticket prices for these trips should be at least 45% cheaper during the week of September 26. 

 

“Fall is right around the corner, and while many are looking forward to breaking out their favorite boots and pumpkin bread recipes, autumn also means big travel savings”

 

There also has been a recent trend in travelers looking to visit large U.S. cities as the ultimate travel destination. 

New York City has seen a 75% increase within online searches, Seattle has been up by 55%, Washington D.C. at a 45% increase, San Francisco at 35% and then Boston at a 30% increase. 

The average ticket price (ATP) for some of the biggest cities have also showed the best value of traveling there is in the fall compared to summer. For Seattle, the ATP is down more than 45%, Los Angeles down more than 35% and San Francisco down more than 25%. 

Vacationers still want to enjoy the warm weather before the cold winter starts creeping in over the next few months. Beach destinations have also found an increase in online searches for vacations as well.

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Leading the pack is Barbados which saw an overwhelming 3,360 increase in searches, Orlando jumped up to 60% in interest, Punta Cana increased to 40% and Fort Lauderdale grew up 25%.

Travel companies are also suggesting to those who want to travel internationally to start looking around the week of October 10, when the average ticket should be at least 20% lower than it was throughout the summer months. 

“Many destinations are more affordable than they’ve seen in months, making it the perfect time to have an authentic Oktoberfest experience in Munich or swap out the faux foliage for the real deal in New England,” said Expedia spokesperson Christie Hudson. 

The study also shows that departing your destination midway through the week rather than at the beginning of the week could be another way to help vacationers save some money on their adventures. 

Airbnb

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.

Glamping’s Rise In Popularity Could Be The Answer To Vacationing This Summer 

Glamping and camping endeavors have increased greatly within the past year thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the fact that the virus forces all of us to stay a part, camping has given people the perfect opportunity to get out of their house and travel while remaining safe and healthy. 

James Warner Smith is the founder of Cool Camping, a glamping service that helps individuals fulfill their most luxurious camping desires. Smith claims that his company has had the busiest January and February yet in terms of new bookings, but has also noted the increase in new sites and services that are appearing throughout the nation. 

Mike Bevens is also a glamping specialist working for Canopy and Stars who discussed how bookings for his company are up by 200% when compared to the numbers last year. When more campsites appear it benefits individuals who are looking to break out of their houses and experience some new scenery.

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 Unlike hotels, AirBnB’s, and any other rented home service, camping is really all about the individual and it puts them in control of their own vacation. Glamping allows for an even more relaxing experience as it brings hotel amenities to the great outdoors. 

Dan Yates is the founder of Pitchup.com, a booking site specifically designed to show individuals the transformative power of camping and all of the luxury that can come with it. 

“Campsites can appear quickly in a way that cottages and hotels can’t. And they tend to benefit other businesses around them. It’s perfect for the pandemic situation we are in.” 

“Our income just disappeared, we had to diversify, so we put five Airstreams on our 40-acre farm and called it The Wells Glamping,” said Mojo and Kizzy Fell, a couple who before the pandemic were renting out caravans to film locations and festivals to be used. Now, the two run their own glamping business which has been booming since its launch. 

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The Fell’s claim all of the caravan glamping rentals sold out within minutes when they first launched and while they’ve been able to purchase two more to keep up with business, bookings keep on coming. 

Yate’s Pitchup business has taken on 250 additional campsites since the start of the pandemic and his team is expecting that they’ll need a lot more based on the way bookings keep increasing as time goes on. In fact, Yate’s has been compiling personal data on his businesses success as it parallels the release of multiple Covid-19 vaccines. 

“The two lines are just following each other upwards. There’s no doubt in my mind: 2021 will be the year of the pop-up campsite.”

With so many people ready to break out of their house and get back to their normal lives, glamping is providing that transition from lockdown, to normalcy, and the smores are a nice added bonus.

Camp Tent

Things To Keep In Mind If You’re Planning On Going Camping For The First Time

With the Covid-19 pandemic hindering everyone’s summer plans, many are turning to alternative means of travel to itch their vacation scratch this year. Camping has become one of the most popular modes of vacation this year as it’s one of the only ways that individuals can get out of their house while remaining socially distant from others. For those of us who have never been camping before but are ready to finally try it out given the circumstances, there are some things we must avoid in order to ensure we have a fun and safe time in the wilderness. 

First and foremost, do your research, especially if this is your first time. Luckily the internet has millions of resources one could use to find the perfect spot to camp. Apps like Campspot have grown in popularity within the past few years. Campspot specifically makes it easy for users to find campsites that fit their budgets while also listing all the surrounding amenities in the area you’re planning on travelling too. The app also helps individuals with disabilities find more accessible campgrounds so they don’t have to worry about getting around complex terrains or running into any seriously dangerous wildlife. 

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For your first time camping it’s also important that you don’t choose a location that’s too far from your home. Being relatively close to your house will make you feel more secure if you’re a little nervous about your first night in the great outdoors, and you’re more likely to find private campgrounds as opposed to more open ones that are popular in National parks. 

