New websites, systems, and applications are always changing the way we live. Companies like Uber and Lyft completely revolutionized the transportation industry, and online restaurants and ordering systems have turned take-out and delivery food into a culture. With new technology, we find new ways to buy food, find transportation, and even rent homes.
What is Airbnb?
The bnb in airbnb is an acronym for Bed and Breakfast, which are establishments, typically owned by a family, that hosts several travelers by providing them a bed (sometimes a whole room) and a breakfast when they wake up, and in return, they earn money from it. So, what is airbnb exactly? A flying BnB?!
No. Airbnb is a service that connects homeowner’s and people generally in need of a short-term lease. Sometimes a really really short-term lease; like a weekend! So, in a way, airbnb accommodations bridge the gap between rent and hotels, but one party at a time, instead of multiple travellers at the same time. So, the “air” portion of the name is a weird way of referring to the “online” aspect of it, we guess… you do it all – booking to payment – virtually, sending data through the “air”.
Now, the great thing about airbnb accommodations is that you do everything online with no middleman but the site’s structure. The homeowner “lists” the property and sets its rules and prices, the person interested in renting schedules the dates and the payment is done through the website. It made it not only easier but cheaper for people to put their real estate property for rent. Renters from high-traffic areas like New York City would have to spend some money with New York Real Estate Agents to do the whole middleman process for them, but with airbnb they can do it even remotely; most times you don’t even see the person.
Many property homeowners in big cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles are learning to cater towards Airbnb renters, especially the ones that don’t want to shell out money for a hotel during their month-long vacation.
Here are a few reasons why Airbnb accommodations got such an important placing within the rental real estate market and – at least its idea; not necessarily the company – won’t go away for a long while:
- More available information on tenants. Homeowners can leave ‘reviews’ on tenants, and they can go a long way in screening an interested tenant. You can make sure they won’t trash your place, and rest easy knowing that you didn’t just invite your worst nightmare onto your property. (And if you do, you can at least feel justified as you leave comments about their reputation online.) It goes the other way around too: if the Landlord didn’t provide something, if the airbnb rental wasn’t exactly as advertised, it will get bad reviews. So you can’t run: only good Landlords/Properties and good Tenants do well on Airbnb.
- Host protection home insurance. Airbnb offers up to 1 million dollars to renters that experience property damage, and while you might not ever have to use it, it’s reassuring to know that you won’t have to weigh yourself down with extra property insurance costs.
- More control over your real estate property. When you rent to long-term tenants, you might not get to check on the house or apartment until they’re already long gone or at the end of their lease. This can leave a lot of time for them to mess up your home. With Airbnb renting, they’re only staying short-term, making it easier for you to go in after them and make sure everything is tidy.
- More potential. When you’re renting to vacationers and visitors, you can get more tenants faster, and cycle them out for more earning potential. They’re willing to spend more, and it’s easier to get someone in for a week than to find a tenant willing to stay for a 6-month lease. Plus, the market changes… say the prices go up in the middle of your 18-month lease; you’re losing money, right? When you turn your place into airbnb accommodations you get the benefit of raising the prices when the real estate market gets better. But, hey… the reverse happens too.
All in all, many real estate homeowners are switching to Airbnb renting to find tenants. While it’s certainly a huge leap from traditional renting, it can have its benefits, especially if you’re willing to commit to it. Furnishing your home is the first step, take the time to research some Furnished Rental Tips to make sure your airbnb accommodation is live-in ready any time a tenant contacts you. Then, find a good cleaning service and try building a long-lasting trusting relationship with it. You’ll need to rely on them more than you think; sometimes you’ll have little time between one guest and the other, and the place needs to be clean and ready.
And for the person renting it’s also great. Imagine you’re traveling to those big cities we mentioned: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. You’re going on a family trip: you, mom, dad, cousins, uncle… just like the McAllisters from the movie “Home Alone”. Just thinking about the big hotel bills for all the rooms to accommodate everyone gives you headaches, right? Well, airbnb rentals solve that. You can get a whole house for a much nicer price and accommodate everyone. More than this: you can live the life of a native person from New York City, San Francisco or Los Angeles, you know? Get away from that sterilized hotel life and feel the life in the city for real.
Another scenario: if the trip is long, you might need to wash your clothes, right? Try doing that in a hotel… your bill will be crazy! With an airbnb rental, you will be able to use the house’s washer and dryer with no additional charge. And you will get rid of hotel nuisances like constantly having to log in the hotel’s wi-fi network putting your room number and password or tipping the crew, valet etc.
Now, depending on the real estate market, staying longer at an Airbnb rental can be more expensive. For instance, the Best Vacation Destinations are in high demand during the summer so its owners might prefer to have several tenants coming in and out every weekend to cash-in more. So, if you travel for more than a month, it is possible that the price might be almost there with the hotel and other expenses – like food – will weigh in, because hotels usually offer free breakfast. So, that’s something to think about.
Whether you are the Landlord or the Tenant, it’s important to remember that this is not traditional renting, so take precautions to protect yourself legally. Talk to other Airbnb renters, and make sure to give it some thought before making a ton of decisions and changes to your real estate property. It’s not for every homeowner – nor Tenant! – so make sure it’s for you before committing!