CEO of the app Campspot, Caleb Hartung, recommends going no further than 130 miles from your home for the first time. This way you’re still distanced enough to feel like you’re in a completely new environment, but are close enough to leave if you feel so inclined. 

“I wouldn’t recommend a national park for a first-time camper.  There’s just a lot more staffing on a private campground, and these private campgrounds are also more common, meaning they’re within an hour to an hour and a half from home.”

Campot operates in 47 states and some parts of Canada, so Hartung is referring to a majority of America when he says private sites are more common. When it comes to actually preparing for your trip, don’t over-pack/over-invest in new camp gear. It’s easy to feel pressured to buy everything at a camping store when it’s your first time because you don’t know what to expect and want to be prepared for everything, but it’s just not necessary.

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Again, do your research on the area you’re planning on camping at and look up other more experienced campers testimonials of their experiences at the same sites. Listen to what they brought and read up on recommendations for the specific campsite, it’s likely if the grounds have a website they’ll have a section that tells you what you should be bringing. 

Make sure you pack a variety of clothing for your trip as well. This is yet again dependent on where you plan on camping, however, in most wilderness areas the temperatures drop heavily at night. Pack a lot of layers and also plenty of light clothing for during the day in case it gets really hot. 

Make sure you’re packing enough water and food provisions for yourself as well especially if the area you’re heading to doesn’t have a lot of convenient store establishments around. This is the part of packing that Hartung always encourages campers to over-pack on. 

To that same extent you must also over-pack on things that are meant to protect your skin. Sunscreen/SPF lotions, bug spray, and closed-toed shoes are all necessities anywhere you camp. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and to reapply it every two hours, maybe even every hour depending on how much time you’re spending in the sun. 

Do your research, read up on where you’re going and get organized. Camping can be a fun spur-of-the-moment experience, however, for your first time it’s best to be as prepared as possible.

Mental Health Yoga on Beach

Travel Agencies Putting Mental Health Awareness At The Forefront Of Tourist Culture

Travelling is often seen as a way of escaping our everyday regular lives while experiencing someplace completely new, different, and relaxing. One of the newest points that major travel companies and operators are trying to implement into their businesses is a focus on mental health. We often associate vacations with relaxation, however, we never specifically discuss why we need to relax, or real ways that can help our minds relax with the rest of our bodies. Here are some companies who are putting the focus on bettering ourselves inside and out while travelling:

Alchemy Adventures is run by Kim Mlinarik, a psychotherapist, and her establishment offers nine-day tours starting at $3,700. The trips take parents of teens on tours of the Trails of Tuscany to help them gain perspective and communicate with one another over the struggles of parenting teenagers. The trips, which forces parents to leave their kids at home, promotes self-reflection and creative means of communication through hiking and wine tour adventures. 

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Black Tomato is a company that offers a series of trips designed to address specific life challenges for its patrons. For example, if you’re an individual who has a hard time balancing your work and personal life, Black Tomato recommends a trip to Copenhagen where you can engulf yourself in their healthy working culture that prioritizes everyone going home early to be with their families. The website takes you through a slew of different trip options based on what specific challenges you may be facing. 

Tierra del Volcán is an Ecuadorian-based travel company that offers an adventure to its customers called “Twenty-Five Seconds.” If all of Earth’s history was compacted into 24-hours, humans would have only been on this planet for 25 seconds. The trip itself goes through the Amazon, the Andes, and the Galapagos. At night, travelers will sleep in cozy tents on the slopes of a dormant volcano near the Cotopaxi National Park. 

David Prior is a travel adviser that also specializes in relationship issues. Prior describes what he does as helping clientele “tackle relationship issues by crafting travel prescriptions for them.” These “prescriptions” call on couples to go to specific locations and endure specific cultural traditions, nature walks, ceremonies, or anything else that Prior feels will promote open-communication and the strengthening of you and your significant others relationship. 

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On the more luxurious side, Brown & Hudson is a UK based travel agency that incorporates travelling to inner space in their customers’ vacations. The goal is to help their clientele with whatever issues they may be having, whether it be overcoming personal trauma, or simply struggling to decide what to do in their relationship or business. A month before clients go on their trips, they are required to go to trust-building sessions with a psychologist working for the company. According to founder Philippe Brown, the clients are then dropped into the wilderness of Mongolia with a satellite phone and basic provisions to last a week. 

“At critical moments, the therapist is brought in to provide counsel. It’s intensive — and expensive — because the goal is to gain ‘accelerated clarity’ that would normally take months of conventional therapy.”

While it may be awhile before you’re able to travel freely again, when you do get that opportunity, consider going on a trip that’s meant to be engaging, educational, and beneficial for your physical and mental well-being. After enduring a global health crisis, we all will be ready for a trip specifically designed around decompression, and complete relaxation.

Summer Vacation

Planning A Summer Vacation During A Pandemic

Now that summer is officially here, many are trying to think of alternative ways to scratch their vacation itch without breaking Covid-19 health and safety restrictions. Luckily, many home rental and hotel services are still offering ways for you and your loved ones to travel this summer with updated guest policies to ensure everyone has a healthy and fun time. 

Home rental services specifically will be seeing a major influx in business within the next few months, and they may receive even more business then they’re used to, according to Sean Breuner who’s the CEO of AvantStay, a short-term home rental company. 

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“Usually we average about three to four days per stay and now that has increased dramatically. You might see four couples get together to work from home in Scottsdale for a month at a time… people looking for control versus going to a hotel. Generally, people are booking in two windows: they’re either looking to travel immediately or scoping out a trip for late summer,” he explained. 

Home-rentals also offer a change in quarantine scenery. As stated by Breuner, many adults who have been working from home for the past few months are using rental services to change up the spaces they live out their lockdown days in. 

Major hotel chains across America have also begun implementing new health and safety procedures to ensure every guest feels comfortable staying there. For example, Marriott International has adopted new hygiene technology that includes electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant for all rooms. Hyatt Hotels have hired “Hygiene Managers” for all of their locations to oversee proper disinfection protocols; Hilton Hotels are doing something similar and also employing a “CleanStay Room Seal” so that guests are guaranteed their rooms haven’t been touched since its cleaning. 

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There’s expected to be a major influx in road trips this year, as that genuinely is one of the safest ways to vacation in terms of Covid-19; especially if you’re driving an RV or trailer. 

“People are really embracing the road trip. We’re seeing a lot fewer people book island trips and flights… people can still get away to the lakes, the river, the countryside, and have that bigger space,” Jeff Hurst, the president of Vrbo, a summer rental company, said.

John Staff is the CEO of Getaway, which offers tiny home rentals that are located within driving distance of major cities in America, and in a recent interview he claimed that his company saw a 400% increase in bookings for this summer once president Trump officially banned travel to Europe. 

Obviously, the main concern with all of these options is cleanliness, health, and safety. Major home rental services like Vrbo, Getaway, Airbnb, etc. have all made their new disinfecting/cleaning procedures public online to ensure all guests know they’re walking into a covid-free space. If you’re planning to go the home rental route, call the owner regardless and ask them to take you through what their process is, remember, this is their property, so they likely are going to want the space to be just as clean as you do. 

You can do the same with any hotel you’re planning on staying at, or even campsite grounds if you’re deciding to do that as well. Regardless, make sure you’re prioritizing your health, as that’s what we all should be doing in general right now.

Aruba

Take A Virtual Vacation To Aruba While Quarantined

A tropical vacation to Aruba sounds perfect right about now. Thanks to the coronavirus, many of us won’t be traveling anytime soon, however, technology is allowing people all over the world to travel wherever they want without leaving their beds. Aruba is just one of many countries that is offering a multitude of virtual tourism attractions to keep everyone stuck at home a little more relaxed as we wait to be released from quarantine.

The Aruba Tourism Authority has created a number of ways for everyone to enjoy the culture and beauty of the island from the comfort of their own homes. On the official Aruba YouTube Page, a video titled “30 Minutes of Happiness from One Happy Island” is currently being viewed by thousands of individuals around the world as a way to relax and unwind.

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This half-hour video brings the tranquility of Aruba’s white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters right into your living room. Relaxing nature sounds play in the background as scenic drone shots of vast beach landscapes and colorful tropical rainforests paint your screen. The video was designed to give off the same effects as ASMR videos, which are created with the intent to relax anyone who views them.

Aruba’s Tourism Authority has also uploaded virtual tours of some of the island’s most popular tourist attractions to their Facebook page. One of their more popular examples is a video where a local Aruban Shanti guides you through one of Aruba’s magical Butterfly farms that contains some of the world’s most rare species of butterfly.

To continue on with the theme of relaxation that the “30 minutes of Happiness” video is exuding, the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino has created an “Island Vibes” playlist on Spotify for users who want to listen to the sounds of vacationing on a tropical island while they send out their emails for the day.

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Tired of eating pasta and chicken every day? Now, you can enjoy the fresh and delicious cuisine that comes from Aruba in your own home! The Aruba Tourism Authority has uploaded multiple food and cocktail recipes to their Instagram account. Their most popular post would be an at-home recipe for making pastechi, which is basically just a stuffed pastry that’s widely popular in Aruba.

Beyond that, the Divi and Tamarijn All Inclusive Resort in Aruba has uploaded the staple cocktail recipes for the drinks you would find at any resort on your vacation to the island. If you don’t drink alcohol, the resort has also provided a few mocktail recipes, so you can still feel your tropical vacation fantasy.

Finally, since the world is celebrating Earth Day this week, the Aruba Tourism Authority has uploaded a special video tour of the island of Dushi Tera. Within the video, you’ll hear an inspiring message delivered by 17 native Aruban voices, all between the ages of 9 and 90. The video not only emphasizes the beauty of the island and its natural resources, but also leaves viewers with a positive promise to future travelers, stating that the island will open its arms again soon, once it’s safe again, and it looks forward to seeing all of you very soon.

Airbnb Logo

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!